A new parent is overwhelmed with all the information given to them and all the questions they have about parenting and doing the right thing for their baby in the days after having a baby and I know this because I was that parent more than a decade ago.
I can still remember all the advice I was given by well meaning friends, family and even strangers when the pediatrician told me that my baby had colic and reflux. Keep your baby upright for 30 minutes, use white noise of a vacuum cleaner or the static from a radio, give your baby gripe water, don’t eat cabbage or cauliflower, etc. etc.
I was willing to try anything and everything to make sure that my baby did not have long periods of crying and feeling miserable. Of course, I was miserable with my baby but beside the point at that time.
I felt isolated and exhausted and angry at times too. I chose to hold on to my loneliness, sleeplessness and emotional exhaustion just to make sure that my image of a good mom was unscathed, even from myself. Boy, was I wrong !
You are not alone
Many of you may be going through something similar, where your baby may be diagnosed with reflux or colic or both. I wish I had known then, what I know now about how there is so much help out there for babies with reflux and colic and the only thing stopping me from getting help was me.
I was so scared to put my baby in the car seat because I was worried she might start crying and would never stop. I stayed in my house for the first three and a half months of her life and I did not have a life other than taking care of her.
Resources are available for you in your community
I wish I had known about getting my baby to see a pediatric chiropractor or craniosacral therapist or got to a new parent support group. I would have definitely put money into such services and saved me and my family hours of sleepless nights and lonesome days.
Here are some obstacles that I thought were insurmountable to me as a new mother to a baby who had colic. Insufficient sleep, insufficient peace of mind and the real fear of putting her in a car seat and going from place A to place B and the feeling that I was torturing my child by putting her in the car.
There is no specific definition of colic per se and many new parents are giving their babies anti-reflux medications as suggested by their healthcare providers. I am sure there is a place for medications for babies with true reflux or other gut issues, and there is a place for bodywork, infant massage and TummyTime!™ Method classes.
Let me just say there is hope and what I needed as a brand new mother. I have made it my mission to be that hope for new parents I meet through my work or meet through friendship. I had significant support and help in the first month postpartum but felt like I was the only one going through it, and no one understood the struggles that I had.
Find your tribe
I hope new parents know that they can reach out and ask for help from their community and it makes us all stronger. I teach the TummyTime! Method classes at our local chiropractor’s office. I see new parents coming to my class with either a curiosity or with the hope that they may help their babies find the calm.
I meet new parents and as I tell them what I do they start to talk to me about how their baby hates spending time on their tummies now or how their first born never liked being on their tummy. I always go back to the time when I was a new parent and thought my baby hated their car seat. It was not the car seat they hated, but something in their body did not feel right when they were in that car seat.
Same applies to babies who “hate” tummy time. Some babies hate being on their tummies because something in their body does not feel right. Now we may not know what that something is every time, but we as parents can certainly try to learn more about how to help them through it, well TummyTime Method classes do that and more.
Who came up with the idea of the TummyTime! Method? It is developed by my teacher Michelle Emanuel, who is an Occupational Therapist with more than 15 years of experience working with babies and kids. The TummyTime Method has its foundations in The PolyVagal Theory of Dr. Steven Porges, occupational therapy, reflexology, yoga and many other modalities that works with a baby’s nervous system.
How can TummyTime!™ Method help your baby?
After the first class, parents comeback to the next class with more questions and how they notice the improvement in their baby’s head and neck control, digestion, and even the amount of time their babies are able to spend on their tummies.
I have made this class into a 4 week series because each class builds on the skills that babies learn in the first class. The next question that comes to my mind as a parent is, what if my baby is 3 months old and the other babies in the class are either younger or older than my baby ? The marvelous thing about the TummyTime Method is each class is tailored to your baby’s specific developmental stage and they do get their own homework and so do you. Yes, I do give you homework.
Is it really worth your while?
What we try to accomplish in each class is helping your baby find the balance between effort and ease, with you, the parent as their center. With the information now available to us as new parents there is not enough time to navigate through all of it but what I hope to do for you is to make the information easy to assimilate and apply into your daily routine where it is not a chore but a meaningful and bonding time with your baby.