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

Whether you have a newborn, toddler, or young child, we all know how difficult tummy trouble can be and how surprisingly frequent it can happen. As parents, we want to fix the problem fast but knowing exactly how to help can be tricky.

Below we discuss some of the most common stomach-aches children experience, symptoms to look out for, and different ways you can help make your little one feel better. This is by no means a definitive list of all the issues your child could experience in their lifetime so if you are unsure at any moment, please contact your doctor.

Potential Symptoms

Your kiddo might be telling you they’ve got tummy pains if they show one or more of these signs:

Stomach-aches are common for kids. Luckily, they’re not usually caused by anything serious. They can be painful, though, so it’s good to have soothing strategies on hand.

What Can Cause a Stomach-Ache?

Colic usually happens in babies under 3 months old. Doctors aren’t entirely certain why babies get colic, but it is common and quite painful. Your baby might have colic if he:

Soothing strategy: Every baby is different, but there are options you can try:

Don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. The constant noise and stress of a crying baby can wear down even the most patient parent.

Gas. In babies, colic and gas often go hand and hand. Their new digestive systems are still working out the kinks as they grow. Gas can come from:

Soothing strategies: If you’re breastfeeding your baby, talk to his doctor about your diet. You may be able to solve the problem by avoiding foods that seem to bother your baby. If he takes formula, ask your doctor if switching to a different kind might help. You can also try giving your baby gas drops made with simethicone, lots of parents do this but be careful – there’s no clear proof that they work.

Constipation. It can hurt when little systems back up. If all your child can get out is hard, dry bowel movements, or none at all, he’s constipated.  Some of the reasons constipation happens include:

Soothing strategies: The best way to calm a constipated tummy is to get bowel movements moving again. There are a few ways you can help get things going:

Do not give your child a laxative until you check with your family doctor or pediatrician.

Diarrhea is another frequent tummy issue kids experience. Most kids will have diarrhea from time to time. It usually doesn’t last long and often gets better on its own. Diarrhea is usually caused by an infection in the intestines. The germs that cause the infection are:

Soothing strategies: Diarrhea caused by different infections require different solutions

Regardless of the specific symptom, if your child’s stomach-ache comes on quickly, or if it won’t go away, check in with the pediatrician.

If your child is experiencing any of the above-mentioned tummy issues, head over to BioGaia.ca to see if BioGaia could help get your little feel better.

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.

I took the leap into entrepreneurship nine years ago and, for the most part, haven’t looked back. I love having the freedom to carve my own path and do things my own way. That said, there are a couple of minor downsides of being my own boss—a big one being the lack of health benefits.

Prior to self-employment, benefits were provided as part of my former marketing gig— so my family could get the care we needed without thinking much about it. After I left my job, the benefits were hard to give up—especially since my husband is also self-employed as a real estate agent.

In the last year alone, here are just some examples of costs we would have had to pay out-of-pocket if it weren’t for our private health benefits.

  1. A missed jump on the part of my aspiring ‘Ninja Warrior’ son = ambulance ride.

2. Multiple trips to the dentist because of my son’s weak tooth enamel.

3.  An eye exam for a mama whose eyes are starting to get tired from staring at a computer.

4.  Massage and physiotherapy for stiff muscles and cramped hands caused by that same screen.

5. Cough, cold, flu …enough said = prescription coverage.

Because of our coverage, the above have been minor blips along the road— instead of major stressors or bank-account-drainers. I hope to never need to use my coverage for anything more serious (*knocks on wood*), but it gives me tremendous peace of mind knowing we’re protected for medical expenses large or small.

Visit ab.bluecross.ca to learn how you can stay protected in Alberta.

Cooler weather is around the corner, and we are thinking ahead with tips to stay healthy and hydrated as the air gets drier and our immunity goes down. We’re sharing our top fall picks for your skin and health from Life Brand at Shoppers Drug Mart – always a convenient and affordable option for moms.

Moisture balance

Moisturizing lotions are essential once the cold, dry air arrives, and on top of that indoor heating sucks moisture from the skin. We’re fans of the Life Brand lightweight moisturizing body lotion as it hydrates and protects skin, and is also fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. It is recommended you apply your moisturizer within three minutes of showering for best results.

Keep your face soft and smooth with Life Brand moisturizing cream containing ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Ceramides are naturally occurring molecules that penetrate the skin to attract moisture, while humectants help retain the moisture. The sustained-release formula means your skin will stay hydrated all day long, but it won’t clog pores.

 

Don’t forget your hands

Life Brand’s facial masks are always a favourite, so we were excited to try their new hand mask – and this did not disappoint. With nourishing ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil, jojoba oil and sweet almond oil, it left our hands feeling soft, hydrated and oh so silky smooth. We’ll be using this on high rotation once temperatures dip.

 

Immunity boost

Support your immune system and combat cold season with a boost of vitamins C and B, antioxidants and electrolytes. Try Life Brand’s Effervescent Vitamin C Powder; each packet contains 1000 mg of vitamin C, and helps to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins. You can take one when you feel the first inklings of a cold – but with delicious new raspberry and lemon-lime flavours, we’ll be getting our vitamin-C fix daily.

Your child’s first day at daycare can be both rewarding and emotional. It’s that first step to your child becoming independent and learning how to socialize with peers.

There are many benefits to your child attending daycare …

If your child is a picky eater, you might find they are willing to try new foods and mirror their friends eating habits. You’ll also find that your child falls into a routine and starts sleeping better for you at night – a full day of playing and learning can be quite tiring!

Despite all the benefits we could list, it still doesn’t stop the tears and endless flow of Kleenex from coming. It’s ok! As parents this will never stop. For every milestone our child reaches, there will be more tissues to pull out.

What we need to know as parents is that our child is safe. Whether they are at daycare, friend’s house, school, or gramma’s – we need to know that our children are protected.

As children get out and explore the great wide world, there are just some things you can’t avoid – colds and flu, scrapes and bruises, and of course head lice.

We have band aids for the boo boos, cough syrup for the cold, but what do you have in place for head lice? Here are some tips to help prevent head lice from infesting you and your family:

Head Lice at Daycare: Our Top Prevention Tips

  1. Know what to look forhead lice are small reddish-brown bugs measuring between 1mm and 4mm in size. They live on the human head only and can’t survive off the head for more than 48 hours without a blood meal. Head lice lay eggs on one side of the hair shaft. These eggs are caramel in colour and hard to remove without a proper head lice comb.
  2. Get on a routine – it’s important to check for head lice at least once a week. This can be done with magnifying glasses, a proper head lice comb, or a hand-held zapper. It’s important that you check the hot spots where head lice commonly lay their eggs. This includes behind the ears, nape of the neck, and crown of the head.
  3. Be prepared with the right tools – should you discover head lice on your child, it’s important to know how to safely remove them. Many over the counter products no longer work because head lice have evolved becoming more resistant to pesticides. Having a good head lice comb is your best defense. Look for long metal grooved tines that pull the head lice and eggs from the hair shaft quickly and painlessly. Having an Super Hero Head Lice Shampoo or Super Hero #1Time Head Lice Solution on hand saves you time and money. These products are eco-friendly and safe for your children.
  4. Cleanse the environment – it’s important to give the areas your child has been in contact with a good clean. Vacuum carpets and upholstery, and use a Super Hero Spray Away environmental cleaner for jackets, back seats of cars, chairs, and sofas. You can toss bedding and pillows into a dryer on high heat for 30 minutes or more to dry out any rogue head lice. For items that can’t go in the dryer, place them into a garbage bag and keep it isolated for 48 hours to starve the head lice.
  5. Educate – The last tip is an important one. Talk to your daycare provider to find out what their protocol is for head lice and do your part by following their protocol so that if your child does get head lice, you can take the right steps to protect the other daycare staff and children from getting it too. If your child is old enough to understand, teach them about head lice and what they can do to prevent it. The best way to stop an infestation in its tracks, is to be proactive. Educate yourself, your daycare, and your children, to help prevent a small issue from becoming a big one.

Hopefully these tips are useful to you whether you are a parent, teacher or daycare provider. Remember that head lice have been around for centuries, they aren’t discriminating … as long as you’re human, you can get head lice! If you do get head lice there is nothing to be ashamed of. The key is to be proactive to help stop the life cycle and prevent it from happening in the future.

Dawn Mucci is an entrepreneur, franchisor, writer, singer, songwriter, published author, corporate citizen, and company spokesperson for LiceSquad.com. She is passionate about franchising and life and has been recognized for creating a unique franchise concept and product line. Dawn is known for making things happen and gives back to the franchise industry and her community by sitting on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Franchise Association and the Board of Directors for the Children’s Aid Foundation of Simcoe County, and as a member of the Life Saving Society of Canada. Dawn can be contacted at dawn@licesquad.com.

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!

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!

A change of season is the perfect time to introduce new beauty products into your routine. Try one of these new beauty essentials from Shoppers Drug Mart – affordable options for busy moms, whether you are travelling or at home.

 

Try a micellar cleanser

Micellar water makes cleansing your face quick and easy. It gently removes oil, dirt and makeup without drying your skin. Another benefit is that it doesn’t require any rinsing. It works on all skin types, even sensitive skin.

Deep clean

Another facial cleansing option is Life Brand’s exfoliating facial wipes. For easy exfoliation and a deep cleanse, gently rub these cloths in a circular motion – ideal for travelling or time-saving at home. These wipes also contain cucumber, aloe and green tea to leave your skin feeling soothed and refreshed.

Saving face

Mineral sunscreens are gaining popularity these days, thanks to their naturally sourced mineral active ingredients to block UVA and UVB rays. Sunthera3 has new mineral sunscreen options for the whole family, including an SPF 30 or 50+ for adults and one for kids too. Sunthera3 is water resistant for 80 minutes, does not contain oxybenzone, and is oil free and fragrance free.

Skin pampering

Facial masks are a great way to sneak in some skin pampering and get a spa-like experience at home. For a springtime refresh, try Life Brand’s single-use sheet cream masks, available in moisturizing and brightening formulas. The paraben-free formulas are enriched with ingredients like Vitamin C and antioxidants to rejuvenate skin’s appearance.

For more information about Life Brand and Sunthera3 products, visit shoppersdrugmart.ca.

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