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BabyTALK All about babies and parenthood!

Copyright 2013 The Valley News & The Herald-Journal June 2013


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By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Staff Writer

It’s always important to take a daily vitamin, but never more so than when a woman is pregnant, or even considering becoming pregnant. Shenandoah Medical Center’s OB/GYN Dr. Scott King said taking vitamins before your pregnant, and while pregnant can greatly reduce the risk of health problems with your baby. In particular, King said Folic Acid is a key component in decreasing the risk of having a child with brain or spine defects, the most common being spina befida. Having Folic Acid in your system during the early stages of pregnancy can reduce the risk of a brain or spinal defect by 50 percent. However, it’s important that the Folic Acid is available for the baby to utilize in the very early stages of

pregnancy, as neural tube defects develop within the first 28 days after conception and continue over the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Foods that contain Folic Acid are green leafy vegetables, beans, citrus fruits and nuts. Pregnant women also often become deficient in Iron, which help carry oxygen to the baby, as well as Calcium, which the baby will use for its bone growth. “There are also reasonable evidence today the vitamin B12 has similar protective effects as Folic Acid does in terms of open spinal cord defects,” King said. “Vitamin B12 is also essential for proper brain development of these infants before and after they are born.” If vitamins make you ill, King recommends taking them with food, or possibly switching to children’s chewable.

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Baby Talk - June 2013 u 2

Importance of Vitamins


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Expectant parents have several important decisions to make, but one that working families cannot afford to forget is arranging daycare services. “My suggestion to parents is that as soon as they find out they are expecting they need to start looking for daycare,� Julie Streitenberger, director of Grandma’s House Day Care in Clarinda, said. Although there are several home providers as well as centers like Grandma’s House Day Care and Noah’s Ark Preschool in the Clarinda area, Streitenberger said securing a spot for a newborn can be challenging. “We currently have a waiting list for our baby room,� she said. Therefore, Streitenberger said parents can utilize the either the Iowa Department of Human Services website or the Iowa Childcare Resource and Referral website to compile a list of area daycare providers they may want to visit and interview. Once a list of possible providers has

been compiled, parents will want to visit the home or center and speak to the provider to determine what setting will be the best fit for their child. While the hours the center or home provider is available and the cost are factors, parents need to also research the cleanliness of the location as well as the atmosphere the child will b e placed in and the educational opportunities that may exist. When inquiri n g about daycare services provided by an individual, parents should ask for at least three references from the parents of past and current children the individual has babysat for. The references should be for people not related to the provider and include addresses and telephone numbers. A reliable and trustworthy childcare provider will be more than willing to

Enhancing the Well Being of Both Mothers & Their Babies Providing Increased Health and Immunity

provide references. Meanwhile, when considering a commercial daycare center, it is important to look for many of the same qualities a home daycare environment would provide. “Go to the center or home for a visit and hang out in the room your child will be in so you can get a feel of how things go through the day,� Streitenberger said. During that visit Streitenberger said parents should pay particular attention to the cleanliness of the home or center. This includes viewing the play areas, the nap areas, the locations where children eat their meals and snacks and the bathroom facilities. Also observe how the provider or staff interacts with the children and the atmosphere that is created for the children being cared for.

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Parents will also want to inquire about the teaching materials used at the facility. A home daycare provider or commercial facility that offers organized lessons and activities will better serve the children. They will learn lessons that will help advance their knowledge as well as improve their social skills. This will provide them with greater confidence when they enter school. In order to make the best decision, parents must be willing to continue asking questions until they get the answers they are seeking. If parents do not care for the personality of the daycare provider or have any doubts whatsoever about the condition of the home or facility, politely thank them for allowing a visit and look elsewhere. Finally, after choosing a daycare center, if parents ever suspect their child is not being properly cared for, they should remove them from the facility immediately. Parental instincts are a great tool in the decision making process when finding and choosing a daycare provider.

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By KENT DINNEBIER

3 u Baby Talk - June 2013

Arranging daycare services



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Baby Talk - June 2013 u 4

Baby is on the way... time to set up the nursery Expecting parents eagerly anticipate the arrival of their new bundle of joy. After nine months of waiting to see what he or she looks like and wanting to cuddle their newborn, the baby’s arrival is a momentous event. As most people know, for such a little person, babies seemingly need a ton of gear and other items. One thing the baby will eventually need is a nursery to call home. Although newborns do spend the first few months of their lives often tucked in at night in a bassinet or co-sleeper cradle in mom’s bedroom, chances are the infant will nap or gradually spend increasing amounts of time in his or her own room. Outfitting the nursery with the essentials can mean comfort and convenience. To some parents, every baby product out there is a necessity. But in reality, there are maybe a handful of things to put into the nursery -- at least for the time being -- to adequately provide for the baby. “Make you always have clear floors and stairways. You are going to carry the baby around, and your arms may be full and you don’t see the floor. You don’t want to stumble,” said Carol Bellairs, a family sup-

port worker for Southwest Iowa Families in Clarinda. The operation assists families in various ways. CRIB At some point in the near future, baby will be doing most of his or her sleeping exclusively in the crib. Although that can seem like a far-off goal now that your little one prefers to sleep in your arms while watching late-night television, after a few months junior will become comfortable with his or her room and may even enjoy the security the crib provides. Before selecting a crib, be sure to check for certain recalls and ensure the brand and model are not on the list. For a current list of recalled cribs, go online to www.cpsc.gov. The crib should be sturdy and meet guidelines for minimum spacing between spindles. Older, hand-me-down cribs are not recommended. Although drop-side cribs may offer ease of placing baby inside, some of these types of cribs have been recalled in the past for faulty railings that trap the infant. A stationary sided crib is another choice.

“Drop-down cribs are not safe anymore. I hear people say, ‘I grew up with this or that and we are fine,’ but there have been deaths. That is why standards change,” said Carol Bellairs, a family support worker for Southwest Iowa Families in Clarinda. The operation assists families in various ways. What is in the crib is important, too. Bellairs said blankets, soft toys and bumper pads may create a hazard for the infant. “Especially watch blankets. Consider using pillow cases. Put the child in and it goes up to child’s armpits. There is room for the child to move but it doesn’t create a safety hazard,” she said. Position the crib away from items that can be pulled into the crib by curious hands. Try to keep it away from windows for draft reasons and also to avoid window-fall accidents. Cribs should be free of breathing obstructions, like stuffed animals or puffy side bumpers to reduce the risk of SIDS. CHANGING TABLE Most parents prefer a convenient changing table that also stores diapers and toiletries. Although it may not always be possible to travel to the nursery for every

diaper change, you can still equip the nursery with a table or another sturdy place to change your infant. Some dressers double as changing tables in their design. A small loveseat or a guest bed in the nursery can also be a place to change the baby and provide a comfortable place to rest when he or she is waking up in the middle of the night. It is important never to leave a baby unattended on any surface because you never know the moment when he or she will learn to roll over or move enough to fall off of the changing surface. SAFETY DEVICES Although infants are too young to get into much trouble, babies eventually become very active and curious. Take the time now to babyproof the nursery. Select window coverings that cannot be pulled down or do not feature cords that can present a strangulation hazard. All outlets should be blocked with a safety plug or some sort of cover to deter little fingers from seeking them out. Secure cords to lamps and other electronic devices in cord keepers. see NURSERY, Page 9

The importance of prenatal visits with a doctor By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Staff Writer

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Doctors can spot health problems early when they see mothers regularly. This allows doctors to treat them early. Early treatment can cure many problems and prevent others. Doctors also can talk to pregnant women about things they can do to give their unborn When it comes to being pregnant, it’s never too early to see a physician, said Shenandoah Medical Center’s OB/GYN Dr. Scott King. “We want to see them at the earliest opportunity,” said King. It’s an absolute miracle that we have healthy individuals when one things about all the many pitfalls that can happen with an embryo along the way. That’s why we want to see them early, it gives us the opportunity to look for with early ultrasound to identify those that might need specialized prenatal care and helps us identify risk factors throughout the pregnancy, such as blood clotting disorders, high blood pressure, or epilepsy.

During an initial visit, your physician will more than likely ask you about your health history, including diseases, operation, and prior pregnancies; family’s health history; check your weight, check your blood pressure; check your height; take blood work and urine for lab work; and conduct a physical exam, including a pelvic exam; calculate your due date; and answer any questions you may have. As the appointments continue over the nine months, the prenatal visit will include checking your weight, blood pressure; measuring your abdomen to check the baby’s growth; and checking the baby’s heart rate. Additionally, with prenatal care you will have some routine tests done such as blood work to check for anemia, your blood type, as well as other tests based on your age, personal or family health history and ethnic background. Research has shown babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times 11re likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who do get care.


celebration of Father’s Day maybe we can start to look at dads in a different light. Although fathers may not be capable of being as involved in pregnancy as mothers, there are certainly a few things expecting fathers can do that will qualify them for super dad status. And who better to give new fathers a few pointers than those who have already been through the experience? Shenandoah resident Justin Trowbridge is a veteran father with three happy children to show for his and his wife’s efforts. “We were way more relaxed with the second

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and third children,” Trowbridge said. “We did less work and less stress each time.” His wife, Angela, said when it came down to what men can do, a small effort can make a big difference. “He went on doctor’s appointments with me, he really did a lot of the kitchen stuff and cleaning,” she said. “A lot of little things really. He might not actually be able to carry the baby but he did a good job with what he did.” Another Shenandoah father, Dan Weiss, accredited his success as a father and husband to being sensitive to his wife’s needs. “You just do what she says, know what sets them off,” Weiss said. “When [mothers] get into a mood you just try to calm them down.” Weiss said he also had the experience of attending a birthing class with his wife where men and women sat across from each other. 130627-51708

Usually we think of pregnancy as a special yet rigorous time for mothers, a time of new life being brought into the community. What comes to mind first isn’t often new fathers, who may also be having a hard time figuring out what they can do. With the recent

“It was definitely interesting,” he said. “A lot of us [first time fathers] were kind of scared at first, but it went well.” When it seems like the pressure of parenting is coming down, Weiss said it is important to think positive. “[Pregnancy] won’t last very long,” he said. “You just have to be prepared.” When it comes down to crunch time if you can remember one thing, it would be helpful to keep in mind that even a few small efforts can relieve your partner of a ton of stress. And if you think you’re not ready yet to head into the doctor’s office and birth a child yourself, take some of these pointers from and for dads. * Accompany your partner on prenatal visits. Pregnant women will make several prenatal visits to their doctors along the see MEN, Page 6

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5 u Baby Talk - June 2013

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Baby Talk - June 2013 u 6

What’s in a name? By KRISTAN GRAY Staff Writer

Are you hunting for an outstanding memorable name for your soon-coming baby? How well do you like your name? Wendy Day, Bourbon Ward, Pee Wee Ward, Sass Shay, and Fritz Ramm are all names of people I went to school with. Justin Case, Texture, Silver, Nobody, Somebody, Gifty, and Prince Godknows Robby, are all names of others I know personally. I also had a classm a t e named Becky Shutts, who some nicknamed “Shecky Butts”. They were all teased, but laughed right along with their tormentors, and because they had confidence instilled in them by parents who most often used their name in loving ways, none of them have filed for name changes at the courthouse now that they’re adults. While the names Alfredo and Amaya still make the U.S. Social Security Administration’s list of names given by parents in 2012, before choosing a name for your precious bundle of joy, you may consider the variations playground bully taunts

could take. Alfredo could be called “Alfredo Sauce” or “Alf” with all the alien jokes, from the TV show by the same name, clinging to the kid’s psyche the rest of his life. And… Amaya? Amaya what? Am-I-Afraid? AmI-A-Nerd? You get the picture. As a child, I was often reduced to tears when my uncles would call me, “Kristan Shan the Boogeyman.” Now that I live in Shen, I like having the middle name Shan. It fits. But don’t call me boogeyman. I don’t even like boogeys. When my husband worked in the Omaha insurance industry eons ago, he saw an application with twin sisters named Ima and Ura Hogg. Apparently they didn’t legally change their names either. When naming our own children, Scott and I agreed to think very hard and long. That must be why pregnancy lasts nine months. Choosing a name that your offspring will likely be stuck with for life is a weighty decision. We liked the name Cole, but not with our last name Gray. I only learned at my 20-year class reunion that Rak Keller’s name is really Raymond Arthur; I never knew he was called by his initials all his life. So, when considering

my family’s common middle name, Ann, as our daughter Haley’s middle name, I realized her initials would have been be H.A.G. Something to consider. Perhaps you’re after a name that a celebrity would bestow upon their child like Apple, Pilot Inspektor or Moon Unit Zappa. If you’re like Fremont County Supervisor Cara Marker-Morgan and a growing number of Americans who recently gave birth, you’ve found clever spelling twists, and the meaning of the name is important to you: Marker-Morgan’s children are Mavryc, Czandrya and Cytara. “They have unique personalities so they need unique names,” Marker-Morgan said. “Cytara is pronounced, S-eye-TEHR’-ah. Tara means earth, and the meaning of her middle name, Moriah, is wind. So, she’s ‘Earth and Wind.’” Too bad their last name isn’t Fyre. The number one boy’s name registered with the Social Security Administration in 2012 for the 14th year in a row is Jacob, giving the name Michael a good race. But Jacob has a long way to go before reaching Michael’s fame; the SSA reports nearly 19,000 babies were named Jacob last year, while in ‘92, more than 54,000 boys were named Michael.

they are with child. Do your own homework so you can better understand what your partner is going through. Gaining a better understanding of the physical and emotional changes taking place might help make you a more attentive and patient partner, which will make the pregnancy easier on everyone involved.

should avoid exposure to household cleaning products, including cleansers and insecticides. Such products can harm your unborn child, so take over the cleaning responsibilities throughout the pregnancy.

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MEN Continued from page 5

way to becoming a mother. Accompanying your partner on these visits will illustrate your own excitement about becoming a parent, and you might want to be there for certain milestones, such as the doctor showing you the results of an ultrasound where you may or may not decide to learn the sex of your child. Your presence on such visits will be appreciated as the pregnancy progresses and your partner finds it more and more difficult to get around on her own. * Do your homework. Women often read up about pregnancy so they can understand what is going on with their bodies while

* Attend classes with your partner. If your partner wants to attend classes to learn about childbirth, accompany her to such classes as much as possible. Similar to accompanying your partner to the doctor’s office for prenatal visits, going to class with her will make the pregnancy seem like more of a team effort, which can make things less stressful on her. * Clean the house. Pregnant women

Experts tell us names like those remain popular because they’re easy to pronounce, and are timeless biblical names. Sophia was the number one girl’s name in the country last year, followed by Emma, Isabella, Olivia, Ava, Emily, Abigail, Mia, Madison and Elizabeth. However, for the state of Iowa, the list looks a little different than the top names nationwide. The top ten boy names for the state of Iowa last year were: Liam, Mason, Carter, William, Owen, Noah, Jacob (No. 7), Henry, Logan and Jackson. Iowa girls were named Emma, Sophia, Olivia, Harper, Ava, Ella, Avery, Addision (as opposed to the nationally ranked name Madison), Emily and Lillian. Were you named after a famous person, like NASCAR driver Lake Speed or actor Rip Torn? The name Bella, from the “Twilight” movie, is on the rise, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we start hearing “Spock” on the playground soon. But whether you’re naming a child or a puppy, a good way to decide is to “try the name on for size;” Stand at the front door and “call the child/puppy home.” If you like the sound of it after a few days, “Constance Noring” may be a good fit.

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* Reduce your partner’s stress. Stress is potentially harmful for anyone, and pregnant women are no exception. Stress will only make the pregnancy more difficult and might prove harmful to mother and child alike. Take steps to make your partner’s life less stressful during her pregnancy, encouraging her to participate in relaxation exercises and taking on more of the household responsibilities as her pregnancy progresses and her mobility becomes more and more restricted. Does your pregnancy come with stress? How do you and your partner deal with it?

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* Alter your diet along with your partner. Your partner will likely be on a restricted diet during her pregnancy. Pregnant women, for example, should never consume any alcohol. In addition, the American Pregnancy Association advises that women should avoid fish with mercury, smoked seafood, deli meat, soft cheeses, raw eggs, and raw meat during a pregnancy. Make these sacrifices easier by avoiding these foods and beverages around your partner or cutting them from your diet entirely during the pregnancy. This furthers the notion that your partner isn’t going it alone during the pregnancy, which can make it that much easier for both of you.


Women who have just learned they’re pregnant are about to embark on a whirlwind adventure. When that adventure culminates with the birth of a child, the family dynamic as you know it will change dramatically. Women who are entering into pregnancy for the first time typically have a long list of questions concerning what to expect in the weeks and months ahead. Fear, anxiety and uncertainty about which pains and pangs are normal and which are not are common. Pregnancy is a learning experience for the mother and all involved, and many falsehoods surround pregnancy and add to feelings of insecurity. Debunking some of the more common myths surrounding pregnancy can provide some peace of mind to expecting mothers and their families. Skip that coffee? Many of the prevailing pregnancy myths tell pregnant women what they shouldn’t do in order to keep their fetuses healthy and safe. It is well known that alcohol and cigarette smoke

can have adverse effects on a developing baby, but what about that morning cup of joe? It is always good to err on the side of caution, but assuming everything is toxic to the child may have you walking on eggshells. Many doctors agree that drinking less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day is safe and will not risk a preterm birth or contribute to low fetal birth weight. Pay attention to teeth Health exams and blood tests are routine for pregnant women, and new mothers may think they have everything covered with regard to their health. But one thing pregnant women seldom give much thought is dental health. During pregnancy, increased acidity in the mouth increases the risk of tooth decay. So can vomiting associated with morning sickness. The Mayo Clinic advises that high levels of progesterone and estrogen can affect the bones and ligaments that support the teeth, causing teeth to loosen. Hormonal changes can also lead to bleeding gums and gingivitis. Although dental health may not come up in routine pre-

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7 u Baby Talk - June 2013

Simple facts about pregnancy Super smell In addition to physical body changes, pregnant women may notice that their sense of smell has improved. Scientists hypothesize that this improved sense of smell helps keep pregnant women from eating small levels of toxins that may not be dangerous to an adult but could potentially prove harmful to a small child. Whether this is true or not, strong odors can complicate feelings of sickness. This is something to anticipate while pregnant. Morning sickness Not every pregnant woman will experience morning sickness, and the name is a bit of a misnomer. According to PregnancyStatistics. org, about 75 percent of all pregnant women experience the unfortunate side effect of morning sickness during the beginning of their pregnancy. These feelings of nausea and uneasi

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Latches for drawers, closets and other doors can deter baby from getting into places that can be dangerous. Door knob covers enable adults to open doors but are too tricky for toddlers to figure out. Clarinda Grandma’s House Daycare director Julie Streitenberger said some safety devices may be overlooked when preparing the home. “There are items that prevent small fingers from being pinched in doors,” she said. “There are spring-activated devices that keep the door open enough to prevent the pinch, but with adult strength, the door can still be closed with the device still attached. Streitenberger reminded parents to consider toilet lid locks to prevent toddlers from getting curious. There are also attachments to water faucets for bathrooms

and kitchens to prevent hot water from injuring the child. “You may want to consider the temperature setting on your hot water heater,” she said. “Grandma’s House is required to have a setting no higher than 120 degrees.” Knowing the hot water heater provides for the appliances, she suggested parents contact a plumber to discuss how a lower hot water temperature could effect performance of the dishwasher. When selecting furniture, look for items with rounded corners, which are safer should a child fall into the furniture. And use a latch to secure top-heavy dressers or armoires to the wall so they cannot fall on a child. MENTAL STIMULATION Young children are constantly exploring the world around them. At a very young age their vision is still developing, so large, bold visuals can help stimulate visual comprehension. Some parents opt

to have vivid wall murals painted in the nursery. But bold, framed artwork or photos can also draw the eye of your little one and keep him or her engaged. Research indicates that listening to music can help stimulate the brain and may even benefit a child’s intellect. Music can also be soothing to a baby, especially one alone in his or her nursery. You can consider a small radio or CD/mp3 player in the room to create a more soothing atmosphere. Ceiling fan New studies have determined that a ceiling fan can help reduce the risk of SIDS. One study out of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif., found that the risk of SIDS was reduced by 72 percent among babies who slept in a room with a ceiling fan. The theory is that the fan circulates air and prevents the rebreathing of expelled carbon dioxide by the infant. In addition to possibly making a room safer, a ceiling fan can help maintain a

comfortable room temperature. You may also want to purchase a baby monitor to be able to keep tabs on your baby when you’re out of his or her room. Bellairs said families that have pets before the newborn arrives may change the dynamics. Bellairs suggested families expose the infant to the pet for the response. Some pets, specifically dogs, have not shown any negative changes in behavior when around infants. “You still need to do that with caution,” she said. Many expecting parents are excited about the prospect of designing and filling the nursery with items that reflect their styles and desires. Although there are many baby things from which to choose, in reality the nursery needs only a few basics at the onset. Eventually, you can add personalized effects as you learn the interests of the child and sort through gifts from family and friends.

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NURSERY

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SIMPLE FACTS Continued from page 7

ness may not be reserved for the morning, either. They can occur at any time of the day. In many cases, as the pregnancy progresses and hormones level out, symptoms of morning sickness abate.

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Growing feet and more A woman’s stomach is not the only thing that will grow during her pregnancy. Pregnant women often witness their bra and shoe sizes increase during a pregnancy. Hormones ready the breasts for lactation, causing swelling of the mammary glands and increased blood flow to the breasts. The medical advisory board of BabyCenter.com says it’s common to go up one or two cup sizes, especially when a woman is pregnant for the first time. The breasts also may feel itchy as the skin stretches, and stretch marks can form on the breast skin. The feet also can grow while pregnant. Ligaments loosen to help with the birthing process, and this can affect ligaments in other areas of the body, including the feet. Feet

may flatten and stretch out on the sides from added weight, and the resulting loosening of ligaments can cause a change in shoe size. Other little-known pregnancy facts Here are some additional facts and tidbits culled from the millions of births that take place every year. • Tuesday is the most popular day for babies to arrive. It could be in part to the growing number of planned cesarean deliveries. Saturdays are the slowest day for births. • More babies are born during the warm months than in the winter. • In 1970, the average age for a first-time mother in the United States was 21. By 2012, that figure had changed to between 25 and 29. • Baby boys tend to outnumber baby girls. This number has remained steady for the last 60 years. • The average woman’s uterus expands up to five hundred times its normal size during pregnancy. Pregnancy can be a miracle and scary at the same time. Getting the facts helps reduce some of the fear and anxiety many expecting women feel during a pregnancy.


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Opting out of vaccinations potentially dangerous Childhood vaccinations are issued to help prevent children from getting sick by building their immunity to diseases that were once prolific. But in the wake of confusing information regarding the safety of vaccinations, particularly the concern that some may be linked to the onset of autism, more and more parents are opting out of having their children vaccinated -- sometimes with unfortunate consequences. Many diseases that are effectively prevented by simple vaccines have cropped up once more. This can be attributed to children simply not getting fully vaccinated. In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert regarding Haemophilus influenza type b, commonly referred to as Hib. Five children in Minnesota contracted the disease, three of whom who were not vaccinated. The CDC also reported that there were 17 outbreaks and 222 cases of measles reported in 2011. A disease that was essentially wiped out in North America is now showing up again and the numbers are rising. Dr. Jason Bowling, an infectious disease specialist, said that in 2011 the United States had the highest number of measles cases of any country in the last 15 years. Although it is likely that most of the cases were contracted outside of the country, kids who haven’t been vaccinated are highly susceptible to measles onset as a result, potentially leading to a greater number of outbreaks in the United States and Canada. Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly infectious respiratory disease that was once considered eradicated but has also made resurgence. Various states across the country have reported many whopping cough outbreaks, to the point that it has been labeled an epidemic once more. Health officials in Washington State have said that the number of outbreaks from spring 2012 are the highest since the 1940s. While whooping cough is usually not fatal among older children and young adults, it can be very dangerous for infants. “There have been outbreaks of whooping cough, or pertusis, locally as we as nationally and children have died from it, which is rather unusual circumstance,” said Shenandoah Medical Center’s ob/gyn Dr. Scott King. “We believe this is due to a lack of childhood vaccinations.” Nearly 80 percent of parents are uncomfortable about having their children vac-

cinated, according to a survey analyzed by researchers at the CDC. Pain from the needle itself and uncertainty about the safety of vaccines is leading many parents to forego shots or delay certain vaccinations until their children are older. It is estimated that roughly 8 percent of American children are now not getting regular vaccinations or doing alternate schedules, and 2 percent are not getting shots at all. The correlation that childhood vaccines may bring the onset of autism is a specific reason why some parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. However, Dr. King said the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as the CDC states there is no evidence that relates the two. “The problem is the age in which you can actually diagnose autism is the age you start vaccinations and so that’s what makes it appear on the surface to be a cause,” said

King. Some parents would like to have their children vaccinated but have postponed routine visits due to unemployment and subsequent loss of health insurance. Some areas have even fell victim to budget cuts that have led to shortages of necessary vaccines. Most health professionals agree that vaccinations are important to the well being of the child and the community, providing the safest way to prevent certain diseases or reduce their severity. There are several recommended vaccinations that children should receive: • DtaP: Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis • Hepatitis A • Hepatitis B • Hib • Influenza • MMR: Measles, mumps and rubella

• Pneumococcal • Polio • Varicella: Chickenpox Smallpox “Here in our country we really do not appreciate the damage that is caused by a lack of vaccinations, as much as in thirdworld countries where they don’t have them,” King said. “Our grandparents grew up in a time where they were signs on people’s houses that read ‘Quarantine’ regarding Scarlet Fever, Polio, Small Pox or Whooping Cough.” It has even been recommended that adults receive a booster of Whooping Cough vaccine, including women that are pregnant. However, parents who have any concerns about vaccinations should speak to a physician to weigh the pros and cons of each vaccination.


By JASON GLENN Staff Writer

“Three is a magic number” went the original Schoolhouse Rock song and that’s the way my wife and I felt when we conceived of our ultimate goal for having kids. Because we were in our mid-30s when we got married and each of us had a sizeable age difference with our siblings – my brother is almost 10 years younger than me and my wife is eight years shy of her sister – we also wanted those three to be pretty tightly spaced, within five or so years of one another. The magic in three, as opposed to one, two or eight children we reckoned, was in the dynamic – big enough for competition, cooperation and complex relations, but small enough to contain. On May 29, our third child, a girl name Jojo, arrived to join her 3 ½-year-old brother Sam and 2-year-old sister Katie. Now, as far as goals go, the biological manufacturing of children is a fairly simple one to achieve, I won’t go into details, but we were nonetheless thrilled that we had been able to pull it off. What we have found, though, is that the process of growing a family beyond a pair of adults in love and into one, two and then three small additions is fraught with challenges to mind, body, spirit, checking account and contact with the outside world. To paraphrase the Notorious B.IG. - Mo’ munchkins, mo’ problems. This is not to say that we don’t count our blessings often. They are all healthy, frequently happy and don’t seem to constitute a general threat to society. But as each has come into the picture, starting with that first queasy, quizzical look on my wife’s face three minutes after her monthly friend failed to show up, the “miracle” has become decidedly more empirical and caused us to worry more about logistics than which shade of orange wall paint would be most psychically beneficial. One Trumpets! A chorus of angels! Psychically beneficial orange wall paint (it’s called Nectarine Sunrise)! There is no greater joy than this which we are feeling and no one in the history of mankind has felt its sublime delight quite as sweetly as we! Amazon.com is our second home as we scour the top 20 “So You’re Expecting…” selections for the perfect tome on

our new journey into parenthood. Ah, what the hell, buy all 20. Forty weeks, give or take, later this beautiful, round, purplish-magenta creation utters the most breathtaking, or giving as the case may be, scream I’ve ever heard and we are smack in the middle of happiness town, holding the tangible proof that two people who met in a bar can produce something more durable and pure than shameful regret. Two We did it again! And it’s a girl (we find out at 20 weeks because neither one of us possesses the will power to wait), so no more trying for the matching set! How are they going to get along? I’m sure he’ll love her, he’s such a sweet and gentle little guy…wait, is he going to be all right with this? Let’s buy him a present. Where’d that book go? Thirty-nine weeks (no VBACs in this town) later, our precious daughter is born, screaming, in a preview of things to come, twice as loud as her brother before her. Speaking of whom, did we leave him at grandma’s? Oh yeah, he’s there and grand-

pa is taking care of the dogs. This time, I brought the laptop so I can get a little work done and update our Facebook page. Thank you all so much for your kind words and “Likes.” Yes, she does look like her dad and mom is doing fine. What’s that, hon? Did I change her diaper? No, I think the nurses have had her for the last hour or two. Is Dancing With the Stars on tonight? Three The ultrasound is an afterthought. She’s preggo and knows it. Yeah, yeah, vitamins, vegetables, quiet time. I sit in the next chair over, two kids and two arms, wondering through the wriggling madness, was this a good idea? She’s thinking the same. Four weeks to go and we realize that we haven’t really told many people outside our immediate circle that we’re actually having another kid. Are we having another kid? Sheepish Facebook update. Where are the ones we already have? Oh yeah, they’re at grandma’s today…We have only one extra bedroom and there are two largely feral inhabitants currently. Bunk bed solves everything! What about that stupid crossover SUV we bought? I used the four-wheel

drive once to get over a curb. Trade it in for the Town and Country as the clock ticks down… She’s here. They’re all in the same room. Three kids. Three bodies to clothe, feed, clean, corral. Three potential Little League and/or State Marching Band participants. Three driving tests. Three college educations, simultaneously for at least a year! Three defenseless creatures relying on us (who met in a bar) for love, sustenance, guidance, warmth, correction and occasional transportation. How…does…this… work…. Wait, they like her. They’re hugging her. They’re saying her name and patting her, ever so gently, on the head. This is the sweetest, most adorable thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Weren’t those the two who were throwing knives around the kitchen this morning? They’re saying “Hi, Jojo” and touching her tiny little fingers, again with a gentleness I was not aware of. That’s the sweetest, most adorable thing I’ve ever seen in my life. My life. It’s all right there. And it’s all right.

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Three kids column


Baby Talk - June 2013 u 12

Maternity is Childbirth

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