A colicky baby can place new parents under tremendous amounts of stress. Sure, the sound of an infant crying is something every parent must learn to cope with, but excessive crying is one of the most common triggers for shaken baby syndrome, according to experts. What makes a colicky baby so difficult to deal with is that the source of the problem is unknown, leaving those coping with colic feeling helpless to prevent or cure it.
That might be changing though, thanks to a study released today which reveals that “mothers who suffer migraine headaches are more than twice as likely to have babies with colic than mothers without a history of migraines,” according to neurologists at the University of California, San Francisco. Researchers wonder “whether colic may be an early symptom of migraine” and if “reducing stimulation” for babies with colic “may help just as reducing light and noise can alleviate migraine pain.”
Colic has traditionally been associated with gastrointestinal problems, but researchers say “giving colicky babies medication for gas does not help.” Dr. Amy Gelfand, a child neurologist with the Headache Center at UCSF, says “colic may be an early manifestation of a set of conditions known as childhood periodic syndromes, believed to be precursors to migraine headaches later in life.” Gelfand and her colleagues suggest that, “Babies with colic may be more sensitive to stimuli in their environment” …. and “may have more difficulty coping with the onslaught of new stimuli after birth as they are thrust from the dark, warm, muffled life inside the womb into a world that is bright, cold, noisy and filled with touchy hands and bouncy knees.” According to a press release, “The UCSF team next plans to study a group of colicky babies over the course of their childhood to see if they develop other childhood periodic syndromes, such as abdominal migraine.”