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Will massage help if my baby has gas?

Here’s a question from Tammy S. in Halifax, N.S.:

Q: My baby is 8 weeks old, and seems troubled with painful gas attacks. He draws his knees up and gets red in the face and cries as if he’s in pain. It’s worst in the evenings. I’ve tried eliminating dairy from my diet (he’s breastfeeding) but that doesn’t seem to help. I’ve heard that massage can be helpful but I don’t know how to do it.

A: It’s very common for babies at your son’s stage of development to have colic, Tammy. It’s always a good idea to have them examined by a doctor, but usually it’s not an illness – just a symptom that occurs as their digestive system matures. Massage can indeed be helpful in helping them to pass the uncomfortable gas. You can try this method: First, rub his abdomen from ribcage to diaper, one hand after the other, for a count of 15. Then, take his legs and bend them to his belly and hold for a count of 15. Next, rub his belly in a clockwise motion for 15 seconds (it’s important to rub clockwise, as this follows the direction of the bowel and helps the gas to be moved out). Last, bend his legs to his belly again for 15 seconds. It’s recommended that you repeat this massage session three times a day. Many find that this technique helps them to soil their diaper as you do it, so do it with them lying on a diaper or you may get a surprise! :)

Originally posted 2015-02-24 14:44:50.

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