Feeling conflicted & sad… Motherhood thoughts & feelings
My thoughts on being conflicted by Eastern vs. Western medicine
I don’t normally get into many personal things on my blog or Instagram. As you know most of my content is food and wellness related. If I do a lifestyle post it’s typically something positive about motherhood. There’s a part of me that always wants to share more with you guys. I want to share the not-so-great parts of my life. However, I’m conflicted when it comes to sharing anything but positive things about my children. Part of me thinks that so many of us are going through the same thing and have the same feelings/emotions so it’s good to get it out there and talk about it. However, protecting my children’s privacy is of the utmost importance to me and I’d never want to share anything that they’d be uncomfortable about the world knowing in their adult life.
With all that being said I do feel comfortable sharing my thoughts today as it really doesn’t involve my children much – more just a conflicted motherhood thought/sadness I’m experiencing right now.
This topic is controversial, so I want to preface this by saying we’re all doing this best we can as parents. We do what we think is best for our children. We have different values and ways we parent and no one is right or wrong.
When it comes to Eastern vs. Western medicine I find myself falling somewhere in the middle. I WANT to have a holistic approach always. I always opt for natural and holistic remedies before turning to less natural options. However, that doesn’t always work out for me. If a natural/holistic way of healing isn’t working, I then turn to Western medicine. I often find myself struggling with what’s best for my children. I feel I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
For example – something as basic as Tylenol and Motrin. I feel guilty putting it in their tiny bodies. I know it’s not ‘good’ for them. I also know it’s not terrible for them. When my children are teething or not feeling well I often end up giving it to them because of course I don’t want my babies to be in pain. I always try natural remedies first and unfortunately find that they usually don’t work so great. I wish they did! Like I said I always feel like I can’t win. If I give medicine I’m helping them feel better (fabulous), but putting something not so great in their bodies. However, if I don’t give them pain medicine when they’re in pain I feel like a bad mom that I know my child is in pain and know there’s something I can do to alleviate that and choosing not to do that. That’s why I end up giving the Tylenol or Motrin…
The much bigger issue that I’m struggling with at this moment is antibiotics. I’ve done TONS of my own research on antibiotics and am fully aware of the positives and negatives.
Let me begin by saying that antibiotics saved Jordyn’s life when she was 4 months old. She had a bad kidney infection that she was hospitalized for 3 days for. If we didn’t put her on antibiotics the infection could have spread to her blood and she could have died. It’s so scary just typing out that sentence.
In the above situation I am 1000000% pro antibiotics! I think there’s a time and a place for them and in that situation they were definitely necessary and I felt 100% good about giving them to her.
However, here’s a situation I feel so conflicted about…
Jordyn gets ear infections pretty often. Ear infections can clear up on their own… but sometimes they may not. In which case a doctor would prescribe an antibiotic. As I said, I always opt for the natural option first, so I always give it a few days to see if the ear infection clears up on its own, and if it doesn’t then I start an antibiotic.
The last two times Jordyn had an ear infection I give it a few days to see if it would clear up on its own before starting antibiotics and it did! I was thrilled. However, Jordyn has a nasty ear infection right now and since the last two cleared up on their own (very quickly) I of course decided to wait a few days this time to see what would happen.
This time was different… the ear infection did not clear up on its own, and only got worse. I felt like a bad mom for not just starting the antibiotic the day I found out about the ear infection. However, I know I was just doing what I thought was best for my child and if I could avoid a round of antibiotics that would have been great.
However, I’m realistic and once a few days went by and the infection only continued to get worse I decided to get the antibiotic. Now she’s on the antibiotic and I feel bad about what it’s doing to her gut health. Whenever she’s on an antibiotic her stomach really bothers her the entire time. I know how bad antibiotics are for our gut health. I always give a probiotic while giving an antibiotic, but it doesn’t seem to help. I still give the probiotic though…
Here’s another thing I’m conflicted about… I’ve read to avoid dairy while our children are sick or congested. Therefore, I agree that it’s best to avoid dairy during times like this. However, doctors have told me consume yogurt while on an antibiotic to get probiotics – but then we’re eating dairy and that’s not great for trying to get well. The point I’m trying to make is that there’s just so much conflicting information out there and I’m left feeling so confused. Everyone has different opinions on what’s best and I just have to trust my instincts.
I’ve been doing my best to trust my instincts, but feel saddened and discouraged. Now that Jordyn is on yet another round of antibiotics I feel so guilty… but then I remind myself that her infection was just getting worse and she was miserable and in so much pain. What makes it worse is Jordyn HATES the antibiotic and screams every time I give it to her and I basically have to force it down – making my guilt skyrocket.
As of right now Jordyn is miserable, but I’m hoping this antibiotic kicks in quickly and that the infection clears quickly so she can get some relief. I feel so sad watching her in pain. I’m upset at how many times I’ve had to put her on antibiotics since she was born. I wish I never had to. I feel discouraged. I know so many parents have these feelings…
Writing this all out is therapeutic and I’m glad I shared my feelings and thoughts with you guys. I’m sure many of you feel how I do and are often confused about whats best for our children. I still feel sad and down today, but hope as Jordyn gets older her ear infections will subside and I won’t have to think about whether or not I should give her antibiotics. When she’s older she can make her own decisions… and until then I’ll continue to do what I think is best for her.
Thanks for listening. Please no judgments. Love you guys.
Hi Leah! First off, thank you for sharing this honest and vulnerable post. Anyone who gives you flack has no empathy.
I am a nurse and am very pro natural treatment and modern day treatment. There are a time and a place for both. Antibiotics are truly amazing and we are very lucky to have access to them here in the US. But any excessive amount of antibiotics is not good either. It can lead to resistant bacteria for example.
But it sounds like in this case of chronic ear infections, you are doing exactly everything you can and should be doing. There is no need to jump right to antibiotics on day 1 of a slight ear infection. But day 3 is very reasonable! Give those probiotics, give fluids.
You are doing amazing mama!
Thank you so much for your very kind words. j
Do not feel bad in the slightest! It sounds like you are well educated and doing the best you can for your children! Sometimes antibiotics are necessary and life saving and sometimes they aren’t necessary at all and it sounds like you know what is best for your children!
Have you tried Biocodex Florastor Kids US for tummy trouble associated with antibiotic usage? It contains Saccharomyces cerevisiae var boulardii (Biocodex) which has been well studied in clinical trials, proven to help with this:
Meta-analysis of 4 randomised, controlled trials showed significant efficacy of Saccharomyces cerevisiae var boulardii lyo (Biocodex) for the prevention of pediatric antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (RR=0.43, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.86, I-squared = 79.1%). https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.uws.idm.oclc.org/pubmed/24889895
Thank you for taking the time to comment!! I am going to check that out. xo
Just continue to do your best. That’s all we’ve got as human beings and mothers.
Just be mindful that ear infection can cause damage and gut issues can be managed.
I read and watch your efforts and I only wish I knew half of what you know, 34yrs ago, but I trusted my gut and got on with bringing up 4 children and that’s all you/we can do. ????????????
Awe thank you so much! I’m sure you’re the best mother as well!
I’m so sorry Jordyn is having so much discomfort and you’re feeling sad having to make the decisions about antibiotics. It is very upsetting. As an adult, I also always try a natural approach first but many times as you said, it is not the answer. When we look to Many medications we can see people living longer lives, many times with less impairment. As far as the probiotics, are you spacing them several hours apart from the antibiotic? (If they are spaced too closely together, the antibiotic will also gobble up the good probiotics and they become useless! )Perhaps the spacing can help her tummy. I am not necessarily advocating for the dairy but there have been extensive studies that have said they do not necessarily worsen illness. So please don’t feel guilty about this also! Does the ENT suggest the possibility of tubes or any other preventive measure for recurrent ear infections? I hope some people on your blog will have some helpful suggestions and experiences to share.
I hope Jordy and Mom Feel much better soon!
Would encourage you to read “The Dirt Cure” by Maya Shetreat-Klein, a pediatric neurologist. Such an amazing and balanced perspective. I recommend this book to my patients as a healthcare provider and to my fellow moms and parents.