I have a several friends who recently had a new member join their family. Even with the complete change in sleep patterns, normal amounts of crying, tons of feeding and lots of diaper changing, things are going well for my friends. It's certain tougher for parents of a baby with colic.
Did you know that acupuncture can actually calm babies with colic? It’s true. A new study shows that acupuncture twice a week for only 2 weeks can significantly help babies with colic. Meaning babies who cry for more than 3 hours straight for at least 3 days a week. A little sweet relief for their parents.
Here’s all the details. Acupuncture for infants is different than adults in that the thinnest needles are used and needles are either immediately removed or only left in for up to 30 seconds. The 147 babies in the study were between 2-8 weeks old and if they were sleeping during the session, rarely did they wake up. Of the 388 session that occurred, 200 times there wasn’t a peep from the little one and only 15 times did the little ones cry for more than a minute! In the second week of the study many of the acupuncture babies no longer meet the criteria of being colic. The difference in crying for the 2 acupuncture groups continued for 6 weeks after the acupuncture sessions too suggesting that acupuncture effects are lasting.
Dr. Erica Sibinga, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Integrative Medicine and associate professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, says the study was rigorously designed and well conducted, “I believe this treatment sounds extremely promising for a difficult clinical problem,” she says, “and given the exemplary safety profile of the acupuncture treatments, I will be happy to recommend to patients.”
It is important to remember that crying in babies is normal, and so the goal of the study was for the babies with colic to return to a normal amount of crying. So, if you know of any new parents who have a baby struggling with colic, let them know that acupuncture can help and recommend finding a licensed acupuncturist who specializes in pediatrics. Most new parents are open to alternatives, especially when there are not many recommendations for colic other than eliminating cow’s milk from the child’s diet or mom’s if breast feeding, but that is a topic for another day.
Even if a new baby doesn’t have colic, it is also very important to remember that there are so many changes that occur when a new little one joins the family. Changes are physical, mental and emotional and there are changes with every relationship. If you or someone you know could use a little extra support during the postpartum period and beyond, please check out the Madison Postpartum Collective.