Parenting a child who has asthma

Allergies, eczema and asthma are all said to go hand in hand. Do you just accept this as fact or question why is that? What in the body is connected/linked/has similarities that increase the chance of a baby with eczema to become a toddler with food allergies to then become a two year old with asthma?

On this note, keep in mind my child has battled all three his whole life but we manage them. This is what I have learned as a Mum of a child with asthma:

1) Money saver. Our emergency department charges for the mask and tubes when using the nebuliser. When you’re next on the nebuliser, ask to take the mask and tubes they use and keep them in your medicine bag along with the epipen. This means they can’t charge you for them again the next time you are at the emergency department. We save $20 each visit by reusing our mask and tubes.

2) Cleaning. Trust me I am not one to live by planning my days out, I like to live on the wild side as much as a Mum of two small children can! I do find I need to be very vigilant with cleaning for the sake of my son’s asthma so I try to have daily tasks and then set day of the week tasks. Things like damp dust (the ashtma trigger here is actually the poo from dustmites, I shit you not 💩), pet dander, cockroaches, things which lurk in the carpets etc. All might contribute to asthma so keep on top of those with some kind of system. “On wednesdays we wear pink”…pink gloves, to deep clean the kitchen…. because “I’m a cool Mom”. Ok, I’ll stop with the movie references to a 10year old movie!

Here is my no nasty shake n vac recipe:

  • 1 cup of baking soda and a dessert spoon of cinnamon. 
  • Shake with the lid on to combine. 
  • Sprinkle on carpets
  • Vacuum – it’ll smell amazing!

You can use baking soda and vinegar to clean almost anything. You can use it in every room of the house so give it a go next time you clean to reduce your harsh chemical usage. I also use citric acid in the kettle and in mugs to clean them, just add a teaspoon and boil the jug! Done!!

3) Dampness is a trigger. Damp clothes… yeah, on those fold out lines? It can contribute to asthma, so air your laundry away from sleeping areas or outside. Damp living conditions, codensation, poor insulation… combat any of these with dehumiderfiers, heaters, good quality himalayan salt lamps, wiping away wet build up/mould, making sure the windows and doors to the home are properly sealed and there is insulation. 

You could also try buying a few air purifying plants. The peace lily is the most common.

4) The sleep area. I don’t know about you but I always end up doing a 10pm or 2am trip to the emergency roon when my son has problems breathing. I believe this to be because he lies down and mucus collects, the temperature drops and his bedding might not have been ideal. Look into getting dustmite allergy pillows and matress protectors then change the sheets on the regular. Make sure the room is warm and dry.

5) Sickness. When they get sick, they produce additional mucus and this leads to asthma. Keep colds at bay by supporting the immune system with Sodium Ascorbate (vitamin C), a good diet and a healthy gut. If they get sick, give more sodium ascorbate, we use vicks in boiling water by the bed (vapourizer if you have one), and encourage blowing the nose/bringing up plegum. Keep warm. Stay close enough to hear a wheeze, whenever I have been unsure of the noise I have called healthline who have always given me good advice (New Zealand).

6) Diet. No, this is not to say count calories foe your two year old or body shame them. This is diet as in what the child eats. Let’s get that out of the way.

Diet. Anti inflamatary diets are best for asthma (and eczema). This means nothing that causes inflamation in the human body. So cut out dairy, wheat, sugar, caffiene, alcohol and nightshades. Try adding in more alkaline rich foods such as dark leafy greens, fill up on brown rice, stay plant based with (or without) meat, eat quinoa and legumes with meals, go hard on smoothies, make probiotic yogurt from coconuts… pintrest really does have countless recipes here and I also like the paleo mom for her explanation on what nightshades are.

Hope you can all get a little more sleep than we’re currently getting with my two year olds asthma keeping him up/in our bed all night. Never has he been so willing to take his inhaler! He has just realized it is what helps him to breathe eaiser, teamed with his antihistamine. I hate giving it daily but spring time pollen seems to bring out the allergies and asthma.

It’s world breastfeeding week!

​It’s breastfeeding week. Here’s my bit for support as on the La Leche League NZ Page.

World breastfeeding week helps to normalize a natural human function which some people *still* think is weird or private. Newsflash, it is the biological norm. The mammatory glands that are the boobies are made to feed a baby.

As the meme goes, you won’t find me spraying my milk around a cafe on a tabletop while singing my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard but you will find me sitting on a couch nourishing my babies with breastmilk.

https://m.facebook.com/LLLNZ/photos/a.416510656691.188117.184036821691/10152916627701692/?type=3

Thank you to Lesh Dearlove for sharing your story of breastfeeding a baby with food sensitivities:  I just wanted to share with you my breastfeeding story with the hopes that it might help others to breastfeed for longer. I found that there was very little support around baby food intolerances/allergies and breastfeeding on our journey. 

After months of painful trial and error trying to figure out what my baby was intolerant of/allergic to we finally pin pointed not one but several triggers. We have cut out dairy, soya, eggs, nuts, wheat, gluten and nightshades from our diet. 

What a relief that was! It should have been as easy as myself and baby avoiding the food and getting on with enjoying life. But you know what made it hard? The terrible advice to wean my baby which I still get from the in laws/friends/families/that random person in the elevator who noticed his flare ups. Being an allergy Mum is made so much harder by everyone around you telling you to stop breastfeeding.

Don’t people love to give advice on how you parent!? It certainly seems like everyone has an opinion on breastfeeding a baby who cannot tolerate all food groups. I have had all the comments, “you need to wean him so you can eat a chocolate bar/drink beer/go out for dinner etc.” “You’ve lost weight, you need to wean him” “You should just eat a little bit of this or that” “He’s probably not allergic to all those things” “it’s been two weeks and he hasn’t improved” “He needs to go on formula/goat milk so you can have your life back” blah blah blah blah. I never thought that I would have to justify what is between my breasts and my baby especially when it is for his well being.

I have no intention of giving up breastfeeding just so I can have a muffin with my tea.

I certainly don’t feel like I am missing out on fast food so much that I need to stop breastfeeding. 

No, I will not try my offspring on the milk of another animal instead of human milk so I can fill my body with wheat.

My meals are creative now, never boring! I love that my family all follow the same diet, we’re all in this together. 

I never have to worry about if my son has gotten into the milk from the fridge or have the anxiety attack thinking hard if a food had wheat in it. 

There are so many alternatives to chocolate, bread and cheesecake out there that we make from scratch at home. 

Also, while I can’t drink beer… I can drink a vegan wine. I can still eat certain kinds of bacon, I now eat MORE than ever and yes, my son’s health is the best it has ever been while still breastfeeding.