Friendly to Whom?

Friendly to Whom?

Take a moment and consider the first time mother who had a prolonged labor, attempted a vaginal delivery only to require a c-section hours later.  There is a high likelihood that this mother had been awake for over 24 hours. Now, she has her newborn exclusively in her hospital room, and while nurses and care staff come in to check on them every few hours, the use of the newborn nursery is discouraged.  Instead this mother, who is both mentally and physically exhausted, will need to do as much skin to skin time as possible while attempting to breastfeed, something that everyone told her would be so “natural” and “easy.” As the frustration mounts when her newborn doesn’t latch well and then begins the normal pattern of wanting to feed hourly (also known as cluster feeding), this new mother is likely running on minimal to no sleep as well as postpartum hormones.  When inquiring about formula or a pacifier, she is then told that those things are really not recommended and that this is all normal. After all, the hospital is “baby friendly” and considering the option of formula would really just be “giving up.” Is this where the pendulum with breastfeeding has swung? Well, for those hospitals going for “Baby-Friendly designation”, it seems that this just might be the case. “I can assure you that I have not spent 21 years of schooling, 3 years of residency training, 9 years in general pediatric practice, and 9 years as a mother to be unfriendly to babies.” The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched in 2001 in the United States...
Up in Smoke

Up in Smoke

Do you remember 1964? If you need a jog down memory lane or if that’s ancient history to you, let me give you a quick rundown…the cost of new house was $13,050, a gallon of gas was 30¢, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize, and the Beatles held the top 5 spots on the Billboard Top 40 singles.  That was also the year that for the first time ever, the US Surgeon General issued a warning that cigarette smoking could lead to cancer.  In the 55 years since this first warning, additional research has shown just how harmful cigarette smoking can be and ultimately led to a dramatic decline in the rates of cigarette smoking here in the US.  When the “Truth Initiative” youth anti-smoking campaign was launched in 1998, 23% of teens were smokers. By 2017, that number had declined to 2.1% of middle schoolers and 7.6% of high schoolers…a successful endeavor for sure.  However, now, a new rising epidemic of electronic cigarettes and vaping is poised to cause the gains of the prior 5 decades to go up in (vapor) smoke . “Many of those liquids which are marketed as “nicotine free” were found to, in fact, contain nicotine.” The term “e-cigarette” encompasses a wide array of devices which can look like anything from a traditional cigarette to a sleek USB stick.  These devices use a battery powered heating coil that transforms a solution containing nicotine, flavoring chemicals and other additives into an aerosol that is inhaled into the lungs.  Currently, the top selling e-cigarette brand in the United States is JUUL which...
Soy? Almond? Rice? Pea? What’s the Deal with Alternatives to Cow’s Milk

Soy? Almond? Rice? Pea? What’s the Deal with Alternatives to Cow’s Milk

After reading my last post (you can catch it here if you missed it), you know that cow’s milk is not a required part of a child’s diet as long as they are eating a wide variety of foods.  But let’s say that your child might not be the most robust or diverse eater and you are wanting to include a beverage that can help to balance out their diet. You might be wondering if traditional cow’s milk is the best choice because if the milk aisle at your grocery store is anything like mine above, you know there are many milk alternatives that are now available.  Read on to find out about these other milk choices and see which might be best for your kiddos. Cow’s Milk Ok, so you might be thinking that I did not give much love to good ol’ cow’s milk in my last posting after saying that it is not really needed for most children.  However, cow’s milk does have good nutritional value if you are choosing to include it as part of your child’s balanced diet. Here’s the nutritional low down (per 8 ounces): Calories: 150 kcal Fat: 8 g Protein: 8 g Calcium: 280 mg Vitamin D: 128 IU (international units) Iron: < 0.1 mg The Good: As you can see, whole cow’s milk is a great source of calories, fat, protein, vitamin D and calcium.  If you are choosing cow’s milk for your child, between 1 and 2 years of age, most children should drink whole cow’s milk and then drop to 2% (or less) after 2 years of age....
Got Milk? Need Milk? Maybe not…

Got Milk? Need Milk? Maybe not…

  Ahhh the first birthday!  In the blink of an eye, a year has gone by and after the party is over and the smash cake has been cleaned off of your little one’s face, you realize you now have a toddler on your hands.  Perhaps one of the biggest questions I get from families is “What should my toddler be drinking?” Well, you may be surprised to find out. “For children who are eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and dairy such as cheese and yogurt, there is absolutely no reason that your child MUST drink milk.”   Prior to 9 months of age, the majority of nutrition that infants receive comes from what they are drinking whether that is breastmilk, formula or a combination of these.  Around 9 months of age as infants are starting to do more substantial solid foods (i.e. eating from the table and not just pureed baby foods), the balance of nutrition will begin to tip a bit, and by their first birthday, children should be getting a solid amount of their daily intake of fat and calories from the foods they are eating.     When that first birthday comes around, what goes in your toddlers cup should be considered more of an accessory to the foods that they are eating.  Whole cow’s milk in moderation of no more than 16-20 ounces per day total is typically what I recommend. Now, let’s say your child hates whole milk and wants nothing to do with it.  That is perfectly A-OK!!! Wait? You might be thinking, “Did she mistype something there?” NOPE! For...

I scream, you scream, we all scream for sunscreen!

School is out which means summertime is here!! As your kiddos jump for joy and you are getting your summer plans set, I am sure that time outside whether for swimming, sports or just having fun in the sprinklers is on the agenda.  One of the most important things to remember to pack in your bag for the summer is sunscreen.  I had the opportunity to stop by WBRZ 4 o’clock newscast to talk with Brittany Weiss about what to look for in a sunscreen as well as other ways to protect your skin this summer.  Here is what you need to know about sunscreens as well as some of the biggest mistakes to avoid when it comes to protecting your little one’s skin this summer. Look for sunscreen that is labeled as “broad spectrum.” This means it will provide protection against both UVA (these cause aging of the skin) and UVB (these cause burning of the skin) rays from the sun. Sunscreen needs Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.  Going higher than SPF 50 probably doesn’t give you much more protection so don’t worry about spending extra money for sunscreens with SPF higher than 50. Everyone 6 months and older needs sunscreen.  For babies under 6 months of age, ideally they should be kept out of the direct sun.  If sun exposure is absolutely unavoidable in this age group, a small amount of sunscreen is ok. Make sure to apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes BEFORE heading outside.  Applying sunscreen and then jumping right into the pool means that the sunscreen is just going to come right off!...