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The History of Gripe Water

By J. Andrews

Gripe water has long been a home remedy for the treatment of gastrointestinal discomfort, colic, and teething pain in infants. Gripe water was first developed in 1851 in England and the discovery was actually made by accident.

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The New Colic

By Cyndra Neal

Colic. That word strikes fear into the hearts of new moms and pediatricians everywhere. Although theories abound, very little is known about colic. It comes on as mysteriously as it disappears. Parents inundate pediatric offices and emergency rooms, sure that something is seriously wrong with their infant. Some pediatricians send the parents home with only assurances that their baby will grow out of it. But a disturbing trend is developing among many pediatricians to diagnose colic symptoms as acid reflux and to prescribe Zantac, Prevacid or other acid reflux medications without doing any diagnostic tests. Many pediatricians prescribe acid reflux medications as a test for reflux. Some mothers report their pediatricians prescribed acid reflux medications over the phone without even seeing the infant. The parents are happy because they have something to possibly alleviate the obvious pain their baby is suffering. The pediatricians are happy to be able to prescribe something that might help. The pharmaceutical companies are certainly happy. And the baby…well the baby could still be suffering from colic as well as the added side effects (restlessness, constipation) of the acid reflux medications. The baby may now be prescribed other medications to help counteract the side effects.

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It is day four of incessant crying. No sleep for anybody in the family. The new baby, a precious gift, is no bundle of joy. You would do anything to help relieve the obvious pain your baby is experiencing. The worst part is nothing seems to help. Many parents end up in the emergency room in an attempt to find an answer to their baby’s suffering. But there doesn’t seem to be any definitive answers. Experts can’t agree- some say the baby is trying to change the dynamics of the household to focus more on the infants needs. Others insist that the baby is not in any real pain but uncomfortable outside the womb. Still others maintain allergies to breast milk or formula is keeping your baby gassy and fussing. While all of these theories may have a very small place in the very large, all encompassing diagnosis of colic, an immature digestive system learning to synchronize itself seems the most plausible answer. After talking with hundreds of colic-challenged moms let me dispel some popular colic myths.

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