What is holistic pediatrics?
Holistic pediatrics goes beyond the conventional treatments of the symptoms of classic infant and childhood illnesses, and considers the physical, mental, and emotional future of your child. All individuals, regardless of age, have a unique energy and body chemistry that can affect how receptive they are to treatments. It is our desire to help provide personalized therapies for your children, nurturing them through their development using natural methods that consider more than alleviation of the current symptoms. We also strive to educate both parents and children, as well, allowing them to participate in the design of their own treatments to help them take responsibility for their health and well-being. Developing good habits early can lead to a longer, happier, and healthier life.
Pregnancy and Birth
Having a healthy child begins before birth and can even before pregnancy. Our holistic pediatric can, in essence, begin as early as parents would like. (Please see our articles on fertility and pregnancy for more detailed information.) We can help prepare nutritional plans that will help ensure healthy development of your baby, beginning at conception. Our holistic obstetricians can provide you with all-natural supplements, exercise programs, massage therapies, and other important elements of prenatal care. We can offer the benefits of modern facilities and practices in addition to traditional eastern methodologies and alternative treatments through the pregnancy and birth of your child.
Breastfeeding can be tremendously beneficial to the infant in a variety of ways. Babies have very small stomachs, but breast milk is extremely rich with proteins and carbohydrates, so low volumes of it are excellent for supplying the nutrients babies need to grow and develop. In addition to providing superior nutrition compared to baby formula, breast milk has the added benefit of containing antibodies and other factors that can strengthen the immune system of your baby. Breast milk contains bile salt stimulated lipase, for example, an enzyme that protects against amoebic infections. Lactoferrin is another breast milk protein that can reduce the risk of bacterial infections. Breast milk is also rich with natural fatty acids that promote neurological development.
Studies also suggest that there may be long term benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfed children are statistically less likely to develop diabetes or childhood obesity. The influences of breastfeeding on preventing allergies, asthma, and even cancer are also being investigated, though any connections are not yet clear.
In addition to the health benefits of breastfeeding, there are also substantial emotional benefits for both mother and baby, as it can strengthen the maternal bond.
For difficulties with breastfeeding, there are a variety of herbal teas and supplements that may be recommended to help increase milk volume or aid in digestion if the baby is having difficulties with gas. If the breasts or nipples become painful due to the wear and tear of breastfeeding, natural oils such as lanolin or almond oil may be recommended to safely moisturize the skin.
Continuing Development of Healthy Immunity
Part of preventing illness and ensuring your healthy life for your child is helping them develop strong immune systems early in their lives. This can be accomplished in part by administering more natural treatments for ear infections, colds, and other common maladies of childhood. Naturally, serious illnesses such as meningitis should be treated with antibiotics, but reserve antibiotic treatments for when they are really needed. We can also provide you with all the latest information on commonly given vaccines, to help you decide what is best for your child.
A child's nutrition is also critical to developing a healthy immune system. An emphasis on natural, organically grown foods can help minimize the pesticides and toxins your child ingests. Organic dairy and meat products can also help limit their exposure to hormones and antibiotics. Food products with high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors should also be avoided. A wide variety of hygiene and health care products with natural ingredients and fewer chemicals are also becoming increasingly available.
We can also recommend safe dosages of supplements for your children that will boost their immunity during the winter months, when colds tend to strike most often. Most formulas are rich with vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc, as well as fish and flaxseed oils.
Maintaining good nutrition into childhood will not only keep your child's immune system strong, it will teach them positive health habits that they can continue throughout their lives. We educate parents to help them revise their own dietary habits so that they can lead by example. For picky eaters, we may be able to help to devise alternative diet plans to promote substitutes in your child's diet to ensure that they still gain all the vitamins and minerals that their growing bodies need.
There are numerous children's vitamin supplements on the market, but we can offer supplements that are more natural, free of colorings and other additives that may cause health problems for children. We can ensure that these will be safe, non-addictive, and promote a sense of peace and well-being in both parents and children, knowing that healthy choices are being made.
Treatment of Illnesses
Despite how healthy your child is, they are bound to have illnesses sooner or later. Childhood illnesses are a big part of establishing a healthy immune system. Although it is certainly desirable to protect our children from getting sick for their overall well-being, they are bound to have a certain number of colds, earaches, and other infections each year. Conventional medicine often leaps for the easy solution to these things: antibiotics. While antibiotics will clear infections very quickly to relieve symptoms, they deny the developing immune system the opportunity to fight the infections. In essence, these early illnesses train your child's immune system to deal with later challenges. Certainly antibiotics have their place, as children do not benefit from chronic infections, but they should be prescribed with care. For ordinary illnesses, we instead recommend the use of natural treatments to help assist the immune system in fighting the illness. We prescribe all natural vitamin and mineral supplements that can boost immunity and herbal remedies to ease the discomforts of the symptoms.
All therapies will be designed specifically for your child's case, as not all illnesses (or children) respond equally to the same treatments. We can help you carefully monitor your child's condition and help attune you to their health. Sometimes it is difficult for children to communicate how they feel, physically, so we can help you learn to identify their signs so that you can get them treatment as quickly as possible. Please also take heart in knowing that our doctors will not be critical in these times of worry, for the health and well-being of both you and your child are important to us.
(We also offer pediatric care for many of the conditions listed to the left, including autism, ADD-ADHD, and many others.)
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