Archive for September, 2009

Got vitamins?

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

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

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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

Friday, September 25th, 2009

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

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

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.

March of Dimes joins the ranks of the 100 Best Companies

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

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

“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?

Preexisting back problems

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

37471567_thbWomen with pre-existing low back problems are at higher risk for back pain, and their back pain can occur earlier in the pregnancy. Back pain is one of the most common problems for pregnant women. Nearly half of all women have it at some point during pregnancy.

Are you thinking about having a baby? Help make your experience as pleasant as possible. For all you back pain sufferers, you need to maintain an optimal level of function now in order to have the least amount of discomfort throughout your pregnancy.

Start off by having a pre-pregnancy checkup. Your doctor may recommend that you be evaluated by a physical therapist or chiropractor. To lessen some of your discomfort, be aware of your posture and exercise carefully. If you use any medication to manage your back pain ask your doctor if it’s safe to use while trying to get pregnant.

Happy lifting and bending!

de Quervain’s tenosynovitis

Monday, September 21st, 2009

36237998_thbIn de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, the sheath of the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist becomes swollen. This restricts the tendons’ movement. The result with de Quervain’s tenosynovitis is discomfort and pain EVERY time you turn your wrist, grasp anything or make a fist.

This condition can occur in postpartum women due to the position of the thumb in abduction for extended periods of time while holding a baby. Additionally, prolactin levels in new mothers who are breastfeeding may have something to do with it.  Often, if a woman stops breastfeeding, de Quervain’s will disappear.

Your doctor may confirm a diagnosis of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis by doing a Finkelstein test. In this simple test, you bend your thumb across the palm of your hand and bend your fingers down over your thumb. Then you bend your wrist toward your little finger. If this causes pain on the thumb side of your wrist, the test is considered positive.

I was diagnosed with de Quervain’s tenosynovitis in BOTH hands several months ago. It’s a real pain (no pun intended). Movements like lifting the baby up from her crib, brushing my hair and picking up a pot off the stove are all very painful and aggravate the swelling. My doctor told me to immobilize my wrists and thumbs with braces (yeah, right – try doing that while taking care of a baby), ice it and take ibuprofen. Hopefully, once I stop nursing it will go away. I have no idea when that will be though, so for now I just have to grin and bare it.

Happy Monday!

Take us home!

Friday, September 18th, 2009

20615173_thbMy roommate was very uncomfortable. She pressed the call button every hour complaining of pain. Sharing a bathroom postpartum was icky.  The laundry carts squeaked up and down the hallway. Dietary dropped off and picked up trays. Some guy woke me up to ask if I wanted the phone turned on.  The nurses constantly took my vitals and the baby from me every time their shift changed. Sixteen relatives showed up at once during visiting hours.  Exams and discharge instructions from my doctor and the pediatrician created an endless stack of paperwork. We were surrounded by strangers and noise and fluorescent lights.  I wanted my baby out of this chaotic environment. She belonged at home with me and her Dad. I wanted those bulky hospital bracelets off her tiny ankles. Her bassinet was waiting for her. I desperately needed a nice big mug of tea and some privacy.  Taking our baby home from the hospital couldn’t come fast enough.

It was a cold February afternoon. She was all bundled up and snug in her car seat. I sat nervously beside her in the backseat. Pink balloons and flowers surrounded us.  I reminded my husband not to drive too fast. We arrived in our driveway and I sighed. We made it.  Now what do we do? LOL!

No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t rest or relax in the hospital. I wanted to care for my baby by myself and in the space that we so lovingly prepared for her at home. Did you feel anxious during your hospital stay?

Making the best of bedrest

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

knit-scarvesSometimes a health provider tells a pregnant women to stay in bed because she is having spotting, early contractions or other signs of preterm labor.

Both mom and the provider want to do everything they can to help get the baby to term.

But let’s face it, bedrest can be BORING! Women knit, catch up on their reading, watch a lot of TV, or visit online communities like Share Your Story from the March of Dimes and Sidelines.

Some women get very anxious when they’re on bedrest. They worry about everything they feel in their bodies. And with so much time on their hands, their thoughts race.

A small new study has found that music may relieve anxiety. In the study, women on bedrest chose from a selection of slow, soothing music provided by the researchers. Anxiety levels in women who received “music therapy” decreased.

This study reminds us that sometimes medical research confirms what we already suspect. So if you are on bedrest or if you know someone who is, play some restful slow music. It might help.