Nature's Mothers Blog

Childbirth, Parenting and Other Passions

Geographic tongue July 18, 2011

Remember way back, over a year ago when Ayla was a little newborn with horrid thrush… wow, that seems like yesterday! I mentioned in my post about it  that she had these raised bumps on her tongue? Well, it turns out that these had nothing to do with thrush, and everything to do with her dad!! They both have geographic tongues.  I didn’t realise at the time was genetic, so didn’t give it a thought. And since she had thrush on her bum I presumed this was thrush too. But no!  They have remained.

Although there are days when her tongue is almost completely smooth, and days when they look like the surface of the moon, craters all over! The craters are like bald patches surrounded by a thin white line.   There is nothing you can do about geographic tongues. It is not serious, it does not hurt, bother or hinder her in any way. Steven is slightly embarrassed about his, but that’s it.  He just doesn’t go about sticking his tongue out. And no, it doesn’t change snogging or intimacy in any way…

The technical name for geographic tongue is Migratory Glossitis.  What happens is the little bumps on the tongue, called papillae, actually fall off.  They replace themselves within 7 to 10 days, but as the new bumps grow, so another patch starts to lose it’s bumps.

Although not common, it can be painful for some people, especially after eating certain foods (spicy, sharp, sour or citrus) . The penny has dropped…maybe this is why Ayla won’t eat oranges!  It is most common in people who are environmentally sensitive – have allergies, eczema or asthma.  And it often runs in families and is worse during periods of stress.  It is more common in females and is worse before periods and during ovulation and pregnancy.  I am watching Ayla’s at the moment, but I think it is worse while I am ovulating…makes sense since she still breastfeeds loads.

Apparently Vitamin B & Zinc are often prescribed for it, although it doesn’t seem to bother my darlings, so we haven’t tried it. I daresay our diet is quite high in these things anyway!

This is not her tongue, but this would be a on a really bad day!

Hers is probably more like this most of the time


Temperatures/fever – to use Calpol or not to use Calpol?! July 9, 2011

Filed under: Natural Remedies,Parenting — naturesmother @ 8:08 pm
Tags: , , ,

Several times I’ve given Calpol or Nurofen for a fever, because I believed that my baby was in danger if I didn’t.  But is this really true?

Why do we get temperatures?

A fever is your bodies defence mechanism.  It is a positive sign that your body is working correctly. When your body gets an infection, your temperature goes up, triggering your immune system to produce more white blood cells, antibodies, and other agents that fight infections.  Babies & children get fevers even with minor viral infections. Mine get fevers when they are teething.

So, do we give Calpol?

In the past I have given Calpol, much less often then most people, and only if they feel incredibly hot.  I personally do not keep a thermometer, because I trust I can tell when my child is really unwell, and I don’t want to become obsessed with taking temperatures, when temperatures can be raised due to many other reasons (emotional upset, too many clothes, bedding, physical activity, etc.) .

I heard from a Dr recently, but cannot find any evidence online, that febrile convulsions most commonly occur at 38.1 degrees C, which is really not that high. And that febrile convulsions are in any case not thought to be harmful.

In effect, giving medication which lowers the bodies temperature, means you are preventing your body (or your childs) from doing what is supposed to do, therefore prolonging the illness. (Nevermind the fact that these drugs have a negative impact on babys little organs) Now that I understand this, I no longer want to use drugs at all.

Ayla had a temperature a few days ago.  She was really chesty and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t Pneumonia or anything serious.  By the time we got to the doctor her temp was 38.6 degrees C. Hardly surprising seeing as she was overdressed for the hot waiting room, and she was crying.  The first thing he said to do was to get her temperature down.  I went with my new found information and my gut, ignored his well meant advice, and she sweated a bit in the night and by morning she was completely back to her sunny little self! We bed share so that helped me to keep an eye that things didn’t get out of hand.

My question is, what about babies that are younger than three months, who apparently can’t regulate their own temperature. Is this true, and would you give Calpol? Anybody?


Hawthorn or Elderflower cordial recipe

If you still have any elderflowers out, run and grab them and make this yummy cordial! Erin lives on the stuff!


20 heads elderflower or hawthorn flowers
1.8kg sugar (I use the slightly healthier unrefined brown sugar)
1.2 litres water
2 unwaxed lemons
75g citric acid

Shake bugs off flowerheads and put flowerheads in a bowl.
Dissolve the sugar in the water by warming gently
Peel the zest off the lemons and put it into bowl with flowerheads
Slice lemons and add to flowerheads
Poor sugar water over flowerheads once it’s cooled a bit
Add citric acid
Cover with a cloth for 24 hours then strain through cheesecloth (or sieve)
Bring to the boil, then bottle and mix to taste (about1 part cordial to 6 parts water)


How to make a belly mould July 6, 2011

The best keepsakes I have, from both of my pregnancies(besides my lovely girls, of course), are my belly moulds!  First time around I bought a kit on ebay for £12, and second time I just ordered the bandages & got a bottle of PVA glue from the local art shop!  Number 2 turned out better.  They are so much fun and a great way to celebrate your pregnancy!

What you need:

To be about 36  to 38 weeks pregnant
ModRoc Plaster of Paris bandages (I got 3 rolls..I think I got the 6cm by 2m ones)(available online, or perhaps at an art shop or pharmacy)
Warm water
A tub of vaseline
PVA glue
Friend/s or a partner
Warm bath or shower to jump into afterwards

How to do it:

  1. Cut bandages into strips long enough to cover your bump, cut some smaller pieces for breasts, nipples, cleavage, belly button
  2. Put towels or an old shower curtain down
  3. Get naked or wear old nickers
  4. Cover any hairy bits with vaseline (or else you’ll know about it later!!)
  5. Get a biggish bowl of warm water
  6. Stand up or sit on a covered chair (arms above your head if you want your boobs looking extra perky)
  7.  Time for your friend/partner to work fast…run the bandages through the water and start sticking.  It’s a good idea(I learnt second time around) to work from above your breasts, right down to your pubic hairline, and all the way around the sides of your body.
  8. Do 2 or 3 layers, continuously smoothing it over with their hands.. bearing in mind mod roc dries quickly (not so quick that you need to panic!) You can add a bit of water to bits that need smoothing over.
  9. Now add a big dollop of PVA glue to the water, give it a stir and continue. (about half water, half glue…so you may need to reduce the amount of water you have in the bowl) This strengthens it and stops the cast from going crumbly too fast
  10. We did 4 or 5 layers in total, at which time the mould was coming away from my body.  I removed it and we very carefully painted the inside and outside of it with the glue/water solution and left it to dry.
  11. We had a Mother & Father Blessingway(instead of a baby shower), where our friends each painted something on it, using acrylic paints. I put a glossy varnish over it once it had dried. What a wonderful memory and keepsake.

pregnant belly cast

My friend did it for me at 36 weeks when I went to visit her in Brighton, and my two friends and I (well, mostly them actually) painted it with meaningful symbols/pictures that we chose together.
pregnant belly cast painted
36 weeks pregnantMy hubby did this one for me, and we painted it at our blessingway, everyone painted their own picture(We painted the base layer the day before).  Both were done at 36 weeks pregnant.  The second one is stronger due to using glue and going further around my sides.

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