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Editorial

To Your Health


Raising a Child (Part 2)



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02/01/2007 - Hello again! Hope you had a great month. We continue our series on children now with the blessed little nipper's arrival.

The first topic, of course, is feeding. If at all possible, breastfeed. Breastfeeding provides important nutrition and protection for the baby. I believe that there are more mothers doing this now and I believe it should be encouraged to an even higher level. Breastfeeding enhances the psychological bond between mother and child (which will be tested when they are teenagers). The immunoglobulins, enzymes and, yes, the friendly bacteria that are transferred to the baby are of great importance to his/her immature immune system. (IMPORTANT!) This cannot be duplicated by formula. It is important to note that a mother's nutrition is going to affect what the baby is digesting and utilizing to help the baby develop and function. Once the pregnancy is over, that's not an excuse for poor nutritional habits. The baby should not be the recipient of processed junk food and pro-n inflammatory manufactured products and then the mother expect the child to have a healthy body, and especially, a healthy brain.

How long should you breastfeed? From my study, the answer appears to be at least six months to one year. Some cultures breastfeed longer. The child's digestive system does not fully develop until about six months and I recently read that trying to feed children solid food sooner may lead to food allergies.

Now a subject that is important to me is the early detection of spinal subluxation problems. What, you are asking, are these? These are any of various dysfunctions in the joints of the spine which can cause problems in movement, circulation, and even organ function (IMPORTANT!) These subluxations can develop from the stress of the birthing process assisted or unassisted. I have been impressed with parents who bring their child in for evaluation because they see something with the child that is not right or they want the child checked out.

Now here is some food to chomp on. Most first time mothers will be very protective of their child but here is some interesting information that would make the grandparents and great grandparents smile. There are a couple of studies I want to discuss. The first, from the June 2005 issue of the British Medical Journal, states that decreased exposure to infections in the first year of life increases the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The authors made the following comments: "Social activity with other infants and children during the first few months of life protects against subsequent risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The most plausible interpretation is that this protection comes from exposure to commn infection. These authors conclude that some degree of early exposure to infection seems to be important for child health." (VERY IMPORTANT)

The next article in the journal, Respiratory Research (May 2006) discusses the study of atopic diseases including allergies, asthma, eczema, hay fever, etc. The study supports the hygiene hypothesis that exposure to infections between pregnancy and age one year is associated with overall reduced odds of asthma, eczema, hay fever, atopic sensitization and total IgE (body's allergy response). (AGAIN, VERY IMPORTANT) It appears that the more common infections the child is exposed to the more their immune system develops and protects.

Something to keep in mind the next time your child has a fever: Just watch it; don't try to suppress it. The fever is trying to kill off the infection. It may take a day or two but if it lasts more than a couple of days or becomes extremely high, call your pediatrition and discuss it with him. Don't go into the automatic mode of demanding antibiotics. This will suppress the immune system development. Try having a little faith in the body and how the Maker designed it.

Well, I see I'm getting a little long here and I don't want you to get into "information overload" so we will stop until next time when our "little bruisers and princesses" are moving about.

Marc Delgadillo is a chiropractor practicing in Casper.

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