Health

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

October 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - October 2017

MW-Newsletter-Octhead-ext

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: www.kegelsandkarma.co.za

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 www.lowpressurefitness.com  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

demo 3

September 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - September 2017

MW-Newsletter-Sept-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.

demo 3

August 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - July 2017

MW-Newsletter-Aug-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
demo 3

June 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - June 2017

MW-Newsletter-June-2017
Original article by Meg Faure

Your baby is born with a natural immunity that is passed on to him during pregnancy. This wonderful immunity in combination with the antibodies found in colostrum and breast milk protects your baby from illness to a great extent for the first 6 months of life. Over the next few years, your child will be working at developing his immunity so that he can face the germs he will be exposed to in life, without becoming too ill.

Breastfeed

The best way to boost your baby’s immunity in the first year is to breastfeed. Even once your baby is on solids, breast milk continues to carry some of your antibodies to your baby.

Vaccinate

The most important boost of your baby’s immunity is inoculations against dangerous childhood illnesses, such as tetanus, meningitis and whooping cough.

Eat a healthy varied diet

A healthy diet will help to build your baby’s immunity by providing micronutrients. Make sure he eats fruit and veggies as well as fish, meat, nuts and wholegrains – all of these contain vitamins and micronutrients needed for immunity

Supplements

If your baby is a fussy eater (common in the toddler years) it is a good idea to offer a natural supplement, which is best absorbed by the body and provides a wide spectrum of nutrients to ensure that your little one gets everything he needs. Bio-Strath is a natural supplement that provides essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids in an optimal form, to support your little one’s immune system as well as benefit their overall development. In addition, a multivitamin for babies and young children, with Vitamin C and Zinc can help boost immunity.

Exposure

Once your little one is attending crèche or school, he is likely to catch at least 8 infections per year. The next time he is exposed to the same virus the illness is much less severe. This is why children tend to get better and have far fewer infections after the age of 4 years. By this time they have been exposed to the vast majority of normally occurring viruses and the immune system has memory for these viruses.

demo 3