Ask the pharmacist

Last week we welcomed MummyPages mums to an exclusive online event in association with LloydsPharmacy, where mums could get their questions answered.

From the moment you become a mum, your life changes – all of a sudden your priorities go right out the window and your little one becomes the defining force in your life. And it’s wonderful. But with that unreal feeling of love and elation, comes the many, many questions. And knowing where to find the right answers is critical – whether that’s from trusted friends and family, or books and online sources, and often times, it’s our local pharmacy. And it’s the same if you’re a new mum or you have a few years experience behind you.

LloydsPharmacy offer a wealth of experience, help and advice for mums to kids of all ages, from newborn right the way up through all life stages. There is highly trained staff available in their 90 stores nationwide to help, offer advice and support mums on how to best treat your child’s condition or illness.

Advice on how to deal with the likes of teething, colic, nappy rash or reflux can be got from an expert with a quick visit to your local LloydsPharmacy team, their advice section on their website that covers most of their frequently asked questions or you can call them directly. Whether it’s pain relief, sleepless nights or if you need to give your growing school-goer a supplement, the LloydsPharmacy experts are always on hand to help and advise. Here are some of the questions we covered on the night.

Q: How do you know what to go to pharmacy for and what to go to doctor for?

A: It’s always worth contacting the pharmacy if you’re unsure, if a doctor is required they will let you know immediately, and if a GP visit isn’t needed, they can guide you on how they can help.

Q: What are the best bottles for supplementing breastfeeding?

A: There’s a huge range of bottles available out there including NUK Nature Sense Perfect Starter Set (which we stock in LloydsPharmacy) and Avent Natural Newborn Starter Kit. Probably the most important thing is to start early – most mums have trouble getting them to take the bottle if they’ve never had it before. So if you’re in a position to pump, and do intermittent bottle feeds, you’ll have a really smooth transition as they get older. That’s what I did with mine, and we didn’t have any issues.

Q: Is circling my baby's belly with my hand a good way to relieve constipation?

A: Yes, it can be helpful. You start at the belly button, and move in a clockwise motion outwards. If you feel your little one is really struggling, there are over the counter treatments that can help which your pharmacist can guide you on.

Q: My mum used to use gripe water for reflux / hiccups – can you still get it, and if not, what is a good alternative?

A: The original gripe water actually contained alcohol, so that was removed from the  market. There are lots of alternative treatments on the market include Colief drops, and there are some ways you can try to relieve the symptoms including:

  • Make sure your baby is sitting upright during feeds, and make sure to wind them afterwards.

  • Try smaller and more frequent feeds.

  • Make sure they sleep on their back.

Generally if baby is thriving, and content, this common condition can be managed, however, if they are really suffering – non stop crying, temperature, consistently refusing food, you need to seek medical help.

Q: What advice do you have for me – my baby is teething non-stop and in terrible form.

A: Teething can be tough on little ones and on mum too, but there is help available. We stock Teetha gel and granules in LloydsPharmacy so in terms of giving a quick relief hit these are great. Try to get the granules directly on the gum, so they can chew and feel the benefit. I always kept things in the fridge such as teething rings – again a quick hit relief option.  For pain relief, you can give them ibuprofen or paracetamol.

Q: When a child is on an antibiotic, what happens if one dose is missed or forgotten?

A: This really depends on the dosage but your pharmacist can advise you on this directly. Generally if it’s getting close to the next due dose, just forget about it and move on. You shouldn’t double dose.

Q: If a doctor says your baby needs an antibiotic, should you always trust their opinion?

A: Nobody wants to have their little ones take antibiotics, but if something is needed then you should. Doctors are very hesitant to prescribe something unless it’s actually needed, so you should absolutely be guided by them.

Q: My daughter just turned 3 years old and is a very bad eater. She eats fruit but would never touch a vegetable so I'm not sure if she needs a vitamin or not. Could you suggest a supplement?

A:This is a common concern we get in our pharmacies, we would recommend one if you think your child isn’t getting a balanced diet. There are great forms of multivitamins available now from liquids to chewable gummies and these are great for younger kids especially for kids who can be fussy eaters. I would advise speaking to your local LloydsPharmacy team so they can recommend a multivitamin that will best suit your child and their needs.

Thank you so much to all our mums who attended and to Rebecca for all her help and advice. If you have a question you’d like to put to your local LloydsPharmacy you can find out how here.

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