Victorian Maternal Child Health Nurse System

I came across a post this morning on FaceBook in a very large babies/kids group I am in. I was touched by her experience of the Maternal Child Health Nurse (MCHN) service in Victoria, as mine was similar. No chopping and changing of appointments, but the nurse that I had was focused on so many micro details, that she failed to see I had a happy healthy baby on my hands. I was given very poor advice on numerous occasions, and I ended up changing nurses. I too made a complaint but it was not even followed up with a phone call. But how many mums would actually take the time to complain when they are sleep deprived and juggling new motherhood The system needs an overhaul. We need support at times like this, more than ever.

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Should we eat wheat? (and what is the deal with gluten anyway?)

Avo toast

Back in 2013 I embarked on my gluten free life. At the time I didn’t know it would be so permanent but now that I have thoroughly researched it, I am glad that I am (mostly) gluten free.

It started off by having a baby. Why would that have an impact? Well this newborn baby of mine screamed his head off every time I ate wheat. No, he didn’t have a strange phobia of sandwiches but rather, 7 hours later, the components of the sandwich ended up in my breast-milk which he then drank. It took me a few weeks to figure it out (and you can read more about it in another blog post) but he had silent reflux and the “wheat” upset his tummy. It was more specific than wheat, actually the protein in wheat – the gluten.

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Reflux in babies

If you have a baby with reflux your life can almost be a living hell. They scream, they are very unsettled and unhappy, and they don’t sleep. They also like to be held upright which (although cuddles are wonderful) is exhausting when it is 24/7.

I had one of these babies and It was very difficult until I figured out how to fix it. For my experience, within 24 hours I had a very different baby. No screaming, no crying, and more sleeping. Within a couple of months it was totally gone.

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Help me Jackie the naturopath! My baby has a head cold

One of the most common questions I get as a naturopath and a mum is how to get rid of a cold/cough/runny nose in a sick child. It actually sparked me to create my Toddler and Kids Immunity program, as it is a common issue in families, particularly coming into winter.

The problem is, the younger the child, the trickier it can be to help with “home remedies” as they are not on solids, so cant take over the counter nutrients and herbs. When younger babies are sick, OR if your older child is catching everything that goes around, and is sick more then they are well, it may be better to bring them in for a naturopathic consultation. However if your child is eating solids and gets the occasional head cold then you may find the following advice helpful.

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MTHFR gene – what is it? And what does it mean?


Genetics – it seems complicated and mind boggling that a bunch of proteins (our DNA) control every aspect of our lives, and that one very small change in DNA can have far reaching consequences. It is unfortunately true. And science has not been able to change our DNA. We are stuck with what we are dealt at conception.

A new part of genetic investigations is the MTHFR gene variations. Why is this important? Because it is estimated that between 40-60% of the population have a variation in this gene. Chances, are, if you are reading this, you may have one. I have one, and so do many of my patients – hence my strong interest in this area.

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“2 minute” Miso Soup

miso soup

I was chatting to a few mums in my mothers group the other day about quick and healthy lunches and I told them about my 2 minute miso soup. It is really easy, quick, and really healthy. I was actually teaching my naturopathic students about the benefits of fermented food a few weeks ago – of which miso is one (but that’s another blog post!). I buy the one from the supermarket (Asian section) but you can also get it from health food stores and obviously Asian grocers. As it is fermented, it lasts for ages in the fridge. I have also discovered that miso doesn’t have to be made from soy. It can be made from any grain, and so it still can be eaten by people who avoid soy.

You can also make this as a “2 minute noodle” work lunch, where you put all the ingredients in a large jar, and then at lunch time you just add boiling water, shake it up and – hey presto – you have a yummy lunch. If doing it this way, I would put 2-3 teaspoons of miso paste in the jar rather than 1 tbsp so it dissolves easier.
Recipe below:

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