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Challenge: Bringing Home Baby: What Do You Wish You’d Known?

Colic? GONE!

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​Colic! As a 22 year old college educated first time mother, I thought I probably knew everything there was to know about taking care of a normal newborn. As a pediatric nurse in a well known Indianapolis Children's Hospital, I felt confident to care for our newborn. But no one mentioned colic, the pain it caused an infant, the hours of relentless crying, the fear, terror and guilt it caused the parents, nor the "tricks" that seemed to soothe the infant. No one told me anything about this. No where in my 4 year nursing program was it more then a passing comment about "oh yes, by the way, some babies do get colic".

Our very skilled pediatrician gave us a medicine, bentyl phenobarbital, to administer to our new born. If you have ever had the "displeasure" of tasting paregoric....tastes very similar. After trying to administer by pursing his tiny lips and slowly squirting (oral syringe) it into his mouth, he would choke and sputter, hold his breath then let out a wail of suffocating tears and cries. It tastes awful...but within a few minutes, his little system would relax allowing for gas to pass from every normal orifice. Praise God...and he would be at peace....until the next time I would nurse him. It did not take me too long to realize the cause and effect and the guilt was overwhelming. I quit nursing him very early and struggled with finding a formula that would agree with him. 

When our second child came, within a week she too started in with colic. I was nursing her as well. No way did I want her ,nor myself, our family to experience this again. I called Le Leche League and only then did I realize my diet was the cause. You see what we take into our bodies cannot always be digested by a newborn's immature digestive system. My culprit which I loved, DAIRY! I ate cheese, drank milk and occasionally enjoyed yogurt. I cut it completely out of my diet and yes miracles do happen...within 48 hours all symptoms of colic were gone and never returned. I successfully nursed this baby for 9 months. I did take calcium supplements and continued  prenatal vitamins while nursing. Later  in my nursing career, I became a lactation specialist and have shared my story many many times learning later that YES indeed ...the dairy, citrus, and many other items (broccoli, cauliflower) cinnamon did not agree with many breast fed newborns. Small sacrifices to temporarily give up for a happy healthy breast fed newborn. Peace and Blessings and Happy Times with your beautiful Baby!

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