My poor River had an ear infection this week
Bugs have been partying at our household lately. We've all had a bug each, one after the other. I was bedridden for a few days with a chesty virus, Hunter has had two viruses back to back, River had a nasty coughing virus (not the C!) and then started to go downhill in a matter of hours last week. She mentioned her jaw was hurting initially, and within hours she was screaming and clutching her face. My health anxiety completely flared up, and I really thought the worst. I thought there must be something seriously wrong with her bone. (I am prone to getting obsessive thoughts about cancer). I honestly nearly called an ambulance at one point because I was on my own with the twins and River's screaming was so horrific, I actually had no idea what to do. I called four local doctors clinics, and not a single one had an appointment for the rest of the week!
I was so stressed. I really wanted to avoid taking her to hospital if possible, but if there were no GP's available (and no home visiting doctors), I had no clue where to turn. My mum raced over to help me with River, and she is certainly much more assertive than I am… so she called a GP clinic and demanded an appointment saying they should always fit in children in
Good old Nanny got us the appointment. Confirmed it was an ear infection. My heart sank, the minute he said she needs antibiotics. Being a naturopath, I really do know what antibiotics do to our gut. Initially I thought, no way am I giving her antibiotics - she can fight it off. But her pain was severe. I honestly had no clue what to do for a few hours, but it just came down to me not wanting this to be dragged out for days on end - whilst she was suffering in pain.
If we give antibiotics, I truly believe that we should always have a round of good quality probiotics afterwards. Imagine antibiotics as though they are toddlers. You leave the antibiotic in the room for only 5 minutes on it's own, and it's ripped through the entire room leaving nothing undamaged and undisturbed. Once an antibiotic comes through, the gut flora is changed. Some of our beautiful gut bacteria can be killed off, and the effects can last months.
River’s immune system will be affected without the correct balance of bacteria, along with her serotonin production, her digestive ability, potentially absorption of nutrients, risk of developing eczema. (I recently wrote a blog about our gut bacteria and what they want you to feed them here)
The best probiotics in Australia (honestly) are Activated Probiotics. Their standards are just gold, their strains are brilliant, and the research backs it up. So I immediately bought their Kids probiotic and I’ve just been popping it in River’s drink bottle. It’s completely dissolvable and tasteless, so she is none the wiser. I’d also love to be giving her bone broth and sauerkraut, but let’s be honest - She literally won’t have a bar of that.
I find little one’s that have antibiotics, without the repair afterwards, seem more likely to have lowered immune systems which then results in more antibiotics, and before you know it - their immune system has far less resilience than ever before.
So please, if you give your babies antibiotics - let’s repair their gut afterwards. It’s really hard to know what to look for in a probiotic so I listed the strains that are completely essential for little one’s tummies above. If you can, get a practitioner grade probiotic. Between those, and the ones over the counter is literal chalk and cheese.