Colicky baby giving you a headache? It might be the other way around...
Moms who have a history of migraine headaches are more than twice as likely to have babies with colic, according to a study conducted by researchers from the San Francisco (UCSF). The study surveyed 154 moms as they brought their babies to the pediatrician for routine checkups at 2 months, the age when colicky crying typically peaks. Moms were asked questions about their babies' crying patterns and their own patterns of migraine headaches.
Survey results showed that mothers who had suffered migraines in the past were two-and-a-half times more likely to have colicky babies. Overall, 29 percent of infants whose mothers had migraines had colic compared to 11 percent of babies whose mothers with no history of migraines.
What gives? UCSF researchers believe that colic may very well be an early sign of childhood periodic syndromes, a set of conditions that often serve as an early warning sign of migraine headaches later in life.
While babies with colic likely don't have headaches, researchers say, they may still experience sensitivities to light and sound that are eerily similar to what an adult with a migraine goes through.
"Babies with colic may be more sensitive to stimuli in their environment just as are migraine sufferers," researchers conclude. "They may have more difficulty coping with the onslaught of new stimuli after birth as they are thrust from the dark, warm, muffled life inside the womb into a world that is bright, cold, noisy, and filled with touchy hands and bouncy knees."
Does this explain why gently rocking baby in a dark, quiet room can sometimes be a parent's best friend when colic strikes? Maybe.
The UCSF team next plans to study a group of colicky babies over the course of their childhood to see if they do, indeed, go on to experience more headaches than other children.