Page 1


Baby Rochester


editor’s note


An Introduction from our Editor


* * * 8


Baby Talk


The Heart Connection

Understanding early communication with your baby & infant How steady beat contributes to brain development & learning


baby bits

education & development



Cloth Diapers Why cloth is good for your baby & the environment


Hot New Products for Mom & Baby


Make It, Bake It, Take It Stocking up on meals before baby’s arrival

health & well-being


Pump Up the Volume


Dance, Dance


Baby Wearing


Prenatal Massage


going green




Simple ways to increase breast milk production

special needs Developmental Concerns The ins and outs of early intervention

* 50


The benefits of belly dancing for mothers-to-be The benefits of keeping baby close Why a good rub-down might be just what you need


Growing Goodness

26 31

Health Notes

How to grow a garden of herbs for the expectant mother

Finding Dr. Right How to choose a primary care provider

* * 40



Guide • 2011 Edition

community resources 292-BABY A resource for parents & families

Community Resource Listings

parent to parent From Bovine to Believer

child care


Choosing Child Care


Nurturing Communities

How to select a program for your infant or toddler


An innovative child care model designed & piloted in Rochester

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



editor’s note | By Jillian Melnyk

Oh, baby!


elcome to the tenth edition of our annual Baby Guide produced by Rochester Area & Genesee Valley

Parent Magazine, Rochester's best resource for parents and families. We know that whether you are expecting your first child and new to the parenting game or are well-versed in the ways of child-rearing, raising a family can be an exciting (yet stressful)

time. This year, we bring you some great advice, connections, and local resources that will help you along that journey and help you raise a happy and wholesome family. We are especially pleased to produce this guide with support from 292-BABY, a community collaborative administered by Monroe Community College. Through this collaborative, we are able to bring you interesting, entertaining, and enlightening articles by some of the best local experts in their field on various topics of infant and child development. Our special thanks to Jim Coffey and Mary Louise Musler for coordinating many of the articles featured in this magazine. We are incredibly proud to share with you our joy that last year's Baby Guide received two bronze awards for General Excellence and Design from Parenting Publications of America.

Baby Guide Staff PUBLISHER Barbara Melnyk - EDITOR Jillian Melnyk - GENERAL MANAGER Carol Harvey ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Cynthia Goldberg, Natalee Kiesling Carol Harvey MAGAZINE LAYOUT & DESIGN Jillian Melnyk ADVERTISING DESIGN OFFICE MANAGER Jill Egmond -

As your child grows, be sure to pick up copies of Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine, our free, monthly family magazine which is available at more than 400 area locations including every Wegmans grocery store! Be sure to visit us online at

Happy Parenting! Jillian Melnyk, Editor

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kerrie McLoughlin, Lela Davidson, Angela Cannon-Crothers, Katrina Cassel, Denise Yearian, Kathy Sena, Dr. Neil Herendeen, Tawn R. Feeney, Nancy Stanton Multer, Sinea Pies, Vicki Schultz, Anne Barker, Jim Coffey Copyright 2011, by GVP, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Distribution of this magazine does not necessarily constitute an endorsement or necessarily reflect the opinions of this publication.

Rochester Baby Guide Genesee Valley Parent Magazine 266 Alexander Street Rochester, NY 14607 (p) 585.287-5330 | (f) 585.287-5344 MEMBER OF PARENTING PUBLICATIONS OF AMERICA


Rochester Baby Guide 2011


baby bits *

delicious dinings

eco chic

Fresh, fun and fabulous, baby will love the Jingle Me Seahorse Rattle made by local designer, Sue Lappan, creator of Ecoleeko, a line of eco-friendly toys. The rattle is made of all natural organic cotton corduroy and bamboo fleece with all natural fillings. The toy features a tiny jingle bell inside and buckwheat hulls in the tail for a crunchy sound when touched. TO BUY: Ecoleeko, $16,

sweet snuggles Baby will want to get snuggly with these cute and comfy blankets made by a local mom and dad team, creators of Itza!Blankie. Using their own kids as inspiration, they've designed these functional and soft blankets (one side is cotton fabric and the reverse side features luscious chenille) that are perfect for toting anywhere. Bonus: There is a link on one corner of each blanket so that you can attach a pacifier, or hook it to your stroller, car seat or even the cart at the grocery store. TO BUY: Itza!Blankie, $25,

crawl on! Leggings have been all the rage for the past few seasons, and not just for mom, we're talking about baby, too. These super cute crawler covers, designed locally by fategoddess, are perfect for keeping little legs warm. Plus, they protect fragile knees/legs while crawling and make diaper changes a snap. Available in sizes itty bitty (newborn to 12 months) and toddler (newborn to 8 years old.) They come in a variety of colors and styles so your babes can show off their favorite fashions. TO BUY: fategoddess, $8 each (also available in packs),


Dreamy creamy spinach, zoom zoom zucchini, radical rice cakes with almond butter‌ no these aren't the gourmet offerings at Rochester's newest haute cuisine restaurant, they're baby food selections. The Best Homemade Baby Food On the Planet book dishes up fare worthy of its title. With 200 unbelievably delicious recipes, this book makes it easy for parents to whip up their own food for their little one using the most natural, healthy ingredients to insure a happy, healthy baby. The best part about it, most recipes can be made in 10 minutes or less! TO BUY: Fair Winds Press, $21.99,

king of the jungle Deck the walls of baby's nursery with adorable art prints like this roaring lion from local artisan Sarah of Sarah Knight Design. 8x10 print is created on 100 pound, 100% recycled white card stock. Many other animals are available including a tweeting bird, neighing horse, peeping chick, and more. TO BUY: Sarah Knight Design, $12, Also available locally at Sassafras Flowers on East Avenue in Rochester.

I’m so sorry...

funny guy It's no secret that new parents end up needing to apologize‌ a lot. Whether it's for tossing a stinky diaper into a publish trash can, making a total mess of a restaurant, or ignoring friends, this handy little stack of 30 cards has you covered with apologies on hand. Stick it in your diaper bag and go, wreck havoc, as they say. Perfect as a shower gift; just don't be surprised when you find yourself on the receiving end of one of these cards someday soon. TO BUY: New Parent Apology Cards, Chronicle Books, $9.95,

Let baby show off his silly side with these super adorable silicone bibs from Ulubulu. The Ulubulu Baby Bibs are 100% silicone, a nontoxic alternative to various plastic and vinyl bibs. 100% silicone lets parents rest assured their child is not being exposed to lead, BPA, phthalates, latex or PVC. Available in 11 different wacky animal-shaped styles, including Hippo, Elephant, Frog, Tiger, Cow, Shark and more. Each Ulubulu has an adjustable neck and nifty crumb-catching pocket. Can be safely washed in the dishwasher or easily wiped clean. Rolls up for easy storage. For children from 6 months and up. TO BUY: $8.99, Also find them at Target & Babies 'R' Us.

snazzy slippers Keep your little monster's tootsies warm with slippers that have as big of a personality as your little munchkin. Made by local designer Joan of jdbaby, these feisty dragon slippers are made with fleece body, non-slip fabric soles, buttons eyes and an elastic ankle. Bunnies, monkeys, giraffes, lambs and more are also available. TO BUY: jdbaby, $25,

Rochester Baby Guide 2011


baby bits *

perfect planning

the secret

is out

Each week of pregnancy brings new experiences – the ultrasound, the strange food cravings, the first flutter of movement, and finally, the delivery! There's so much to learn and lots to keep track of, including your own thoughts and feelings along the journey. Created by the editors of Parenting Magazine, this ultimate weekby-week planner helps keep everything organized and offers valuable insider advice on health, diet, exercise, sex, sleep, and more. TO BUY: Pregnancy Planner: Essential Advice for Moms-to-be by Ziba Kashef, Chronicle Books, $19.95,

celebrate baby Stylish and whimsical this baby book has it all. Designed by acclaimed artist Sara Midda, this baby book is filled with pages for proud parents to record everything about Baby's firsts. Each page features a colorful border and tons of space for writing and including photographs and assorted scrapbook memorabilia. This baby book isn't your typical "cutsey" baby book, but rather exudes a modern vibe. TO BUY: Sara Midda Baby Book by Sara Midda, Workman Publishing, 2010, $22.95.

Every new parent has been there – sleep deprived, exhausted, and attempting to calm down an irritable baby at 3am. But there's hope in sight. Marah Podd, a seasoned maternal-infant specialist and lactation specialist, shares her professional expertise in Secrets of a Baby Nurse to help parents interpret their baby's cues, perfect a sleep environment, and initiate a peaceful detachment. TO BUY: Secrets of a Baby Nurse: How to Have a Happy, Healthy, and SLEEPING Baby from Birth by Marsha Podd, R.N., Rising Star/iUniverse, 2010. $17.95,

easily organized Keeping breastfeeding information handy and organized has never been easier than with the Nursing Mother's Companion Breastfeeding Diary. This keepsake diary and breastfeeding journal created by a Kathleen Huggins, a registered nurse and board-certified lactation consultant, and Jan Ellen Brown, a board-certified lactation consultant, allows mothers to record pumpings and track breastfeedings in a handy grid to make sure their babies are getting enough milk. Each two-page spread (a day of baby's life) includes an easy-to-use breastfeeding log, information about baby's grown and development, an inspirational quote, and free space for writing thoughts on motherhood and notes for the day. TO BUY: Harvard Common Press, 2010, $12.95,


• 292-BABY telephone helpline - call 292-baby (2229) to talk free to a registered nurse seven days a week from 7 AM to midnight. From the tip of their heads to the tip of their toes, our nurses can answer any non-emergency question you have. They just love to talk about babies! • 292-BABY television - Monday through Friday from 9 - 10 PM on Cable Channel 4. Programming is for parents of babies from pregnancy to age three. Each night addresses a different developmental stage ranging from pre-pregnancy and newborns through 36 month-olds. • - the only website in the world where you can access more than 100 educational videos for free on a wide variety of early childhood topics including feeding, potty training, adoption, health issues, parenting concerns and more.

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



preparing | By Kerrie McLoughlin

Make It, Bake It, Take It stocking up on meals before baby's arrival


et's get real here. Once your baby arrives, you won't

have time for basic

Make Meals in Advance Off-site

hygiene, let alone cooking. Babies are on their own time schedule, which means when you're ready to prepare a fabulous 5course meal, your crying bundle of joy is ready to be held nonstop. And who wants to spend Baby's future college fund on takeout? Besides, the goal is to lose the baby weight, not to pack on more pounds eating pizza day and night just because it's a quick fix.

One solution is to stock up on meals before your new baby's arrival; another is to keep meals coming after your baby comes home. Whether you're a first-timer or already have a few kids under your belt, here's how to secure all the food you'll need to be the best new parent you can be:


Make Meals in Advance at Home Have you ever been in the middle of cooking dinner, only to realize you were missing one crucial item? It's a cinch prebaby to stop cooking and run to the store for what you need, but with a new baby in the house that seemingly simple task is suddenly downright frightening. So once you hit the second trimester (or whenever you feel a burst of energy), grab a oncea-month cooking cookbook (see sidebar) and make and freeze some meals. And forget about those bulky foil pans because you can freeze some meals in plastic storage bags or containers to save freezer space.

Nothing compares to the fun of cleaning up the kitchen after preparing and cooking a meal (yeah, right). For a few of your stock-up meals, make life easy and head to the computer first ( to find an off-site meal preparation kitchen near you. When you get there, just assemble the meals while they provide the food, supplies and containers. All the ingredients are already chopped and ready to throw together in the amounts your family prefers. If you are allergic to or just dislike an ingredient, skip it! You could take along several friends and make it a fun night out. And what a timesaver: in about two hours you can make 10-12 meals for a family of four to six.

Count on the Kindness of Friends, Family, Neighbors and Strangers Most people understand that having a new baby is not about spending your every waking hour cooking and cleaning, so after your baby is born people will hopefully start asking if you need anything. If you want to find yourself in non-cooking Heaven, give up on the Supermom routine and exclaim, "YES!" If you have kitchen-challenged pals, they could instead bring over things like pizza gift cards, salad and sandwich items, take-out and paper plates. If you feel comfortable enough, set up a meal calendar online at before you give birth and send out a mass e-mail to family and friends with the link.

RESOURCES 30 Day Gourmet's Big Book of Freezer Cooking by Nanci Slagle ( Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month by Deborah Taylor-Hough – This is a terrific blog written by a mom of 6 who has much experience not only with stocking up on meals, but also with saving lots of money doing it. Once-a-Month Cooking: A Proven System for Spending Less Time in the Kitchen and Enjoying Delicious, Homemade Meals Everyday by Mary Beth Lagerborg and Mimi Wilson The One-Armed Cook by Cynthia Stevens Graubart and Catherine Fliegel

Call for Backup If all else fails – and you can afford it – find a company that will deliver food to your door. No, I'm not talking about Pizza Hut or the Chinese restaurant around the corner! Research a food service that will deliver prepared meals (as well as frozen vegetables, meats, pancakes, and the like) that will make small deliveries as needed and has ordering online.

After a number of weeks your freezer stockpile will inevitably start to dwindle. Don't despair because you have several options. You could: (1) crack open a quick dinner cookbook; (2) break out the Crockpot; (3) hit the computer for easy recipe web sites; (4) head back to the off-site meal prep site for a night out sans baby (and really feel like you've accomplished something!); or (5) have a helper (whether that be your partner, a friend, a hired sitter or your mother-in-law) come over and take care of the baby while you do your once-a-month-cooking. All done! Now you can relax, take care of yourself and truly enjoy your baby. While you're at it, why not sneak in a nap with your new miniature sweetie instead of being stuck in the kitchen for an hour?


Kerrie McLoughlin is the mom of 5 and blogs at

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When you Run Out

Overwhelmed. Hopeless. Exhausted. These are just some of the symptoms of depression. But you can get better. Find out how. Call the Mental Health Association at 585-423-1572, or visit depression. it’s not whatyou think.

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



health & well-being | By Lela Davidson

Pump up the Volume simple ways to increase breast milk production


omen are built for breastfeeding. No matter your age, weight, or cup size – if you can make a baby, you can probably make his perfect food, on demand.

While it's the most natural thing a mother can do, breastfeeding can be challenging. However, Childbirth and Postpartum Doula Jennifer Rokeby-Mayeux says not to worry. "Almost all women will make enough milk to nourish their baby or babies. Some just need extra support to overcome obstacles," she says. Use these tips to help pump up your volume.

Start Right Away "Babies are hard-wired to breastfeed," says Certified Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator Kim James. "Their reflexes, cues, and competencies at birth lead to the ability to breastfeed within hours after birth." James says the best way to enhance both oxytocin and prolactin, the two hormones that are responsible for breast milk synthesis, is immediately after birth. "Skin-to-skin [interaction] is magic," she says. The more time the brand new baby spends in contact with mother the better. "During the first four days after birth, treat the mother and baby as if they are still umbilically linked." In fact, James says that too much handling and holding by other people actually shuts down baby's feeding cues and reflexes. "If in-laws are available to help, they need to be doing household chores and feeding the dog instead of holding the baby, at least during the first week."

Drink More To produce breast milk, you have to be hydrated. Seems logical, but most of us don't drink enough water even when we're not nursing. Rokeby-Mayeaux works with new mothers who are having trouble


breastfeeding. The most common reason for difficulty is that the mother is not getting enough fluids. "Every time she nurses she needs to have a glass, mug, jug, or canteen filled with water to drink during the nursing session," she suggests. It's important to take in plenty of water, but other liquids can contribute to the hydration efforts too. And what about a glass of vino? Rokeby-Mayeaux has many clients who swear by an evening drink. "Wine and beer are well and good as long as you don't overdo it," she says. "If a glass of wine helps you relax and you have a great nursing session, then go for it."

Stress Less Stress can affect milk production and maybe, more importantly, make breastfeeding less satisfying than it could be. Try to think of nursing time as your break. Some mothers enjoy reading during feedings. Others are able to catch a quick nap, which can be a real stress-buster since lack of sleep is one of the biggest contributors to stress. Rokeby-Mayeux suggests new moms set a goal of getting as much sleep in twenty-four hours as they used to require at night before they were pregnant.

"If you needed seven hours of sleep each night to be rested, then you need to get in at least seven hours of naps and real sleep over the course of twenty-four hours," she says. She also stresses the importance of sleeping for a minimum of three to four hours straight each night.

Latch On, Latch Off How you sit, hold your baby, and offer the breast all affect lactation. Vary your breastfeeding positions from feeding to feeding. Try several techniques and then settle on a few that are most comfortable. Your goal is the best latch, which means the entire areola – not just the nipple – is in the baby's mouth. Look for baby's upper and lower lips turning out and his chin touching the breast. James advocates a new method called "biologic nurturing" that increases comfort for mother and baby, encourages better initial latches, and ultimately leads to better milk supplies. "It's all about tummy-on-tummy, laid back breastfeeding," she says. According to James, baby should be doing most of the work. "It turns out, we may have been over-thinking

Is Formula Really So Bad? Most health professionals agree that breast milk is baby's ideal food. However, we don't live in an ideal world and the last thing a nursing mother needs is a guilt trip. When a mother's milk supply decreases to a level insufficient to satisfy baby's hunger, formula may be used to supplement. Modern formulations are the result of years of research that have ensured they supply your baby with the best nutrition that science can provide. Don’t allow an extreme desire to exclusively breastfeed be counterproductive to your overall goal of keeping your baby healthy and happy. If you've tried everything and he still needs a bottle, mix one up.

Breastfeeding Saves Money Once you burn through those free samples from the hospital, formula can get pricey. A tight budget is one reason to keep your breast milk supply high. Alyssa Circo fed two babies without ever having to buy a can of formula. "My mom nursed three babies and had been a La Leche League Leader, so I was fortunate to have good resources and support from the very beginning," she says. Infant formula can cost a family hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars during baby's first year. Circo writes about breastfeeding and other parenting topics on "I just wish every mom who wants to breastfeed could start out with the kind of knowledge and support that I did."

this whole breastfeeding thing." Bottom line: keep switching the positions until you find what works best.

Eat a Sandwich Hollywood presents an unrealistic ideal of childbirth and recovery. Why let a desire to get back into your pre-pregnancy jeans sabotage your breastfeeding efforts? Just as when you were pregnant, you want to eat the most nutrient-dense food as possible, but a little avocado on your salad and some crème Brule aren't going to hurt anyone. Remember, your baby is literally sucking those extra calories right out of you. According to the La Leche League, even mothers in famine conditions can produce nutritionally perfect milk. However, caring for a baby takes a lot of energy. If you don't eat enough while breastfeeding, your body will begin to rob from its own reserves – in effect eating you.

Flash Your Breasts (More Often) The best way to increase breast milk volume is to nurse frequently. "Babies can't tell time," says Rokeby-Mayeux, so babies don't need to be on a schedule. James agrees, and explains why milk is made fastest when the breasts are emptied often. "When the breasts are empty, the prolactin receptor sites are shaped best to receive the prolactin hormone signals that say 'turn on breastmilk making.' When the breasts are full or haven't been fully emptied, the prolactin receptors change shape and won't allow the hormone to fit, essentially saying 'turn off breastmilk making,'" James reminds new moms to offer both breasts at each feeding and be sure to empty both breasts, even if it means pumping the other side.

Rochester Baby Guide 2011


BREASTFEEDING WEBSITES More information about how to increase breast milk supply is easy to find: La Leche League, Breastfeeding Made Simple Biological Nurturing, Kelly Mom,

never miss a feeding, pumping can be a great way to increase breast milk volume. Pumping in between feedings can help build up an inventory of breast milk (which can be safely stored in the freezer) and, like frequent breastfeeding, essentially trains breasts to produce more milk. James says that women who want to increase their supply have to work at getting more milk out. The trick with pumping is frequency, not duration. "If a mother can get five minutes of pumping in every forty minutes, she'll significantly increase her supply within forty-eight hours." Of course, this presumes she is eating enough calories and getting enough fluid and rest to sustain the increase in production. "Get those inlaws back in to fix meals, vacuum and take out the dirty diapers so mother can kick back on the couch, eat, sip, nap, breastfeed and pump," she suggests.

Play with Your Boobies Just Say No to Pacifiers and Bottles Most experts agree that using pacifiers and bottles can slow down breast milk production, especially for a mother with a baby younger than six months. This is because a mother nurses less and the baby satisfies his sucking urges on the pacifier or bottle. What about those times when it is necessary to supplement breastfeeding with the bottle? If you have to miss a feeding, pumping will help to maintain milk production. However, because the hormone oxytocin is released during breastfeeding and creates milk production, the body will produce much more with actual nursing over pumping.

Pump Up the Volume If you must be away from your baby during feeding times, or if your breasts become injured, using a breast pump can make the difference between the breast and the bottle. But even if you


Frequent massage and warm baths can prevent engorgement and stimulate letdown. If you don't have a willing partner, just pour yourself a hot cup of tea and draw a nice bath. Here's where that nice glass of wine might come in handy. If your production gets very low, take a nursing vacation – not a hiatus from nursing, but a break from everything else – while you get breastfeeding back on track. Go to bed with your baby and do nothing but eat, drink, and nurse for two or three days.

If you are having trouble there are a lot of resources that can help. For additional information you can call the local La Leche League or a lactation specialist.


Lela Davidson is the author of Blacklisted from the PTA (Jupiter Press, July 2011). Her writing is featured regularly in family and parenting magazines throughout the United States and Canada. Visit her at

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



health & well-being | By Angela Cannon-Crothers

Dance, Dance! the benefits of belly dancing for mothers-to-be


'm standing self-consciously with a group of women all in loose clothing and bare feet, wondering why I thought I could do this. My instructor is adorned with a hip veil of shiny coins, a long scarf-like skirt, bejeweled hal-

ter top, and plenty of jiggly bracelets. "Belly dancing has been around since before written time," says Gretchen Bremer, also known as Saja. Saja says it was originally a dance women used to help encourage a laboring mother during birth. "It's also good for pregnancy," Saja says. "It both strengthens core muscles needed for birthing and helps get the mother's body back in shape after birth."

It was never meant to be a performance for men. On the contrary, in the Middle East it was a women's dance, one that welcomed girls as a rite-of-passage into the tribe of womanhood. "This dance is for yourself," says Saja, and she smiles largely. Soft exotic music begins and Saja gives us a demonstration. I am in awe; she makes it look both natural and mystical simultaneously. And not for the first time in my life do I wish that I had something to shimmy, shake or roll. Saja shows us some basics – steamy hip circles, languid arcs, and a little upper leg waggle. I'm whining that I don't have hips and that I can't do these moves when suddenly I feel it – a loosening in my pelvis, a primal knowledge of body parts that I continually ignore, tighten, or wrestle into submission suddenly feel released, free, and – perfect. There are as many styles of belly dancing as there are, well, bellies. From Middle Eastern Folk Lore Dance, to Bedouin, Egyptian, and Tribal, most dance and yoga studios today offer an American Tribal version that may include anything from traditional moves to fusion and break dancing. But the overall message is the same – get exercise while feeling really great about your body and yourself.

Benefits of Belly Dancing

“ I danced ALL throughout my pregnancy!

I did an International Fest at Darien Lake in 1991 and the audience couldn’t believe I was 8 and 1/2 months pregnant!” — Katrina Scott, belly dance instructor at Sword and Scarab


Belly dancing favors real women's bodies; rounded ones and toned ones, muscled ones or fleshy ones, young ones and elder ones. The moves honor the feminine form in all shapes and sizes which is why it is so perfect for all abilities of dancer in all stages of life. "Belly dancing is great because it involves isolation of muscles you don't usually use," says Saja. "You can increase your cardio output but you can also do some of the moves in the car, while sitting at your desk, or just about anywhere." "I danced ALL throughout my pregnancy," says belly dance instructor, Katrina

Saja – Bellydance Instructor (585) 255-0572 and 721-6704 Silent Rhythm Dance & Fitness 177 S. Main St. 2nd Floor, P.O. Box 1023 Canandaigua, NY 14424 Karen Direct: (585) 259-5548 Barbarah Direct: (585) 455-3385 Sword and Scarab Katrina Scott teaches at the U of R, Perinton and Rush Henrietta Adult Continuing Education. • (585) 670-9714

Scott of Sword and Scarab. "I did an International Fest at Darien Lake in 1991 and the audience couldn't believe I was 8 and 1/2 months pregnant!" Katrina, who also goes by the name Kalilah, teaches Middle Eastern Dance and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. She also offers classes at various community centers in the area. Proponents of belly dancing point out that the isometric exercises work the pelvic floor and tone arms, upper legs, lower legs, belly, shoulders, abdomen, hips, and gluteals all while improving circulation, joint flexibility and overall suppleness. The dance builds focus, burns fat, and increases oxygenation to the body. Other notable benefits include stress reduction and even lessening of PMS symptoms. I soon notice that while working on one area of my body in the dances, my legs are actually tiring and I'm not even really moving (I save that for the veil dances). I feel myself warming up, catching my breath, and really concentrating. And because it is media and society that have deemed so much of a women's body as sexual, it feels liberating to claim my body back through attention and self-appreciation.

Getting Started Taking a class with a local instructor is like a visit to an exotic shore. A knowledgeable teacher can help the expectant mother learn moves to ease back pain, build stamina, and tone the pelvic floor and core muscles for birthing. Saja got her start with Silent Rhythm Dance Troupe in Canandaigua, both taking lessons and then performing. She now teaches as a private instructor at places like Open Arms Yoga in Naples and at Grounded By Yoga in Bloomfield. "Finding your inner goddess," is Saja's guiding maxim. Her favorite dances to teach are combined with drumming. "You work with a drummer and your own body movements," she says. "You learn to use your hips and legs for the low frequency drum sounds and match your shoulders to higher sounds." Her other favorites are the veil dances that emulate the movements of air around your body. "It's really beautiful and free," Saja says, and having given it a try, I must agree. Go and observe – the rhythm is sure to entice you in!


Angela Cannon-Crothers is a contributing writer to Rochester Baby Guide & Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine. She lives in Upstate, NY. You can visit her website at Rochester Baby Guide 2011



health & well-being | By Katrina Cassel

Baby Wearing the benefits of keeping baby close


You want your baby near you, but you have dishes to wash and a house to

tidy. Baby’s not ready for a nap, although you are. And really, you're happier when you have your baby close. The solution? Baby wearing. While this has

been done in other countries since the beginning of time, it's newer to the United States.

Parents have found that wearing their babies in slings and other carries has many advantages. Babies who are carried cry less. A team of pediatricians did a study in Montreal and found that carried babies cry 43% less. If your infant is fussy, try carrying her more often throughout the day, not just in response to her cries. "My daughter rarely fusses when worn. It's like she forgets to fuss because she's right by me where all the action is," says Tara Krey. Baby wearing allows close contact with your child and extra bonding takes place when baby is body-to-body with mom or dad. "When baby wearing I am able to nourish, comfort, and spend quality time with my daughter, all while completing whatever I need to get done throughout my day," says Krey. Pam Arndorfer agrees. "I love having the option of 'holding' my baby or child even when I'm busy." She adds, "I love the comfort and security that they have when being worn."

When baby wearing I am able to nourish, comfort, and spend quality time with my “ daughter,

all while completing whatever I need to get done throughout my day," — Tara Krey


Babies who are worn learn from being engaged in activities. Rather than being put in a crib or playpen while mom does her daily tasks, these babies are right there watching from their front row seat. The sling also frees mom's hands to accomplish more. "I 'wore' all four of my children in a maya wrap ring sling," says veteran mom Jenee O'Carroll. "The most unusual thing I did while wearing my baby was bowl with my baby sleeping happily in the sling. I have done quite a bit of hiking, lawn mowing and gardening with a baby on my front, back or side." Tara Krey also has a list of what she's accomplished while wearing baby. "I have gone to the fireworks, gone out to eat, attended a Breastfeeding Walk, finished the dishes, done laundry, made the beds, and vacuumed all while my baby was right along with me watching what I was doing." Sarah Anderson, mother of a toddler, has found her sling to be a lifesaver when she needed both hands free. "At the family reunion this summer my husband and I were the only ones with a toddler who could go through the line together because my son was in the ring sling," she says. "It's also very handy for rummage sales when you don't want to carry a heavy toddler around." There are many great wearable baby carriers available. It's important to find one that works well for you and to wear it properly so that it's comfortable for both

I love having the option of 'holding' my baby or child even when I’m busy. I love the

comfort and security that they have when being worn." — Pam Arndorfer

you and baby. When choosing a carrier you'll need to keep in mind the size of the person wearing the carrier, the age and weight of the baby and the planned activity. Soft structured carriers, such as Snugli or Baby Bjorn are one of the more popular choices. They easily fasten to the wearer's body with clips or buckles. These carriers are usually padded but the baby's weight is exclusively on the wearer's shoulders and the baby's groin. This may become uncomfortable as the baby gains weight. One-shouldered sling style carriers are also popular and versatile. They can be used for newborns as well as older babies depending on how you position the child. Since all of the baby's weight is on one shoulder, it's not good to use these for long periods of time as it can push your spine out of balance or cause injuries. A baby wrap, consisting of a piece of woven or stretchy material may be the most versatile carrier. The wrap may be from 4 to 15 feet long and can be used to carry babies in many different positions -front, back or hip. It takes practice to learn how to tie the wrap, but once you've found your favorite way, the freedom is rewarding. Some baby carriers, such as Mei-teis, consist of a piece of cloth that goes over the baby's back and ties over the parent's shoulders and around the waist. Which carrier you use should be determined by the one that most comfortably allows you to have your baby close and still have your hands free to accomplish other things.


Katrina Cassel, M.Ed., lives with her husband, seven of their children, and an assortment of pets in the Florida panhandle. Katrina is the published author of ten books. Visit her online at

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



health & well-being | By Denise Yearian

Prenatal Massage why a good rub-down might be just what you need


aisey Wooten was in the third trimester of her pregnancy when she came down with a cold and cough, which caused her to pull a muscle in her ribcage. "Since I was pregnant, I didn't want to take

pain killers or medicine. So I asked my doctor about going to a prenatal massage therapist," recalls this mother of two. "He thought it was a great idea."

When you get pregnant you're going “ to have pain.

The ligaments are loosening up, the spine and skeleton are shifting, and there is a lot of stress on the joints. Since you want to avoid taking drugs, massage therapy is a good way to take care of those discomforts without the use of medication." — Beth Alexander, licensed massage therapist

Jennifer Stempel was three months pregnant with twins when she received her first prenatal massage. "I got large so quickly and was having a lot of leg cramps and lower back pains. I talked with my doctor about it, and she highly recommended it." Many women today are seeking relief from the aches and pains of pregnancy through prenatal massage therapy. "It has been proven to safely eliminate or reduce many of the normal discomforts of pregnancy," says Kathy Roberts, 25-year veteran registered nurse and licensed massage


therapist. Beth Alexander, another licensed massage therapist, agrees. "When you get pregnant you're going to have pain. The ligaments are loosening up, the spine and skeleton are shifting, and there is a lot of stress on the joints. Since you want to avoid taking drugs, massage therapy is a good way to take care of those discomforts without the use of medication." Stempel found this to be true. "During my second pregnancy, I had a lot of sciatic pain – to the point where I

couldn't walk. The massage therapist worked on me for three days in a row, and when I left I was fine." Though pain relief is the main reason mothers go for prenatal massages, there are emotional benefits too. "Some women may have had a hard time getting pregnant or may be stressed during their pregnancy," states Alexander. "The massages can help women relax." "Relaxation was a big thing for me," says Wooten. "I was pregnant with my second child and was already doing so much with my first. I could just go and relax. It was amazing!" Before getting a prenatal massage, women should check with their doctor. "If a woman has had a miscarriage before or has any sort of predisposition to anything that may be of concern, she should check with her doctor first," suggests Alexander. There are also acupressure areas that may bring on contractions. But according to Roberts, this should be of little concern if the right massage therapist is chosen. "If a mother goes to someone certified in prenatal massage, the therapist will know what areas to avoid and how deep to work." Therein lies the difference between a prenatal massage and a regular one. "With a regular massage, we work deep tissue,"

BENEFITS OF PRENATAL MASSAGE THERAPY Eases backaches, headaches, shoulder & neck pain Decreases pain in the pelvic/hip area Increases circulation Improves digestion Reduces fatigue Improves sleep Reduces swelling in hands and lower legs Helps reduce sciatic pain Helps reduce leg cramps Helps alleviate stress on weight-bearing joints Promotes relaxation and deep breathing Helps stabilize hormone levels by lessening anxiety

says Alexander. "But with a prenatal massage, we have to work at a lighter level." Positioning is different too. "I have a special prenatal massage table so we can do face down if we need to," says Roberts. "We also do side-lying positions – it's whatever the mom prefers. Her head also needs to be elevated, and her body should be tilted to the left so the baby isn't pressing on the large vessels." "When I went during my third trimester, the massage therapist suggested I lay on my side with pillows between my legs and under my head," recalls Wooten. "She would ask if there were certain aches and pains that needed to be addressed. Since I got a lot of headaches and leg cramps, she focused on those muscles. The massage would alleviate the pain and I would feel better. Then I would return the next month." "I usually have clients coming in about once a month during their last trimester," says Alexander. "I know some women who schedule their massages to coincide with their OB appointments." So where does one look for a prenatal massage therapist? Stempel networked with the massage therapist she had before she got pregnant. Wooten called a local parenting resource center. Ask your doctor or childbirth class instructor for a recommendation, or check with friends who may have had prenatal massages, suggests Roberts. Most important, call and talk with the therapist. "Ask specific questions and find out what her background is. Be sure the person is a licensed massage therapist, nationally certified in massage and body works, and certified in prenatal massage." Alexander agrees. "The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has a website ( with a link to find a therapist in your area. Once you find one locally, call and ask for their qualifications." When labor and delivery are over, consider the benefits of returning postpartum. "Postpartum massage therapy is as important as prenatal," says Roberts. "It's a time when your body is going through so many changes. There are so many demands on your time, and you get so little sleep." "I went back regularly for months after my son was born," concludes Wooten. "It was just what I needed. Some women may think the money can be used for something else, especially when she's raising a family. I know – I used to think that too. But I found it made me a better wife and mother. It was worth every dime!"


Denise Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children.

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



health & well-being | By Angela Cannon-Crothers

Growing Goodness how to grow a garden of herbs for the expectant mother


rowing useful and lovely herbs during and after pregnancy is a wonderful way to connect the divine and creative forces within one's growing womb to those in nature. While the cycle of new life grows

within the expectant mother, she can also nurture herbs and flowers like fragrant

lavender, sunny calendula, relaxing chamomile and catnip that will, in turn, nurture her and her new arrival as well.

"Chamomile is so easy to grow and great for a baby," says Emma Ricci, an herbalist and midwife apprentice in the Rochester area. Ricci recommends making a bath bag with fresh chamomile, calendula, lavender and oats for washing baby and as a relaxing bath for mom. Ricci also likes to make a post-partum Sitz bath tea for her clients out of chamomile, calendula, comfrey, St. John's Wort and yarrow mixed with witch hazel and a handful of salt. "It's a nice combination of soothing and astringent herbs to help speed healing," she says. All of the plants and herbs listed here are easy to grow and do well in full sun to partial shade. Being herbs, they require few, if any, fertilizers. Be sure not to use any pesticides or chemical fertilizers on plants intended for use. Insect problems can usually be handled by washing leaves with mild, soapy water. Of course, the use of any plant or herb, especially during pregnancy or with a newborn, should be discussed with a midwife or healthcare provider prior to use. For those who would prefer to simply admire their gardens and not delve into making their own herbal products, many garden and health stores, including Lavender Moon Herb Garden in Honeoye Falls, sell pre-made all-natural herbal products like Blooming Belly Butter, Sitz Baths, and gentle products for baby as well as a nourishing Baby and Me Tea that includes


HERBS FOR THE EXPECTANT MOTHER'S GARDEN • Garden herbs that are especially good for colicky babies, indigestion and stomach complaints include fennel, chamomile, catnip and lemon balm. • Herbs for aiding lactation include borage flowers and fennel. • For calming herbs to use in baby's bath, plant calendula, lavender, and chamomile. • Healing herbs that can be used to make salves, balms and oils for the baby include comfrey, chamomile, calendula flowers, and lemon balm.

tonic and nutritive herbs like red raspberry, alfalfa, and nettles. Regardless of how much is harvested, having a lovely herb garden to spend time in with a new baby is healing and healthy in itself; sitting beside a lush catnip plant with a colicky baby can be calming for both mother and child. Enjoying a connection to what blooms in our bodies and our yards is rewarding for the whole family. Below is a list of specific herbs you may want to consider planting. Don't forget that any cut flowers are a wonderful addition as well.

Borage (Borago officinalis) – The blue star-like flowers of borage ease depression and increase milk flow. Flowers can be used as a tea and are edible and lovely on any salad, dessert, or side dish. Calendula (Calendula officinalis) – Calendula flowers provide a skin-soothing gentle antiseptic bath when used in bath bags for baby washes. Flowers can be infused in olive, apricot or almond oil over a period of 1-6 weeks, strained through cheesecloth, and kept in a sealed jar for diaper rash and cradle cap treatment.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) – A relaxing and safe herb in the mint family that's great for colicky babies as a calming digestive aid. (You can make a light tea and offer a few drops or drink it yourself if you are nursing.) Catnip can also be added to a bath bag in the bath water. For teething, freeze catnip tea on the corner of a washcloth and offer the frozen pop for baby to gum away on.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) – A tea made with licorice scented fennel is helpful for constipation, indigestion and heartburn that often accompany pregnancy. The seeds can be nibbled on for the same digestive issues as well as for morning sickness. Seeds, leaves and flowers drunk in a tasty tea increase milk production and are useful for digestion and colic issues as well as relieving gas.

Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis and

Lavender (Lavendula sp.) – The fragrant flowering wands are relaxing and calming in bath bags for both mother and baby.

Matricaria recutita) – Calming and soothing in a wash, it is also often added to diaper ointments and salves. Lovely yellow and white chamomile is also a gentle aid to digestion when taken as a tea.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis ) – A

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) –

great tea or tincture for nervous system distress and stomach upset, it is also useful in salves and oils.

Comfrey is recommended for topical use in healing ointments, salves, and poultices.

Oats (Avena sativa and fatua) – These tall, lovely blue-green waving grasses produce

traditional oat seeds whose green, milky tops are most beneficial. Oats are one of the most powerful nerve tonics and are also beneficial for soothing irritated or itchy skin in a bath. Oats can be eaten as a nutritious and restorative meal. Oats can also be grown as a ornamental garden accent.

Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) – A nourishing reproductive tonic high in iron, niacin, and manganese, red raspberry is useful during pregnancy and childbirth and throughout the reproductive years. For more information on herbs for pregnancy and mothering, check out Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health or The Family Herbal.


Angela Cannon-Crothers is a contributing writer to Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine. She is an educator at Herb Haven in Crystal Beach as well as a writer and author. You can visit her website at

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



health & well-being | By Kathy Sena

Health Notes breastfeeding program for parents of premature babies goes online


pproximately 50,000 premature babies – weighing less than three

pounds – are born in the U.S. each year. These fragile newborns need high-quality nutrition, so the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Health System developed the Supporting Premature Infant Nutrition (SPIN) program to help mothers produce sufficient breast milk for their premature infants. Now this program, with its educational videos, is available for free at

prenatal diagnosis for clef lip and clef palate now possible


ffecting more than 7,000 U.S. babies each year, cleft lip and/or cleft

palate are the second most common birth defect, the cause of which continues to mystify researchers despite growing evidence of a complex interplay of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors.


"Human breast milk provides several benefits for our most vulnerable population of patients, including an increase in I.Q., stronger brain growth and a decreased rate of infection and intestinal complications, (such as) necrotizing enterocolitis, which dropped from a rate of 6 percent to under 2 percent with the SPIN program," says Lisa Stellwagen, M.D., lactation director for the program. Producing milk also has health benefits for new mothers, including reducing blood loss after delivery and decreasing the risk for diabetes, stroke, and breast and ovarian cancers, Stellwagen adds. With a new website and online educational videos, SPIN is ready to broaden its awareness to mothers, fathers and families beyond the walls of UCSD Health System. The site has a variety of patient resources, such as pumping log sheets, lactation research and links to helpful publications. "Our online tools allow mothers to learn about our program and follow the steps at their own convenience. Since not all hospitals will let mothers and their premature babies have skin-to-skin contact, the videos will also serve as a teaching model for other health institutions and patients," says Stellwagen.

The number of premature babies who receive their mother's milk when they go home from UCSD Health System's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has increased 15 percent since the SPIN program launched in 2008. One mother, Kimberly Kaelin, gave birth to twins at UCSD Health System at 25 weeks gestation. Riley and Jack weighed a little more than a pound each and lived in the NICU for six months. "When my twins were born, I could fit my wedding ring around their arms. They were so tiny my husband and I were scared to touch or hold them," says Kaelin. "The SPIN program not only educated us as parents of premature babies, but it gave Riley and Jack life by showing me how to breastfeed them. I suddenly didn't feel helpless anymore."

Barring ways to prevent these malformations in the first place, timely and appropriate treatment becomes critical, say experts from the Cleft & Craniofacial Clinic at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, which treats more than 650 cleft patients each year. The key to such success, experts say, lies in prenatal diagnosis, early surgery and a carefully synchronized treatment by a team of specialists. "Prompt surgery and treatment by a multi-disciplinary team can ensure normal

appearance and function for nearly all babies born with cleft lip or palate," says pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon Richard Redett, M.D., co-director of the cleft clinic at Hopkins Children's. Prenatal ultrasounds can pick up the majority of cases. Physicians should counsel parents on what to expect as soon as the diagnosis is made and before the baby is born, Redett says. This will give parents time to prepare emotionally and will allow physi-

cians to devise an optimal treatment plan with the parents. Research has shown that early surgical repair ensures proper speech development. The optimal window for surgery is by 12 months of age, Redett says. Early surgery provides a much-needed foundation for success, but it is not a silver bullet, he cautions. Post-surgical treatment is critical and should involve ear-nose-throat specialists, speech therapists, pediatric orthodontists and psychologists to best ensure a child's normal development. Cleft lip and cleft palate occur in the first trimester of pregnancy when the roof of the mouth fails to fuse properly and can be caused by either inherited or new genetic mutations. A 2010 study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins, including Redett, identified two genes that may be responsible for the development of oral clefts. Their work in this area continues. Hopkins experts offer the following tips to help prevent oral clefts: • Women planning to become pregnant should take 400 micrograms of folic acid each day. The supplement reduces the risk of neural-tube defects such as spina bifida, and researchers believe it may also help reduce the risk of other birth defects, including oral clefts. • Pregnant women should not smoke and should avoid secondhand smoke. • Pregnant women should tell their physicians about any prescription and over-the-counter medications they are taking because certain medicines can cause birth defects or increase the risk of birth defects. • Discuss with your physician the need for a genetic workup if you have family members with cleft lip/cleft palate, as these conditions tend to occur either as stand-alone disorders or as symptoms signaling a complex genetic syndrome that affects several organs and systems. One in 940 babies is born with cleft lip with or without cleft palate, and one in 1,500 is born with cleft palate, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

infants aren't exempt from obesity epidemic


esearchers have found, in a new study, that obesity might begin in babies as young as nine months old.

"With the consistent evidence that the percentage of overweight children has steadily increased over the past decade, we weren't surprised by the prevalence rates we found in our study; but we were surprised the trend began at such a young age," says lead study author Brian Moss, Ph.D. from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. The new study used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort to analyze the early weight of 16,400 U.S. children born in 2001. Of these, 8,900 were nine months old and 7,500 were two years old. Rochester Baby Guide 2011


The researchers found that 31.9 percent of babies at nine months and 34.3 percent at two years of age were either at risk or obese. The study also found that children who were Hispanic and from lower-income families were at greater risk of being obese than White children, while Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders had lower risk. Female children were at lower risk for obesity than males. "Being in an undesirable weight category at nine months subsequently predisposed children to remain in a less-desirable weight category," says Moss, whose study results were published recently in the American Journal of Health Promotion. Childhood-obesity expert Joyce Lee, M.D., an assistant professor in pediatric endocrinology and health services research at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, confirmed that obesity is indeed becoming a problem in increasingly younger children. "At younger ages, it is critical for parents to watch their child's nutritional intake," Lee says. "There is no approved 'diet' for children that young, so parents should discuss with their child's healthcare provider healthy ways to feed their child."


too-early elective deliveries becoming a worrisome trend, doctors say


edical experts point to a disturbing trend of expectant mothers who are

choosing to deliver their babies for nonmedical reasons before 39 weeks of pregnancy. Research published recently in the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology reveals just how prevalent elective deliveries are in the United States. In that study of 7,804 women giving birth for the first time, labor was induced in 43.6 percent of the women, and 39.9 percent of those were elective inductions.

A startling number of first-time mothers – 92 percent – believe it's safe to deliver a baby before 39 weeks, according to a recent UnitedHealthcare survey of 650 insured, first-time mothers. Only eight percent of women surveyed accurately identi-

fied 39 to 40 weeks as being the earliest point that it is safe to deliver the baby given no other medical complications requiring early delivery. Nearly 41 percent of women believed that 37 to 38 weeks is

The results of recent studies stress the “ importance of educating expectant mothers on the risks associated with elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks. These early-term births can result in the newborn's admission to the neonatal intensive care unit, which increases the baby's hospital stay and health risks" — Tina Groat, M.D. and National Medical Director for Women's Health at UnitedHealthcare

the earliest point, while more than half the women surveyed chose 34 to 36 weeks. "Unfortunately, many expectant mothers are not aware of the risks associated with early elective C-sections and induced labor. Expectant mothers may believe that at 36 weeks they have completed their nine months of pregnancy, but Mother Nature's formula for healthy babies is actually 40 weeks," says Tina Groat, M.D. and National Medical Director for Women's Health at UnitedHealthcare. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that babies born electively by C-section at 37 weeks were twice as likely to have health problems, usually respiratory in nature, than babies born at 39 weeks or later. Infants delivered pre-term are at an increased risk of developing chronic lung disease, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and behavioral problems. "The results of recent studies stress the importance of educating expectant mothers on the risks associated with elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks. These early-term births can result in the newborn's admission to the neonatal intensive care unit, which increases the baby's hospital stay and health risks," Groat says. "Although the last few weeks of pregnancy can often be physically uncomfortable, expectant parents should take the opportunity to learn just how important these weeks are for their baby's development and health," Groat says. "Women should talk with their doctors about the best time to deliver and the risks of putting convenience before safety."


Kathy Sena is a freelance journalist specializing in health and parenting issues and is the mother of a 15-year-old son. Visit her blog at

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pediatrician, child care provider, party entertainer, speech therapist, summer program, dance instructor, dentist, ....”

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By Dr. Neil Herendeen

| health & well-being


Finding Dr. Right how to choose a primary care provider


irst-time parents have so many decisions to make and often can get overwhelmed with

frequently in the first two years, so think about how a trip to the doctor will fit into your daily routine.

well-meaning advice. One of those

Personal Attributes

decisions is choosing a primary care

Is your pediatrician someone with whom you feel comfortable talking? Is there a nurse practitioner available to discuss your concerns and fears? These qualities are best examined with a personal interview. Most offices welcome new parents with a prenatal interview, but be sure to ask if there is a charge for this consultation.

provider (PCP) for your baby. We are fortunate in Rochester to have many outstanding pediatricians, family medicine providers and nurse practitioners in our community. With so many good healthcare options to choose from, your decision may come down to convenience, availability and compatibility.

Most commonly, parents choose their child's pediatrician during the last trimester in preparation for their child's birth. It is important to solicit friends and family for recommendations regarding a pediatric office since they know your personality traits and might be best at matching you with a practice that would suit you well. Here are factors you should take into account when making your decision.

Availability and Convenience Not all practices are accepting new patients and some will only take patients from a specific geographic location, so make sure the office is taking new patients before you get your heart set one PCP. If you grew up in the area and liked your pediatrician, call and ask if she would care for your new baby as well. Pediatricians love to continue their relationships with the next generations in families. (He might even share a story or two with your child about what Daddy was like when he was growing up.) Look in your neighborhood or near your workplace or childcare center. You will be seeing your pediatrician

Office Staff A well-run office begins with a courteous voice when you first call for an appointment and ends with billing staff that can answer your insurance questions. Does your pediatrician's office welcome your call, provide information, and respond in a compassionate manner? Try to understand the triage system for acute and routine concerns. Solo practitioners will have a much different feel than a large practice, but you might be trading off services that the large office can provide like a lactation consultant or extended evening and weekend appointments.

Waiting Times for Appointments Most local providers make time to see children for illness concerns on the same day that you call. On the good side, this means that you will see a provider you know and trust in Rochester Baby Guide 2011


both good times and bad. On the down side, this may mean you have to wait for your appointment when the provider is running behind during the illness seasons. If you hate waiting, ask the secretary at the front desk what the average wait times are to see the doctor or what time of day you should schedule your appointment to minimize the wait.

Credentials Credentials (including where the physician was trained) tend not to predict much when it comes to parent satisfaction. Knowing where your provider trained is less important than knowing their communication style and personality. The training process after college to become a pediatrician includes four years of medical school along with three years of pediatric residency training. She must then pass a thorough examination of pediatrics in order to be "board certified." Pediatric nurse practitioners must complete a Masters degree in nursing with clinical experience focused on caring for children and families. With a life-long commitment to keeping up on the latest medical knowledge, providers must complete at least 50 hours of continuing medical education each year. Teaching is what pediatrics is all about. Pediatricians help teach parents how to care for their children, teach children how to care for themselves, teach communities how to keep children safe and maximize their development, and teach the next generation of medical providers that how you do it is as important as what you do. Since all of you can remember a favorite teacher when you were growing up, think about the attributes of that teacher and use them to pick your primary care provider. Initially, you may not think that you want student doctors involved in your child's care; however, the best pediatricians are often sought out by the medical school because they are the best teachers. Your pediatrician will also tell you that having medical students and pediatric residents in their office keeps them stimulated and on top of the latest advancements in medicine. Try not to get too anxious over the decision. Just like that paint color you picked for the baby's room, it will either be perfect, grow on you with time, or drive you crazy, at which point you can make a more experienced choice next time.


Dr. Neil Herendeen is Director of Pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital and is the Medical Consultant for 292-BABY.


Rochester Baby Guide 2011



education & development |

By Tawn R. Feeney

Baby Talk understanding early communication with your infant & baby


hen do babies start to communicate? The answer is: right from the start! From that first lusty cry of a

newborn, the baby is telling you "Here I am! I'm the new person in the room! I need you!" From that day forward the little guy or gal is continuously searching for ways to connect with you through his various means of communication. Yes, those first cries are reflexive, not intentional, but when they get responded to and needs are met, the feedback to the child tells her, "You are an

effective communicator. Keep it up!"

Babies' brains crave feedback. Over time, this kind of feedback forms stronger and stronger associations that become efficient neural pathways. So within a few months, the baby learns how to cry intentionally: "If I cry, I will get what I need right now!" And not only that, the baby learns how to cry and fuss in different ways so Mom and Dad know exactly what Junior is trying to say: "I'm wet, change me… I'm bored, entertain me… I'm hungry, feed me!" Crying in different ways is not the only way that babies communicate. At only a few weeks of age, the little one begins to melt all the hearts around him with his cute smile. No, it is not gas! It is a real smile, but like his crying at first, it is reflexive. The smile is not for the purpose of getting the baby's biological needs met. The smile is the baby's first indication that she wants to belong and connect with you. The reaction that caretakers give to her smile is usually animation, joy, and often


an excited verbal response like "Oh! Look, she's smiling!" The tone of voice and happy look on your face tells the baby "You are welcome here! We love having you around!" Human beings are hard-wired to seek a strong bond with those around them. With infants, it is clear that bonding doesn't just come from the parents directed to the child; the baby is naturally endowed with wonderful ways to bring out those bonding instincts from Mom and Dad. And babies can tell you when they have had enough of a good thing, simply by looking away. Eye contact is another powerful way of strengthening the bond between the infant and caregivers. Another way that human beings are hard-wired to communicate with babies is verbally. How do we talk with babies? It is very difficult to talk to a baby in the same way as we would talk with an adult. When we see a baby almost all of us engage in

"parentese" without even realizing it. What is that? It is the highly inflected, almost musical speech that we automatically use with babies. Some call it "baby talk." “Parentese” is different from other types of speech in that it uses a slower rate, a wider range of pitches from syllable to syllable, more pauses, greater repetition of words, and sustained eye-contact with the listener – the baby. It may sound something like, "Helloooo! YOU are such an a-DOR-able little GUY! Look at those big…blue…eyes!" Why does this happen? It is because when we speak this way, the baby's brain can more easily take in the speech-sound characteristics of the language. And because it is musical, it stimulates both sides of the brain at once. As adults we talk like this with babies automatically because we were meant to do so. And researchers have found that "parentese" is a universal language. They have listened to recordings of adults and older children talking with

babies from every continent, speaking many different languages, and they found that all the speakers used this musical way of talking with babies. So, don't worry about using "baby talk" with the littlest ones, it is what they are meant to hear! Up until a few months of age, babies from all over the world sound the same, producing un-differentiated sounds. Then, after hearing the language of her caregivers for several months, the baby's sounds begin to share some of the characteristics of that language. In this way, a baby learning Dutch will use syllables that sound more similar to Dutch than Swahili or Cantonese. These early months are critical for children to learn the syllable shapes, speech sounds and word boundaries of her language. If she has many ear infections during this time, particularly if they come one after another without let up, the resulting partial hearing loss can interfere with the child learning the sounds of her language, and other skills associated with spoken language processing. A speech or language delay may be the result. Sometime between the ages of 9 and 15 months, parents often report that their baby is starting to talk. However, it is likely that these first words are in the ears of the parents as much as in the mouths of the babies. That is, the baby is playing with the sounds of his language as he babbles, "mamama‌.dadada." A parent who is eagerly awaiting those first words may easily interpret them and respond accordingly: "Wow! Listen to Junior! He just called me 'Dada'!" But guess what? Responding to those sounds as if they were words gives the little one the feedback that his brain is eager to snatch: "When I make those 'dada' sounds I can get a great big reaction from Dad! I think I'll try that again! "DADADA!" So, eventually the child's first word is born. A word is the intentional use of sounds that the community around us recognizes as having a certain meaning. When the baby starts to use words with intention, true language has begun. Yes, babies are innately endowed with a myriad of ways to communicate – crying, engaging in eye contact, smiling, cooing, reaching and later, pointing and gesturing. But it is through our responses to the infant's initiations that speech sounds are gradually shaped, intentions are created, and the baby begins to use language that everyone can understand.


Tawn R. Feeney, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a SpeechLanguage Pathologist at Rochester Hearing and Speech Center, Inc.

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



education & development | By Nancy Stanton Multer

The Heart Connection how steady beat contributes to brain development & learning


very new mother is well aware of her infant's response to the sound of her voice, and it gives her great joy! But a mother's voice is not the only familiar sound to a newborn. After nine months together, the sound and

feel of your beating heart continues to provide calm and comfort for your infant. And your baby's response to that steady beat is of major significance.

The sound and feel of the steady beat of your heart not only gives your infant a sense of security and well being, but it also stimulates neurological connections in his brain. This steady beat is reflected in your lullaby, the motion of your rocking, and your soothing touch. It is also repeated in your baby's own sucking movements. Your mutual awareness and pleasure of these experiences may seem like a small factor. But the truth is that this phenomenon of steady beat is a huge building block in the development of your child's brain. It affects both well-being and learning. And it has the power to affect your child's abilities to cooperate and self-regulate. Studies based on current brain research validate what our grandmothers and great-grandmothers knew intuitively about the importance of steady beat and music in our lives. The steady beat of music,


born of the steady beat of our own hearts, is a truly powerful catalyst for brain development and learning. The elders of indigenous cultures around the world have always known this. Think of the sound of ceremonial drums and shakers, these are the very tools that become toys for learning as you play with your baby. According to Phyllis S. Weikert of the High-Scope Educational Research Foundation, "Steady beat is the consistent, repetitive pulse within every rhyme, song, chant, and piece of music. Steady beat is felt, not seen or heard." She adds that it's "an organizer for a child, purposeful and calming. Research shows a positive correlation of steady beat to reading, vocabulary, math, music and physical coordination."

Engagement in steady beat experiences contributes to a child's ability to concentrate, to understand space and distance, and to have better control of physical movements. Engagement in steady beat experiences contributes to a child's ability to concentrate, to understand space and distance, and to have better control of physical movements. Recent research also indicates that the independent skill of steady beat translates into a child being less aggressive. However, it is a skill that is not maintained without constant reinforcement. Although your baby is now totally immersed in the steady beat of your singing, rocking, and the beat of your heart, this connection does not last without concentrated support. And when your growing toddler spontaneously moves and "dances" to the beat of music, this is not the result of a learned skill or talent. A toddler's physical response to steady beat is

an innate skill that must continue to be reinforced for it to last. But reinforcement is not as hard as it may seem. You can take an active role in your baby's brain development and support his skills for learning. Besides cuddling, feeding and rocking, you can sing to him, read to him, recite nursery rhymes and make up simple chants about daily happenings. Use your own voice (rather than relying on recordings); use lots of repetition, and play with variations. Sing high, sing low. Sing fast, sing slow. Sing with a big voice, sing with a whisper. Apply these variations to other sounds, as well. As your baby gets older, give him every opportunity to make music with simple "shakers" and "drums" you create yourself. Research other "percussion toys" like shaker eggs, triangles, chimes, and tambourines that you can purchase, or request as gifts for you and your baby. Singing, making music, and responding to music are all whole brain experiences. When both sides of the brain are active at the same time, it increases our potential for engaged learning. Continue to support your baby's innate steady beat, and you will be supporting his healthy brain development and her potential for learning for years to come!


Nancy Stanton Multer is an early childhood specialist at Engaging Young Learner. She works with area child care centers, Head Starts, and the RCSD to provide professional development for early childhood educators and parenting information. Her work focuses on the connection between movement and learning, with an emphasis on gender brain differences.

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



going green | By Sinea Pies

Cloth Diapers why cloth is good for your baby & the environment


hose who remember cloth diapers of the past think of smelly, disgusting, diaper-rash-giving white gauze diapers with ducky-faced diaper pins that occasionally prick mother,

or baby, or both. Then, the disposable diaper came on the scene. Parents of newborns thought it was heaven! Use once; throw away.


umuch more comfortable for

COMFORT: Cloth diapers are

baby than disposable. In addition, parents often change their baby more often when it's a cloth diaper, which is better for baby and can serve as incentive to start potty training a bit sooner, too.


HEALTH & ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY: Cloth diapers are chemical-free. The chemicals used in disposable diapers to promote absorption and dryness contain Dioxin, a carcinogenic listed high on the list by the EPA as a toxic and cancer-causing chemical. In addition, cloth diapers are re-usable and, as a result, help protect the environment. When your baby no longer needs them, save them for your next baby, gift them to a friend or even sell them on Ebay. They won't ever end up in a landfill.

wsavings when using cloth dia-

ECONOMICAL: There are huge

pers instead of disposables – to the tune of $50-$100 per month.


But disposable diapers are expensive and hazardous to the environment – and possibly baby. What would you do for the most important arrival of your life? Anything! That little bundle of joy becomes your number one priority, even before birth. You nurture. You protect. You plan. You create the most loving, cushioned environment possible. It has to be perfect. Everything becomes a priority for baby's arrival, even diapers. So, a new wave of thinking began. How can we deliver comfortable, easy-touse, environment-loving, baby-protecting diapers? Today's version of the cloth diaper not only became the answer, it became the rage. Today there are more choices than ever before and, when talking about comfort and protection, the new cloth diapers rank #1. They are cute, decorative, soft and cushiony. The initial investment is a little pricey (about $15-$18 per diaper) but the overall savings is great. You can save $800 to $1000, or even more, in just the first year. Depending on when potty training is complete, that's at least $2000 saved on diapers for one baby alone. Mothers-to-be are now requesting cloth diapers on their baby shower reg-

We strongly encourage parents to try out a “ variety of diapers to figure out what works best for them and their baby."

— Heather Holt, owner of Luvaboos

istry and expectant couples are attending classes on how to use them. Yes, you read right, diapering lessons are given, not because they are difficult to use but, on the contrary, because the concept is so new. Luvaboos, a local family-run establishment in Rochester, has dedicated much of their business to the sale of cloth diapers and to diaper education. They offer a Cloth Diapering 101 class for expectant parents to learn the ins-andouts of the various kinds of diapers and

PICK YOUR STYLE FLAT DIAPERS The old fashioned, cotton gauze rectangular style. It requires a pin or Snapis to fasten. This style is almost non-existent, now, due to lack of demand. PRE-FOLD DIAPERS WITH A COVER The least expensive version at $2 or $3 per diaper. Cost for the cover will be $5-$25. A small drawback to this style is that it takes more know-how to put them on. ALL-IN ONE This one goes on just like a disposable but is washable and, therefore, reusable. Average price is $17.99 per diaper. This style is particularly popular with the dads. POCKET WITH INSERT Like the All-in-One has the convenience of a disposable diaper. The pocket-with insert allows you to adjust absorbency.

assorted styles that are available and, most importantly, show parents how to use them. If this is going to be a parent's first experience with cloth diapers, they suggest that parents do not invest a lot of money in any one type until they've tried several types. "We strongly encourage parents to try out a variety of diapers to figure out what works best for them and their baby," says Heather Holt, owner of Luvaboos. "What might SEEM like the best in theory may not be their favorite in practice." For this reason, Luvaboos offers a "Diaper Trial" program. This program is kind of like buying diaper insurance. Parents pay for the privilege of testing out every kind of diaper they want to, in any quantity. Because they paid the additional $15 to be in the program, they can return any of them that didn't work out. "The two week trial period begins AFTER the baby is born," Heather explains. "You can wash and use them for 2 weeks to figure out what you like best. At the end of two weeks, you simply return the ones you weren't crazy about for store credit and stock up on your favorites." Many parents have found it extremely valuable to use the trial plan when choosing the best system for their needs.

"The Poop" on Cleaning Them Cloth diapers are easy to clean. Just drop the waste in the toilet and put the diaper insert into a dry pail. When you have enough for a full load of laundry, tip the contents of the pail into your washing machine. Do a presoak or rinse without detergent, first, and then wash with a gentle soap. Diapering doesn't last forever but wise planning for this brief period in your family's life can make it a much happier experience for you and your baby.


Sinea Pies is a Rochester native and a contributing writer to Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine and, now, Rochester Baby 2011. Her articles often appear on and Visit her website Ducks 'n a Row at Rochester Baby Guide 2011



parent to parent | By Vicki Schultz

From Bovine to Believer


o talking," I gasped from my position on the birthing suite floor, my belly hanging like an udder between my hands and knees. After 30 hours of un-medicated labor, I was far from self-

conscious of my bovine stature. Gravity was my friend; it pulled the baby away from my spine and made the contractions bearable. Barely.

Come out, baby. Oh please come out. My mantra was failing me, and my triumvirate of coaches – my husband, best friend, and doula – were talking among themselves. I knew a forbidden phrase that would get their attention, and I was no longer afraid to use it. "I need something to take the edge off. Now." They looked at me, eyebrows raised, mouths ajar. My husband whipped out the handy coaching binder I now regretted making for him and flipped to the page entitled: READ THIS TO ME IF I SAY I WANT DRUGS. Other headings included: RELAXATION TECHNIQUES, VISUALIZATION IDEAS, and IN CASE OF BACK LABOR (which failed to mention my tried-and-true cow pose-stupid binder). "Do you want me to read this to you?" my husband asked. Bless him, bless him, for giving me the chance to say “no,” which I did – a bit too loudly. My instincts had proven more reliable than any manual, and they were telling me if I didn't rest soon, I wouldn't have the strength to push my baby out – if and when that time ever came. I envied the new moms whose babies I'd heard crying like fierce kittens in other parts of the ward. When would my baby wail with such defiance upon entering this strange, cold world? When would I get to soothe him with my warmth and my milk? When would I feel such ecstatic relief ?


The answer: One dose of Nubain, six more hours of labor, and 118 just-onemore-pushes later, my son, Skyler, came out punching and kicking with bluish arms and legs. Every time he sucked air into his lungs, he wailed it back out again as if hating the taste. I nestled him against my bare skin, and he pinked up, calming by degrees. "This isn't so bad," I imagined him thinking. "And I'm awfully tired. I guess I could sleep here." He must have recognized my voice, my scent, and I recognized him, too. He looked like my husband. My coaches were all crying, but not me. I was too ecstatic. Too relieved. Or maybe my body was just saving up its saline fluids for the deluge ahead. Over the next few weeks I cried – a lot – whenever I looked at my son. My heart swelled to dangerous proportions, struggling to accommodate some behemoth new emotion. It was a painful kind of love. An "I'm not worthy" kind of love. An "If I lost you I could not possibly go on" kind of love. I felt as if I'd been given an advance on my lifetime's allotment of happiness, an amount I could never repay, much less deserve. And if I was deemed unworthy, would the source of my happiness be reclaimed as collateral? Would some illness or injury take my child while I stood by, powerless to save him? Such questions tormented my hormone-riddled brain, but I had no handy binder to consult for answers, no dose of

“One dose of Nubain, six more hours of labor, and 118 just-one-more-pushes later, my son, Skyler, came out punching and kicking with bluish arms and legs.”

Nubain to take the edge off my doubt. All I could do was cry. Then my instincts took over, as they had during labor, whispering reason back into my mind: You are the one Skyler reaches for when he cries. You satisfy his needs and soothe him to sleep. You would give your life to protect him. He is lucky to have you, too. Slowly, I started to believe it. So I stopped crying. Stopped questioning. Stopped holding back any part of myself from the son I adored. I let that dangerous new love cocoon me, and I emerged a new species: a mom.


Vicki Schultz lives with her husband and two young sons in West Henrietta, NY. She is a member of Rochester Area Children's Writer's and Illustrators.

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



By Anne Barker

| child care


Choosing Child Care how to select a program for your infant or toddler


elcoming a new baby into your household is a wonderfully exciting event. Those first weeks are full of discoveries. What does each cry mean? How does

he like to be held? How is she soothed and settled for sleep? Selecting and settling in with a child care provider or program is similar. It is a learning process. When choosing among potential

providers there is a lot of information to gather and many factors to consider.

Who Will be Caring for My Baby? Family child care is based on a "family model" where one primary caregiver is in charge of a group of children of mixed ages. The child can remain with the caregiver for up to five or more years depending on the age range the family child care provider serves. New York State regulations for family child care providers stipulate no more than two children under two years of age; the provider will often care for 3-5 older children. Another option is a child care center. Child care center classrooms have a Lead Teacher and an Assistant for each group of 8 babies. Child care center regulations specify a maximum of 4 infants per caregiver. For toddlers (children 18 months up to 3 years) the ratio is one caregiver per five children and a maximum of 10-12 in the classroom. It is important that there is consistency with staff. Infants and young children thrive when they form an attachment and bond with those caring for them. Best practices for providing high quality infant care include implementing a primary caregiver model where a specific adult forms a stronger attachment with a small group of infants and their families, and continuous care when infants and

their caregivers remain together into the toddler years (18 months-3 years) or older.

What Type of Training Does the Child Care Provider Have? Because brain development during the first three years of life is critically important for future growth and development, caregivers should receive ongoing training and education in infant/toddler development, facilitating growth and learning, health and safety practices for young children, and building relationships with families.

What is the Process for Interviewing and Hiring the Caregiver? When selecting a family child care provider, you are doing the interviewing and hiring. When selecting a child care center, you will be selecting a program where the Director is responsible for the staff hiring process. In both cases, parents

should start the process by making an appointment to visit and tour the home or facility. Scheduled first visits allow the program to have a representative available to give the prospective client full attention. Information on questions to ask and what to look for when visiting a center or provider are available at and at Referrals from families or friends currently using a child care provider can be helpful as a starting point. Ask the provider if it is possible for you to talk with one or two families who are currently using or previously used the center. Ask if you may make an unanRochester Baby Guide 2011


nounced visit at a future time. When centers hire child care staff they conduct an in-person interview, do reference checks and obtain clearance from the NYS child abuse registry and a criminal conviction check. NYS registered family child care providers are also required to obtain the same clearances.

An Extension of Your Home The first weeks and months of child care are all about developing relationships. Relationships between parents and the caregiver, and relationships between the infant and the caregiver are emerging. Caregivers and parents share a precious bond. The strongest relationships are those where parents and caregivers respect and share values, beliefs and cultures. Parents should be comfortable sharing information and preferences for their child and caregivers should be respectful of parents as those who know their child best. Together they form a partnership.


Anne Barker, M.S. is the Director of the Richard M. Guon Child Care Center at Monroe Community College.


Babies’ brains won’t grow by themselves.

Sing to your baby.

Talk to your baby. Play with your baby.



Space donated to the Ad Council as a public service of this publication. ©2011 Ad Council Rochester. All rights reserved.

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



child care

Nurturing Communities an innovative child care model designed & piloted in rochester


n Rochester there is a common challenge facing many young mothers growing up in poverty – how to make a better life for themselves and their children. The Nurturing Communities Program at Rochester Childfirst Network is

assisting a group of young mothers as they navigate many complex systems – enrolling in college, caring for their baby's physical and developmental needs, and making sure they have adequate food and shelter. Several years in the making, this innovative, collaborative effort between Rochester Childfirst Network (RCN), Jim Coffey (founder of 292-BABY), Monroe Community College, and Golisano Children's Hospital is celebrating the completion of the first year of a 3-year pilot program.

Research shows us that 75% of brain growth occurs before the age of five, with 85% of social skills, vocabulary and intellect also developing at this very early age. Nurturing Communities is designed to maximize the opportunity for babies to develop early literacy skills, including vocabulary and problem solving, while forming "secure attachments" with their mothers by providing the child with a strong social and emotional foundation in the first years of life. Many support the view that patterns of "secure attachment" are frequently transmitted from generation to generation. fifty years of attachment research concludes that for children to thrive, they need to form a secure attachment with at least one adult who is knowledgeable about child development and committed longterm to that child's well-being. An attachment relationship is a strong emotional bond with a caring adult who is part of the child's everyday life. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human


This Program has made me actually have goals; it has made me

stay on track and focused on what is really important. My motivation is knowing I am part of something wonderful that will benefit me and my children now and in the future.” — Alicia, a Nurturing Communities mother

Services, securely attached children have more flexibility in processing current information and in responding appropriately in new situations and relationships. Nurturing Communities is a costeffective and unique program which focuses on the development of the child as well as the mother. It provides experiential training at a licensed child care center and offers multiple formal educational opportunities for the moms. The babies receive

expert child care by RCN staff, volunteers and participating mothers. These young mothers take care of their own babies and the babies of other mothers who are in class. The program allows them to be paid for the time spent caring for their babies while affording them the opportunity to continue their education. The educational/training component helps move these young mothers towards employment in the field of child care. With these marketable skills, they increase their chances of qualifying for a greater range of positions. With 3 years of RCN work experience and their new certificate and/or degree, they qualify for a position in the child care field. Currently, these moms have several educational options depending on their goals. They may enroll for their GED, Child Development Associates credential (CDA), and/or an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Early Care and Education through a partnership with MCC. Nurturing Communities is a licensed child care center managed by Rochester Childfirst Network. It has the capacity to care for up to 16 babies, and to work with up to 10 mothers. The center operates from the first floor of the Sibley Building, which also houses MCC's Damon Campus Center. This gives mothers easy access to work at the child care center and to attend classes at MCC. Because they qualify for a Monroe County Vocational-Work Experience Program (V-WEP), they receive support services to manage basic needs such as food and shelter, while getting a small stipend through an MCC work study program. "This Program has made me actually have goals; it has made me stay on track and focused on what is really important. My motivation is knowing I am part of

something wonderful that will benefit me and my children now and in the future," says Alicia, a Nurturing Communities mother. As the Nurturing Communities program begins its second year of three, it has received recognition as a promising and innovative program. Although this program is intense and takes a strong commitment and hard work by the staff mothers, the investment in time and effort is priceless when it comes to the future success of these young women and their children.

More about the founders: Jim Coffey, a Rochester expert in infant and toddler development, first proposed the Nurturing Communities model in partnership with RCN, MCC and Golisano Children's Hospital. MCC's VWEP Placement Office at the downtown Damon Campus works with each mother on an individual basis, supporting them regarding the Work Study Program, course work, or other issues as needed during the program. Nurturing Communities is also partnered with Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong Medical Center, which serves as medical advisor. Jim Coffey, along with several dedicated experts in early education and care, volunteer large amounts of their time at the center and work side-by-side with the moms caring for their babies. This program is grateful for their generosity and dedication. For 154 years, RCN has cared and advocated for children. Today, it reaches over 2,500 children and caregivers each year through accredited programs and leading-edge curricula. Students thrive in a nurturing setting surrounded by children of all abilities and cultures. Through its leadership, its advocacy and innovative direct services to children, RCN knows that quality early education and care is essential for a child to reach his or her full potential. Creating access to early education services in the City of Rochester is crucial to the socio-economic health of our community and is in direct alignment with the mission of Rochester Childfirst Network. More information about RCN and its programs can be accessed at


Rochester Baby Guide 2011



special needs | By Barbara Gorski, M.S.

Developmental Concerns the ins & outs of early intervention


very expectant parent looks forward to those nine months being over with, even if the

pregnancy was without problems. And everyone has the dream of a great future for their baby. But what happens if the birth is a month or two early or there is a problematic delivery and the doctor says the baby is "at risk of developmental delays" or is diagnosed with a disability? Concerns can also come up later on. Everything may seem fine until the baby is not rolling over by 6 months, or the young toddler is not saying any words, or at 18 months is not walking. You see other babies or toddlers who are doing these things and they are much younger. You are concerned. Who can you turn to during this difficult time?

Recent early brain development research continues to validate that early help makes a difference. The Monroe County Early Intervention Program (MCEIP) is available to help you. For those "at risk" situations MCEIP can send you a free Ages and Stages Questionnaire which lists typical skills for babies and toddlers for a specific age. You can compare what you see your child doing with these skills and score your child's development. MCEIP even provides assistance with the scoring and if you have concerns, you can call with ques-


tions about a suspected delay. If a delay is suspected, MCEIP offers a professional screening or playbased evaluation which assesses your child's development in five areas (cognitive, social-emotional, adaptive, communication and physical). If eligibility criteria are met, then an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is created by the parent, evaluator and Initial Service Coordinator; services are then provided to meet the goals established by the parent. The philosophy of the program is to provide information, support and strategies to parents so that they can help enhance their child's development. The most common service providers are speech pathologists, special educators, physical therapists, or occupational therapists. One-on-one services are provided in the child's natural environment – home, a grandparent's house, a child care center, Early Head Start Program, etc. Sometimes the child's needs are great and intensive services are required. A group setting may be recommended for those children. At the initial IFSP meeting, the parent chooses an Ongoing Service Coordinator who will monitor the services,

arrange for any additional evaluations, arrange for review of the service plan and assist with the child's transition to Preschool Special Education Service as the child approaches age 3. The continuing services are determined by the school district's Committee on Preschool Education (CPSE) which includes the parent. This Committee needs to meet before the child turns 3 in order for a child to continue in MCEIP past age 3. At the meeting, parents determine whether the child should start receiving services immediately after age 3 or continue in MCEIP until the last date that the child is eligible.


Barbara Gorski, M.S. Early Childhood Education is an Early Intervention Supervisor.

For more information or make a referral to the Monroe County Early Intervention Program, call 753-5437. (They prefer to have parents call, but anyone can make a referral as long as the parent does not object.)

From diapers to diplomas... Genesee Valley & Rochester Area Parent is the area’s best resource, providing expert advice, stories on parenting trends and issues, local resources, calendar of family-friendly events and numerous ways for parents to enrich their experience raising the next generation. Find us monthly in print and online 24/7.

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



community resources | By Jim Coffey

292-Baby a resource for parents & families


ongratulations! Whether or not this is your first child, the experience will most likely transform you, as well as your infant, in ways you might never have expected. While the challenges are many, scores of parents describe the experi-

ence as the most fulfilling in their lives.

One challenge many parents have identified is a sense of isolation at home with their babies; they wish that they could more easily access information about their child's development during the first three critical years of life. Our community has responded to those needs and we are proud to introduce you to "292-BABY," the nation's first communitywide, interactive, communication network designed to serve you, the parents and care-givers of infants and toddlers. Administered by Monroe Community College with 15 community partners, we have connected the telephone, television and internet to each other to create one seamless system that you can access in several ways. Through 292-BABY, you can reduce isolation and access important information when you need it. All services are free and here's how each of the parts work:



292-BABY WEBSITE Visit to access more than 100 videos that are now available 24/7 to watch whenever you want to watch. We're proud to offer the largest selection of educational videos for early childhood in the world! The videos are arranged by developmental stages as well as interest areas such as: breastfeeding, adoption, immunizations, lead poisoning, childhood obesity and more. In addition, there is the Early Educators' page where information about training and community resources for those working in the fields of early child care and education can be found.

292-BABY TELEPHONE 292-BABY (292-2229) is a number you can call to talk free to a registered nurse on any NON-EMERGENCY issue you have. From head to toe, whether the issue is breastfeeding your baby or advice concerning your finicky-eating two-year old, the nurses are happy to "talk babies" with you. In fact they love it! Even if you just need to know whether or not you should call your pediatrician, don't hesitate to call seven days a week from 7 am to midnight. The service is available in Spanish during normal weekday, working hours.

292-BABY produced more than 100 educational videos, featuring local and national experts, in a "television talk-show" format called Parent Talk. Focusing on a wide variety of important issues in early childhood, the series is replayed Monday through Friday evenings from 9-10 pm on Cable Channel 4. The videos are organized according to developmental stages so that Monday's programming focuses on pregnancy and the first three months of life; Tuesday's focus is from three to 12 months; Wednesday's focus from 12 to 24 months; Thursday's focus from 24 to 36+ months; and Friday's programming introduces you to a variety of community resources. (These videos are now all available on our website.) Additional programming is available from 8-9 pm, Monday through Friday, also on Cable Channel 4. Monday evenings feature a show on breastfeeding. Dr. Ruth Lawrence, one of the nation's foremost authorities on breast-

feeding, has been featured in three of them. Tuesday evenings at 8 pm, the focus is on adoption, while Wednesday through Friday evenings concentrate on a variety of early childhood issues. Please write to with any suggestions or feedback you may have. While the three components can operate independently, they are actually connected. For example, you may be watching one of our videos on television that deals with the introduction of solid foods to four-month olds and you are trying to decide if the time is right for you and your baby. You can call 292-BABY (292-2229) and talk free with a registered nurse who will make sure you have all the vital information needed for an informed decision. At you can watch the show. Maybe you know someone who would want the information found in the video that is on the website. You can use your mouse to highlight the link on the website, copy it and paste it into an email and send it to that person. All they need to do is click on the link and the video will play on their computer. Please provide feedback on the "survey" page and be sure to join. All you need is a valid email address. 292BABY is a non-profit, educational program and, as such, does NOT share any information with any outside agency. We are grateful to all of the community's early childhood professionals who have donated their time and expertise free of charge to create the Parent Talk series. (If you wish to support us financially, please go to our home page at and click on the "Support 292-BABY" icon.) It is the goal of the 292-BABY network to make your experience with your baby as rich and rewarding as it can be. Please let us know how we can serve you!

292-BABY TV PROGRAMMING: 8pm-9pm on Time Warner Cable Channel 4. Monday: Focus on breastfeeding. Dr. Ruth Lawrence, one of the nation's foremost authorities on breastfeeding, has been featured in three of them. Tuesday: Focus on adoption. Wednesday-Friday: A variety of programming focusing on early childhood.

THE “PARENT TALK” LINE-UP: “Parent Talk” airs daily from 9pm-10pm on Time Warner Cable Channel 4. Monday: Pregnancy and the first three months of life Tuesday: 3 to 12 months Wednesday: 12 to 24 months Thursday: 24 to 36+ months Friday: Community resources


Jim Coffey is the Founder of 292-BABY and a Professor of Communication at Monroe Community College.

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Rochester Baby Guide 2011


*Adoption Resources community resources

Adoption Resource Network at Hillside Children’s Center 100 Metro Park., Rochester 14623 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350-2500 Jewish Family Services of Rochester, Inc. 441 East Ave., Rochester 14607 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 461-0110 ................................................................................................................

Breastfeeding Highland Hospital Breast Pump Rentals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341-0519 Operates in conjunction with Highland Hospital Lactation Education services. Highland Hospital Lactation Consultant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341-6808 Emergency pregnancy support services. Pregnancy tests, non-judgmental counseling, follow-up, material assistance, and referrals. Highland Hospital Center for Women 1000 South Ave., Rochester 14620 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 473-2229 or . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271-4636 Highland Hospital Childbirth Classes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 473-2229 Infertility Focus P.O. Box 92481, Rochester 14692 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .385-1628 Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region 114 University Ave., Rochester 14605 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 866-600-6886 A non-profit organization that provides education and reproductive health-care services regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, disability or economic circumstances. Rochester General Childbirth Education Program 1425 Portland Ave., 14621 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 922-5800 Rochester General Hospital offers a modern Birthing Center, outstanding pediatric services and leading-edge, minimally invasive OB/GYN procedures.

Highland Hospital Mother’s Help Line. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341-8021 La Leche League Lifeline. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275-5151 Call Lifeline for your local chapter. Go to for area meeting times and other information. Rochester General Lactation Consultant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 922-LINK (-5465) URMC Breastfeeding Hotline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275-9575 (Noon-1 p.m. M-W-F) The Specialty Shop at Strong Memorial Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273-1276 (10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. M-F) ................................................................................................................

Child Care Resources Child Care Council, Inc. 595 Blossom Rd., Ste. 120, Rochester 14610. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 654-4720 ...............................................................................................................

Childbirth Education Birthright of Rochester 3380 Monroe Ave., Suite 103, Rochester 14618 . . . . . . . . . . . 385-2100 or toll free . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-550-4900


Strong Beginnings Education Program 601 Elmwood Ave., Rochester 14642 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275-0096 Strong Fertility Center 500 Red Creek Drive, Suite 220, Rochester 14623. . . . . . . . .487-3378 Strong Midwifery Group 905 Culver Rd., Rochester 14609. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .275-7892 ................................................................................................................

Hospitals Golisano Children’s Hospital 601 Elmwood Ave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .275-2100 A division of U of R Medical Center, Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong Memorial Hospital is the area’s only children’s hospital and a referral center for seriously ill and injured children from the Finger Lakes region. Highland Hospital 1000 South Ave., Rochester 14620 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 473-2200 Exceptional healthcare specialist skill delivered with a warm, attentive, compassionate attitude. A family-centered hospital which considers every visitor (patient, family member or friend) a guest. Newark Wayne Community Hospital 1212 Driving Park Ave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .877-922-LINK (-5465), Toll Free Dedicated to providing the best care possible (to people from Wayne County and beyond) in direct partnership with Rochester

General Hospital Rochester General Hospital 1425 Portland Ave., Rochester . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 922-4000 Modern Birthing Center, outstanding pediatric services and leading-edge, minimally invasive OB/GYN procedures. Among Thomson Reuters List of Nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® for Cardiovascular Care. Strong Memorial Hospital 601 Elmwood Ave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275-URMC (-8762) Strong Memorial Hospital, Highland Hospital and Golisano Children’s Hospital (w/other Strong Health care providers) are part of The U of R Medical Center – a leader in clinical care, research and education. Unity Hospital (formerly Park Ridge Hospital) 1555 Long Pond Rd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 723-7000 Offering specialty services at Unity Hospital and at more than 50 other locations throughout Rochester and Monroe County (incl. Unity St. Mary’s Campus in Rochester, formerly St. Mary’s Hospital). ................................................................................................................

Midwifery Care DONA International (Doulas of North America) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 888-788-DONA (3662), Toll Free Doula Cooperative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234-0164 Strong Midwifery 905 Culver Rd., Rochester 14609 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .275-7892 ................................................................................................................

Parenting Support Groups & Services 2-1-1 Finger Lakes Region . . . . . . . . . . 2-1-1; 1-877-FLNY-211, Toll Free Available 24 hours a day. Run by local counselors trained to address your needs. Providing information and human service agency referrals.

Birthright of Rochester 3380 Monroe Ave., Ste. 103, Rochester 14618 . . . . . . . . . . . . 385-2100 819 W. Main Street, Rochester, 14611 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 328-8700 Emergency pregnancy support services. Pregnancy tests, non-judgmental counseling, follow-up, material assistance & referrals. Crisis Nursery of Greater Rochester 201 Genesee Park Blvd., Rochester 14619 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 546-8280 ~ CNGR is a non-for-profit agency where children (birth to age 10) can stay when their families are in crisis. Services are free of charge and can be used in cases of illness, unemployment, housing problems, respite care, judicial problems, and for many other reasons. No referral is necessary. Easter Seals N.Y. 103 White Spruce Blvd., Rochester 14623. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292-5831 Provides assistance to children and adults with disabilities and other special needs to live, learn and work independently in their communities. Epilepsy Foundation of Rochester-Syracuse-Binghamton 1650 South Ave., Ste. 300, Rochester 14620 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .442-4430 Aiming to prevent, control & cure epilepsy through service, education, advocacy & research. Helping people w/epilepsy & related disabilities reach their potential. Family Resource Centers of Crestwood 2nd floor in Bishop Kearney 89 Genesee St., Rochester 14611 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 436-0370 Flower City Down Syndrome Network 2117 Buffalo Road #132, Rochester, 14624 . . . . . . 56Tri-21 (568-7421) A group of individuals joined to provide support & education regarding issues relating to Down Syndrome to families & the community. Infertility Focus P.O Box 343, Pittsford 14534 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385-1628 Offers support, education and information to individuals and couples at any stage of and with any type of infertility. La Leche League Lifeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .275-5151 Call Lifeline for your local chapter. Go to for area meeting times and other information.

292-BABY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (292-2229) Free phone service connects parents w/Non-Emergency questions about baby/child health or development to pediatricnurses.

March of Dimes (Genesee/Finger Lakes Div.) 3445 Winton Pl., Ste. 121, Rochester 14623 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 424-3250 Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Al Sigl Center 1000 Elmwood Ave., Ste. 300, Rochester 14620 . . . . . . . . . . 442-4100 Providing shared and dedicated facilities, business services, awareness and financial support for independent human service agencies.

Mental Health Association Better Days Ahead 320 Goodman St. N., Rochester 14607 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325-3145 Endorses creative thinking, focuses on family strengths, supports action which empowers. Information, referrals & support.

Autism Speaks, Inc. Funding global biomedical research, raising awareness about autism and brining hope to those dealing with related hardships.

Mocha Moms, Inc. Aenon Baptist Church, 175 Genesee St.

Rochester Baby Guide 2011



community resources (cont.)

Moms Offering Moms Support (MOMS) Clubs Various locations throughout Rochester . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234-6667 MOMS offers support to stay-at-home moms and their children, as well as playgroups and other activities. Mommies for Miracles 5 Grey Fox Lane, Fairport 14450 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507-5367 ~ This non-for-profit raises funds to purchase gifts for sick or disabled children in need of specailized services. Mothers & More Rochester Extended neighborhood of women which meets twice monthly to share concerns, friendship, acceptance & fun. Mothers of Twins Club Open to any mother of multiple birth children, including those expecting multiples. Offering discussion groups to support mothers. Noogieland (at Gilda’s Club Rochester) 255 Alexander St., Rochester 14607 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423-9700 Noogieland is a unique arts & activities based program that meets the needs of children who have cancer or a loved one who is living w/cancer. Parents Without Partners P.O. Box 204, Fairport 14450 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251-3647 • Support, friendship, an exchange of parenting techniques and growth opportunities await single parents and their children. Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region 114 University Ave., Rochester 14605 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 866-600-6886 A non-profit organization that provides education and reproductive health-care services regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, disability, or economic circumstances.


Regional Early Childhood Direction Center Monroe #1 BOCES 41 O’Connor Rd., Fairport 14450 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249-7817 Supporting families with children birth to 5 years by providing free information and individualized assistance to connect them with programs and services. Rochester Area Birth Network 6 Thomas Circle, Fairport, 14450. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425-7105 • The purpose of Rochester Area Birth Network is to advocate for health, safety and informed options in childbearing. Rochester Holistic Moms & Holistic Moms West Local chapter of a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting mothers with an interest in natural health and mindful parenting. Rochester Society for the Protection and Care of Children 148 South Fitzhugh St., Rochester 14608. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325-6101

Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Inc. 333 Westmoreland Dr., Rochester 14620 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 442-5437 Providing a home-away-from-home for families while their receive healthcare in Rochester area hospitals. Also awarding grants. Stepfamily Assoc. of Rochester 121 Southwood Lane, Rochester 14618 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 442-3440 A non-profit organization offering education, support and counseling on the challenges involved in blending families and nurturing stepchildren. United Cerebral Palsy Association 3399 Winton Rd. S., Rochester 14623 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .334-6000

Rochester Baby Guide 2011  

Rochester NY’s premier parenting resource since 1994

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