Recently, I attended a professional conference addressing gastro-esophageal reflux in infants. I must say that the discussion brought back the passion (and empathy) I feel for the issue of excessive fussing and crying in infants. During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, I was privileged to work with Dr Anthony Kulczycki of The Washington University School of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Immunology. Together, we explored the role of a certain cow milk protein in the incidence of infantile colic. We studied breast-fed and formula-fed infants alike. I became fairly skilled at assessing and managing excessive fussing and crying in the breast-fed infant.
I bring this topic to the table, because when a breastfeeding baby is ‘colicky,’ the practice of continued breastfeeding is placed at great risk. Most mothers jump to the conclusion that their baby is either hungry or ‘allergic’ to something they are eating. Some mothers discontinue their efforts to breastfeed in favor of formula feeding, which usually doesn’t help. In fact, formula feeding may worsen the symptoms. Other mothers starve themselves in an effort to avoid every food that has ever been implicated in producing gas or fussiness in babies. This usually doesn’t work either.
A baby’s excessive and sustained fussing and crying cannot be taken lightly. This can cause serious upheaval in any household. Breastfeeding may not seem to work. Parents are exhausted. Babies are at risk of being shaken (yes, even the best of parents can snap under these conditions). And, a mother’s gift for nurturing and protecting her baby is crushed by feelings of worthlessness and frustration.
If you have a baby that is fussing and crying to the point of concern, please don’t try to treat this yourself. Get help. Pick up the phone and call us. Here at MoBap, our team of lactation specialists is fully equipped to assist you in a systematic evaluation of the situation. We are genuinely happy to help, and you can always call me on the phone for another opinion! Whatever you do…don’t stop breastfeeding without first seeking help!!!
Breastfeeding Blog Main Page
Our philosophy: At MoBap, we recognize that every mother and baby couplet is unique, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Our lactation staff is committed to the belief that mothers make the right decisions for themselves and their babies. So, whatever your infant feeding decision may be, we’re here to support you along the way.
Please Note: The MoBapBaby web site is intended as a reference and information source only. If you suspect you or your infant have a health problem, you should seek immediate care with the appropriate health care professionals. The information in this web site is not a substitute for professional care, and must not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. For help finding a doctor, call 314-996-LIFE. St. Louis Children’s Hospital Answer Line may be of assistance for infant health questions at 314.454.KIDS. BJC HealthCare assumes no liability for the information contained in this web site or for its use.