Baby gas and constipation
Baby gas relief is not an easy problem because no one seems to know why some infants have gas problems. “My baby has gas” a common statement made by many mothers. Every baby has excessive gas at some point in their infancy, but why some babies develop pain and have difficulty with it is a mystery. Gas in babies is a normal physiological event and even occurs in adults.
Gas is usually harmless expelled and is more of a social issue but in some infants, gas causes abdominal distension, bloating, vomiting, pain and constipation. In general, babies who are breast fed appear to have less gas problems than babies who are given formula. Causes of excess gas in babies include foods eaten by the mother such as dairy products, excess acidic foods, soy, peanuts, fatty foods or cruciferous vegetables. In formula fed babies the same foods can cause excess gas.
There are hundreds of treatments for excess gas and there is no one treatment which works in all babies. Babies’ gas is not usually treated medically but with a change in diet, comfort care and sometimes with the use of laxatives.
The treatment of gas pain starts at home with a common sense approach. many mothers end up in the emergency rooms complaining that their baby has gas. In fact there is no medical or surgical treatment for gas. Keep a diary of the foods the baby is given and eliminate foods that cause problems. Burp the baby during and at the end of each feed. Feed the baby in an upright position and do not overfeed.
Sometimes the baby may need comfort and soothing and this may be done by holding the baby close. However, there are some babies who just won’t stop crying and remain fussy. In such cases one may use sugar water. Other therapies recommended for gas includes use of simethicone which can help one expel gas. Other products on the market to help gas include essential oils, herbal extracts, sodium bicarbonate and numerous homeopathic formulas. In most cases, gas problems are best eliminated by avoiding foods and comforting the baby.
All parents should be aware that while babies’ gas is usually a harmless condition, there are times when the infant may have something more sinister inside the abdomen. Therefore, any baby who continues to cry and has abdominal distension needs to be seen by a physician.
Finally, remember sometimes baby gas relief is not the problem, but hyperactive parents who simply won’t relax and chill out.
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