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Before You Induce Labor—Understanding Your “Due Date”

Induce or Wait for Nature?

This may not seem like it’s a choice that the mother can make, but it is, and the right choice is always to wait. Due dates have proven to be notoriously inaccurate, and according to Dr. Vern Katz, et al., they should be eliminated entirely.

Dr. Katz and her colleagues from the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon, reported that the calculations used to set a woman’s “due date” based upon her menstrual periods is “flawed”. The use of an estimated gestational period to determine the best care for the patient is causing confusion and the patient does not treat this date as an estimate. She, and her entire family, considers that date a very specific point in time that they are looking forward to quite anxiously.

As the “due date” approaches, if there have been no signs of labor, the mother begins to grow anxious and distressed. This typically leads to a recommendation by her OB/GYN to induce delivery, usually leading to further interventions in birth. The problem with this is that intervention in the delivery process frequently leads to trauma for both the mother and the baby.

Dr. Katz and her colleagues conclude that doctors should expand the concept of a due date to a “due week” and, in this way, “allow biology [or nature] to take it’s a course a bit more”.

Baby Too Big for My Body?

At this point, your baby is no longer growing bone density wise. Baby is only getting pudgier, and fat can squeeze through tight places. Your baby is not too big for your body to deliver, regardless of the size of your pelvis. Receiving Webster technique chiropractic care throughout pregnancy allows your body and baby to be in the optimal position for vaginal childbirth.

The average gestational time for an unmedicated, first time mother is 41 weeks and 3 days. Some babies come before, and some come after. If the fluids are still safe, the placenta will remain intact and able to give nutrients to your baby.

44 Weeks—A Personal Testimony

Dr. Jana Flora, Doctor of Chiropractic at 1st Step Family Wellness in St. Louis, safely delivered her second child, Miles, at home after a 43+ week pregnancy.

“With my first born at 40 and 3, I never expected to go 43 and 6 with my second. But both my formal education and my spiritual beliefs kept me grounded in those long final weeks with the understanding that my body has an innate intelligence that supersedes any guideline or expectation. And with the expert care of my homebirth midwife, my baby and I were blessed to experience the beauty and intensity of natural childbirth.”

Check back for her full birth story in a future post, or ask her yourself next time you are in the office.

Natural Ways to Induce Labor from Home.

If the care provider you’ve chosen is not comfortable waiting for your body to go into labor naturally, and wants to induce labor, know that you have the power to change providers at any time during your pregnancy. There are OB/GYNs and midwives out there that understand and respect the natural birth process, and will not push to induce labor. Often, it is the labor facility’s policies that restrict even the most well-intentioned doctors from supporting a woman’s natural birth plan. Contact our office for a list of local, natural-minded care providers.

If you are comfortable with your care provider and facility and are aware of the risks of a medical induction, but are in a situation where you want to avoid an immanent medical induction, you can find  a list below of natural ways to promote labor from home.

As mothers ourselves, we understand the emotional stress that can occur in those last weeks of waiting and wondering “when will I hold my baby,” but be encouraged that you are not alone, we have been there too. So we understand women asking, “What triggers the start of labor?”

Remember, your baby cannot stay inside you forever, so your body will inevitably kick into labor naturally if you’re not induced. These natural, at-home options will support your body’s innate timing for labor and delivery without the potentially harmful side effects of inducing labor.

 

How Can I Induce Labor Naturally?

  • More frequent Webster Technique chiropractic adjustments
  • Lengthy walks of 30 minutes to several hours duration
  • Acupressure at Spleen 6 (a point located four finger widths above the inner ankle bone) maintain pressure for 10-15 seconds for 3 repetitions. Repeat as often as possible. This helps to dilate the cervix.
  • Drink A LOT of Water
  • Increase intake of good fats—wild caught fish, avocados, etc.
  • Nipple Stimulation- You can use fingers or a breast milk pump, which cause the release of oxytocin.  
  • Sex- Sperm contains prostaglandins and can work in the same way as prostaglandin gel.  Make sure to have your husband ejaculate inside you and lie there for 30 minutes. Although the prostaglandin is less concentrated in the semen, frequent sex is reputed to help.
  • Orgasms create a uterine contraction.
  • Evening Primrose Oil- can be started after 36 weeks. Take one capsule orally in the morning and insert 1 capsule vaginally in the evening. Helps to ripen the cervix.
  • Clary Sage Essential Oil—can be started after 39 weeks. Using only therapeutic grade essential oil (Young Living or DoTerra) apply several drops topically and massage the oil upward along the inside of the ankle up along the calf muscle. You can do this several times a day.  
  • Pelvic Tilts- Do 100 pelvic tilts per day.
  • Walk up the stairs sideways
  • Scrub the floor on hands and knees
  • Suck your thumb
  • Eat ripe young pineapple
  • Drink red raspberry leaf tea
  • Turn off the TV- Nothing frightening should be watched since your animal instincts naturally take over telling the baby to stay where it is safe.
  • Dim the lighting in your home—Think about being in a cave or other dark spaces where most other mammals can focus, relax and birth their babies.
  • Share a bottle of wine with a friend–relax
  • Borage Oil- rub on the cervix— causes ripening of the cervix
  • Castor Oil- This is a traditional treatment, although revolting to the palate, it does sometimes start labor for women. 1st Dose- 2 oz castor oil in 1 part vanilla ice cream, 1 part orange concentrate. If after 2 hours there is no bowel movement, do another dose. This can cause nausea and vomiting—make sure you are well hydrated.

Stand strong about denying a medical induction. You are ultimately in charge of your body, and you do have a choice about what happens. Your body was perfectly designed to birth your baby! You can do this!

Still have questions, or feel like you need help? Call us at 314-805-7837.

How Do You Boost Your Child’s Immune System

Your child’s immune system is being bombarded with poor nutritional choices, increased sugar intake and decreased sleep from, Halloween until Christmas. Remember it’s not just the holiday season, it’s also the cold and flu season. With just a few minor adjustments you can arm your children for the assault.

The Diet Factor : Can Diet Affect Your Immune System?

The type and quantity of food your child consumes is very important for their overall health. Food provides energy for their bodies.

During this especially busy time of year parents aren’t as watchful of what their children are eating; and with organized sports and after-school activities taking up so much time, dinner is being skipped altogether or substituted with a quick trip through the drive-thru.   

Most schools report increased absences as more children are suffering from colds and the flu because of weakened immunity.  So, how do you fight back?

  • Eat three meals and two snacks a day: making sure that four out of the five are healthy, and remembering the daily recommendation of five servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • Purge the kitchen, eliminating all junk food and sugary snacks – or – store them in a medium sized Rubbermaid container in the garage or master bedroom out of the reach of children (make it an effort to get to these items and they won’t be consumed as easily, or as frequently).
  • Keep fruits, nuts and boxed raisins on the counter; celery with peanut butter or other “like” items in the fridge; and go to your local health food store to find some other great tasting alternatives (i.e., European or whole grain breads, cheeses and fresh or dried fruits).  
  • Consider taking the time once every six weeks to write down what your family eats for a week and look for areas of improvement.
  • Create a weekly meal plan and prep-meals ahead of time. At First Step Family Wellness in St. Louis, you can ask Drs. Sandheinrich, or Dr. Jana, about their go-to meal-prep tips and favorite, family friendly recipes.

What boosts your immune system?

There are several vitamins and minerals that are a fundamental part of a strong immunity, including the following:   

  • Vitamins A, C, E, Beta-Carotene and Selenium are antioxidants, which are part of our body’s natural defense mechanism, and are consumed in fruits and vegetables.
  • The mineral Zinc is important because of the role it plays in increasing your child’s resistance to infection, and is found in red meats, eggs and most dairy products.
  • Magnesium is another important mineral essential for boosting your child’s immune system, and is available in legumes and milk.

The Sugar Factor

This is the most crucial time of the year to consider this important part of your child’s diet:   

Sugar consumption has increased 30% in the last ten years.

Most children are consuming 50% of their calories from processed sugar. Sugar contains absolutely no nutrients and studies have proven that excessive sugar intake can deplete your body of several vitamins and minerals. A high intake of processed sugar adversely affects the immune system since it impairs the ability of white blood cells to sweep up and kill bacteria. It also robs the body of key nutrients such as Zinc; which we know is an important part of your child’s natural ability to fight off infections.

Throw in the holiday factor and the increased intake of sweets, and your child’s immune system is under attack during a vital time of year. With the weather growing noticeably colder, and the average child spending more time indoors, the lack of activity combined with an increased intake of processed sugars all adds up to a weakened immune system.

The Sleep Factor

Having long been considered a restorative process that is a fundamental part of a healthy body, recent clinical studies have found sleep also to be a crucial part of a properly functioning immune system.  Did you know that a sleep-deprived individual’s immune system includes patterns of alteration similar to those found in depressed and alcoholic patients? Yes, a lack of proper rest can potentially cause a child’s immune system to suffer the same changes as those caused by depression and alcoholism.

immune system and sleep

It may be that your child just won’t sleep this long, but, while this chart is certainly not a requirement, it is most definitely a healthy guideline.  The most important thing to remember is that good rest is a prerequisite for a healthy immune system, so begin to establish a simple routine Sunday through Thursday that encourages your child to get their much-needed sleep.

Some suggested routines to introduce would be:

  • No TV, VCR, DVD or computer/video games in the child’s room.
  • No homework right before bed.
  • No overstimulation the hour before bedtime: avoid TV, computer games; instead play soothing music or have “Story Time” with little ones.

The Health Factor

It boils down to this: you don’t want your child sick during the holidays anymore than your child wants to be sick. So teach your child healthy habits to avoid the spreading of germs.

  • Recently documented evidence shows that frequently washing your hands with soap and water can avoid the spreading of most childhood illness.
  • Make sure that your child doesn’t share drinks or food with other children.
  • If your child has recently been sick replace their toothbrush, or take a moment to clean it in vinegar and water.

The Chiropractic Factor: How Does Chiropractic Care Boost the Immune System?

Regular, bi-weekly chiropractic adjustments help the body maintain a strong immune response, regardless of the time of year, by keeping the nervous system functioning optimally. This works the same for adults as it does for children.

The nervous system controls and manages the function of all the systems in the body: respiratory, digestive, circulatory, hormonal, eliminative and the immune system. Any form of stress—physical, mental, or emotional—can impair health by causing nerve interference. The chiropractic adjustment restores nerve system function allowing the body’s ability to express a greater state of health and well-being.

Adjustments are modified to fit a child’s size, weight, and unique condition. Chiropractic adjustments are both gentle and specific to each child’s development.

Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and look forward to future adjustments. They also report that their children experience a greater level of health while under regular chiropractic care.

If you don’t currently have a pediatric chiropractor, you can schedule a consultation at First Step Family Wellness in St. Louis.

How can I boost my immune system?

Top Five Tips for a Strong Immunity

  1. Once every six weeks monitor what your family eats for one week, watching for areas where the sugar intake is too high, and the fruits and vegetables intake is too low.
  2. Make sure that four out of five of your family’s daily meals are healthy.
  3. Find a healthy multivitamin, and chewable or powder vitamin C (in the form of Sodium Ascorbate) at our office, or your local health food store (not a pharmacy or grocery store since most of the popular children’s chewable vitamins contain high amounts of sugar).
  4. Make sure that your child is getting adequate sleep.
  5. Have your child wash their hands with warm soap and water frequently!

Colic & Infant Reflux—Natural Remedies

How can you tell if your baby has colic?

Possible Signs of Colic and/or Reflux: Arch back to escape pain, inconsolable crying, frequent spitting up, sleep disturbance, poor weight gain, more crying at night compared to day-time.

Normal Weight Gain: 6-8 ounces/week or 2 lbs/month for the 1st 3 months

What is colic?

Colic has been defined as excessive, inconsolable crying of the infant, and research has shown that 10-20% of all infants under the age of 4 months suffer from infantile colic. Episodes of colic can happen anytime day or night, but will usually begin to follow a pattern.

What is colic caused by?

The general consensus between pediatricians is that colic is caused by excessive gas in the gastrointestinal tract and so their response is, of course, to utilize colic medicine. The most commonly prescribed medication for the treatment of colic is dimethicone. The side effects of this drug include: fatigue, sedation, blurred vision, loss of appetite, constipation, nausea and headache. While this list is certainly reason for pause, the most alarming fact is that the makers of this drug note on their literature that this chemical should not be given to infants under 6 months of age. Always ask for and read the drug inserts to be informed about this vital information.

Infant reflux

While most infants will spit up a little after eating, infant reflux or gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is a whole different matter entirely. It typically happens due to a relaxation of muscles at the bottom of the esophagus, and is considered a result of a lack of coordination between the organs of the upper digestive system.

What are the signs and symptoms of reflux in babies?

Sometime reflux symptoms in babies start a few weeks after birth. This is because allergies or sensitivities to foods take time to develop. The infant has a leaky gut until about 6 months old. Proteins from foods and beverages are able to leak through the digestive tissue causing an immune response, therefore causing food sensitivities.

Sometimes the matter being regurgitated is breast milk or formula, but a lot of times it will include stomach acids causing the infant to be extremely distressed due to the discomfort caused to the esophagus.

The highest concern when an infant is suffering from infant reflux is the fear of “failure to thrive.” Since sometimes a large amount of the child’s nutrition is being regurgitated, many parents worry that they aren’t getting enough nutrition. With this concern in mind many pediatricians will immediately prescribe a drug treatment regimen.

Chemical treatment of reflux.

Drugs can be given to infants with reflux, but usually the problem persists. The problem with using a drug that blocks acid production is that the body needs the acid to break down food. The acid in the stomach also helps to prevent harmful bacteria from colonizing. Drugs may also cause other digestive issues and increased risk of pneumonia and gut infections later in life.

The drugs most commonly used to treat infantile reflux are H2 blockers such as ranitidine, famotidine and nizatidine (also known as Tagamet, Zantac and Pepcid). With all of these chemicals the side effects can include sleepiness, dizziness, rapid or changed heartbeat, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and trouble breathing. It should also be noted that since this is a prescription that has to be given on a regular basis at specified times, missing doses can also cause irritating and uncomfortable side effects.

The second round of treatment when H2 blockers fail is usually proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These include esomeprazole, omeprazole and lansoprazole (also known as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid). With these chemicals the side effects can include headache, diarrhea, abnormal heartbeat, rash, dizziness, muscle pain as well as nausea and vomiting. Has it not occurred to them that they’re actually causing what they want to stop?

How do you help a baby with reflux?

Solve Feeding Issues

You are not alone. We can figure this out together. Even if you are bottle feeding your baby breastmilk, we can help. Call us to schedule your lactation consultation today.

  • A strong let down causes the baby to gasp and swallow a lot of air.
  • A poor breastfeeding latch can also cause baby to swallow air. 5 Steps to the Optimal Latch
  • Change feeding positions, take brief breaks, and burp frequently
    • If bottle feeding- feed in an upright position on your lap (“pace bottle feeding”)—this allows the baby’s stomach to catch up and tell the brain when they are full, which prevents over feeding. Check out YouTube for instructional videos on Pace Bottle Feeding.
  • Different Styles of burping include: against your chest, sit upright on your lap and support the neck under the chin, and lay baby across your lap with the head higher than the chest.
  • Keep the baby in an upright position for 15-20 minutes after nursing or feeding.
  • If the baby cries and wakes up during sleep- burp them.

***If formula feeding

    • Feed the infant in an upright position on your lap and support the head (“pace bottle feeding”), which prevents over feeding.
    • Switch formulas (try to avoid corn and soy in the ingredients)
    • Make your own formula

Stay Close and Comfort the Baby

  • Push gently pressure on the belly of the infant while they are laying across your lap on their stomach to help relieve tension.
  • Fold their knees up to their chest
  • Swaddle the baby
  • Wear the baby in a carrier or wrap, stomach to stomach with baby always facing you.
  • Give a warm bath
  • Gentle music
  • Lay the baby on the left side, which helps keep the contents in the stomach. You can use rolled receiving blankets behind the back to prevent rolling. Swaddling the baby also prevents rolling to the stomach because of the fetal positioning.

Eliminate Food Sensitivities

  • Chemicals and proteins in the food that mom eats find their way to the breast milk and cause irritation. The large proteins found in milk and other dairy products, including yogurt, are one of the most irritable foods for a nursing baby.
  • Other Common Irritants: Caffeine, alcohol, food additives, chocolate, eggs, spices, beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peanuts, wheat, soy, onions, and tomatoes
  • How to determine which foods are causing the sensitivity: Avoid all of the above mentioned foods for 2 weeks. Then add one of the listed foods or a suspected food back into the diet every 3 days. The reason to wait 3 days in between each food is because sometimes the baby reacts immediately, but other times the baby may react a few days later. If you notice that the child’s reflux improves during the 2 week period, but has episodes during a certain added food, avoid that food as often as possible while breastfeeding. Then be aware when adding that food into your child’s diet when adding solids.

Treatment Options

  • Chiropractic
  • Acupuncture
  • Digestive Enzymes- DGST-P (pediatric) by Loomis Enzyme
  • Probiotic- reputable brands- Metagenics, Nature’s Way, Klaire, Allergy Research Group
  • Herbal Remedy- Grow and Thrive or Tummy Tamer by Chinese Medicine Works
  • ORGANIC Gripe Water
  • Acupressure massage- Tui na & Sho Ni Shin
  • Fennel/Barley Water or Tea- The mother can drink this and give the baby some in a bottle
  • Homeopathic Remedies- found at a health food store- give a single dose of 12C or 30C tablet and wait. If symptoms return repeat the dose. The symptoms should decrease with each dose and eventually disappear.
    • Chamomilla- calming and soothing for babies that are screaming and failing
    • Colocynth- indicated if pressure relieves the discomfort
    • Dioscorea- indicated for an infant that arches back
    • Jalapa- indicated when the infant cries all night, but is fine during the day
    • Lycopodium- indicated when the symptoms are worse between the hours of 4-8pm, tendency towards constipation, pressure aggravates
    • Nux Vomica- irritable and worse after eating, has trouble in the morning, sensitive to a food or spice in the mother’s diet

 

Have more questions about colic and infant reflux? Call First Step Family Wellness today at 314-805-7837, or fill out our contact form!

 

5 Steps for the Optimal Breastfeeding Latch

Breastfeeding: mastering the latch

“Although breastfeeding is ‘natural’ so is giving birth, and most of us expect to get help with that. Many of us didn’t grow up around breastfeeding and have lived in a society with historically low breastfeeding rates. We may not even have seen breastfeeding up close until we come to do it ourselves. It’s not always easy. It’s important to find help and not struggle alone.”

Human-milk.com

Breastfeeding should be a restful and enjoyable time for mother and baby to bond. The goal of the breastfeeding team at 1st Step Family Wellness in Kirkwood is to provide each mother with the breastfeeding tips, tools, and support she needs to continue a successful breastfeeding relationship with her baby.

Not having an optimal latch can lead to symptoms relating to colic, reflux, less than ideal weight gain, and dental decay; which can result in the need for otherwise unnecessary medications and treatments. Making sure baby has a proper latch on the other hand, can ensure baby receives all the breastfeeding advantages.

Having the proper breastfeeding latch can:

  • Eliminate nipple pain and allow damaged nipples to heal naturally
  • Improve the transfer of milk, which can result in increased weight gain
  • Increase mother’s milk supply
  • Improve sleep patterns—by increasing the efficiency of milk transfer, less time is spent at the breast, which means more sleep for mother and baby

The best time to feed baby is whenever baby is showing hunger cues–sucking on hand or searching. If baby is fussy, bring baby skin-to-skin for several minutes to calm them, prior to bringing baby to breast.

1st Step Family Wellness’ Certified Lactation Counselor, Renee Muehlfeld, has compiled these 5 steps for achieving the optimal breastfeeding latch:

  1. GET COMFORTABLEGet yourself in a comfortable position, with a pillow within reach if you need it to stabilize your arm.
  2. NOSE TO NIPPLE-Express a drop of milk onto your nipple and bring baby’s nose to your nipple.
  3. 140 DEGREE– We want baby to tilt their head back and open their mouth wide (140 degrees is the goal) which will happen naturally by bringing baby’s nose to your nipple. Big mouth, then slide baby’s body up and onto the breast. Aim your nipple at the roof of baby’s mouth to avoid pinching. If baby appears to have a tight or tiny latch, pop your pinky finger into the corner of their mouth to release the latch suction and try bringing baby’s nose to nipple again. This will correct a shallow latch during breastfeeding.
  4. HANDS OFF-Watch your hand placement on baby’s head. You want their neck to settle into the cup between your index finger and thumb. You want baby close, nose to breast, but not smothered in breast. Also, hands off your breast. Bring baby to breast, instead of breast to baby. When you push and pull your breast into baby’s mouth, your breast will slowly go back to where it naturally lies and baby may “pop off”, so it is best to bring baby to where your breast naturally lies to avoid having to relatch.
  5. LIPS CURLED OUT-Like a good vacuum, for optimal performance you need a good suction. Similar for breastfeeding. You need a good suction to have optimal milk transfer. You want to see baby’s upper and lower lip slightly flanged out, enough where you can see the beginning of the inner, wet part of baby’s lips. You can use your pinky to flip the lips out, if necessary. If baby’s lips seem tucked in or tethered to the roof/inside of the mouth by a thin piece of skin or gum, give us a call for further instruction.  Read more about Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding.

How long does the average mom breastfeed?

Remember, it is not about the amount of time spent at the breast. It’s about how much milk is transferred. A successful optimal latch leads to less time on the breast, a happier, full-bellied baby and a happier, well-rested momma!

Need breastfeeding help?

Call us to get connected with one of our Certified Lactation Counselors or find a local breastfeeding group to join, like the groups hosted at Kangaroo Kids on Manchester.

The Webster Technique: A Way to Reduce Pregnancy Worries and Delivery Complications

The Webster Technique for Pregnancy

The Webster Technique: A Way to Reduce Pregnancy Fears and Delivery Complications

Pregnancy can be an incredibly beautiful and exciting time in your life, yet it is never without natural fears and potential complications. Whether your pregnancy has been deemed a low- or high-risk, you may be afraid of or be experiencing your baby being abnormally positioned (a transverse, oblique or breech) near the end of term. If you also hope to experience a natural or limited intervention birth plan, these fears may be exasperated if your doctor suggests the need for a Cesarean or external cephalic version if your baby does not naturally move to the head down position.

First Step Family Wellness, in Kirkwood, understands the emotional toll that such fears and potential decisions can create, and it is our goal to make sure that every mother-to-be is equipped with the best knowledge and understanding of what options are available to reduce the need for a surgical birth. The Webster Technique has become a valuable chiropractic option for mothers throughout pregnancy, to improve fetal movement and optimal nervous system functioning that naturally increases the likelihood that the baby will reposition itself head down for delivery.

(more…)

Chiropractic Care Can Be Vital for a Healthy Pregnancy

prenatal chiropractic

Chiropractic for a Healthy Pregnancy

Like many women throughout pregnancy, you are constantly thinking about what routine steps you can take to ensure both you and your baby are healthy and ready for a smooth delivery. At the same time, you probably feel – perhaps even worry – that there is something more you can do.

Every pregnancy book and OB/GYN you speak to will tell you that to feel balanced (on the inside anyways) you should be regularly keeping up with some key things each day. They tell you to eat wholesome and fresh foods that includes lots of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins to keep you energized. To drink lots of water and less caffeine, too cut back on overly processed foods that make those mood swings even worse, and items with high salt content that won’t help those swollen legs and feet. To stay fit and improve your sleep with consistent exercise through low impact activities such as daily walks, pregnancy yoga, and dance. And to keep a strong support system around you, while also finding a way to manage the stresses of daily life (more…)

Food on the Brain: How What You Eat Affects Your Mood

As Phillip Day of Food Matters once said, “What we need to be able to do is to persuade the public that you are what you eat, food can change your mood, and the choices you make directly affect the outcome of your life.”

In other words, you may not be able to control everything in your life, but you can control everything that you consume. Having a natural health mindset can ensure that you not only achieve physical wellness, but that you are also unconsciously happy and content with the life you lead.

While achieving a consistent, positive set of emotions may seem difficult to achieve to some, the reality is that once you understand why you are more prone to a negative mindset and how to avoid those reasons, the easier it will be to make better nutritional choices each day that will have a direct impact on your mood. (more…)

Back-to-School Nutrition

back2school-nutritionImproving Your Child’s Behavior & Concentration with Proper Nutrition

The new school year is well on its way. The initial frenzy is over and the kids are now getting knee deep in a new semester of knowledge, the stresses of schoolwork and exams, and are likely being introduced to a new set of emotions and confusions that are directly impacting their behavior and overall concentration. While it may feel like all you can do is either wait it out, talk it out, or seek professional assistance; there may be another solution right under your nose

Think about your child’s diet at-home and during the school days. While you may be able to ensure that they are eating all their vegetables and other necessities while at home, do you know what they are consuming when you are not around? Do they choose from the breakfast and lunches provided at school, grab a soda or candy bar between classes, or opt for sugary and artificial snacks while doing homework and studying? (more…)

Skin Wellness: A Closer Look at Chemical Stressors

How well do you know your skin?

Do you think about your skin when choosing products from the store? Do you read the labels to see what added chemicals are getting up close and personal with your skin? Do you pay attention to how the products you choose are affecting your skin’s appearance and touch?

If your answer is “No” to these questions, it’s time you start getting to know your skin a bit better and treating it with more love. Why, you ask? Because your skin is more complex and important than you may think… (more…)

Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding

It is completely natural for mothers and their newborns to experience any number of issues when breastfeeding, from latching problems to poor milk supply, but many do not realize that these may be linked to even large issues. One of the most significant is called TOTs, or Tethered Oral Tissues.

Here at 1st Step Family Wellness, Dr. Jeanne and Dr. Ryan Sandheinrich want to ensure that your family stays well-informed about such challenges, including how to identify if your child is Tongue Tied and what you can do to help them live a healthier, more comfortable life.

TOTS: What is it?

TOTS, or Tethered Oral Tissues, may occur when the thin portion of skin under a baby’s tongue limits movement of the tongue and/or when movement of the mouth is constrained by the upper lip being anchored to the gum.

This is found in anywhere between 0.2% and 2% of babies, believed to be genetic, and can cause a multitude of problems for both mom and baby. The condition is recognized as “tethered,” since it is the thin membrane of tissue that is meant to undergo cell death during the baby’s development in the womb, that instead becomes wrapped and remains secured to a portion of the inner mouth. (more…)