Anyone who has experienced parenting a baby with colic will tell you how challenging it is. And they will all likely be able to offer some advice, some comfort techniques, or at the least a shoulder to cry on. But it turns out you’ll find more of these parents in countries like Italy, the U.K., and Canada, as a new study reports that babies in these countries cry more than babies elsewhere.
“In the U.K. 28% of babies 1 to 2 weeks old had colic, for example, while the average prevalence for that age was only 17.4%. And 34.1% of babies in Canada had colic at 3 to 4 weeks, while the average percentage was 18.4%. On the other hand, the study found 6.7% of babies in Denmark at 5 to 6 weeks had colic, much lower than the average 25.1% for that age.”
Along with Denmark, the study found that babies in Japan and Germany cried the least. Wondering why the large discrepancy between countries? Unfortunately, we don’t know yet.
“The study did not determine a reason for the variation in crying time by country, but the scientists said there should be more research into potential cultural and genetic influences.”
What are your thoughts? Why are some countries reporting such high rates of colic in their babies?
Do you remember the first time you were alone with your baby?
Oh no, I’m not talking to you, Mama. Pass your phone to your nearby partner, because this time I’m talking to them.
Do you remember that first time? How old was your baby? How long were you alone together? Did you look forward to the opportunity with excitement? Or were you secretly (or not-so-secretly) a little hesitant?
Being alone with your little humans for the first time can create a wide range of emotions – fear, joy, pride, anxiety, confidence, or sheer terror. And I think we’d all agree that any of these feelings are normal!
In an article for Romper, author Fiona Tapp spoke with 12 partners about the first time they were alone with their baby.
“My wife had to go back into the hospital a few days after the birth and I was left to look after the baby by myself. I was frightened to hold him without a chaperone, but once I got over myself I was fine. I just needed to find my feet.”
“I had a rough time at the beginning, and [my son] cried every time I held him. To be honest, I withdrew from him and my wife. I wasn’t alone with him for longer than five minutes until he was a toddler.”
When my daughter was born three years ago, for hours afterward I was too excited to feel hungry. Her birth left me on a high that has yet to go away, even three years later. Food was the last thing on my mind, even though I was under strict orders to eat from my Babymoon midwife and nurse.
It wasn’t until hours after she was born when I was happily snuggled up in bed with her at home that I finally felt like eating something, and my obliging husband brought me some scrambled eggs.
They were the best. eggs. ever.
With every bite they grew more tasty, and I asked my husband what he had done differently to these eggs to celebrate this special occasion of our daughter’s birth. Turns out the “special ingredients” were salt and pepper.
A couple nights later, a friend brought over lasagna and I experienced the same euphoria when eating it. To this day, I still talk about that lasagna and those eggs and how every bite of food for those first couple postpartum days blew my mind.
Turns out I’m not alone in that experience Recently, my fellow doula and Lamaze Certified Childbirth educator Sharon Muza wrote about this phenomenon in a blog post on www.dona.org.
Muza shares the story of a preparing a meal at a home birth where the pickins’ were slim:
I slowly pulled some dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, no doubt meant for their toddler, from the freezer and popped them in the oven. Slicing up an overripe banana and a couple of oranges, I arranged the fruit “artfully” on the plates. Some mayonnaise mixed with creamy horseradish made a “fancy” dipping sauce for the baked nuggets. I cut up some string cheese sticks and mixed the pieces with the jar of olives I found. Crackers spread with jam served on the side completed this first postpartum meal.
I carried the plates to the bedroom, where both parents were resting in bed while the newborn nursed. Placing the plates on the night table, I encouraged them to eat. And eat they did. They dug in and ate with gusto. Every last bit of food was consumed. When they were done, they leaned back against the pillows happily and commented that this was the best meal ever. They were serious!
Did you expect to be back to “normal” within six weeks of your baby’s birth? Fitting into your previous clothes, returning to your former energy level, and being capable of the same physical tasks as you were pre-pregnancy? I think a lot of us did, as we are inundated with photos of celebrities who have “bounced back” so soon after birth. But the reality of it tends to be something much different.
New research from Dr, Julie Wray of Salford University concludes that not only can it can take up to a year to recover from childbirth, but most women are dissatisfied with the care they received postpartum, beginning with their stay at the hospital.
The new mothers Dr Wray spoke to said that the six week recovery time was a ‘fantasy’. Many were disappointed by the six week check, which all mothers receive from either their midwife or their GP. Some did not receive a physical examination, and others were not told whether or not their bodies had recovered yet. The psychological effects can also take much longer to recover from. Dr Wray’s study found that hospital wards can have a negative impact on women’s ability to recoup and celebrate the birth of their child because of the constant stream of visitors and the unfamiliar rules and regulations.
The women in the study felt that recovery time takes longer than six or eight weeks, and therefore postpartum support should continue for longer than six to eight weeks as well.
We agree! Do you need more support? Call to schedule an appointment, come to one of our weekly support groups, or just pop into the office and say hi.
Last fall, a few Babymoon staffers were lucky enough to attend a day-long seminar with Penny Simkin, renowned author, physical therapist, childbirth educator and doula. The day was chock-full of knowledge and “Penny-isms,” including Penny’s long-time insistence that parents-to-be sing to their babies in utero.
As usual, Penny was spot on with her advice, as new research from the University of Milan suggests that babies who are sung to in the womb will cry less during the newborn period. Author Henry Bodkin, summarized the study in the Telegraph:
A study of 160 women found that those who sang lullabies both during pregnancy and after giving birth had babies who spent significantly shorter periods crying. Around 170 pregnant women were split between those who were told to sing lullabies in the months immediately before and after birth and those who were not.
The babies in the singing group generally cried 18.5 per cent of the time compared to 28.2 per cent of the time in the group who were not sung to. Meanwhile for those with colic – excessive or frequent crying where there is no ill health – the babies who had enjoyed prenatal lullabies tended to cry for about a quarter of the time.
So let’s get singing! What songs will you serenade your your little one with before he or she arrives?
Have you noticed dramatic hair loss during your postpartum “fourth trimester” – and the regrowth of fun little baby hairs along your forehead? Women’s Health Magazine has a Q & A about this condition that can be scary until you look at the facts (ps – it’s normal).
What it is: During pregnancy, you get a surge in estrogen, which can cause your hair to grow like a weed. But about three to four months after giving birth, the hormone plummets, which helps send many follicles from the growth (anagen) phase to the resting (telogen) phase at the same time—doctors refer to this condition as telogen effluvium. This shedding can last anywhere from four to seven months, says Fusco. And it’s not always a zero-sum game: You can end up losing more hair than you gained during pregnancy.
So, it’s a real thing – you aren’t imagining it! But what can you do about it?
What helps: If you’re breast-feeding, your options are limited, says dermatologist Kathie P. Huang, M.D., codirector of Brigham and Women’s Hospital Hair Loss Clinic in Boston. Anything that gets in your system could potentially be transferred to your baby (and many treatments aren’t safety-tested on nursing mothers or babies for good reason). A healthy diet goes a long way, as do prenatal vitamins if you have any pregnancy-related deficiencies, like iron, that could hinder healthy hair growth. (Try adding these foods high in iron too your diet.)
For more information, read the entire article here.
Babymoon Inn is a full-scope midwifery practice and wellness center with locations in Phoenix and Tucson. Our team is committed to improving maternal outcomes and providing personalized, evidence-based care to all people.