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The Rockabye-Baby Series | Why Breast is Best

Did you know today is World Breastfeeding Day? Nor did I until I started looking at the ever-increasing array of awareness days and campaigns!

You’re doing everything by the book – and there are countless books, blogs, apps and gadgets that promise to help you and your baby sleep. Motherhood is nothing new but the infodemic around motherhood is. There is a whole industry around this wonderful yet vulnerable time of your life. That’s not to say that it’s all bad – there’s some truly amazing help out there – but you can help yourself and your baby sleep when you relearn to trust your instinct and be more discerning of the answer being ‘out there’.

To mark this wonderful day, I wanted to:

The Microbiome

The microbiome is medical science’s name for the gut, which is the collective name for the intestines and bowel.

Did you know…

The link between gut health and sleep is well-documented as you’ll read in this blog. If you missed it, check out my Infant Insomnia blog. It therefore makes sense to keep your own and, in turn, your baby’s gut healthy to help establish a healthy sleep cycle. Breast is best for this as your colostrum, rich in human oligosaccharides, will help lay the foundations for healthy gut flora in your baby. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, focus on your gut health now to give your baby a strong natural immune system. Check out my gut health blog to improve gut health today.

Old & New Knowledge

Although medical research into the microbiome is relatively new, and their findings are nothing short of incredible, the gut/brain connection has been known for thousands of years by Traditional Chinese Medicine (“TCM”) practitioners. In TCM, the gut is known as the Second Brain, and for good reason – the gut contains millions of nerve cells – so your ‘gut feeling’ or ‘gut instinct’ is very real.

Homeopathy made the connection over 200 years ago. Dr Edward Bach, of Bach Flower Remedies fame, was a leading gastroenterologist and, through a fortunate meeting at the London Homeopathic Hospital (renamed the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine – but that’s another story! Suffice to say there were four Homeopathic Hospitals in the UK).

Dr Bach had isolated seven groups of gut bacteria and which he planned to make into vaccines, until he met Dr Hahnemann, founder of Homeopathy, and changed tack completely, choosin Dr Bach had isolated seven groups of gut bacteria and which he planned to make into vaccines, until he met Dr Hahnemann, founder of Homeopathy, and changed tack completely, choosing instead to create homeopathic remedies from them and, thanks to Dr Bach, homeopaths worldwide use these remedies today to help restore healthy gut function). instead to create homeopathic remedies from them and, thanks to Dr Bach, homeopaths worldwide use these remedies today to help restore healthy gut function).

The Research

The medical research arrives weekly that confirms the importance of the microbiome but, more recently, infant microbiome has become the hot topic for research, and that breast milk really is best for your baby. This is the result of the billions of pounds and dollars being ploughed into researching the human microbiome because it is the seat of immunity. Given the last 18 months, that should come as no surprise, but, sadly, not all research is used for benign ends. And there’s the subject of another blog some day!

A recent paper 2 reports that breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby, as it positively influences immunity, physical and mental development, as well as general health and wellbeing. Breast milk provides the ideal balance of nutrients for your baby, containing a wealth of bioactive ingredients such as immunoglobulins, hormones, oligosaccharides and others. HMOs (human milk oligosaccharides) are not present in formula milk but will no doubt be the future direction for formula milk manufacturers. Probiotics are starting to appear in formula milk but nothing can replace mother’s milk because each mother – and all her family and medical history – is unique to her and will inform baby’s immunity. Other research shows that breast feeding helps breast health too. 3

Problems with Breastfeeding

Breast feeding is controlled by two hormones – Prolactin and Oxytocin. 4 They work together to create the milk and secrete the milk respectively. There are many reasons why breastfeeding doesn’t happen, not least personal choice and, if it isn’t working out for you, then you need to look at other options so baby receives vital nutrients.

Apart from physical reasons why it may not be working, there are emotional and psychological factors too. I see many mothers who are at their wits’ ends trying to cope with feeding a hungry or unwilling baby and there is much Homeopathy can do for all kinds of feeding problems and the emotional factors that go with it, so don’t suffer in silence, OK?

Oxytocin is the feelgood hormone and creates the bond between mother and baby. It is also produced during labour and stimulates contractions, so problems in childbirth may well result in problems breastfeeding. I use homeopathic Oxytocin in practice for all kinds of mother and baby problems, not least breast feeding difficulties.

And while I don’t mean to add any pressure to the case for breast feeding, medical research has now linked chronic illness in older children and adults, with a lack of breast feeding in the early years. Formula fed babies are more prone to food allergies, chronic inflammation (ear, nose and throat) and behavioural problems. The decision to breast feed or not has huge implications on healthcare systems globally.

Give your baby the best start by improving your gut health. Some benefits for you both are:

For tips on how to improve health, check out my out my 15 minute gut health video.

Dispelling the Myth around Cow’s Milk

To put it simply: human milk is for human babies; cow’s milk is for baby cows. Cows have four digestive chambers; humans have one. This means at a very basic level that cow’s milk is indigestible by humans – it’s just some humans struggle more than others. For babies, cow’s milk will pose a bigger problem because of their tiny digestive tract, hence colic and reflex. However, it is important to state here that breast fed babies develop colic and reflux, but usually of a less severe nature.

What we do know is that cow’s milk creates mucus in the human gut which makes the digestion of key nutrients more difficult and may lead to a degree of chronic maldigestion. Our belief system about the benefits of cow’s milk for human ingestion was the result of a very successful post-War marketing campaign by the Milk Board. And if you find that thought challenging, you know it’s a belief system! (Belief systems are simply thoughts that have become repetitive and embedded – thanks to advertising – in the subconscious mind). And we’re never more vulnerable than when we’re responsible for the health and survival of a newborn baby.

Why Breast is Best: a homeopathic viewpoint

One of the many things I love about Homeopathy is the infinite nature of the therapeutic toolbox. This brings total flexibility in how to approach even the most complex of cases. Homeopaths can make a remedy out of just about anything, but this blog will introduce a remedy made from human milk, Lac Humanum. To highlight the importance of breast feeding and milk in human development, just look at some of the indications (reasons why I prescribe) this remedy in children and adults:

Many of these indications relate to the concept of nurture, either a lack of or too much, and may relate back to our own experience of being mothered. This is not to cast any blame because we all do the best we can do, until we know more, but the association is commonplace in my practice. To learn more about this, check out Louise Hay. 5 I have followed her work for over 25 years, which makes a connection between thoughts, beliefs and health problems. When I share her suggestions with clients, the correlations are quite staggering. Thoughts really can harm or heal. To read more around how changing your thoughts can change your life, you can read my blog – The 3 Ps.

This connection is supported by the work of American Psychologist Harry Harlow, whose somewhat disturbing work included observing baby monkeys that were subjected to maternal separation, creating symptoms and behaviour of dependency, social isolation, both mentally and socially with the effects lasting into adulthood. 6

How does Sleepability help?

By combining the best of practical sleep tips and homeopathic remedies, I’ve helped many babies and parents with all types of health problems over the 20 years I’ve been in practice. Expert case taking identifies any causative factors as to why your baby may not be feeding, and is how I arrive at a bespoke remedy. The use of safe, effective natural remedies proven to help symptoms that are similar to those experienced by your baby are prescribed along with nutritional advice for Mum. This is a completely different approach to the ‘one size fits all’ approach of conventional medicine.

Homeopathy: the ‘Roots & Branch’ approach

As a Homeopath, I view symptoms as messengers from the body that something is out of synch, versus being the sole problem. While the named condition is useful, the person experiencing the symptoms is most useful in arriving at a bespoke remedy for that person.

By gently resolving any causative factors, for example, birth complications, trauma and medication, your baby can come off of ‘red alert’ meaning the stress hormones will reduce to restore harmony in your baby’s hormone system, to include Oxytocin, the hormonal security blanket and anchor in his or her new world.

My ‘tools of the trade’ have remained unchanged to those used by Homeopaths for over 200 years: what worked then, works now. I love my Repertory (book of clinical symptoms) and Materia Medica (book of remedies) with which I match my client’s symptoms with the remedy produce similar symptoms in other people.

Contact me today for expert guidance and treatment to help you and your baby to sleep again, naturally.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with sleep, why not check out my Top 7 Tips – the journey to natural sleep?

Make today the day you say goodnight to insomnia.

Invest in your rest. Because sleep matters.

Sleepability acknowledges the safety of your baby is paramount and recommends you update your GP and always seek medical help if you have any concerns. Homeopathic treatment does not replace emergency medical care.

Sleepability acknowledges the safety of your baby is paramount and recommends you update your GP and always seek medical help if you have any concerns. Homeopathic treatment does not replace emergency medical care.

Homeopathic treatment does not replace emergency medical care.

1 Li et al, 2018: – ‘The role of the microbiome in insomnia, circadian disturbance and insomnia. Article

2 Wicinski, M et al, 2020: ‘Human Milk Oligosaccharides: Health Benefits, Potential Applications in Infant Formulas, and
Pharmacology’ – paper

3 Zimmermann, P & Curtis, N, 2020: ‘Breast milk microbiota: A review of the factors that influence composition’ – paper

4 Mandal, A, 2019: ‘Breastfeeding and Hormones’, Medical News Life Sciences- paper

5 Hay, Louise, 1984: “You can heal your life”; Hay House; ISBN: 978-0-93761-101-2

6 Positive Psychology, 2021: ‘Harlow’s Monkey Experiments: 3 Findings about attachment’ – article

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To keep you sleeping well, I’d love to send you the latest tips, research and articles on sleep-related matters. Because sleep matters.

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