Happy Healthy Babies VII: Sinus Congestion
The one thing all new parents want is a happy, healthy baby and, oh yes, some sleep! But so much seems to get in the way of all three and the process of making sense of it all can often leave you feeling like you are lost in a maze. I’d love nothing more than to help you find your way to understanding the root of your baby’s symptoms. And it may just happen that you learn something about your own body along the way!
Alternate cleaning exits
Once you understand and accept a few fundamental concepts, then all of baby’s symptoms will begin to make sense and you will be able to take action. Healthy babies need the ability to take in nutrition to feed their growing bodies and eliminate the waste product from that nutrition. The primary elimination organs are the kidneys and bowels. When one or both of these organs are not performing optimally, the body will search for alternate exits to remove the waste product. Those exits include:
1.Sinus Cavity- congestion, post nasal drip
2.Skin- eczema, hives, rashes, acne, cradle cap
3.Lungs- croup, asthmatic like cough
At the appearance or continuation of any of the above symptoms, possible causes to examine include:
•Baby is not having frequent enough bowel movements (3 or more times per day)
•Baby has been introduced to dairy products (including formulas based on cow’s milk)
•Baby has been introduced to soy products (including formulas based on soy)
•Baby’s sensitivity is so high that the dairy and/or soy products mom is consuming are causing symptoms
Commonly used extracts
In my practice, after a complete intake, I use individually selected Gemmotherapy extracts based on baby’s symptoms to support the organs of elimination. I will also look for any of the above mentioned dietary causes that could continue to provoke the symptoms once the organs have been cleaned and strengthened with Gemmotherapy extracts. The extracts I most often find useful with babies include Silver Birch Sap, Blueberry, Walnut, and Fig.
In the past weeks I have shared posts on Croup and Respiratory symptoms as well as Eczema with protocols that will solve these problems right where they begin. This week we are going to take a look at the struggles one young baby had with a continuous stuffy nose. The important takeaway here is that this symptom in babies is much more likely to be caused by poor digestion than a cold.
At twelve weeks of age, Katie began exhibiting signs of nasal congestion and her parents began managing it with the bulb syringe and saline solution they had received from their pediatrician. The challenge was that Katie’s congestion returned shortly after it was cleared with the syringe. After a week, Katie began waking often at night with congestion that needed clearing and she struggled during breastfeeding, unable to breathe through her stuffy nose. Her parents were reassured by friends and family that Kate’s symptom was normal and would pass on its own. The problem was- it didn’t. At 16 weeks of age, Katie’s mother brought her to my practice because Katie’s symptoms had not gotten better and, if anything, they were worse.
Katie’s Intake and Protocol
The intake questions for Katie were quite simple and straightforward, as they are for infants and small children. I take a close look at frequency and consistency of bowel elimination, signs of vitality in the eyes, hair, skin, teeth, and family history, and signs of inflammation. What was normal bowel elimination for a baby Katie’s mother wanted to know? If the baby is solely breastfed and nursing throughout the day, then there should be a minimum of 3-4 bowel movements daily. Katie was having only one bowel movement a day.
Here were the steps we took to address Katie’s congestion
1.An acute Gemmotherapy protocol of Common Alder, Black Currant, and Dog Rose 3x daily to clear the immediate congestion. This protocol, however, will be of no help long term if the cause of the congestion is not addressed.
2.Once the congestion was improved we changed the protocol to Blueberry 3x daily to optimize Katie’s elimination by supporting the function of the bowel and kidneys.
3.Within a week Katie began to have a 2nd bowel movement daily and sometimes a 3rd.
We monitored Katie closely for the next two months. If her congestion reappeared, we would return to the acute protocol of Common Alder, Black Currant, and Rose and also take a look to her mother’s diet. It may be that Katie’s digestion was sensitive enough to be bothered by mom’s consuming dairy and soy products. This is not so uncommon today. Science is making great strides in the study of infant microbiome. You can read more about this topic here.
As for Katie, she continues to do quite well. My hope is that her story along with all of the Happy Healthy Baby stories from the past weeks shed some light on symptoms you may see in your own child. The expressions of your baby’s body don’t have to be a mystery and really are quite easy to understand once you see that their bodies are only trying to find a way to clean.
Has Katie’s story has sparked your interest in Gemmotherapy? I suggest have a look at my recent book, Building Immunity in Babies and Children. Perhaps you are ready to learn even more? Join me in the Midi Pyrenees the summer for a Gemmotherapy Immersion Retreat with my colleague Stephane Boistard or register now for the September Foundations of Gemmotherapy Series live online.