Guest Blog: Nurse Megan - GAS AS A FACTOR. MEMEENO BELLY BAND AS AN AIDE.
4 min read
MEMEENO is a soft band of slightly-stretchy fabric that allows a baby to get just the right amount of compression on their tummy.
After eating, my son’s tummy would look and feel a little bloated. I tried the belly band after trying other all sorts of techniques that I knew to use to relieve gas. It turns out that the combination of techniques and methods work to help him handle his gas dramatically and theMEMEENO band still remains comfortable and relaxing with just the right amount of pressure for a babies tummy.
Other techniques I use to relieve gas include warmth, gentle recommended massage pressure techniques (where I could actually feel a little bubble in his tummy). Some times where warmth is actually applied through heat such a water in a bath. Tummy time, where I let him lay around and do exercises on his tummy but really remove him from it when he starts to have a bad experience or cries. Of courses burping too: I have questioned whether burping can really consistently help with gas. For example if it is more of a violent burp, like a thud, is that going to retrigger gas issues later on, or whether it is more of a burp through relaxation where his cheek just leans against me and he is willing to relax in an upright and slightly forward position. Another tip with burping can be to position the baby in the wrap in a frog like position because it helps baby to burp with the confidence that they can also get a bowel movement out and sometimes even defecate with less gas.
There can be other things that help with gas such as just distracting the baby, or allowing a baby to adjust to the gas like process to a degree. Of course thefeedingprocess matters a bit too, such as drinking slowly or being upright or getting to suckle or use a pacifier after the feeding. Taking in some air with a feeding should be prevented but it does happen from time to time. Sometimes keeping the feeding smaller can help with gas issues and sometimes keeping feeding up overall more frequently can also help to reduce issues with gas. Another thing that I do as a practice occasionally is just try to identify if this is upper gas or lower gas. Is he trying to poop or is he trying to burp or is it somewhere in between? Food makes a bit of a difference but not too much. It is more like food affects baby as opposed to resolves the issue.
One thing I noticed about a lot of babies is that they often become overly sensitive to having food in their tummy and it can seem just like over stimulation to them which can eventually feel like pain to them.
Although I am not there yet, I am starting to think and ponder a bit the cognitive process of pain to a baby. The main thing I am concerned about as a mom is when there is pain associated with feeding are they going to be more likely to want and attract more pain to the experience of eating or less pain. Recently as I was reading an article on the baby sparks app it discussed cognition in babies and said that essentially what experiences you give babies will affect the experiences they have later on and having a recurring interaction that it is somewhat social between you and baby can be key to this development of cognition later on. Putting on the wrap prior to leaving the house, going in the car seat or doing an activity seemed to be a happy medium for us since babies often have gas on the go and it may teach the baby how this wrap often helps him to avoid a sense of distraction taking away gas pain. Luckily also putting the baby on his side can be helpful for his tummy, the left side is where the stomach is and that position is a nice way to help him to develop some awareness about gas issues.
As a nurse, I have seen people in nursing homes use a back brace-like device and say it helps them with their gas. Wearing a supportive belly band after pregnancy can affect gas issues too. However there is a point where as an IBCLC I begin to question the use of too many devices if they are interfering with an interaction. Such as the device becomes more important than the actual experience or the act of crying just letting you know what is going on. I sense that happiness is not cognitive and neither is a relationship but definitely communication can be!
I would say that the belly wrap does add a lot of value, for me that is more the value of warmth over the value of compression. I usually never apply the compression wrap when he is crying terribly since that is a principle of tummy time. I also try to not have it on when he is eating because that can cause a different eating experience.
I say this wrap is worth a try. Follow these tips and you are sure to have a bit of success and even some fun and delight in this simple trouble that often all babies experience.
Can we saycuddleandyum?
Megan is a registered nurse while studying lactation science on the side to become an IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant). She blogs about motherhood and breastfeeding. She is a mother as well to a wonderful girl named Emily and her new brother Daniel James. She lives in Portland with Emily, Daniel and husband, Greg.