Monthly Archives - November 2017

December 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - December 2017

Original article by Meg Faure

Summer is around the corner and we are all looking forward to spending more time soaking up the warm rays in the long sunny days. Summer means wonderful new experiences for your baby as you spend more time outdoors and may even go to the beach or swimming pool.

Now the thought of taking your baby near water should bring to mind the critical safety elements one need to consider in summer. Obviously, all babies need to be closely monitored whenever near water. In addition, the long sunny days and water play bring the risk of exposure to the sun.

Why is it important to prevent your baby’s skin from exposure to the sun?

  • Exposure to the element has similar effects on baby skin as it does on adult skin but your baby’s skin is considerably thinner and thus more susceptible to dehydration as water is easily lost through her skin.
  • Baby and toddler skin also has much less brown pigment (melanin), which protects us from UV light. This means that if a baby gets sunburnt or overly exposed to UV rays, the long-term risk of Melanoma cancers increases dramatically.
  • Sunburn is a painful condition and since your baby’s new skin is more susceptible to sunburn, you will want to prevent any chance of this otherwise you will likely have a very bad night’s sleep.
  • Exposure to water and swimming pools will cause baby’s skin to dry out quickly and it is therefore necessary to ensure that you moisturize babies skin on a regular basis, even in summer.

So, understanding that sun care is vital, what should you do:

  • Do not take your baby outdoors over midday – the reflection off water and ambient sunrays are way too risky to manage well.
  • Use multiple measures of protection than relying on one measure over the other. Multiple measures include avoiding the sun wherever possible, the use of long sleeve garments that are lightweight and sun hats together with sun cream.
  • Protect your baby by staying under a shade
  • Use a well-researched baby-friendly sun cream and be vigilant with reapplying. On this point, remember that because your baby’s skin is thinner than your skin it is more likely to absorb ingredients from sun creams so carefully consider using a reputable brand, who test their products and do not use harmful ingredients.
  • For babies less than 6 months, protect them by avoiding the sun, clothing them well, use sun hats and stay under the shade.
  • Do not apply sun cream to a baby who is less than 6months as their skin is still sensitive.
  • You can apply sun cream on the skin of a baby who is 6months and above but try a certain area first for example the back of the hand as a test sign. If the child does not react to the cream, you can continue use.
  • Your baby’s delicate skin loses moisture 5 x faster than adult skin, in conjunction with adequate sun protection it is essential to follow a regular moisturizing routine.
demo 3

November 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - November 2017

Original article by Meg Faure

In my practise and the work I do with moms, around half of babies I see (admittedly they are the more fussy of babies) have been diagnosed and/or are being treated for reflux. To put this in perspective and offer some advice, lets look at what we know about reflux.

What is reflux?

‘Reflux’ is short for Gastro-oesophageal reflux – which is basically regurgitation of stomach contents. It occurs in many babies and for by far the majority, who suffer from ‘reflux’, is actually not something to worry about.

Many babies posset or bring up milk curds and stomach acid. Some actually vomit or spit this up and others simply swallow it down and you would hardly know they have posseted if you didn’t notice a little swallow or gasp as the curds come up. In fact, so many babies regurgitate small amounts of milk curds that we could almost consider it ‘normal’ in the population. By far the majority of these babies continue to gain weight and thrive, even though they are bringing up a portion of each feed.

For other babies, the ‘reflux’ is a medical condition (GERD – GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease), which does require intervention. These babies are not thriving and are very unwell, many suffering from repeated lung infections and significant discomfort and pain due to the oesophagitis that develops when stomach acid burns the food pipe. These are the cut and dried cases and are very unusual.

A number of babies, however, are not ill with the reflux but are irritable and it is hard to discern if they are simply irritable babies or if the reflux is causing such great discomfort that it needs to be treated. These babies are thriving and not ill but are miserable. They fall into a very grey area and the question arises about whether they should be treated medically.

Should we be medicating?

The medical treatments for reflux generally involve neutralising or blocking stomach acid production or thickening the milk that the baby ingests.

In cases where babies are unwell, not thriving and have breathing problems or lung infections, due to the GERD, treatment is necessary.

For all other reflux, in otherwise well babies, the new thought is not to medicate as the treatments that alter stomach acid may lead to other issues with digestion.  If you can manage reflux conservatively in these babies, it is a way better route to go:

  • Smaller feeds
  • Limiting length of feed
  • Interrupting feed to burp your baby
  • Keeping baby upright for a little period of time after the feed
  • Raising the head of the cot for sleep time

Sensory threshold

Looking at reflux from a sensory perspective can be useful.

Sensory sensitive babies have a tendency to hyper respond to all sensory input – they are easily woken by sounds, cranky at bath time due to the change in temperature, fussy with new teats and dummies, become over stimulated in a busy setting etc. These babies have a low threshold for all sensory input. It stands to reason that interoception (sensory input from within the body) will also cause these babies to react.

So for babies with a low threshold, the mild burning or discomfort of ‘normal’ reflux makes them very irritable and they hyper respond to interoception from the oesophagus that another baby may not notice.

Sensitive babies are more likely to over react to reflux.

Before jumping into medical treatment if your baby is generally well, do the following:

  • Find out your baby’s sensory personality
  • If your baby is thriving, try not to medicate but rather manage the discomfort by not overfeeding and by raising the head of the cot.
  • If your baby is irritable look to the sensory world to calm them, before jumping into meds.
demo 3