A recent observational study seems to indicate that moms with Migraine may have double the chance of having a baby with colic. Dr. Amy Gelfand and her partners from the Headache Center at the University of California San Francisco wanted to see the correlation between maternal Migraine and colicky babies.
Colic is a form of pain that starts and stops abruptly. Current thinking is that babies with colic are responding to pain in their gastrointestinal track and/or may be overly sensitive to stimuli. Colic usually begins when a baby is about two weeks old and typically peaks around six weeks. These colicky episodes usually start near the end of the day and can continue throughout the evening. These babies cry for hours, almost until they cry themselves out. Colic usually goes away when babies are about 12 weeks old. In this light, the study may have some pertinent information for parents who have a baby with colic. Dr. Gelfand says, "this study may help them prepare for having a colicky baby, or help them to understand better why their baby may be crying so much, which may be helpful or comforting."
This study looked at 154 mothers and their babies. Parents filled out a standard questionnaire to determine if their baby had colic. Mothers with a history of Migraine had a 2.5 times greater chance of having an infant with colic than mothers who reported no Migraine. In general, close to 30% of infants with a mom who had Migraines were colicky, while 11% of babies whose moms did not have Migraine were not. Researchers also collected a Migraine history from 93 of the babies' fathers. Again, the frequency of colic was higher in dads with Migraine.
Migraine is a genetic neurological disease where if one parent has Migraine, a child has a 50% chance of having it too. If both parents have Migraine, the chance goes up to 75%. In this study, researchers thought that mothers with a genetic predisposition to Migraine, may have infants who are be conveying Migraine as colic. This research shows there is a strong connection between moms who have Migraine and colic. It also may indicate that colic could be a precursor to childhood period syndromes such as abdominal Migraine or more.
- Email correspondence with Dr. Amy Gelfand, Headache Center, University of California at San Francisco, Calif. 2/27/12.
- Gelfand, Amy, M.D.; Thomas, Katherine, M.D.; Goadsby, Peter, M.D. "Infant Colic Is Associated with Maternal Migraine." Research Abstrast for the American Academy of Neurology 64th Annual Meeting. February, 2012.
- Press Release. "Study links babies' colic to mothers' migraines." University of California at San Francisco. San Francisco, Calif. February 20, 2012. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-02-links-babies-colic-mothers-migraines.html
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© HealthCentral Network, 2012. Last updated February 28, 2012.
Published On: February 28, 2012