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A Survival Guide for the Colic Baby

As new moms we have all been there.  We are so happy to be home with our new perfect infant.  They are being perfect angels, sleeping, feeding wonderfully.  We know exactly what they need and all is right in the world……okay so that lasted for about the first 10 minutes you got home.  Now your baby is crying and  its time to feed her .  You would think that I had an edge on the mommy thing being a doctor but honestly it doesn’t really help much.  If anything it makes us always think of the worst case scenario.   So when my kid began to cry for HOURS at a time I was looking for mosquitos in her crib at night, hair tourniquets, early signs of teething, until it finally dawned on me that I had a kid who had colic.  What is colic you may ask??  Colic stinks.  It sucks for the baby, it sucks for the mommy and daddy and everyone else involved.   

Colic is a frustrating condition marked by predictable periods of significant distress in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby. Babies with colic often cry more than three hours a day, three days a week for three weeks or longer. The Infamous “Rule of 3s”. Nothing you do to try to help your baby during these episodes seems to bring any relief.  When the parents come to see me with their colic infants they are frustrated, sleep deprived and in need of help.

There are many supportive measures that can be used to help with colic.

The 5 S’s

The Dr Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s should be the first line to help.

Shush- this should be loud enough to be heard over the babies crying, white noise and music can be used with this also.

Swaddle- infants need to be wrapped up snug.  Many times their own limbs will wake them up from sleep. This can be done with a blanket or with the swaddling blankets with the velcro.

Side lie- also known as football hold, this works great when you are holding them on their side and you are gently swinging them at the same time.

Swing- This was my best friend. Typically works best when the child is about 4 weeks old and up.

Suck- It has been proven that pacifiers have decreased the rate of SIDS and also makes for a happier baby, but sucking will help colic also.

Carriers

mobybc-miracle-why-forward-tiny-pngOther methods that help colic babies is to wear your baby in a front carrier or sling.  The baby likes to be close and this sense of comfort instantly soothes the baby.

There are a variety of carrier options available.  Just to start with a few,  the Moby Wrap offers the wearer different configurations using the given fabric.  There may be a learning curve associated with it but the babies do love the belly to belly positioning that helps with the colic.

The Baby K’Tan is also available and is a “ready-to-wear” wrap, meaning that you do not need to buckle or wrap anything.  The double loop design goes on over your head and you adjust it for comfort. They also have videos on their website but they describe it as an easy 3 step process.

The Baby Bjorn is one of the first commercially available. It is well known and has good lower back support as the babies get bigger.

Feeding

bottlesThe best advice that I give all my patients is to not stick to your schedules so strictly.  If you think your baby is hungry but your chart says its not time yet- WHO CARES!! Feed the baby.  Many times feeding the baby will calm her down. Since we are talking about feeding I always like to look at the baby feeding during the appointment.  Many times we may need to change the bottle.  If the baby does not have a good latch on the bottle she will suck air in and that can contribute to her gassiness which can make her very fussy.

Always stop and burp your baby every 1-2 ounces during feeding.  Also feed your baby upright at about a 45 degree angle.

Homeopathic Medications

coliccalm

GW-Lineup1-OPT-min

Gripe water, Colic calm and Simethicone drops can be given for symptomatic relief.

 

 

Chamomile and Bay Leaf

If you actually look at the ingredients in the above products you will find these herbs.  I have been recommending to my patients to brew one bag of chamomile tea with a bay leaf and let it come to room temperature and it give the baby 1 oz of this during their fussiest time of day.  If your baby also suffers from contipation I have them add 1 tsp of Karo Corn Syrup to the tea which aids with the stool softening.

Massage

Gently massage the babies belly and legs.  Bring the legs back and forth bending the knees towards the belly button.  Ths promotes gas release and makes the baby more comfortable.

Warm compress

You can apply a warm heating pad over the babies onesie.  Place it on the abdomen for a few minutes.

Music

Music or white noise is very helpful for both mommy and baby.

 

Occasionally other changes may need to be made including changing the babies formula, or eliminating foods from the breastfeeding mother’s diet.  This may need to be discussed with your pediatrician.

#kidstummytroubles #moby #BabyBjorn #colic #homeopathy #BabyKtan

 

Stay Healthy and Be Well.  Let me know your thought and comments.

Meet My New BFF

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I don’t know how I lived without her in my life for so long.  She has made my life so much easier, she is now one of my new best friends.  I would like to introduce everyone to my Instant Pot.  This new addition to my kitchen is a huge time saver at the end of a busy day.  And it gets rid of multiple different kitchen devices if you want to declutter your life a bit.  It is a rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker and so much more all in one.  You can even make your own yogurt if that is something you typically like to do.

It cuts my dinner cooking time in more than half.  I can put in frozen meat, some spices and veggies and have a healthy meal cooked up in 30 minutes while I am doing homework with my kids.  I have joined many different Facebook groups that have helped me to obtain a recipe collection for my Instant Pot.  There are tons of recipes on Pinterest and many cookbooks dedicated to this also.  For those living Gluten Free and Paleo I recommend this because for the poultry and meat settings alone it keeps the meats moist.

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Picture Courtesy Of Tempe Chen Sahara

If any of you have the old pressure cooker that always scared the heck out of me when it was used you can finally retire it.  And they even have one that is Bluetooth capable that links to your phone! So Cool!!  I will admit I am still a rookie myself with my Instant Pot but it is so easy to use and Amazon just had a sale on them where they were 50% off.  Just keep an eye out for bargains on these.

I am a member of a Pediatrician Mommy group on Facebook.  We all work long hours and are exhausted after work.  And on this group we are always looking for ways to cut down the dinner prep time but not compromise the health of the meals we offer to our families.  This groups feeds are now overflowing with everyone praising their InstantPots and the meals that have been made.

Healthy living and cooking are something we all have to make the time and effort to commit to.  When I find something that can make this easier for me I like to share it with all of you.   If you have an Instant Pot already share your experiences with it, if you decide to take the plunge and get one let me know what you think.

Live Healthy and Be Well!

#InstantPot #kidstummytroubles

WHO says that childhood obesity is an ‘exploding nightmare’ in developing countries

Wanted to share this with my followers.  Please let me know your thoughts and comments.  Stay Healthy & Be Well!

 

Is it the phthalates? The early antibiotic exposure? The low levels of physical activity? Parental tolerance (or ignorance) of how much junk food kids are eating? Each has been attributed in some way to obesity, but regardless of the impact of each of these individual components, the World Healt …

Source: WHO says that childhood obesity is an ‘exploding nightmare’ in developing countries

 

#kidstummytroubles #childhoodobesity

Yoga Generates Huge Benefits for Children with Autism

 Reposted from Yoga International.  Originally published on OCTOBER 30, 2014    BY HANNAH BRANDSTAETTER

Yoga is growing in popularity in the U.S. as a complementary therapy for children with special needs and autism, with rising numbers of schools and parents participating in innovative programs which are cropping up around the country. Scott Anderson, teacher and founder of YogAutism, mentions on his site that in addition to benefits typically associated with yoga—improved strength and flexibility, and an increasing sense of peace—autistic children also experience a reduction of pain, anxiety, aggression, obsessive behaviors, and self-stimulatory activities. And there’s more good news. The children are also having greater success making new friends and regulating emotions.

Yoga is growing in popularity in the U.S. as a complementary therapy for children with special needs and autism.

Louise Goldberg, author of Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs, also has first-hand experience witnessing the enormous benefits children on the autistic spectrum experience from practicing yoga. In 1981, Goldberg and a colleague were invited to teach a demo class for teachers at a residential hospital for children with severe emotional and behavioral disorders. “We were both fairly new yoga teachers and we just made it up as we went along. But seeing the kids—many of whom were extremely anxious, withdrawn, or angry—let go, for even a moment, was a revelation. We were amazed at how effective yoga was with these children and how much they enjoyed it,” says Goldberg.

Anxiety and Yoga

Children with autism have very different sensory experiences from other people, and these responses often cause their bodies to get stuck in fight, flight, or freeze modes that divert blood from the digestive organs to the skeletal muscles. This activity results in disrupted digestion, increased heart rate, and shallower breathing—all of which readily provoke anxiety.

Practicing his floating on a cloud (shavasana), he was able to self-regulate and calm his emotions,” explains Goldberg.

“I had a student, a little boy who got very, very anxious if the school bus was late. His mother drove him to school everyday and one day she saw him lying down in the back seat of the car, and she asked him, ‘Are you sick?’ He responded, ‘No, I am relaxing.’ The mother said she had never seen him so calm. Practicing his floating on a cloud (shavasana), he was able to self-regulate and calm his emotions,” explains Goldberg.

The Importance of Visualization

Autism educators often highlight the importance of visualization practices, so Goldberg designed the program Stop and Relax, which uses over 50 cue cards to help children visualize the pose they are supposed to take. Through this visualization, they are able to successfully imitate and model physical actions and postures they would not have been able to previously.

“Some of the kids don’t speak—don’t have language—but they can look at a visual cue card and respond. Some children also have trouble engaging, even if they can achieve fluid sentences and can perform motor planning. However, they don’t have the kind of motor planning skills like going from point A to point B to point C. But on seeing the visual cue, somehow it triggers something in their brain and they can replicate it,” she explains.

Resistance to the Word “Yoga”

When Goldberg started teaching her specialized yoga classes, she received some resistance from parents and schools, as some people didn’t feel comfortable with the word “yoga.”

“I think some people around the U.S. were a little bit narrow-minded. Some even thought it was a cult,” she explained. “One thing that I want to impart here is that yoga, as it’s practiced in public schools, is not a religious practice. The postures and breathing exercises, the relaxation techniques and self-regulation tools, can be culled from yoga’s vast well of resources to be implemented in a public school curriculum.”

This program is applicable to all children and ages, as it is just another form of movement involving exercise, mindfulness, and breathing.

Goldberg now uses the name “Creative Relaxation,” and takes yoga poses and applies them to challenges that children have in either their school or everyday lives. This program is applicable to all children and ages, as it is just another form of movement involving exercise, mindfulness, and breathing.

“The idea is that when we are in a school, we don’t use any Sanskrit names. We don’t call it the prayer pose. We call it the tree pose. Viparita shalabhasana is our Superman pose. I don’t want anyone to feel that it is religious. We don’t do any chanting. When we sing, it’s just generic songs.”

Goldberg believes that all children would benefit from yoga practice in school classes. “Ten years ago, when I was teaching in a school, I had a chance to go into all the classes which had a child with autism and I taught the whole group. It wasn’t just the one child that benefited from this. Everyone did,” she explains with a smile.

Benefits for School Classes

Dr. Judy Willis, who has combined her 15 years as an adult and child neurologist with her teacher education training and years of classroom experience, explains in her book, How Children Learn Best, that children need breaks every 15 minutes. If that time is exceeded, no learning takes place, which leads to frustration for the children and the teacher.

Goldberg agrees and believes that yoga provides the perfect antidote. Just holding a pose for a minute, while sitting down or standing next to the desk, and learning can continue without teachers having to discipline the children for the rest of the lesson.

In 2012, researchers who investigated another yoga program in the study, “Efficacy of the ‘Get Ready to Learn’ Yoga Program Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” (published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy) found that “use of daily classroom-wide yoga interventions have a significant impact on key classroom behaviors among children with ASD.”

The study, which lasted 16 weeks, divided children into two groups. The first group participated in the morning classroom yoga program, and the second group participated in a standard morning classroom routine. Challenging behaviors were assessed with the standardized measurements of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist and behavior coding both before and after the study period.

Researchers concluded that the Get Ready to Learn program “reduces irritability, lethargy, social withdrawal, hyperactivity, and noncompliance in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs),” and that incorporating the program into the school day “can maximize academic engagement and optimize classroom time.”

It is unclear how many children are currently participating in similar programs, but Goldberg states that there are hundreds of teachers who teach thousands of children in the U.S. She likes to refer to the movement as “a snowball effect” that benefits more and more students—and their teachers and parents—over time.

“I think that one of the ways to change a culture is to start with the children. In the U.S., we have a terrible problem with bullying…. Mindfulness activities that incorporate breath, like yoga, are perfect ways to create a community which is more compassionate, less competitive, and more self-aware,” says Goldberg.

For more information about Louise Goldberg’s classes and teacher training please visit relaxationnow.net

Photos courtesy of edzeissimages.com. Reprinted with permission of WW Norton.

HANNAH BRANDSTAETTER
Hannah is a freelance journalist and yoga enthusiast who grew up in Vienna. She currently lives in London after spending 5 years in Los Angeles where she became more involved in yoga and meditation. She has been practicing yoga since she was 16 and particularly enjoys Brikram and Hot Vinyasa.

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When I read this article I immediately knew I wanted to share it with my readers.  Let me know your thoughts and comments.  Stay Healthy and Be Well!

#KidsTummyTroubles #yoga #kidsyoga #kidsyogi #autism #autismspeaks

The 3 E’s of 2016

Over my Christmas vacation I restarted practicing yoga and my kids have been joining me.  How fun!!  This has been a wonderful experience for us.  I have been feeling calmer and more focused.  The girls have been enjoying themselves also.  Even my husband said he may want to start taking it up.  Santa brought my oldest a yoga mat so we are side by side.  I knew she had an interest in it.  And we all know it is always more fun to do things with a partner in crime.

I haven’t really done yoga consistently since I was in college (which was a really, really long time ago).  My husband also got me a fitbit for Christmas which I have to say is pretty damn awesome.  And its in my favorite color!  It keeps track of my steps, heart rate, miles walked, calories burnt, and it tracks my exercise which includes yoga.

fitbit

Over this upcoming year, I am also going to attempt to implement some of these practices in my treatment regimens.  As many of my patients can already attest, I only prescribe meds when I deem necessary.  I always try to encourage diet change and exercise first.  I spend an extensive amount of time trying to understand the stressors that may be leading to the symptoms that my patients are feeling.

Yoga has been studied in the treatment of IBS to aid in symptom relief if done on a regular basis.  Also in the autistic population, children with anxiety, and children with functional abdominal pain can benefit from yoga as well.  I will be learning more about these various yoga poses, techniques and methods so that I can share them with you over the next weeks to months.

Yoga Mats

I hope that this new year will be one of Education, Enrichment, and Enlightenment!  Stay Healthy and Be Well!!

As always I look forward to hearing your thoughts and reading your comments.

#KidsTummyTroubles

Hello everyone!!

So this is my first blog. Just to introduce myself I am a mom of 2 beautiful girls, a wife to a wonderful husband, oh and also a pediatric gastroenterologist. Which means that most of my patients are coming to me for some type of “tummy trouble.” My friends and family have been telling me for years that i should start a blog because I am constantly getting calls from my friends and family for “my advice” on their kids. So I finally decided to give it a go. I am going to try to post at least once a week or when something cool happens in my life.

Hope that this page may help or entertain anyone following!!