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Healthy food & Montessori: from cerebral palsy to riding scooters

Being almost in my 40s, diabetic, stressed out, carrying what were triplets in the beginning (and ended up being twins), completely unplanned and unprepared…this was surely a reason to suffer a panic attack. I talked about it in my last blog. It was not easy, and it was not perfect, but it ended up being great.

When Ferran and Leon were born (premature at 7 months), I thought all the stress and complications I suffered during pregnancy were over. Definitely not. Three days after giving birth, my doctors came to me with the worst news: Ferran had a grade I Intraventricular hemorrhage IVH (a subtype of stroke) and Leon had a grade IV, probably attributable to the Pre-Eclampsia I suffered during pregnancy. Although they had no symptoms and had a healthy weight, they still were born with a condition that could impair their brain’s ability to control cognitive and motor functions. Some doctors would say that Leon, who suffered the most intense swelling, would probably develop motor problems during his lifetime. This is one of those moments when you understand what it means to be a mother.

After four months, we learned that Leon was not a grade IV but a grade III, a bit less severe than what was thought before, so we would need to be aware of any signs of impairment. After a lot of research at 4 months we decided to go with a Montessori home. Maria Montessori was a firm believer that, from birth, children should be free to move and develop their physical movements. She advocated for not confining children to cribs, playpens or highchairs, but rather, to encourage independence and awareness. (I will write about this in another blog).

At 8 months - which was really 6 months for them since they were premature- they started to crawl and eat in a weaning table, and at 1 year of age, they walked. They seemed perfect, and they still are. No motor complications and no cognitive difficulties. They ride around in their scooters, run up and down all the time and play like any normal child would and even more.

I suppose you may have heard the famous quote from Hippocrates:

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.

This was surely what I applied from the second Ferran and Leon were born. It was my responsibility as their mother; my goal and my challenge to raise them in the most healthy, natural, and safe way I could. I struggled to breastfeed them for as long as I was able to, but when they were 5 months of age I had to stop. Sad and frustrated for not lactating for a longer time, I looked for the healthiest alternative I could find to give them.

Earth’s Best Infant Formula was my choice; approved by the USDA as organic. It has no added corn syrup solids and has key components, such as: DHA (constituent of membranes of central nervous system, important for brain development), ARA (essential component of cell membranes), Lutein (type of carotenoid that has been related with eye protection and cognitive health), Prebiotic Fiber (for stimulating growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut) and Iron (essential for red blood cell formation and neurodevelopment). Knowing that breastmilk is the best milk babies can receive, I looked for an alternative that could offer my twins as many nutrients as breastmilk could.

In the recent days, I read about another alternative that I would have probably adopted: Homemade formula. Milk-based or broth-based, these formulas are made with gelatin, probiotics, cod liver oil, sunflower, coconut and olive oil, among others.

My children are past two years of age, and are in incredible shape. No cerebral palsy traces. From the moment they were born, and for as long as I can, I will be committed to raising my children with healthy food. It is my mission in life.


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