I had a lovely morning with my Homebirth Group today 😊 Such empowering, inspiring ladies keeping me on track for my own homebirth in December 😊
There were 2 ladies there with brand new babies, one who was suffering with some uncomfortable wind and I was reminded of my own journey with Eden.
She used to be so uncomfortable! I remember one day that she started crying when my husband left for work in the morning and didn’t stop until he got home in the afternoon pretty much; only when she cried herself to sleep exhausted or fed. Otherwise it was pretty much constant. Or so it felt. It was heartbreaking to be unable to soothe her and I really struggled that day. The words “I can’t do this” were on the edge of my tongue as I handed her over helplessly to my husband when he got home.
There were many dark days and I have so much empathy for new mums who are finding it hard! There is no book that tells you what is wrong or what to do to help, everybody seems to offer different advice, and ultimately you have to find what works for you.
Today reminded me of the things that worked for us and I wondered if it would be helpful to share them….
The first is a simple, but beautiful technique called the I Love You massage. There are some clear instructions at this link: http://www.shoppinglifestyle.com/parenting/i-love-you-infant-massage/769/2/ Basically you are tracing the shape of an I and an upside down L and U on baby’s tummy to move pockets of air along. This really worked for us and was a beautiful way to bond, with Eden’s wide eyes staring up at me! It was relaxing to do before bed and I found Sweet Almond Oil gentle on her skin.
The second technique was pedalling her legs like a bicycle, gently. I tended to do this if she woke uncomfortable in the night. I would hold her little ankles gently and press her legs towards her chest and then hold for a few seconds. I would then alternate the legs like pedalling and then go back to two legs at a time; whatever seemed to be effective for her. She would often let out wind when I was doing this!
Another great thing I learned was about laid back breastfeeding. Have a read of http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/# and see if this is for you. I felt part of Eden’s wind issues early on was how much milk I had – I.e. lots! She would splutter and fuss, feed in short bursts and really often and I guess take in air. She had explosive green poos too! However these improved when I cut out dairy (see the following tip.) For me laid back breastfeeding helped gravity work in our favour. It was also overwhelmingly beautiful lying with her skin to skin.
Diet. This one was a big one for us. Ultimately I found many things in my diet were affecting Eden, but that was because of the issues with her gut. However, there are certain foods I would recommend every mum struggling with a windy baby try cutting out to see if it helps. I found this picture with a good summary:
Also use a good baby probiotic. You can dab on your breast before baby feeds as a way of feeding the probiotic to them. (I got some funny looks as Eden would unlatch though, with a moustache of white powder!)
Last, but not least, acupressure. Just gently applying pressure in the blue and pink areas on the picture below. This can be done as a massage or simply pressing gently for no longer than 30 seconds. Baby will often tell you when they have had enough and withdraw their little tootsies! Eden wouldn’t stand for much touching of her feet, but reflexologists and Chinese practitioners speak highly of the power of these points.
Using Essential Oils
As Eden got older (3 months +) we used essential oils more and more to help her. For example, I massaged a proprietary doTERRA blend into her tummy during the I Love You massage, which worked really well! It is called Digestzen.
I only recommend 100% certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils for use on your little one. The majority of essential oils are intended for fragrance or food, rather than therapeutic response, so are made from a majority of man-made laboratory created scents. The bottle may contain some essential oil, and may produce a therapeutic response, but their quality is not dependent on providing results that are therapeutic, they just literally need to smell and taste good.
Importantly, they have to smell and taste THE SAME every time! Which means that if the essential oil used in a particular formulation doesn’t meet the expectation or requirement for the manufacturer they will have their chemists ‘manipulate’ the oil with man-made chemicals to ‘standardize’ the end product. They can also fill essential oil bottles with cheaper chemicals to bring down the price of the bottle.
The essential oils I use and trust, and recommend to my clients are from dōTERRA. I have used essential oils on and off since I was a teenager – mainly as aromatherapy – but it had never occurred to me that the quality of oils I was using matters. When I first experienced dōTERRA I was blown away by the difference of these Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils and was curious to learn and experiment more. Within a couple of weeks one sample had turned into an entire box and now my oils are an everyday part of my family’s wellness journey. <<Read more here>>
Finally when nothing else worked for us we used colic calm, a natural gripe water (one that really is natural and not full of sugar and alcohol!) It is from a company called tummy calm and you can buy it over the counter in the pharmacy for a pretty penny. This link from their website that is a great resource for breastfeeding.
I hope some of these tried and tested techniques work for you if you are struggling with the Baby Wind Blues and if you have your own things that have worked for you, please feel free to share in the comments.
To find out more about essential oils click here. If you keen on trying essential oils I write a free e-book to help you get started. You can access it here. Or if you would like some help from me directly, Click here!
Much love x x