Normal breastfed babies

Relief from reflux & painful gas


Lukas began having reflux and very restless crying at two weeks old.  In the evenings he was in a lot of pain.  Lukas was only having one bowel movement a week then.  With Catherine and other practitioners’ help, we were able to sort out several problems for Lukas, who is now happy and healthy.

The first big help was that Catherine offered to come to my house, because driving with a crying baby and a toddler was too much.  I saw how comfortable Lukas was during the whole session.  He cried throughout a prior chiropractic session, so I was relieved to see how gentle craniosacral therapy was. 

 Also, Catherine explained how craniosacral therapy works and showed me the anatomy.  This information helped my husband understand why integrative therapies could be valuable for Lukas.  Catherine also recommended that we might need a small team for a short time, to solve both structural issues and gut problems. 

We had seen Kate Birch, RSHom(NA), CCH, CMT, for homeopathy and a little craniosacral work.  Along with giving us a full craniosacral therapy session and some activities to do with Lukas, Catherine sent us to Cori Rutchick, DC, a chiropractor who used kinesiology to check Lukas for food sensitivities.  Although it was hard to eliminate foods, at least we knew which ones to cut out. 

Right away we started seeing improvements.  Lukas was so much better that week and into the following week.  Following those sessions he started having one bowel movement every day.  I feel it is much healthier for Lukas to eliminate daily, in spite of some doctors saying that babies are ok with having infrequent bowel movements. 

Now I can eat any foods and Lukas is good, at two months old.  Lukas is big and chunky and enjoying himself.  I feel much more relaxed and now can leave house with both kids. 

Catherine has also helped me with other questions for both Lukas and my 3 year old daughter.  She has encouraged me to find my own way to parent, and to find the rhythms for night nursing and co-sleeping that work for every member of the family as Lukas grows.    – Anita

After breastfeeding has been established most babies happily feed with few complications. At the beginning digestion is a new and all consuming project for the newborn.

Newborn’s digestive tracts are immature. The best and only recommended food for babies is breast milk during the first six months. Breastmilk contains growth factors that mature the gut, as well as innumerable other health benefits to babies and mothers.

When a baby has persistent, intense discomfort with digestion or bowel movements, several factors may be causes. Formula fed babies experience many, many more problems with digestion.

I provide breastfeeding counseling to help families with problems related to feeding.

Painful gas & unusual bowel movements

Signs of painful gas and difficulty passing bowels include deep bending and stretching, and inconsolable crying. Poor latch and nursing patterns can cause painful gas.

Breastfed babies have very soft, mustard colored stools. Breastfed babies should pass at least one bowel movement a day. Restrictions in the fascia system may contribute to painful gas and difficulty in passing bowels. Other contributors may be food sensitivities or allergies. I can help resolve many issues by unwinding fascia restrictions with craniosacral therapy and infant massage.

Formula fed babies may have numerous other problems contributing to problems with bowels. Formula feeding increases risks of food sensitivities and allergies. Stools are more likely to be hard, impacted and infrequent.

Excessive spitting up

A small amount of spitting up soon after feeding is normal for some babies. Variations in breastmilk production, in relieving gas and in spacing feedings may contribute to excessive spitting up. I can help with a feeding assessment to help with breastfeeding.

Reflux may be also due to one or more of these factors. Food sensitivities or allergies may cause reflux. Structural anomalies would require medical evaluation. Fascia restrictions on the digestive tract due to difficult birth may cause reflux. Craniosacral therapy can relieve restrictions and balance the tone of the digestive tract and sphincters.

Food sensitivities

Breastfed babies may have food sensitivities. While these are not allergies, the baby may not be ready to digest certain foods that mother eats and passes through her milk. Likely food culprits include the top food allergens, listed below. I can help assess whether this is a source of the problem, provide craniosacral therapy support, and make client referrals to holistic family practitioners when needed.

Food allergies

Babies are not allergic to breastmilk, but may have reactions to foods that mother has eaten. Babies are at higher risk of allergic responses because of the immaturity of their digestive and immune systems. Family history of allergies greatly increases risks for babies, up to 60-80% chance of allergic reactions.

Eight foods are the source of 90% of all food allergic reactions. These are cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. Families with histories of allergies are advised to eliminate these foods from the mother’s diet for breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding is still the best food source for babies’ health.

I can make client referrals to holistic family practitioners who can help you resolve the digestive and immune system problems that underlie allergic reactions for your baby and for any family member.

Somatic therapies and education

I provide gentle, effective hands-on somatic therapies and guide your child in playful developmental movements. With articles you can help your baby with body-mind integration from the beginning.

What to expect in a session for your baby


 Essential wellness for mother and child

Body-mind integration from the beginning