3 myths that lead to colic and reflux
Currently, time and time again our parents and newborns are suffering colic, reflux, lactose and dairy overload because of misleading, non-factual information. These widely taught beliefs has parents, unknowingly, pushing their baby's digestive system beyond their natural function. In order to reduce what I call Digestive Overload - (colic, reflux, lactose and dairy overload) these three teachings and more must be changed - we must begin to work with the newborns biology (with Bio-logical Care). Three of these misleading teachings are:
- Babies need regular feeding because of their small stomachs.
- Feeding your baby every hour to three hours is healthy and normal.
- Cluster feeding in the evening is normal.
So, what are the known biological facts that science tells us which means these teachings should be left in the past if we are to stop these detrimental behaviours for our newborns:
- On average it can take four to five hours for milk to move from the stomach. Biologically, “gastric emptying and transit are naturally delayed in neonates.” 1
- For newborns aged one to three months it has been reported to take, “on average, eight-and-a-half hours for milk to travel from the mouth through the digestive tract onto a bowel motion (known as transit time).” 2
- “Milk feeds override the intrinsic, fasting, motor activity of the colon, and induce regular defecation at a frequency determined directly by the volume of the products of digestion that reach the rectum.” 3
This means, when newborns are fed in quick succession — before three-and-a-half to four hourly given the amount of time milk takes to digest naturally and leave the stomach — the sheer volume pushes the food through to the duodenum and onto the large bowel before the stomach enzymes and acid have processed the milk fully. This places unnecessary pressure on many physiological components which creates heightened communication – leading to diagnosis of colic, reflux, lactose and dairy overload.
Please note: frequent feeding/overfeeding is only one contributor to the behaviours of colic, reflux, silent reflux and lactose overload. If you are now thinking of stretching out your babies feeds because of this knowledge, you may find they become more unsettled. This is because other digestive processes need to be balanced at the same time before calm, or their natural way of being is reinstated.
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2. Nyhan WL., Stool frequency of normal infants in the first week of life. Pediatrics 1952:10:414-25
3. Weaver, LT., Lucas, A. Development of bowe habit in preterm infants. Archives of Disease in Childhood 1993; 68: 317-320
Last Updated: 14 March 2015