By: Dr C Groenewald M.Tech Hom (UJ)
After 10 months of anticipation, the day finally arrives. You get to hold your new-born baby for the first time. You are so overcome by emotion, so totally in love with this little being, you feel your heart might burst with happiness. You get to go home, and life with your little miracle begins. The first few days’ worth of awe and excitement starts to wear off, as you try to settle back into your life before your little one (life b.c. - before child). By now, the sleep deprivation starts to set in, and the rose-tinted glasses start to come off. You slowly start wondering, who in their right mind would send a baby home with you...without supervision!
You realise you have NO idea what you are doing, and the effects of the sleep deprivation takes an even further toll on you. By now, your hormones are flying the coop, you probably realise you are ill equipped for this parenting thing, you feel 100% overwhelmed…You pretty much want to give the baby back and feel like the worst parent in the world because of it.
You have barely taken a shower, nor managed to drink half a cup of ice cold coffee, eaten half a can of cold soup in divided efforts to get some food into your body. You look like death warmed up, you smell, you are covered in baby vomit and you have baby poop under your finger nails. The most basic task of going to the loo, making dinner, taking a shower, doing laundry and getting dressed, becomes a frantic scramble with zero outcome, because you can't put the baby down for two seconds out of fear he/she might start screaming.
By the time your spouse gets home, you basically throw the baby at them, and run to take a wee, shower - anything, that does not involve holding a baby. Three seconds of peace and quiet. But alas, baby starts crying, and despite your spouses’ best efforts to help, baby ends up back in your arms half way through whatever you were trying to do. It finally boils down to you weeping with the baby. And that, is just the day. You start fearing night time, because that is when the screaming begins, and if you are lucky, you will get about two hours of interrupted sleep that night, finally sitting with baby on your chest, praying for morning to come.
To add further insult to injury, you feel like the worst parent ever, wrought with guilt, because you pretty much hate all of this, and you find yourself wishing you could have your old life back. Then on top of everything else, you have post-partum hormones, bouncing off the walls, pushing you over the edge.
It was only after I joined a mommies group, who spoke openly and honestly about what the first few months of motherhood felt like to them that I started to realize - I was not alone. I am not a bad parent, it is normal to feel totally overwhelmed and ill equipped. Wanting to throw the baby out the window once or twice is normal too. No one tells you how hard it is going to be, or maybe they do, but you have zero frame of reference, so you are totally unable to compute the magnitude of what they are saying. The only way to know, really know, what it feels like, is to live through it, and nothing and no one can prepare you for it, the only way out, is through.
Finding a group of likeminded new mommies, all with the same fears and anxieties, the same doubts and worries, literally saved my life. But many women do not have the opportunity to be surrounded by a such a support network. I often see new mothers in my practice, and it is like war flashbacks. I see the dark circles under their eyes, the desperate expression on their faces, the oily hair and pale faces. They try to act 'normal' for the first two minutes (because, surely they are supposed to love this, and any other feelings makes them feel ashamed), then baby starts crying, and I see their shoulders drop. 'Go ahead and feed them, I say'. And as they settle baby on the breast, I smile and say, 'what you are feeling is totally normal'. I can see the tiniest flicker of hope, as I talk them through the first three months of 'hell' and what to expect, and they sob, because they thought they were awful for feeling totally overwhelmed. Although you love this little being with all your heart, you are not coping and that is ok.
Postpartum depression does not affect everyone, and there are many women that flourish during this time, everything seems easy and they are back in their nine-inch heels with perfect hair and make up within two weeks…making you feel even more inadequate and total failure as a mother. For the rest of us, non-nine-inch heels type of gals, with the reflux baby or the colic baby, let us take a closer look at baby blues and post-partum depression (PPD).
Baby Blues vs Post-Partum Depression
All of the above mentioned, can be totally normal. This phase, commonly referred to as Baby Blues, is part of the transitionary phase we go through the first couple of days to one or two weeks after baby is born. The signs and symptoms of Baby Blues include:
Baby Blues differs from PPD (Post-partum depression) in that the symptoms only lasts a few days to weeks after baby is born, and then improves as time goes by. You should feel better after a week or two, if however, you notice your symptoms worsening after the initial two-week period, you might be suffering from PPD
PPD is a serious mental disease and should be treated immediately by a health care professional. Signs and symptoms of PPD include the following:
All the above symptoms can be normal if experienced for only a brief period. We all feel irritable or sad sometimes, we all suffer from anxiety or feel overwhelmed at times; however, these feelings are fleeting. When your feelings of inadequacy, guilt, sadness etc remains excessive and for prolonged periods of time, it is time to seek urgent medical attention.
How can Homeopathy help for Baby Blues and Post- Partum Depression?
Homeopathy works based on ‘like cures like’. If a remedy can produce a symptom picture when administered to a healthy individual, then it should cure the same symptom picture in an unhealthy patient. There are several homeopathic remedies used to treat PPD. Each person is treated as an individual, therefor, after an extensive case taking is performed. Your Homeopath will choose a remedy based on your individual needs and your specific symptom picture. Sepia 200 is one such remedy used to treat baby blues and PPD, with the following symptom picture:
If you suspect you might be suffering from PPD, please contact your health care professional to make an appointment as soon as possible. You are not alone, PPD affects 1/5 woman and is a debilitating condition, which is 100% treatable. Do not suffer in silence.
“Compassionate Moms” get together - Tomorrow, 6 March at 10am.
is a unique community service to new mothers, so you are empowered to confidently care for yourself and your baby, engaging with health care providers in our support network. We are excited to offer a compassionate space where mothers can learn, share and make informed choices on health care, lifestyle and well-being.
There will be a professional facilitator each Tuesday to help with healthy lifestyle and diet, emotional support and advice on the numerous uncertainties that arise when a new baby is around.
Tomorrow, 6th March 2018 you are going to have the opportunity to discuss your questions and concerns with Doddie Boer: Birth Doula, Stress and Trauma release, Personal Growth & Stress Management, Child birth educator
The Naturopathic Health Care Centre provides a friendly environment where the whole family is taken care of. The three registered homoeopaths together with the registered nursing sister are able to take care of a vast range of health issues.
Consult with one of our Homoeopathic Practitioners.
Visit our Well Baby Clinic - Services provided by the sister:
Regrettably we do not do allopathic vaccinations at the Centre, but you can talk to us about nosode treatment and immune boosting therapies.
Attend our Mom & Baby socialisation Workshop
Enjoy two hours of relaxed interaction with other mommies. Tea, coffee and snacks are served while listening to an informative talk by Dr Chantell Groenewald or Sr Alida Idema.
Mom & Baby groups are held on the last Tuesday morning of every month. We can accommodate up to 20 moms, therefore please phone the reception to book your spot. Visit our website for the dates and times.
What is Reflux?
Reflux refers to the ‘spit up’ or vomiting, after a baby has fed. The reflux is a combination of milk, and stomach acid, which pushes back up from the stomach, into the oesophagus (food pipe). This is commonly referred to as GER (Gastro oesophageal reflux).
In some instances, the milk/acid mixture, will not reach the babies mouth, or baby will swallow the reflux, in which case, there is little to no vomit or spit up, this is called ‘silent reflux’.
GER is normal in most babies, as the oesophageal sphincter and babies immature gut, needs time to mature. Most babies have no ill effects from reflux, and will outgrow it by 1 year of age.
Frequent and severe reflux, GERD (Gastro oesophageal reflux disease), can cause ill effects in some babies, affecting their sleep, mood, feeds and weight gain. Symptoms (and when to consult a doctor) include:
• Fussy baby, crying during or after feeds
• Frequent reflux and or vomiting (not with silent reflux)
• Difficulty sleeping, especially when lying down
• Frequent hiccough and/or cough
• Failure to thrive
• Cramps, gas and colic
• Sour breath or burps
• Refusing breast or bottle
• Arching of back
• Brining up green, yellow or dark brown vomit (that looks like ground coffee)
Treatment OPTIONS available for reflux
Homeopathy refers to a system of medicine, that uses ultra dilutions of substances, to treat illnesses. A prescription is based on ‘likes cures likes’, so if a substance can cause a specific symptom picture in a large dose, then it can heal it in an ultra diluted form. So each baby and each symptom picture is unique.
Homeopathic single remedies that are often used in the treatment of GORD include:
• Hyocymus 200: Reflux associated with hiccoughs.
• Asafoetida 200: Reflux linked with induction, epidural or forceps.
• Lobelia inflate 200: Reflux linked to family smoking.
• Lycopodium 200: Winy babies with a lot of gas. Worse between 3 pm- 5 pm.
• Aethusa cynapium 200: Family history of lactose intolerance. Baby regurgitates everything, often projectile vomiting after every feed.
Homeopathic Complexes Include:
• Magen, Sedaped and Cesranol from Natura
• Sister Lillian’s NausiCare
• Gastric plus 30 C from Pegasus.
2. Chiropractic Treatment:
Chiropractics is a system of medicine, focussed on the wellbeing of the individual, placing special attention on the neuromuscular system, and treatment is focussed on manual adjustments of the spine.
A chiropractor can identify areas of subluxation of the spine (malalignment), which is especially true in C section or forceps births. By manually adjusting these areas, the nerves existing in this area, can function optimally. In the instance of the digestive tract, nerve flow correction to the digestive tract, can enhance digestive function.
3. Cranio-Sacral Therapy (CST):
Refers to correcting any imbalances in the craniosacral system, which includes the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord. Imbalances in this system, can cause sensory, motor and or neurological disabilities. For this reason, the health of the digestive tract, can be enhanced through CST.
4. Position during feeds:
It is important to feed your baby in an upright position, to prevent the back flow of milk and stomach acid from the stomach into the oesophagus. After a feed, you should keep your baby in an upright position for at least 20 – 30 minutes. Also, try and burp baby every 2-3 minutes during a feed.
5. Sleeping position:
When lying baby down for a nap, consider keeping baby elevated, using an anti-reflux wedge, found at Baby City and other major retailers. This will help prevent the back flow due to gravity
6. Breast Milk:
Breast is best. If you are breast feeding, try to ensure, that baby only feeds on one breast at a time. This is to ensure, baby does not only finish the watery foremilk, but also reaches the full fat creamier hindmilk. Smaller feeds will also help prevent excessive reflux.
There are various formulas out there, that can aid in alleviating acid reflux in babies. These include the thicker anti regurgitation formulas (AR), such as NAN and Novalc AR (there are many more brands, consult your homeopath or paediatrician, to choose the formula best indicated for your baby). Also, in the case of a lactose intolerance, there are hypoallergenic, extensively hydrolysed (HA) formulas, which may also alleviate reflux in lactose intolerant babies.
8. Mothers diet:
It is important for mom, to eliminate any foods that might aggravate the acid reflux in baby. First and foremost, diary, gluten, coffee and sugar in any form. From here, if the reflux does not improve, mom can consider an elimination diet, restricting her diet to only good sources of protein (not diary or nuts), vegetables (non cruciferous and non gaseous causing veggies only) and non-glutinous grains. After there is an improvement, she can start reintroducing one food group at a time. If there is no aggravation, another food may be introduced every three days. Dairy, sugar and gluten however, are best avoided in the long run.
A good probiotic is essential. Ask your homeopath or paediatrician for a trusted brand. A good probiotic, loaded prebiotics (the food probiotics need to grow) can help restore the gut flora, aiding in the regulation of stomach acid production. You can add this to your own diet, and to babies bottle every day.
10. Tissue Salts:
Never underestimate the value of tissue salts, in the treatment of gastric disturbances in babies. Nat Phos tissue salt, is an acid regulator. The most commonly used anti spasmodic tissue salt, Mag Phos, can be given on its own, or in combination with other tissue salts, which can serve as a colic mixture. These tissue salts include, Mag Phos, Ferrum Phos, Calc Phos, Nat Mur, Nat Phos and Nat Sulph. You can combine the above mentioned tissue salts in even ratios, and pulverise using a blender or two large spoons. Use less than 1/8th of a teaspoon before and after feeds. You can either apply the powder to the tip of baby’s tongue, or you can use a drop of cooled boiled water, to form a paste, then apply to the tip of baby’s tongue. Mom is also welcome, to use this mixture, as baby will get the tissue salts in moms breastmilk.
There are no easy answers, in the treatment of GER or GERD. Mostly, it is variations of a combination of therapies, supplements dietary and lifestyle advice, which can ultimately offer some relief for you and baby. Please always take your baby to a homeopath or paediatrician, if you see signs of dehydration, malnutrition, failure to meet milestones, if baby is not gaining weight, inconsolable crying, baby that refuses to feed and blood (bright or dark coloured blood that looks like coffee grounds) in babies vomit or stool.
Mommies. You are amazing, and you are doing an amazing job. No one ever warned you how difficult it is, to be a first time mom, and a reflux baby certainly adds to the sleep deprivation. You are not alone, you are every mom out there, either they have been there, or they are currently there. Always ask for help if you are not coping. It does not make you a bad mother, it makes you human. You are ultimately, what is best for baby, so if you are not ok, baby is not ok. So take a time out. Get dad to babysit, or ask your mom to come over so you can have a nap (and let her bring dinner too… the dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, non cruciferous vegetables type). This too shall pass, and then you have something to hold your kids to, for the rest of their lives.
Hoeveel werkende ma’s, wat hul babas en kleutertjies daagliks by dagmoeders moet gaan aflaai, loop hulle nie op die een of ander dag vas teen die “verset” van so ‘n betrokke klein mensie nie? Oor die jare het daar eintlik min verander om hierdie situasie vir ‘n mamma beter te maak.
Hier volg ‘n gesprek tussen my en my kleuter van destyds:
Ek: “Gaan jy môre weer lekker by tannie Christa speel?”
Kind: (Kopskuddend) “Hmm Umm.”
Ek: “Ja toe, man.”
Kind: “Ek klaar by tannie Kista peel het, tannie Kista nou genoeg gehad het.”
Ek: “Nou wil jy môre terug na die babaskool toe gaan?”
Kind: “Hmm Umm.”
Ek: “Nou waarheen wil jy môre gaan?”
Kind: “Tug na jou toe, Mamma.”
Ek het ‘n paar kenners onder wie ‘n maatskaplike werkster, ‘n opvoedkundige, ‘n sielkundige en ‘n kleuterskoolonderwyseres met die volgende vrae genader:
Wanneer kan ‘n ma weer gaan werk?
Daar is nie ‘n ideale tyd om terug te gaan werktoe nie. Dit is ‘n persoonlike besluit wat oorweeg moet word na aanleiding van die volgende:
Kan ek aanhou borsvoed ?
Ja, jy kan. Maar moet dit nie alleen prober doen nie. Daar is baie mammas wat suksesvol borsvoed, uitmelk en voltyds werk. Maar dit is nie vir almal maklik nie.
Neem foto’s, laat dit uitdruk en hou ‘n album op datum. Blaai gereeld daardeur. Die brein registreer die gelukkige tye met mekaar en versterk sodoende die wete van ouerbetrokkenheid in die kind se lewe.
Die kwessie van beskikbare tyd
Aangesien dit in vandag se tyd vir die meeste gesinne onmoontlik is om ‘n tuisbly ouer te bekostig het ek gaan kyk na maniere om rondom hierdie uitdagings te kom deur goeie benutting van beskikbare tyd.
‘n Woordjie oor Pa
Navorsing wat in die laat tagtigerjare in Amerika gedoen is, het getoon dat jong paartjies saamstem dat man en vrou mekaar in die huishouding moet ondersteun en kindersorgpligte gesamentlik moet behartig. Tog is dit so dat die werkende vrou meer as 40 maal soveel tyd aan huiswerk en kinders bestee as haar eggenoot. ‘n Opname oor ‘n tydperk van drie jaar van 1400 gesinne met kinders onder 11 jaar, waar albei ouers werk, het getoon dat net een uit elke vyf pa’s hoegenaamd met die kinders help. Dit is steeds twintig jaar later ‘n groot probleem in die meeste huishoudings. Alhoewel die nuwe geslag pa’s ‘n meer moderne aanslag het en die nuwe geslag ma’s baie fermer hulle mans betrek, bly die finale verantwoordelikheid steeds die ma s’n.
Wat van ma?
Ma’s wat uit vrye keuse gaan werk, het dikwels meer emosionele konflik as ma’s wat buitenshuis werk weens finansiële druk. Hoe ook al, die meeste ma’s voel skuldig en hartseer om hulle kinders af te laai om te gaan werk.
Kinders moenie dink dat Ma se ‘n leë gat is waarin sy verdwyn en wat haar ongelukkig maak nie. Gesels met jou kinders oor jou dag by die werk.
Dit sal help om te weet dat navorsing getoon het dat kinders van wie albei ouers werk, nie noodwendig slegter daaraan toe is as kinders wie se ma’s tuis bly nie. Dit gaan natuurlik gepaard met ‘n aantal voorwaardes:
Maniere om die situasie te verbeter.
Bepaal jou prioriteite
Die feit dat jy ‘n tuis-mamma is maak nie noodwendig ‘n “goeie” ma van jou nie. As ‘n vrou nie die temperament het om self haar kinders op te pas nie behoort sy iemand goed te betaal om dit vir haar te doen.
Elke werkende moeder moet nogtans haar prioriteite bepaal. As haar kinders deur haar werk benadeel word, moet sy haar werklas verminder. Ongelukkig sien ons dikwels die gevaartekens te laat.
Vroue moet hande vat en saamwerk, saambid vir die dag wanneer elke vrou die geleentheid gewaarborg word om die eerste drie jaar by haar kind deur te bring, heeltyds of deeltyds, met voldoende geld, status en geen verlies aan werknemersvoordele nie.
Tot dan sal daar vroue met skuldgevoelens in kantore bly sit en ander met frustrasie tuis en dit tot nadeel van ‘n gesonde samelewing.
“The pleasant feeling of mission accomplished has fully rewarded me and all I can do now is mourn the mass of blind spirits that obstruct the truth; I don't nourish any feelings of rage agains them, though. “
So here you are a very concerned mommy with a drooling baby. Your baby is not well for a while now and on and off she has a funny poo nappy, some fever bouts and at times she is just so niggly with no apparent cause. Everybody seems to put the blame for all these symptoms on teething. How can all of this be caused by teething while it is going on for months now and still no toothy?
WHAT IS TEETHING
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Teething symptoms vary and can range from severe to nothing at all. Most children will experience at least one of the following symptoms as their teeth prepare to make its way through their gums:
It is completely normal for your baby to get her first tooth at 18 months. And there are rare cases when an infant is born with teeth. For most children, however, that first tooth will appear around six months.
70% OF BABIES GET TEETH ACCORDING TO THIS GUIDELINE:
6 months: lower central incisors – cutting teeth
7 months: upper central incisors
7.5 months: lower lateral incisors
9 months: upper lateral incisors
12 months: lower first molars (bicuspids) – grinding and chewing teeth
14 months: upper first molars
16 months: lower canines (cuspids)
18 months: upper canines
20 months: lower second molars
24 months: upper second molar
There is no such thing as a new tooth cutting its way through bone and flesh. What actually happens is that remodeling of the tissue takes place and a pathway for the tooth emerges. The belief that tension on the gums played a prominent role in teething symptomatology was widespread. As a result, surgically cutting the gums in order to open up a path for the emerging tooth was a common procedure until the late 19th and early 20th century in developed countries. In some less developed regions around the world, the gums of infants were still frequently sliced open and the teeth removed.
What about fever and teething? Studies have shown that teething causes, at most, a mild temperature elevation. If your infant has a true fever (above 100.4F or 38 Celsius) it is unlikely to be caused by teething, especially if it continues for a number of days.
The same question applies to diarrhea and teething. Again, the available data doesn’t support teething as a cause of true diarrhea. If your child has a diarrheal illness, it is most likely to be caused by a virus.
In my experience as a mother and a nursing sister I can tell that those who had babies and experienced the feeling of total confusion and helplessness when that baby presents with all these so called teething-symptoms will confirm that the symptoms mentioned above are definitely very challenging during the teething phase.
SO WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Because you might miss something serious while blaming it on teething. Tonsillitis, otitis and bladder infections are common conditions that present itself during the teething phase.
WHAT CAN BRING RELIEF?
WHAT NOT TO DO
THE HOMOEOPATHIC APPROACH
A homoeopathic remedy is a diluted substance that is known to cause the symptoms you are wanting to cure. There are more than 600 remedies to choose from.
A homoeopath is well trained in matching the patient accurately to the correct remedy.
There are a number of remedies and OTC formulae
Today we are going to focus on two: Chamomilla and Pulsatilla
People who need chamomilla
People who need Pulsatilla
OTC’S ON THE MARKET
Luckily there are some of these homoeopathic companies who made it easy for the laymen and women. The ideal remedy will probably be in the complex, but until you can get to a practitioner who is able to choose the remedy more accurately, the OTC will do it for you.
Cesranol – This is for a high need baby who will respond positively to any chamomilla based remedy. This remedy is especially useful if the baby has loose stools while teething.
Sedaped – Has an anti-inflammatory action and works on the nervous system.
If teething is accompanied by cramping and loss of appetite, give tissue salt no 8 Mag phos in addition.
If teething starts later than 10 months, give Calc phos, tissue salt no 2.
The teething phase with all its challenges is a normal part of your baby’s development. Try and do what you can to bring relieve to your baby and find support from family and friends to help you cope during this time. But on the other hand keep in mind that this is a phase that will pass and do not feel that you should be able to have a perfect solution at all times.
My Two Hats:Thoughts on health and wellness from Teething: Myths, Facts, Do’s and Don’ts
– BY SISTER ALIDA – NATUROPATHIC HEALTH CARE CENTRE.
The "Rule Of Threes."
So here you are a very worried mom with a screaming baby and everybody is telling you a different story about colic. You do not want to be a neurotic freak, but just now your baby has colic, what then….?
WHAT IS COLIC?
The cause of colic is unknown. Researchers have explored a number of possibilities, including allergies, lactose intolerance, changes in the normal bacteria found in the digestive system, a digestive system that hasn't fully developed, anxious parents, and differences in the way a baby is fed or comforted. Yet it's still unclear why some babies have colic and others don't. I like to agree with the explanation that the first three months after birth is just another “trimester”. At birth your newborn's digestive system is still very immature and It will take about another three months for the digestive system to adjust to the circumstances outside the womb. Fussing and crying is normal for infants, and a fussy baby doesn't necessarily have colic.
In an otherwise healthy, well-fed baby, signs of colic include:
What to do:
Often a fussy, hungry and irritable baby in the evenings is mistaken for a colicky baby. To allow your baby to cluster feed between 18h00 and 22h00 might just solve your problem. If I could turn the clock back a couple of years, I would have done things so much different. I would make sure that I prepare myself, my household and my family to allow for a few hours of exclusive feeding time with my fussy, needy baby. Another point I want to make is: Your baby’s need for more frequent feeds is not a sign that your milk is not sufficient or that your milk is too “weak”. We do know that cluster feeding is just nature’s way of increasing your milk supply during times your baby needs it, but it is not a sign that you should switch to bottle feeding or give extra feeds.
When to worry
THE HOMOEOPATHIC APPROACH
If we understand the stages through which a new born baby’s digestive system develops, then it is easier to stay calm when baby has reflux, gas, diarrhea and some discomfort. Crying is your baby’s only way of telling you something is bothering him. It does not always mean he is experiencing serious discomfort. Check first to see if he is too cool or warm, hungry, gassy, or tired, or if he needs a diaper change.
Colic improves on its own, often by age 3 months. Unfortunately, there are no proven treatments that consistently help every baby, but a visit to your local homoeopathic clinic will be very beneficial to yourself and your baby.
The practitioner will work out a formulation for gas and cramp relief, as well as something to calm the tummy nerves.
If you want to look around in your health shop or pharmacy for a homoeopathic remedy, make sure some of the following simplexes are in it:
Gas and cramp relief
Calming the tummy nerves
Digestive Enzymes. Dygestive Enzymes are normally a non-animal broad spectrum formulae of digestive enzymes aiding in the digestive processes in the gut.
Please remember that the colicky stage will pass and you can only do your best. Don’t judge yourself because you are not coping well. Your next challenge is soon to come. In our next talk, we shall discuss teething.
“There is no better evidence of the good action of a remedy, than mental improvement”
So here you are, a beginner mom and you are starting to realise that it is all about a series of tubes leading from the mouth to the anus. You are almost sure that your little baby’s whole existence is caught up in that one tube… And you are so right!
One of the first things you noticed after you took your precious baby in your arms was the “root reflex” It is seen in a newborn baby when the corner of the mouth is stroked and the baby turns its head in the direction of the stroking. This helps the baby find the bottle or the nipple to begin feed. Then when the roof of the mouth is touched, the baby will suck.
During my years of working in a homoeopathic practice, I have learned that most of the troubles you are going to have to deal with originate in the digestive system. For this reason I find it to be very important to understand your baby’s gut early in her life. Let us start at the beginning of life.
DURING THE GESTATION PERIOD
At 8 weeks’ gestation, that most important tube is starting to form along with the stomach and by week 10 the stomach starts to produce digestive juices and enzymes. Early in the second trimester, around week 13, the digestive system’s structures are fully formed and in the right places. Baby begins to suck and swallow amniotic fluid and the muscles and organs that make up the digestive system start to contract. Baby also pees every 40 minutes. In the final weeks of pregnancy, the digestive system gets ready for its own first delivery: meconium starts to build up in the intestine. This is baby’s first bowel movement. Instead of food, it’s made up of the stuff your baby collected in the intestines while in utero (like old blood cells and skin cells), which is why it looks so drastically different from the baby poop yet to come.
FIRST WEEKS AFTER BIRTH
At birth your newborn's digestive system is still very immature. As a result, he may lose up to 10 percent of his body weight in the first days of his life, as he adjusts to using his digestive system. Because a newborn's stomach is small, your infant needs frequent feedings. Breast milk is high in fat because that is the most efficient way for your baby to meet his caloric needs. Your baby’s tummy is about the size of a small marble at birth and until he is about 4 months old, your baby’s tummy can hold only small amounts of milk at a time. Too much milk during feedings can cause your baby to spit up or be fussy.
THE OPEN GUT
The “open gut” hypothesis has not been supported by good evidence, but it may be a good idea to keep that possibility in the back of your mind. It is said that a baby’s gut is permeable until the age 4 – 6 months to allow breastmilk particles to move through the gut walls. An immune response is caused in order to grant passive immunity to the young baby. It is believed that if a baby eats solid foods too early in life, this very same process may cause an overreaction of the body’s immune response, leading to allergies and auto immune conditions.
NORMAL GUT ISSUES in babies (AND WHEN IS IT ABNORMAL)
reflux in babies
Spitting up can happen when your baby:
What to do:
When to worry:
diarrhea in babies
The rotavirus is normally responsible for the most cases of diarrhea in small children. It is normally found in children between ages six months and two years. Other common causes for diarrhea in small children are milk allergy, lactose intolerance and antibiotics.
What to do:
When to worry:
Suspect a milk allergy or lactose intolerance when a diarrhea lasts for more than two weeks without a fever or any signs of infection.. Please note, there is a huge difference between the two and you will have to get professional help and a diet adjustment in both cases
Dehidration is often more fatal than the illness itself. When you see any signs of dehydration as described above, give more fluid
constipation in babies
Constipation is not measured by the frequency of the stool, but rather by the look of it. The stool will be small, dry and hard and you will notice that your baby is struggling to pass the stool.
It is more common in formula fed babies and may also occur when solids are introduced.
Most medications given for pain and fever also cause constipation.
What to do:
When to worry:
the homoeopathic approach to normal gut issues
You will notice that your homoeopathic practitioner will always look at the full picture and not only at the specific complaint.
If you read through the different homoeopathic remedies, you will see that the same remedy that is prescribed for constipation can also be given for diarrhea.
Nux vomica, for instance, is a good example. It is prescribed for all kinds of digestive disorders depending on the specific type of person who needs the treatment. Silica is another one that can be given in both instances of diarrhea and constipation. When the practitioner starts asking you questions about your baby’s sleep pattern and all over happiness, her reaction to strangers and her emotional wellbeing, then it is because your doctor is trying to match your baby with just that correct remedy.
In your health shop or pharmacy you will find several complex Homoeopathic remedies. If you are trying to solve a mild condition, it is quite fine to buy them.
For infants with diarrhea, they should contain some of the following simplexes:
Calcarea carbinicum: Chronic diarrhea and sour, undigested stools. For infants who are teething and for overweight children.
Chamomilla : For colicky or teething infants. For children who scream or hit and are extremely angry and for irritable and hypersensitive adults. The person’s face will be red and flushed. The diarrhea is hot, green and watery, smells like rotten eggs and is accompanied by abdominal pain and gas.
Mercurius solubilus: Burning watery stools and sometimes slimy blood-stained stools. Infants may have green stools. Offensive odor. Children will experience pain before, during, or after a stool and have frequent or constant urging and a never-get-done feeling. Anus is raw from burning stools. Symptoms are worse in the evening and at night.
Podophylum: Watery, urgent, profuse and explosive diarrhea accompanied by much gas. When diarrhea accompanies teething in children.
Silicea: For breast feeding infants who get diarrhea from mother's milk.
Homoeopathic remedies for infants with constipation should contain some of the following simplexes:
Calc-carbonica: When your baby seems to be not bothered at all in any way by being constipated and the bowel just seems inactive. The constipation may accompany teething as well or not. They may have trouble digesting milk or be sensitive to lactose or milk protein.
Lycopodium: This is where the baby will be irritable with the constipation. Very gassy. Lots of burping and/or farting alongside the complaint. They will also be clingy and fussy in general from the discomfort and their abdomen will be distended or hard as a rock.
Nux-vomica : For an impatient, determined baby. Can be irritable but is independent rather than clingy. This baby will be trying to will strain and push but nothing will come out.
Opium: For stubborn constipation in infants, due to inaction of the intestines. When passed they are little, hard, dry, black balls. It may get worse from gas building up in the upper part of the intestines.
Silica : When stools are hard, small and dark and are produced with much strain and effort. . Use if the constipation starts up coinciding with difficult and slow teething. Use if your baby's appetite is poor and they are not gaining weight satisfactorily.
Please remember that your new born baby’s gut is still developing and many of the gut issues will pass by the time everything is nicely in place, anything between four and six months of age. Now that you know how homoeopathy can assist in ordinary gut issues, we can focus on baby colic in our next talk.
By Sister Alida – Our registered nurse Naturopathic Health Care Centre, Hazelwood, Pretoria
So here you are, a young first time mom with your brand new baby and the only thing you want… is to do everything right.
You have read a pile of baby magazines and you are subscribed to a few email newsletters to help you stay on track. You are attending baby stimulation classes and go to workshops and somewhere along the line somebody mentioned Homoeopathy. Yet another new topic to explore.
In my career as a nursing sister working in a homoeopathic practice, I have seen a number of little children whose parents were desperate. Their kid is six months old and already finished her third course of antibiotics. Often people come to the homoeopathic practitioner as a last resort.
It would be great if we could get our patients early, teach them what to look out for and help them to understand the value of the body’s own healing properties. My ideal is to have parents who can act as first line healers in their own homes. If we can achieve that, the world would be a better place.
The first thing to understand is the illness:
An acute disease develops in a short period of time. It is important that you learn to observe the circumstances during the early stages of development because your homoeopathic practitioner will ask about the following:
Parents should learn to watch out carefully for the symptoms, realise that the body’s own defense mechanism already kicked in with an inflammatory response causing a raised temperature, pain, swelling, tiredness, etc. We are going to discuss the whole issue around fever in future talks.
The homoeopathic approach to acute diseases is to find a remedy or a complex of remedies that support the immune system in that specific area. Most pharmacies keep homoeopathic complexes to treat almost any minor ailment and it is quite okay to keep some of those little bottles in your medicine cupboard. It is a combination of remedies in low potency that can be taken frequently according to the acuteness of the situation.
In most cases the illness will start improving within 24 hours, starting on a mental level. In other words, when you see your child does not moan anymore and starts looking happier, then you know that there is a turn for the better.
A chronic illness develops over a longer period of time and it lasts for several months to years. A chronic case is more complicated to treat and will almost always need professional help. Chronic disease has often to do with an over response of the body’s immune system. You need a knowledgeable health care practitioner who are not only able to find the correct homoeopathic simplex , but who also has a good understanding of the physiological mechanism of the body and are able to tackle the condition from a different angle like for instance the digestive system.
Why does homoeopathy work?
To answer this question we must look into the history of homoeopathy. It all started with Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, who qualified in 1791 as a medical doctor. He practiced medicine for about nine years, but became increasingly disillusioned by the cruel and ineffective treatments of his time. At this point I must remind you that medicine and medical treatment in those days were not what we are used to these days. They made use of plants and herbals of which some of the side effects were very dangerous and even poisonous.
Dr. Hahnemann left practice and focused on studying, writing and translation work. To make a long story short, he started experimenting on himself. For that he used Peruvian bark, known as Cinchona. Homoeopaths call it China.
Hahnemann then observed that Cinchona produced in a healthy person the symptoms of malaria, the very disease that it was known to cure, a discovery which was a cornerstone in the development of homoeopathy. He referred to it as similia similibus curentur, meaning let like be cured with like. This principle became the first law of a system he called homoeopathy. (Homoios – similar and pathos – disease.)
He started experimenting with smaller and smaller doses, until he got rid of the side effects, but now it no longer effected a cure. He then developed a new method of dilution. Instead of simply stirring the substance after each dilution, he shook it vigorously. This shaking he called succusion and the liquid he called a potentised remedy. He found that the more he dilutes the remedy, using the method of succusion, the more effectively his remedy cured. He believed that the shaking released the energy of the substance and dissipated its toxic effects. This of cause is difficult to understand, difficult to explain and difficult to accept. How can anything so dilute have any affect? Yet despite opposition homoeopathy survived and spread remarkably quickly – because it was remarkably effective.
Important Principles, mode of action:
The classical homoeopath would give one remedy at a time, trying to match as much as possible symptoms of the patient with as much as possible characteristics of the remedy. This is time consuming and hard work, but once a practitioner gets the hang of it, it becomes most rewarding.
OTC’s on the market
Luckily for you, you do not have to become an expert before you can help your child. There are complex remedies on the market that contains a combination of simplexes altogether aiming for the same target. The ideal remedy will probably be in the complex, but until you can get to a practitioner who is able to choose the remedy more accurately, the OTC will do it for you.
When to self-medicate and when to seek professional help.
This is something that is different for every person, depending on one’s knowledge, or lack thereof, but also one’s personality and nerve. For instance, if you bump your toe, you are not going to ran off to the doctor. But if the toe becomes hot and red and the pain persists for several days, you might suspect a fracture. Then you might consider going to the doctor. And then there are still a few who will say: What will the doctor do? Take an x-ray, confirm the fracture and bandage it. I can do it myself. …
While it is always important to seek professional advice for serious injuries and situations, don’t forget that even here, homeopathy can help. A few doses of the needed remedy while the ambulance is on the way can make all the difference when every minute counts.
Now you have an idea of what homoeopathy is about. In the next talk we are going to discuss a few general conditions and remedies that work well on those conditions.
Anxiety in children
Not all fear is bad. In fact, a little fear serves as an insurance policy. "Without fear, we'd jump headlong into things we shouldn't," says Tamar E. Chansky, PhD, author of Freeing Your Child from Anxiety.
Ages and stages.
Babies and toddlers have little to worry about. For children to worry, they have to imagine the future and bad things that can happen in it. Some of them might fear sudden loud noises, heights, strangers & separation.
Fears of an Infant or Toddler
· Loud noises or sudden movements
· Large looming objects
· Changes in the house
Fears During Preschool Years
· The dark
· Noises at night
· Monsters and ghosts
· Animals such as dogs, insects
Fears During School Years
· Snakes and spiders
· Storms and natural disasters
· Being home alone
· Fear of a teacher who's angry
· Scary news or TV shows
· Injury, illness, doctors, shots, or death
· Fear of failure and rejection
School children could fear failure, criticism, exams and physical harm. Children over age eight are more likely to have worries. Worries are when a child thinks about past or future situations. Fear usually occurs in the present.
Cause of anxiety and fear.
1. Biological: Some people are more likely to be anxious. It runs in the family .
2. Parenting styles or modelling: children look at you to see how they should react.
3. Life events. Situations that caused trauma. Even a film or story .
Children hear everything you say and mimic everything you do, so give them a good example.
Ways to support your child
1. Acknowledge your child’s fears.
2. Gently encourage your child to do things they feel anxious about, but don’t push. (Use the stepladder approach.)
3. Praise and give rewards for little victories, don’t criticise their fear or anxiety.
One simple thing you can do to maintain calm is to establish a predictable routine. Also, minimize the numbers of caretakers in your child's life. Strong bonding with your child -- through regular touch, eye contact, and talking or singing -- creates a foundation of trust, helping to inoculate your child against future anxiety, too.
Approach the fear in steps. Resist the temptation either to overprotect. Instead, give your child opportunities for direct, safe experiences. Talk to a dog's owner and ask, "Is the dog friendly? Can we say 'hi'?" "Or, ask your child, 'Is the dog's tail wagging? That's the sign of a happy dog.'" If you have a friend with a dog, let the "sleeping dog lie" -- and let your child observe. That allows a safe entrance to the world of dogs.
1. During 2nd halve of the night
2. Ages 5 – 6 when they become aware of real life
3. Remember it is a normal way of dealing with life’s stresses and does not point out bad parents.
How to deal with nightmares
1. Reassure, talk , rub, rock
2. Teach coping skills, positive thoughts, relaxing skills (imagine lying on a beach) By developing her own stories that incorporated deep-breathing, affirmations, and muscular relaxation, she was able to greatly help her own children.
3. Keep monster spray at hand, play Imagine magic.
4. Avoid scary TV shows or storybooks before bedtime
How to deal with fear of dark
1. Play fun in the dark: hand figures, treasure hunt.
2. Discuss all fears during the day and practice skills, helping with self confidence.
3. Give a security object like a soft towl, blanket
4. Leave night light on, keep doors open.
How to deal with children sneaking to parent’s bed.
1. Try to convince him to stay in his bed
2. Stay with him for a while.
3. Check on him regularly predictably, for trust
4. Set up a star system and give a reward
5. Deal with the issue during daytime by giving reassurance.
When to be concerned about anxiety in children
When it is interfering with his social life or school work or friendships, it is time to discuss the matter with your health care practitioner. Remember that psychosomatic symptoms develop normally during first school years and that these odd stomach pains or headaches are not necessarily signs of concern.
Rescue Remedy (2)
This homeopathic stress relief preparation has been used safely and effectively for generations and it comes in a number of convenient forms to suit your particular application: oral drops, a spray, a topical cream, as a lozenge, and in chewing gum form.
Rescue Remedy is a blend of 5 of the original 38 Bach Flower Remedies, developed by Dr. Edward Bach a medical physician, turned homeopath and researcher in the 1920's and 1930s.
Dr. Bach was an advanced physician for his time and we owe him a great deal for his research on mental and emotional causes of dis-ease. If you would like to learn more about his life and his research, please visit the Bach Centre.
Rescue Remedy is comprised of the following 5 individual flower remedies:
According to BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, like other homeopathic preparations, Rescue Remedy is considered safe for pregnant woman, infants, children and people with medical conditions.
How does Rescue Remedy actually work?
The science of homeopathy is actually based on vibrational and energy medicine.
There is no actual active ingredient in a homeopathic remedy, as the original ingredients have been diluted so many times that all that is left is an energetic and vibrational imprint. This is what makes it so safe, as well as so powerful.
1.Tamar E. Chansky, PhD, author of Freeing Your Child from Anxiety.
This week in our Mom and Baby workshops we will be discussing fear and anxiety in our children and how to best handle and treat the situation.
We will cover:
· Fear of dark, strangers, seperation
· Fear of monsters, thunder
· Bad dreams
· How to manage fear
· The benefits of Phosphorus
When: Tuesday , 4 August 2015
Time: 10h00 – 11h00
Join us for a relaxed informative session with some other mommies and babes. It takes place at our Health Care Centre, every First Tuesday of each month.
Refreshments are served
Please kindly give us a call to book your spot.