What made you specialise in reflux support?
When I did my training we covered infant reflux and some of the massage techniques that can be supportive. However, it wasn’t until I actually started teaching and could see the distress being caused to both Mum and baby that I started to dig a little deeper. I had these women in my classes who were exhausted, who felt alone, whose concerns were not being listened to and were being brushed off. They were being told “you’re just an anxious first time mum”, “ reflux is normal”, “it’s not possible for them to cry as much as that”, “they are gaining weight there is nothing to worry about”. For these women, the cup of tea at the end of a class became a safe place for them to share what was happening. I was one of the first people who had listened to them, who believed them when they told me they had 3 hours sleep the night before, who believed that the only place they would settle was in their mothers arms, and who agreed that this was not “normal”.
Having worked alongside our clinically trained Nutritional Therapist Beverley for so long and being steeped in the idea of functional medicine and finding root cause I was watching these babies struggle and wondering why is no one asking WHY do these babies have reflux and WHAT is the root cause? I taught the Mum’s massage techniques to ease abdominal pain, to help them pass wind, to ease constipation which was a common side effect of the medications they had been prescribed for reflux. Those techniques did make a difference, they helped take the edge off but I knew that wasn’t enough. I knew that if I was to better serve these families then I had to learn more about what causes reflux and how to address that root cause.
So, what happened next?
I started to research infant reflux and learn about the infant microbiome. Slowly I built my knowledge and then one day I came across a book that had just launched called The Baby Reflux Lady and I thought YES!!! It was exactly what I had been looking for. Aine Homer had written this book because her children had reflux and she didn’t want anyone else to have to go through what they had. She had painstakingly pulled together her experience and all the research she could get her hands on and written this amazing book. Aine then took that research to the next level and launched a course for professionals called The REFLUX method which I jumped on and was one of the first to train with her.
I devoured that course. Suddenly all the pieces fell into place and I could begin to see what was causing the reflux for so many of the babies in my classes. I would sit with the mums at tea time and ask questions, observing feeding, looking for clues and making suggestions which, in some cases would include making them aware of other professionals who could support them with their specific group of symptoms: osteopaths, the infant feeding team, local breastfeeding groups etc.
Since then I stopped doing general classes and focussed exclusively on supporting babies with colic or reflux and their families in a 1:1 course setting. This allowed me to ask more specific questions and provide more tailored advice and solutions. I have since continued my professional training with Aine and am now a certified Infant Reflux Specialist. I firmly believe that reflux is a symptom of something else. It is my job to help you figure out what that root cause is, and provide you with the solutions so you can begin to work towards a reflux free baby.
You can find full details of my services here.
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Harriette Robinson has been working with babies for over 8 years and has a wealth of experience as a Massage Therapist, Infant & Child Massage Instructor, Mindful Breastfeeding Practitioner and Infant Reflux Specialist. She's passionate about helping parents get to the root cause of their baby's digestive discomfort, colic or reflux symptoms. She lives in Yorkshire with her daughter and Jack Russel Terrier.
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“I did Nutritional Therapy with Beverley and it was life changing. I highly recommend it!” Allison Blakely (Glasgow)
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