The Dangers of Co-Sleeping With Your Infant

ThinkstockPhotos-137139055

New parents have been embracing co-sleeping with their newborns. Proponents claim that it’s an easier and more convenient way to breastfeed and get your baby to sleep through the night with minimal disturbance for either your or your child. However, the American Association of Pediatrics advises against co-sleeping because of the dangers of accidental suffocation and an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The New York State (NYS) Safe Sleep Initiative has issued new recommendations regarding co-sleeping and asks that you follow the ABCs of safe sleep:

A — Baby should sleep ALONE.

B — Baby should sleep on their BACK.

C — Baby should sleep in a safe CRIB right from the start.

For more information on how best to help your baby get a good night’s rest, check out the NYS Safe Sleep Initiative.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

New Guidelines Recommend NOT Swaddling Your Baby

 

The practice of swaddling infants has grown in popularity over recent years. It is practiced around the world and dates back to Biblical times. Swaddling wraps babies’ arms tightly in a small blanket, such as a receiving blanket, to restrict movement and is said to reduce crying and help babies sleep better.

ThinkstockPhotos-475530867However, according to Maria Smilios, Director of Nursing at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, there are new recommendations regarding swaddling. “We no longer swaddle babies as was advocated in the past,” advises Ms. Smilios. “We leave the babies arms out of the swaddle and one small blanket to cover. Swaddling can cause your baby to overheat and actually increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).”

Follow the ABCs of safe sleep:

A — Baby should sleep ALONE.

B — Baby should sleep on their BACK.

C — Baby should sleep in a safe CRIB right from the start.

For more information on how best to help your baby get a good night’s rest, check out these links on safe sleeping from the New York State (NYS) Safe Sleep Initiative or the NYS Office of Children and Family Services.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The 10 Best Reasons to Breastfeed

ThinkstockPhotos-57568164-198x300

You may have heard it before, but the message is clear- Breastfeeding is beneficial for both baby and mother. If you are still undecided, here are JHMC’s top 10 reasons for choosing breastfeeding as the best form of nutrition for your newborn baby:

  1. It provides nutrients and protection. The first milk, called colostrum, is the perfect first food for babies. Your breast milk’s antibodies help protect baby from the cold and flu and boost his ability to fight off more serious illnesses such as certain cancers like leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease.
  2. It’s always ready & the right temperature. No need to decipher whether your milk is too hot or cold, simply place baby to breast for her feeding.
  3. Creates a greater bond between mother and infant. The skin-to-skin contact you both receive from breastfeeding creates a greater bond since breastfeeding releases the “bonding hormone” oxytocin. The same hormone that’s released when you hug or kiss a loved one.
  4. Provides protection for Mom as well. According to the National Cancer Institute, breastfeeding is associated with a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
  5. Financially beneficial on the family budget. According to La Leche League International, the cost of formula can range anywhere from $134 to $491 per month. That’s $1,608 to $5,892 in one year! Breastfeeding costs nothing because you are producing milk. If you choose to express your milk, many insThinkstockPhotos-524429091urance plans will cover double electric breast pumps.
  6. Breastfed babies are smarter. Various researchers have found a connection between breastfeeding and cognitive development. Studies concluded from IQ scores and other intelligence tests that prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding significantly improves cognitive development.
  7. Helps Mom’s back to their pre-baby shape. With a healthy diet, mom receives the benefits of breastfeeding by burning an average of 500 calories a day, which can help shed those post baby pounds faster than just diet alone.
  8. Lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends breastfeeding for as long as possible to reduce the risk of SIDS. AGerman study published in 2009 found that breastfeeding – either exclusively or partially – is associated with a lower risk of SIDS. The researchers concluded that exclusive breastfeeding at 1 month of age cut the risk of SIDS in half.
  9. Helps with a natural method of birth control. According to the World Health Organization, exclusive breastfeeding is associated with a natural (though not fail-safe) method of birth control offering a 98% protection in the first six months after birth.
  10. Creates confidence in mothers.
    Nursing mothers have reported increased self-confidence and a closer connection to their babies.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Driving and Secondhand Smoke

We all know about the health risks associated with smoking and secondhand smoke, but do you truly know how dangerous it is to smoke in an enclosed place like a car, even with the windows open?

A study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found “alarming” levels of secondhand smoke were generated in just five minutes in vehicles under various driving, ventilation, and smoking conditions. These levels were higher than found in similar studies conducted in restaurants and bars.

Secondhand smoke and carbon monoxide from just one cigarette exceeded levels described by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as “unhealthy for sensitive groups” such as children and the elderly. Even when the smoker extinguished the cigarette and rolled down the window, the unhealthy levels lingered.

For more information, check out this video from the California Department of Public Health.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

131577493-237x300 (1)

The end of summer is approaching and parents and kids are preparing to go back to school. In addition to new clothes, backpacks and books, all school-age children, from preschoolers to college students, need vaccines.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and today’s vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools for preventing disease and death. In 2014, he United States experienced a record number of measles cases with 668 cases from 27 states reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the greatest number of cases since measles was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. Despite these recent outbreaks,  many parents are still unclear which vaccines their children should receive or if their children should receive any at all?

Keep a record of what vaccines your child has received and when. Check with your physician to make sure your child’s immunization schedule is current.  By vaccinating your child today, you are not only ensuring their protection against a wide variety of illness, but you are also helping to eradicate these diseases for future generations.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Breastfeeding After Augmentation

by

August is National Breastfeeding Month when we look to improve health by promoting and supporting breastfeeding. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), breast augmentation has become the #1 cosmetic procedure for the last decade.Since the best age for breast augmentation is anywhere from 18 to 50 years old, a woman’s desire to look younger may overlap with the tick of her biological clock.

One of the most popular questions women ask before having surgery is, “Will I be able to breastfeed?”

The answer is, yes. Breastfeeding after breast augmentation is absolutely possible.

Although the prior condition of the breasts, position of the implant and incision could have a direct bearing on milk production, it is very likely that you will have a positive experience when nursing your child.

If you have any questions regarding breastfeeding your baby, please call Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486 to make an appointment with a lactation consultant.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Back to School: Pediatric Stress

The summer’s not quite over, but parents are already preparing to send their kids back to school. Thinking about peer pressure, bullying, and new school anxiety? Your child may be facing some of these issues prior to the start of the new school year or even day care.

In previous generations, children were not expected to separate from their parents until they were in Kindergarten. For various reasons, many children are now placed in daycare at an earlier age and some children may not be prepared. As for older children, preparing for standardized testing consists of hours of homework every night and children struggling to keep pace with the schools expectation results in additional stress.

Usually, children who have school anxiety show a range of stress-related symptoms such as complaints of aches and pains, no appetite, or lack of sleep. In these instances, the children are not being oppositional; they are simply displaying their anxieties through these physical symptoms. Of course, it is always important to maintain open communication with your children but when should you seek intervention? Always check with your pediatrician to rule out any physical issues.

Some tips provided by Parents Magazine are:
• Reassure your child that it is normal to feel a little scared in new situations, but nervousness should not mean he/she should stay home.
• Remind your child of other first time experiences they have had in the past and reassure them how great they once did in the past.
• Rule out problems at school or at home: ask your child’s teacher about any episodes of bullying or teasing

If after several weeks without positive results, you have tried different approaches, speak with your pediatrician about meeting with a social worker, psychologist or a child psychiatrist. To schedule an appointment with one of our pediatricians at the Flushing Hospital Ambulatory Care Center, please call: 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Parents: How much bacteria is on your baby’s “binky”?

The pacifier is the saving grace for many new parents to soothe their crying baby. However, what parents may not know are the germs harbored on the pacifier could be causing more harm than good to their baby’s health. If you have noticed your child is more prone to being diagnosed with strep throat and ear infections, the pacifier maybe the culprit.

Germs are not just on the surface of the pacifier. The porous rubber top of the pacifier is likely to grow bacteria from the inside out.  Research conducted at the Tulsa Wellness Care Center found standard lab cultures produced strep bacteria, various strains of staph and the bacteria that cause pneumonia. The pacifier samples also produced the yeast that causes thrush. Thinking you can clean or disinfect the pacifier for continual use? Not necessarily. Even after washing and boiling a pacifier, these bacterias build a resistance under a complex structure called ‘biofilm’ and continue to harbor and grow. Surprisingly, the life expectancy of a pacifier, even after continual cleaning and “disinfecting”, is only two weeks.

So after this information, what should a parent Baby_Binkydo? Quit cold turkey? Cry it out? Here are a few helpful tips to ease the distress for both parent and baby:

  • Take it away early- newborns have a sucking reflex due to hunger, but by three months of age, it’s non-nutritive. Instead, try soothing your baby rocking or holding them.
  • Make it taste bad- Once they are older, they have developed their taste buds and are biased to certain tastes. Parents have tried vinegar or lemon to make it taste bad, but once it becomes unappealing, your child may be pacifier-free.
  • Take it away gradually- using it only for naps can be helpful and then gradually letting go the need for it.
  • Cut the tops off of the pacifier- an unconventional method, but possibly helpful. Place them strategically where he or she may find them and they will realize they are no longer able to use.

A healthy, happy baby will appreciate your caution in the long run.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

 

Juvenile arthritis, arthritis in children under 18, has been diagnosed in almost 300,000 kids in the United States.

ThinkstockPhotos-471012876

Juvenile arthritis (JA) is usually an autoimmune disorder, meaning that it affects the immune system and the body’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses. It targets children of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, and is most often found in the knees, hands, and feet. There are various types of JA and doctors aren’t completely sure what causes this disease, but the most common symptoms are:

. Swelling of the joints

. Pain and stiffness that doesn’t go away

. Limping in the morning because of a stiff knee

. Excessive clumsiness

. High fever and skin rash

. Swelling in lymph nodes in the neck and other parts of the body

Arthritis in children can cause a number of issues including eye inflammation and growth problems, like uneven bones and joints.

Talk to your pediatrician or a rheumatologist if you suspect your child might have arthritis. He or she will take a family history and perform a variety of tests including a physical exam, blood work and x rays.  To make an appointment with a rheumatologist, please call Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Avoiding Mastitis While Breastfeeding

147638088-210x301Breastfeeding can be a wonderful bonding experience for mother and baby. It can also pose a few obstacles including mastitis. Mastitis is an infection caused by a clogged duct in the nipple of a nursing mother.  Here is some information about mastitis and some helpful tips on how to prevent it.

Mastitis won’t hurt your baby but it can reduce the milk supply in the affected breast.It can happen to occur when bacteria enters the breast through a cracked or sore nipple. It can start as a painful area in one breast and may be red or warm to the touch or both and can be accompanied by fever, chills, and body aches.

Try to avoid mastitis by following a few of these helpful tips:

  • Get plenty of rest and eat a healthy, balanced diet while you are nursing.
  • Try your best to avoid letting your breasts become overly full or engorged.
  • If your breasts are not empty after nursing or pumping, or you have a plugged duct, use warm compresses and massage to get the milk out.
  • Avoid under-wire bras and bras that are too small.

If you are beginning to feel the symptoms of mastitis, continue to breast feed as you normally would but make sure to see your doctor. Applying warm compresses for several minutes before each feeding will help alleviate any pain. Antibiotics may be prescribed, but pain should subside within one to two days after taking you prescriptions.

If you have questions or concerns about breastfeeding, Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers a Breastfeeding Support Group where you can get advice and tips from a certified lactation specialist and meet and share experiences with other mothers that are breastfeeding.

For additional information, please call 718-670-5201.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.