March 2018 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - March 2018


Original article from Nimue Education SA

Male beard growth is stimulated in the follicles by testosterone as well as the even more powerful male androgen hormone, Dihydrotestosterone.

An analysis of fashion pictures shows that beardlessness began among young men in the 1890’s, during World War I, since beards harboured lice.

Today shaving one’s beard on a daily basis is still a very common practice. A practice that in many cases has many side effects to certain inflammatory conditions such as:

  1. Ingrown Hairs
  2. Pseudofolliculitis barbae (also known as razor bumps/ razor rash)

Ingrown Hairs:

Ingrown hairs develop when the hair curls and grows back into the skin due to incorrect shaving techniques. Individuals with coarse or curly hair have a bigger risk of developing this condition. Shaving a beard can promote development of ingrown hairs and is a big contributing factor. When there’s an ingrown hair, the skin reacts as it would to a foreign body. Typical signs of an ingrown hair are:

  1. Development of bumps which are small, solid with a round shape
  2. Development of pus-filled lesions
  3. The affected area becomes darker, possible post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  4. Inflammation of the affected area accompanied by itching and pain
  5. Presence of embedded hairs

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae:

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae is an inflammatory disorder caused by persistent irritation, inflammation of the hair follicles and ingrown hair formation after shaving. The condition usually covers part of the beard area (where the individual shaves).

After a hair has been shaved, it begins to grow back. Curly hair tends to curl into the skin instead of straight out of the follicle, leading to an inflammation reaction. Pseudofolliculitis Barbae can make the skin look itchy and red. These inflamed papules and pustules can form if the area becomes infected. If left untreated over time, this can cause keloid scarring in the beard area. Pseudofolliculitis Barbae can further be divided into two types of ingrown hairs: transfollicular and extrafollicular.

  1. Transfollicular

The hair has exited the follicle but then re-enters. While shaving, sharp edges are created. When the hair grows again, it curls and re-enters the skin.

  1. Extrafollicular

The hair does not exit the follicle and because of its natural curly nature, it curls back into the follicle causing fluid build-up and irritation.

Prevention and Treatment

  • Regular exfoliation helps to remove dead skin build-up which may block the entrance/exit of the hair follicle.
  • Nimue facial treatments are great for deeper exfoliation and lightening any scarring and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Electric razors should be avoided.
  • When using a wet razor, a single blade or wire-wrapped blade will prevent shaving too closely and changing the blade with every shave will ensure that no bacteria is spread, and the blade does not become blunt.
  • Shave in the direction of the hair growth.
  • Shave every second day, rather than daily.
  • Softening the beard first with a hot, wet cloth or shave while showering in hot water.
  • Picking and scratching the razor bumps must be avoided as this can lead to scarring and infection.
  • Severe transfollicular hairs may require medically attention.
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February 2018 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - February 2018


Original article by Meg Faure

Bonding has been defined as “The emotional and physical attachment occurring between a parent or parent figure, especially a mother, and offspring, that usually begins at birth and is the basis for further emotional affiliation.”

Bonding plays a critical role in your baby’s emotional development, which in turn is the basis for all future relationships. One cannot underestimate the importance of attachment and bonding.

The cycle of love

Bonding is more than a warm fuzzy feeling – it is a critical, deep emotional involvement with and trust in another person. It is a journey of getting to know, trust and rely on another person. There is a misconception that bonding occurs like ‘love at first sight’. The reality is that it is a process that develops over time. Bonding may begin in pregnancy or even before conception; it may occur like a flash at birth or may in fact take months to develop.

Falling in love in pregnancy

Some parents have waited a long time for their little one and being pregnant brings wonderful feelings of joy. For many pregnant mums, the hormones and expectancy lead her into a love relationship right from the start. In this case, you may begin dreaming of your baby and as you rub your tummy feel the swell of love for your baby. This process has been fast tracked by technology – we know we are pregnant way before women in the past years did. By 17 weeks most parents have seen their little one at least once. We share early photos of our baby in the womb and so begin to bond early. When your baby beings to move and wriggle you may feel love for this little person. In fact, many mums mourn the end of those fluttery feelings after her baby is born.

For others however, pregnancy may be difficult, unwanted or scary. Antenatal depression is being recognized more and more and we now know that it is not uncommon for a woman to feel very ambivalent towards her baby. Likewise, Dads may experience depression and anxiety in pregnancy and this will impact on their bond with their baby at that time.

The good news is that this is not reason to predict a poor or inadequate bond at a later stage. Most parents will go on to bond well with their little one later.

Falling in love in the delivery room

The moment we meet our babies we expect to feel overwhelming love. For some parents, this is the experience, as they look at this tiny, beautiful, helpless being they are flooded with feelings of love. Natural delivery of your baby will facilitate this emotional response as all the hormones released by birth create a flood of endorphins that give you a high. If the delivery is difficult or very long or either mum or babe are in danger, the feelings may be very different. Exhaustion and despair if things don’t turn out well can negatively impact on those love juices. Your feeling may be of gloom and being overwhelmed and this will mean you don’t feel like you are bonding. On the other hand some mums have a wonderful birth experience and meet their perfect baby and yet feel no love or great fascination with their baby.

Once again the good news is that this immediate emotional response does not predict your relationship with your baby and love and bonding may come later for you.

Falling in love after a period of months

For other parents, love is a long slow journey. There are no A-Ha moments, just a gradual development of a love relationship. If this love develops within the context of a caring, consistent relationship, it is no problem at all for your baby.

It is vital that mums know that not everyone is overwhelmed with love at the sight of their baby. If however, you never feel love towards your baby and your mothering role is a process of acting out the motions and you are overcome with depression or anxiety, you do need to get help for Post Natal Depression as this condition may impact on your baby emotionally.

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January 2018 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - January 2018


Original article by Meg Faure

Science and wisdom tell us that play is vital for a child’s development. The problem is that as a busy parent, it may feel like an enormous challenge to find the time to play or you may find that you are unsure about how to play with your little one. In chapter 10 of Baby Sense, we talk about 4 guidelines for stimulation and we use the acronym T.E.A.T:

1. Timing

Play with your little one when he is well rested and not hungry, preferably in the calm-alert state. This is the state that is best for learning and making brain connections. You will know your baby is receptive to activities, when he is calm, making eye contact – reaching for toys and showing interest in the world.

The opportunity can present it self in normal daily activities such as nappy change time, bath time or mealtime. In addition, it is worth setting aside 15 minutes a day to get onto the floor and focus 100% on your child.

2. Environment

To focus happily on play, you will want a space that is firstly safe – without hazards such as plug holes, loose book shelves and open water. Try to de-clutter the space and not have too many toys on offer. Put your mobile device away and get onto the floor with your child and offer 3-5 carefully chosen activities or toys. In this way the play environment is conducive to fun and learning.

3. Activities

An activity is simply an interaction with your little one that enhances development and is fun. Games such as peek-a-boo or reading a book together, learning a new nursery rhyme or finger painting are all examples of activities that spark interest as well as teach vital skills. 

4. Toys

Carefully chosen toys are a fabulous way to spark your child’s imagination and teach skills. Toys should be matched with your child’s age. The best toys require one of two things from your baby:

  • A toy may spark imagination – such as a doll, a toy phone or a pretend kitchen. These toys are brilliant for encouraging language, creativity and collaboration with you. You and your little one can take on roles and pretend play together.
  • A toy may enhance skills – such as a ball, shape sorter or a puzzle. These toys demand a certain level of interaction from your little one. Watch for interest in a certain area and offer a toy that will provide just the right challenge to your child.

Enjoy playing with your little one and know that through appropriate timing, a stimulating environment and the right activities and toys, you can spark your child’s brilliance.

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Traveling When Pregnant

Traveling When Pregnant

It’s wrong to assume being pregnant prevents you from jetting off on the holiday of a lifetime. While having another member of the family on the way poses a new challenge to anything you’ve experienced before, it doesn’t need to have a significant impact on your travel plans.

That said, a vacation when pregnant will be different to your previous trips. It’s for that reason we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide, which details how to successfully head off on holiday when you or a loved one are expecting.

Regardless of the stage of pregnancy, this resource will provide travellers with the confidence to head abroad, safe in the knowledge they’re doing no harm to themselves or their baby.


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.
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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.
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October 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - October 2017


What is Low Pressure Fitness?

It is a rhythmic breathing exercise system/program set to specific postures and together it creates an anticipatory/automatic response or activation of the deep core musculature. This training system is based on Hypopressives breathing, myofascial and neurodynamic techniques; postural and breathing re-education, combined with the most advanced neuro-educational methodology.

Low Pressure Fitness (LPF) conditions your entire body from the inside out. It is a global approach to training and works on the various muscle chains in the body (anterior, posterior, cross chain etc). All movement starts with the deep core muscles working together as a team to support you in that specific movement. LPF teaches you how to align your body, breathe and activate core function so that your deep core can meet the demands of every move you make and manage intra-abdominal pressure.

How does this work?

It is important to understand the core 4 is a system of deep muscles, working together as a team. This group can be briefly described as the diaphragm, pelvic floor, deep abdominal belt and back muscles. All movement starts from the core and for the core to be functional the system needs to work together, synergistically and in balance. One should also remember that daily life actions like coughing, sneezing, laughing, sport activities like skipping, running or jumping results in intra-abdominal pressure.  If one part of the team is not functioning properly or is out of balance it will also not manage intra-abdominal pressure due to these daily activities and the weakest point or member of the core team will give way or compensate. Symptoms of core dysfunction will be experienced as incontinence, diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, back pain and many more.



Benefits of Low Pressure Fitness:

  • Toning of the abdomino-perineal muscles and waistline narrowing. Trains deep core muscles at its resting tone. No pulling in of belly or forced tone activation of muscles groups in isolation.
  • Prevention of muscle injury and prevention/maintenance of Hernias (Hiatus, inguinal, vaginal/pelvic organ prolapse)
  • Prevention of pelvic floor dysfunctions eg urinary incontinence (stress urinary incontinence experienced by young athletes is very common and thus, combining this with sport programs offers a great preventative benefit to female athletes). Incontinence is also a symptom experienced by many post-natal and pre and post-menopausal women, so following the LPF program will kick start or retrain your core to become functional, reduce and prevent symptoms of urine leakage.
  • Sexual performance enhancement for men and women
  • Post-natal rehabilitation, eg for diastasis recti/separation six pack muscles due to pregnancy
  • And many more

Where can I find CoreConnect and LPF classes?I received training in Barcelona in 2016 and have been working in and around Cape Town/northern suburbs for a year now. I personally suffered from abdominal separation/Diastasis recti after my second baby and this program offered a significant improvement and rehab tool for the condition. My passion is women’s health and I approach core-pelvic floor, breath and alignment from a fitness, health and wellness perspective. As owner of Core Connect and director of LPF in South Africa, I offer various options for clients either wanting to rehab pre and post-natal, pre and post-menopausal, add this to their regular fitness or exercise program. I offer small beginner groups, maintenance groups where I add full body strengthening workouts, private sessions at home or at general venues or small LPF express groups. I work mainly in and around Cape Town and northern suburbs, but do travel if needed.

I am hosting a women’s event together with my sister, Janet Kimmel, Kegels and Karma, on the 13th of January 2018, the first of many to come. This event will be geared toward women’s health and will be informational, educational, motitvational and fun. It is the perfect way to kick start your year to be balanced, well and motivated. I will be running a workshop on LPF so be sure to have a look at our website and buy your ticket for the event:

Where can I find LPF qualified instructors and more information?

The first professional Level 1 course was hosted in Cape Town in May 2017 and there will be a second course running in October. Word is spreading and in 2018 there will be more courses for professionals in Cape Town and in Gauteng. You can find contact details of qualified trainers on the website  or facebook page low pressure fitness south africa.

You can also contact Shirley Boerssen directly for more information on the program, trainers, how to become a trainer and more. Please see contact details below.
Looking forward to meeting and seeing you in my sessions.

Happy Hypos
Shirley Boerssen

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September 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - September 2017


Original article by Meg Faure

Newborn babies (under 6 weeks) are generally good sleepers during the day. They are still quite sleepy and may even sleep from one feed to the next. They are very likely to wake to feed as often at night as during the day – usually 3 hourly.

If your baby wakes more often at night than during the day, she may be experiencing ‘day-night reversal’. In this case, you need to guide your baby towards more lively interactions in the day and less engagement at night.

It is relatively simple to improve your baby’s night-time sleep by keeping night feeds strictly business affairs. Here are 5 simple tips to differentiate night-time from day:

  • Unless your baby is premature or your doctor advises you otherwise, don’t wake your baby for feeds at night– take her lead for waking at night. This allows your baby to establish natural sleep cycles.
  • Try not to smile or talk to your baby at night – keep these happy interactions for day light hours.
  • Feed in semi-darkness – use a dimmer, nightlight or a passage light instead of the bright bedroom light.
  • Don’t change your baby’s nappy at night – buy the best nappy you can afford for night-time and leave it on from one feed to the next, unless she has soiled her nappy. A good quality gel nappy can be left on all night as they soak up all the urine and the bottom remains dry.
  • In the very early days (the first 6 weeks), do not ‘dummy’ your baby in an attempt to decrease night feeds. Rather feed her when she wakes for feeds at night, if more than two and a half hours have passed since the last feed.

Follow these simple strategies and in a short time, your baby will start to have one longer stretch between feeds at night and by 3 months should have a good 6-8 hour stretch once at night.

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August 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - July 2017

Original article by Meg Faure

Just as you think you have got on top of your baby’s sleep routine, suddenly you will find that he changes the game plan. As your little one gets older, his need for day sleeps become less and so you will find that fitting all the day sleeps into the day with longer awake times, mean that bedtime is suddenly at 10pm.

Research has shown that the more attention given by parents to language development in the early days, the better the child will achieve in later literacy and communication skills.

How do you know when your baby wants to drop a day sleep?

There are four common tell-tale signs that its time to drop a day sleep at about these ages:

  1. Your baby/toddler is suddenly VERY hard to settle to sleep for day sleeps.
  2. Your baby/toddler starts to fight bedtime and it gets later and later because his last sleep of the day goes on too late
  3. Your baby/toddler starts to wake VERY early – like 4am – and won’t go back to sleep
  4. Your baby/toddler wakes at night and stays awake for a long period

When your baby shows one or more of these signs, its may well be time to drop a sleep

How to drop a day sleep

Every age can be done a similar way – incrementally. So lets look at dropping from two to one day sleep: At around a 12-14 months your baby will be at the right age to drop down from two to one day sleep.

  1. Move the morning sleep later – to 10am and the midday sleep to 2pm for a few days.
  2. Then move the morning sleep to 11am (with big snack at 10:30am plus a tiny milk feed – then to sleep). He will be dog tired with the new routine for a few days so you will need to entertain him to get him through to 11am.
  3. On these days, he will probably sleep from 11am until 1pm and not have an afternoon sleep. So bring bedtime back to 6pm.
  4. Every third day do two sleeps if he needs it for 2 weeks.
  5. Then in the third week, move morning sleep to 11:30 and eventually 12. That is your new routine
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July 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - July 2017

Original article by Meg Faure

As parents we spend our lives trying to make sure that we offer our children the best opportunities in life.  We often obsess about their development and compare our babies with others to make sure everything is on track.  One of the biggest indicators about how your baby is doing is the development of their language skills.  Lets look at “typical” language development and how you can encourage your child’s speech.

Research has shown that the more attention given by parents to language development in the early days, the better the child will achieve in later literacy and communication skills.

Babies under six months of age communicate primarily by crying, blinking, smiling and facial expressions.  Your baby will respond to his name, turn his head to human voices and engage in eye to eye contact.  He will vocalize and begin to use intonation in his voices. As he approached the 6 month mark, he starts to learn to take turns and that a conversation is made up of two people ‘talking’ to each other.

By 12 months your baby will be aware of the social value of speech and the effect he has on you.  He will practice using his voice with endless babbling, and may begin to use a few words (or fragments of words) with meaning as he approaches a year of age.

At 18 Months your baby will have a vocabulary of approximately 20 words, mainly naming of toys and people he knows well, but he will continue to develop his language by repeating words or phrases that you say.  He should be able to follow a few simple instructions such as “put it in the box”.

When your baby reaches 2 years of age his vocabulary has exploded to around 300 words.  He will be beginning to put short sentences together, but his fluency is still poor.  He can use some prepositions like inon and under; as well as some pronouns like I, me and you, but he won’t always use them appropriately.

3 year old child can use pronouns correctly and is beginning to experiment with using tenses, but often doesn’t get them right.  Around 90% of what your toddler says at this age is correct and intelligible with a vocabulary of around 1000 words, predominantly made up of verbs.  He understands and can respond to simple questions as well as reason.

By 4 years old your child should be able to name and point to all his body parts, animals, colours, simple shapes and familiar objects in books or magazines.  He has mastered most vowel sounds as well as p, b, m, w and n.  When engaging in play and make believe he often chats endlessly about what he is doing

At 5 years old, your child uses descriptive words with ease and should be completely intelligible.  He has mastered all the vowels as well as m, p, b, h , w, k g, t, d, n, ng and y.  He can put together sentences of up to 9 words and can usually follow a string of 3 commands.  He now understands concepts of time, numbers (up to 10, sometimes more), opposites and size.  He should know his name, age, address and telephone number.

Language guides provided above are guidelines only.  All children are different and will develop at a different pace – if you are concerned about your child’s language development please talk to your paediatrician or a speech therapist who will guide you accordingly.

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