Hello! My name is Kelley Gilbert and I am the Health and Wellness Director for Dr. Ana-Maria Temple. But first and foremost, I am a mom of two children- Gavin (6) and Evelyn (4), or Evy, as we call her.
About 9 months ago, Dr. Temple asked if I would like to help her create a holistic prenatal and baby course so that our practice could help parents stop chronic illness in children before it starts. I instantly took her hand and nearly jumped as I said, “YES!”
For me, this mission was personal as my own daughter had struggled with chronic illness for years. To be able to contribute to a program that can help prevent other children from struggling like Evy did has been a dream come true. First, let me tell you a little bit about my journey and why I am so passionate about this course.
In preparing for the birth of my second child, Evy, I was quite confident that I was thoroughly prepared for welcoming another little one to our family. With my son being younger than two when she was born, “babyhood” was still in the front of my mind and I felt like I knew just what to expect. We were blessed that both my pregnancies were pretty uneventful, and the first few months of Evy’s life mimicked that of my son’s – with a few exceptions. Instead of being serenaded by peaceful classical tunes like my first born, she was serenaded by the the typical crash, boom, and shout sounds that accompany your typical two year old boy.
All of that began to change when my beautiful baby girl turned six months old. At six months, I began the process of switching her from being exclusively breastfed to formula. This was a difficult decision filled with crushing guilt and many tears. I had my own Health and Wellness Coaching business at the time and I felt like a fraud for not nursing my baby for at least a year. Being part of a holistic community where mamas celebrate nursing for 12-36 months made things that much more stressful for me to stop nursing. The fact was, nursing was simply not something that came naturally for me.
For starters, it took me almost an hour and a half to pump enough milk for my sitter to feed Evy while I went to work. The act of pumping became something I dreaded as it sucked away countless hours of my life. Knowing the importance of breast milk, I carefully researched the formula and selected the Baby’s Only Organic Formula.
As I transitioned Evy to formula, she started to develop ear infections. My pediatrician brushed off Evy’s ear infection as a normal part of childhood, prescribed her an antibiotic, and sent us on our way. Only, the way we were directed turned out to be a path fraught with increasing issues for our little girl. Evy’s first ear infection was followed by another and another and even more after that. She was constantly snotty and uncomfortable. Since I was well aware of the tendency for dairy to increase inflammation, I asked my pediatrician if it could be her formula. My question was brushed off and I humbly went on my way out of the doctor’s office feeling defeated and unheard as I drove to the pharmacy to pick up yet another antibiotic. After all, who was I to question a doctor?
This cycle continued and my husband and I became exhausted as one sleepless night fell into the other and our sweet Evy screeched her way through the night in pain. The thing that bothered me the most was that her behavior was labeled as colicky, but I could tell in my heart this wasn’t who she was. She was a smiling lovable baby and I could tell that her irritability didn’t just come from “colick” but that something was really wrong. My baby was uncomfortable and nobody would listen – I felt frustrated and helpless. I wish I had known Dr. Temple back when Evy was a baby because I know she would have listened to my concerns, she would have investigated and, at the very least, would have been willing to see if switching Evy’s formula would have helped. Sadly, I did not have Dr. Temple in my corner at the time and proceeded to be shuffled repeatedly through my 5 minute pediatric appointments and on to the pharmacy without so much as a second thought.
Finally, I decided to listen to my inner voice: I took Evy off all dairy. From that moment on, Evy never had another ear infection.
Unfortunately, the damage had already been done to her gut and she developed a chronic illness called SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). This is a problem that can develop in kids (and adults) who have been exposed to recurrent antibiotics. Fortunately, at this point, I was working for Dr. Temple and was lucky enough to transfer Evy’s care to her. She didn’t brush off Evy’s distended belly as “baby fat” , but listened, asked many questions, dug deep into Evy’s and my past histories, and came up with a diagnosis and treatment plan for SIBO. Fast forward to today, and our little Evy is thriving! Dr. Temple believes healthcare is about staying well, which includes visiting your health care team regularly to prevent illness, as opposed to just reactively treating sickness. While I am grateful we found Dr. Temple, I wish we had found her sooner.
Unfortunately, this story is not rare nor is it one that is a thing of the past. Not only do I work for Dr. Temple, not only does she care for my family, but now, I am the co-creator of The Healthy Holistic Baby course. I want families to have access to information I never had. I want to inspire, educate, and empower parents to raise healthy kids in this confusing world. If you want more for your family and your little one(s) than a band-aid style of healthcare with a one-size-fits-all solution for your child’s wellness, if you know in your heart that a five minute check-up isn’t enough time to fully diagnose wellness concerns and answer all of your questions, if there is a voice inside you that says it can’t be normal for so many of our children to be plagued with chronic conditions like eczema, constipation, and ADHD, then join us in the journey of taking back your children’s health. We have created an integrative baby course for moms just like you. Learn more at the link below.
In good health, Kelley