How BioGaia Fixed A Crappy Situation

When I was offered the opportunity to try BioGaia: Probiotic Drops for Colic Relief and Digestive Health I could hardly volunteer fast enough. My 16 month-old son had recently developed moderate to (sometimes) severe constipation due to teething and we were reaching our wits end.

For the first 14 months of his life he was extremely regular with his bowel movements; which I credited to his great appetite and love of fibrous foods. However, after teeth number five and six popped through things began to take a turn for the worse. His bowel movements would completely stop for one to two days – followed by what I can only describe as a mother’s worst nightmare. My son (TMI warning) would grab ahold of something – his whole little body shaking – and push out the largest, most solid bowel movement you could possibly imagine a little body producing. The whole time he would scream and cry in my arms and I felt completely helpless! All I could do was sit and cry with him; hoping that it would all be over soon and my little boy could go back to his normal self for a few days. 

My doctor and pharmacist both recommended a (gross) sugary syrup to be taken twice a day to ease symptoms… which worked. For a few days. But it always came back, and it was always just as bad the next time. I knew I needed something as a preventative measure and not an after-the-fact fix. My son and I were both exhausted.

I saw results within DAYS of using BioGaia. It was simple to give to my toddler: just a spoonful of 5 drops once a day. With absolutely no change of diet or environment my son became his happy, regular (yup, that regular) self. His bowel movements were soft and frequent once again. **I want to mention that he popped the 2 most horrid, monstrous molars during this month-long trial; and while he experienced other awful side effects of this teething, his constipation was nowhere to be seen.**

I absolutely recommend BioGaia. I am looking forward to continued use with my son and also using it as colic relief for my next little one. I am so relieved to have finally found a product that is maintainable and effective for long term use. Sign me up!

Written by Tori G, our Mommy Connections Red Deer Director


I’m an active person by nature. After my first daughter was born in winter 2017, I was back exercising fairly quickly. For months I tried to find good nursing activewear. Pickings were slim, save for a few camis sold in high street retailers. I ended up wearing a lot of super stretchy tanks and extra loose T-shirts that I could awkwardly maneuver around my breasts for a feed. Everything felt like a compromise in fit and function, and given I nursed my daughter for two years, it was a long time to be unhappy in my workout clothes.

Enter KOJO, a new-to-Canada, European-designed clothing brand for active breastfeeding mothers. KOJO was created by Jana, a mom of two, who envisioned activewear made of sustainable materials and combined with the comfort of T-shirts designed specifically for breastfeeding mothers.

The brand offers a wide variety of nursing attire including T-shirts and long sleeves, tops, sport bras, and even leggings in fun and stylish colours. All KOJO clothes are made from merino wool or modal, making them ideal for all kinds of all-season outdoor activities (running, hiking, jogging, cross-country skiing, walking, boot camps and more).

With my second daughter born this October, I jumped at the opportunity to test out this new line of activewear designed for breastfeeding moms.

When my shirt arrived in the post, the cold-weather appropriate Merino Ms. Browngray style, the first thing that struck me was the gorgeous warm sand and coral colour and the softness of the merino material.

I was hesitant at first about the use of merino—any wool tends to make my skin itch—but the shirt was soft and comfortable. I also learned that merino wool has excellent thermoregulatory properties, helping keep you warm without sweat, thus enabling you to breastfeed comfortably.

Given the amount of snow we had this week, instead of testing out my new shirt on a walk I wore it to a mom and baby yoga class. I loved how comfortable I felt, temperature-wise. Typically in yoga I fluctuate between being too hot (once poses start flowing) to being too cold (once baby needs to feed or you settle into Savasana). With my KOJO top I felt comfortable throughout the entire class without needing to grab an extra layer of clothing or pull up my sleeves.

One thing potential buyers need to be aware of is that the merino wouldn’t be suitable for a warm-weather workout—that’s where the modal fabric options would come in.

It was also simple when it came time to nurse my daughter. The cut is adjusted for easy, comfortable and discreet access to your breasts, and it is designed to make no limitations due to the size of cups and bra you are wearing.

KOJO also has options for other members of the family—a T-shirt for men, as well as onesies, tops, bottoms and hats for babies.

Bottom line: I loved this top. The colour, the fit, the softness of the material, and how I never felt too sweaty or too cold. I finally found a piece of nursing activewear that I genuinely enjoy wearing.

This post is sponsored by KOJO. The company did not review or approve this article.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that can be found in food or supplements. Among others, these good bacteria can help with things like:

Within your body, you have your own community of germs called a microbiome. This germ community, also called microbiota, is made up of good and bad bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

When the balance of good to bad bacteria in your microbiome gets tipped, infection or illness can occur. For example, let’s say your toddler is sick and needs to take an antibiotic. Using antibiotics will kill infection-causing bacteria, but it also eliminates some of the good bacteria that keep the bad bacteria in check. This leaves the door open for other bad organisms to multiply and take over, which may cause secondary issues.

Are Probiotics Safe?

Since probiotics are naturally occurring and found in the body of live organisms (including us humans), Health Canada treats probiotics as a food ingredient rather than a medication. However, probiotics are generally safe, and doctors often suggest them to help with digestive problems.

The most commonly used strain of probiotics contain lactobacillus, bifidobacterium or saccharomyces – or sometimes, a combination of the three.

Does Your Child Need Probiotics?

You may be wondering if your child really needs probiotics, and in general, most doctors would say yes, they can be a great supplement, but aren’t mandatory.  Since most of the science surrounding how probiotics impacts children has been observed in relation to tummy issues – it is best to take a probiotic for a digestive issue (colic, diarrhea, regurgitation, etc.) and to consult your family doctor or pediatrician if you are considering using a probiotic to treat a different condition.

How to Pick the Best Probiotic

A general recommendation is to choose probiotic products containing the genus Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium or Saccharomyces boulardii, some of the most researched probiotics. But you may have to delve deeper, as each genus of bacteria encompasses numerous strains that produce different results.

According to Gail Cresci, PhD, RD, an intestinal microbe specialist with Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, “Ideally, look for a product that’s been tested for whatever you’re looking to address. It might say it helps with IBS, but you wouldn’t take that same product if you were taking antibiotics. You would want a product that helps with immunity. That’s where a lot of people get confused.”

“I’d probably stay away from store brands and pay a little extra for the name brand that’s been studied,” Dr. Cresci adds.

What you should look for is a probiotic that has lots of clinical data to back up that it works, clearly indicates what specific issue it treats (for example, “colic” instead of “gastrointestinal health”), and is produced by a trusted source with lots of experience.

Canada also has its very own clinical guide to help outline what probiotics are safe and effective to use. You can see the full list here.

To learn more about the benefits of probiotics containing the genus Lactobacillus, visit BioGaia.ca.

What is baby colic?

It’s estimated that up to 40% of all infants have colic. It usually starts between the 3rd and 6th week after birth and ends by the time the baby is 3 to 4 months old.

According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, colicky babies have long periods of inconsolable crying and hard-to-calm behaviour, but are otherwise healthy. Episodes of crying for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week, or for three weeks, specifically in the evening, can all be warning signs that your little one might be experiencing colic.

As a parent, coping with colic can be especially distressing. You feel helpless.  You’ve tried everything to soothe your baby, including cuddling, massaging and herbs, but nothing seems to work. The good news is that you’re not alone. We’ll discuss what options you can consider to help soothe your colicky baby.

What causes colic?

Why babies have colic is not fully understood, but studies have shown that babies with colic have lower counts of good bacteria as well as increased concentrations of harmful bacteria in their digestive tracts.

Cow’s milk intolerance has been suggested as a possible culprit, but doctors now believe that this is rarely the case. Breastfed babies get colic too; in these cases, dietary changes by the mother may help the colic to ease. Some breastfeeding women find that getting rid of caffeine in their diet helps, while others see improvements when they eliminate dairy, soy, egg, or wheat products.

Some colicky babies also have gas, but it’s not clear if the gas causes colic or if the babies develop gas as a result of swallowing too much air while crying. And some theories suggest that colic happens when food moves too quickly through a baby’s digestive system or is incompletely digested.

The specific cause of colic isn’t quite known and because of that there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach that can be taken but there are options to treat colic once it presents itself.

Treating Colic

Every baby is unique, and what helps soothe one baby may not work for another. The challenge is finding what works for you and your baby.  Here are some suggestions that might provide relief to both you and your baby:

At the moment, no medications have been found to be both safe and effective. For example, simethicone is safe but does not work, while dicyclomine works but is not safe.1

Dietary changes by infants are generally not needed but in mothers who are breastfeeding, a hypoallergenic diet by the mother—not eating milk and dairy products, eggs, wheat, and nuts—may improve matters. In formula-fed infants, switching to a soy-based or hydrolyzed protein formula may help.

Little clinical evidence supports the efficacy of “gripe water” and caution in use is needed, especially in formulations that include alcohol or sugar.1 The use of probiotics, specifically Lactobacillus reuteri, decreases crying time at three weeks in 95% of breastfeed babies but has unclear effects in those who are formula fed.2

For more information on colic or learn more about treating colic with the probiotic BioGaia, visit BioGaia.ca.

References:

  1. Roberts, DM; Ostapchuk, M; O’Brien, JG (Aug 15, 2004). “Infantile colic”. American Family Physician (Review). 70 (4): 735–40. PMID 15338787. Archived from the original on 2014-08-28.
  2. Sung, V; D’Amico, F; Cabana, MD; Chau, K; Koren, G; Savino, F; Szajewska, H; Deshpande, G; Dupont, C; Indrio, F; Mentula, S; Partty, A; Tancredi, D (January 2018). “Lactobacillus reuteri to Treat Infant Colic: A Meta-analysis”. Pediatrics. 141 (1). doi:10.1542/peds.2017-1811. PMID 29279326.

Summer is here and we’re excited to celebrate – Mommy Connections style!

We’re hosting FREE events across Canada as a way for all of our amazing families to come back and reconnect with old friends you met through our programs. It’s also a chance for those of you who may not have experienced Mommy Connections, to come and see what we’re all about! 

There will be toy testing, a mini market, giveaways and tons of freebies!

These FREE events are open to everyone, so feel free to bring a friend or two along! Kids of all ages are welcome, including those still in bellies 😉

The only catch is that you – and your guests – need to RSVP so that we have enough fun and freebies to go around.  

Here’s a list of the events happening across Canada – just click on the link to find the specific details and registration link!

ALBERTA

Airdrie:  July 26

Calgary:  July 26

Grande Prairie:  Aug 24

Leduc:  July 22

Lethbridge:  July 20

North Edmonton: Aug 8

Spruce Grove:  Aug 16

SASKATCHEWAN

Regina:  July 17

Saskatoon:  July 21

ONTARIO

Durham:  Aug 24

London Aug 22

Midtown Toronto: Aug 23

Mississauga:  July 12

Oakville:  Aug 16

Ottawa:  Aug 17

East Toronto:  Aug 9

West Toronto:  Aug 9

York Region North:  July 13

NOVA SCOTIA

Cape Breton:  Aug 10

 

As we celebrate Canada Day, we created a fun Canada Day Quiz.  How Canadian are you?  Take our Canada Trivia Quiz and find out!

Thanks to Global News for providing the Canada Day Facts I used to create this Canada Day Quiz…answers at the bottom of this page…but no peeking!

Canada 150 Quiz in honour of Canada Day

ANSWERS: 1. B, 2. A, 3. C, 4. C, 5. A, 6. C, 7. A, 8. B, 9. C

You can also munch on these cool Canada Day themed snacks:

Or create this special Canada Day craft.  This hand print craft of a Canadian flag will be a special keepsake to commemorate Canada Day.

Join us in August and November for our MomChat parties!

Let’s Chat  Back To School and the Holidays

Each MomChat week will run for 5 days.  The first day will be a Facebook party and the last day will be a Twitter party and each of the 5 days we will feature two of the MomChat sponsors on our social media pages. All sponsors will also be featured at the beginning of the week in our newsletter. Click here to learn how to become a sponsor.

Our fans and followers have 2 ways to win a prize from our sponsors; by answering one of our Facebook or Twitter party questions on the first and last day of the week!

If you haven’t been to a facebook or twitter party before, it’s easy! Just be online during the 1 hour party and answer each question as they are posted. If you are on twitter, remember to include the hashtag #MomChat18  so we can choose a winner from the responses.  We will choose each winner live during the party!

See you in August for the MomChat 2018 party!

Beach days are right around the corner, mamas (fingers crossed)! And we, for one, cannot wait for the sun, popsicles, and beach days! When you have a baby, though, things become a little more complicated. You can’t just slather them up with any old sunscreen and head out the door. We are advised not to use sunscreen on babies under 6 months and most toddlers would never make it that easy!   That is why I am in love with my Full Body UV Swim Suit by January Baby!

You would think that the market would be flooded with options but its pretty scarce especially when it comes to full body suits, which is a must for babies in order to keep them protected and safe!  All January Baby suits have a UPF rating of 50 +, which means the skin is only exposed to 1/50th of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, per  The Skin Cancer Foundation. This ensures your little ones will be safe to play in the sun and you will be confident enough to let them.

Some of the great things about this suit is that it covers wrist to ankle but also provides full neck coverage, which is great because my baby, like most has very sensitive skin. The suit is a polyester/spandex blend and comes in a variety of cute bold colors from sizes 6m to 4 years. (In the photos above, Asher is wearing the color navy with an aqua stripe, which I think looks great with his complexion—so flattering)! The suit has an easy to use zip in front, which makes getting a wet squirmy baby in AND out a breeze. The suit does have a lot of room to grow but actually fit snug. Although I currently have to roll up the legs and sleeves quite a bit, it isn’t that bothersome since I know he can use it longer.

Overall, we really love our Full Body UV Swim Suit! I actually wish I had one when my first son was born – so those sunny days when we did go out I could have spent a lot less time worrying about him and lot more time enjoying him.

The suit can be purchased online at www.JanuaryBaby.com,  Mini Mioche, and Baby on the Hip!

Diagnostic medical imaging is extremely valuable for assessing the pediatric population. Specific imaging modalities can be particularly helpful for doctors by providing information needed to make accurate assessments, leading to an appropriate and timely treatment plan. However, working with infants, children, and adolescents creates several unique challenges, including resistance from parents to altered medical procedures and techniques for healthcare workers. The purpose of this article is to provide clarity about pediatric diagnostic imaging, so you can be confident your child’s exam is necessary and the medical benefits outweigh any potential risks involved.

Children are different from adults in several ways; from a granular perspective, maturity and independence have a large impact on behavior. From a more simplistic perspective, a child’s physiology is completely different than an adults’. As stated by the World Health Organization, “Children are not just little adults.” Therefore, the distinct challenges accompanied with pediatric imaging must be addressed by healthcare providers.

Arguably the biggest challenge for doctors and technicians attempting to capture high quality images from a child is gaining their complete trust, which results in their cooperation during the exam. This can be tough when a child is placed in an intimidating and unfamiliar environment such as an MRI machine. It can be incredibly difficult for a child to remain still in the loud machine for the duration of the exam (often 30 minutes or longer). If a child cannot remain still for the exam, a slight immobilizer might be needed. However, support from parents and family can help in comforting a child, and most providers prefer not to rely on sedatives for an exam.

Another factor that must be taken into consideration is the basic physiology of the patient. A 6-year-old girl will have drastically different organ development compared to a 45-year-old man. As such, adjustments must be made on the providers end. Any exam that emits radiation should only be performed when the healthcare provider believes it is necessary to answer a clinical question or to help with treatment.  Additionally, FDA recommends X-ray imaging exams are optimized for the lowest possible radiation dose (As low as reasonably achievable – the ALARA principle).

Numerous factors influence the amount of radiation needed, but a patient’s size and tissue density are the most important factors when determining the dose. Age gives imaging providers a benchmark to start with, but the actual distance the X-ray travels through the body has the largest impact on picture quality.

Unnecessary radiation exposure should be avoided at a young age, however, X-rays, CT scans, and other diagnostic imaging tests should never be withheld from a child or adolescent if the results could aid in the diagnosis or treatment of a serious medical condition.

It is important to note that healthcare providers are responsible for ensuring all diagnostic exams are justifiable for pediatrics. If there is another option to reach the same conclusions without radiation exposure, such as an ultrasound or MRI, it will be strongly considered. Ultrasound is particularly useful because it is readily available and does not involve ionized radiation. Furthermore, ultrasound exams can be repeated for follow up studies with no significant risks and no concerns for additional exposure.

At Insight Medical Imaging we encourage parents to talk to their healthcare provider before undertaking an exam with radiation exposure. Talk about the benefits, risks, and ask if there are any other exams, such as ultrasound that can provide similar findings. You can also talk to your physician about different imaging facilities, how they use radiation techniques for children, and if any special preparation is required.

Diagnostic medical imaging exams such as X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI can be intimidating for both parents and children. Although you may be concerned about radiation exposure, your medical practitioner will only recommend an exam when the benefits far outweigh the associated risks. X-ray exams are commonly used, and while radiation exposure might seem frightening, you would need to be exposed to a large quantity of X-rays in a relatively short period of time before you should be concerned about impacts on your health. Just remember, the radiation exposure you receive from being in the sun on average in a year is equivalent to roughly 60 chest X-rays!

The first few days after your baby is born are such a whirlwind. While you’re busy adjusting to the new little life you’ve created, they’ve already begun changing and growing.

That’s why having photos of your newborn taken in the first week is so important. We were so fortunate to work with Hidden Jem Photography out of Stony Plain. Jamie has worked with our Mommy Connections programs in the past and specializes in newborn photography. She is so creative and ridiculously talented, so it was no surprise that our photos were exactly what we had hoped.

The perfect way to finish any nursery is with a beautiful canvas of your beautiful new baby. There are a lot of options available, but we used The Canvas Factory. The website was very user friendly. Once you upload your photo, you’re able to edit, size and customize your canvas. Shipping was quick, and it only took 6 days for us to receive our canvas. The colors were bright and we were happy with the quality of the canvas. The website also offers metal prints and acrylic glass prints. If you’re feeling inspired, you can create collages or split canvas right from the website. If you’re looking for a way to display images in your home, look no further than www.canvasfactory.com.

Enter to WIN your own 40x50cm canvas here!

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