Skip to content

    Migraines & Headaches Health Center

    Font Size

    Mom’s Migraine Tied to Colic in Infants

    Children Whose Mothers Have Migraines More Likely to Develop Colic
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

    Feb. 21, 2012 -- Babies whose mothers suffer from migraines may be more likely to be colicky.

    A new study shows that infants whose mothers have migraine headaches are more than two-and-a-half times more likely to have colic than other infants.

    Researchers say the results suggest that colic may be an early manifestation of migraine.

    “Since migraine is a highly genetic disorder, our study suggests that infant colic may be an early sign that a child may be predisposed toward migraine headache later in life,” researcher Amy Gelfand, MD, a child neurologist with the Headache Center at the University of California, San Francisco, says in a news release.

    “Colic may be another example of a childhood periodic syndrome, which is often a precursor to migraine,” Gelfand says.

    Migraine Tied to Colic

    In the study, researchers compared the risk of colic in infants among 154 mother-and-child pairs. The mothers were surveyed at their child’s 2-month-old well child visit at pediatric clinics in San Francisco.

    The results showed nearly 29% of infants whose mothers had a history of migraine had colic, compared with 11% of those whose mothers did not have migraine.

    In addition, infants whose fathers had a history of migraine were also more likely to have colic, but this relationship was not as significant as the mother-child link.

    Researchers say that because migraine runs in families, asking about a mother’s history of migraine and/or her child's experience with colic in infancy may help identify young people at risk for migraine later in life.

    “This study helps to advance our understanding about the different expressions of migraine across a person’s lifetime,” Gelfand says.

    The results will be presented in April at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in New Orleans.

    These findings will be presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

    Today on WebMD

    Business woman with hand on face and eyes closed
    What aura looks like, triggers, and more.
    woman with migraine
    Get the truth about migraines.
    headache in the bedroom
    Keep headaches from ruining your sex life.
    woman with hands on head
    Test your knowledge of triggers, types, and more.
    woman with migraine
    drinking coffee
    Migraines Headaches Basics
    acupuncture needles in woman's back
    Tired young man
    spraying perfume
    man with a headache
    headache in the bedroom