Posts Tagged ‘ crying ’

Probiotics May Help Clear Infant Colic

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

A new study of the use of probiotics, or “good bacteria” in infants has revealed a possible correlation with lower gastrointestinal discomfort and the pattern of crying and fussiness known as colic.  More from LiveScience:

In the study, newborns that received a daily dose of the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri had fewer episodes of inconsolable crying (colic), constipation and regurgitation (reflux) at age three months compared to newborns given a placebo.

Use of probiotics also had benefits in terms of reducing health care expenses, such as money spent on emergency department visits, or money lost when parents took time off work. On average, families with infants that took probiotics saved about $119 per child, the researchers said.

However, more research is needed to confirm the findings before it can be recommended for newborns, experts say. Currently, doctors do not recommend that probiotics be used routinely in infants, said Dr. William Muinos, co-director of the gastroenterology department at Miami Children’s Hospital, who was not involved with the study.

And although the treatment was not related to any harmful events in the current study, use of probiotics could potentially pose risks to newborns, Muinos said. For example, the lining of a newborn’s intestinal tract is less mature, and more porous, than that of an older child, which could cause some bacteria to seep into the blood stream, Muinos said. This risk will need to be evaluated in future studies, Muinos said.

Need helping finding the right pediatrician for your child? Click here for our free worksheet so you know all the right questions to ask.

How to Relieve Colic
How to Relieve Colic
How to Relieve Colic

Image: Peacefully sleeping infant, via Shutterstock

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‘Cry Analyzer’ Could Help Doctors Predict Developmental Problems

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

A new “cry analyzer” computer program has been developed by doctors and engineers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital in Rhode Island, promising to interpret babies’ cries at levels imperceptible to the human ear.  What could they hear?  Possibly, the frequencies could reveal the likelihood that the baby has a developmental issue such as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  More from The Huffington Post:

“It’s a non-invasive way to possibly understand whether an infant is at-risk for later developmental problems, particularly autism,” said Stephen Sheinkopf, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University who helped develop the tool and co-authored a paper describing its use in the ” Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research.”

The new tool also helps measure the “health status of babies in the newborn period,” he said. “For example, whether or not they’re experiencing pain after certain procedures in the hospital. Pain-related cries sound different than non-pain cries.”

Last fall, several of the same researchers published research that found the cries of babies can provide early clues about their autism risk. The team compared the cries of 21 different 6-month-old babies who were considered at higher risk for autism (because they had siblings with the disorder) with the cries of low-risk babies. They found many consistent differences, particularly that the infants with a family history of the disorder had higher-pitched cries than those who did not.

The newest study on cry analysis is an extension of that work that helps validate the measurements used, Sheinkopf said. For now, it is targeted for babies who are up to 6 or 9 months old.

Image: Crying baby, via Shutterstock

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Colic in Babies Linked with Migraine Headaches Later in Life

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Babies who are diagnosed with “colic,” a general term for unusually long bouts of uncontrollable crying, may be more likely to be diagnosed with migraine headaches later in life.  In fact, according to a new study conducted in France, the colic behavior may actually be an early form of migraines.  More from The Huffington Post:

In the study, children ages 6 to 18 who visited an emergency room for migraine headaches were about six times more likely to have experienced colic — or frequent, unexplained crying — as an infant compared with children who visited the emergency room for other reasons.

The association was specific for migraines — there was no link between typical, less severe tension headaches and the likelihood of experiencing colic as an infant.

The study adds to a growing body of research linking infant colic with migraines. For instance, a study presented last year at American Academy of Neurology meeting found that women who had migraines were about twice as likely as those without migraines to have babies with colic. (Migraines can run in families.)

The new findings suggest infant colic and migraines may be symptoms of the same underlying condition, said study researcher Dr. Luigi Titomanlio, of the pediatric emergency department at Robert Debré Hospital in Paris.

However, the study found only an association, and cannot prove that infant colic is an early sign of migraine headaches. And even if this were true, researchers don’t know if colicky babies are experiencing head pain or some other type of discomfort.

Image: Crying baby, via Shutterstock

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Is GERD Diagnosis Leading to Overmedicated Infants?

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Doctors are increasingly making the diagnosis of “GERD,” or gastroesophageal reflux disease, in infants, and the label may be prompting parents to medicate for infant issues that pediatricians would otherwise regard as normal, such as crying and spitting up.

A new report published in the journal Pediatrics argues that the use of the disease label is leading to the growing use of medication.  “Labeling an otherwise healthy infant as having a “disease” increased parents’ interest in medicating their infant when they were told that medications are ineffective,” the article concludes. “These findings suggest that use of disease labels may promote overtreatment by causing people to believe that ineffective medications are both useful and necessary.”

Previous research has already established the growing number of medical interventions for GERD.  One 2010 study by the Food and Drug Administration found that the prescription rate for a particular class of acid blockers increased 11-fold in the years between 2002 and 2009 for babies under age 1.

The new study, which was conducted as a survey of parents in a general pediatric clinic, attributes the rise to the use of the disease label GERD.  From the survey’s abstract, “Parents who received a GERD diagnosis were interested in medicating their infant, even when they were told that the medications are likely ineffective. However, parents not given a disease label were interested in medication only when medication effectiveness was not discussed (and hence likely assumed).”

Image: Crying newborn baby, via Shutterstock

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Flying With Infants: Parents’ Tactic Ignites Debate

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Any parent who has tried to soothe a fussy baby at 30,000 feet knows that flying with little ones is no picnic. It’s even worse when your fellow passengers are less than understanding.

One couple tried an interesting strategy when flying recently with their 14-week-old twins: they passed out candy to everyone on the plane, along with a note explaining that this was the twins’ first flight, reports The Huffington Post’s Lisa Belkin. The note apologized in advance for any crying, and offered earplugs to anyone who needed them.

One passenger posted a photo of the treats on the website Reddit on Sunday with this description: “Brilliant and thoughtful parents handed these out to everyone on my flight.”

The photo sparked instant debate. Within a day, it had attracted more than 3,000 comments and had been viewed more than a million times. Some people praised the gesture and expressed sympathy for the parents, while others stated that babies just don’t belong on planes. Some complained about times that they’d had to sit next to babies who cried or had dirty diapers.

One commenter suggested that the candy was unnecessary. “Really? You don’t find this to be overkill?” papabusche said. “I don’t require an apology for a crying baby on a plane. This is to be expected. I’m ok with it. People have babies, and they need to travel too.”

The subject of children on planes has sparked intense discussion in recent years. Last summer, Malaysia Airline banned babies under age 2 from the first class cabins of its Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A380 superjumbo jets.

Readers, what do you think? Were the treats a smart move, or overkill?

Image: Candy from babies via gigantomachy / Reddit.

 

 

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