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Babies of single mothers less prone to colic, study shows

A recent study has concluded that babies of single mothers are less likely to suffer from colic compared to children of women in unhappy relationships.

The research done to determine factors that lead to fuzziness of infants, scholars found a great connection between the well being of parents and the infants.

Mothers who had supportive partners had no or little concerns on colic while those that were unhappy with their partners complained most about colic.

Interestingly, the researchers found that single mothers were less troubled about colic in their infants.


Colic is a common abdominal pain among infants caused by intestinal gas or obstruction in the intestines.

It is the commonest cause of discomfort in newborns and can lead to an infant crying uncontrollably for hours.

The researchers from Penn State College of Medicine conducted the study among 3,000 women aged between 18 to 35 during pregnancy and a month after delivery.

“Overall, 11.6 percent of mothers in the study self-reported that their infants had colic, defined as crying or fussiness three or more hours a day. Relationship happiness, general social support and partner-baby support all protected against colic in the study. The happier a woman reported being in her partner relationship during and after pregnancy, the lower the risk of colic in her infant,” read a report published on the college’s website.


Chandran Alexander, an assistant professor and gynecologist, said he was inspired to carry out the study after observing how many mothers and infants struggle with colic whose treatment is expensive and unproven.

“Mothers’ significant others have a role to play in reducing the burden of colic. Society should avoid pinning the blame for colic on mothers’ competence, self-esteem or depression,” Alexander was quoted in the report.

Researchers recommended that mothers be supported by the entire society during pregnancy and after birth for their well being and the baby’s health as well.

Kenyan mothers too have had their fair share on colic among infants with some even turning to social media groups like Pregnant Mom Support Group to seek remedies for the abdominal pain among babies.

Some of the solutions offered to them by fellow mothers include avoiding acidic foods, applying pressure on the baby’s stomach after feeding to allow gas to escape and rocking the baby.