DiscoverBirthing Instincts#363 The Significance of Integrating Reflexes, Who Knew?
#363 The Significance of Integrating Reflexes, Who Knew?

#363 The Significance of Integrating Reflexes, Who Knew?

Update: 2024-05-29
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This episode of the Brewing Instincts podcast features a conversation with Beth Schaler, a pediatric occupational therapist, and Emily Roper, a neurodevelopmental delay therapist, about the importance of fetal and newborn reflexes and how they can impact a child's development. They discuss how a normal, unmedicated labor helps babies transition from fetus to newborn, optimizing cortisol levels and allowing them to integrate reflexes. They also explore the potential negative effects of interventions like cesarean sections, epidurals, and even sonograms on reflex integration. Beth and Emily emphasize the importance of respecting a child's developmental pace and avoiding unnecessary interventions, highlighting the benefits of baby wearing, tummy time, and skin-to-skin contact. They also discuss the role of body work, such as chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy, in helping babies integrate reflexes. The episode concludes with a discussion about how unintegrated reflexes can manifest in adults, leading to issues like sleep disturbances, emotional outbursts, and poor digestion. Beth and Emily encourage parents to educate themselves about these reflexes and advocate for their children's needs, emphasizing that a diagnosis is just a starting point and that further investigation is necessary to address the underlying causes of symptoms. The hosts express frustration with the medical system's tendency to ignore the importance of reflex integration and advocate for a more holistic approach to healthcare. They encourage listeners to trust their intuition and advocate for their own health and well-being.

Outlines

00:00:00
Introduction and Updates

This Chapter begins with the introduction of the podcast and updates from the hosts, Dr. Stuart Fishbine and Bliss Young. They discuss their recent activities, including Dr. Fishbine's upcoming teaching engagements and his appearance on another podcast. They also address a correction regarding birth control pills and black box labels.

00:02:22
The Importance of Fetal and Newborn Reflexes

This Chapter delves into the main topic of the podcast: the importance of fetal and newborn reflexes and their impact on development. The hosts introduce Beth Schaler, a pediatric occupational therapist, and Emily Roper, a neurodevelopmental delay therapist, who share their expertise on the subject. They explain how reflexes are essential for a baby's survival and development, and how they ideally integrate or disappear as the child reaches developmental milestones.

00:38:55
Understanding Unintegrated Reflexes

This Chapter focuses on the implications of unintegrated reflexes, those that don't disappear as expected. Beth and Emily explain that these reflexes can have a significant impact on a child's development, leading to challenges such as poor attention, difficulty with motor planning, and even reading and writing difficulties. They discuss how these reflexes can be linked to various issues, including allergies, asthma, and even ADHD.

00:50:52
Practical Tips for Parents

This Chapter provides practical advice for parents who are concerned about their child's development and the potential impact of unintegrated reflexes. Beth and Emily offer suggestions for promoting healthy development, such as baby wearing, tummy time, and skin-to-skin contact. They also emphasize the importance of avoiding unnecessary interventions and respecting a child's developmental pace.

01:08:18
The Importance of Holistic Healthcare

This Chapter highlights the limitations of the Western medical model in addressing the root causes of developmental issues. Beth and Emily emphasize the need for a more holistic approach that considers the interconnectedness of the brain, body, and environment. They discuss how unintegrated reflexes can lead to a cascade of problems, and how addressing these underlying issues can be crucial for long-term health and well-being.

01:20:49
Unintegrated Reflexes in Adults

This Chapter explores the potential impact of unintegrated reflexes on adults. Beth and Emily discuss how these reflexes can persist into adulthood, leading to issues like sleep disturbances, emotional outbursts, and digestive problems. They suggest that adults who are struggling with these issues may benefit from seeking help from professionals like occupational therapists or neurodevelopmental delay therapists.

01:24:13
Advocating for Your Child

This Chapter provides advice for parents on how to advocate for their children's needs in the current healthcare system. Beth and Emily emphasize the importance of educating oneself about developmental issues and not settling for just a diagnosis and medication. They encourage parents to dig deeper, explore alternative approaches, and seek out professionals who can provide a more holistic perspective.

01:28:02
Frustration with the Medical System

This Chapter expresses frustration with the medical system's tendency to ignore the importance of reflex integration and advocate for a more holistic approach to healthcare. The hosts express anger at those who choose to ignore the potential harm of interventions and advocate for a more mindful approach to healthcare.

01:28:55
Closing Remarks and Next Episode Preview

This Chapter concludes the episode with thank yous to the guests and a preview of the next episode. The hosts encourage listeners to support the podcast and share their thoughts. They also tease the next episode, which will feature a discussion about Bruce's grandmother, a medicine woman in Mexico.

Keywords

Fetal Reflexes
Fetal reflexes are involuntary movements that babies make in the womb. These reflexes are essential for development and survival, helping babies to move, stretch, and prepare for birth. Some common fetal reflexes include the sucking reflex, the grasping reflex, and the rooting reflex.

Newborn Reflexes
Newborn reflexes are involuntary movements that babies make after birth. These reflexes are similar to fetal reflexes but are often more pronounced and can be used to assess a baby's neurological development. Some common newborn reflexes include the Moro reflex (startle reflex), the Babinski reflex, and the stepping reflex.

Reflex Integration
Reflex integration is the process by which a baby's reflexes gradually disappear or become integrated into more complex movements. This process is essential for normal development and allows babies to develop more coordinated and controlled movements. Reflex integration typically occurs within the first few years of life.

Cesarean Section
A cesarean section (C-section) is a surgical procedure to deliver a baby through an incision in the mother's abdomen. While C-sections can be necessary in certain situations, they can also have potential negative effects on a baby's development, including a higher risk of unintegrated reflexes.

Epidural
An epidural is a type of pain relief medication that is injected into the space around the spinal cord. While epidurals can provide significant pain relief during labor, they can also affect a baby's reflexes and development.

Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy (OT) is a type of therapy that helps people to participate in activities that are important to them. Pediatric occupational therapists work with children who have developmental delays or disabilities to help them improve their motor skills, sensory processing, and overall function.

Neurodevelopmental Delay Therapist
A neurodevelopmental delay therapist is a specialist who works with children who have delays in their neurological development. These therapists use a variety of techniques to help children improve their motor skills, sensory processing, and cognitive abilities.

Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on therapy that focuses on the relationship between the skull, spine, and sacrum. It is often used to address a variety of issues, including developmental delays, headaches, and pain.

Baby Wearing
Baby wearing is the practice of carrying a baby in a sling or carrier. It is a natural and beneficial way to promote bonding, comfort, and development. Baby wearing can also help to integrate reflexes and improve a baby's sensory processing.

Tummy Time
Tummy time is a crucial activity for babies that helps them to develop their neck, back, and shoulder muscles. It also helps to improve their coordination, balance, and visual tracking skills. Tummy time is essential for promoting healthy development and can help to prevent unintegrated reflexes.

Q&A

  • What are fetal and newborn reflexes, and why are they important?

    Fetal and newborn reflexes are involuntary movements that babies make in the womb and after birth. These reflexes are essential for development and survival, helping babies to move, stretch, and prepare for birth. They also play a role in sensory processing, motor development, and overall neurological function.

  • How can interventions like cesarean sections and epidurals affect reflex integration?

    Interventions like cesarean sections and epidurals can disrupt the natural process of labor and delivery, which can affect a baby's reflexes and development. These interventions can limit a baby's ability to participate in the birth process, experience the necessary stimulation, and integrate reflexes properly.

  • What are some practical tips for parents to promote healthy development and prevent unintegrated reflexes?

    Parents can promote healthy development and prevent unintegrated reflexes by engaging in activities like baby wearing, tummy time, and skin-to-skin contact. They should also avoid unnecessary interventions and respect their child's developmental pace.

  • Why is a holistic approach to healthcare important when addressing developmental issues?

    A holistic approach to healthcare is essential because it recognizes the interconnectedness of the brain, body, and environment. Unintegrated reflexes can lead to a cascade of problems, and addressing these underlying issues can be crucial for long-term health and well-being.

  • Can unintegrated reflexes persist into adulthood, and if so, what are some potential symptoms?

    Yes, unintegrated reflexes can persist into adulthood, leading to issues like sleep disturbances, emotional outbursts, and digestive problems. Adults who are struggling with these issues may benefit from seeking help from professionals like occupational therapists or neurodevelopmental delay therapists.

  • How can parents advocate for their children's needs in the current healthcare system?

    Parents should educate themselves about developmental issues and not settle for just a diagnosis and medication. They should dig deeper, explore alternative approaches, and seek out professionals who can provide a more holistic perspective.

  • What are some resources for parents who want to learn more about fetal and newborn reflexes?

    Beth recommends the podcast and course offered by All Things Sensory, which provides information for parents and pediatric occupational therapists. Emily suggests the documentary 'Attention Please' on Prime as a good starting point for understanding the topic.

  • What are some specific exercises or techniques that occupational therapists and neurodevelopmental delay therapists use to help children integrate reflexes?

    Beth and Emily describe using a protocol of home exercises that involve specific postures and movements to help children relearn and integrate reflexes. These exercises can help to address issues like fear, anxiety, and motor planning difficulties.

  • How can parents balance the use of modern tools and gadgets with promoting healthy development?

    Parents can use modern tools and gadgets judiciously, recognizing that they can be helpful but should not replace the importance of bonding, interaction, and respecting a child's developmental needs. It's about finding a balance that supports both the child's development and the parent's needs.

  • Why are the hosts angry at those who ignore the potential harm of interventions in the medical system?

    The hosts express frustration with the medical system's tendency to ignore the importance of reflex integration and advocate for a more holistic approach to healthcare. They are angry at those who choose to ignore the potential harm of interventions and advocate for a more mindful approach to healthcare.

Show Notes

Such an important conversation with our guests, Emily Roper, ( Neuro-Developmental Delay Therapist) & Beth Shayler, (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant), on looking for the root causes and alternative approaches to developmental delays and the mental health of babies and children. Why is something so basic so unknown to the allopathic medical world? Blyss & Dr. Stu learn about the importance of spontaneous labor and the birth process on the neurological development of the fetus and baby. How we birth and raise our children matters. It just makes sense and it has never been more true than now that we need to trust our instincts when it comes to medical advice.

Medical billing is just another example of a system out of control. Dr. Stu takes to the mic on "The Experience Miracles Podcast"

Key highlights:

  • Fetal and Newborn Reflexes
  • Long-Term Effects of C-Sections
  • Holistic Approach in Child Healthcare
  • Child Development and Reflex Integration
  • Evolution of Tummy Time
  • CDC Milestones and Common Sense
  • Environmental Studies and Publication Delays

Episode resources:

Connect with our guests:

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Connect with Dr. Stu & Blyss:

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#363 The Significance of Integrating Reflexes, Who Knew?

#363 The Significance of Integrating Reflexes, Who Knew?

Dr. Stuart Fischbein + Midwife Blyss Young