All babies cry but some babies cry ALL the time or for prolonged periods, and nothing seems to comfort them. Read on, because in this article we will be exploring some of the causes for this crying and looking specificaly at the issue of reflux and what Homeoapthy can do to help.
Firstly, I want to acknowledge those parents reading this who are going through this experience. It is not quite what you imagined when you gave birth to your baby is it? Your desire to help your child, coupled with the emotional and physical exhaustion of coping with relentless crying when you feel powerless to stop it, can really take its toll. One of my babies cried like this and for 4 months the only thing that would sometimes help was very fast forward motion in a pram. Consequentially, I walked very fast for miles and miles every day which was physically exhausting in itself. If I had had the homeopathic know-howI have now back then, I would am sure my child would not have had to cry like that! So personally it is very important to me that I can pass this information on to you.
Please share this with other parents who may behaving a crying baby experience!
Causes of Crying
If you have a baby who cries alot it is important that you make sure that very serious issues have been ruled out by having your baby examined by a doctor. Once you have done this you can move on to identify what is actually wrong with your baby. There are 3 common areas to consider:
- Structural issues
This first article will look at reflux as a cause of crying and provide homeopathic, naturopathic and self-help solutions for you and your baby.
What is Reflux?
Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux/Disease or GOR/GORD is the spontaneous passage of part or all of the stomach contents (comprising food and stomach acid) into the oesophagus. There may be symptoms such as regurgitation, posseting and projectile vomiting. Sometimesthe vomit does not emerge from their mouths, and the child may not vomit at all. This is termed “silent reflux”.
When this condition causes additional complications such as failure to thrive or oesophagitis, the condition is then referred to as GORD (gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease). Read this fora list of reflux symptoms and for an excellent additional resource.
Self-help for parents
Firstly, if you have an infant with reflux you are probably exhausted. The tissue salts Kali Phos 3X will be ideal for you to take as a parent 3 times a day to help support your energy levels. Secondly eating properly is incredibly important. Not just if you are breastfeeding but to support your body while you weather this storm. Try to make nutritious high protein choices rather than sugary carbohydrate ones. If you like it, eat some red meat to increase your B vitamin intake as these vitamins support your nervous system in times of stress. Thirdly time-out from the routine is incredibly important. Arrange a regular slot where a relative or friend can look after your baby for a couple of hours. It is the regularity of this break that is imortant because you can plan around it and look forward to it.
Help For Your Crying Baby
If your baby has been diagnosed with either rflux or colic and all more serious causes have been eliminated, it is essential to consider lactose intolerance first as a causation as it is very common. If you are breastfeeding remove all dairy products from your diet for 3 weeks and see if your baby inproves. If you are bottle feeding place your baby on a lactose-free formula for 3 weeks. It is important if you are breastfeeding that you try and continue; as this is one of the best ways to protect and heal your baby’s digestive issues as long as you are eating suitable foods for your baby.
Gut Health Give your baby an infant probiotic. 80% of the immune system comes from the gut so ensuring there is balance in the gut is doing your baby a great favour! If your baby has had antibiotics and/or you have while pregnant or breastfeeding ,this step is even more important. If you want to understand more about the importance of the gut and how to look after it, find out more in “Is Your Gut Your Problem” and the follow on article “Your Homeopathic Gut Toolkit“.
Homeopathic Treatment for Reflux
Natrum Phos 3X tissue salt helps neutralise acids and aids digestion. Give this 3 times a day to your baby for 4-6 weeks and if results are encouraging, continue until all symptoms are resolved.
Magnesium Phos 3X is another tissue salt that helps with cramps, spasm and pain. It works best when administered in warm water and can be given at the same time as the Natrum Phos 3X
Aethusia 30:This is the ideal homeopathic medicine for those babies who cannot tolerate breastmilk and have vomiting, regurgitation and/or silent reflux. Give this medicine twice a day until symptoms improve.
Phosphorus 30: Give this medicine when vomiting begins as soon as the milk has a chance to warm up in the stomach. Strangely the baby is better fro colder drinks or food.
Lycopodium 30: Use this medicine if your baby is worse between 4-8pm and sometimes also at 2AM. Flatulence and gurgling tummy with bloating may also be present. Your baby will be better lying on the right side.
Silicea 30: For babies who reject the breast and who vomit up breastmilk as curds after feeding and are hungry after. They cannot digest it. Give Silicea to the breastfeedingMOTHER (rather than the baby) twice day.
Kali Carb 30: Symptoms worse between 2-4am and after eating. Chronic painwhich is better for motion, hot drinks and bending forward.
Bryonia 30: Acute attacks of pain worse for the slightest motion accompagnied by great thirst. Baby will draw legs up and burp. The tongue may be coated dirty white or brown in centre.
How to prescribe If your baby has reflux or GOR/GORD give the Natrum Phos and Magnesium Phos tissue salts as a matter of course. Then exmaine the descriptions of the homeopathic medicines above and choose the medicine that fits your baby’s symptoms closely. Use that medicine in addition to the tissue salts for 2-3 days and if you observe an improvement continue. If there is no imrpovement select the next closest medicine and try again.
The most helpful piece of advice anyone ever gave me as a new mother came from my own mother. She said that when times are difficult and it seems like there is no way out and nothing makes a difference, remember that EVERTHING is transient and this, like everything else will pass.
I hope you too find this helpful:)
Happy Homeopathic prescribing!