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Survey results will help parents

Author Philippa Murphy

Survey results will help parents

Natural Winding Postnatal Liaison Educator Philippa Murphy launched a National Survey on Colic and Reflux in 2012 in the hope of increasing understanding and changing the way the two digestive issues were dealt with.

Researchers at Lincoln University are analysing the data collected from the survey. Ms Murphy said she felt the need to launch the survey because there was not enough parental, experiences-based research on the issue. The survey drew from experiences of 153 parents who were asked to express their thoughts on the causes of colic and reflux, the methods they used to bring calm, the behaviours witnessed, feeding winding and sleeping practices, and whether they felt supported.

"Their experiences are enough to bring anyone to tears" Ms Murphy said. "Some parents spoke of coming very close to hurting their baby, many of them yelling at them or holding them tighter than they should." These feelings were often felt when this kind of stress was combined with sleep deprivation, she said. "With our high rate of child abuse, our knowledge about attachment, and the consequences on development for newborns in these overstreteched environments, the passion for change rund high."

The research will also be used to promote and build guidelines for education programmes which would ideally be funded by the government and available to all families, Ms Murphy said.

Alex Simpsn, a mother who took part in the survey, said postnatal education did not prepare her for the distress of colic and reflux. "Taking antenatal classes tricks you into thinking you are well prepared so it's an even larger shock to the system how hard a newborn can be." 

Once the research has been analysed, it will be compared with other studies and passed on to parent and health organisations worldwide.

Last Updated: 26 February 2014