Supplements, Nutrition and Constipation
Nutrition guidelines are similar to when pregnant. Continue to forgo known allergens from the daily diet according to the IgG and IgE allergy panels. Continue to take the vitamins and minerals in which you are deficient, while maintaining a good nutrition plan. If breast feeding, it is important to increase daily caloric intake over pregnancy levels. The number of total calories per day will depend on post pregnancy weight and other factors. Consult with your medical providers, nutritionists or registered dietician, as they can help establish a solid nutrition plan that can help maintain milk supply and consistent energy levels.
The following supplements can be helpful:
A vegan and organic source is best. Free from food dyes, wheat, gluten, milk, eggs, toxins and other allergens. A multi-dose option (1 capsule 2 times per day or 1 capsule 3 times per day) helps to absorb the water-soluble vitamins better and the levels stay more consistent in your system.1
Calcium and Magnesium:
Calcium and Magnesium are important in bone growth and hormone regulation. Magnesium in general can help with sulfation and detoxification while eliminating constipation and muscle fatigue or cramping.2
Fish Oils, Omega 3s and essential fatty acids contribute to brain cell function, hormones and healthy neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Vitamin D is supports bone formation, hormone regulation, immune modulation and prevention of inflammatory conditions. Vitamin D should be supplemented in addition to prenatal vitamins because the RDA of 400iu, typically found in prenatals, is too low to help most people maintain healthy levels.3
Powerful Probiotics at least 50 to 100 billion CFUs help to build healthy bacteria to increase immune defense.
Zinc supports digestion, cognitive function and immune regulation. “No Zinc, No Think.” Zinc is also important in preventing viral replication.
Post Delivery Topics
Constipation and Hemorrhoids
Constipation and hemorrhoids are common in pregnancy due to increased progesterone production. Progesterone affects the smooth muscles surrounding the intestines causing a slowdown in the bowels. Constipation and hemorrhoids usually remain an issue after giving birth. Increasing fluid intake, adding soft fiber, taking magnesium citrate and vitamin C increase regularity. Consult a doctor or nurse about constipation and any discomfort associated with hemorrhoids or incontinence.4 Additionally, probiotics may help regularity during pregnancy and after birth.5
Hepatitis B is a virus that affects the liver and may lead to liver cancer. The Hep B virus is transmitted through blood, body fluids, contaminated needles, and unprotected sex with Hep B-infected persons.
A Hep B positive mother can give Hep B to her baby. If the mom tests positive for the Hep B surface antigen (HbsAg) within 12 hours after birth, current recommendations are to administer the Hep B vaccine to the baby along with the Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG). This prevents the baby from becoming sick with the Hep B virus. If the mother is Hep B positive, consult with a medical professional about only giving the HBIG at birth instead of both the Hep B vaccine and HBIG. The vaccine itself can be postponed and administered at a later date if warranted.
If the mother tests negative for the Hepatitis B surface antigen, or other Hep B negative results then the baby does not need the Hep B vaccine after birth. Please read the vaccine insert itself or in the post marketing report found on the manufacturer’s website to further research the ingredients and possible side effects.
For those wishing to vaccinate on an alternative schedule that doesn't include the newer vaccines such as Hep B, visit www.askdrsears.com to find information and connections to medical professionals that use alternative vaccine schedules.6
Vitamin K, Eye Ointment, and Cord Clamping at Birth
Along with the Hep B vaccine, there are three other interventions that are generally given to every baby directly after birth. The Vitamin K injection, eye ointment antibiotic, and immediate cord clamping. Each of these is a choice and can be planned according to one's beliefs in advance of giving birth.
Vitamin K is the first injection that a nurse gives the baby directly after birth. It is given to prevent an uncontrolled bleeding disorder called "hemorrhagic disease" of the newborn. 1 in 100,000 are born with poor levels of vitamin K that may lead to bleeding. The injection itself is either 0.5mg or 1mg of Vitamin K that is administered into the thigh of the newborn. Studies have shown that the amount of Vitamin K in this injection can increase the risk of leukemia.7
Those who refuse the Vitamin K injection can request the waiver forms from the nurse prior to birth and can be included as part of the birth plan. Vitamin K can be supplemented as part of the diet (high sulfur foods like broccoli and cauliflower). With the advice of your medical professional there are also vitamin K drops that can be given in smaller doses to the newborn.
Additionally, an erythromycin antibiotic treatment is applied to the eyes to protect from chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Side effects do not usually occur, however, the most important to be aware of are blurry vision, eye irritation and or hindered eyesight in the newborn. Some parents may choose to put breast milk in the eye as an antibiotic instead. As always, speak with medical professionals and include all choices in your predetermined birth plan.8
Another procedure to research prior to giving birth is cord clamping.
Before birth, the cord and placenta “breathe” for the baby. Humans and all other mammals have evolved over millions of years a very safe mechanism for closing umbilical cords at birth without interrupting “breathing,” and ensuring optimal survival of their offspring.9
Studies have shown that early cord clamping can lead to increased incidences of brain impairment due to lack of oxygen from the hypovolemia and anemia. More insight through studies on this topic needs to be accomplished before this can be proven or disproven.10
Emerging research on the subject shows some benefit to delaying cord clamping for a few minutes or until the cord has stopped pulsating.11
Alternatives to immediate cord clamping can be discussed with your medical practitioner as they vary with each professional and medical facility guidelines.
Vaccines Following Delivery
Vaccines after delivery should be seriously discussed with your medical provider and researched for all risks and side effects. Vaccines introduce live vaccines to the mother and if breastfeeding, they may pass on to the newborn. Dr. Kartzinel said it best in his book Healing and Preventing Autism: "If the baby is going to breastfeed, I would not want any of the live virus vaccines passed to her child in her breast milk."
In Mark and Hilary Butler's book Just a Little Prick, she states, "Some older studies show that colostrum and breast milk carry specific IgG and IgA antibodies to four organisms: whooping cough, Haemophilus B, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitides."12
This is an educated choice that should be planned for months before giving birth and included in the birth plan as discussed with a practitioner so the proper actions are taken.
Breast milk is considered the "Gold Standard" for infant nutrition and immunity support for newborns. Breast milk contains important nutrients of cholesterol, Omega-3s and taurine,13 all of which are known to be deficient in autism.14
The colostrum in breast milk is uniquely tailored to help the newborn's metabolism, giving it enzymes that aid in the digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.15 Breast milk Lactoferrin helps decrease bacterial overgrowth by limiting the nutrients bacteria need to flourish. Breast milk also promotes iron absorption by the intestines.16
Breastfeeding is the best way to increase immunity for a baby. Studies have shown that breastfeeding helps to shift a baby’s immune system to a more protective, less inflammatory state. Breast milk may reduce gastrointestinal infections and their severity with protective factors given to the baby's mucosal surfaces. Breastfeeding may decrease the chance of infection caused by viruses, protozoa and bacteria.17
Breast milk contains secretory IgA which has anti-toxin, anti-allergic properties. A low secretory IgA is extremely common in autism and leads to greater infections and lower immunity to viruses and other organisms.
Pediatricians recommend new mothers breastfeed for as long as possible for at least 1 year or more. If that isn't possible due to work, time constraints and other circumstances mothers may pump and store the breast milk so the baby will have the benefits of the breast milk.
In the event that the mother cannot produce milk or there are complications and the newborn is in intensive care, breast milk can be ordered through Prolacta Bioscience. The milk is donated, screened and filtered. Breast milk banks only donate to neonatal intensive care units through the recommendation of a neonatologist. It is a viable option for a sick newborn when the mom cannot breastfeed herself.18
Formula can also be considered. Choose a clean, organic, chemical-free formula that contains high levels of DHA and ARA. If a newborn doesn't tolerate a formula, an allergic reaction may be possible. Consider changing the formula to an allergen-free version; there are GFCF formulas such as Neocate but it is corn-based and not organic, which can be problematic. Nutritionists can help create a coconut milk, goat milk or other non-dairy source based formula as well. Talk with a doctor or nurse for recommendations.19
If a child is showing allergic signs, a Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) practitioner may help reduce or eliminate the allergy. Adding in a probiotic made for infants, DHA drops that contain essential fatty acids and vitamin A may also assist with digestion. A charcoal based colic product like "Colic Calm" can help with gas, bloating and upset stomach.20
Whether one breastfeeds or formula feeds, good nutrition is essential while watching for signs of intolerance, allergic reactions or a compromised immune system. Discuss any interventions with a doctor or nurse for what is best for the baby.
"Nursery Water" or Fluoridated Water
Fluoride is thought to have minimal benefit when taken internally and its ability to fight cavities when applied to teeth has been questioned. Fluoride has been shown to cause multiple problems including reducing intelligence in children, causing tooth defects called dental fluorosis and transporting other toxins such as lead from the water pipes across the blood-brain barrier.21
Delay grains in the baby's diet as long as possible. Some experts are suggesting until the baby is almost two years old. Others say to wait until the baby has most of her teeth, which almost always coincides with the 2nd birthday.
A baby's digestive system can tolerate fats and proteins much easier than carbohydrates. Infants do not produce sufficient amylase enzyme necessary to digest grains. One of the main enzymatic deficiencies in ADHD and Autism is amylase and the ability to digest carbs.22
One way to check if a baby has proper digestion or may need some intervention is to monitor if they frequently fall asleep directly after a meal even if they weren't tired before or it wasn't close to bedtime.
Solid foods should be introduced at 6 months if there are known allergies in family. This can help to prevent further allergic response by giving the child enough time to get a functioning GI tract that is capable of digesting solid foods with the correct type of enzymes and normal flora. Start slowly with veggies and work up to other foods.23
Probiotics are extremely important in the health of newborns and as they grow. When choosing a probiotic, look for a product that is made for infants up to 2 years of age that dissolves well in liquid or foods and is free from allergens.
Breast milk supplies these normal flora (good bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract) but when the probiotic environment is disrupted with a cold virus, ear infection, diarrhea or shows signs of a yeast infection (diaper rash or cradle cap) then a multi-strain probiotic should be used. They can be used daily as well.
Klaire Labs and Jarrow brands both have infant formulas that work well. Both contain Lactobacillus Strains (found in the small intestine) and Bifidobacterium (found in the colon).
Augmentin Antibiotic Danger in Infants and Children
Augmentin has been a popular antibiotic for ear infections since the 1980s. It has worked wonders because of the ingredient clavulanate potassium that is added to the amoxicillin. The clavulanate potassium makes it possible for the child to be given the medication over time during multiple ear infections without the bacteria becoming resistant to the amoxicillin.
During the process of making Augmentin, the fermentation process of clavulanic acid involves massive amounts of ammonia. When a child ingests ammonia it could injure the intestinal tract, brain, and nervous tissue. Ammonia has been shown in small amounts to cause brain inflammation or even abnormalities.24
A study from 2005 implicated the antibiotic Augmentin TM as a possible trigger in the formation of autism. This study looked at 206 children under 3 with an autism diagnosis. They found that these children had a very high number of ear infections as compared with the general pediatric population. Each of these children were given 12 courses of antibiotics that totaled 2480 courses together. 893 of these courses were with the antibiotic Augmentin and 362 of those courses were given to children under the age of 1 year. The high levels of ammonia from the doses of Augmentin could be another factor in the increase in autism diagnoses.25
Further research needs to be undertaken to determine if clavulanic acid in pharmaceuticals can cause neurotoxicity in children and the effects that toxicity can bring.
High occurrence of ear infections can be a sign of poor immunity or immune dysfunction in children. If your child has frequent ear infections, talk with your practitioner about alternatives to prescription antibiotics that can disrupt normal gut flora and cause ammonia toxicity, such as garlic oil used topically in the ear, probiotics and other natural remedies to boost the immune system. Be sure to use natural supplements and remedies under the care of a physician, as even natural substances have toxic levels.26
1 McCarthy & Kartzinel. (2009). Healing and Preventing Autism, A Complete Guide. New York, NY: Dutton.
2 Bock, K., & Stauth, C. (2008). Healing the New Childhood Epidemics, Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies, The Ground Breaking Program for the 4-A Disorders. New York: Ballantine Books.
3 Hollis & Wagner (2006), Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy: an ongoing epidemic. Am J Clin Nutrition, 84(2), 273.
4 Mayes Midwifery, A Textbook for Midwives, 14th Edition (2011) Publisher: Elseivier
5 Mayes Midwifery, A Textbook for Midwives, 14th Edition (2011) Publisher: Elseivier
6 Ask Dr.Sears. (2013). Find a Vaccine Friendly Doctor Near You. Retrieved from http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/vaccines/find-vaccine-friendly-doctor-near-you
7 Golding J, Paterson K, Greenwood R, Mott M. (1992). Intramuscular Vitamin K and Childhood Cancer. BMJ; 305: 341-346
8 McNinch C, et. Al. (1985). Plasma concentrations after oral or intramuscular vitamin K1 in neonates. Archives of Disease in Childhood; 60: 814-818
10 Linderkamp, O. (1982). Placental transfusion: determinants and effects. Clinics in Perinatology; 9: 559-592
11 McDonald SJ, Middleton P. (2008). Effect of timing of umbilical cord clamping of term infants on maternal and neonatal outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2): CD004074.
12 Butler, P. & Butler, H. (2006). Just a Little Prick. New Zealand: Robert Reisinger Memorial Trust.
13 Lawrence RA, Lawrence RM. (2005). Breastfeeding: a guide for the medical profession (6th Ed). USA: Elselvier.
14 Pangborn, Baker, Rimland. (2005). Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments (Have We Done Everything We Can For This Child? Individuality In An Epidemic). San Diego: Autism Reseach Institute.
15 Ackerman, B. (2011). Infant Feeding. In S. Macdonald & J. Magill-Cuerden (Eds.), Mayes Midwifery : A textbook for midwives 14th Edition (Chapter 43). London, UK: Bailliere Tindall; Elsevier.
16 Riodin, J. (2008). Breastfeeding and Human Lactation (4th Ed) Revised. Boston: Jones & Bartlett.
17 Isaacs, C. (2005). Human Milk Inactivates Pathogens Individually, Additively and Synergistically. The Journal of Nutrition; 135, 5;1286.
20 Nambudripad, D. (2002). Say Goodbye to Illness: A Revolutionary Treatment for Allergies & Allergy Related Conditions (3rd ed.). Buena Park, CA: Delta Publishing Company.
21 Xiang Q, et al. (2003). Effects of Fluoride in Drinking Water on Children’s Intelligence. Fluoride, 36, 84-94;198-199.
22 DeFelice, K. (2006). Enzymes: Go with Your Gut, More Practical Guidelines for Digestive Enzymes. Bound, Minnesota: ThunderSnow Interactive.
23 Cmablee-McBride. (2010). Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia, Revised and Enlarged. United Kingdom: Mediform Publishing.
24 Devaraj, S. (2013). Ammonia. MedScape. Retreived from http://www.emedicine.medscape.com/article/2054408-overview#a30
25 Fallon, J. (2005). Could one of the most widely prescribed antibiotics amoxicillin/clavulanate "augmentin™" be a risk factor for autism? Medical Hypotheses, 64(2), 312-315.
26 Marks, D. (2010). Garlic. Livestrong.com. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/326569-garlic-oil-for-sinus-ear-pain-infections