Tips for being healthy parents

parents with baby - twitter

While having a baby provides many wonderful experiences, it can also add stress to a relationship. A strong, healthy relationship between parents provides a healthy environment for your baby.

The following are ways the American Academy of Family Physicians suggests parents can keep their relationship strong once baby joins the family:

  1. Find time to spend together, as well as individual alone time for each of you.
  2. Schedule date nights at least every other week, if possible.
  3. Take time to talk to each other about everything you’re feeling, both the good and the bad.
  4. Disagreements are to be expected, but make sure you handle them respectfully and fairly.
  5. Listen to each other, and make up after disagreements.

Follow Community Health Network on Twitter for daily health and wellness tips.

Source: Health Day

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Breastfed toddlers are happy, healthy toddlers

breastfed-toddlerAs breastfeeding becomes more common, many wonder if breastfeeding beyond the first year is healthy or normal. The answer is yes! The benefits of breastfeeding, for both mom and baby, do not disappear on a baby’s first birthday.

Many experts recommend continuing to breastfeed beyond one year. The World Health Organization and the Canadian Pediatric Society recommend continued nursing for at least two full years, or longer, if it is mutually desired. In fact, the average global age of weaning is three years.

While breastfeeding is crucial for young babies, toddlers also benefit from breastmilk.

Most toddlers are actively exploring their world by putting everything in their mouths, including germs. Their immune systems are not fully developed, but breastmilk can provide the additional protection they need. As the amount of breastmilk they consume decreases (due to weaning), the percentage of antibodies and other immune building factors in the milk actually increases. Nature knows how much toddlers need infection protection!

While some moms choose to wean to cow’s milk at age one, breastmilk continues to be the biological norm for human children. As many mothers know, toddlers can be picky eaters and continuing to nurse them is like giving them a vitamin. Even if they’re not eating all of their table food, they can get the additional nutrients they need to grow and develop, both physically and mentally, via breastmilk.

In short, if you and your baby enjoy your breastfeeding relationship, there is no reason to abruptly stop just because your infant is growing. Nursing for the first few years of life is natural, healthy, and can continue to be part of the way you mother your child.

Breastfeeding support
For support as you breastfeed, consider one of the many resources that Community Health Network provides.

Sources: kellymom.com and llli.org

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Ten reasons to breastfeed

Breastfeeding_2Here are ten somewhat amusing, but totally serious reasons to consider breastfeeding.

  1. A lot of smart people think it’s a good idea to breastfeed, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dietetic Association and the World Health Organization.
  2. These smart people must have been breastfed because breastfed infants have, on average, an additional seven IQ points.
  3. Feed baby great, eat well and lost weight. Breastfeeding require an additional 500 calories per day. So, enjoy!
  4. Go shopping! Use the $700 to $3,000 you’ll save by not buying formula to purchase shoes, cameras, baby supplies…you name it!
  5. Be a model employee. Miss fewer days of work. Breastfed infants are less likely to develop upper respiratory infections, allergies, ear infections and diarrhea. This means that you are less likely to change multiple dirty diapers while missing work.
  6. Breastmilk is fast food. It’s always ready, with no preparation necessary. It’s just the right temperature and there’s no need to wash bottles or nipples.
  7. Flat stomach? No problem! Breastfeeding releases a hormone that causes your uterus to contact back to its original size.
  8. Don’t be a statistic. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of obesity for baby and mom.
  9. All joking aside…breastfeeding provides your baby with protection against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, childhood leukemia and Type I diabetes.
  10. Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of osteoporosis as well as breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers.

For support breastfeeding, contact a Community lactation consultant or join our support groups. Information can be found online.

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Could Tylenol taken during pregnancy be linked to ADHD?

valerie-mossOh, no! Not Tylenol! The Journal of the American Medical Association, Pediatrics recently released an article about a Denmark study that suggest acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) taken during pregnancy can lead to ADHD-like symptoms in the child.

The preliminary study looked at a large cohort of pregnant women over a span of time, and noted that women who were exposed to acetaminophen were more likely to have children who developed ADHD. This leaves many women questioning if Tylenol causes ADHD, and if so, why are their doctors prescribing it?

“It is important to remember that there is not a direct cause and effect relationship between Tylenol and ADHD, and that this study is still in the preliminary stages,” said Valerie Moss, M.D., OB/GYN at Community Physician Network. “Additionally, acetaminophen is one of the few medications that can be used as a fever reducer in pregnancy and it does have definite benefits over other pain medications during pregnancy.”

Of note, this study reviews women exposed to different amounts of Tylenol and in different trimesters during pregnancy.

“Most pregnant women are not taking large amounts of Tylenol and I would advise that all medications be used sparingly in pregnancy unless medically necessary,” said Moss.

She encourages women to keep in mind that there are other non-medical alternatives that can be used for pain relief during pregnancy including soothing baths, pregnancy exercises, support belts, and massages.

“As always, it is important that you consult with your doctor first before starting or stopping any medications during pregnancy,” said Moss.

To learn more about Dr. Moss, visit her physician profile.

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New guidelines to decrease C-sections

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine recently developed new recommendations to help decrease the number of primary Cesarean sections (C-section). We asked Community Health Network OB/GYN, Dr. Indy Lane, to tell us what the new guidelines mean for soon-to-be mothers.

“A primary C-section is one performed in a woman’s first pregnancy,” said Lane.  ”While there are many situations in which a C-section is necessary for the safety of the mother and/or baby, there are both short and long term consequences of an operative delivery versus a vaginal birth.”

The new recommendations for labor management challenge the traditional definitions of abnormal labor patterns in the hopes of reducing what is thought to be an overuse of Cesarean delivery.

Currently, the most common indications for a C-section are abnormal labor progress (34%), fetal distress (23%), and abnormal fetal position (17%). The new guidelines examined these indications and released ways physicians can provide patients with better odds of a successful vaginal delivery.

Lane explained, “Traditionally, a woman’s labor progress was considered abnormal if she labored longer than 14-20 hours during the early stage of labor. New data suggest that it is reasonable for a woman to labor beyond 20 hours in the early stage if there is at least some cervical change.”

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When can my child start drinking cow’s milk?

William Fisher, M.D., pediatrician at Community Physician Network, offers recommendations for introducing cow’s milk to your child:

Infants should not have cow’s milk until after 12 months. Starting cow’s milk early can lead to anemia and decreased intelligence. Once a child is 12 months they may start cow’s milk with a goal of 16 to 24 ounces per day. Going less than that may cause a vitamin D deficiency and going over that amount could cause an iron deficiency. Continue reading

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Will my doctor deliver me?

One common question we get from patients is “Will my doctor be delivering me?” Although you have gained a relationship with your OB/GYN the last nine months and they want to be able to deliver your new baby, the truth is, they cannot be on call all the time as many of them have busy families like yours! This blog post will help you understand how the “physician on call” works at Community Hospital North. Continue reading

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Meet Kristina Box, M.D., OB/GYN at Community Physician Network

With more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Box feels every patient deserves to feel cared for, loved, listened to and heard. She was recently recognized by the Indianapolis Business Journal as a finalist for their 2013 Health Care Heroes awards. Learn more about her approach to care, how her life experiences have helped her better understand her patients, and why she chooses to practice at Community Hospital North.

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Safe sleeping tips

Most parents have heard a few things regarding putting their baby to bed and crib safety. Here in the United States, there have been a lot of public safety announcements (PSAs) regarding safe sleeping tips to reduce the incidence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). SIDS is defined as the death of an infant less than one year of age, without an identifiable cause of death. Although the SIDS rates have dropped significantly in the U.S., thanks to PSAs, it still affects around 2,500 babies a year. SIDS is obviously devastating to a family; however, there are things YOU can do to help protect your little one. Here is a list of safe sleep tips to help keep your baby safe and reduce the risk of SIDS: Continue reading

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Epidurals

If this is your first baby, you have several questions. One of those is whether or not to get an epidural. I am here to answer all your questions and disprove any myths! At Community, we use CRNA’s (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists) for our epidurals. This is what they do, all day, every day. Continue reading

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