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Dr. Lylia Fahmy

M.D., F.A.C.O.G.

Board Certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology

• Complete Obstetric Care • Prenatal Care and Delivery • High Risk Pregnancy • 3D/4D Ultrasound

• Complete Gynecologic Care • Annual Exams and Health Maintainence • Female Cancer Screening

• Infertility • Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Surgery/Hysterectomy • Urinary Incontinence

• Endometrial Ablation for Abnormal Uterine Bleeding • Pelvic Prolapse

Now you can see your baby before it’s born!

*Mercy Two Professional Center 801 Harmony St, Suite 402 • Council Bluffs, IA 51503 *4951 Center St, Suite 206 • Omaha, NE 68106

Call 402.933.7247


WE’RE HAVING A BABY

2F Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Daily Nonpareil

With breast-feeding, support is key Moms connect in Baby and Me group MIKE BROWNLEE Staff Writer mike.brownlee@nonpareilonline.com (712) 325-5732

Breast-feeding is rewarding, but it isn’t easy. Jennie Edmondson Hospital offers Baby and Me, a support group for mothers who decide to feed their babies au natural. “If women have any issues and want to talk to each other, if they’re having problems they can get help,” said Sandy Bertelsen, director of the hospital’s birthing center. The class is taught by Rita Madden, the birthing center’s lactation consultant, and is offered for women with babies up to 1-year-old. “It’s just really a nice chance for moms to get together and talk with other moms so they don’t feel isolated,” Madden said. “With a new baby, it’s kind of hard to get out of the house. When you meet other moms in your situation, you don’t feel so alone.” How to be a successful breast-feeding mom, according to Madden: “Ninety-nine percent of it is support. As is the case with anything, if you’ve got the support you can do anything. And breast-feeding is no different,” she said. Bertelsen said babies are weighed at each meeting to make sure they’re gaining weight. “One of the biggest things women are concerned about is making sure their babies are getting enough to eat,” she said. “You can’t see it as clearly as with a bottle, where you know how many ounces the baby is getting.” There are a number of problems women can face when breast-feeding, Bertelsen said, including engorged breasts and problems with the baby

“Ninety-nine percent of it is support. As is the case with anything, if you’ve got the support you can do anything. And breastfeeding is no different.” – Rita Madden Jennie Edmondson Hospital birthing center lactation consultant latching on properly. “I don’t want to make it sound easy. It’s a lot of hard work,” she said. “There are some moms who seem to sail through and there are others who have more problems than we’d like to see.” Why breast-feed, then? “Breast milk is the best thing for a baby, because it has all the nutrients that a baby needs,” Bertelsen said. “The formula companies would tell you they have as much nutrients as breast milk. But they really can’t match breast milk.” Bertelsen explained that breast milk has the right balance of fat and nutrients, specially tailored by the mother’s body for her baby. “Mother Nature does it better than the companies,” she said. Madden said that while the focus is breastfeeding, the group is available as a sounding board for mothers. “We talk about any issues that come up in the course of a baby’s first year,” she said. The Baby and Me group meets every Tuesday and is free. Methodist Health Systems, of which Jennie Edmondson is a part, offers the support group throughout its network of health facilities in Omaha and beyond. For more information, call (712) 396-7017 or (712) 396-6037.

Staff photo/Cindy Christensen

New mom Michaela Hill holds her 6-week-old son Maxton as she gets her breastfeeding questions answered during a Baby and Me class at Jennie Edmundson Hospital while Jodie Powers and her 6-week-old daughter, Jillian, look on.

Reasons why breast milk is preferred to formula may help decrease the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer. Breast-feeding requires a time commitment and willingness on the part of Mom. However, not all women are able or comfortable breast-feeding. Keep in mind that formulas are nutritionally sound and can be a good alternative to breast-feeding or used as a supplement. Most experts say that a baby should be exclusively breast-fed for the first 6 months of life, and thereafter, when comfortable for Mom and baby.

Infant formulas are very safe, effective and convenient, but breast milk considered best One of the first choices a new mother will have to make is whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed her baby. Several medical organizations and child wellness groups stand by breastmilk as the best option for baby. But why is it superior over formula? Although infant formulas are very safe, effective and convenient for families, breastmilk is still the preferred option for feeding young children, say experts. Breastmilk boasts several advantages over commercially-produced formulas and bottle-feeding. ■ Bonding: Breast-feeding provides unsurpassed bonding time between mother and infant. In the early months, babies need to know that their needs will be met and that Mom is nearby. Because infant eyesight is largely undeveloped, babies thrive through smells, sounds and touch. Breast-feeding enables the baby to be up close and personal with Mom several times each day and night. ■ Nutritional value: The human body prepares exactly what is needed to sustain life in little ones. Commercially prepared formulas come close to mimicking the components in breastmilk, but nothing beats the original. ■ Introduction to flavors: With formula, babies taste the same flavor at each and every feeding. When a woman breast-feeds, her milk often takes on the flavor of some of the foods she eats, exposing her baby to a wider palate. This can prevent picky eating down the line in some cases.

– Metro Creative Connection

Did you know?

MCC

Many moms choose breast-feeding because of the apparent benefits it provides infants. ■ Immune system benefits: Pediatricians and other experts say that breastmilk contains antibodies from the mother that help a developing baby fend off common illnesses. A breast-fed baby is less likely to develop ear infections and other common childhood sicknesses. ■ Other health benefits: Studies say that breast-fed babies are less likely to get respiratory infections and acid reflux, experience colic or have diarrhea or constipation.

■ Cost factors: Breastmilk is essentially free, unless you purchase pumps and other accessories to facilitate the process. The average pre-mixed can of baby formula can cost between $6 and $7 for regular varieties. And because breastfed babies are less likely to get sick as frequently as other children, that means fewer trips to the doctor and fewer prescription costs. ■ Convenience: While formula products have become more convenient than ever, all that is needed to

breastfeed is a baby and his mother. That means no running out in the middle of the night or sterilizing bottles when the formula supply has vanished. ■ Benefits for Mom, too: Breastfeeding can help shrink the uterus, burn calories and help a woman return to her pre-pregnancy shape more quickly. Studies also show that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and also

Breast-feeding is not only good for babies, but it’s also good for the environment. Breastfeeding reduces the reliance on plastic or glass bottles, requiring fewer to be manufactured. There’s also the latex and plastic nipples to consider. Also, baby formula is packaged in plastic or aluminum containers, which contribute to additional household waste.


WE’RE HAVING A BABY

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I wish I had known... Becoming a mother can be a wonderful, if not nerve wracking, experience. You want to be sure you do everything right by your baby. However, with mixed messages from experts and well-meaning friends and family members, it can be confusing. Plus, with so many baby products on the market, many new moms wonder what they should buy, and what they can pass up. Based on advice from veteran mothers, here are some tips for surviving those first few months with your new baby. What to Buy When stocking up on baby essentials, here are the items you will likely use again and again. ■ Infant sleeping sacks: It is recommended to place your baby to sleep on his or her back and in a place free of items that can potentially smother the child. This also means blankets. Therefore, skip the package of receiving blankets and opt for zip-up sleeping sacks instead. ■ Bassinet or co-sleeper: Your baby spent over nine months nestled inside of your womb. Once born, he or she isn’t going to appreciate the wide expanse of a crib. A smaller area in which to bed down will create that safe environment desired. Plus, a bassinet can be kept in your room while you sleep or on another level if you don’t want to disturb other members of the household when the baby awakens to be fed. ■ Diaper bags: You may want to invest in two sizes of diaper bags. Pick a large one for when you’re going to be out for a while and need to pack a change of clothes, toys and other essentials. A smaller bag will be good for quick stops to the store or if you’re just running out for a few minutes and need to bring along the basics. ■ Anti-colic bottles: Splurge a little on the bottles and/or nipples that are supposed to reduce the amount of air ingested while bottle feeding. Instead of buying bottles after bottles in search of one that works, go straight to the top and avoid the hassles. These also can be beneficial to breastfeeding mothers who may want to share feedings with a spouse or family member. ■ Entertainment: As your baby grows, he or she will want to try out new tricks. Simply being placed on a blanket or in the crib will not suffice. A swing can be a good way to have your hands free for a while. Today’s swings are innovative in that they offer vibration, music, lights, motion in different direction, and many other bells and whistles. You can also invest in an exercise saucer. They’re safer than walkers and can be used with babies who are able to hold

their head up adequately (from about 4 months on). This gives the child the feeling of being vertical and enables the child to stretch his or her legs. ■ Smaller sized bags of diapers: Babies grow very quickly. If you stock up on cases of one particular sized disposable diaper, chances are your little one will out grow the size before you use up the hundreds of diapers. Some manufacturers now offer dualsized diapers, meaning they stretch the weight limit a little so you can get more use out of a particular size. What You May Want to Pass On Here are a few items you can probably live without. ■ Bottle warmers: Some mothers swear by bottle warmers, while others simply swear at them. Bottle warmers often work by placing a small amount of water in the bottle of a heating area. The water creates steam, which heats up the bottle. It takes a precise amount of water to heat the bottle accurately – something that is often tricky when you’re sleep deprived and doing the warming at 3 a.m. It is not essential to heat baby bottles. There are no health implications if you give a baby a cold bottle. Heating is more for comfort. Running the bottle under hot tap water or microwaving a plastic container of water and then placing the bottle inside is equally effective. ■ Wipe warmers: Sure, the thought of wiping your baby with warm wipes seems very appealing. However, as your baby grows, you will be changing him or her on the go or in other areas of the house; not

Veteran moms’ suggested items Infant sleeping sacks Diaper bags in two sizes Anti-Colic bottles Smaller sized bags of diapers

Bassinet or co-sleeper

Entertainment – Consider a swing or an exercise saucer

necessarily in the nursery where the wipe warmer is located. ■ Fancy bottle sterilizers: You can sterilizer bottles by boiling them in water or running them through the dishwasher. ■ Video monitors: Sure the thought of seeing your little one while he or she is sleeping can be reassuring. However, is this more of a novelty than a necessity? Did you know that much like a cordless phone signal can be accidentally shared by someone on the same frequency, so too can the monitor? It’s possible for someone crafty to tap into the signal and “see” inside of your house. If you don’t believe you will be using the monitors that frequently, chances are you can simply use the audio models instead. ■ Babies only detergent: Laundry detergent marketed to parents of infants tends to be some of the most expensive out there. There are other brands available that are free of dyes and preservatives that may be more affordable. Plus, you won’t have to worry about doing separate batches of laundry from your own. – Metro Creative Connection

Did you know? Mothers by the numbers ■ 82.8: Estimated U.S. mothers, in millions, as of 2004. ■ 80: Percentage of women 40 to 44 who were mothers in 2006. ■ 25: Average age of women giving birth for the first time. ■ 4: The number of the most common day of the week (Wednesday) for births to take place. ■ 8: The number of the most common month of the year (August) for births to take place. ■ 5.3: Number of stay-athome moms, in millions, in the United States. ■ 4.0: Number of moms, in millions, who give birth each year. ■ 1 in 32: Chance of a mother giving birth to twins.

Self-soothing 101 There are many things parents can teach their children. However, there are some things that children must learn for themselves. Soothing is one of them. But that doesn’t mean parents can’t provide the environment for baby to do the learning. If your baby never spends time playing on the floor, how can he or she learn how to crawl? The same concept applies to self-soothing. If your child never has the opportunity to try to calm himself or herself down, the baby will continually be reliant on you as the parent to provide the soothing. Self-soothing takes time and practice, just like anything else a baby will learn. Ensuring your baby catches on quickly requires a few steps. 1. Create a consistent routine. If you want your baby to self-soothe at nap time and bedtime do the same things each day before you will be placing your child in the crib, and ideally at the same time. For example, at nap time tell your child that he is going to go for a nap. At night, give the baby a bath, feeding or whatever nighttime routine you use. 2. Learn to read the baby’s signals that indicate he or she is getting tired. Chances are your baby will become tired at the same time each day and sleeping patterns will become predictable. 3. Baby goes in the crib when he or she is drowsy, but not entirely asleep. Place the child in the crib when he or she is showing signs of sleepiness. This way the infant grows accustomed to falling asleep in the crib, rather than in your arms or in your bed. The first few times will likely be met with resistance. However, give your baby time to figure it out. 4. Recognize when waking the sleeping baby is acceptable. Many parents adhere to the mantra “never wake a sleeping baby.” However, you have to look at the bigger picture and use your own instincts when baby is sleeping. If your child has fallen asleep outside of the usual schedule, or is taking a longer nap than usual, it may be all right to wake him or her to get the child back on track. Also, if your baby has fallen asleep in your arms at night, you may want to wake the child so that he or she has the opportunity to drift back off while in the crib. This way he or she learns how to self-soothe and that will pay dividends when the infant can go back to sleep without your help in the middle of the night. 5. Don’t give up. If your baby just won’t catch on, he or she may not be ready. Wait a few weeks and try again. Find out if there’s something you’re doing wrong, such as rushing into the baby’s room prematurely or failing to create a relaxing, predictable schedule before it’s time to drift to sleep. Eventually your child can learn how to self-soothe.

– Metro Creative Connection

– Metro Creative Connection

Baby myths Have a baby? It’s best not to be fooled by these fallacies. ■ Picking up a baby too much will spoil him or her. False. Babies communicate by crying and whimpering – it’s their only method of telling parents what’s wrong. Holding your baby helps him or her feel secure and can actually reduce stress and boost brain development. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t pick up your child at the first coo. A healthy balance will help develop a safe and secure baby. ■ Feeding solids early on helps a baby sleep better. False. An infant’s nutritional needs are met simply by breast milk or formula for at least the first six months of life. Giving babies cereal early on will not help them to sleep better. In fact, their underdeveloped digestive system might not be able to handle the solids and it may lead to gas or irritation. ■ Pacifier use or thumbsucking will cause buck teeth. False. Otherwise there would be a lot of children with funny teeth.

– Metro Creative Connection

You’re Expecting.

T

hroughout your delivery at Jennie, you are matched with your own personal nurse—certified and skilled in mother/baby care. And our birthing suites are private, cozy and fully

equipped for labor, delivery, recovery and spending time as a family. New moms relax and enjoy in-room videos, private bathrooms with whirlpool tubs and room service. You will feel secure

knowing that the newest member of your family is in good hands. We also offer plenty of support before, during and after delivery. Congratulations from all of us at Jennie!

www.bestcare.org

3F


WE’RE HAVING A BABY

4F Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Daily Nonpareil

A dad’s perspective Nothing really prepares a man for fatherhood, but here’s some advice TIM JOHNSON Staff Writer tjohnson@nonpareilonline.com (712) 325-5750

Becoming a daddy is both scary and thrilling. While nothing can really prepare you for becoming a parent, attending a “Prepared Childbirth� class definitely helps. Both Council Bluffs hospitals offer them – Jennie Edmundson for four weeks and Alegent Health Mercy for six weeks. The classes are for both parents to take together. They attempt to prepare you for the baby’s arrival and give you important information about parenting your baby once he/she goes home with you. Fathers-to-be are coming to class armed with more information, thanks partly to technology, said Jennifer Hensley, who teaches childbirth classes at Mercy. “They’re reading books, they’re reading online and they come with some information and some good questions,� she said. “They’re really more hands-on than I believe they’ve ever been.� It may startle you the first time you see a videotape of a child being born, but that helps prepare you for the real thing. The class at Jennie Edmundson Hospital includes putting diapers on a doll, said Sandy Bertelsen, director of the birthing center. Childbirth classes also generally include safety tips about how to pick up the baby (support the head), how to bathe the baby, putting your baby on his/her back to sleep and not giving him/her a bottle in bed (especially of juice), among other things. One way a father can support the mother during pregnancy is to take walks with her so she will be in good physical shape for the delivery. Strenuous exercise should only be done with a physician’s approval, Hensley said.

Submitted photo

Staff writer Tim Johnson gives his daughter, Leah, a bottle. He and his wife, Diane, welcomed Leah into the world Nov. 25, 2005. It is exciting to see an ultrasound image and know that your child is developing – although he or she might look more like a space alien in those pictures. You can opt to find out the baby’s sex, as we did, so we – and those buying us gifts – would know what to

expect. It’s a good idea to prepare a bedroom for the baby when the due date is still a couple months away. My dad helped us convert our home office into a nursery. You will read that it is good to talk to the

baby before he/she is born. I talked to my daughter sometimes while she was still in my wife’s womb, and she did seem to recognize my voice when she was born. “The baby can hear your voice at 5 months,� Hensley said. Men tend to be nervous about the pain the woman may experience and how to control it, as well as their role in supporting her, Bertelsen said. You should make sure you can be with your wife when she is in labor and in childbirth. Most men do this now, Bertelsen said. And if you are, you will realize that it’s true – we really do have the easy part. Giving birth is extremely demanding physically and emotionally and, for most women, requires a sustained, all-out effort. The actual birth is a time of wonder for all concerned. You will feel joy and amazement when you see your child and realize that you and your wife or partner have actually brought another living, breathing human being into the world. It is awe-inspiring, even when it isn’t a virgin birth. Once your child is born, don’t rush off. “A lot of the dads do stay with the mom and baby while they’re (at the hospital),� Bertelsen said. You should continue to be a support person after the baby is born. Plan to take some time off, because there will be plenty to do – and you won’t be getting much sleep for a while. Count on changing some diapers, because Mommy won’t be able to do it all. I couldn’t picture myself changing diapers before our daughter was born; but when the need arose, I just did it – and did it, and did it. Babies cry a lot, but it’s important that, no matter how frustrated you get, you never shake a baby. For ways to cope with a crying baby, see the Shaken Baby Task Force’s website at www.safebaby.org. If the heat of the moment comes before you have a chance to read or digest this information, you can call the task force’s 24-hour hotline at (866) 243BABY (2229). If you give people any advance warning, you’ll probably end up with an armload of books about having a baby, child development, parenting, etc. One book specifically for dads is “The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year,� by Armin A. Brott. It’s from Abbeville Press and lists for $12.95.

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WE’RE HAVING A BABY

The Daily Nonpareil

“You have to sit down and look at each person’s needs. There’s no question parents need some coverage.” – Judd Knispel State Farm Insurance agent

Sunday, December 12, 2010

5F

Is life insurance right for you? TIM ROHWER Staff Writer timothy.rohwer@nonpareilonline.com (712) 325-5752

Should new parents consider buying life insurance? As local State Farm Insurance agent Fred Hill said, “There’s really no right or wrong answer. Some parents are interested, but others don’t see the importance. It depends on their resources and needs. Resources are a big part.” Fellow State Farm agent Judd Knispel added, “You have to sit down and look at each person’s needs. There’s no question parents need some coverage.” If a young couple is facing debts, it might not be a bad idea to obtain some life insurance to ensure there is some money coming in for expenses and debt payments, Hill said. “If somebody needs to buy lots of insurance, they should look at term insurance,” he said. “It’s less expensive.” Term life insurance provides coverage at a fixed rate for a limited period of time. After that period expires, coverage at the previous premium rate is no longer guaranteed, and the client must either forgo coverage or potentially obtain further coverage with different payments and/or conditions.

If the insured dies during the term, the death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary. Term insurance is the least expensive way to purchase a substantial death benefit on a coverage amount per premium dollar basis. “There isn’t any value to it,” Hill said. “It’s like buying a death benefit.” Because term life insurance is a pure death benefit, its primary use is to provide coverage of financial responsibilities for the insured. Such responsibilities may include consumer debt, dependent care, college education for dependents, funeral costs and mortgages. Term life insurance is generally chosen in favor of permanent life insurance because it is usually less expensive. It can be used until such time that there are sufficient funds available from savings to protect those whom the insurance coverage was intended to protect. This compares to whole life insurance, which is a policy that remains in force for the insured’s whole life. There are benefits to that kind of policy, however, according to Knispel. “Permanent insurance ensures the premiums will be locked in for life and it can gain cash after a while,” he said. A rider added to a child’s policy can ensure coverage if the child later on becomes uninsurable, be it illness or some other factor, Knispel said. The younger a person is, the less expensive are the premiums, Hill said. He suggested new parents consider adding what’s called a rider to their own insurance. “It adds insurance to the children,” Hill said. “It doesn’t have to be complicated. I just believe it depends on what a person’s needs are and what their resources are. There’s no wrong answer.”

Study: Link in serotonin, SIDS

Submitted photo

Parents concerned about commercial baby food ingredients can feed their children homemade baby food using organic ingredients.

Going green with baby food Infants are commonly introduced to solid foods at 6 months of age. When preparing for the addition of solid foods to a child’s eating schedule, parents may want to consider the health and environmental benefits of making their own baby food. Commercially made baby foods are relatively safe, convenient and inexpensive. However, homemade baby foods are even more costeffective and allow parents to regulate the ingredients put into the foods. Individuals concerned about pesticides and other food additives should consider organic foods when making baby foods. These foods are grown and harvested under stringent guidelines. Preparing homemade baby foods requires a few materials: ■ a food grinder, food mill or food processor ■ storage containers ■ fresh foods Most baby foods are pre-

pared by cooking the food until soft, allowing it to cool and then grinding the food down to a palatable texture depending upon the child’s age. Steaming retains the most nutrients in foods. Parents can also bake, boil or microwave foods. Some fruits, such as bananas, do not need to be cooked before use. Also, use caution with nitrate-high foods, such as carrots, beets, and green beans. These foods should be made in small batches and used quickly. Nitrates can build up in the foods when stored. Freezing foods that are potentially high in nitrates can alleviate this situation. Young infants should be introduced to one food every two to three days to check for allergic reactions and tolerance. Once parents have determine which foods a child can tolerate, they can then begin to experiment with food blends the children may enjoy. As a child grows, parents

can vary the texture of foods, particularly when children begin to grow teeth. Eventually a child will want to selffeed finger foods and then parents can simply use foods that come right off of the dinner table. Homemade baby food can be inexpensive. That’s because parents can buy ingredients in bulk and store leftovers for later usage. Also, there are no costs of packaging when making homemade baby food, benefiting the environment by creating less waste and using less energy. Supporters of homemade baby food say there is another advantage apart from the cost and environmental factors. Some say children who eat the same foods their parents are eating may be less picky eaters as they approach the toddler years. Parents looking to experiment with homemade baby foods can find recipes both online and in books. – Metro Creative Connection

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the unexplained, sudden death of an infant that claims more than 2,000 infants per year. Most cases of SIDS take place when a baby is sleeping. New information surfaced in early 2010 linking SIDS to low serotonin levels. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that serotonin levels were 26 percent lower in the SIDS cases examined. Serotonin is a hormone found in the body, in both the digestive tract and central nervous system. It is purported to help the brainstem regulate mood, memory, breathing, temperature, sleeping, waking, and other automatic functions. Serotonin may help babies respond to high carbon monoxide levels that form when sleeping, particularly if the infant is face down, so that children can move their heads to get fresh air. According to the study, autopsies performed on 35 infants who died of SIDS com-

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Back-sleeping is the safest. Even a baby sleeping on her side is at a higher risk for SIDS. pared chemicals in their brainstems with those found in seven babies who died unexpectedly of known causes and five infants who died from other chronic problems related to a lack of oxygen, the study says. Serotonin levels were lower in the SIDS children. As a result, doctors hope to be able to screen

for serotonin abnormalities in the future, being able to isolate infants who may be at a higher risk for SIDS. In the interim, parents and caregivers should follow these guidelines for giving infants the best chances against SIDS. ■ Always place baby on his or her back for sleep, whether during the day or at night. ■ Place baby on a firm sleeping surface with a tight-fitting sheet. Pillows, sheepskins, etc., are dangerous. ■ Prohibit smoking around the baby. ■ Do not co-sleep with baby in the same bed. Keep the crib nearby or use a co-sleeper that attaches to the bed for easy access. ■ Consider using a pacifier when placing baby to sleep. ■ Keep the child cool with light sleep clothing, and make sure the room’s temperature is comfortable. ■ Remove bumpers, blankets and stuffed animals from the crib. – Metro Creative Connection

Pets and babies: Easing the transition When a baby is being welcomed into the home where a pet is present, individuals may have to make some changes to ensure the introduction and subsequent living arrangements go smoothly. Even the best-behaved pet may feel anxious around a new family member. To be a responsible pet parent and parent to an infant, there are certain things to do to ease the transition at home. Here are some things to consider. Before the baby comes home ■ Make sure the pet is upto-date will all vaccinations and gets a clean bill of health from the veterinarian. ■ Gradually introduce the pet to the smells and sounds that will be the baby’s world. Have the pet go into the nurs-

ery and see the new furniture and toys. Let the cat or dog sniff at the baby’s clothing. ■ Practice devoting attention to a doll and cuddling with it. This will acclimate the pet to seeing its owner doting affection on someone else. ■ Invite friends or family over who have a young child. Observe how the pet reacts around the youngster. ■ Start correcting behaviors that should be changed now so the pet won’t associate them with the baby. For example, have the pet stop sleeping on the sofa. ■ Stock up on food, litter and other pet essentials so that the supply will be full when the baby comes and time for shopping is hard to come by. ■ Make arrangements for care of the pet for a few days during the hospital stay.

When the baby is here

■ Send home a piece of

clothing that the baby has worn to acclimate the dog or cat to the smell. ■ If the pet is very affectionate toward Mom, have someone else carry the infant into the house so Mom can greet the pet. ■ Gradually introduce a leashed pet to the baby using a lot of praise. ■ Check to see if the pet shows any behavioral issues, such as chewing, scratching or guarding food and toys. This could prove problematic when the baby is crawling. ■ Never leave the baby alone with the pet. Again, even a well-behaved pet may lash out if he or she feels threatened. ■ Teach the child the proper way to interact with the pet. – Metro Creative Connection


6F Sunday, December 12, 2010

WE’RE HAVING A BABY

The Daily Nonpareil

Home hazards Top 5 baby concerns in the house One day an infant will transform from a relatively sedentary little person content to stare at the crib to an active adventurer satisfying his or her curiosity with just about everything in the home. Making sure the home is safe for baby’s travels becomes essential. Studies indicate more than 2,000 children die every year because home-related injuries. Many of these children are under the age of 1. Taking safety precautions around the house first requires knowledge of the top dangers. Here is a list of known safety hazards around the home. 1. Choking hazards: Infants and toddlers are often enamored with their older sibling’s toys. These toys may have small parts or magnets, and can be choking hazards for little ones. Be sure that small toys are not Submitted photo left strewn around. While every child develops at his or her own pace, most parents can expect the day will Choking can also occur when soon come when their son or daughter will be exploring the home. babies try to eat foods that are too sophisticated for undevel- dangerous. Be sure to block be sure to keep within arm’s use anchors to bolt it to the oped teeth. Pieces of food should stairs with sturdy gates from reach of the child when he or wall. be no larger than a dime to help investigative children. There she is bathing. 5. Electricity: Keep all outlet prevent against choking. Chil- are gates that are designed for 4. Tipped-over furniture: covers plugged with plastic prodren under 10 months old the top and bottom of stairs to There were 31 deaths in 2006 tectors. Secure cords so that should only be given pureed make it easier to open and nav- (and 3,000 injuries) resulting they are not a tripping hazard food, or soft foods until molars igate for adults. from furniture and other or easily pulled out by curious for chewing and mashing 3. Water: It takes only a few household items, like TVs, tip- kids. Also, don’t leave cords develop. inches of water to drown a ping over and crushing chil- dangling over the edge of coun2. Stairs: Falls account for young child. Never leave a baby dren. Don’t place tempting ters. Little fingers are sure to many childhood injuries. Falls unattended when water is items atop furniture. If furni- pull at them. down stairs can be especially around. Secure toilet seats and ture seems unsteady, always – Metro Creative Connection

Understanding premature labor Premature labor, which affects 1 in 8 babies every year, occurs when a baby is born prior to the 37th week of gestation. There are certain risk factors that make a woman more susceptible to giving birth prematurely. ■ Incidence of pre-term labor in a previous pregnancy: Women who have given birth prematurely in the past are at a greater risk for a preterm baby. Uterine or cervical abnormalities may be to blame in certain cases, but it is generally unknown why this occurs in some women. ■ Age: In some cases age can be a factor in preterm labor. Very young women or older women can be at risk. ■ Cigarette smoking: The chemicals contained in cigarette smoke can cross the placenta and cause abnormalities that may contribute to premature labor. ■ Infection: About 40 to 50 percent of all preterm labor can be traced to a bacterial infection. The good news is that antibiotics can help prevent preterm labor that results from bacterial infection. ■ Bleeding: Any type of bleeding, including a bleeding disorder, could affect labor and induce it prematurely. ■ Uterine stretching: Overdistension of the uterus has also been linked to preterm labor and birth.

– Metro Creative Connection

Can diabetic women have babies? For years the norm was to tell women who were diabetic not to get pregnant. The bodily changes that occur during pregnancy, as well as the potential risks to the fetus and mother led many doctors to take this overly cautious position on pregnancy. Today, pregnancy is risky for diabetics, but can be successful if careful monitoring and attention to health is followed. Good blood sugar control is essential for women thinking about becoming pregnant. Sugar levels should remain in the ideal range, which is 70 to 100 mg/dL before meals, less than 120 mg/dL two hours after eating, and 100-140 mg/dL before the bedtime snack. Women considering pregnancy should work with a doctor to be sure glucose levels are in check. That’s because many times women become pregnant without knowing it and the early weeks of embryo formation are essential. High levels of sugar early in pregnancy can lead to birth defects, say doctors. All women need more rest, an increase in nutrients and periodic monitoring to grow a healthy baby. The same can be said for diabetics. Women who have diabetes may find that being pregnant causes abrupt changes in their blood-glucose levels. In fact, non-diabetics often experience changes in blood sugar as well, which is why a blood-glucose test is rec-

MCC

Diabetic women can have babies. They just need to take a few extra precautions. ommended in the midpoint of a of amniotic fluid forming, forcpregnancy. Some women ing a fetus into preterm labor. develop gestational diabetes What’s more, infants born to when they had no previous diabetics tend to be larger in types of diabetes. size, called “macrosomia,” In addition to the normal meaning “large body.” This can problems high blood sugar present discomfort during pregcould present in diabetics, preg- nancy and lead to complications nant women can be at risk for during delivery and may necesmiscarriage or problems during sitate a cesarean section. With labor. Too much sugar may con- macrosomia, the fetus receives tribute to an excessive amount too much sugar via the pla-

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centa. The fetus’ pancreas senses the high sugar levels and produces more insulin in an attempt to use up all the extra sugar. That extra sugar is converted to fat, making a large baby. An infant just born may experience very low blood-sugar levels from all the insulin being produced. The baby may have to be given glucose intravenously to restore sugar levels. During the entire pregnancy more insulin or oral drugs may be needed to control the diabetes, and diet will need to be more carefully monitored. An obstetrician also may require frequent check-ups to ensure both mother and baby are doing well. While it is possible to deliver at term, many OBs prefer that diabetic women give birth a few weeks in advance of their due dates because of the larger size of the fetus. Also, diabetes can contribute to high blood pressure or pre eclampsia during delivery. It might lead to the baby being born early and also could cause seizures or a stroke (a blood clot or a bleeding in the brain that can lead to brain damage) in the woman during labor and delivery, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. With proper diet, frequent check-ups and extreme control of blood-glucose levels, diabetic women can give birth to healthy children.

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DAILY AILY NONPAREIL DAILY NONPPAR AREEIL IL 2010

DAILY NONPPAR AREIL

iss proudd too welcomee Caitlinn Smith,, P.A.C.

too ourr staff. Forr appointmentss calll (712)) 329-5700 201 Ridge St Suite 307 Council Bluffs, IA (712) 256-8505

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Also serving the Clarinda, Corning, Denison, Harlan and Missouri Valley, IA communities.

– Metro Creative Connection

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We're Having a Baby 2010  

The Daily Nopareil's 2010 We're Having a Baby special section.

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