There are many ways that you can make your newborns transition into the world more comfortable and reassuring. From skin irritations through to painful colic, nature offers an abundance of plants to heal these conditions. The trend toward natural and organic preparations of these plants is becoming evermore popular due to their efficacy, purity and concerns about harmful environmental toxins in non-organic products. Herbs and homeopathic medicines such as chamomile for pain, are pure and simple and can be administered through the breast milk, by rubbing it on to the nipple before feeding or by giving it to the baby orally.
The most common complaints of newly borns in the post partum period are:
- skin-rash & cradle cap
Any health imbalance will disrupt a babys sense of harmony. So crying and looking ill at ease are a calling for some natural remedies.
Other reasons why babies cry a lot and treatment suggestions
- For pain try homeopathic Chamomilla, Hypericum
- Soothe stress and restlessness by adding some Lavender Bath Milk to your babys bath water. Baby massage also helps.
- Avoid distractions or mess in the babies living area as this can cause stress.
- For infections try homeopathic Ferrum Phos and Thuja. A tincture of Echinacea will also be a useful cleanser in small doses.
- Teething can cause chronic crying and pain. Use a teething powder that incorporates the homeopathic medicine Chamomilla, thought to to bring about pain relief for sensitive beings. In holistic anthroposophic medicine, chamomilla root is thought to provide the best results as it is has an affinity with ailments of the head region.
- Over-heating or not being warm
- Soothe sunburn with a small regular application of herbal ointment. Good herbs include nettle for calming irritated skin and arnica to reduce inflammation. Combudoron Gel is well known as a sunburn soother for babies throughout Europe and it contains both of these herbs.
Skin Rash & Cradle Cap
Skin irritation around the nappy area, or Nappy Rash may be due to sweating from wearing materials that do not breathe well, allergies to laundry products, inadequate nappy washing or irritation from urine and stool exposure. Acting immediately is important as nappy rash can progress into raw blisters and ulcers and is extremely uncomfortable for baby. Firstly keep the area as clean and dry as possible. Secondly, use a designated rash relief cream to soothe itching, reduce inflammation and prevent infection. Some good healing herbs include Calendula and Chamomile which are particularly good if you suspect an infection may be present, as well as St Johns Wort (Hypericum) and Nettle to give relief from itching and pain. Avoid talcum powders and any creams with synthetic ingredients such as perfumes and preservatives as they will irritate. Organic is the only way.
Bathing time is a perfect opportunity to add a little herbal medicine. You can add dried herbs such as relaxing chamomile, calming rose and especially calendula to the bathwater and watch the warming active ingredients of these herbs merging into the water. Your baby will absorb them aromatically as well as physically. To better conserve your babys natural skin oil levels, avoid over-bathing. Where a baby develops a rash condition over the body, it is useful to use anti-inflammatory herbs in an ointment or lotion form, to gently soothe the skin and prevent infection. Calendula and chamomile are both great choices, as is a couple of drops of rose oil added to bathwater.
Cradle cap is a crusty condition of the skin, and appears as thick yellow-brown adherent crusts around the scalp area. Excessive washing will make the condition worse, as it is unrelated to hygiene and actually caused by excessive sebum production. It occurs on the scalp as this is one of the more sebum rich areas of the body, and may extend to the ears, face and neck as well. Scratching, over-cleansing and weather will affect cradle cap, so it best to adopt a gentle approach to healing it. To avoid infection and bleeding, never pick at the encrustations. To loosen them, gently rub into the scalp a small amount of oil infused with calendula, lavender or rosemary onto the area and leave overnight. Calendula Oil is a perfect choice as it will also help prevent infection. The crusted areas that are ready to detach will do so when baby is next bathed. If you add other essential oils, use a maximum of 2% essential oils to base oil and always do a patch test on the arms first. Base oils suitable for use are extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil, which is warming and soothing.
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