The 10 Commandments Of Coping With Infant Gas
Gentle infant massage is known to calm your infant, while strengthening the bond between you. It is recommended to receive proper guidance on infant massage at Tipat Chalav (well baby check-up clinic) or privately. That being said, during severe gas attacks, you can massage the infant’s stomach in circular motions, in a clockwise direction. Massage gently - and if your infant expresses resistance or does not experience relief stop the massage at once.
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Gently rocking your infant as you stroll about reminds them of their time in the womb, when they moved about to the rhythm of their mother’s steps. As such it calms and relaxes them. Often, gas attacks become more severe as a result of the infant’s cries. Calming their tears can therefore help relieve their stomach aches as well. You can rock your infant in your arms, on your legs, or while sitting on a physio ball.
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The rhythm of moving about on a physio ball resembles that of walking, and it is easier to bounce on a physio ball for lengthy periods of time than to walk around with your little one in your arms. You can sit on the ball in front of the television or among company and continue to gently rock your infant. Be sure to rock very gently, no faster than your walking pace.
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The nursing mother’s nutrition
While no studies support this, many nursing mothers report that changes they made to their own diets helped relieve their infants’ gas pains. Foods worth looking into reducing/eliminating from your diet include: legumes, caffeine, chocolate, cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower and broccoli), dairy products and more. Since maintaining a balanced diet is essential for nursing mother, it is recommended to gradually implement any changes and only eliminate one food at a time. Consult with a dietitian, if needed.
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Leopard on a tree
Hold your infant so that their belly in placed against your forearm (the part between your elbow and wrist). Once you both feel comfortable in this position, you can cautiously walk around the house, enabling light and natural movement. This will enable you to place pressure (gentle massage) on the stomach, which is likely to release the stomach muscles relieve pain.
With the cradling position, you hold your infant in your two arms, with one one your hands supporting in between their knees and the other hand supporting the back of their head. The result is that you are holding them with their back in a curved position and head and legs parallel to one another. The cradling position helps the infant’s stomach muscles relax, releasing gas. When lying on a bed, you can raise the infant’s knees towards their chest.
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Using a soft, unstructured infant carrier (with or without a tying function) can do wonders with respect to gas relief. You can place the infant in a cradling or tummy-to-tummy position and head outdoors. The outdoor air is known to calm infants and the carrier helps them relax their stomach muscles and release gas.
If gas persists and the crying attacks last for hours on end, you can consult with a doctor about switching up your infant’s formula. It is generally recommended to do so gradually and under a doctor’s supervision
Gas, or in medical terms, colic, is a natural and common phenomenon that passes on its own within three to four months. Roughly one-third of infants will suffer from it, but for the most part it does not harm their development or weight gain. Patience is a virtue - the gas will pass in the end.
There are medications designed to relieve infant gas. Before purchasing, make sure the medication was determined to be effective through clinical trials and was approved for use by the Health Ministry’s Pharmaceuticals Department.
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