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Homeopathy 101 for Babies

So here’s the scoop, homeopathic in a nutshell:

Take one part of something (in our case chamomile flowers) and grind it and put in smidge of alcohol to suspend it (Make it liquid).  Take one drop of that and add 99 drops of water.  Shake vigorously (succus) 100 times.

Take one drop from that vial and add 99 drops of water.  Again shake vigorously.

To get a 6C potency you do that 6 times.

To get a 30C potency you do that 30 times.

To get a 200 C potency you do that 200 times.  ( a long process!!)

Once you get past avogrado’s number which is something like 5 times, there is no original chemistry there.  Just the energetic signature of the plant or animal or mineral that was first ground.  If you use a very sensitive lab test you can tell that the water is different from the beginning.

Drop one drop of that on milk sugar pellets or other pellets and put in vial and sell as homeopathic chamomila.

Hope that makes sense.

Most babies are either Chamomilla babies or Pulsatilla.  How do you know who you’ve got?

Chamomilla babies often get colic.  They feel better when bounced up and down and they also are never happy with whatever you are doing for more than 20 minutes.  They get soothed for the first 20 minutes and then they need something else.

Pulsatilla babies like to be held most of the time.  They can also later (can be 6 months, can be 30 years) show a real independent streak.  Like I can do this on my own…now I am falling apart, hold me.

The remedy can be found online or in health food stores.  If you baby is under 6 months you want to crush one 30 c pellet between 2 spoons and place the powder on the tongue so they suck on it.  The point is to suck on the homeopathic to let the energetics support the child’s energetics.

Teas to Support & Nourish Your Pregnancy

Teas to support you throughout the pregnancy:

If you are interested in herbs do get Aviva Romm’s Natural Pregnancy book for some great insights and recipes. Otherwise you can trust Traditional Medicinal or Yogi Tea’s mama tea blends or go for singles. 

1. Red Raspberry leaf tea: (to strengthen the uterus) weak at first and as you get into 3rd trimester make it darker and darker…this herb has been used to prevent miscarriage and to reduce naseau for eons.  Best used from beginning of pregnancy on.

“Red raspberry leaf tea, 2 cups daily, on the other hand, is know to be safe in pregnancy, and several studies have now shown that taking it regularly in the last trimester can make labor easier, reduces the need for medical interventions in labor, and makes baby less likely to need any resuscitation. I’d say that this makes it a great herb to use for getting ready for birth! ”

– Aviva Romm, MD

2. Nettle Tea: provides some iron, increases milk production, decrease hemorrhoids.

3. Chamomile Tea: only if not allergic to ragweed and only 3 cups a day if no history of miscarriage, otherwise limit to 1 cup a day. *For electrolyte balancing: symptoms can be leg cramps, severe vomiting, generally yuk and sense of never enough water or endless urination drink

4. Recharge, Smart Water or your own blend : 1 quart of water, juice of one lemon, 1­2 T of honey, 1/4 t of salt, 1/4 t of baking soda…sip through out the day.

5. For hormone balancing: Rose hydrosol (also known as rosewater…found in gourmet, Indian or Middle Eastern stores) helps with hormonal headaches and feeling that you are overrun by emotions.  Add 1 Tablespoon of rosewater to a large pitcher of water and sip throughout the day (also great for postpartum blues and hot-flashes).

New Mom’s Release for Neck & Shoulders

One of the many wonders of new motherhood is gazing into your baby’s eyes.  As you bond with them, your neck can sometimes get cranky with you.  Here are two relatively easy poses for releasing neck and shoulders, and this helps with opening the chest and milk ducts too!

armupwall.chestexpanderseq.pdfarmupwall.chestexpanderseq.pdfarmupwall.chestexpanderseq.pdf

and on my youtube page find the video of the on the floor or bed chest opener.

Holistic Treatment : Fevers & Illness

Illness can be a time of growth, a time to take space to allow the entire body/mind system to come to a new organization. If fever is present giving the #4 (Ferr Phos 6X) cell salt will support the system to spike the fever to stop the proliferation of bacteria or virus present in the system.

This article from Mothering Magazine gives a great perspective on fever and illness (filled with lots of helpful hints)!

Healing Crisis: Don’t Worry Mom, I’m Just Growing!
By Melissa L. Block
Issue 119, July/August 2003

Editor’s note: This article features the ideas, knowledge, and advice of Dr. Philip Incao, MD. Dr. Incao received his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1966. Dissatisfied with the limitations of modern medicine, he spent two years in Europe studying anthroposophic medicine, which he has practiced since 1973, first in rural upstate New York, and then for the last seven years in Denver, Colorado. Anthroposophic medicine was founded in the early 1920s by medical doctor Ita Wegman in collaboration with Rudolph Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education and anthroposophy. According to Dr. Incao, anthroposophic medicine or, as he likes to call it, “Steiner holistic medicine,” is “based on a marriage of our rational thinking with our deeper intuitive faculties to foster a growing understanding of the human spirit’s role in health and illness.” Dr. Incao was the first president of the Physicians’ Association for Anthroposophic Medicine (PAAM) in the US . He lectures frequently nationwide, is a consultant to many Waldorf schools throughout the US , and is a member of the advisory boards of Alive and Well AIDS Information Network in Los Angeles , the National Vaccine Information Center in Virginia , and the Foundation for Health Choice in Washington , DC .

Long before my now-almost-three-year-old daughter, Sarah, was even a twinkle in my eye, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Philip Incao, one of only a handful of American physicians who openly question the safety of vaccinations as well as other conventional medical practices. I left the meeting with a fat folder full of Dr. Incao’s writings and the scientific studies that supported his arguments. Once I began to pore over them, I couldn’t stop. Not only did Dr. Incao make perfect sense of the baffling rise in all kinds of chronic disease in American children; he also revealed to me the reasons I had suffered from so many bouts of strep throat and lung infections during my own childhood-and how the conventional ways in which those illnesses were treated had led to my adult battles with asthma and allergies.

With the guidance of the Santa Barbara Midwives, I birthed Sarah at home-16 days post-date-right into my husband’s hands. She weighed 9 pounds, 12 ounces and looked not in the least bit like a newborn. As I sat around the house in my robe, nursing and sleeping, regaining my strength, falling in love with this brand new person, the realization that she was mine to protect hit me hard. Pondering the vaccination question again, I wondered how to best support her health? I didn’t want her to fall prey to any microbe that came her way. I decided to call Dr. Incao.

By the time I hung up the phone, I felt confident. He had given me common-sense advice: don’t take your baby out in crowds while she’s small; when you do take her out, keep her close to you, in your arms or in a sling; keep her warm; breastfeed her exclusively for the first six months; put her to bed early; don’t overstimulate her. He told me how to deal with fever, and how to support my baby’s body through whatever illnesses might come along. Most important, he helped me to recast my ideas about what illness is-that it isn’t something to be dreaded or even to always be avoided. Instead, he encouraged me to regard feverish illness as a sign that my child’s body was developing the ability to heal itself.

Sarah had a bout of mastitis at the age of one month, for which I unquestioningly gave her the penicillin and Tylenol the pediatrician prescribed; even the midwife I spoke with agreed that this type of infection had to be dealt with in this way, and once we started the medication, it cleared up quickly. Over a year passed before Sarah fell ill again. One afternoon, she woke from a nap and refused to nurse. She was burning with fever, listless, and vomiting frothy white mucus. I feared the worst. Meningitis? Some virulent strain of flu? I took her temperature and called the pediatrician’s office. They asked me a few questions and concluded that Sarah probably didn’t need to be brought in. I hung up the phone and lay there with her for hours as she slept, waking every so often to vomit. We went to bed; I cuddled her hot little body to mine until morning, worrying that we were in for days of more of the same.

Morning came, and when she woke, she was her smiling, rambunctious self again. I could have wept for joy: her immune system was so powerful. I knew then that I had made the right decision.

My parents believed-as did most parents of their generation-that illness was an enemy to be eradicated by any means necessary. As soon as I began to show the slightest symptoms as a child, I was toted to the doctor’s office and given antibiotics. By the time I was in my twenties, I had developed severe asthma and allergies. Today, I believe that this is because those natural childhood illnesses were never allowed to run their course.

Now I know that symptoms are not illness; rather, they are signs that the healing process is beginning. When we suppress symptoms-when we interrupt what Dr. Incao calls the healing crisis-we prevent our children’s bodies from healing.

Ending the War on Disease
Healing is commonly described in metaphorical terms, and the images those metaphors evoke have a strong influence on the way we heal. The metaphors of healing that pervade Western medicine today are those of war and battle. We fight illness and doctors treat illness aggressively. We declare war against cancer. We eradicate infection with our arsenal of pharmaceutical weapons. While this war against disease has provided us with treatments that can be lifesaving, it has also created the mindset that illness is always bad, and that health is a state of complete freedom from illness.

Germs have become the scapegoat in this metaphorical war against disease. If we can rout out those dastardly microbes that cause our children to fall ill-if we can kill them off with antibiotics or antiviral drugs, prevent them from ever taking hold with vaccines, and quickly relieve symptoms whenever they do affect our children-then shouldn’t we expect those children to enjoy nothing less than a state of glowing good health?

For anyone who is paying attention to the health of children in developed nations, the answer to this question is a resounding “No.” In 1960, 1.8 percent of American children suffered from chronic (i.e., lasting longer than three months), activity-limiting conditions such as asthma, neurological and learning dysfunction, autoimmune diseases (including Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis), diabetes, and cancer; by 1995, this figure had increased more than threefold, to 6.5 percent, and it continues to rise. (Today’s adults are also more prone to chronic health problems: more than 100 million Americans suffer from some sort of chronic disease.) Conventional medicine has been unable to satisfactorily explain this rise in chronic disease incidence, and offers no cures-only more symptom-suppressing medications.

Traditional Medicine’s Definition of Health
The metaphors used by more traditional healing practices, such as Chinese medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, and Ayurveda, are metaphors of balance. According to these medical models, illness isn’t caused by an invasion of unfriendly germs, but rather is a result of our bodies being out of balance. Treating illness isn’t about eradicating a microbe or feeling better right away, but about gently guiding the body back to its natural balance point so that it can heal itself.

Imbalance is a natural consequence of growth and change, which are at their height during the years of early childhood. And while the illnesses that take hold during childhood can be uncomfortable, they are an indispensable part of the growth and change children’s bodies undergo. The duty of the pediatrician and the parent is to support the child’s body in ways that facilitate its return to a balanced state. If the measures used to correct imbalances are overzealous, the scales can easily be tipped too far in the opposite direction. This is what happens when an obstetrician uses overly aggressive medical measures to bring a baby into the world, or when a physician recommends antibiotics, vaccines, and other drugs when they aren’t really needed.

A child’s body is remodeled over and over again between birth and adulthood, and every change requires not only the building of new tissues but the demolition of old ones. The immune system does this work, targeting and breaking down outworn or foreign materials and expelling them from the body. Studies of children have shown that respiratory infections steadily increase in frequency from birth, peak around the age of six, and decline sharply after age seven. This pattern is seen in the majority of children, regardless of how those infections are treated. In other words, these illnesses appear to be a normal feature of childhood. They are an intrinsic part of the development of a healthy and active immune system, just as bumps and bruises are an intrinsic part of learning to walk, climb, and run.

Fever, mucus production, vomiting, rash, and diarrhea are among the immune system’s most important tools for cleansing the body. When you suppress these symptoms with medication, you’re sending those wastes and toxins more deeply into your child’s body, where they will be stored indefinitely-or until her immune system rallies again in an attempt to be rid of them. This is why children so often have runny noses, productive coughs, rashes, diarrhea, fever, and episodes of vomiting: their immune systems are actively working, pushing wastes and toxins out to make way for the growth of new tissues.

One five-year-old patient of Dr. Incao’s demonstrated his intuitive understanding of this process when, at the peak of his illness, he said to his concerned mother, “Don’t worry, Mom-I’m just growing!” Another child admonished his mother when she came at him with some Tylenol: “No medicine yet-I’m almost finished.”

Germs Precipitate the Healing Crisis
Fever, mucus production, rashes, ear pain, and sore throats are all caused by the same immune response: inflammation. In fact, referring to colds, bronchitis, flu, and other common childhood ailments as infections-the result of contamination by or contact with disease-producing matter-is a misnomer. Our bodies are constantly exposed to and contain all manner of bacteria and viruses, but these make us sick only once in a while. When we hear the word infection, we tend to picture nasty, sharp-toothed, microscopic creatures intent on harming us.

Children’s illnesses are more accurately referred to as acute inflammations. If it’s red, painful, swollen, and hot, it’s inflamed. All of these characteristics of acute inflammation are caused by the immune system shifting into high gear, focusing its considerable energies on reestablishing a state of balance in the body. Acute childhood inflammations are not solely the result of malicious bacteria or viruses, but also of the inherent wisdom of your child’s body in recognizing when it’s time to clean house, get rid of the old and outworn, and make room for new, healthy tissues. Germs are a necessary link in the chain of feverish childhood illnesses, but they are not the first link: before they become active enough to cause symptoms, they require sustenance in the form of wastes and debris naturally produced by a growing body.

Each fever and acute inflammation is like a labor pain. While it’s hard to welcome and embrace the intense discomfort of a contraction, each one brings you closer to holding your baby in your arms. Each fever and inflammation is trying to bring to birth a new balance in your child, helping her to make a new step in her development. (I noticed a definite developmental leap right after my daughter’s last illness. Dr. Incao has seen this happen over and over again with his pediatric patients.)

Our role as caregivers is not only to remove discomfort, but also to provide a warm, supportive, and positive atmosphere-exactly the sort of environment ideal during labor and childbirth. Antibiotics, aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, and other medications that suppress symptoms do so by suppressing the inflammatory response of the immune system. The result is that the symptoms subside before the illness has worked its way out of the body. Either the inflammation will return, or the debris the immune system was attempting to get rid of will settle more deeply into the body, eventually increasing the tendency toward allergies, asthma, and autoimmune disease.

Dr. Incao emphasizes that the selective and appropriate use of antibiotics can be very helpful-even lifesaving-when the “cleansing fires” of inflammation and fever threaten to burn the proverbial house down. Most of the time, however, they are used neither selectively nor appropriately. Doctors may prescribe them only because they feel the parents expect them to; parents demand them because they fear the illness will worsen otherwise; and, for the most part, neither parents nor physicians know about the cleansing and healing methods Dr. Incao uses successfully for treatment of most feverish illnesses. (These methods are described later in this article and in the sidebars.)

There is very little evidence, on the other hand, that anti-inflammatory medications (including Tylenol, aspirin, and ibuprofen) do any real good when a child is ill. They may briefly make the child more comfortable, but their potential side effects far outweigh their benefits. Parents trying to keep their children comfortable by giving them Tylenol every four hours around the clock have ended up unwittingly causing those children liver damage. Frequent use of Tylenol has also been linked to increased risk of asthma in children.1 If aspirin is given to a child with a viral illness, a potentially deadly side effect called Reye’s syndrome can be the result. The use of ibuprofen in treating children with bacterial infections has been linked to increased risk of complications.2

The Protective Power of Childhood Illnesses
Acute inflammations in childhood protect against chronic, low-grade inflammations such as asthma and allergies later on. Excessive use of vaccines, antibiotics, and anti-fever medications compromise the ability of the immune system to create healing inflammations. Studies have shown that when the number of childhood fevers and inflammations is higher, the child’s risk of chronic inflammatory conditions later in life-including asthma, allergy, and eczema-is lower.3 These slow-burning, chronic inflammations never heat up enough to push toxins out of the body, and strong evidence exists that vaccinated children are at greater risk of these conditions because their ability to create powerful inflammations is reduced.

In a study conducted by the Developmental Delay Registry, a nonprofit organization of parents and clinicians who suspect that there may be a relationship between increasing immune problems, antibiotic use, and developmental delays in children, a multinational survey of 696 children revealed that those with developmental delays were 50 percent more likely to have been on continuing, prophylactic rounds of antibiotics.4

Helping Your Child through a Healing Crisis
Dr. Incao has been a family doctor practicing anthroposophic medicine since 1973. An extension of conventional Western medicine that was developed by Austrian scientist Rudolf Steiner and a group of European physicians in the 1920s, anthroposophy is based on a spiritual model of the human being-the same model on which the Waldorf system of education is based. It takes a holistic view of illness and health, embracing both the spiritual and the physical in its healing practices. While conventional pharmaceuticals may be used when necessary, anthroposophic treatments usually apply common-sense comfort measures-the kind your great-grandmother probably used-along with homeopathic remedies and other natural therapies designed to encourage the body’s innate healing processes.

The following cleansing and detoxification recommendations have been proven time and again in more than 80 years of anthroposophic medical practice around the world, and in Dr. Incao’s medical practice of 30 years. Once you begin to apply them with your own children, you will find it easier to discern whether they need the help of medications or can make it through without them.

At the first sign of acute inflammation, fever, ear ache, or sore throat, Dr. Incao recommends that you cleanse the child’s bowels, unless diarrhea is already present. For children older than one year, give a glycerin rectal suppository or one-half to one adult bisacodyl (Dulcolax) suppository (not available in pediatric sizes). Keep the cleansing going throughout the illness by giving a dose of milk of magnesia once a day for three to five days. Children from one to five years of age should take one to two tablespoons or two to four tablets; children five to 12 years of age should take two to three tablespoons or four to six tablets; and children over 12 and adults should take four tablespoons or six to eight tablets. If your child won’t take milk of magnesia, try the flavored kind, or give prune juice or stewed prunes instead. Infants under the age of one can drink weak fennel tea and diluted juices from stewed organic apricots and prunes, or can be given an infant glycerin rectal suppository. Give the child lots of warm herb teas, especially horsetail (equisetum), which cleanses the kidneys. All of these remedies are designed to support the natural drive within the child’s body to expel wastes and toxins-to flush out what’s no longer needed and make way for the building of new tissues.

Dress your child warmly. Toxins accumulate faster, and viruses and bacteria grow more quickly, in a body that is not adequately warmed. The child should wear layered natural fibers and wool socks, weather permitting. In traditional medical practices, fever is considered a helpmate that “burns out” illness, and for good reason. Warmth supports increased immune activity and creates an atmosphere that is less hospitable for bacterial and viral growth. This is the reason fever exists.

When a fever is cooled with medications or the body is not properly supported with warm clothing and rest during illness, immune activity slows down. During a fever, you’ll know your child is wearing enough clothing when his cheeks are red and his hands and feet are warm, but not perspiring. If the child is very uncomfortable and restless, wet a washcloth with tepid water and arnica tincture (you should be able to  find this at your local natural food store or vitamin shop) or lemon juice. Avoid undressing a feverish child from the neck to the knees, but rub the arms, legs, and head vigorously with the damp cloth until the skin turns red. This will help dissipate excess body heat through the skin. Remember that restlessness and irritability during a fever are caused by circulating toxins that need to be released. The body, in its wisdom, wants to be hot in order to digest and eliminate these toxins.

Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, and Dr. Merryman
The next time your child has or is coming down with any type of acute inflammation, cold, or fever, before you reach for the liquid Tylenol, think about this advice, attributed to author William Bullein: “The best  doctors are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, and Dr. Merryman.”

Dr. Diet Laboratory studies have shown that eating little or no food during an illness literally activates the  immune system’s function, so don’t pressure a child who isn’t hungry to eat during an illness. When she becomes hungry, offer her vegetable broth or vegetable soup, herb tea, fruit juice, grains, or light crackers. Avoid protein-rich foods (meat, eggs, beans, fish, nuts) for the duration of the acute illness; if she is no longer nursing, avoid dairy products as well. Definitely avoid giving any refined sugar, which hampers immune function significantly. It is a good sign when your child’s appetite returns, but the illness may not be over yet, so keep meals light for another day or so. Your child will naturally regain any weight he or she has lost. Reintroduce protein foods gradually once you’re sure the illness is over.

Dr. Quiet Most adults crave peace and quiet while ill, and find that they are disturbed by noises that normally wouldn’t bother them. Children have the same need while ill, but rarely express it. Out of boredom, they will tend to ask to watch television or videotapes or play videogames-all overstimulating for a sick child, especially a younger one. Explain that illness is a time to relax completely and allow one’s body to repair and renew itself in a peaceful, supportive environment.

If at all possible, be there for your child during his illness in an unhurried, reassuring way. Keep him quietly under covers in bed or on the couch, away from any hustle and bustle, and encourage him to sleep as much as possible. Read to him or talk quietly  together. These times can be wonderful opportunities for renewed communication and bonding between parent and child.

Dr. Merryman Articles about “fever phobia” have appeared now and again in pediatric medical journals. This unreasoning and unwarranted fear of fever has prevented many a child from undergoing a needed healing crisis. Although a merry attitude about your child’s fever may seem far-fetched at first, it helps to keep reminding yourself that the fever is the child’s protector, doing what needs to be done to naturally restore balance in his or her body.

Fear is a natural response to powerful forces that we do not understand, and acute fever and inflammation are poorly understood and powerful forces indeed. When fear gains the upper hand, clear vision and judgment go out the window. If we can master our fear and sit calmly and reassuringly with our children when they are ill, observing them carefully, there is much we can learn. We may find that our fear gives way to a healthy respect for the changes that emerge through the ebb and flow of our children’s healing crises.

Dr. Incao tells the story of one mother who had been very proud of her daughter’s complete freedom from feverish illness-until the girl was brought to see Dr. Incao for evaluation of her recurrent eczema. Once the mother understood what was going on in her child’s body and realized that, in order to heal the eczema, her daughter actually needed to get sick-in other words, to fully undergo the healing crisis of feverish illness-the girl promptly developed an illness that took care of the problem.

In other words: It’s never too late to implement these healing practices. Even if your child is fully vaccinated, has had several courses of antibiotics, and has taken other drugs to suppress symptoms, once you create a warmer environment for your child, her body will respond by flushing out toxins during illnesses. Nature is forgiving; even if healing crises have been suppressed repeatedly, a change in approach usually brings about exactly the healing crisis a child’s body needs. For that matter, I’m hoping that my own body will respond this way when I bundle up during my next illness-so that I can be free of the chronic health problems I’ve tried so hard to spare my daughter from.

NOTES
1. S. O. Shaheen, et al., “Frequent Paracetamol Use and Asthma in Adults,” Thorax 55 (2000): 266-270.
2. “Doctors Warn of Painkiller Link to Flesh-Eating Disease,” National News , New Zealand Press Association, February 1, 2001; www.vaccinationnews.com.
3. C. Bodner, et al., “Childhood Exposure to Infection and Risk of Adult Onset Wheeze and Atopy,” Thorax 55, no. 5 (2000): 383-387.
4. “Child Developmental Delay Study Notes Role of Vaccine Reactions,” “Vaccine Reaction,” 1, no. 3 (July 1995).

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Crocetti, M., et al. “Fever Phobia Revisited: Have Parental Misconceptions About Fever Changed in 20 Years?” Pediatrics 107, no. 6 (June 2001): 1241-1246.

Greenstone, Sandra. Healing at Home. Ann Arbor , MI : Healing At Home Resources, 1999.

Lemer, Patricia S. “Link between Antibiotics and Developmental Delays in Children.” Developmental Delay Registry, Silver Spring , MD. www.waldorflibrary.org/Journal_Articles/GW3413.pdf.

Leviton, Richard. “The Promise of Anthroposophical Medicine.” East West Journal (July 1988): 54.

Martinez , F. D. “Role of Viral Infections in the Inception of Asthma and Allergies During Childhood: Could They Be Protective?” Thorax 49 (1994): 1189-1191.

Murphy, Christine, ed. The Vaccination Dilemma. New York : Lantern Books, 2002.

Newacheck, P. W., et al. “Trends in Activity-Limiting Chronic Conditions Among Children.” American Journal of Public Health 76, no. 2 (1986): 178-181.

Odent, M., et al. “Pertussis Vaccination and Asthma: Is There a Link?” Journal of the American Medical Association 272 (1994): 588.

Paffenbarger, R. S., et al. “Characteristics in Youth Indicative of Adult-onset Hodgkin’s Disease.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 58, no. 5 (May 1977): 1489.

Ronne, T. “Measles Virus Infection Without Rash in Childhood is Related to Disease in Adult Life.” The Lancet 8419, no. 1 (1985): 1-5.

Shaheen, S. O., et al. “Frequent Paracetamol Use and Asthma in Adults.” Thorax 55 (2000): 266-270.

Thompson, N. P., et al. “Is Measles Vaccination a Risk Factor for Inflammatory Bowel Disease?” The Lancet 345 (1995): 1071-1074.

Warden, C. R., et. al. “Evaluation and Management of Febrile Seizures in the Out-of-Hospital and Emergency Department Settings.” Annals of Emergency Medicine 41, no. 2 (Feb 2003): 215-222.

For more information about childhood diseases, see the following past issues of Mothering: “Fever in Children,” no. 95; “Natural Remedies for Childhood Diseases,” no. 77; “Natural Remedies for Winter Illnesses,” no. 69; and “Unvaccinated Children,” no. 42.

None of the suggestions in this article are meant to replace the advice of your personal doctor.

Me lissa L. Block, MEd, is a freelance writer on health and nutrition who lives in Santa Barbara , California . She and her husband, Patrick Block, have two children: Sarah Irene (2 1/2) and a baby boy, due soon.

 

Opening Milk Ducts

Whether you are tight in neck, chest and back from being hunched over from nursing a newborn or you are having issues with clogged ducts or mastitis, these poses can be very helpful.

Opening the upper back, neck and shoulders opens the chest and allows the milk to flow.  Do not be surprised if you start leaking while doing the poses, it only means it is working!

armupwall.chestexpanderseq.pdf

armupwall.chestexpanderseq.pdf

armupwall.chestexpanderseq.pdf

Birth Process…How do I know?

Here is my advice and knowledge:

0-4 cms (some say 6 cms) is Prodromal Labor

  • Timings of contractions are anywhere from 20 minutes apart to 5 minutes apart…and it can jump around
  • Physical-uterus gets tight and there is tightness at top of uterus too when you have a contraction
  • What to do-stay home as long as you can, learn how to ride the waves of the contractions, be prepared to go when you don’t have enough hot water to take showers to relax or when contractions are somewhere between 5-1-1 and 3-1-1 

4-7 cms

  • Timings: contractions become regular, as if you can set a watch to it, generally 5 mins apart to start
  • Physical Quality of contraction changes. Usually at about 4 cms you need to be focusing on breathing into contraction when it happens where before you didn’t have to. You may not be able to talk during a contraction due to focusing.
  • What to do– begin thinking about how to gracefully transition into next location if there is one. Ie, going to the hospital or if birthing at home getting into the labor tub or ?? “Water” (amniotic fluid) can Break anytime (this is the fluid that the baby pees out. Sometimes before contractions start, sometimes after the baby is fully out. This can be a small rip and act like a leak or it can be the Hollywood gush like a broken pickle jar. If water breaks before labor starts then drink lots of water so the baby has fluid to relax in and contractions have some cushioning.

7-10 cms is transition

  • Timings-usually about 3 mins apart going to closer together
  • Physical-Quality of contractions change and getting into cat position can be quite helpful
  • What to do-as the adrenaline kicks in remember that energy is what you will use to help the baby Trust your body and baby to know “what to do” DNA carries the information transition all the way through the birth canal

Baby travelling down canal

  • Timings-contractions can often get longer apart
  • Physical – Quality of contraction changes try different position and trust your body to tell you what is working
  • What to do– Breathe, follow the body’s urges and remember that the baby is working as well to come out…it is not all up to mom. Baby can hear and know dad’s voice so dad can send encouraging words to baby. Nurse baby as soon as possible for best latch, best within 1 hour as they get sleepy from all the work they did to be born.

Ten Tips for Talking with your doctor about Vaccines by Aviva Romm, MD

TEN TIPS FOR TALKING WITH YOUR CHILD’S DOCTOR ABOUT VACCINATIONS by Aviva Romm, MD

The topic of immunizations can be emotional — and confusing — for parents and doctors caring for children. Many parents have heard horror stories about the dangers of vaccinations; many doctors have seen frightening consequences of illness in unvaccinated children. Mutual understanding is therefore essential.

While most doctors would prefer to vaccinate all children, many are increasingly sensitive to parents’ concerns about childhood vaccinations. Many doctors feel that it is better to provide some childhood vaccinations than none at all, and to keep parents coming to the doctor rather than having patients turn their back on medical care altogether.

In response to this, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), whose guidelines are followed by pediatricians and family doctors, has encouraged doctors to engage in a respectful conversation with parents concerned about immunizations rather than disregard their worries. Pediatricians are encouraged to listen carefully and respectfully to parents’ concerns, recognizing that parents may not use the same decision criteria as the physician and may weigh evidence differently than does the physician.

The AAP advises pediatric providers to help parents make the best possible decisions based on the child’s unique circumstances, working with the parents to create a vaccine schedule and choice of vaccines with which they can feel comfortable. While the AAP recommends the full, conventional vaccine schedule, according to AAP guidelines, children should not be penalized by loss of medical care based on their parents’ choices.

Here are 10 tips for easing the immunization conversation with your child’s doctor:

  1. Interview pediatricians and family doctors (both care for kids from birth to adulthood!) BEFORE you have your baby to find a like-minded doctor for your child. If you already have a doctor but cannot come to a respectful agreement about vaccinations, it may be better to find another provider; it is important to have good quality communication with your child’s care provider.
  2. Start with the premise that your doctor went into family medicine or pediatrics because s/he loves kids and genuinely has your child’s best interest in mind, even if your ideas of “what’s best” are different. Let your doctor know you believe s/he has your kiddo’s best interest in mind, that you have some questions and concerns about vaccines, and that you would like to understand the doctor’s perspective on vaccinations, and that you would like to share yours.
  3. Set up an appointment solely to discuss vaccinations with your child’s doctor prior to when your child’s first immunizations would be given. This allows you and the doctor plenty of time to talk, rather than trying to squeeze your concerns into an already full well-child visit.
  4. Explain to your child’s doctor that you want to have an effective partnership for the optimal care of your child.
  5. Respectfully and calmly, rather than emotionally, let the doctor know that you would like to use an alternative model of vaccinations; whether delaying the start of vaccinations, stretching out the schedule, or omitting some of the vaccines.
  6. Ask your child’s doctor what s/he knows about alternative immunization schedules and what alternatives s/he can recommend and support.
  7. If you have specific concerns about 1-2, or several vaccinations, or about vaccination ingredients, such as preservatives, explain this clearly, stating that you would, in fact, like to give most of the vaccines, and also explaining which you’d like to omit.
  8. Let the physician know that you are willing to document your decision to alternatively vaccinate or to refuse vaccinations by signing a waiver.
  9. Ask your child’s doctor for information on what to look out for and what to do should your child be exposed to an infectious disease.
  10. Welcome an on-going conversation about vaccinations with your child’s doctor, but respectfully ask that you not be pressured about your decisions at each visit.

 

Aviva has a book on vaccines as well as a thorough website http://avivaromm.com/ on creating and maintaining your families health.

Creating Space, Continued

This is an arm up the wall sequence that is very helpful for creating space in the torso, but also releasing neck and chest tension.  This can be very helpful for nursing mothers, especially if there is a tendency for clogged milk ducts and mastitis.

 

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Centered While Waiting

Parenting, it’s not all smiles and warm fuzzies. There is a lot of that, BUT a lot of parenting is trying to stay centered and embodied enough to know HOW and WHEN to respond to your little person’s life and decisions.  It’s easy to get off center and so its important to get to know what works for YOU to get back on center. Just like in meditation it is a process of being aware when you are off center and then knowing how to find center again.

In the case of birth we have a 5 week window from 37 weeks (early term labor) to 40 weeks (term labor) to 42 weeks (late term labor) in which we can expect the child to decide it is time to be born.  All we can really do is keep ourselves healthy, remember to breathe, take care of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally while we wait to RESPOND to their actions.

This is great preparation for the rest of our parenting lives.  Once they are out we can SUPPORT them, but we can’t really make them do much…burping, farting, pooping, none of this happens on cue.  As they get older it becomes sometimes even more challenging to let them do their thing and then know how to support them in their process and stay centered in OUR OWN PROCESS.  Our children come as blank slates, but with a lot to teach us.  If we can stay centered then we can LEARN from them and SHARE in their joys and sorrows.

Natural Support for The Immune System

Cell Salts are a great way to deal with being  surrounded by folks with cold and flu. They can help boost your immune system naturally.

CELL SALTS are Homeopathically prepared from basic mineral compounds that cells depend on. They are small pellets for water or juice.

Take 2 pellets of the #5 cell salt (Kali Mur) at least 3 times a day.  This supports the body/mind system to lessen inflammation which lessens your chance of “catching something”.

If you do feel something coming on take the #4 cell salt (Ferr Phos) every 5 minutes until the symptom abates and then take every time you feel the symptom creeping in.  This cell salt helps increase the oxygen in your system so it speeds the healing process.

If you find you get every disease that comes along, try the #2 cell salt (Calc Phos) 3 times a day until you find the system is more resilient!

HERBS

One tasty option is to cut up a red onion and generously drizzle honey over the top and cover for about 8 hours.  Drink the “honey juice” that collects at the bottom of the bowl.  This is terrific for sore throats.  Some folks I know keep this on the back of their stove so it is always slightly heated and then take a spoonful when inspired…and some eat the onion too!

Elderberry syrup has been a great addition to my household.  As an adult I take 1 tablespoon of the syrup a day if I hear of lots of disease floating around.

MINERALS

Many folks I know swear by sucking on zinc lozenges.  They say they rarely get the disease du jour when they remember to take one daily.

HOMEOPATHICS

Uriel Pharmacy makes many wonderful products.  I find their Dandelion/Cinnabar excellent when I feel like I am coming down with a cold.  If I take it as I feel symptoms, at the beginning something, once every 15 minutes, the cold never develops.

ALL of the above are safe for pregnant and nursing moms!