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Monday, June 18, 2012

book - Colic Solved

Colic Solved - The essential guide to infant reflux and the care of your crying, difficult-to-soothe baby by Bryan Vartabedian, M.D.

(image from Google)

This was a very good book and resource for acid reflux. I had not heard much about this topic before reading this book and talking to a friend. I feel now that I have a better grasp of what colic really is... and I'm grateful my babies did not experience this. It sounds like a very challenging situation, and yet the author of this book made it seem manageable with good ideas on how to deal with the situation. 

What is reflux?
Written by a doctor and like a doctor, this book is honest, straight-forward and full of facts and reality. Starting in the beginning of the book where the author explains what reflux really is - "the physiological condition in which stomach contents come back up from the stomach into the esophagus where it doesn't belong."

The author suggests that all babies have reflux, it is a normal thing. Some babies just have it worse, which leads to colic. 

What is colic?
On page 7, the author wrote that babies cannot have colic since it is not a disease to be diagnosed. It is rather a "pattern of behavior."

More common than one thinks.
On page 31 the author provided some statistics: "Close to 70 % of babies between 4 and 6 months old spit up at least once a day. About 5 % of 1-year-olds spit up at least once a day at their first birthday. Babies with frequent spitting up are 2.3 times more likely than infrequent spitters to have reflux at age 9 years. About 8 % of all teenagers report regular reflux symptoms."

7 signs of reflux:
spitting and vomiting
constant hiccups
feeding disturbances
chronic irritability 
discomfort when lying on the bak
sleep disturbance
chronic cough and/or congestion
(page 40)

When does reflux show itself?
Reflux can start from birth, but most often it occurs when they are 3 to 6 weeks old, according to the author on page 53.

10 signs a colicky baby may have reflux:
arches and pulls off the nipple
feeds voraciously
seems hungry but requires more than 20 minutes to complete a 3-to-4-ounce bottle
feeds better when half asleep
more frequently irritable after feeds than at any other time
screams when put down for diaper changes
awakens from sound sleep with bloodcurdling screams
you "hear" stomach contents being burped up from stomach into throat
frequently has coarse, noisy breathing that's worse after sleeping
constantly hiccups
(page 63)

The author wrote that most newborns are able to finish a feeding in 15 to 20 minutes, and longer than 25 minutes is something to talk to a pediatrician about, page 140. 

Stir not shake!
On page 151 the author wrote that formula should never be shaken to mix it up due to the air bubbles that get in when shaken. If you must shake the bottle let is sit for 15 to 20 minutes. If time is important then just stir the formula instead of shaking it. The author wrote that shaking it "will ultimately wreak havoc on your baby's intestinal tract."

On page 189 the author provided a great chart of 4 medications that can be used to treat reflux. 

 Excellent resource! Seemed straight-forward and easy to read. 

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