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Mother & Baby

Breast Milk Boosts Children’s Immunity

Breast Milk Boosts Children’s Immunity

As this week is officially World Breastfeeding Week, an annual event, endorsed by WHO and UNICEF, this article highlights some of the benefits of breastfeeding. Breast milk has been found to contain more than 700 species of beneficial bacteria. Spanish scientists have used a technique based on DNA sequencing to identify a set of bacteria in breast milk called microbiome. The scientists analysed samples of Colostrum, which is the first secretion of the mammary glands (breast milk) after birth. They found more than 700 species of microorganisms, which is more than were originally thought. The study was published in the ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’. The most common bacteria that were found in the colostrum’s were Weissella, Leuconostoc, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Lactococcus. “We are not yet able to determine if these bacteria colonise the mouth of the baby or whether oral bacteria of the breast-fed baby enter the breast milk and thus change its composition,” said the authors. The study also found that mothers who were overweight or those who put on more than the recommended weight during pregnancy had fewer species of bacteria.  The researchers also found that women who had a planned caesarean section (C-Section) delivery had fewer species of bacteria in their breast milk than the mothers who had a vaginal birth. The study did however find that those mothers who had an unplanned C-section delivery had a bacterial composition that was similar to mothers who had a vaginal birth. These findings could lead to more work regarding childhood allergies and autoimmune diseases. The researchers are hopeful that these findings could lead to improved childhood nutrition. “If the breast milk bacteria discovered in this study were important for the development of the immune system, its addition to infant formula could decrease the risk of allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases.” the authors...

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Can Grape Seed Extract Protect Against Norovirus?

A recent study has found that grape seed extract can reduce the severity and potentially provide as good a protection as Norovirus vaccines, which are being lined up as part of a mass vaccination programme to prevent this illness in babies. Scientists from Ghent University in Belgium have discovered that grape seed extract may be a genuine alternative to the vaccine. This is potentially very good news for parents who are worried about the possibility of giving another vaccine to their newborns. The researchers found that low doses of grape seed extract attacked the lining of the virus which prevented replication. At higher doses, the researcher found that the grape seed extract destroyed the entire virus protein. The report stated, “This provides evidence that (grape seed extract) could effectively damage the (norovirus) capsid protein, which could reduce viral binding ability and infectivity...

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Is iodine essential during pregnancy?

Is iodine essential during pregnancy?

Pregnant women need to ensure that they eat foods that contain iodine, but is iodine essential during pregnancy? Researchers have discovered that a lack of this mineral can result in children having lower IQ and reading ability. A study of more than 1,000 pregnant women found that two thirds were found to be deficient in iodine. The results found that the lower the amount of iodine, the lower the IQ and reading ability. The study was conducted at Bristol and Surrey universities and was published in The Lancet. The researchers used samples from the “Children of the 90’s” project. This was a long term research project involving 14, 000 mothers during 1991 and 1992. Their children’s health and development has been followed since.   Iodine rich foods Iodine is only required in trace amounts in the body. This mineral is essential for physical and mental development. Iodine is also required for a healthy thyroid. Foods that are high in iodine are:  Dairy foods Seafood Mushrooms Sea salt Spinach Soy beans Garlic Sesame seeds Kelp The researchers said that women who were planning a pregnancy and pregnant women should ensure they get enough iodine through diet (above), but they warned against taking kelp supplements, as they can have excessively higher doses of iodine. Women who don’t consume these foods can should consult your pharmacist or GP before staring supplements. Signs of deficiency This is quite rare in developed countries, but as the result of the study found, this deficiency is becoming more common. Iodine is used by the thyroid gland to produce the hormones, thyroxine and tri-iodothyroxine. These hormones control our metabolism and energy levels. Hypothyroidism can be caused by a lack of iodine, and can cause fatigue, dry skin, weight gain and reduced mental clarity. Supplements Many vitamin companies produce iodine supplements, but should be taken under the supervision of a nutritionist or GP, especially if hypothyroidism has been...

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Homeopathy for Childrens Sleep Problems

Homeopathy for Childrens Sleep Problems

Most young children (newborns through to toddlers) will unfortunately suffer with sleep problems at some part of their lives. Babies,under 6 months, will generally wake up during the night due to hunger, so feeding patterns may need to be looked at. Persistent sleep problems will have an impact on parents and the child. Your child may also be suffering with colic or nappy rash.These conditions can be treated naturally with homeopathic remedies. For example, nappy rash can also be relieved by applying natural creams containing Calendula. Homeopathic remedies should only be given after you have eliminated all of the possible causes of the sleep problems. Sleep problems can even be the result of not having a consistent routine. The following homeopathic remedies can be given up to three times at night. The first dose can be given one hour before the scheduled bedtime. Subsequent doses can be given at 30 minute intervals for up to 2 doses. These remedies should be given in the 30c potency. Chamomilla is one of the main remedies for babies and young children. This homeopathic remedy is regularly prescribed for colic and teething. Chamomilla should be considered if your child is very irritable and wants to be carried. Nux Vomica can be given if the child wakes up at around 4am, and cannot be calmed. The child may fall asleep without any problems. In this case you can give a dose of the remedy 30 minutes before bedtime, and repeat the dose if the child wakes. Coffea is a well known homeopathic remedy for sleep problems in adults. This remedy is usually indicated for sleep problems that result from being over excited. Aconite should be considered if the child has had a shock or fright. This homeopathic remedy can help to negate the effects of fright or shock. Homeopathic remedies can be prepared in the form of drops, powders or granules for young children. These remedies can be purchased from specialised homeopathic pharmacies such as Ainsworths, Helios or Weleda. I would recommend consulting a homeopath or pharmacist at these pharmacies for specific advice.If the symptoms persist you should consult your GP or homeopath. We hope you found this article on “Homeopathy for Childrens sleep...

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Homeopathic Remedies for Baby Constipation

Constipation is a condition that affects almost all babies and infants at some time. The exact definition of constipation varies from a couple of days to one week without passing a stool.  A more accurate definition is an irregular and painful passing of stools. There are many reasons why constipation affects babies and infants. These vary from a developing digestive system, problems with feeding and in older infants, toilet training. Constipation can also be a sign of dehydration. Homeopathy offers a safe and effective solution to this common condition. Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the body to heal itself. These natural remedies are safe for all babies and in most cases only a few doses will be required. Conventional medicines work by stimulatingthe muscles in the bowel to produce a movement, or by softening the stools, sothey can pass easily. Medicines that are usually prescribed to young childreninclude Lactulose, Glycerol Suppositories, Senna and Sodium Picosulfate. Longterm use of these medications leads to the muscles in the bowels becoming weakand dependent on stimulation by these medications. The following homeopathic remedies can begiven in drop form. Two drops in 5mls of water is equivalent to one dose. As ageneral dose, you can give one dose three times a day for up to three days. Thesehomeopathic remedies can be given in the 30c potency. You should also give yourchild more water to speed up recovery. If the condition has not improved,please consult a qualified homeopath. Nux Vom. This remedy is ideal for babieswho have alternating constipation and diarrhoea. The child may be irritable andchilly. This remedy should be considered if your child feels the urge to pass astool but is unable to. Bryonia is the indicated remedy if yourchild is dehydrated and has a dry mouth. The stools are large, very dry andhard. This homeopathic remedy is useful if your child is also teething. Bryoniais the remedy of choice if your child is also irritable and upset by movingabout and noise. They prefer to rest and be in a quiet room. Calc Carb is must have homeopathic remedy for your kit. The child feels better when constipated. The stools are large and hard. Lycopodium. This homeopathic remedy should be given if there...

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Homeopathic remedies for after child vaccinations

Vaccination is a very controversial and difficult decision that many parents face. There is a lot of conflicting information regarding the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines. One of the main issues regarding childhood vaccines is the amount of vaccines that babies are exposed to, even before their immune systems are fully developed. On average a baby will have up to 20 vaccines, before the age of 2. This can put a lot of strain on their immune systems. Vaccines can cause a host of side effects, ranging from a mild fever, rashes, vomiting, through to seizures and anaphylactic reactions. There are many books and websites that offer you advice and alternatives to vaccination. A website that I recommend to parents is www.informedparent.co.uk. This site provides impartial advice to parents regarding vaccination. Many parents also complain that their G.P’s pressurise them and often feel bullied into vaccinating their children without being able to make an informed choice. It is therefore important to do as much research as possible before deciding whether or not to vaccinate. If you choose to go ahead and vaccinate your baby, there are homeopathic remedies that you can give to help prevent some of the side effects, and help to clear the toxic effects of the vaccines.  I have recommended the following remedies for many babies, including my nephew and niece. These natural homeopathic remedies have helped to prevent many of the side effects of vaccines, but they need to be given correctly. The main remedies are Silica and Thuja. I usually combine these into a single remedy. The most effective way that I have found is by giving these remedies in a liquid form. Two drops of this remedy 5mls of water is equivalent to one dose. You will need to purchase these remedies from a specialist homeopathic pharmacy, such as Ainsworths, Helios or Weleda. This remedy should be given alongside a homeopathic remedy made from the specific vaccine. For example if your child was having the DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) vaccine, you should give a dose of DTP 30C before vaccination, after vaccination and a last dose that evening. The Silica/Thuja 30C combination remedy should be given straight after vaccination, and then twice...

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Homeopathic remedies for a baby with a cold

Colds and blocked noses are a common condition that affect nearly all babies. Conventional remedies cannot generally be given to very young children. Menthol and eucalyptus based products should not be used in children under the age of three months. Paracetamol based products should not be used for baby snuffles or colds, as these products are not cold remedies. There are however a number of safe and effective natural homeopathic remedies that you can confidently give to your baby to help clear this blocked mucus. Before we talk about the specific remedies, there are two natural products that can be used alongside the homeopathic remedies. Saline (salt water) nose drops are very effective before feeds, to help relieve the nasal congestion. These drops can be used safely from birth. The other product is Calendula cream. This cream will help to treat the soreness around the nose, and can be applied up to three times a day. The following homeopathic remedies should be given in the 30c potency, three times a day for up to one week. If the symptoms persist, please consult a qualified homeopath. These homeopathic remedies can be given in various forms. They are available as drops, which can be diluted in a little water. The homeopathic remedies can also be given in the form of tablets or pills, which can be crushed between two spoons, or as a soft tablet, which dissolves in the mouth. Pulsatilla. This remedy has many indications for babies and young children. Pulsatilla should be given if the mucus is greenish yellow in colour, and if the symptoms are changing, i.e. if the nose alternates from being blocked to runny. Your baby may also be more clingy and tearful. Sambucus is one of the main remedies for baby snuffles. This homeopathic remedy is indicated if your baby’s nose is dry or blocked by thick mucus. The symptoms may improve by sitting your baby up. Sambucus will help to relieve the nasal congestion, and make it easier for your baby to breathe through the nose. Nux Vomica can be given for a blocked nose which may be streaming during the day, and blocked up at night. Your baby may also be very irritable....

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Homeopathic remedies for glue ear

Glue ear is a condition that is very common in young children and infants. Approximately four in five children will have had the condition by the age of 5. The medical term for glue ear is otitis media with effusion. This condition is generally caused by repeated middle ear infections resulting in an accumulation of sticky fluid behind the ear drum. There are a selection of homeopathic remedies for glue ear available. The symptoms of glue ear are different to those of middle ear infections. The child won’t necessarily complain of pain or have a fever. The main problem is increasing deafness and in extreme cases total hearing loss. These symptoms usually come on gradually, so your child may not be aware of the condition. The hearing impairment may result in your child having problems with paying attention, interacting with other children, and problems with balance. The child may also have problems with speech and language. Homeopathic remedies can be given safely and effectively to young children to treat glue ear. Conventional treatment involves antibiotics, steroids and in some cases surgery. Repeated use of antibiotics in young children can compromise natural immune function, and lead to more infections! It is therefore advisable to consider homeopathy and other natural treatments such as cranial osteopathy. The following homeopathic remedies can be given to children of any age. You should give the remedies in the 30c potency, three times a day for up to two weeks. If there is no improvement after this time, please consult a qualified homeopath. Pulsatilla is a remedy that should be in every home. This homeopathic remedy can be used for many childhood conditions. Pulsatilla is indicated for glue ear that follows an ear infection. The child may complain of a stuffed up or full feeling in the ear. Children who require this remedy will be emotional, clingy and require lots of sympathy. The symptoms will generally be better in open air. There may be discharges from the ear that are thick, bland and yellow/green in colour. Merc Sol is a homeopathic remedy that is commonly prescribed for infections. This natural remedy is indicated for ear discharge that is smelly and thick. The child may also have a lot of...

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Probiotics Reduce Risk of Eczema in Children

The BMJ (British Medical Journal), 23rd July 2010, has reported that a study conducted on pregnant women who drank milk containing “friendly bacteria” during pregnancy and during breastfeeding reduced the risk of their the developement of eczema in children. The study also found that these probiotics can reduce the severity of the eczema symptoms. Probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are beneficial bacteria that are normally present in the digestive tract. Probiotics are naturally found in the body and they have a number of important functions in the body. They are essential for proper digestion, preventing overgrowth of yeast and other harmful bacteria. Probiotics also improve the absorption of vitamins, especially the B vitamins, and minerals into the bloodstream.  Studies have shown that probiotics may reduce the incidence of allergies by supporting the immune system. Research has also shown that babies given probiotic supplements have a lower risk of developing eczema. This latest study was conducted by researchers in Norway on 415 pregnant women who were planning to breastfeed their babies. The group were split into two, half the women drank milk with probiotics from the 36th week of the pregnancy until their baby was 3 months old, and the other half drank identical milk without the added probiotics. The researchers followed up with the mothers and toddlers after two years. The results showed that the children, whose mother’s had the probiotic milk, were half as likely, to have eczema at the age of 2 than those whose mothers were in the other group, with the regular milk. In those children in the probiotic group, that did develop eczema, the symptoms were generally less severe. The researchers concluded that the widespread use of probiotics by pregnant women might reduce the rates of eczema in children.  ...

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Homeopathic remedies for chickenpox

Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral disease that is spread by droplets from the nose or mouth of an infected child. It can also be contracted from an adult with shingles. The symptoms usually start with a moderate fever, tiredness, runny nose and lead to the itchy rash. These symptoms are normally very mild in children, but can be more severe in adults. Read on for our recommendations of homeopathic remedies for chickenpox. The following natural homeopathic remedies should be taken three to four times a day in the 30c potency. These remedies are safe for babies and children of all ages. Rhus Tox should be given if the child has a fever and is restless. The itchiness may be less intense for warmth and rubbing. Antimony Tart is recommended when the vesicles on the skin are painful. The child may describe the skin as being burning. There may also be an accompanied cough that is “loose and rattly”. Sulphur is a good remedy for intense itching and burning skin. The skin symptoms are better for open air with this homeopathic remedy. Pulsatilla is for a rash that is itchy that is worse for warmth. The child may also have a thick yellow discharge from the nose and eyes. The child may crave sympathy and be weepy....

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Natural Remedies to Support a Child’s Immune System

Natural remedies can play a vital role in maintaining and boosting a child’s immune system. Nursery and school are full of bugs that usually get passed around the class. Natural remedies such as vitamins and homeopathy can help to strengthen your child’s natural defences to these bugs. Homeopathy is a therapy that works to support and strengthen the immune system. This is usually done by giving constitutional homeopathic remedies that are specific to the child. The remedies are prescribed after a consultation with a qualified homeopath. The aim of this treatment is to support the child’s immune response to any illness. These constitutional homeopathic remedies are safe and non toxic. The homeopath will usually ask questions about the health of the parent’s, the child’s sleep patterns, personality, and the general appearance of the child. Homeopathy can also be used after vaccination in order to help with the “detox” process. You should consult a qualified homeopath or obtain advice from a homeopathic pharmacy. Nutrition is very important in the health of child. In babies, this will mainly come in the form of breast feeding, so the mother’s nutrition is very important. Breast milk provides babies with all the antibodies and nutrients that are required for their developing immune systems. If you are breast feeding your baby, a diet containing plenty of fruit and vegetables is very important to maintain the health of your own immune system. Research has shown that breasting mothers who supplement with probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus help to provide immune support to the child. Essential Fatty Acids are also important in supporting the immune system of your child. This can be given in the form of chewable capsules or liquids that are tailored for young children. It is a good idea to supplement your child’s diet with a suitable multiple vitamin preparation. This ensures that your child is receiving the adequate amounts of vitamins and nutrients to help support their developing immune systems. Young children should be encouraged to be active and start exercising from an early age. This will help to support a healthy immune system. Regular exercise also helps to prevent the development of obesity, which is becoming a common problem amongst children...

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Homeopathic cradle cap treatments

Cradle cap is a form of eczema that affects the scalp. It looks like a bad case of dandruff. The patches are yellowish, scaly and greasy in appearance. It is a very condition that usually starts in babies during the first three months. Cradle cap can last for a few weeks to a few months. Read on for our suggestions of homeopathic cradle cap treatments. The condition usually starts on the head and can spread to the ears and eyebrows. It can also extend to the face. Cradle cap does not cause any discomfort to the baby and is not itchy. The condition can look unsightly and in most cases it usually clears up by the age of 2, although in some cases cradle cap can persist or reappear in patches for longer. Homeopathic Remedies are an alternative to anti fungal shampoos that are conventionally used. These should be taken in the 6c or 30c potency, twice a day for up to two weeks. If the condition persists, you should consult a qualified homeopath. Graphites. This remedy will help if the the scalp is has moist, crusty patches. Calc Carb is the remedy of choice if the baby is chubby, and has a quiet nature. Their scalps will be sweaty with a sour smell. Sulphur should be given if the scalp is very dry and itchy. The head may also feel hot and look reddish in colour. Other Recommended Treatments: Weleda Calendula Baby Oil Calendula Baby Moisturising...

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