Natural Family Health Classes with Baby Massage

I found parenting for the first time was one of the hardest and quickest changes I have ever had to do. Correction, I find parenting really hard. I still have no idea what I am doing…However I have learnt a lot since those first days, weeks and months. The main thing that saved me was the community I found who I am still in contact with to this day. I did baby massage with both of my kids and I found the teachers and the other mothers (and there was a Dad too!) so helpful as I navigated the unknown.

While I am not going to be teaching the actual massage section of the class (I leave that in the very capable and experienced hands of Tracy McCarthy of Head to Toe Therapies), I really love supporting families to heal and grow, alongside the benefits of massage.

Massage is a great way for you and your partner to bond with your baby, and you may find it benefiting for you too! 

I am providing support and education on the following areas:

Postpartum recovery: We spend so much time and energy on monitoring the babys development and growth. However as the new mum, your healing has also just begun. I want to support your emotional and physical healing as you begin a new phase in your life. This is especially true if you have had more than one child. I have seen lots of mums 5/10/15 years down the line still recovering physically and emotionally from growing, birthing, feeding and nurturing their children. You deserve time and attention too! In this first session, I offer nutrition guidance to help repair and rebuild your own body, abdominal repair and strengthening advice and support and also emotional healing too

EFT for Peaceful Parenting: Learn how to quickly and simply manage your reactions to help you to become the parent you want to be.

When it comes to parenting, today’s world does not offer parents a clear path. Children do not come with a manual and just like us as adults; every child is unique in their developments, growth, moods, reactions and methods of communication. It can be confusing to have so much input into how, why, what and when you should parent. This is especially true if this is your first time as a parent.

EFT uses the mapped energy meridians from traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture points, combined with breathing and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Pathways) principles. You simply use your fingertips to tap the points, while you breath and speak all your thoughts and beliefs. EFT is very effective in calming your body and mind the more often you use it, like any other mindfulnes

Once you see how effective EFT is in helping you to manage and alter your moods, thoughts and reactions, you’ll probably want to try it with your child. It’s a quick and effective way to calm kids of all ages when they’re upset, help them release stuck emotions or trauma, and help them relax to fall asleep and gain a better quality of sleep at night.

Sleep Remedies: High quality sleep is just as important for overall heath as what you eat and how you move. Nevertheless, many people have trouble falling asleep, wake up frequently or fail to wake up feeling rested. Some people have no problem falling asleep and yet still awake feeling tired. Many others have severe difficulty falling and staying asleep through the night.This makes optimal health and well-being a challenge.

Sleep affects your hormone balance affecting your weight, cravings, menstrual cycle and fight or flight mechanism. It may also affect your memory and cognition, your mood and motivation and your ambition for your own life. However sleep also has links to cardiovascular system dysfunctions, immune system regulation, blood glucose maintenance, depression and even athletic performance. All of these symptoms are commonly found across most parents, adults and even children!

We have all heard about the benefits of 7-9 hours of sleep a night, however sometimes we cannot control the amount of sleep we get in a night and these guidelines cause more stress for parents. However we can work on the quality of your sleep rather than quantity. An hour of well rested sleep can sometimes be more beneficial than more sleep that is light, fitful and interrupted. For you and your baby!

Natural Remedies for Teething and Colic: Teething and colic are two common baby woes you will definitely come across as a parent. Typical symptoms are fussing and crying. Colic is not a disease, but rather a collection of symptoms with an unknown cause. Specific diagnosis is based on the following “unexplained crying lasting more than at least 3 hours a day, on at least 3 days (per week), of at least 3 weeks”. Helpful, I know! Babies who display these symptoms are said to be colicky, a term that refers to intestinal pain, even if this may not necessarily be the case. Caring for a colicky baby can be a trying experience for parents. No matter what you try, your baby may still remain inconsolable. The important thing is to stay calm and relaxed.

Some babies are born with one or more teeth, while others do not get their first tooth until the age of 1. In general, however, primary teeth start coming in between 6 months and 3 years of age, a process that can be with or without pain. Both of my children got their first tooth at 9 months, however teething symptoms began at 3months. Another unknown and frustrating time for babies and parents alike!

In recent decades the use of natural remedies for colic and teething has increased significantly. There are even studies confirming that there is even a high interest of physicians in natural remedies and homeopathy for these ailments. We will discuss several of these options and help you to begin to build a tool kit of remedies to try for the physical and emotional sides for parent and child.

Real Food Weaning: By weaning your child onto real foods with confidence and excitement we are giving our babies a great start in their relationship to food. Good nutrition is vital for your child’s healthy development. I can certainly vouch for it being a confusing time. I aim to help you to understand how a baby’s digestive system works and what nutrients your child needs to grow and develop. Hopefully make this part of parenting more fun for you both.

Food provides nutrients for new cell formation and therefore supports the baby’s fast growth and development. Good nutrition therefore is of vital importance for their present and future health. Foods rich in proteins and fats are paramount to their developmental needs. This is when your child begins to develop their relationship to food. Nourishing this relationship in a positive and fun way can provide them with a healthy understanding of how great real food is.

Key lessons given to our babies continue when they are toddlers. Allowing them to use their senses around food (especially sight, touch and smell) and play becomes fundamental to how they will view nourishing themselves for the rest of their lives. This is how we can, as parents, help them to make good lifestyle choices from the very beginning. It may also reduce any fussy eating habits later.

Nurture Your Life- Your REAL FOOD weaning guide

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Nurture Your Life ebook Loula Natural

Nurture Your Life is the second in my series of books on natural health (the first was Culture Your Life published 2014). Children’s nutrition is a big passion of mine. As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I see many children with chronic conditions like persistent illness, skin conditions, energy and growth issues and a staggering increase in children with allergies and intolerances. With two children of my own, I feel compelled to help these kids find their strength and return them to health to help prevent more serious conditions in their future.

Weaning a child onto food is a very powerful first step in a child’s relationship with food. A relationship which is of fundamental importance to health. Think of your own love/hate relationship with food. There are so many non-foods in our diets in the west, our supermarkets are sometimes almost 80% stocked with chemical, processed and unhealthy foods. Conventional avenues still persist that rice cereal (which may be hugely inflammatory to an immature digestive system) is the food we should be starting our kids on. This book does not recommend that route.

I hope you enjoy reading it and ask questions, keep reading, become informed as to how the body works. Change your own relationship to food if need be. Lets start our kids off the right way, with foods to nurture their life from the beginning.

 

Download here:

My new weaning book

My new weaning book

Here is a link to all the recipes I used when weaning.

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Loula Reviews Microbirth

Loula Reviews Microbirth

Loula Reviews Microbirth

On the 20th of September (2014), One World Birth put together a worldwide premier of their new documentary- Microbirth. It was a clever way of getting small groups together to hold screenings around the globe to try to get people together to watch and be able to ask questions. Groups were held by midwives, doulas and professionals surrounding pregnancy. I heard about it through my Doula friend Kathy Kitzis, who knew with my passion for bacteria, how much I would love the film. We held the screening together and I was excited to watch it and now review it for you to encourage you to watch it too.

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The film contains information from scientist and researchers talking about their latest work into understanding why we as a global community are getting so sick.

“we are amazing… we have never been sicker, and it is going to get worse.”

These are sentiments that I tend to start all of my courses and client sessions with. It was so refreshing and motivating to hear what I as a Naturopath have been experiencing throughout my almost 6 years of practicing. How come with all the technology and research out there, we not recognising what is staring us in the face. Our modern health care system is not coping and by and large not working.

What the film goes on to talk about is ‘non-communicable diseases’ they name some; asthma, cancer, mental disorders, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and so on. What I tend to categorize and are also known as; chronic disease. Through my own research to help my clients, family and friends find the cause of their chronic conditions, I have also come to similar conclusions as the films main purpose. It is all about the health and balance of our internal environment. Especially the balance and existence of bacteria in our body and in the environment surrounding us.

“Cost of treatment (for noncommunicable diseases) is $47 trillion by 2030…staggering”

“60% of all deaths” are caused by non-communicable diseases and it is estimated that it is on the rise- 17% over the next decade. The film cites predictions that the cost of providing care using the modern healthcare system is set to bankrupt the world economies by the year 2030. My response as a natural health care practitioner is, of course, that this is not surprising. We in the natural health community have been saying the same thing for years and we have been actively trying to get people to take responsibility for their own health. No longer expecting doctors and pharmaceutical companies to come up with another magic pill which isn’t so magical anymore. Changing to real food, remedies directly found in nature, fermenting, dealing with societies pressures, stress and being able to balance emotions. All of these require us to take responsibility and make different choices in our lives.

What was so encouraging about the film is that is is centred around motivating people and explaining how to change the possible very starting point of our problems. Getting the seeding right in our babies. This may set the rest of their potential future health in stone through three key things- vaginal births, skin to skin when born and breastfeeding for at least 6 months. These are all things we are very, very aware of. The film helps you to really stop and think about just how crucial these 3 things are to the future of our children and children’s, children. If at not all 3 then you at least consider the implications and try to include at least 2.

“we are a walking ecosystem…an ecosystem under threat”

Antibiotics are said to have achieved great things, but they are also overused and over relied upon. Combined with hand sanitising and cleaning products we have been waging war on the very beings who are their to keep us safe and alive. With the predictions being that half of the net worth of the world will have to be spent on health care we also have to consider that we will also become an invalid society. One that is too sick to work, without the caretakers or facilities able to look after us. This is a very real prediction, but we can make changes and we can do it very easily. 

The film suggests we have one chance, at birth, to get this microbial environment correct. This is something I largely disagree with. Our internal and external environment is constantly changing and the film talks about epigenetics (see here for Brue Lipton, here for his book and here for a list of other books for more information on that). Epigenetics is the idea that genes (which dictate how our cells are formed) can turn off and turn on. In effect, we can change our gene expression but also our overall health. This can be done very easily by ensuring that we create an environment which switches off the so called destructive (some call them survival genes) and switch on the genes which allow the body to go back to normal- back to balance.

“losing our maternal heritage…we do not know what the implications of this is yet”

 

This is very exciting and the film merely touches on this as a way to show us that bacteria play a huge role in epigenetics, as does pregnancy and perhaps normal labour. So we can help our future generations by ensuring that we know while we are indeed preparing to get pregnant and whilst pregnant the gene expression we switch on and off with our babies is possible. A large part of this is suggested in natural, unassisted, unprovoked and tampered with labour. 

The film touches on the idea that stress may be necessary for the fetus to switch on their immune system. That c-sections not only take away the ability for the baby to gain the necessary seeding of bacteria through the birth canal on their skin and in their mouth, but also they do not go through the ‘trauma’ of childbirth which is necessary for them to know what is safe and what is not. This is also affected by them not being allowed skin to skin with their mother in their first moments. Not only is skin to skin necessary to further seed them with bacteria from your skin but it can also regulate and stimulate their hormone production which allows them to calm down, to regulate their blood sugar levels and their instinct of hunger to then seek out the mothers nipple to being the third phase in seeding, breastfeeding.

It is exciting that people are talking in this way with several studies backing up their ideas, and not shying away from the risk of offending people who choose c-sections. Of course they all agree that sometimes c-sections are very necessary in come cases, but that they were never supposed to be an option to choose from. The rate at which elective c-sections is rising is completely alarming and can no longer be ignored as a factor towards the person’s future health. In that way it is very exciting that the film talks to a scientist currently conducting experiments into using a gauze swab which collects bacteria from the mothers vagina to be used following a c-section. The gauze is then rubbed over the baby and in their mouth trying to replicate at least one factor of the birthing process. 

“their (bacteria) function should not be underestimated…we cannot cut out species and expect to still be balanced…we have lost about a 1/3 of our diversity…diversity protects us”

What comes across very strongly, which motivates me further, is the encouragement to see bacteria differently. For me it is my passion to see people fermenting and re balancing their bacterial levels in treatment of their chronic (non-communicable) diseases. That we are walking eco-systems. Bacteria make us normal and that we should be 90% bacteria. That fact “connects us to the universe a bit more” and I loved that about this film. 

A baby with a c-section, especially those who are then fed formula are potentially at risk for some very serious long term complications. They may be picking up bacteria from an imbalanced environment, especially in a hospital. Their immune training if incorrect right at the beginning may or may not be possible to correct. It is seen to then go on to affect all tissue from brain development to muscle and mucosal lining development. These children and of course now adults born in this way must consider retraining and modulating their bodies systems by correcting their bacterial balance. The fact that breast milk provides, not only, bacteria and nutrients but also the very food source to nurture our bacterial counterparts at the same time. This is huge in support of giving baby what nature intended. I hope it helps motivate mums to keep trying and seek support. Otherwise to consider homemade formula and the very least probiotics for their babies.

So you dont have to be pregnant or working with pregnant women to gain something from watching this film. We dont have to contribute to the potential bankruptcy of the world as we know it. We can make big changes by turning to some micro-organisms. Seek out your local fermenting classes now! I dont believe that at birth it is the only chance for change but I am happy to promote that is it is a huge chance to start to change what you think about health and the future of our children and their children is actually in our hands.

“We cannot afford to wait”

Let me know if you watched the film and what you thought about it…

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Fat Banana Custard

Fat Banana Custard  Ingredients Loula Natural

Fat Banana Custard

I have been enjoying instagram so much, here I am if you want to find me. I love the creativity and inspiration of people from around the world- making connections with people in their lives is very exciting.

There are a few people on there that I look out for as I really love what they are doing and Holistic Lifestyler is one of them (here is his website too). Today he posted his work in progress on a banana custard with bone marrow- yum. Quality meat is difficult to get here (its normally frozen or needs to be delivered) and I sense marrow will be even harder, so with some encouragement from my friend Helen over at Mango Menus (seriously good stuff going on over there too- here’s her website). I decided to have a go.

Banana Fat Custard Ingredients Loula Natural

The result is so delicious (and I was in a right funk this morning- grumpy, cranky, creaky and groggy!!) and has lifted my mood that I have literally just finished eating it- have to get it out there for you all! You have to try it- for breakfast, snack, lunch-boxes or pudding- it is so yummy and fills most of my quota for fats in a sitting!

Banana Fat Custard Loula Natural1

Fat Banana Custard
A delicious and healthy fat filled breakfast, snack, lunchbox or pudding. Great addition to your day. Simple and very quick.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 banana's
  2. 1/2 cup of fresh coconut meat (about 1 coconut) or soaked coconut flakes
  3. 1tbsp Chia
  4. 2 tbsp Ghee
  5. 1tbsp Milk or Water Kefir
  6. 1-2 tbsp Gelatin (I used Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate)
  7. 2 pasture raised eggs
  8. 1tbsp Raw Honey
  9. Cinnamon (optional)
  10. Pinch of pink/sea salt
Instructions
  1. blend the ingredients together and serve in a bowl!
Notes
  1. This could serve one person or (like us) me and the two kids as part of our fat quota for the day.
Loula Natural https://loulanatural.com/
Try it- so delicious and has given me such a nice energy this morning- I may have even licked my bowl (I did!!)

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What is a Naturopath

What is a Naturopath Loula Natural

What is a Naturopath?

Have you ever wondered about what a Naturopathic Doctor does? Ever wanted to see one but are confused about why it may work for you? In a nutshell a Naturopath with use only natural means to heal, repair and balance the body. Whether acute or chronic- all conditions can be dealt with using nature.

We all have different tools in our tool box, but in general you can expect to talk about energy medicines  like homeopathy, Bach Flower Remedies or other vibrational remedies, emotional freedom technique (eft), herbs, healing power of foods, fermentation, accupuncture, kineseolgy, essential oils, muscle testing, breathing techniques, exercise advice, meditation and other mindful practices with other stress management techniques.

As you can see our breadth and scope of healing tools is vast. This gives us so much to draw from when seeking to help the individual. We are able to help balance symptoms, as we always concentrate on seeking and resolving the cause of the imbalance. Our knowledge about how the body works and all our body systems work together, Combined with a more open minded approach to healing free of the dogma of strict diagnosis and protocols means we can truly tailor make an individual treatment plan just for you.

I am so passionate about what I do and it is a huge part of who I am as a person and as a mother. I am constantly seeking ways to help people get back to themselves, to feel safe, secure and powerful and happy.

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These are the six principles we ascribe to and all of them mean so much to me;

Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine:

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The Healing Power of Nature:

The Vital force, an inherent self-healing process in each of us which is both ordered and intelligent. Each person has their own relationship with it. A Naturopath will give the body space to have the energy to heal themselves helping to remove obstacles to healing and recovery. To help identify bodies signals and deliver options for the individual to come into line with their own healing intuition.

Identify and Treat the cause:

A Naturopath will seek to identify the underlying cause or driver of the illness rather than merely suppressing the symptoms. By resolving the cause of the issue everything else will be resolved in the ripple effect! 

First Do No Harm:

Use the least force necessary to diagnose and treat. Minimise risk of harmful side effects. Avoid the suppression of symptoms. Acknowledge, respect and work with the individuals self-healing process. Refer to others for treatment when your skills are inappropriate. Know your own skills and limitations. 

Doctor as Teacher:

A Naturopath will educate and encourage their patient towards self-responsibility for health. Teach them about their body and encourage the idea that prevention is better than cure. Empower them to heal themselves. A Naturopath support the healing; however you do it!

Treat the Whole Person:

Take into account individual physical, emotional, spiritual, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Get the whole picture. Bring the body’s systems together again. Work at the individuals own pace to reunited them with their instinct and intuition.

Prevention Rather than Cure:

Emphasise the prevention of disease. Asses risk-factors, hereditary and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions with your patient to prevent illness. Commit to create a healthy world where all of humanity can and will thrive.

These principles are the Hippocratic oath that all Doctors take. We just interpret them slightly differently. A Naturopath will take  full history and really get to know not only the physical issues but also the emotional ones too. Each personality will need different courses of action and each person will be able to make changes at different speeds. The key to the treatment is in giving the individual the responsibility to heal.

The only person that can make you well and happy is yourself. I can give you a tool box to work from but you need to listen and respond to your body. I teach many classes to help people to start to make choices for themselves and their families. Education is key, coupled with motivation for change and you will become unstoppable!

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