Posts Tagged ‘ear infections’

What to Expect When Your Child Needs Tubes

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Our daughter had all the signs of teething. Runny nose, drool, slight crankiness, not the best sleep. She was happy, however, and so we thought nothing of it. After 2 months, she was still acting the same, but she had cut 2 teeth. Then, during a diaper change, I noticed a lot of clear fluid coming out of her ear with a slight orange tint. Later that drainage had turned opaque. I called and scheduled an appointment for the next morning.

I’m not a fan of band-aid medicine, and I expressed my concern about unnecessary antibiotics to the doctor, since ear infections are often viral. The pediatrician told me that viral ear infections will generally clear up in three days, so he asked to see me again in two days and if the ear was looking a bit better, we would avoid antibiotics. I appreciated this (especially since I didn’t want to risk yeast with our cloth diapers), and took my daughter home.

Unfortunately, the ear infection got worse and she got antibiotics. She didn’t miss a single dose, finished them, and at the follow-up her ears had no change. We were given the option of a stronger antibiotic, or seeing an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. Our daughter has never passed a hearing test in her right ear, and we were due to see the ENT that month anyway, so we opted for that route. Due to her history (hearing) and the ear infection that had likely been persistent for a couple of months, we scheduled her for tubes.

She went in for tubes the day she turned 9 months old with a very active ear infection. She was allowed nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to the surgery because of the anesthetic, and that was especially difficult for us since we bed-share. I fed her at the latest possible time, but she woke up about 90 minutes later wanting milk, so it ended up being a long morning.

What to Expect When Your Child Needs Tubes

One important thing to note that I wish I was told before her procedure is this: If your child goes under general anesthesia upset, they will wake up the same way. She was bawling and inconsolable. Nursing only helped a bit, and she would break latch to scream. I felt like the worst parent in the world,  thinking that it was my fault because she was in pain (she wasn’t). As we left, she cried all the way to the car. She fell asleep before we left the parking lot and slept for 3 hours. She woke up happy as could be, like nothing had ever even happened.


The ‪eustachian tube, which drains the fluid in the middle ear, is more at a horizontal level in
infants and is more at a vertical angle in older toddlers/children and adults. As children grow, the ear infections usually lessen as the eustachian tube moves more and opens up more to allow more drainage. Sometimes a child has too many issues to wait for this to happen naturally, and tubes are recommended.Nobody likes their baby to feel unwell, much less think of their baby going through any surgical procedure (no matter how minor). Unfortunately, sometimes procedures are necessary. Having tubes placed in a child’s ear(s) is a very common practice for both recurring ear infections (6 or more in a year), and for fluid build-up that could be causing hearing loss.

 

Most of the risks involved with getting tubes are really associated with the anesthesia and not the actual tubes themselves. Risks of the tubes could be minor scarring on the eardrum, the eardrum not closing after the procedure (or after the tubes eventually come out), and bleeding or infection (as with any incision).

Tubes have been frequently over-prescribed (just like many other things such as antibiotics), but can be very useful when actually needed. Always ask your doctor or specialist if you have any questions or concerns.

We had to start antibiotics again (due to the active infection), as well as putting the drops in her ears after the procedure, but everything has been great ever since! So far she has had no more infections and her one bad infection cleared up. We don’t know if this will help her pass a hearing test yet, but the ENT wants to wait a few months before we test her again.

Christine Kangas

 

Avoid Ear Infections Naturally

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Avoid Ear Infections NaturallyHad I not experienced it firsthand, I wouldn’t have believed that babies could benefit from chiropractic care. Our first experience was when my daughter was 10 months old and close to needing tubes for chronic ear infections.

Her first ear infection happened at around four months old. I can still remember the tortured screams and feeling in my heart when I had to take her in for injectable antibiotics since her prescribed antibiotics didn’t work. If you’ve ever had a child with an ear infection, you know that it’s about more than just a little ear pain. It’s the screaming, the pain, yeast infections and digestive issues from antibiotics, the not sleeping for days–and it’s totally out of your control.

Most doctors say there’s nothing you can do to prevent ear infections and not much to speed healing. Many moms who have found chiropractic care, myself included, will tell you otherwise. My daughter hasn’t had a single ear infection since we started regular chiropractic care over two years ago.

But that’s not where the benefits end. Regular chiropractic care can help babies who have colic, reflux, trouble breastfeeding, asthma, difficulty breathing, digestive issues and many more ailments.

Babies often experience spinal misalignment when going through the birth canal or during a C-section; these spinal misalignments can make them more susceptible to symptoms of disease. When there is spinal misalignment the nervous system doesn’t function at its maximum capacity. Chiropractic care in the early years ensures that your baby’s little body and nervous system is functioning at its fullest potential. It also stimulates the immune system and enhances their overall health.

Nowadays there seem to be chiropractic offices on every corner. Finding someone you can trust can be more difficult. Ask your friends if they know a good pediatric chiropractor, getting a referral from someone you trust can instantly put you at ease. You can also search for someone in your area that has been certified by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.

Taking your baby to the chiropractor for the first time can be scary, so don’t be shy about asking questions. Ask the chiropractor to explain what they’ll be doing and to demonstrate the pressure they’ll be applying to your child so you feel good about knowing they won’t be getting hurt. Find someone you feel comfortable with and who’ll take the time to examine your child and address any concerns you may have- always follow your gut.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.

Breastfeeding is a Journey

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

(pictured above my current nursling and my daughter Heidi)

I am a mom. I have 4 children, all of whom were (some currently) breastfed.  I am the oldest of 5 children that were breastfed. In the end, you really don’t know what you think you know about breastfeeding. And this is my journey.

I exclusively breastfed my first baby, Graeme, for 7 months, and then I weaned him. I was working full time and I was having a hard time pumping and neither my husband or I had the knowledge or support system to continue any longer. My husband thought he shouldn’t be nursed to sleep, and I wasn’t knowledgable enough to defend my case. So I stopped. Graeme was rattled with ear infections after that and ended up with tubes in his ears at 18 months. Ouch. Lesson learned, and hindsight is 20/20.

My next baby came along when my son was 2.5 years old. This little girl was my pivot point, and just as spirited then as she is 5 years later. I exclusively breastfed Heidi and when the time came at 3 months to go back to work, I sent her to day care for 9 hours every day with several bottles of breastmilk. She refused the bottle. She refused the bottle forever. Sooo, she made me work. I did research. And lo and behold, there is this thing called reverse cycling. I fed her when she woke, I fed her when I dropped her off at day care, when I could get away, I would come and feed her at lunch, I would pump during the day, I would feed her when I picked her up, and then we would nurse LOTS during the night. We did this until I quit working 9 months later. We did add some solids around 7-8 months as her weight had hit a plateau, but she was only moderately interested in them. Her doctor was very supportive and not worried. Eventually weight began to increase slowly. I am thankful to my stubborn, bottle refusing girl, because she made me her only source of food, and I rose to the tiring, very inconvenient challenge. She taught me that I am enough, and we CAN work out our challenges. She continued nursing until she was 25 months – I was pregnant with my 3rd and my milk had pretty much dried up.

I had my third baby 2 months after Heidi weaned. I was a little sad about her weaning because we had made it so long and I was hoping she would help with those early weeks of engorgement. I even offered to nurse Heidi after the baby came, but she didn’t remember how.  So much for tandem nursing. I exclusively nursed #3 (Kaatje) until she was about 12 months. Until that point, she just didn’t have any interest in foods. I would make her a plate with the rest of the family, but she preferred to nurse.

I had my 4th son when Kaatje was 34 months old and she was still nursing. My milk dried up a lot towards the end of my pregnancy, so we were only nursing for a few minutes a couple times a day. I was excited to be able to embark on the tandem nursing experience, even if I felt like Kaatje was almost weaned. Oh boy, was I wrong…my milk came in and Kaatje turned into a newborn!! Whenever the baby was being fed, Kaatje decided that she should be too. “Why is baby having milkies? I want milkies too!” So, thankfully I have two breasts that produce ample milk, as Kaatje claimed one to herself and the baby got the other one.  For the first few weeks, Kaatje went on a total food strike and started coming in at midnight to nurse. At first, I nursed her, thinking that this wouldn’t continue, but after a month, this double newborn thing really took its toll. My husband was not supportive of this (neither was I), but thankfully he put his foot down and started putting her back to bed. She stopped waking up so early and doesn’t come in now until around 6 am. That, I can handle as the baby sleeps with us and I don’t like being sandwich in between two nursers…it’s too tiring. Mamas of twins (+) I commend you!!

So, here we are 6 months into tandem nursing, and the baby is doing great. He was my best latcher! With all the others I had cracked, bleeding nipples, but not so with him (sooo thankful!). However, Kaatje would prefer to nurse than eat and still wants to nurse whenever she sees the baby nursing. She has a good relationship with the baby as long as the nursing is equitable, so I am continuing to let her self-wean. There are many times that I enjoy our nursing time, and I like to cuddle her. She has beautiful brown eyes that always appear very thankful when she is being held in my arms.  I struggle.  She asks to nurse a lot and throws quite large fits when she can’t – like when I am trying to make a meal for everyone or the baby is asleep in a carrier on my back. I try to accommodate when I can, but to be honest, sometimes I don’t feel like nursing her. She isn’t ready to wean, but sometimes I am.  My husband’s support is there, but waning.

If Heidi taught me anything about breastfeeding it is that I shouldn’t give up. So, this is my ongoing journey. This is my new adventure….this is what tandem nursing looks like for me…sweetness.

My two nurslings

My two nurslings

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Abbie