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Easiest/most effective way to use Colief for exclusively breastfed 3 wk baby?

(30 Posts)
Saffra Tue 18-Oct-11 22:04:24

My 3 wk old DD, who is breastfed on demand, has been prescribed Colief by my GP for colic. I am confused about the best way to administer this when DD feeds every 2 hours or so, without a total crying meltdown. The instructions say to express a few tablespoons of breastmilk into a sterilised container, add the Colief drops and then feed to baby on a sterlised spoon.... before proceeding to bring the baby to the boob.... for every single feed(!).

Any tips on making this easier? What's the easiest/quickest way to sterlise the spoon? Can you use a normal teaspoon to administer rather than a plastic one??

BTW, I have a Medela Swing breastpump and have also bought some Medela storage bottles as well. I had thought about expressing daily and storing this in the fridge, and using a small amount each time. But, this needs to be heated up to body temp for each use.

Any tips? Please????!

1catherine1 Tue 18-Oct-11 22:18:16

No it doesn't need to be heated. I have never heated EBM - Take it out of the fridge for half hour and then give to my DD - she never seemed to mind. Wouldn't give cold ofc.

I used to just put a couple of drops into my DDs mouth though - wasn't I supposed to? She got a tad upset but soon forgot when booby was offered.

1catherine1 Tue 18-Oct-11 22:20:49

Oh and I'd definitely use a weaning spoon - wouldn't you feel bad if LO moved suddenly and hurt herself on the big (in comparison to her) metal teaspoon - a small spoon is much more suitable for her little mouth and easier to sterilise.

AnxiousElephant Tue 18-Oct-11 22:21:34

Easiest way to sterilise the spoon is in a cup with a steri tab for travel, available from the chemist usually with sterilisers etc. You could also ask for a small syringe which must be taken apart and washed in soapy water before sterilising in the same way. Express 1 bottle of bm / an ounce if you can, which should last the day in the fridge. Have another bottle which the dose EBM goes in to warm, standing bottle in hot water jug to warm.

AnxiousElephant Tue 18-Oct-11 22:23:36

I agree that EBM doesn't need to be warmed for this unless she won't take it cold.

AnxiousElephant Tue 18-Oct-11 22:27:32

I've got to add that actually with my dd2 I just offered her the breast to get her to open her mouth, dropped the colief in (well infacol) and latched her straight on. Worked fine for us. smile

Catonkey Tue 18-Oct-11 22:41:29

I got a Medela cup from my BF counsellor which DD took to really easily. You do NOT need tablespoons of breastmilk ( don't know what the Colief people are thinking there!) Express 10ml or so, add 4 drops and feed to baby.

To save time, I kept a bottle of ebm in the fridge and would just measure out what I needed each time, or DP did, floating the cup in an inch of hot water worked for us as DD wouldn't take it from fridge and BM warms up quickly anyway.

Good luck!

Vakant Tue 18-Oct-11 23:07:53

When I used colief I just let my baby feed for a few minutes, unlatch her and put a few drops of colief onto my nipple, then relatch her. I think the idea is that the colief needs to be mixed with milk in baby's stomach in order to work effectively, which is why I let her feed for a short while first.

Saffra Tue 18-Oct-11 23:50:24

For those that just added it straight to the baby's mouth or on the nipple, did you find that the Colief worked??

Vakant Wed 19-Oct-11 04:25:50

Seemed to for me. I spoke with the doctor about it and he was happy for me to administer it that way.

Saffra Wed 19-Oct-11 08:31:26

Oh great....That's really good, Vakant. I think I might do that then. After a really tough night (DD will not sleep unless held and was crying almost non-stop), I fear that any added stresses might just push me over the edge....!

Saffra Wed 19-Oct-11 08:41:37

Can you use Infacol and Colief together? Or should I stop the infacol?

AnxiousElephant Fri 21-Oct-11 01:08:57

Saffra in all honesty there is no proven effective treatment for colic. Just use one or the other. Unfortunately it is one of those things that we don't know the true cause (although there are lots of theories) and it usually just goes at about 12 weeks. You can also try stomach massage, 2 fingers and rub clockwise gentley around the lower abdomen, helps to move trapped wind.
I would also check your latch, perhaps go to a bf group.....sometimes if the latch isn't great they take in more air.
The other thing is that at 3 weeks your dd could just be hungry feeding 2 hourly, they usually cluster feed during a 24 hour period, often in the evening, so is she truely demand feeding? If not then it might not be colic. Have you spoken to your HV?

Saffra Fri 21-Oct-11 11:41:18

Hi AnxiousElephant

I've spoken to the GP, midwife and the HV about DD. they have all said it's 'just' colic that she will eventually grow out of and to try X, Y, Z. (we had recorded a video of her on ipad to show doc as was really worried that she was in bad pain and distressed). I've tried Infacol, different winding techniques, fennel tea, sling, swaddling, white noise, tummy tub bath and now Colief. It's prob too early to say but the last couple of days have been better. Hopefully the Colief is working....fingers crossed. We are not giving Infacol now.

Re: feeding, she is bf on demand on average every 2 hrs. Sometimes it'll be 3 hrs, other times just 1 hr. She does tend to do more cluster feeding in the evenings.

Jojay Fri 21-Oct-11 11:47:42

I don't know anything about colief but in my experience it's an awful lot easier getting anything inbto a baby via syringe rathr than a spoon. Your chemist should give you one.

theboobmeister Fri 21-Oct-11 17:30:42

Why do they want you to give your baby all this medicine?? Colief and Infacol have been shown by research to be ineffective - your GP, midwife and HV should know that.

How about contacting a BF counsellor to see if she has any other ideas? Changing position, or other aspects of BF, is much more likely to help than medication.

Accurate info about treatments for colic here

Saffra Fri 21-Oct-11 18:12:39

Interesting link. Do you think the studies show that the various remedies are inconclusive / ineffective because the colic is a bit of a catch all term (which might have different causes meaning each baby might require different management)? Ie each treatment would either help or not.

I've been to a BF support group which was q helpful, but perhaps it would help to see someone more specialist, do you think? (not sure what level of training these ppl have)

theboobmeister Fri 21-Oct-11 19:10:41

I think you might be onto something there, Saffra smile As I see it, there are two problems with the term 'colic':

1. 'Colic' is just a word that describes symptoms (unexplained crying for 3+ hours per day for 3+ days a week for 3+ weeks). It's not a disease or disorder and the cause could be any number of things. No easy answers.

2. Many people, including those who should know better (GP, midwife etc), are too quick to label any amount of crying 'colic'. Perhaps they don't have much time to listen to your concerns or to help you to understand your baby's behaviour, so it's quicker to fob you off with an easy label and over the counter medications.

A properly trained BF counsellor (like one from the NCT or LLL) will have much better understanding of crying and feeding issues and - crucially - time to help you explore them. You could call one of the helplines to speak to someone 1:1 - they would also help you find a local BFC who you could meet (it may turn out to be someone you've already met at the cafe!)

tiktok Fri 21-Oct-11 19:11:10

'Colic' is indeed a catch-all term.

I share the scepticism of diagnosing a 3 week old baby with this. There are many reasons for unsettled, distressed crying in a baby as young as this.

Colic is a handy label which sometimes mean 'we don't have a clue why this baby is crying' and not one of the commercial remedies stands up to the scrutiny of research sad

perhaps call a breastfeeding counsellor and talk about it?

AnxiousElephant Fri 21-Oct-11 22:25:13

Hi saffra, glad you have spoken to them about this and they have explained that there are things to try but you can't gaurantee they'll work.
Is lo having plenty of dirty nappies/ stools look mustard colour and no mucous present? i.e. not jelly like.

joshop Sun 13-Nov-11 16:25:54

Hi Saffra, wondering how things are going with you. Your LO must be around 6/7 wks now. DS2 is 7 wks and we've been having 'colicky' episodes since he was 3 wks. We also have vomits which we can't work out if they are due to reflux, a cold (he snuffles a lot but nothing comes out of his nose), or a combination and just being a 'sicky' baby.

This is an interesting thread, as I'm starting to despair of all the so-called remedies. If a breast feeding counsellor is able to wave a magic wand, I'll be very happy to flush all the meds down the loo!

He's on ranitidine. Does anyone know if this could be responsible for the bright yellow, explosive poos?(!)

tiktok Sun 13-Nov-11 18:07:44

joshop, start a new thread with all the gory details smile

Describe the symptoms your baby has, when, where...everything.

You may get some good ideas.

GemmaBear Tue 14-Feb-12 17:57:44

Just spoke to the manufacturer of colief who said it needs to be mixed with warmish milk as the active ingredient won't work when mixed with cold stuff or put on nipples. I'm rubbish at cup feeding and just made my little one choke.....niiceee......

Thirstysomething Sun 29-Sep-13 09:42:55

Blowing the cobwebs off this one!
Mainly because if you google "easiest way to use colief when breastfeeding" , this thread appears at the top of the list.
If any of the original posters are reading (your babies are probably at uni by now!) thanks - I am going to take your advice and express a few oz into a bottle and keep in fridge.
My best friend is a doctor who gave Colief to her ff baby, and she was with me last night when I was googling this, and said the following, which was useful: ( I hope I can remember it properly!)
Colic is a term doctors use for these symptoms (crying 3hrs+ for 3days+, usually from 3-12 weeks, drawing knees to chest, arching back, etc etc) but they think that colic can be caused by different things.
ONE of these possible causes is temporary lactose sensitivity (not intolerance) in young babies, where the digestive system hasn't matured enough to have the lactase enzyme which breaks down the sugary lactose (milk protein) properly.
Colief is not a medicine, it is the lactase enzyme in a bottle.
Colief will only work on some babies, where the colic is likely caused by this lactase deficiency. (Most babies are able to produce enough lactase by themselves at 12 weeks, so colief should no longer be necessary.) If you have a colicky baby, it is worth trying Colief even just as a diagnostic tool, as if it is used properly it should help a baby with this condition.
In breastfeeding babies, 4drops of Colief should be put into a tablespoon'ish of body temperature milk and should be used within half an hour). If the milk is too hot, or too cold, then the enzyme isn't as effective. If the milk is straight from the fridge, the Colief will work eventually, but it takes much longer, so that is why they tell you that the milk must be warm.
You can't administer the Colief directly into the mouth, because the enzyme needs the protection of the milk, otherwise the stomach acids destroy it (although there are posters on here who say it works, so maybe that is wrong...) and it won't work.
My friend isn't sure why, but in her experience Colief works better for formula fed babies. She thinks this could be because it is the foremilk in breast milk which has most lactose in it, but that is just her speculation. It could also be because it is easier to administer colief to ff babies.
Which brings us neatly back to why I was googling "easiest way to use Colief" and not just asking my friend.
I have had four extremely colicky babies (ds3 screamed every night from 3-9 weeks, from 11pm to 5am!!). Most doctors just tell you to 'live through it' which makes me furious - if they had agony for 9 weeks in a row, would they just 'live through it'?!?
We 'lived through it' with dds1&2, but were at the end of our ropes with ds3, and finally tried Colief, which sorted him out almost overnight. I thought it was coincidence, so stopped using it - only to go straight back into screaming hell. Started again and all peace! After two weeks we tried stopping again (couldn't afford it and didn't realise it could be prescribed), and he was okay.
My very sceptical best doctor friend tried it on our recommendation and it worked for her immediately too. It hasn't worked for another friend - so obviously isn't a cure-all.
When ds4 got colic at 5 weeks, I couldn't bear the faff/expense of colief, so didn't try it till I got so upset by his pain and screaming two weeks later. He has now been on it for a week and is soooo much better. However, it is still the most ginormous PITA, so that is why I was looking for easier ways to use it (having recently spent the day on a train, hand expressing into a cup to put the colief into, every time he fed!!).
I am now going to try:
Expressing an ounce or two of foremilk before feeding every morning and putting it into the fridge... while he yells with hunger, sorry baby sad
When he wants a feed, taking the milk out of the fridge, pouring a tablespoon into a cup, bringing it to room temperature and adding the colief, then using syringe/cup to administer.
It is still So Annoying that it is so difficult to use... But at least he isn't screaming as much - and he has been sleeping six hours every night since we started Colief, so not giving that up!!
Doctor friend says that you can use Infacol with colief if you want, it might help if you had a baby who is both windy and lactose sensitive, but usually people find that they are ok with just one or the other. (Infacol works by helping the gas bubbles come up, so is totally different from colief).
Whoah, definitely wasn't meaning to write such a huge post on such a zombie thread, but hope my friends knowledge helps if anyone else looks up same thing. If anyone does have easier way to give colief, pleeeease let me know?!

mrsspagbol Fri 04-Oct-13 03:39:04

Thanks for resurrecting this Thirty from a fellow Colief faffer!

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