Tag Archives: Babies’ 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.

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!

Babies’ Ailments – Diarrhoea

Babies’ Ailments

Part 4: Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is a cause for confusion and concern to many parents. It is important to understand that diarrhoea in babies is a little different from that in younger children and adults. Normally, a person is said to be experiencing diarrhoea when there is a passage of loose, watery stools at least more than 3 times a day. However for babies, especially newborns, there is a tendency to have very frequent bowel movements, up to five times a day. Generally, babies who are breast-fed will pass stools more often than the babies on formula milk.

The trick is to note the appearance of the stools.  In diarrhoea, your baby’s stools will be watery, smelly and will contain mucus. This may be accompanied with a fever and your baby may also loose some weight.

The causes of diarrhoea in babies are varied. Your baby could simply be allergic to something in the diet. The most common is milk allergy. If you suspect that your baby could be allergic to formula milk, try opting for a lactose-free alternative. Also ensure that the formula milk is prepared in a clean environment as babies are particularly sensitive to germs. Other causes include the use of antibiotics – either given to the baby or taken by the mother who is breast-feeding. Generally, babies who are breast-fed are less likely to have diarrhoea as some components in mother’s milk keep the digestive track in optimum state.

In diarrhoea, the most important thing is to ensure that your baby continues receiving enough fluids. Do not stop breast-feeding or giving formula milk if it suits your baby.

If the diarrhoea lasts more than a few days or if your baby develops symptoms such as dry lips or decreased urine, consult your doctor immediately.

The anti-diarrhoeal medication for adults cannot be given to babies as it comes with side-effects.

Homeopathy presents several remedies that are specific for diarrhoea in babies. Once again, it is best to see a qualified homeopath who can match your baby’s symptoms with that of the remedy.

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!

 

Babies’ Ailments – Diaper Rash

Babies’ Ailments

Part 2: Diaper Rash

While changing your baby’s nappy or diaper, you may have come across redness and tenderness on the buttocks and the surrounding area. This irritation is commonly known as diaper rash. There are many reasons for this, with the most common ones being prolonged exposure to a soiled diaper and use of new products.

The diapers that we use nowadays have very good absorption power. Hence, you may not find it necessary to change your baby’s diaper frequently. However, no matter how dry your baby may feel, it is necessary to change the diaper at least six times a day as exposure to a soiled diaper causes irritation and discomfort.

The wipes, powders and lotions that you use on your baby must be safe and gentle. In addition, some babies are sensitive to the detergents that are used to wash their cloth diapers. Hence, it is necessary to be mindful of these things that we may generally deem as insignificant.

Dietary changes may also contribute to diaper rash. This could happen when you introduce solids to your baby’s diet or if you are breast-feeding, it could be a response to changes in your own diet.

You must be extra mindful if your baby has been given a course of antibiotics as this generally upsets the balance of the good bacteria in the body, thus causing diaper rash. This also applies if you have taken antibiotics when breastfeeding your baby.

There are excellent homeopathic remedies which are available in cream or ointment form to help with the external dryness and irritation. However, if the problem persists even after external application, homeopathy also offers constitutional treatment that takes into account your baby’s unique temperament, diet, likes and dislikes. Constitutional approach is generally the preferred treatment strategy as it offers long-term health and wellness for your baby.

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