As a new parent you’re bombarded with information and advice from health care workers, family and friends about the ‘best’ way or the ‘right’ way of looking after your child.
But what do you do if that advice conflicts with your instincts? What do you do, if you know in your gut, that following all the ‘good’ advice is not what’s best for your family?
Society seems to want to condition us to conform to a ‘normal’ way of parenting, a ‘normal’ way of eating and a ‘normal’ way of thinking. But how can we be normal when everyone has their own brand of ‘normal’. We are all individuals and all need an individual approach but thats not main stream health care.
You need to feel confident in trusting your instincts, even if your instincts lead you beyond what you already know and to a scary place.
For me, I learned the value of trusting my instincts in finding the path to better health, nutrition and wellbeing when I began to look for answers to ease physical, behavioural and digestive symptoms being experienced by our then-toddler son William, who was diagnosed with high-functioning autism aged two-year-old.
In those early days before his diagnoses I had applied my own brand of ‘normal’ to transitioning William to solid food, and I was quite certain I had it right. After all, I had worked in the organic food industry, food was my passion and being healthy was a conscious goal.
But, as I applied my knowledge to feeding my child – my gut, my instinct as a mother, told me that something was not right.
I had always fed William organic home-cooked foods that I thought to be healthy but the more I read and saw others’ journeys, the more I realised that was far from what I was doing. At one point he was eating three or four safe foods and a carrot or tomato was causing him skin reactions, tummy pain, behavioral issues and sleepless night. How could this be!
I felt so lost and very depressed but I knew that there were more answers to be found.
So we followed our instincts and started working with a Biomedical Doctor who guided us thorough the midfield that is food sensitivity, intolerances and food allergies. We used supplements to build up what his body was lacking. And the results were clear, our gut instincts had taken us on the right path and we were beginning to see results.
That’s when we moved from working instinctively to purposefully seeking answers. We started moving away from Biomedical treatments to a softer approach of Homeopathy and found that to work for us.
Soon we came across the GAPS Diet and, after the initial hard intro stage and changing our mindset about grains, fats and learning to cope with lots of detox, we started seeing massive improvements cognitively and behaviourally with William, and our younger son Edward. And my husband and I have transform our diets to be happier and healthier.
Our instincts were right. Our instincts have taken us down the right path and have led to happier, healthier life for my family, and a way of eating that has seen William’s stress levels within his body ease, giving him the space to make the most of early childhood intervention therapies.
But best of all, easing the stress within William has given him the opportunity to see beyond the anxiety that autism brings, and has made him calmer so he can now embrace emotionally family, friends and even kindergarten. All of this from a boy, who we were told would never feel empathy, be social or be able to love.
Thank goodness I trusted my instincts.