In PIMT (Pediatric Integrative Manual Therapy) we observe the crying syndrome, colic, from a very integrated focus. It could not be otherwise. We are aware of the great influence of cervical cranial and dural tension dysfunctions. Because of this, manual therapy on these structures has very good results. All of us who work in PIMT are aware of this.
Other important points to take into account are gastroesophageal irritations that produce restlessness and irritability, especially when in a horizontal position. We often see these babies calm down somewhat when in a curled position, differently to those with dural tension. Those with dural tension have strong patterns of hyperextension and difficulty in curling up. Dural tension can be checked through adapted pediatric flexions. These babies respond well to manual therapy to membranes and cervical area.
Another important point is the lack of correct suction. The inability to close the lips or good coordination of suction and swallowing causes too much air to be swallowed. You can see the baby´s belly swelling and discomfort is noted.
Today I wanted to talk about sensitivity to foods that the mother might be eating within the digestive system (of the baby). It´s not a trivial subject, and we don´t always take it into account. There are certain groups of food that can irritate the child through lactation.
Alcohol: It is known that alcohol reaches the mother´s milk 60-90
minutes after intake. No way is this acceptable to the baby. It can affect the way the mother behaves towards the baby.
Caffeine: The international milk league allows up to three cups a day. More than this and the caffeine could cause irritation in the baby and create disrupted sleep cycles.
Condiments and spices: Surprisingly these do not damage the baby and could, in fact, raise the tolerance to certain foods in the future. There is no need to avoid garlic or curry. Perhaps hot spices might be irritants and it would be wise to limit them.
Foods that produce gas: Some vegetables from the cabbage family produce gas for the mother too, so these shouldn´t be too abundant in the diet. Beans chick peas and broccoli are also Included in this group. It would be worth working out which ones of these cause discomfort before removing them entirely from the diet
Fibre: Fiber rich foods also produce gas, especially those that contain bran.
FODMAP. (“fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols”) Short chain carbohydrates and related alcohols.
FODMAP foods are wheat, pulses, dairy, food with fructose, (apples pears etc) tomato sauce and sweetners. Recent studies have shown that a low FODMAP diet for the breastfeeding mother strongly reduces colic.
Suspect allergens: This topic is of great interest. Everyday more and more children are diagnosed with food intolerance and allergies. In these cases the family history of intolerance and allergies must be checked and consulted with the pediatrician.
The pediatrician and nutritionist are the ones to guide the mother more specifically. However, we cannot ignore this aspect in our medical records, we need to understand the important influence this has on symptoms of colic and restlessness in the baby.
There are more key aspects to look at…. Calmness and the reassuring presence of the mother is without a doubt one of those.
We´ll approach this another day.
Jana LA.,Shu J. Food Fights. Winning The Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood. American Academy of Pediatrics. 2nd Edition, 2012.
Lacovou M, Craig SS, Yelland GW. Barrett JS, Gibson PR, Muir JG,
Randomized clinical trial: reducing the intake of dietary FODMAPs of breastfeeding mothers is associated with greater improvement of the symptoms of infantile colic than for a typical diet.
Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2018 November; 48 (10): 1061-1073.