Naturopathic Doctors – Bedford, NS

Why Are Babies Sleeping In Boxes?

We Are Now A Baby Box Distributer!

Why are babies sleeping in boxes you ask? A little bit of a background on where the idea for The Baby Box came from is helpful to gain an appreciation of how the box can impact health outcomes for babies and their families. Baby boxes were first distributed to new mothers in Finland. The program began in 1938, and since then, Finland’s infant mortality rate has dropped from 65 deaths per thousand births to one of the world’s lowest, at 3.3. How does a box do this? The box itself doubles as a bed and mattress for the baby, providing a safe sleep surface for infants until they grow out of it, ~6-8 months. As in Finland, the box is meant to give all babies an equal start in life regardless of socio-economic status. The model is purposefully community-based: after registering online, moms and dads must come to the health centre in person to pick up the free box, building face-to-face relationships and introducing families to other community resources available to them.

Free boxes from The Baby Box Co. provide a cozy and safe place to put your baby down: they’ve been tested by Health Canada as an approved sleep environment for a newborn, and come with a mattress, fitted sheet, and waterproof cover. Your baby can sleep in the box (with the lid off, of course) for the first six months, or until he/she can roll over and can pull up on the sides. The Baby Box Co. also includes some baby care essentials, sleep tips and resources for new parents, and a membership to their online educational portal, The Baby Box University.

The contents of the box give parents a great foundation of how to start and hopefully inspires them to continue along these lines. This is great because if baby arrives before you have everything totally ready, you at the very least have the essentials to get you started.

We as healthcare practitioners know first hand that access to information and resources for new parents is key to successful parenting and better outcomes for babies. This is why we are now proudly distributing the baby box to Halifax’s Regional Municipality. Register at Baby Box University to receive your certificate and come by and get yours today at our office in the Sante Centre. This link explains what you need to do in more detail. You are eligible for a box if you are currently expecting or if you had a baby after Dec. 1, 2016. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

All in all, as a Naturopathic Doctor and Mom I am a huge fan of the Baby Box! Can’t wait for real moms in Nova Scotia to begin receiving their own box and for the benefits on our next generation of babies to be realized.

– Dr. Kathryn

Ear Infections: 101

Fall is such a beautiful time of year; cozy sweaters, thanksgiving, and leaves turning colours. With the change in weather and change in routine, fall also tends to be a time when we see more colds and infections in the office.

It is estimated that 75% of children will experience an ear infection by the time they start school, most commonly occurring between the ages of 6-18 months. The Canadian Paediatric society recommends a watchful waiting approach for 48 hours for mild illness in otherwise healthy children older than 6 months. This is where naturopathic tools can come in handy to support recovery and prevent future infections.

Anatomy:

The ear consists of three different parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Otitis media is the medical term for a middle ear infection. The eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the nose and throat, and is responsible for draining excess fluid. If the eustachian tube is not draining properly, that can lead to a build of of fluid and pressure in the middle ear, causing pain and sometime infection. Infant’s eustachian tubes are more horizontal than vertical, making them more difficult to drain. As children grow the eustachian tube starts to curve down so it is better able to drain.

eustachian-tube

Signs/Symptoms:

Ear infections often develop after a cold or upper respiratory tract infection. Signs that your child might be experiencing an ear infection can range, some being more obvious than others. These might include irritability, fever, rubbing/pulling on the ears, crying, discharge from the ear, runny nose, refusing to nurse on one side.

Physical exams:

The following are some physical exam you can expect your ND to do if your child is experiencing symptoms of an ear infection:

  • Assessing lymph nodes
  • External and Internal inspection of the ears
  • Temperature
  • Inspection of the nose and throat

Treatment:

Naturopathic treatment is focused on supporting the immune system, identifying the underlying cause, relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and fighting infection. The following are some possible options:

  • Staying well hydrated
  • Elimination of dairy from the diet. Dairy can thicken and increase mucus production, making it more difficult to drain from the ear.
  • Removing allergies or sensitivities (food, environmental)
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin C and bioflavonoids
  • Omega 3’s
  • Zinc
  • Antimicrobial and/or immune supportive botanicals
  • Elevate the head of the bed to support drainage
  • Warm compress
  • Onion poultice
  • Analgesic ear drops

Complications:

Although most cases resolve on their own with simple home care, it is important to seek immediate medical attention for the following signs of complications:

  • Deterioration in well-being or no signs of improvement within 24 hours
  • Fever, chills, dizziness, serious hearing loss
  • Severe headache, stiff neck, lethargy
  • Inflammation of surrounding tissues and/or displacement of the ear
  • Tympanic membrane rupture (severe sharp pain followed by discharge from the ear)

 

Please consult with your naturopathic doctor regarding the best options for your child!