Category Archives: Common Ailments

Rise in Infant Constipation – A Homeopathic Approach

Over the years, I am seeing more mothers seeking homeopathic treatment for their babies’ constipation problems. It seems that our young ones, as little as six-months-old, are becoming less efficient at clearing their bowels – a process which should be rather smooth for them at such a young age considering that their diet consists of mainly purees and milk.

It is common for babies to have stools of a firmer consistency once they start solids, bottled baby foods and formula milk. For some babies, it could be part of their normal stool cycle to void their bowels every two to three days. However, it becomes a problem when emptying the bowels become painful and starts affecting their appetite and energy levels – and we are now seeing this at a much younger age. This is where intervention either from a homeopath or general physician is required.

In my practice, I have seen good results with homeopathic remedies for this problem. The treatment takes into consideration not just the chief symptom or diagnosis – constipation – but a 360-degree view of the child’ personality, lifestyle, likes and dislikes, temperament and even the parents’ emotional  states in pregnancy and at the time of consultation. Hence, the treatment and remedy is individualised taking into account the baby’s unique life situation.

The two most frequently used remedies in my practice for this ailment have been Calcarea Carbonica and Alumina. Calcarea Carbonica is a commonly indicated constitutional remedy, meaning that this remedy can correct energy imbalances on all three spheres – mental, emotional and physical. Most babies do require this remedy at some point in their infancy. Calcarea carbonica babies tend to be flabby, have sour perspiration and give an overall impression of slowness. These babies will be content sitting in one place and observing the world go by rather than being at the heart of the activity. Mother will often say that their child has had some milestone delays. It is no surprise that this slowness also manifests in the digestive system.  A couple of doses of this remedy, prescribed professionally, can have a remarkable impact on the Calcarea carbonica baby’s development.

Alumina is another remedy that has shown to be effective for infant constipation in my practice. The remedy, made from aluminium oxide, is indicated when soft stools require great straining and the stools are passed in very small quantities. It is theorised that an increased use of aluminium-based cookware to heat and prepare meals could have impacted a rise in Alumina-type constipation in our babies.  It would also be worthwhile to read the inserts of skincare products to see if they contain any aluminium-based ingredients that could be contributing to your child’s constipation. However minute the quantity may be, it can penetrate through your baby’s skin and contribute to the problem.

When to Consider Formula for Your Baby

Breastmilk is the preferred nutrition for your baby. It is easy to digest and provides the baby with important maternal antibodies or immune factors.  However, in order to ensure adequate supply of breastmilk, mothers need to have proper rest, good nutrition and take sufficient fluids. For this, the presence of a support network in the few weeks after birth is critical. Unfortunately, not all mothers have access to this support. In such circumstances, it is not surprising that a new mother may feel overwhelmed with responsiblity and this, in turn, can have an adverse effect on the milk supply. Other factors that lead to problems in supply include stressful births, baby’s inability to latch, inverted nipples, etc.

The important thing is to keep trying to breastfeed your baby or to use a breast pump to express the milk.  But if the experience becomes too frustrating and emotionally draining, speak to your lactation consultant and consider supplementing your baby’s feeds with formula. Remember, some breastmilk is better than none, and what your baby needs the most is a positive and happy home environment. Another thing to keep in mind is that whilst breastfeeding facilitates bonding, it is not the ONLY way to bond with your baby.

In the next post, I will discuss the homeopathic approach to baby blues and lactation problems.

A Pretty Solution for Teething Blues

Before moving to Sydney, I had never heard of necklaces that eased babies’ teething pains. I had always thought I would turn to my faithful armoury of homeopathic medicines if my son ever displayed irritable teething symptoms. But much to my disappointment, he never clearly showed symptoms pointing to a particular homeopathic medicine. Hence, it was very difficult to prescribe for him.

During my strolls, I noticed many babies and toddlers wearing necklaces with orange beads. Some were even sporting anklets. These beads are actually resin from the Amber tree. When worn, the resin warms as a result of body temperature and releases healing oils that contain succinic acid, which has a pain-relieving property. This compound is absorbed into the skin and bloodstream.

I was a skeptic at first but from the day I put on the necklace on my son, his irritability reduced markedly. I am proud to say that he now has six teeth and has not been hassled by the whole teething process.

Although the beads helped my son, I am not sure if I am satisfied with the explanation provided on how it works. Is our normal body temperature of  36.9 degrees Celsius sufficient to warm the bead such that it releases oils? I am not really sure.

As a homeopath, I much prefer attributing the healing to the energy contained in the amber beads. Just like crystals and precious gems, the amber beads, too, contain healing energies which sooth babies during teething. Perhaps what we need to confirm this is a homeopathic proving on the Baltic Amber.

But one thing is for sure, it works – and looks pretty on the babies too!

Performance Anxiety – Examinations, Jobs, Interviews etc

Performance Anxiety – Examinations, Jobs, Interviews etc

At some point in time, all of us have doubted our own abilities and had sleepless nights tossing and turning, thinking about the next day’s exam or interview… despite being well prepared for the task and knowing “deep down” that everything is under control.

For those of you who have school-going children, you may  have noticed that your child suddenly develops colds, coughs or even diarrhoea just around the time of an important test or exam. Besides school-related tasks, children also tend to experience the same type of nervousness before a visit to the doctor or dentist. Even for adults, there is the common butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling that precedes a big event.

There are some very effective homeopathic remedies that can help calm your nerves, ease tension and help you in concentrating better on the tasks at hand so that you are able to harness your full potential rather than waste energy fretting and worrying about it. The treatment strategy is individualised and takes into consideration your unique circumstances, lifestyle, likes and dislikes. Hence, it is best to seek help from a qualified homeopath who will be able to select a remedy that is suited for you.

Babies’ Ailments – Colic

Babies’ Ailments

Part 3: Colic

Sleeping, drinking milk and…crying are all part of a baby’s daily routine, especially in the first three months. However, if your baby keeps crying for more than three hours a day, without any apparent reason, chances are that he or she could be experiencing colic. By definition, colic is a condition in which an otherwise healthy baby cries or screams frequently and for extended periods without any discernible reason. Scientists have suggested an immature digestive system, lactose intolerance or even anxiety in breastfeeding mothers as possible causes for colic in babies but there is no established reason for this.

Generally, gripe water is the preferred remedy for many parents. It is a natural remedy that contains herbs such as dil, fennel, chamomile and ginger. Before purchasing a bottle of gripe water, it is necessary to check the ingredients’ list for the absence of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as this is not an ideal substance for your baby’s delicate system.

Baking soda is alkaline in nature and can upset the acid balance in your baby’s stomach in addition to producing other unwanted side effects. Thus, it is necessary to make an informed choice when selecting a suitable brand of gripe water for your baby.

If you are breastfeeding, also consider if there could be anything in your diet that is aggravating your baby. And finally, no matter how tired and distresed you are with the new parenting routine, remind yourself to remain happy and positive as your baby could simply be picking up your anxieties!

 

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