Many Natural Practitioners believe that wind in babies can be due to many different reasons :
Common thoughts are;
- That the fast flow of milk means that the baby swallows lots of air whilst feeding. But recent studies via imaging into a baby mouth find that this is not true. When a baby has a deep latch on the breast the mouth is full of breast tissue so air is not able to get in.
- Digestion problems in the gut and therefore the baby produces too much gas then the baby has trouble releasing the wind produced when it becomes trapped. This is actually called lactose over load and is a breastfeeding issue that can often be fixed with the appropriate advice for you as an individual. When this happens babies often have green or frothy bowel movements and look bloated.
- Birth difficulties can be seen as a cause of wind because the babies gut lining is immature and the mother has had antibiotics. Or they baby is having issues with breastfeeding latching and creating a vacuum on the breast so they can transfer milk effectively.
They believe many of these triggers can be prevented or greatly reduced by doing a few simple things.
IMMATURE DIGESTION and GUT FLORA IMBALANCES.
Babies whose mothers have had ANTIBIOTICS around the time of birth and postnatally often present with digestion problems. The first thing to try is probiotics for you and your baby.
The baby probiotics come in a powder and you give normally it is 1/2 the dose you would give a child. Read the packing for the dosage or ask them when you buy it.
Worried about Fast flow of milk??
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, your baby will sometimes struggle. If breastfeeding it is best to relax back once your baby is latched to your breast. This will allow your baby to get a deeper latch and more breast tissue into the baby's mouth. Also if you are in a relaxed back position like you are sitting in a deck chair or try lying down on your side to feed then your baby will relax as well. This will help their digestion. Sometimes if it feels like wind is trapped in your baby's lower bowel tummy area causing pain and spasms you can help your baby by feeding properly as they may feel full when they are not or they may stop and start the feed in between episodes of screaming and pulling up the legs .
1)Try to feed your baby in a more relaxed position 45 degree angle to your body or even greater.
2)Can you slow down the flow of milk?
Evidence says not really but you may have a strong milk ejection reflex which means the milk flows fast. Sometimes lean back while you are feeding your baby this may help to slow the flow of milk down for some woman. Many Mothers with a fast flow of milk will only feed from one breast each time they feed so that your baby gets the "foremilk" lactose watery milk and "hindmilk" or fatty milk. Always offer the other breast because sometimes your baby may be asking that they want this. It is better to offer your baby frequently feeds every 2-3 hourly rather than delaying feeds. If you delay to 3-4hrly then the baby will get larger amounts from a very full breast of lactose. It is best to cue into your baby and try to be baby led until your baby can cope with the flow and the volume and is not crying with wind.
1 )Try to feed baby in a more upright position 45 degree angle to your body or greater. Pace bottle feeding
2) Ensure you have the right size teat so that your baby can feed easily without having to try too hard to get the milk out of the bottle or that the milk is flowing to fast. It is suggested to use a narrow neck teat.
3) It is better to give feeds frequently 2-3 hrly when your baby tells you they are hungry rather than large amounts 3-4hrly until your baby can cope with the larger volumes of milk and their gut has matured and is not crying with wind.
4)Sometimes it is worth investigating trying another formula brand that may be more suitable to your baby. It is best discuss this with a or you GP, or naturopath.
THE MOTHERS DIET
If you are breastfeeding some babies react to what the mother eats as the breastmilk will have different flavours. There is no evidence to say if the mother has wind then quite often so will her baby.
Most of the time mothers and babies are in perfect balance with there digestion but sometimes they are not. Often breastfeeding research suggests to eat every thing in moderation. But when you speak to many Mothers they will often say certain foods would give their baby trapped wind or an upset tummy.
To settle an upset tummy and a crying baby, try colicalm.
1)THE DIET SHEET
, this is to be used while the baby is newborn and until about 6-9 weeks of age to help make the mother aware of what foods maybe making her baby have digestion difficulties. It will not be all the foods but take them all out and then gradually add them back and see which ones make your baby more windy. This not evidenced based but can be helpful for some mothers and babies.
2)OTHER ideas to consider-- if digestion sees no improvement after using diet sheet for at least 2 weeks.
3)OR eliminate white flour/gluten and/or diary products for 2 weeks and see if this helps.
4)Breastfeeding mums may want to try to use Galactogogue
breastfeeding tea which contains herbs to help milk quality and digestion of milk by the baby.
can help to reduce symptoms of wind in babies. You may just have to try a few to see which one works best for you.
tea is good for smelly rotten egg smelling flatulence, and when your baby wants to be cuddled and soothed and then gets angry and irritable when you pick your baby up.
is good for digestion and when you can hear your baby’s tummy rumbling or your baby’s tummy seems bloated and tight.Can be very calming as well.
HOW TO MAKE:Take one caffeine free tea bag or a teaspoon of seeds of preferred flavour and pour over 2 cups of boiling water and let seep for 5mins.-10mins .Then you can drink it yourself plus give baby 1-2 tsp of the tea before feeding them.
Babies who are not sleeping well because of wind will probably also be showing signs of over -tiredness and stress. They will be even more irritable and hard to settle. By using some of these ideas of how to assist your baby to digest their milk and expel their wind easily will help restore the balance so your baby will be calm and sleep better.
Sometimes babies have tightness around the diaphragm area following birth. This can be from an easy and fast birth or from a more difficult long birth resulting in Medical intervention. See an osteopath.
When ever you change your baby’s nappy try to massage around the abdomen in a clockwise circular motion to help digestion and expel wind. Also by taking your baby’s legs and making bicycle movements with them also can help expel wind.
Some baby's also respond well to some tummy lying with their legs curled up under their tummy as a way of expelling flatulence or skin to skin after feeds.
You maybe interested in a Baby massage course.
Some babies with wind hate to be still and prefer jiggling and rocking. So investing in a sling or frontpack is an easy way to help your baby stay calm and settled. Also a rocking cradle or swing can work.
Our babies are used to the noises in the womb like the placenta, which they say can be louder than a vacuum cleaner to a baby. Sometimes our houses have over stimulating noise or the opposite, we try to be too quiet. Reassuring sounds to a baby can make them feel calm and relaxed. Talk to your baby, they know your voice from birth and will find this relaxing.
Many babies love the calming affect of water. Sometimes climbing into a deep bath with your baby can help them to stop crying.
After a feed and a gentle relaxing massage a warm bath is very helpful and they may even expel there wind into the water!
Even just running the tap so they can hear water is enough to calm them.
Food intolerances- Some babies colic is caused by food intolerances, that is, the inability of your baby's body immature digestive system to digest your breast milk after you have eaten certain foods.
Which food can cause colic include:
- Dairy products. Milk, butter, cheese, chocolate etc, and any foods or drinks which contain these.
- Wheat. Any foods containing wheat flour or flakes etc. Other grains, eg rye are often ok.
- Eggs, and any food or drinks that contain eggs.
- Citrus fruit, Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, mandarines, tangeloes etc.
- Yeasts. Foods that are yeasted such as bread or pizza, and sometimes non active yeasts, eg brewers yeast, mushrooms etc.
- Cane sugar. And all foods and drinks sweetened with sugar.
- Caffeine and tannin. In tea, coffee, cocoa and chocolate. Herbal teas, especially peppermint, fennel, chamomile are usually ok.
- Artificial colourings and preservatives
- Cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, Peas etc
- Peanuts. Raw, roasted or in peanut butter.
- Onions and garlic
- Capsicum and cucumber, lettuce,
If the foods you've eliminated have been causing a problem you will notice an improvement in your baby within 2-3 weeks (sometimes much sooner). Some babies digestive systems are upset by more than one type of food, so you might notice an improvement but not a complete cure by eliminating only one or two groups of foods.
Some women find this elimination diet very difficult. Its often hard enough to find time to eat when you're dealing with an unsettled baby, let alone try to find appetising substitutes for the foods you usually eat. However, it is worth the effort and were fortunate to have access to a wide variety of foods from which to choose.
Check that you baby is correctly 'latched on' to your breast during feeds. Try leaning back or lying down while feeding to slow the flow of milk. If you cannot see any difficulty but your baby is still swallowing air (you can normally hear them gasping it in, or hear the air 'exploding' in their stomachs while they feed), make an appointment with a lactation consultant to have positioning checked.
A strong 'let down' reflex can also cause a baby to gasp in air as she tries to coordinate suckling and swallowing when the beast milk is coming out fast. If you hear your baby swallowing air, take her off the breast and 'burp' her before allowing her to continue feeding. You may need to do this several times during the early part of each feed. Do not restrict the overall length of the feed.
Transient lactose intolerance colic;
Maureen Minchin suggests that some babies receive more breast milk than their stomachs can cope with. If you have a abundant supply of breast milk which streams out of your breasts easily so your baby gets a relatively large amount with each pump of her tongue and jaw, she could be getting so much milk (with high lactose content) at each feed that there us insufficient lactase in her stomach to break it down before it is pushed into her intestines. A few hours later the undigested lactose in her intestines will have started to ferment, causing gas, cramps and general spasmodic pain.