Ear infections and antibiotics

Posted by Anne

19168604_thbBacteria have been around for more than 3 billion years and have plenty of practice in fighting antibiotics. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians issued treatment guidelines for middle ear infections that include, in certain cases, delaying prescriptions for antibiotics. There are concerns that the bacteria that cause middle ear infections, or Acute Otitis Media, are becoming resistant to antibiotics. In reality, 80 percent of children with Acute Otitis Media get better without antibiotics. Plus, each antibiotic given to a child can make future infections more difficult to treat. This creates drug-resistant bacteria, which a child can pass along to siblings and classmates. Also, antibiotics can cause diarrhea or vomiting, and up to 5 percent of children are allergic to them. If you have questions about middle ear infections, talk with your pediatrician. For more information on your child’s health, visit www.aap.org.

Air Travel Safe During Pregnancy

Posted by Ivette

airplane-2Thanksgiving is just two weeks away! Where did the time go? Between family get-togethers, holiday gift shopping and my husband’s birthday (which usually falls on or around Thanksgiving), the end of the year feels like one big race to New Year’s. Thankfully, both my and my husband’s families are just a few hours drive from our home. But plenty of my girlfriends are hopping on a plane to see their loved ones.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recently strengthened its position on air travel during pregnancy. The organization reassures women that air travel is safe for most pregnant women. So long as a woman’s pregnancy is healthy and free of complications, it’s safe for her to travel by air. Most airlines allow women who are up to 36 weeks in their pregnancy to travel, but it’s a good idea to double check with your air carrier.

If you’re pregnant and plan to travel by air this holiday season, follow these tips (which are helpful for everyone as well):
• Wear comfortable, loose clothing. You may want to wear support stockings.
• When it’s safe to move about the plane’s cabin, take a walk up and down the isle. This can help improve your circulation and avoid the risk of blood clots.
• Stay hydrated, but avoid foods and beverages that may cause gas. Gas in your belly expands at high altitudes, making you feel less comfortable.
• Always wear a seat belt when seated to avoid injury in the case of turbulence.
• When making air travel arrangements, try getting an isle seat so you don’t have to climb over other passengers to go to the bathroom. Also, try sitting towards the front of the plane, where the ride feels smoother.
• If you’re experiencing nausea during pregnancy, you may want to take a preventative anti-nausea medication before getting on the plane. Talk to your health provider about a medication that’s safe during pregnancy.

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Wendy


Not conceving? It takes two to tango.

Posted by Lindsay

coupleI don’t know why it is, but so often I have heard women who haven’t be able to conceive say “What’s wrong with me?”  For some reason, women have a tendency to assume blame for whatever goes wrong – well, at least not according to their plan.  Often, patience is needed.  (It can take a lot longer to conceive than you think!)  But there are plenty of times when a fertility issue may have little to do with the woman and more to do with her mate.

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, don’t automatically assume the problem is with the female side of the equation.  While there are things a woman can check into, her partner can do things, too.  Here are some suggestions to help his sperm production:
• Quit smoking
• Limit the amount of alcohol he drinks
• Give up marijuana and other drugs
• Wear boxers and loose pants instead of briefs and tight pants
• Ask his provider about his prescription medications. Some medications used to treat high blood pressure, infections and other health conditions can make a man less fertile.
• Consider paternal exposures to chemicals at work or home.

Talk with your partner and explore all options.  You can read more about fertility treatments, too.   Remember, this isn’t a time to place blame.  You both need to understand your situation and move forward together to change what you can for a positive pregnancy outcome.

1 million Maclaren strollers recalled

Posted by Pam

maclaren-strollerAbout 1 million Maclaren strollers have been recalled. Twelve children have placed their fingers in hinges on the strollers and have had to have their fingertips amputated.

The affected models include Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, TechnoXLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno and Easy Traveller. The strollers were sold between 1999 and 2009.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has more information.

Holywood stars turn out to fight for preemies

Posted by Beverly

















It was this weekend’s hot ticket event and what the internet has been buzzing about.  Hollywood stars turned the red carpet to March of Dimes purple.

Moms, Halle Berry, Nicole Richie, Julie Bowen and other celebrities showed up in LA at the March of Dimes Celebration of Babies, November 7, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Show your support and join the fight for preemies. Create a virtual purple wristband for a baby you love and help give other babies a fighting chance.

Photos by Alex J. Berliner©Berliner Studio/BEImages 

What’s for dinner?

Posted by Anne

722716_thbI’m at the point now where I ask myself that question almost on a daily basis. I think it’s safe to say that this has become a really bad habit. I’ve run out of ideas and I’m bored with what I make. Pasta. Chicken. Fish. Repeat. I like to shop for fresh veggies and meats, but end up throwing a lot of it away because with only two people we just don’t get to all of it. I hate wasting food. In a perfect world I would have the energy to plan our meals each week — a variety of healthy dishes that taste delicious and are effortless to prepare. I would make batches of things and freeze them. But sadly, I don’t do these things. On nights when my husband works late I usually just pour myself a bowl of cereal and call it a day. Now that I’m introducing solids into my daughter’s diet I need to work on my culinary skills and get organized. I want her to develop healthy eating habits right from the start and I know that I’m the one responsible for establishing that. I wish cooking didn’t feel like such a chore though. Maybe I should take a class. What are you having for dinner?

Child proofing your home

Posted by Anne

Our daughter is on the verge of crawling. I’m excited, but nervous at the same time. Everywhere I look around our house I see a potential hazard — the stairs, furniture, cabinets, outlets, lamp cords and book cases. We have a lot of work to do! We plan to go through one room at a time on our hands and knees to make sure we don’t miss anything, remove/secure potential risks and make a shopping list as we go.

A close friend of mine (hi Tricia!) appeared on the evening news a couple of days ago. Her home was assessed by a professional who offered some great recommendations on making her home safer for her toddler twins.  Click here to watch the clip.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide more than 4.5 million children are injured in the home every year. Taking simple prevention measures and closely supervising your children can help protect them from common household hazards, such as fires, burns, drowning, suffocation, choking, firearm injury, poisoning and falls. A few easy, relatively inexpensive steps – locking household cleaning materials in a cabinet out of reach, installing carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms, blocking stairways with baby gates – can greatly reduce your child’s risk of injury in the home.

The March of Dimes and Consumer Reports have worked together to produce a helpful online guide called, Safe Products for Baby. It includes shopping and safety tips for car seats, strollers, cribs, changing tables, play pens, clothing, bathtubs and more. Click here to check it out.

Please feel free to share any safety tips that you may have!

Is there thimerosal in the H1N1 vaccine?

Posted by Lindsay

vaccine1Some H1N1 flu vaccines have a preservative called thimerosal. Although some people have suggested a link between thimerosal and autism,  medical experts from the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) have thoroughly researched the issue and concluded that thimerosal-containing vaccines are NOT associated with autism. However, if you’re still concerned, a thimerosal-free version of the H1N1 vaccine is available.

The 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines that FDA is licensing (approving) will be manufactured in several formulations. Some will come in multi-dose vials and will contain thimerosal as a preservative. Multi-dose vials of seasonal influenza vaccine also contain thimerosal to prevent potential contamination after the vial is opened.

Some vaccine manufacturers will be producing 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine in single-dose units, which will not require the use of thimerosal as a preservative. In addition, the live-attenuated version of the vaccine, which is administered intranasally (through the nose), is produced in single-units and will not contain thimerosal.  The nasal spray version, however, is not recommended for pregnant women.

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Wendy