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Chiropractic & Colic

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By Dr. Stephanie Bonn

So many parents, including myself, have experienced the inconsolable cries of their newborn baby. Almost overnight, their angel baby can no longer be calmed even though her diaper is dry and her tummy is full. Some babies are fussy at specific times of the day while others have no pattern to their unease. In time, the colickiness will pass but there are natural options to give both your baby and yourselves relief and rest.

What is Colic?

True colic is defined as three hours of crying three days a week for three weeks. There are varying degrees of fussiness which can begin shortly following birth or more commonly, three to six weeks of age. Recent studies suggest colic may be more neurological in origin than a digestive system disorder.

The birth process itself can cause slight tension in the baby’s spine. This tension irritates the nerves traveling to the developing digestive system. When the nerves are irritated, the digestive system cannot function as effectively as possible and the baby may have the following symptoms: increase in gas, projectile spit-ups, struggle to move bowels, green-coloured stools and of course, fussiness.

Research on Colic

Many studies from peer-reviewed journals have found chiropractic care to be a highly effective way to relieve infantile colic. In one study chiropractic adjustments significantly reduced hours of crying compared to the babies receiving Dimethicone, a drug to treat colic. In another study, a 91% improvement was shown in babies receiving just one week of chiropractic care.

Natural Treatments for Colic

Along with the gentle and safe pediatric chiropractic techniques for the newborn (we use an extremely soft touch to reduce their spinal tension), I recommend an integrative approach to colickiness. I find the first three months is really a fourth trimester and the baby will benefit from being carried, nursed on demand and sleeping nearby. Breastfeeding with a proper latch can be challenging but is better for both the mother and baby and will decrease the chance and intensity of colic.

Reducing the mother’s intake of wheat, dairy and soy can help as well as taking probiotics to increase the level of good bacteria in both the mother and baby. Various burping techniques and tummy massages can also help move gas through your baby’s system.

In time (usually by 6 months at the most), your baby will be less fussy and much more content. However, to ease the stress and strain of colickiness for both you and your baby, there are natural options such as chiropractic care. So you both can enjoy the precious first few months of life.

For questions on colic and/or pediatric chiropractic, please contact Dr. Stephanie anytime at

Dr. Stephanie Bonn, DC

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