Digestive Overload partly an excerpt from Philippa's book - BabyCues

Digestive Overload is descriptive of a newborn feeling one cause or more of digestive imbalance. This imbalance can be brought about by many factors that display the symptoms widely known as colic and reflux. For example, when a baby is being fed beyond the size of their stomach capacity, which widely happens in the Western world, this places undue pressure on digestive organs which then function abnormally, causing heightened communication, unsettled behaviours and short sleep cycles. Another cause of Digestive Overload is trapped air. When we don't release enough air, 'wind' for a newborn (and this is well beyond one burp after each feed) the air is left to travel through the intestines, causing pedalling legs, arching backwards and reflux for many newborns.

For decades now parents have been taught that when their baby has reflux (GER) the upset behaviour is exclusively caused by the regurgitated acid moving up the oesophagus. Parents have also been told that there is no remedy for ‘colic’ – you just have to wait until your baby grows out of it and that health professionals don't know the cause. But this is the decade that all changes! By acquainting ourselves with the logic of our early biology through Bio-logical Care, while understanding the causes of so called ‘colic’ and ‘reflux’ – or what I label Digestive Overload the cause of these behaviours – we can reduce if not eliminate this happening for our young.

To get more of an idea of what Digestive Overload means, I'd like to invite you to read about the common cycle that brings about Digestive Overload and take a moment to ask yourself the following questions.

As an adult what gives you wind and digestive discomfort?

  • eating too much food
  • gulping in air as you drink or eat
  • certain foods
  • gasping for air for whatever reason
  • drinking to quickly

How do you release the normal function of wind?

  • passing wind – whether by burping (sometimes with acid regurgitation) or blowing off
  • releasing your bowels
  • hiccups – even as an adult, generally the first hiccup we experience expels air
  • we often expel air when we have lain down for a while and then sit or stand up

How does your body break down food?

  • via a balanced secretion of enzymes and digestive juices
  • via the Autonomic Nervous System sending balanced messages to the digestive system

What can help you relax and release digestive pain?

  • burping
  • changing your position
  • recognising the signs of wind
  • hiccupping
  • heat on the stomach
  • pressure on the abdomen region
  • choosing different foods
  • not overloading the stomach or bowels
  • emptying the bowels

Can you sleep with digestive discomfort?

  • sometimes yes, sometimes no

What is your innate reaction to large amounts of digestive pain?

  • to double over into the fetal position or cringe towards the area where the pain radiates from
  • to place pressure on the painful area
  • to want to get away from it
  • to be communicative about it

By identifying and then responding promptly to these happenings when they occur for newborns, we can maintain or reinstate their necessary digestive balance. Whilst each case of Digestive Overload is different, because we are all born with the same fundamental human biology, the formula for healing is largely similar.

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