Posts Tagged ‘mom’

She will grow up quickly

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

new momLooking at my neighbor’s sweet new baby girl and watching her mother beam with love made me think of this short poem by William Butler Yates:

     I kiss you and kiss you,
     With arms round my own,
     Ah, how shall I miss you,
     When, dear, you have grown.

Hug your babies and snuggle while you can. Enjoy the tender coos, the sleepless nights, the amazing accomplishments and stubborn refusals, the shared laughter and the arguments… Children grow so fast, the years fly by. We need to treasure these days because they will be asking for the keys to the car before you know it!

Fifth disease in adults

Friday, June 8th, 2012

sick-adultWell, it’s spring time, and along with the flower blossoms, sunshine and coat-less days comes viruses. One virus that is often seen is Fifth Disease.  It is also known as slapped cheek syndrome or Parvovirus B19. It is called Fifth Disease because when it was classified many years ago, it was the fifth in a list of childhood illnesses involving rashes.

Even though Fifth Disease is primarily known as a childhood illness, adults can get it, too. Once you are exposed to the virus, it takes 4 – 14 days for symptoms to begin, sometimes longer. Typically, the first symptoms are mistaken for a cold – runny nose, headache, mild fever and/or sore throat and sometimes itching. This is the time when you are contagious. However, at this stage, some people do not have any noticeable symptoms at all. But, then a rash usually appears, typically on the cheeks (hence the name “slapped cheek” disease). It is a lace-like, bright red rash. The rash can appear on other parts of the body, such as the feet, hands, thighs chest and/or back. To see photos of the rash, visit the CDC’s website.  The rash may come and go for days and generally fades after one or two weeks. A person is no longer contagious when the rash appears.

Usually most people just experience the above symptoms – they are annoying but not too uncomfortable. But, in other cases, you may experience fever and pain in your joints, as well. This is more common in adults than in children. For example, a friend of mine and I had Fifth Disease at the same time, as adults, and it was not fun. We both experienced pain in our joints. My friend had trouble holding a coffee cup. Ouch! I had swelling and pain in my hands and feet, and pain in my lower spine. This aspect of the disease can last for weeks (and did for us). But, as with most viruses, time, rest and comfort measures for pain (such as acetaminophen) help quite a bit.

Since an infected person spreads the disease before she even knows she has it (from coughing, sneezing, etc.), it can be hard to avoid it. The best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands frequently and try to keep your distance from people with cold and flu-like symptoms.
If you have a fragile immune system or if you are pregnant, you should seek medical attention if you think you have been exposed to Fifth Disease.

The good news about Fifth Disease is that once you get it, you should not get it again.  And, as far as diseases go, this one is on the mild side of the spectrum. You can read more about it in another NMN post.

Breast is still best

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

You have probably already heard that “breast is best” – that breastfeeding provides your baby with the best nourishment possible. Just yesterday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement in the March 2012 issue of Pediatrics which emphasizes that exclusive breastfeeding is best for the first 6 months of life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with foods until the baby is about 12 months of age. Then, mom and baby can decide if breastfeeding should continue or not, depending on their individual preferences.

AAP looked at the health of breastfed babies, partially breastfed babies and non-breastfed babies and concluded that “Breastfeeding provides a protective effect against respiratory illnesses, ear infections, gastrointestinal diseases, and allergies including asthma, eczema and atopic dermatitis. The rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is reduced by over a third in breastfed babies, and there is a 15 percent to 30 percent reduction in adolescent and adult obesity in breastfed vs. non-breastfed infants.” So, breastfeeding can have a positive effect on your baby’s health both now and in the future.

There’s more good news. AAP further says that “breastfeeding promotes a unique and emotional connection between mother and baby.” So, it is not only good for your baby, but it is good for you, too. In AAP’s policy statement “Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk” they emphasize that “…infant nutrition should be considered a public health issue and not only a lifestyle choice.” They urge pediatricians and hospitals to encourage new moms to breastfeed.

If you have questions about breastfeeding, be sure to speak with your pediatrician or with a lactation specialist. You can also read common myths about breastfeeding on AAP parenting website, healthy children. And, the March of Dimes has lots of good information on breastfeeding on our website. Be sure to click on the tabs for more information and watch our videos.

Single parents may do as well as two

Monday, September 14th, 2009

39167252_thbAccording to Claire Kamp Dush, an assistant professor of human development and family science at Ohio State, family stability (regardless of whether it’s a one or two parent household) may help a child succeed in school and life. Her findings appear in “Marriage and Family: Perspectives and Complexities,” a recently published book that she co-edited.

She looked at information gathered from nearly 5,000 households nationwide during two long-term periods over three decades. While many past studies show an advantage for children growing up in married households, Kamp Dush notes those did not distinguish between family structure and family stability. “Our results suggest that the key for many children is growing up in a stable household, where they don’t go through divorce or other changes in the family, whether that is in a single-parent home or a married home,” Kamp Dush said.

Lindsay wrote a post about the stress of being a single parent. Click here to read her tips for coping.

Is your workplace family friendly?

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

familyWorking outside the home and raising a family: That’s a tall order! So much to do, so little time.

But companies can help parents by being “family friendly.” What does that mean? Here are some policies that companies have put in place: 

Flextime. Moms and dads adjust when they start and leave work to accommodate day care, doctor’s appointments, games, recitals, school plays, etc. When my sister went back to work after the birth of her youngest son, flextime was her top priority.

* Paid leave time for new moms and dads.

* Job-sharing and part-time work.

* Telecommuting. Mom and dads work some days from home and stay in touch with the company by computer.

* A special space for breastfeeding moms. This may be just a small, plain room. But it makes it possible for moms to express milk in privacy. No more struggling with the pump in a bathroom stall.

* Backup child care for when the usual plans fall apart. And I don’t have to tell you: they do fall apart now and then.

Every year Working Woman magazine recognizes companies that are “family friendly.” Take a look at the list of the top 100 and what they do to help their employees be good parents. How does your company compare?

Moms: What do you do to save your sanity?

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

The November issue of American Baby magazine includes ideas from moms about how they manage stress and keep their cool.

Here are a few of those ideas:
* Go to the gym.
* Take a long walk with your baby in the stroller.
* Ask your partner to help out.
* Join a new moms group.

What do you do when you’re having a bad day?


Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Here’s the story with breathing techniques. Back in the day, complex breathing patterns were taught to correlate with the various stages of labor. Several methods of childbirth preparation emphasized breathing as the primary way to relieve pain during labor. However, unless diligently practiced with a well-trained support person, these highly structured techniques have the potential to produce hyperventilation

Breathing is a tool to provide adequate oxygenation for mom and baby and to enhance relaxation. For best results, techniques should be simple, easy to follow, paced at the mother’s own rate and may include a pattern if she desires. Her respiratory rate should never be more than double and she should never feel air hunger at the end of a contraction.

So, whether you’re rehearsing, “IN…out-out-out…IN”, or “pant-pant-BLOW” get some professional guidance so you don’t get dizzy!

A baby’s smile

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

A baby’s smile can lighten his mother’s mood, according to a study published in the July issue of the medical journal Pediatrics. When researchers showed mothers photos of their smiling infants, the “reward centers” of the moms’ brains lit up. The study was small: only 28 mothers. But if you’re a mom, you already know how your baby’s smile can brighten your day!  

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008