Signs of Stomach Cramps in Newborns

If you've tried cuddling, feeding, rocking and other methods of baby soothing, but your newborn still complains, she might have stomach cramps. If your baby has a fever, stops gaining weight at a healthy rate or if she seems like she's in pain, consult your pediatrician to discuss possible causes.

newborn crying in crib (Image: mitarart/iStock/Getty Images)

Crying

Colic is often the diagnosis if crying occurs more than three hours a day, three days a week for more than three weeks in an otherwise healthy baby. Although doctors are unsure what the exact cause of crying is in babies with colic, theories suggest that stomach pain is to blame, according to KidsHealth. Babies might turn red in the face and often curl their legs into the fetal position when they suffer from stomach cramps. Persistent crying can be very discouraging for parents, so be sure to seek help if you need it.

Gas

Gassiness is another manifestation of stomach cramps in newborns. If gas is the problem, your newborn's stomach might also appear bloated and swollen. Gas and crying often go together and each makes the other worse. When babies cry, they gulp in air, which worsens the gassiness. To minimize gas, be sure that you burp your newborn after feedings. If you breastfeed, try eliminating gassy foods from your diet, such as caffeine, beans, cabbage, and broccoli, as eating them can cause gas in your newborn.

Diapers

Your baby's diapers may also indicate gastrointestinal problems. If your newborn has green, foamy stools, she might be getting too much lactose in her system, which causes gassiness and discomfort. According to the La Leche League, women who breastfeed can prevent this problem by always making sure that the baby empties the breast completely. This practice ensures that your baby gets enough hindmilk, which is the milk that comes in at the end of a nursing session. Hindmilk has a lower lactose content than the milk at the beginning of the nursing session; it also contains fat that aids in digestion.

Comforting Your Baby

Stomach cramps can be very uncomfortable for babies and stressful for parents. You can relieve some of your newborn's discomfort by rocking her, carrying her in an infant carrier, or holding her in an upright position. Overstimulation can make colic worse; some newborns might benefit from being swaddled in a quiet room. Babies usually outgrow colic around 3 or 4 months of age, notes MedlinePlus. If your baby has persistent vomiting, diarrhea or bloody stools, call your doctor right away.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.