Happy Healthy Babies V: Croup & Respiratory Symptoms

For the past four weeks we have been talking about babies- One of my favorite subjects, especially when it comes to keeping them healthy. Babies respond so beautifully to the natural medicines Gemmotherapy and Homeopathy, allowing parents the opportunity to bypass the whole toxic load encountered with OTC and prescription drugs. By addressing the root cause of what seems like the normal woes of infancy, parents are able to stop future chronic symptoms from developing in their child right from the start. Every suppressed symptom increases the inflammatory state within, exactly the beginning of chronic disease.

So far we have taken a look at the following topics:

Why it really is all about elimination

Addressing Infrequent Bowel Movements

Addressing Acid Reflux

Addressing Colic

Onset of Croup and Respiratory Symptoms

When infrequent elimination is ignored it can trigger any of the aforementioned symptoms in addition to croup and respiratory symptoms. It is important to note that the respiratory system is always more than happy to help share the load of cleaning what the bowels or kidneys have not. The problem is that when it does in fact step up to help, the outcome is less than desirable: a croupy or wheezy baby with symptoms that can be more than a little bit scary for most parents, particularly when it occurs in the wee hours of the night.

Gemmotherapy Support

Because croup, asthmatic coughing, or wheezing in babies is a secondary symptom of poor elimination, addressing it is twofold.
1.The first protocol to settle the pulmonary spasms in the moment is needed quickly and I have found alternating doses of Black Currant and Lithy Gemmotherapy extracts successful.

2.Then, begin the next protocol to address the larger problem that will prevent the symptoms from returning. Determining this will require a look at the specific elimination symptoms of the child. There are several Gemmotherapy extracts that could be useful but which one will depend on the individual and must be determined with a consultation.

Sam’s Story

Here’s a story of little Sam who came to my practice with his exhausted and worried mom. At five months, Sam had developed a pattern of waking in the early hours of the morning with a barking seal like spasmodic cough. His parents would rush him into the steam filled bathroom and hold him upright until his cough was soothed, however long that would take. He would then nurse and eventually return to sleep. A visit to their pediatrician left them unsettled as the option provided was a nebulizer with steroid treatment. This was not a solution that they wished to consider.

Sam’s parents needed a protocol that would work in the moment for his acute symptoms and another he would take daily to address the underlying cause. As with all of the baby symptoms we have discussed this month, Sam’s croup stemmed from poor elimination. Because he was solely breastfed, diet was not likely his issue. We looked to his organs of elimination, bowels and kidneys, to see where the support was needed. This was determined through a checklist of questions I asked Sam’s mother. Important to consider, however, is the fact that if Sam did not improve in a matter of weeks, his sensitivity might be such that eliminating dairy from his mother’s diet may be necessary.

During our consultation, Sam’s mom confirmed that he often skipped days between bowel movements and that could then be followed by a day or two with several “blow outs”. She attributed this to normal baby elimination. While some irregularity can be normal in babies as their digestive systems mature, if there are other symptoms occurring such as reflux, colic, respiratory distress, or skin inflammations, then elimination needs to be supported.

We decided to start Sam on Blueberry Gemmotherapy as it offers gentle support for both the bowel and kidney functions and my experience has proven that babies like Sam respond quite well to it. Sam would take 5 drops 3x daily, directly in his mouth before breastfeeding.

A week later, Sam did have one more episode of croup in the early morning and his parents were able to settle his symptoms with a dose each of Black Currant and Lithy with everyone returning to a peaceful sleep. After that one acute bout, while maintaining continued daily doses of the Blueberry, Sam had no further symptoms. I suggested we check back in with Sam in a month to see how he was progressing. In a case like Sam’s, in which the poor elimination had progressed enough to trigger a respiratory response, I find he may need several months of taking the Gemmotherapy protocol.

Lessons from Sam

There are some important lessons to learn from Sam’s case. One is that by addressing those very early signs of poor or less than optimal elimination, other more serious symptoms can be avoided. The next is that there are natural, safe solutions for babies that offer support to developing organs rather than suppress the inflammatory response. Had Sam’s parents gone the traditional route of the nebulizer, Sam’s poor elimination would never be addressed, the secondary symptoms from his lungs would have been suppressed, and before long he would begin experiencing skin symptoms, most often in the form of eczema. That leads me right into next week’s post on skin symptoms in babies. Be sure to check back for some insight and solutions.

If you are a practitioner that works with babies you may be interested in joining my upcoming Foundations of Gemmotherapy Series held over four Saturdays in May and June. Sessions are recorded so live attendance is not mandatory. Parents can learn more about Gemmotherapy and how it can support their child’s immune system in my latest book Building Immunity in Babies and Children.