Feeding Schedule For A 6 Month Old Formula Fed Baby Working With Colic and Postpartum Depression

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Working With Colic and Postpartum Depression

Colic is characterized by inconsolable crying that usually lasts for 3 or more hours during the day, and several hours at night for no apparent reason. You check all the obvious things, diapers, is the baby hungry? Too hot? Too cold? Fever? Teething? ear? No matter what you do, the baby is uncomfortable, and usually spits up a little after eating. Then he starts crying. You try baby walking, sometimes it helps, but not for long. Finally, exhausted from crying, your baby falls asleep in your arms. All while your anxiety levels rise to unbearable levels.

You take the baby to the doctor, and after a thorough examination, the diagnosis is colic. Doctor says not to worry, it usually heals in 3-4 months. Sound familiar? Well, actually 3-4 months if you’re lucky. In some cases it lasts for more than a year. In my case, my sons colic went away by 9 months. If your child is having a really hard time, it can seem like a life sentence for parents. So, what to do? It may take a little time to find what works for your child, but it’s worth the effort. I tried eliminating foods while nursing. Then after three months of nursing, I switched to formula. Tried different formulas, different feeding schedules, different bottles to reduce gas, nothing worked. Here’s the good news: There are many well-tested, age-old traditional remedies that actually work and are safe for babies.

Here’s what I wish I knew: Babies’ stomachs and spleens are underdeveloped. This means they may have difficulty digesting food. The traditional Chinese medicine school (TCM) has long held that overfeeding a baby can cause colic, and that nursing or formula babies should be kept on schedule. Feed every 3 1/2 hours, while gradually reducing the amount of food by 1/3 less at each meal. This makes sense to me, as it will put less stress on an already compromised digestive system. This is a good reason not to introduce solid foods to a baby before the age of 6 months. I also recommend not introducing spicy or complex foods until the child is between 7-8 years old. By then their digestive system is not fully developed.

There are TCM doctors who specialize in pediatric Chinese medicine, and have a lot to offer in the areas of colic and postpartum depression. These doctors are formally trained in herbology and can treat your child with safe and effective herbal remedies for a specific case of colic. I personally recommend getting a copy of Bob Flaws book, “Keeping Your Child Healthy with Chinese Medicine: A Parent’s Guide to the Care and Prevention of Common Childhood Illnesses.” He has worked extensively in this field for over 30 years, with excellent results, and is a great resource. You can also contact the Traditional Chinese School of Medicine in your area or here in Boulder, Colorado, at 303-581-9955.

But what if your child is a skinny child, or you feel the child cannot cut down on food? There are many herbal remedies to help babies digest their food (formula or breast milk), to reduce symptoms caused by discomfort. Even children who are thriving can benefit greatly from these. In discussing this with parents in recent years, I’ve heard many stories of how these remedies worked, and essentially saved them months of pain. The two remedies I recommend are Ibaba and Gripe Water. You can find many versions of these at health food stores, or online.

Advice for moms: It will get better, I promise, but it might take a while. Get help. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get support from family and friends, your doctor, or other moms who have been through this. You are not alone here, and there is plenty of help. Keep your partner involved as much as possible, and try to be patient with them, as they may have little idea of ​​what you’re going through. Take a break during the day to get away for a while to regroup. Leave the baby with your partner, grandmother or close friend for a little while, you will get some air, at least 30 minutes a day. This is the key to regaining your strength, taking care of a colicky baby. Try talking to a doctor or nurse about it, they can be very helpful.

Postpartum depression (also treatable with herbal remedies) can accompany colic, as it did in my case. While your hormones are rebalancing, your body is adjusting to nursing, things can be difficult. This lack of sleep can lead to severe depression, confusion and hopelessness. Call your doctor if you feel strange. I was scared, the depression was so intense, and I was crying all the time. There was no one who could help me. I finally decided to talk to a doctor. I called her, and through a great deal of uncontrollable sobbing, explained how scared I was. My depression had reached unbearable levels, I was worried and afraid I would no longer be able to cope.

Here’s what he said:

“Clee…are you getting out of bed?” i said “yes”

“Doing your daily chores, cooking, and doing laundry?” i said “yes”

“Taking care of yourself and the kids?” i said “yes”

Then he said, after a long break…

“I think you’re doing fine.”

I said, “Really… how do you know that? I’m really scared, and it’s so hard…”

He said, “You don’t make this call. Your husband or a family member is calling me saying, ‘She won’t get out of bed or do her daily chores.’ That’s when I start to get a little worried.” It helped me realize that I was okay, that colic and postpartum depression were normal parenting issues. He also assured that the child would recover.

But a colicky baby and a mom with postpartum depression can be overwhelming, especially if you have another baby at home you’re trying to care for, too. Find the help you need, it’s there. Dealing with colic and postpartum depression is hard, you’re not crazy, and you’re not alone.

When I share stories with other moms who have survived colicky babies or the baby blues, we often get teary-eyed as we walk down memory lane. For me, I was ashamed to admit when something was too difficult to handle. I don’t want the rest of the world to think I can’t compromise. Colic and postpartum depression are the only events in a parent’s life when asking for help is the best thing you can do for yourself, your baby, and your family.

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