The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

21st April 2017

We invite our readers to ask a natural therapist their burning questions. Gemma Hurditch is our expert for this issue, for the College of Naturopathic Medicine

The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

21st April 2017

The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

21st April 2017

Q Why does my 2 week old baby cry constantly throughout the night? The only thing that soothes her is when my wife is breastfeeding her, but then baby gets sick after too much feeding.

A If your GP has ruled out other factors, your new babe may have ‘colic’. Sit her up after feeding, rub her back a little, don’t burp her unnecessarily. Cuddles and physical contact create security. Look online at how to swaddle correctly. A low allergen maternal diet is associated with a reduction in distressed infant behaviour. Try excluding dairy products and formulas, soy, wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and fish. Digestively aggravating foods also include the cabbage family, garlic, onions, caffeine, and fried foods. Instead, try avocado, wheat-free breads, tahini, rice and oat milks, carrots, bell peppers, cucumber and berry smoothies with oats and flaxseeds. Organic foods maximise nutrition and minimise toxins. The beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 can help colicky infants. BioGaia is my product choice. A blend of nine herbs, known as Iberogast, can also help soothe baby, with 6 drops, 3 times per day.

Q I am concerned about my one year old breastfed son’s bowel movements. They are loose and explosive and bright in colour. My wife and I suspect he is not getting enough fibre. What would you recommend?

A There are a few questions posed before this question can be answered properly. Is your son solely breastfed? At one year old I imagine he is trying some solids, so it could be that something is disagreeing with him. Explosive bowels can also indicate too much milk too quickly - is he guzzling the milk and swallowing a lot of air? What colour is the stool? Colour can indicate certain issues, bright green explosions can be lactose intolerance; bright yellow or orange can be enzyme deficiency, or even just the result of eating a lot of mashed carrot. You can rest assured that if your son is getting a variety of fibrous vegetables such as peas and carrots, and fruit such as pears and apple, along with wholegrain rather than the white processed grains he will be getting the fibre recommended for a one year old. Focus on whole organic and varied options, with at least five different vegetables/fruits per day.

Q Can you recommend the best foods to start feeding to my six month old? Is it important to choose organic food if I’m cooking it?

A I favour organic where possible because it is tastier and frequently has higher levels of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients good for our health. Keeping the pesticides, herbicides, etc, to a minimum is also important; there are links to these chemicals and autism, as well as other health issues. As your baby is six months old, you may be interested in looking into baby-led weaning; if your little one can sit upright with good control, can reach for and bring food to mouth and has lost the tongue-extrusion reflex (this makes a baby stick her tongue out when something is put into her mouth), then she is ready. Baby-led weaning is about allowing your little one to decide on how much and what, from a variety of choices, she will eat. This is seen to help develop a more adventurous palate and a less fussy eater. Foods must be firm enough to grasp, soft enough to gum, and safe to swallow. Steam them until soft - carrot sticks, broccolini, sweet potato, peas, and avocado are good to start with.

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LEARN CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) trains students for careers in natural therapies: naturopathy-uk.com

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