Baby wearing – holding your baby close and often

02
Oct
Posted by Anne

moby-wrapMy midwife organized a workshop at her office for moms and moms-to-be on “baby wearing”. This practice has been used around the world for centuries and the benefits for both mom and baby are numerous. There were several experienced moms who attended with their babies ranging in age from 3 months to 2 years. They proudly wore their babies in a variety of slings, wraps, and carriers. They took turns demonstrating how their baby wearing method worked and explained why they preferred it. This one is great for my back. I can breastfeed with this one. This one eases fussiness. I feel bonded to my baby in a special way. This one comes in cool prints. I can go grocery shopping or out to dinner with this one. I was sold! I was going to wear my baby.

The style that intrigued me the most was the wrap, so I ordered it online. Its 5.5 meters (approx. 18 feet) long. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s actually very simple to use.  It’s made from 100% cotton and it’s extremely soft. There are different holds based on the babies’ age and developmental stage. There’s the newborn hug, lotus and cradle just to name a few. I started using the wrap when my duaghter was just four days old. Here we are eight months later and I still love wearing her. Just the motion of walking soothes her when she’s fussy. It allows me to get things done like fold laundry, talk on the phone, and check my email. When she’s in the wrap she’s happy, quiet, yet alert. An ideal state for learning according to attachment researchers.

There are so many different theories on how to raise a child. For me personally, I believe that keeping my daughter close has helped us to develop a special connection.  It’s a means for me to express how much I love her and demonstrate affection. I trust that she will benefit from this throughout her life.  The only down side is that I’m somewhat addicted. The wrap comes in so many beautiful colors and I now own three!

Flu and pregnancy don’t mix!

01
Oct
Posted by Ivette

There’s a lot of discussion around the flu and why it’s important to get your seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines, especially  if you’re pregnant. To understand why you should get these two flu shots during pregnancy, it might be helpful to know some of the reasons why pregnant women are more likely to get the flu during pregnancy.

One reason has to do with your immune system, the natural defense mechanism that helps protect you from illnesses and diseases in life. During pregnancy, your immune system isn’t as responsive as it was before pregnancy. Part of this is because your body is carrying something that it considers foreign and isn’t normally part of you (in this case, your baby). Usually when this happens, your immune system wants to protect you and will do its best to fight off this foreign element. However, since your body doesn’t want to reject your baby, it naturally lowers the immune system’s ability to defend and respond. But, a lowered immune system means you’re more vulnerable to illnesses like the flu.

A second reason is that pregnant women often spend much time around little children. And since kids spend so much time with other kids, are usually in close proximity to each other and are always putting things in their mouths, this makes them perfect little Petri dishes of germs and bacteria. These germs can eventually make their way to you. And as we know, your immune system during pregnancy isn’t as tough as it is when you’re not pregnant.

Another reason is that during pregnancy, especially in your second and third trimesters, you need more oxygen than before because you’re supplying it to both you and baby. Your growing belly puts more pressure on your lungs, making them work harder in a smaller space. You may even find yourself feeling some shortness of breath at times. Your heart is working very hard, too! It’s busy supplying blood to you and baby. All of this means your body is stressed during pregnancy. This stress on your body can increase your risk of getting an illness like the flu.

Unfortunately, getting the flu during pregnancy puts you and baby at special health risks. These risks can be very harmful and, in some cases, deadly. That’s why it’s very important to prevent this by getting both the seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines during pregnancy.

You’ll also do baby a service! By getting the two vaccines during pregnancy, you’ll be able to pass your immunity to your baby so that when he’s born, he’s less likely to get the flu in his first months of life.

Some pregnant moms might be concerned about vaccines potentially causing harm to you or baby. But given the issues as explained above, there’s a bigger chance of putting mom and baby’s health at risk by not getting the two flu vaccines during pregnancy. The benefits of the vaccines far outweigh any potential risk.

So please, get your seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines. For more information, read our seasonal flu and H1N1 articles or talk to your health provider. You can also visit Flu.gov for the latest updates on the seasonal and H1N1 flu.

Wordless Wednesday

30
Sep
Posted by Wendy

Let 'Em Eat Cake

Got vitamins?

29
Sep
Posted by Anne

67958806_thbWhether you visit this blog regularly (woo hoo!) or you’re stopping by for the first time (welcome!), I’m sure you’ve heard by now that women are encouraged to take folic acid everyday. Getting the recommended amount through diet alone can be tough though. That’s why March of Dimes has created a quick and easy way to get the information you need on this important topic. Through video and audio you can meet medical experts like Dr. Dolan and Dr. Fleischman who discuss the importance of taking folic acid before pregnancy. Click here to watch and listen. Let us know what you think!

Gardening is great therapy

28
Sep
Posted by Lindsay

lawn-careWhen I’m frazzled I love to go dig in the dirt.  My daughter does, too.  When she is at home and the kids are napping, she’ll go poke around in the flower beds or weed the veggie patch.  She made fabulous mud pies as a child! There’s something very satisfying about prompting things to grow, too. 

We were chatting last night about harvesting all the basil and making pesto before the first frost comes.  (Guess what’s for dinner?)  Time to finish pickling and putting by the rest of the goodies, too.  We also talked about soon having to put down manure or fertilizer and other things to beef up the soil over the winter.  This got my husband saying that he needed to fertilize the lawn a couple more times before heavy frost – this guy is way into green grass and hates a weedy lawn.

These are all good things that you may be thinking about soon, too.  But they got me thinking that it’s important to make sure you keep your kids off the lawn while the fertilizer is going down.  If your troops are more like a bunch of wild giggling goofballs who run around in bare feet in all weather like ours, you’ll want to be sure they’re not up to their ankles in potentially poisonous chemicals.  So read the labels and corral the kids with pumpkin carving and apple bobbing if necessary.

Some children’s Tylenol products recalled

28
Sep
Posted by Pam

Some Tylenol products for babies and children have been recalled because of possible contamination with bacteria. The products were made between April and June 2008. No illnesses have been reported by patients who used these products. The recall is a precautionary measure.

To see a list of the recalled products, visit the Web site of McNeil Consumer Healthcare. To find the lot number, look at the bottom of the box or on the sticker that surrounds the bottle.

Finding a doctor for baby

25
Sep
Posted by Anne

20344732_thbTowards the end of my pregnancy my husband and I emailed our siblings and close friends for recommendations to pediatricians.  We asked them all a ton of questions, but still needed to call a couple of doctor’s offices for additional information. Things that were important to us included:

First and foremost, did this doctor accept our insurance?
Was the doctor a board certified pediatrician?
What hospital was the doctor affiliated with?
Was the doctor nice and well-liked?
Was he/she supportive of breastfeeding?
Was it easy to get an appointment at his/her office?
Were the staff and the office itself pleasant?
Did they have well-baby office hours?
Was the office close to our house?
How were calls and emergencies handled after hours?

With the exception of the occasional lengthy wait in the waiting room, we’re having a good experience with the doctor that we picked for our daughter. He is very friendly and throughout the visit asks, “so, what questions do you have?” I never feel rushed. I trust him. I actually enjoy taking her for her check-ups. This was not apart of the criteria for a selecting a pediatrician, but he happens to wear funny ties and the baby loves to stare and grab at them. So we think she likes him, too : )

How did you find your baby’s doctor?

Happy Friday! See you next week.

Kick counts

24
Sep
Posted by Anne

39202861_thbPopcorn popping. A little fish swimming. Bubbles. Butterflies. Tickles. These are common words used by women to describe their baby’s first movements. Also known as “quickening”, it’s a reassuring sign that your baby is OK and growing. This much anticipated milestone typically starts sometime between 18-25 weeks into pregnancy. For first time moms, it may occur closer to 25 weeks, and for second or third time moms, it may occur much sooner.  Feeling your baby flutter is a truly thrilling sensation. It’s nearly impossible not to smile when it happens and it helps the reality of having new baby set in.

At first it may be difficult to tell the difference between gas and your baby moving. You might not feel movement as early as you are expecting to feel it, but eventually you’ll notice a pattern. You will start to learn when the baby is most active and what seems to trigger activity. Some moms might worry that their baby is not moving enough.

One of the better predictors of fetal well being is doing “kick counts” after the 28th week of pregnancy. By this time your baby’s movements are usually well established and some doctors recommend keeping track of all those tumbles, flicks, and kicks. Check with your health care provider to see what he/she recommends.

Here’s how to keep track of kick counts:

Track kick counts each day, measuring them at about the same time each day, when your baby is active.

Track kick counts shortly after you’ve eaten a meal, as your baby will probably be most active then.

Sitting or lying on your side, place your hands on your belly and monitor baby’s movement.

Each time you feel a roll, kick, thump or turn, mark it down on a piece of paper. Don’t count baby’s hiccups.

Keep counting until you’ve felt 10 movements from baby. If baby doesn’t move 10 times within one hour, try again later that day. You should call your doctor if your baby’s movement seems abnormal or you’ve tried more than once that day and can’t feel baby move 10 times or more during one hour.

Be sure to get your flu shots

23
Sep
Posted by Ivette

Flu season is just around the corner. It’s important that everyone, especially expecting moms, get their flu shots. In addition to the seasonal flu shot, pregnant moms and moms of young children should also get the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

Read our past post on swine flu to learn more about the illness and who should get the swine flu vaccine. News Moms Need will provide updates when the swine flu vaccine is available.

March of Dimes joins the ranks of the 100 Best Companies

23
Sep
Posted by Beverly

We are proud to announce that we have been named to the 2009 Working Mother 100 Best Companies list and are the only nonprofit advocacy organization included.

Now in its 24th year, the Working Mother 100 Best Companies program draws attention to the significant contributions working mothers make to industries and the companies that recognize the importance of tapping this essential labor pool. Profiles of the 100 Best Companies, as well as national comparisons, are in the October issue of Working Mother and at workingmother.com.

“The Working Mother 100 Best Companies stand head and shoulders above the rest,” said Carol Evans, CEO, Working Mother Media. “For example, in the last year, we saw the number of companies nationwide offering flexible work arrangements diminish five percentage points, while the 100 Best Companies stayed steady at 100 percent. The 100 Best provide leadership where and when we need it most, furnishing a framework of support for working families during good times and bad. If all companies adopted these best practices, more families could weather the economic storm,” she added.

Is your company on the list?