Thursday, July 13, 2006

Induction and Colic/Sleeping Problems

Last week I went to the mother and baby group at the Baptist Church and started talking to a woman who had had the same midwife as Amelia and I (Valerie). Amongst other coincidences that emerged, the following facts were established. We both had an older sibling who had been induced and had subsequently developed colic and sleeping problems. This was followed by a second child who wasn't induced and didn't develop colic and sleeps wonderfully. The similarities were extremely strong. Today, I went along to the same group and was talking about this to another mother and guess what? Her 3 1/2 year old was induced (two weeks late), had extremely bad colic and is only now beginning to overcome her sleeping problems (ditto for Barnaby). Her younger child (a little over 1, I think) was not induced, didn't have colic and sleeps beautifully. Even now she is much more likely to be disturbed in the night from her older child than for her younger one. Ditto for us. So, this is my question: is there something to do with the process of induction that either causes colic or makes a baby more predisposed towards it? Is it simply that the child is being born before it's ready (regardless of whether it is perceived as being 'late' by the medical community) or could it be connected with the drugs that are administed to the mother in order to precipitate the birth? Certainly colic has always been around and induction is a more recent medical intervention. Have rates of colic increased in line with rates of induction? In our small sample of just three mothers, it was our first children who were induced. Can I find examples of second children being induced and first children being born without induction, who exhibit these patterns of colic and associated sleep problems?

I have looked on the internet and done a quick medical paper search, but there appears to be no research conducted on this topic.

I am very interested in this, as it would be nice to partially explain Barnaby's sleep problems. Certainly, we've not done everything 'right', but had he not have had colic, I suspect his sleep problems would not have been as severe or as prolonged. And, after all, we're doing broadly the same things with Amelia and she sleeps wonderfully, apart from the fact that she associates my presence with falling asleep (and it is hard to avoid that with a breastfed baby). Mostly, she now sleep from 7:00pm - 6:00/7:00am with one feed in between some time between midnight and one. I recently found a 'sleep log' for Barnaby aged 10 months that showed that he was still waking four or five times during the night!

If I were a medical researcher, I would proposed looking into this connection.


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