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Childhood constipation, allergies and tummy pain: A Case Study

I’d like to tell you a story about a friend of mine. She’s a lovely woman, around 38 years old with two absolutely gorgeous children – Jennah, 2yo and Adam, 11 months. She fell pregnancy easily with both children, had smooth uneventful pregnancies and births and both children had trouble with milk which was allergy tested and linked to milk protein. This was easily resolved by using alternative milks and reducing her lactose intake while she breastfed or mixed fed.

 

We hadn’t spoken in awhile (we’d had a huge year with selling our house, falling pregnant and shifting my clinic plus my husband moved jobs twice!) and she had also moved house and was settling into her new place and life with two children. She emailed me in great distress about her son’s health. Here’s a little of what she said:

“He is extremely under weight, he is 10mths old and only 6kg. Adam does not BF for long, he has been having a lot of difficulty with the formula causing extreme constipation. He does not sleep at night, waking up 4-6 times. He has a confirmed milk protein allergy however I am almost certain there is other things bothering him b/c he breaks out in rashes, he becomes quite red, and his eczema flares up.

 

I am very careful with my diet, I eat bland food, eliminate all dairy and hope for the best. I have an appointment in April to see an allergist. We are seeing a paediatrician as well and she has referred me to see a dietician. I am back and forth with the GP and paediatrician asking for advice and if there is anything I can do to help Adam. I am asking for any help Kate.”

It was upsetting for me too, I hate to see mums distressed and concerned about their children’s health. I replied straight away and said:

1.The number one thing to know is that your little one’s gut (his stomach and intestines) is inflamed and irritated by the milk protein allergy. This irritation and inflammation, from a Naturopathic perspective, needs to be relieved before healing of the gut lining can begin. We need to heal our gut lining when it gets inflamed because that is where we absorb our nutrition from and when its inflamed and irritated, digestion and absorption of food and nutrition does not occur properly – hence, poor weight gain. People will often experience diarrhoea, bloating, pain and cramping and fatigue as well. This is also the main reason:

  • much of his food constipates him
  • he has eczema
  • breaks out in rashes sometimes (the gut can’t process the foods and the liver becomes overloaded and the skin is our largest organ of elimination so it takes on some of the job of removing the normal waste products we make… this results in rashes, pimples and eczema)

 

2. Be careful with weetbix. Sometimes the wheat and the bran can be irritating to the gut lining as it contains insoluble fibre as well as soluble, perhaps alternate with oats – which are full of soluble fibre and will help to bulk his stool and not irritate his gut.

 

3. All the vegetables you mentioned, protein and avocado are wonderful sources of his essential building blocks for growth – well done! Vegetables are an excellent source of soluble fibre and nutrition. Make sure they are cooked well as this will help him digest them more easily. I used soups, casseroles and slow cooked meals for Charlie.

 

4. Apples and pears are fantastic for constipation in adults and children, stew them for best results and give them to him warm as it helps digestion. To stew them, I just add a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of brown sugar to a saucepan and stir them until they’re nice and soft.

 

5. It is such a shame he can’t tolerate yoghurt! It would be a great food for him. I’m not keen on soy yoghurts – have you tried coconut yoghurt? When you say milk protein allergy that usually refers to casein so give the coconut yoghurt a try. Add the stewed fruit, soft berries or banana for him.

 

6. I think you should book in a consult. I can help relieve his symptoms by repairing his gut. There are safe supplements for little ones that work brilliantly to relieve irritated tummies and repair the gut lining so it can do its job properly. This in turn, relieves the pressure on the liver, bowels and skin which means no more eczema, constipation and sore tummy!

 

7. Probiotics are essential for rebuilding the community of gut bacteria in his system as these are the powerhouse of our digestion and responsible for breaking down our food, making vitamins and hormones and supporting our immune system. However, using probiotics without healing firstly the gut lining and reducing that inflammation will not really help.

 

8. From a Naturopathic perspective, once you remove the allergen, it’s just the beginning. From the western medical perspective once you remove the allergen everything’s fine… that sounds a little cynical but probably explains why you haven’t found them super helpful with giving advice to help put weight on him and get him back on track! I hope the dietitian helps but I’ve found their focus is too narrow. I hope your experience is different.

 

Shortly after, my friend booked an appointment and I gave her some infant friendly gut healing supplements along with the dietary advice. She noticed a difference within a week!

If you are interested in learning more about how to relieve constipation, eczema and tummy pain in babies, children (or yourself!) have a look at my 7 day gut healing challenge. I teach you how to improve your digestion and relieve common symptoms like bloating, constipation and wind. It’s tailored for busy women and comes with a 7 day meal plan and convenient shopping list. Learn more here.

 

Remember, you and your children deserve a healthy gut.
Kate x

 

Image credit: iStock photos

Relieve eczema fast with these natural solutions for children and adults

Eczema runs in families but you can stop it

Eczema affects up to 1 in 5 children before 2 years old and often begins within the first six months of life. It might be only mild, affecting small areas of the skin with rare flare ups. Other times it can be severe with large areas of the skin affected. In these more severe cases, weeping, bleeding and infections are common.

 

Your children are more likely to develop eczema if there is a family history of asthma, eczema or hay fever. Other triggers and factors that cause eczema include:

  • living in a high pollution area
  • using lots of perfumed soaps and lotions
  • living in colder climates
  • over washing skin
  • using harsh detergents when washing clothes

 

There is an association between having eczema as a baby or toddler and developing asthma later on. This is another reason to make sure you get on top of any dry, itchy skin symptoms that develop in your children!

 

So how do you stop it once it’s started and what are your best options for treating eczema fast? I’m going into all the details today to show you how you can treat, heal and reverse eczema for your kids.

eczema

Treat eczema from the inside out to get the best results

To get the best results, you need to attack eczema from the root causes and not just treat the skin itself. It’s easy to forget your skin is a living reflection your inward health. Your skin and gut are closely connected and current research is discovering how much an unbalanced gut impacts your skin’s health. One of the root causes of eczema is unbalanced gut flora which leads to inflammation and irritation in your gut and other organs… like your skin.

 

Your gut houses an entire eco system of microbes – good and bad. They (usually) live together in harmony, helping you digest food, make vitamins, support your immunity and maintain a stable weight. But sometimes, your gut flora becomes unbalanced and this leads to symptoms like bloating, constipation, reflux, nausea, depression, anxiety, acne, eczema, poor immunity and weight gain. Ugh!

 

The best treatment for eczema is to heal your gut, reducing the inflammation and irritation, then re-balance your gut flora. By treating your insides first, you are literally healing your skin from the inside out! This makes the treatment super effective and long lasting because you’re getting to the heart of the problem and not just using band aids solutions with creams and lotions.

 

Natural solutions for treating, reversing and healing childhood eczema

Many parents want to find a natural solution to treating and managing childhood eczema.

 

The following solutions all have one thing in common. They are all designed to heal your gut and reverse symptoms caused by an unbalanced gut. For a complete program to heal your gut and get the best results for your skin, I recommend using my 7 day gut health challenge for children. For treating eczema in adults, I recommend the 28 day program.

 

Get started today by using these gut healing solutions to relieve your child’s eczema:

 

PROBIOTICS

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG is a strain of probiotic that has excellent evidence in the prevention and relief of eczema. This study showed it reduced the condition by 50% during the first two years of life when given to pregnant women!

Probiotics reduce inflammation and support a healthy digestive and immune system. Probiotics can be safely given to infants and children to reduce and relieve symptoms of eczema.

Make sure you get one that has Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG in it (I like this one). They are easy to mix in to water, yoghurt or cereal.

 

ZINC AND VITAMIN C – boosts skin healing and reduces infections

Zinc is vital for healing skin and reducing secondary infections in broken skin. Add this supplement to your children’s yoghurt, smoothies, cereal or drink. (Hint: if they’re older, call it special sugar and they’ll be begging you for it.)

 

OMEGA 3s – anti-inflammatory and moisturising

Omega 3s are highly anti-inflammatory and improve skin integrity and moisture. If you have dry, itchy skin then you are lacking essential moisture from good fats like omega 3s and water. Omegas are easy to get into kids if you:

  • crumb your own fish fingers using deep sea fish
  • make some salmon patties for dinner or school lunches
  • add some nuts and seeds to their diet hidden in muffins, cakes and crumbed chicken or fish
  • add some good quality fish oil (this one’s my favourite) to their yoghurt, smoothies or milkshakes

 

HYDRATION

Drinking enough water is something that’s often overlooked but it’s so easy to fix! Make sure your children get enough water by adding some flavour for them:

  • Strawberries, lemon, limes are high in vitamin C which protects skin;
  • Watermelon is high in vitamin A which improves skin integrity;
  • Zinc and vitamin C powder mixes well in water or juice and gives them a concentrated dose of eczema fighting nutrients.

 

BREASTFEEDING

Prevention is always better than cure. If you are able to, breastfeeding provides a natural source of probiotics to your baby. This can reduce their risk of developing eczema. If you are unable to breastfeed, I recommend using this probiotic supplement for babies under 6 months and this one for those over 6 months. These supplements best replicate the probiotics naturally found in breast milk.

 

Like the sound of healing and reversing your eczema? Get my gut healing program for your child here.

 

Use these natural remedies to relieve the symptoms and treat the root cause of eczema. With 1 in 5 children developing eczema, it’s important to get on top of it and deal with it from the inside out to get the best results.

 

You can treat, heal and reverse eczema. Get started today >>

Don’t wait another day to start helping your baby feel better. You and your baby deserve a healthy gut!

Kate x

 

Image credit: iStock photos

Which baby formula is healthiest?

Post Updated April 2017

Which is the healthiest baby formula and which ones you should avoid?

This is the question every mum who finds themselves unable to breastfeed wrestles with. It’s never a decision made lightly. Careful thought and consideration goes into what you put into your little one’s mouth.

It’s horrendous when you can’t breastfeed. I remember vividly, sitting in my newborn’s room at 5am after a terrible night of him crying – hungry – and me not having enough breast milk for him. Exhausted, I was full of guilt and self-blame. Maybe I was still doing it wrong, maybe I just had to try harder, maybe if I could relax it would come. I tried in vain to help him attach, he was quiet for a moment, trying to suck the little milk that was there.

My cracked nipples were raw from our attempts to feed successfully and the pain was almost unbearable. My bit my lip as he sucked and tears streamed down my face. In the days to come, we tried EVERYTHING from nipple protectors, lactation consultants, everything I could devour on the internet, mum’s advice and every herbal remedy. I was pumping between feeds (which after 45 mins would get me a measly 15mL if I was lucky). We also had my son’s tongue tie cut even though everyone said it wasn’t the problem. But it was all useless.

He was starving and I couldn’t breastfeed him.

I’ve never failed at anything before. It’s a hollow feeling when you can’t feed your baby and you know that breast milk is best. It’s an overwhelming combination of self-blame, inadequacy, guilt, shame, failure and hopelessness. It’s lonely too, with a hungry, crying baby and a decision only you as a mother can make: to start giving your baby formula.

The first time my husband made a bottle and gave it to me to feed our son I’ll never forget. He gulped it down and was silent. For the first time in his little life he was satisfied. It was such a relief for me that I burst into tears. I silently thanked the universe that I had a supportive husband and the strength to make the hard decision to start formula feeding when all the experts said I should continue breastfeeding. Within days, he began putting on weight for the first time and he was so settled I felt more confident in my decision.

Why choosing a healthy baby formula is so important

When I first wrote this guide back in 2014, I’d been asked by other new mums and their friends about which infant formula I’d chosen and why. When I began talking about gut health and why it’s vital you get a formula that’s as close as possible to breast milk AND one that is as free from nasty ingredients as possible they stared blankly at me. Why, they asked?

The thing no-one tells you when you fall pregnant is the way your baby’s gut develops in the first few months after birth is absolutely essential to their long term health. Even the way they’re born has a huge impact on their gut health.

Did you know  that babies born via c-section have very different gut flora to those born vaginally. These differences in the way their gut flora develops contributes to increased risk of allergy, asthma and eczema in babies born through cesarean. Fascinating, right?

The same goes for formula-fed babies vs breast-fed babies. When your baby is born, his or her gut is completely sterile. Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed will determine what bacteria live in their gut. I’m going to go ahead and assume you want your baby’s gut to be as healthy as possible. That means they would have bifidobacteria infantis in their gut from birth and then from about 6 months, starting to introduce other types of probiotics like Lactobacillus Rhamnosus which specifically protects against developing eczema… which bottle fed babies are more prone to… are you starting to see connections too?

Researchers are focusing more and more on the gut microbiome (aka probiotics and bacteria in your gut) and finding out that it is VERY important to your health. They’ve found that “factors in breast milk influence the gut microbiota, which in turn sets up the immune system to have fewer chronic illnesses later in life.” (Read the full article here.)

As you can see from my comparison chart of baby formulas, not many formulas contain pre or probiotics which leaves me wondering, if you don’t add them in separately (like I did with my boys) how are these babies’ digestive and immune systems actually developing?!

How to choose the healthiest infant formula for your baby

This guide will help you sort out what ingredients are important to look for when choosing a baby formula and what ingredients you should avoid.

Before we dive in, there’s some details to mention so I don’t receive emails from probably well-meaning but confused individuals:

  • I believe breastfeeding is the healthiest option for your baby.
  • There are times when you cannot breastfeed no matter how hard you try.
  • Your baby’s health is your number one priority.
  • I’m not advocating formula feeding over breastfeeding.
  • I’m writing to help those who need to use formula. To offer support and guidance to choose the healthiest baby formula they can.
  • Just to reiterate: I am not suggesting that formula is healthier than breastfeeding.
  • The purpose of this article is not to discuss the virtues of different types of milk – cow’s, soy, lactose-free etc.
  • Brands I’ve analysed are all starter formulas for infants from birth. See end of post for full list.

There is not much information about the ingredients of Australian infant formulas and where they come from. Most have similar levels of vitamins and minerals but that’s not what we’re concerned with when it comes to the “healthiness” of baby formula.

Your guide to choosing the healthiest baby formula

Okay, let’s cut to the chase. Choosing a baby formula takes a lot of research – which I’ve done for you – you’re welcome 🙂 and I’m most concerned with making sure the product meets the following 7 standards:

Q1: Does the product contain genetically-modified (GM) ingredients?

Why it matters: we don’t know the long term effects of GM foods on our health. We don’t know if they contribute to illnesses or health conditions. The only brands that are GM-free Bellamy’s Organic Formula and Holle Organic Infant Formula.

Q2: Does the formula have harmful ingredients?

Why it matters: some infant formulas contain corn syrup and other ingredients known to cause liver dysfunction and obesity. Thankfully, these aren’t found usually in Australian baby formulas.

Q3: What is the percentage of whey vs casein in the formula?

Why it matters: human breast milk is around 60% whey and 40% casein. Cow’s milk is 40% whey and 60% casein. This means it needs to be changed before consumed by infants, they can’t digest it in its natural form. Look for the word “hydrolysed” in the ingredients’ lists. It means the milk protein casein particles are made much smaller and easier to digest.

Bellamys Organic Infant Formula, a2 Platinum, Aptamil Gold +,  and Karicare Plus use this naturally occurring 60:40 ratio.

Q4: What vegetable oils are used and where they come from?

Why it matters: vegetable oils are added to baby formula products because they contain fatty acids which are naturally found in breast milk. We need fatty acids for healthy development of our brain, eyes and just about every cell in our body.

Avoid canola oil if you can because it is predominantly grown as genetically modified (GM) canola and we don’t have enough information about the long term effects of GM foods. Soy is a GM product unless labelled otherwise.

Some of them use palm oil and I’ve contacted each company to find out whether it’s from a sustainable source or not because everyone love orangutans! If you don’t know what I’m talking about google “why is palm oil bad” and educate yourself on what’s happening to poor things.

It should be noted that soy oil contains no cholesterol which may seem like a good thing, except for the fact that infants need cholesterol to produce hormones and neurotransmitters.

Brands that use a non-GM oil – Bellamys Organic Infant Formula and Holle Organic.

Q5: Does the formula contain DHA or AA and what are the sources?

Why it matters: there’s some controversy surrounding the addition of DHA and AA (which are essential fats) in infant formula. I didn’t understand this at first as DHA is necessary for your baby’s developing brain. When I found out that it was because the DHA is produced using a potential neurotoxin – hexane – I understood. Eww.

Luckily, there’s two simple and healthy solutions to make sure your baby gets the nutrients their brain needs:

  1. You can simply add good quality liquid fish oil separately and more safely to your baby formula. I did this with both my babies and recommend it to other mums looking to supplement their baby formula. It’s important to know that you can only do this if your formula does NOT include DHA or AA already.

The only brand to not include DHA and AA is Bellamys Organic Infant Formula.

  1.  You can choose a formula that uses DHA from a safe fish oil source instead.

The only brand to use a fish oil based DHA is Opti-Gold Infant (can’t buy it online).

Q6: Does the baby formula contain any prebiotics or probiotics?

Why it matters: as I mentioned above, good probiotic bacteria is vital for your baby’s gut development and affects their long term health into adulthood (amazing it has such a long term impact!) so it’s really a no-brainer to get a formula with pre-/probiotics or add some in to your chosen baby formula like I did.

The brands that include either prebiotics or probiotics are: A2 Platinum, Aptamil Gold +, Aptamil Profutura, Blackmores Newborn, Nan Comfort 1 and Nan Pro Gold.

Q7: Do you need to add anything to the baby formula to make it more like breast milk?

Why it matters: sometimes, like in the above question, it’s important to add something after the formula is made because it’s safer. Other times, it’s about making your baby formula as close to breast milk as possible. This means adding DHA (if you choose a formula without DHA and AA) and adding probiotics. Find out which ones I recommend here. Probiotics are found in breast milk but are not often added to baby formulas. As we’ve mentioned already, good bacteria are crucial to your baby’s gut development and overall health so it’s an important factor to add to your formula to give your baby the best start possible.

See my full comparison chart here – no opt-in required!

Notes on a few other types of formula

There are several other types of formula and hopefully you never need to know these. But if you are looking for one of these, I recommend you speak to your pediatrician and GP to work out if one of these speciality formulas is appropriate for your baby. These should not be used without talking to your GP or pediatrician first.

  • Cow’s milk alternative formulas – there are a range of non-cow’s milk formulas on the market including goat’s milk and soy based formulas.
  • Anti-reflux formulas – these formulas contain thickening agents to help relieve symptoms of reflux and silent reflux in infants.
  • Lactose-free formulas – for babies allergic to lactose
  • Other speciality formulas – there are a few different products like ‘anti-constipation’ and ‘anti-colic’ etc. For example, Neocate is a pharmacy brand of hypoallergenic formulas.

So which baby formula did I choose for my little one?

I gave Charlie, my oldest son, Bellamy’s Organic Infant Formula, with added DHA and probiotics (this is the DHA and probiotics I used and recommend).

 

My younger son, Jesse had silent reflux and I had to put him on Aptamil Gold AR+ along with herbal medicine at each feed to calm his symptoms and allow him to feed without screaming and vomiting for hours… but that’s a story for another day. 🙂

If you are in the unfortunate position of needing a healthy baby formula for your infant, it’s okay. I’ve been there and it’s awful. But you’ll get through it and your baby will grow up healthy and happy. Healthy development and growth are vital in the early months of life (to a large extent before we’re born as well!) and choosing a formula wisely can benefit the long term health of your child.

An important note to finish on: if your baby doesn’t agree with your chosen formula, please change it! Regardless of whether it’s healthier or not, your baby needs to be able to easily digest and absorb the nutrients in their food. This was the situation I found myself in with Jesse and after I changed the formula and begun using some drops of herbal medicine, I was able to keep him off antacids and he was much happier after feeds.

I hope this article helps you in your search for a healthy baby formula for your little one. Click here to download my formula feeding resources with all the dosage instructions and brand names of the products I recommend.

Remember, you and your baby deserve to be healthy.

Kate x

Image credit: Kate Dalgleish

 

REFERENCES:

Which formulas did I research?

A2 Platinum

Aptamil Gold +

Aptamil Gold + HA

Aptamil ProFutura

Bellamys Organic Infant Formula

Blackmores Newborn Formula

​Heinz​ ​Nuture Gold

Heinz Nuture Original

Holle Organic Infant Formula

Nan​ ​H.A.1​ ​Gold

Nan OptiPro HA

Nan​ ​Pro​ ​Gold

Nature’s Way Kids Smart

Opti-Gold Infant Formula

S-26​ Newborn ​Gold

S-26 Gold Comfort

​S-26​ ​Original

SMA Baby Formula

Colic

Dietary advice for treating colic

If breastfeeding:

  • Avoid chocolate
  • Be careful with commercially produced homogenised and pasteurised cow’s milk (see above)
  • Cruciferous vegetables like asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and onions are all associated with both unsettled and colicky breastfed babies

If mixed feeding or formula feeding:

  • You may like to try non-cow’s milk based formulas

Natural home remedies can help relieve Colic

  • Gripe water – containing bicarbonate is a folk remedy that assists in relieving colic symptoms
  • Chamomile tea – make as normal with hot water and let cool completely before administering via a dropper to infant. 8 drops three times daily should be sufficient for infants. It can be given directly to infants or mixed with 5-10mL breast milk/formula.
  • Fennel seeds are a traditional folk remedy and Fennel is a known anti-spasmodic herb. Breastfeeding mothers can eat fennel seeds in their daily food routine. Fennel should only be given directly to infants under professional supervision.
  • Probiotics may also help your baby’s ability to digest and absorb food. Probiotics for infants under 6 months should only be used under professional supervision because there are only a few particular strains that are appropriate for infants. Most of these are available only through a healthcare professional. Please contact me for more information and to use these probiotics.

Healthy living tips for managing Colic

Keep the baby upright after feeding to help reduce symptoms.

Gently massage their tummy or back in a clockwise and circular motion will assist wind moving through the intestines.

Keep the tummy and back warm to promote wind moving through the body. A warm bath is perfect or holding them close to your body.

Place baby over your forearm facing downwards with their legs draped over your elbows. This will put some pressure on their tummies to help the wind move through the intestines. You can use your free hand to gently rub their back in a circular and clockwise motion.

Holding your baby against your chest with their head resting in the crook of your neck and speaking/murmuring very softly to them can be very soothing for both of you. The warmth of your body and the dull tones will feel like the womb for them. For some babies, a firm swaddle and this technique is perfect for sending them off to sleep and can be done sitting or standing and rocking.

The motions and bumps in a car ride often do wonders for colicky pain. If all else fails, jump in the car! A pram walk can have the same effect and is probably a better alternative if you’re looking to send them off to sleep.

Get on your bike! Lie your baby face up, resting on your thighs and pump their legs like they’re riding a bicycle. It will help to move gas and wind through the stomach and intestines. This action also helps with constipation.

If you need to – please take a break. Infants and children alike pick up on adult feelings – anxiety, distress and frustration. This will not help soothe them and it will not help you. Ask a friend or family member to help out for an hour or two. You’ll be surprised at how much it helps you.

 

Natural health care for relieving Infantile Colic

Infantile colic is usually defined with Wessel’s criteria, the “rule of three”:

  • crying for more than 3 hours a day,
  • for more than 3 days a week,
  • for more than 3 weeks.

Infants with colic are often diagnosed using this criteria but it is important that this criteria is applied to babies who are otherwise healthy, thriving and well-fed.

**Although it is normal for infants to cry for as much as 2 and 1/2 hours every day use the rule of 3 to decide if your baby’s crying is normal or may be colic related.

Why do babies get colic?

There are a number of theories around what might cause Colic in infants:

  • The theory of food allergy or intolerance causing colic is controversial and may be an exacerbating factor. There is some scientific evidence to back this up:
    • Maternal consumption of commercially produced cow’s milk is associated with colic in exclusively breastfed colicky infants.1
    • A “sensitisation of cow’s milk protein” is present and an exacerbating factor in up to one third of infants with colic.2 There are a number of studies that link this sensitisation to commercially produced cow’s milk.1
  • A hyper-excitability of the immature nervous system so that once crying has begun, the baby is unable to soothe itself.
  • According to several studies, the emotional state of a mother during pregnancy may influence the risk of developing infantile colic.4,1 Generalised anxiety in the mother during pregnancy has been associated with colic in infants.
  • The presence in the gut of appropriate levels of particular probiotic strains may help to relieve symptoms of colic by promoting digestion and less gas production in infants.5
  • System overload – similar to the hyper-excitability theory, the idea that a baby needs to have some down-time away from all the lights and sounds of the ‘outside womb world’ (including all the unfamiliar faces and smells of well-meaning friends and family!)

Be assured, your baby will grow out of colic. This usually happens by around 4 months.3 Until then, make them as comfortable as you can, use the home remedies listed below and seek professional advice from a Charlie’s Choice Naturopath for your own, individualised herbal medicine prescription and remember nothing you are doing is causing it.

Symptoms of colic are:

  • Lots of crying, a lot of the time and usually at the same time each day
  • The cry is often high-pitched, continuous and intense
  • Soothing is difficult once crying has begun
  • Grimacing facial expressions
  • Unable to soothe infant with feeding, changing, distracting, playing, cuddling, singing
  • Legs in a raised position with knees up toward tummy
  • Baby makes tight fists
  • Tummy feels firm or full of wind
  • Difficulty in passing wind/gas

 

Sources:

  1. Santich R & Bone K, 2008. Healthy Children – Optimising Children’s Health with Herbs Phytotherapy Press
  2. Jakobsson I et al, 1983. Pediatrics, 71(2); p 268-271
  3. Roberts D et al, 2004. Am Fam Phys, 70(4); p 735-740
  4. Caniver C et al, 2004. Int J Behav Med, 11(1); p 37-47
  5. Savino F et al, 2010. Pediatrics, 126(3); p e526-e533

Reflux

Natural health care for relieving infant reflux

Where an infant’s regurgitation and vomiting of breastmilk or formula begins to interfere with their happiness, weight gain or sleeping patterns.

  • Irregular feeds
  • Infant needs constant moving
  • Frequent and sometimes projectile vomiting
  • Persistent coughing and wheezing
  • Low resistance to colds
  • Persistent hiccups
  • Poor weight gain
  • Discomfort when eating – irritability, refusal to eat, arches back or pushes away from breast/bottle

Dietary advice for relieving infant reflux

Offer small, frequent feeds instead of larger, more spaced out feeds, (demand feeding may work well).

Do not over feed as this will result in more pain and vomiting.

If breastfeeding: avoid chocolate, broccoli, cauliflower and onions as these can exacerbate symptoms.

Healthy living tips for managing infant reflux

Try to keep the baby upright and still after feeding to help reduce symptoms.

 

 

control your IBS
Life Space Probiotic for Baby 60g

Infant Constipation

Dietary advice for relieving infant constipation

 

If over 6 months and eating solids:

  • Offer water from a sippy cup
  • Add stewed pear or apple added to rice cereal, with yoghurt (Jalna, Chobani or Vaalia are good choices) or on its own.
  • If still constipated after 2 days, add 1-2 stewed prunes/dates with the above stewed fruit.
  • Offer foods that help with gut flora balance including – yoghurt, bananas, broccoli and asparagus. Download your free pdf All About Probiotics and learn how improving your gut flora can improve immunity and reduce the risk of developing asthma and eczema.

 

If under 6 months and/or not eating solids:

  • It’s important not to over feed. Consult your maternal health care nurse or call the 24 hour Maternal Child Health Line on 13 22 29 for a guide on how much to feed your baby.

Healthy living tips for managing infant constipation

Keeping your little one active is not hard – they’re often hard to keep still! Ensure they are moving around and playing as much as possible.

Dress them in loose clothing so they are free to move their legs and bellies.

Help them by “riding their bike” – lie them on their back and push their legs around like they are cycling. They’ll enjoy the action and attention and you’ll enjoy it helping their digestion along.

 

Natural health care for relieving infant constipation

It is common for infants to pass more than 2 bowel motions daily.

There is no real set pattern for infant bowel motions.

It is best to go off your baby’s typical pattern of bowel motions when determining whether or not they are constipated.

Constipation for an infant may be passing a bowel motion only once a day. It may be the infant not passing a bowel motion every day.

Each child is different and it is common for infants to pass more than 2 bowel motions daily.

If there are less frequent motions on a regular basis, the baby may be constipated.

It could be a noticeable change in their regular motions:

  • Becoming harder
  • More pebbly
  • Difficulty in passing a motion
  • Straining and making noises
  • Discomfort before a bowel motion