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Homeopathic Treatments for Babies Suffering from Colic

Once again I am reminded in my practice where homeopathy can fill the gap, where conventional medicine and treatments are unsafe or ineffective, when it comes to treatments for babies suffering from colic pains and other problems in assimilation and digestion.

In the past month, I have seen weeks-old babies crying or screaming for hours each day or night, struggling with wind and explosive bowel movements, or twisting and turning in a futile attempt to relieve pain from cramping. In some cases the babies are being breastfed so issues around formula intolerance or incompatibility are not a factor. This is often especially difficult for the breastfeeding mother as she can begin to wonder if something is wrong with her breast milk or her own diet. She can feel as if she is doing what is best for her baby by nursing, only to watch her baby suffer and scream in pain. I am always very supportive of the mother to continue nursing as we begin to treat the baby to improve their digestion and assimilation.

Coping with a baby who spends hours crying in pain with no apparent consolation can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally, for both parents. These parents come to me depleted on every level and frustrated because nothing seems to help their child, and hours of crying or screaming feel unbearable. Conventional doctors say that many babies will ‘grow out of it’ within 12 to 16 weeks, but this can feel like a lifetime for the exhausted parents hoping this will be the case.

As a homeopath, I am looking at why the baby is in pain with the intent of improving their overall digestion, assimilation and elimination. Unlike conventional medical practitioners, I am not looking at symptoms except as indicators of what homeopathic remedies might address the underlying causes, by stimulating the baby’s own innate healing process or immune response.

Details as to what the baby is like when he or she is in pain (twisting, arching back, drawing her legs in, etc.), the time that the pain is at its worst, any relief from a bowel movement or passing wind , among others, will lead me to choose a remedy that is most similar (homeopathic) to her symptoms. Even the smallest detail will help me to select one remedy over another. For example, the common colic remedy Colocynthis (made from the bitter cucumber) addresses pains during which the baby draws her legs up and inwards. The remedy Dioscorea (made from the wild yam) addresses colic pains in which the baby arches backward. The precise symptoms, from a homeopathic viewpoint, are very specific indicators of what the body needs to heal itself.

Homeopathic remedies are made from highly-diluted substances derived from plants, animals, or minerals and are safe to take when pregnant or nursing, and in the treatment of babies and children, and alongside conventional medications.

While colic pains can initiate a visit to the doctor to rule out a serious condition, I have had a great deal of success with parents reporting a significant improvement in their baby’s condition within hours, and in some cases complete relief within weeks, which in turn improves the baby’s overall mood and restores sleep patterns. One mother told me only last week that it was as if she ‘got her baby back’ — another example of the power of homeopathy!


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Homeopathic Remedies Safe for Breastfeeding Mothers

In the past weeks, I have had the privilege of treating several mothers with new babies. They had issues around breastfeeding, such as mastitis, over/under productive milk supply, and exhaustion from night nursing.

As with pregnancy, homeopathic remedies provide safe and effective treatments for both mother and child during the early days, weeks, and months of life. Remedies can be prescribed to help regulate a milk supply that seems to be too high, leading to engorgement. This makes it difficult for a baby to ‘latch on’, can cause discomfort to the mother and increase the likelihood of mastitis, a hard, painful lump that appears on the breast from a blocked milk duct. Other remedies can be prescribed to a new mother who is not producing enough milk, to help stimulate lactation and to address sore and cracked nipples.

There are specific remedies for mastitis, which can interfere with breastfeeding because of pain and flu-like symptoms for the mother. If these symptoms appear it is important that the new mother get support as soon as possible by contacting her homeopath, nurse mid-wife, and/or lactation consultant. In most cases, a homeopathic and/or herbal remedy will support the body’s healing response and the mother is encouraged to continue to nurse as it is no danger to the baby. Also, emptying the milk ducts will facilitate any blocked ducts and/or ease inflammation locally. Although very rare, in serious cases antibiotics may be prescribed by a physician.

For the new mother who is breastfeeding, feeling exhausted and depleted, there is support both physically and emotionally. One such remedy is called Cocculus, which is specific to ailments from night-nursing and known to help support energy levels, re-establish sleep patterns, and ease anxiety and agitation from exhaustion.

I have extensive experience with Le Leche League, an international lactation support organization. I can also recommend books and resources for support around other issues that occur during breastfeeding, night-time parenting and baby-wearing, for parents who chose to explore these parenting options.


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