Category Archives: Women’s Ailments

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.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

The decision whether to breastfeed or use formula is no longer a straightforward one. Whilst it is common knowledge that breast milk is the preferred nutrition babies, there are circumstances when the use of formula should also be considered.

I will first briefly discuss the benefits of breastfeeding, which are manifold, for both the child and mother. The effects permeate not just the physical plane but also have a profound psychological and emotional impact. The moment a mother puts her baby to the breast shortly after birth, oxytoxin is released. This hormone helps to expel the placenta and promote healing in the womb. Mothers who breastfeed their baby recover faster after childbirth and have a lower risk of obesity, osteoporosis, breast cancer and ovarian cancer in the long term.

For the baby, mother’s milk contains all the necessary nutrients which are in a form that is easily digestible and assimilated by the baby’s delicate digestive system. Colostrum, which is a thin yellow fluid that flows from the nipple before breast milk is produced, is high in its calorie, protein and antibody content. Babies require milk that is high in fat content because they are unable to digest lactose properly. Hence, formula milk, that is generally high in lactose but contains a lower amount of fat, is more difficult for babies to digest.

The antibodies in the breast milk protect the baby against infections. Breast milk also changes the pH of the stool and intestinal flora, thereby protecting the baby against diarrhea. In terms of long term health, babies who have been breast fed tend to be protected from chronic diseases such as Crohn’s disease, diabetes, allergies, etc.

Breastfeeding is also a time for the baby and mother to bond with each other. Babies who have not been breastfed or have been weaned off too quickly from the breast tend to display subsequent emotional problems such as lack of confidence, a feeling of being neglected and eating problems, amongst others.

However, having mentioned the above, it is important to realise that there are situations where supplementation with formula should be considered and mothers need not feel guilty if they have to do so. I will touch on this topic in my next post.

Morning Sickness

For most pregnant women, the first trimester presents certain challenges, especially where diet is concerned. It may come as a surprise to first-time mothers that the foods they enjoyed most prior to the pregnancy appear almost revolting in their current state.

Nausea with or without vomiting is a common symptom in the early stages of pregnancy. It happens mainly due to a surge in pregnancy related hormones. The nausea is usually most intense upon rising in the morning and can be triggered by the sight or smell of certain foods. For some women, it can also intensify when in a moving vehicle. Generally, the pattern varies from person to person.

There are some important things to keep in mind if you are experiencing nausea with frequent vomiting. It is important to keep replenishing fluids into your system as frequent vomiting leads to dehydration, which can pose a lot of problems during this delicate time. It is also important to take small but frequent meals.

Most importantly, take all the positives and negatives of pregnancy in your stride as once your baby arrives, you will have to face a whole new set of challenges.

Reiki to Ease Menstrual Pain

Reiki therapy works beautifully in easing menstrual pain. It can be performed whilst you are having the pain or you can see the practitioner in between periods as you will be in a more comfortable state at that time.

Depending on your preference and comfort level, the practitioner will place his or her hands just below your naval and the Reiki energy will begin to flow. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with hands-on therapy, you must voice this out immediately. Most Reiki practitioners have done the Second degree course which enables them to give distance healing. In addition, they will always seek permission from you before placing their hands on your body.

Reiki is intelligent and will work only towards your highest and greatest good. Reiki directs itself automatically to the part that requires the healing. For example, if you are having a bad bout of cold along with the menstrual cramps, the therapist will not consciously need to direct the Reiki to your nose and lungs.

The energy will stimulate your body’s own innate healing powers so that you can experience relief quickly and easily. Some individuals do report that after receiving Reiki, certain pent-up emotions, that they thought they had put behind them, resurfaced. It is likely that the pain was due to suppression of these very emotions. Hence, it is not possible to predict how Reiki will work for you and the course it will take. What is important to keep in mind is that Reiki will always work towards the outcome that is best for you.

If you are specifically seeking treatment for menstrual cramps, you may experience a more profuse flow of menstrual discharge in the same period or the next one, after receiving Reiki. Discharges are the body’s natural and most efficient way of eliminating toxins. Some individuals may also observe a change in the colour of their menses. These changes are part of the healing process. Hence, do not be alarmed by them. Always keep your Reiki practitioner well-informed about your progress and concerns.

Menstrual Pain

That time of the month is something all of us dread. Taking a day off from work or school is not a luxury that most of us can afford even when in pain. We either try to bear it or simply, resort to some pain relief medication. It surprises me that many women do not think twice about popping a pain relief tablet (sometimes two) the moment they get their period. Some do not even wait for the pain to set it before taking it.

Yes, modern life demands a lot from us. Work commitments, ferrying the kids around, managing the house – there is a constant struggle for time. Unfortunately, in this struggle, we are conveniently ignoring the message our body is trying to convey to us. Pain is not something to be palliated with medicines. In metaphysical terms, it is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong in our thought process and the way we see ourselves.

Intense menstrual pain is a sign that we are not fully accepting our feminine energy and processes. Look around us, and we will see more and more women who are aggressive, competitive, driven – they are epitomising the qualities traditionally seen in men. It is as though the feminine energies encompassing nurturance, sensitivity are not allowed to express itself.

How many times have we met a woman and thought, “She is just like a man.” Or how many times have we looked at our women bosses at work and wondered, “I wonder how she behaves with her husband and kids at home?”

Ask one of these women, and chances are they will be having some disturbance in their reproductive organs, either in the form of intense menstrual pain, irregular menses, cysts, fibroids, infertility, etc.

Some of you may be wondering, at this point, whether I think women should not have a career mindset. Of course not! It is indeed important for us to harness our full potential and realise all our dreams, but we must strive towards this whilst staying in touch with our inner self. It is not required for us to embody male characteristics just to move ahead in life. Being attuned to our feminine side and success are not mutually exclusive.

All we need to do is take love, a nurturing nature and sensitivity to our work place, every day.

Perhaps this month, when you get intense cramps, just take a minute and think about how you see yourself as a woman. Get in touch with your feminine side. Simple awareness can take away some of the pain and discomfort.

In the next post, you can read about how reiki and homeopathy can help relieve menstrual pain.

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