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BABIES NATURAL OPENS IN DOWNTOWN WESTERLY see page 10 OH BABY PHOTO CONTEST photos and winners see page 4

THE OB’s AT SOUTH COUNTY HOSPITAL see page 21


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Oh Baby

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014

ADRIENNE ALTOBELLI Director of Special Sections JOHN LAYTON Director of Advertising

FINANCIAL POINTERS 3 for expecting parents

15

TOP TEN baby names for 2014

16

FACTS about childhood fever

18

PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS 2 to 3 years old category

21

TOP-NOTCH OB CARE at South County Hospital

BABIES NATURAL 10 brings back the best in baby care

22

BANISH bad bedtime behavior

PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS 13 1 year old to 2 years old category

23

THREE FACTS about your newborn

CUTEST BABY 4 photo contest photos PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS 4 Newborn to 1 year old category PREGNANCY tip

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Oh Baby 3

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Financial pointers for expecting parents

C

ouples expecting their first child often find that the months leading up to the birth of the baby are an exciting time filled with anticipation. But those months are also a time for expectant parents to make some important decisions regarding their finances. Raising a child is an expensive endeavor, one that couples must start preparing for the moment they learn a baby is on the way, if not earlier. Expecting parents likely know their lives are about to change, and those changes must extend to their finances. The following are a few financial pointers for parents-to-be. DETERMINE YOUR NECESSARY INCOME Many couples have hypothetical discussions regarding children and their finances, but until they receive the news that a baby is on the way, those conversations have a way of being put on the back burner. Now that a baby is on the way, couples need to revisit those discussions, and determining how much income they need is a great place to start. The dual-income household has become the norm in the 21st century, when the cost of living has skyrocketed. But couples must determine if it’s in the family’s best interest for both parents to keep working once their child is born. The cost of childcare is considerable, and it may be in a family’s best interest for just one parent to work until the child reaches school age. Consider your total income as well as your financial obligations (i.e., mortgage, car payments, etc.) and then shop around for the cost of childcare. If it makes more sense to become a single-income household, even if it’s just for a few years, then you will have another important decision to make. DETERMINE WHO IS STAYING HOME Couples who have decided that it’s in their best interests to become a single-income household once their child is born must decide who will be staying home and who will continue working. It’s easy to say the parent who is earning the most should continue working, but that decision is not so black and white. Consider the cost of healthcare offered by each of your employers. Some healthcare plans are significantly more affordable than others, and this might weigh heavily on your decision, especially if both parents are earning relatively similar incomes. Another thing to consider is each of your opportunities for advancement at your current company and within your field. Earning potential should factor heavily into the decision as to which parent will continue working, especially if you plan to have another child down the road. The conversation as to who will

continue working should be treated delicately. DISCUSS YOUR HOUSING NEEDS Couples who are expecting a child often feel this is a great time to abandon apartment living and buy a home of their own. But chances are you can comfortably manage to live in your apartment for a few more years after your child is born. Those extra years of apartment living can give you the chance to save more money so you can afford a nicer home in a better neighborhood that boasts better schools. Or apartment living for a few more years may give you more time to save and place a larger down payment on your home down the road. The larger the initial down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payment, so it might be in your best interest to squirrel away a few more dollars before you go house hunting. ESTABLISH A FINANCIAL SAFETY NET Many financial advisors suggest both singles and couples have between three to six months’ income saved in case of emergency, such as a layoff or an accident that prevents you from working. This is espe-

cially important for expecting couples, who will soon have an additional mouth to feed. This safety net should be big enough so you can comfortably pay all of your bills, including those for housing, transportation and food, for three to six months. If saving that amount of money is not realistic, save as much as possible and continue to do so once your child is born. PURCHASE LIFE INSURANCE Life insurance is perhaps the most important purchase expectant couples can make once they learn a baby is on the way. It’s understandable if young couples without children have no life insurance, but that child on the way will be relying on his or her parents for financial support for at least the next 18 years. Life insurance ensures you can provide that support even if something happens to both you and your spouse. The months leading up to the birth of a child is an exciting time for the expecting parents, but it’s also a time to make some important financial decisions.


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Oh Baby

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014

1st PLACE

NEWBORN TO 1 YEAR OLD 3rd PLACE

2nd PLACE

Matthew

Lexi

Audrina

Layla

Quinn Monroe

Miles

Rylee

Zoe


Oh Baby 5

WWW.THEWESTERLYSUN.COM

Pregnancy Tip

NEWBORN TO 1 YEAR OLD

YOU REALLY WILL GLOW

Saying a pregnant woman is glowing is a common expression, but most people chalk it up to the woman’s excitement about becoming a mommy.

Nolan

Nylah

As it turns out, glowing skin is a very real thing for pregnant women. While you’re pregnant, the amount of blood in your body will increase by 50%. The extra blood ends up showing through the skin in many areas, particularly the cheeks. On top of this, hormones cause the oil glands to become more active, resulting in a softer, shinier appearance. When the increased blood flow combines with shine, the result is a noticeable glow.

Liam

Keagan

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Oh Baby

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014

RN TO O B W E N OLD 1 YEAR

Viviana

Michael

Mason

Kaylin

Stella Rose

Liam

Sophia

Madelyn

Wesley

Ryan

Charlotte & Addison


WWW.THEWESTERLYSUN.COM

Oh Baby 7

71231R


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Oh Baby

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014

Nolan

Jesse

Crosby

Hayden

Drew

Enrique

Juliana

Jack

Gabrielle

Kate

Hudson

Ella


Oh Baby 9

WWW.THEWESTERLYSUN.COM

Kaylin Jo Marie

Enrique

Cullen

Forrest

Ellie

Denver

Nile Malia

Adelyn

Reagan

Camryn

Nathan

Holden


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Oh Baby

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014

Babies Natural

Brings back the best in baby care By RONA MANN Special to The Sun

T

he Town of Westerly let out a collective and mournful sigh last May when the Obstetrics Department at The Westerly Hospital closed for good. Women who had felt so comfortable over the years bringing new life into the world at the local facility where everyone knew them, now felt deserted. New mothers-to-be who had heard wonderful things about the department and had scheduled their baby’s birth there, were now left confused and disappointed. Eventually these families made the choice of having their babies at either New London or Wakefield, both offering competent facilities and excellent pre and post natal care, but those who had been “spoiled” by having their babies at The Westerly Hospital still felt the void. When you break it all down, however, it wasn’t the rooms, the meals, or the equipment that made their experience at Westerly special...it was the commitment and dedication of the staff of that department

who made it all so worthwhile. It was the people in the maternity ward with their knowledge, their years of collective experience, their personal attention, their contagious sense of calm, and even more contagious sense of humor that made birthing at The Westerly Hospital so memorable and unique. Well, there’s good news. While the actual department at the medical facility may have closed, Babies Natural, a brand new business conceived by two former maternity nurses at the hospital, has opened in downtown Westerly, touching upon every layer of bringing a new life into the world with the exception of the actual delivery itself. The nurses, both coincidentally named Jackie (Desmond and Aldrich), have more than 50 years combined in pre-natal care, labor and delivery, post natal care, lactation services, and everything babies; and they want to share it once again with the community they served for so many years. Opening just weeks ago in downtown Westerly at 38 High Street (downstairs from The Beauty Hut), the nurses who are board certified in childbirth education, lactation consultation, and know every facet in the process of having a baby and then successfully and happily learning to care for and raise that baby, offer the benefit of their experience to both new and veteran mothers, fathers, siblings; and most importantly, to the baby itself. Jackie Desmond, she of 34 years of labor and delivery experience who proudly says, “I’ve delivered thousands of babies in this town,” wants to make Babies Natural not just a storefront, but “a community of support based on our knowledge and their needs. When you’re dealing with a first time mother they’re very vulnerable, and everyone wants to give you advice...tell you what you’re doing wrong or right. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and confused.” Jackie Aldrich adds, “We tell all mothers to simply

listen to their instincts. A mother is with her baby 24/7, while a doctor may just have a 10 minute window with his patient, so we try to empower families to listen to their inner voices.” Accordingly, the nurses accomplish this through ongoing education. Although Babies Natural is itself in its infancy, Desmond and Aldrich have designed classes for nearly every level of interest and need. From Childbirth Preparation, whether the family chooses to give birth at home, hospital, or birthing center; to classes in Pre-Natal Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Support Groups, and a special class called The Amazing Newborn that hones in on bathing, dressing, and diapering, there is something for everyone involved in bringing a new life into the world. Desmond and Aldrich have not forgotten the fathers either and have classes that include them as well since they are heavily invested in the raising of their child. Both Aldrich and Desmond stress what they call the “4th Trimester,” the complete process of the baby unfolding from the womb and out into the world. While the nurses put a heavy emphasis on the holistic and natural, there is no proselytizing here. “There is no right or wrong when it comes to having a baby,” Desmond advises. “While we see the benefits to the baby of natural breastfeeding, it is always the mother’s choice.” “We discuss everything with mothers-to-be, pointing out ad-


Oh Baby 11

WWW.THEWESTERLYSUN.COM

vantages and disadvantages of different forms of birth. Ultimately, however, it is their choice and theirs alone, and we fully support their decisions. We believe you have to have an open mind and be educated. We give them a broad view.” Non-judgmental, calming, happy... that’s what Babies Natural is all about. Soothing music plays constantly, there’s a lounge area specifically set aside for meetings, formally or informally, and the nurses allow, “If a mother is downtown shopping and needs to nurse her baby,” they can just come in here. They don’t have to buy anything or join anything. We just give them a quiet, friendly place which is good both for them and their baby. And anyone can come in and use our books as a library. It’s all about education.” Education, relaxation, information, fun, support groups. Aldrich and Desmond are especially proud of the newly created Due Date Club which brings together mothers who are all due within the same month. Together they can explore issues and ideas, discuss products, work through fears, laugh at their common experiences, and bond. After each member of the Due Date Club delivers, it gives them a ready-made support group, not to mention a place to show off their new babies. There has been talk of having small baby showers at Babies Natural in the future, of starting a grandparents’ group to let them know the newest safety information and products to make their babysitting job easier. There will be infant massage offered, Mother and Baby Yoga classes, even a class in cloth diapering. “They’re getting away from disposable diapers,” Aldrich offers. “They’ve found that the chemicals in them aren’t good for baby’s skin and certainly not good for our landfills.” To complement all they do, there are practical and gift products for sale at Babies Natural, products not easily found in mainstream stores. They are good for the environment, good for mom or the caretaker, and bet-

ter and safer for baby. And that’s what this unique and wonderful business is all about, first and foremost. Aldrich and Desmond have even added a gift registry, so families and friends may purchase items for baby, for mom; or even better, a class or two to benefit them both. All which contributes to the joy of bringing new life into the world in the best way possible for each individual mother, family, and baby. The nurses sit back in their chairs, their heads dancing with ideas. In all the years they’ve worked in hospitals delivering babies, educating mothers, and making the experience of birth a beautiful one, their focus has never changed. It’s what empowers them and drives Babies Natural. “It gives me great joy,” says Aldrich. “This is why I went into nursing in the first place.” Babies Natural is located at 38 High Street, lower level www.babiesnatural.com (401) 596-3849

PHOTOS BY JILL CONNOR AND GRACE WHITE


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Oh Baby

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014

RN TO NEWBO OLD 1 YEAR

Cyrus

Eleanor

Charlie

Brody

Brycen

Brayden

Nayla

Catherine

Azlan

Augustus

Alena


Oh Baby 13

WWW.THEWESTERLYSUN.COM

NEWBORN TO 1 YEAR OLD

Annabella

Brooklyn Hope

Carter

Anja

1 YEAR OLD TO 2 YEARS OLD 1st PLACE 2nd PLACE

Isabella

Matthew

3rd PLACE

Bridget

Brennan

Gianni

Annamaria

Ethan

Hunter


14

Oh Baby

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014

D 1 YEAR OL RS OLD TO 2 YEA

Isabelle

Henry

Jacob Matthew

Malika

Jacob

John

Sherry

Luke

Emily

Serenity

Colton


Oh Baby 15

WWW.THEWESTERLYSUN.COM

Top Ten

Central Nursery School’s

Baby Names of 2014

Upcoming Preschool Registration Day Make your child’s education part of a 44 year old Westerly tradition!

MALE

Date: March 13, 2014 Time: 12pm-2pm Place: 16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI 02891

Learn more on the web www.centralnurseryschool.webs.com

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Advanced women’s healthcare. For every age. Our highly skilled obstetrics/gynecology providers specialize in a full range of comprehensive, patient-focused women’s healthcare services for adolescents and adults, including pre- and post-natal care right here in Westerly. We offer a full complement of services, including Infertility Evaluation and Treatment, Family Planning and Onsite Ultrasound and Laboratory Services among others. All childbirth services are offered at L+M’s New London state-of-the-art Maternity Unit, the region’s leading birth center and the area’s only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

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For more information, please call 401.348.0008 or visit westerlyhospital.org.

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2/11/14 4:27 PM


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Oh Baby

Facts

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014

about childhood fever

F

evers scare many parents. When a child’s temperatures rises, it can induce panic and helplessness. But when parents recognize that fevers are oftentimes not incredibly harmful to children, that recognition can reduce panic and overreliance on fever-reducing medication. If a child is healthy, a fever does not necessarily indicate anything serious. A fever is a rise in temperature initiated by the hypothalamus in the brain, which acts as the body’s internal thermostat. The average body temperature is 98.6 F (37 C), but if body temperature is measured consistently throughout the day, this temperature will fluctuate. In fact, body temperature is often lower in the morning and higher in the middle of the day. In many cases, the hypothalamus raises body temperature as the result of an infection or illness, according to the Nemours Foundation for Children’s Health. It is believed that making the body less hospitable to viruses and bacteria helps reduce their propensity to grow and multiply. A fever is often a good indicator that a person is sick, which can sometimes be difficult to determine if there are no apparent symptoms. This can parents and doctors discover what is triggering the fever. For parents of toddlers and older children, a fever of 103 F or less is generally nothing to run to the doctor about. There is no inherent harm in letting the fever run its course, and it can actually prove beneficial in fighting the viral or bacterial illness that is causing the fever in the first place. If your child is a newborn, a fever of 101 F or higher can be considered a medical emergency and should be evaluated by a doctor right away. Youngsters ages 7 weeks to 3 months should be brought to a doctor immediately if they have a fever of 101 or higher. If a child has a fever of 104 or higher and his or her body temperature will not come down to 101 or 102, even with treatment, this is a cause for concern. This guideline, courtesy of renowned childhood medical expert Dr. Sears, can help parents determine if their child’s body temperature is something they should be concerned about. • Normal temperature - 97 to 99 degrees (36 to 37.2 Celsius). • Low-grade fever - 99 to 100.9 degrees (37.3 to 38.3 Celsius). • Common fever - 101 to 103.5 degrees (38.4 to 39.7 Celsius).

• High fever - any fever over 103.6 degrees (39.8 Celsius). Most pediatricians agree that a fever should not be treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen if it is not making a child extremely uncomfortable. These medications can be used if the child has pain or is complaining about how they feel about the fever. Acetaminophen is used every 4 hours while ibuprofen lasts a little longer and is given every 6 to 8 hours. When checking fevers, parents often wonder which thermometer is best. While some parents employ the lips-on-the-forehead method, there are more accurate methods of determining temperature readings.

GLASS RECTAL OR ORAL/UNDERARM THERMOMETERS: These have been around the longest and have a proven record of accuracy. They do take the longest to read a temperature and can be difficult when dealing with fidgety kids. EAR THERMOMETER: This quick and easy thermometer has become a favorite method. But accuracy can vary, giving different readings from each ear. TEMPORAL THERMOMETER: Another quick method, this thermometer is swept across the temporal artery in the forehead and has a better accuracy rating than the ear thermometer.


Oh Baby 17

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er Show Baby y egistr Gift R ble! Availa

Babies Natural provides you with holistic, natural concepts concerning pregnancy, birth and baby care. Offering Classes: NEW* Infant massage NEW* Sacred Pregnancy Birth Journey Birthing and parenting classes as well as a “Due Date Club”. Licensed Lactation consultants and certified in Baby Wearing Cloth Diapering The Lactorium: Pumping and Work The Amazing Newborn Breastfeeding Support Group Prenatal Breastfeeding Childbirth Preparation Babies Natural specializes in mom and baby products and offers unique gifts. Offering products from • Econobum • Bum Genius • NoseFrida • Earth Mama/Angel Baby • Aden and Anais • Moby • Boba • Piggyback Rider • Sili Squeeze • Inspired by Finn ~amber

• Charlie’s Soap • Happi Tummi • Nursing Covers • Milk Savers • Preggie Pops • Ringley • Lily Pads • Snappi • Ecovessel

...with more to come.

Stop in and see what we have on hand.

owners

Jacquelyn Desmond RN, CCES, CLC Jacquelyn Aldrich RN, BSN, IBCLC

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38B High Street, Westerly, RI 02891 401-596-3849 | www.babiesnatural.com

Winter Hours: Mon 4:00pm - 7:00pm Tues 4:00pm - 7:00pm • Wed Closed Thur 4:00pm - 7:00pm • Fri 4:00pm - 7:00pm Sat 10:00pm - 5:00pm • Sun 10:00pm - 5:00pm


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Oh Baby

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014

1 YEAR OLD TO 2 YEARS OLD

Jacob

Avery Rose

Ryder

Connor

Emily

Callen

Ava

Alexis Rose

1st PLACE

2 TO 3 YEARS OLD 2nd PLACE

Mary

Luciana

3rd PLACE

Maija & Kasey

Mackenzie, Madison & Morgan


C M Y K

WWW.THEWESTERLYSUN.COM

Oh Baby 19

15

Oh, Baby!

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Make sure mom and dad are alternating sleeping positions, by using a baby blanket over your mid section tucked in the crib’s edges. This will allow for proper head shape development which could prevent torticollis. What is torticollis? A painful and debilitating condition called “wry neck” or “twisted neck” from always lying on your back, creating a misshapen head.

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Oh Baby

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014

Camelia

Gavin

Bentley

Peyton

Beckett

Andrew

Ryan

Tyler

James

Leven

Aria

Leila


Oh Baby 21

WWW.THEWESTERLYSUN.COM

Top-Notch OB Care at South County Hospital By ANNA MARIA TRUSKY Special to The Sun

W

hen Dr. Andy Neuhauser learned that Westerly Hospital would no longer offer obstetrical care, he was sad to contemplate leaving the healthcare institution where he’d brought babies into the world for more than two decades. However, after a year at South County Hospital in Wakefield, Dr. Neuhauser is happy to say that he feels right at home! “Despite the fact that OB care is no longer provided in Westerly, patients have a nearby alternative with a highly competent team of people ready and willing to take care of them on a 24-by-7 basis,” he says. Dr. Neuhauser elected to move to the Wakefield hospital for several reasons. “South County is similar to Westerly in many ways—it has a nice, community feeling. The quality of clinical care is excellent. The culture is friendly and upbeat and morale is very high,” he explains. And one of the best parts, he points out, is that he gets to work with quite a few familiar colleagues. “Many of the nurses from Westerly have also found a new home at South County,” Dr. Neuhauser notes. “It is a real bonus to have a lot of experienced delivery nurses and lactation consultants on staff as well as the six doctors and three midwives, who are wonderful.”

daughters have moved to Chicago and Los Angeles. Although he and his wife are enjoying some travel time— and he hopes to do medical work on a volunteer basis globally in the near future—Dr. Neuhauser plans to continue his local practice for many years to come. “The average age OBGYN physicians quit obstetrics is 47. People get tired of all stress and strain and the late nights,” he acknowledges. “But at South County the hours are easier; with more physicians as well as midwives to care for patients, there are fewer middle-of-the-night trips to the hospital. I love what I do and I have no plans to retire.” That’s great news for OBGYN patients in southern Rhode Island! Dr. Neuhauser started his medical career in the U.S. Navy after obtaining his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine. Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Neuhauser completed his residency at the U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego. He is an adjunct professor in nursing at the University of Rhode Island. Another member of the outstanding OB staff at South County Hospital’s Center for Women’s Health is NurseMidwife Lori Kelley, who also worked at Westerly Hospital until obstetric care was eliminated there. A Certified Nurse Midwife, Kelly has delivered more than 1,000 babies since she entered the midwifery profession in 1998.

Dr. Andy Neuhauser OBGYN

Dr. Neuhauser is happy to report that many of his previous patients have “weathered the storm and followed me to South County. I have done several deliveries for longtime patients from Westerly. South County is only a short drive up Route 1. There are very few lights, so it takes only about 20 minutes to get up here. I tell my Westerly patients they don’t even have to get on Route 95 to have their babies!” At South County, Dr. Neuhauser performs between 10 and 15 deliveries per month; the group as a whole delivers between 60 and 70 babies per month. He sees OBGYN patients in Wakefield as well as at South County’s new Charlestown office, and he still has office hours in Westerly. “I love Westerly—it’s been my home since 1990 and I raised my kids here,” Dr. Neuhauser notes. His two grown

After Lori received her midwife nursing degree from the University of Rhode Island and her nursing degree from Rhode Island College, she worked for 12 years as a labor and delivery nurse at Women and Infant’s Hospital in Providence, as well as at Partners for OBGYN and the Center for Women, before working at Westerly Hospital. As she approaches her one-year anniversary, Lori is thankful to be at South County now. “I live only five minutes away, which is great—especially when I get calls in the middle of the night,” Kelley says. “South County is very friendly and welcoming. You can’t walk down a hallway without someone saying hello. The providers are great and very committed to our patients. A lot of nurses from Westerly went to South County, which is wonderful for our former patients, who like to see familiar faces.” One testament to South County’s outstanding obstetric care is that its rate for Caesarian-section procedures is far below the national average. “The national average hospital rate for C-section births is between 33 and 35 percent, but South County’s is only 12 percent. The staff is very patient and nobody’s in a rush to get home. If a C-section is performed, that’s because everything else has been tried first to help a

patient have a normal delivery,” Kelley explains. At South County, the labor, delivery, recovery, and post-partum care all occur in the same room, so patients aren’t rushed out of a room to be moved somewhere else, Kelley points out. “The hospital encourages breast feeding and many of the nurses are certified lactation consultants. We also have a tub that is used to facilitate delivery for women who wish to avoid anesthesia. It looks like something you would find in a spa.”

Nurse-Midwife Lori Kelley

“We spend as much time as we can with patients, so they get much more individualized attention than they would in a larger hospital,” Kelley notes. “Recently I got a call from a patient I’d helped with her first delivery. She was determined to get through it without anesthesia. I spent time with her and we got her into the tub to help relieve her pain. It was a beautiful birth. She said, ‘Thank God you were there because if you hadn’t been I would have needed anesthesia.’ It brought tears to my eyes.” Kelley has been happy to see many former patients from Westerly. “One of my patients delivered her first two children at Westerly Hospital and just had her third at South County. It is sad that Westerly lost its obstetric care, but South County is really helping to make up for that loss.” Kelley herself has four grown children. One is in residency to become a physician, another is a nurse who recently has her first baby, a third lives in California and recently became engaged, and the fourth is still at home. Married for 33 years, Kelley is an avid biker who takes a biking trip to Europe every year “This year we plan to go to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland,” Kelley says. “It has become quite a family event. My sisters will be coming, as well as my cousin and her husband and my father and uncle, who are both in their eighties. We laugh, have fun, and create great memories.” Kelley also enjoys running, reading, and knitting. “Knitting is a great hobby for midwives, because we do a lot of waiting,” she says with a smile.


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Oh Baby

Banish

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014

bad bedtime behavior

A

s much as parents may anticipate their childrens’ bedtime as a point in the day when they can finally enjoy some peace and quiet, there are those moms and dads who dread bedtime, which can be frustrating for even the most level-headed parents. Parents may face a host of issues at bedtime each night, but each requires patience and perseverance so bad behaviors can be broken once and for all.

WIRED CHILDREN What parent hasn’t experienced a child who is too excited to go to bed? Experts say that, depending on their age, children need 9 to 11 hours of sleep every night. Most children should be in bed by 8 p.m. to get the sleep their bodies need. If you miss the window of time to get them in bed, you may enter the overtired and wired period. A consistent bedtime and wake time can help set the pace for happy kids who are sleepy when they should be. Their bodies will adjust to the schedule, and over time they will involuntarily become tired when the time is right. OVER-STIMULATION Children have many more toys and recreational activities at their disposal than their parents and grandparents did when they were children. The presence of these devices, including video game consoles and personal tablet computers, may not make for an ideal sleep environment. Sleep therapists advise that television watching and activities that engage the mind a good deal should be ceased prior to bed and replaced with more relaxing activities. This can include listening to soothing music or reading a few pages of a favorite story. Avoid activities that will increase energy levels, such as exercise or rough-housing, before bed. THE BED HOG There are plenty of parents who embrace the concept of the “family bed,” where everyone sleeps comfortably together. However, those who want their beds to be their private domain may be put off and disturbed by small feet kicking them in the night. But when faced with a midnight temper tantrum, many parents relent and let their child climb into their bed. This can cause a pattern of behavior that is difficult to break. Sleep training involves getting toddlers or older children accustomed to sleeping in their own beds again. It may begin by a parent “camping out” in the child’s room to provide security. Over a period of days, the parent gradually moves closer to the door and then out of the room entirely once the child can comfortably sleep solo in his or her room. Initially, the process may be uncomfortable for kids and parents alike. But eventually it may solidify good sleeping habits.

INCONSISTENCY A routine lets children known when it is time to go to sleep. Lacking a consistent schedule may not provide the physical cues that it is time to go to bed. Adhere to a routine each and every night so children become trained to go to bed at a particular time. This routine may include brushing teeth, picking out pajamas and then snuggling together for a few minutes. Children are creatures of habit, and knowing what to expect will help set them up for sleeping success. SAFETY ISSUES Some parents cannot get a good night’s sleep because

they worry about their children rising in the middle of the night and wandering the house unattended or even leaving the home. Childproofing the home can calm those concerns. Placing a secure gate at the doorway of the child’s room can limit roaming, while alarms placed on doors and windows can alert parents if a child is trying to open a window or exit the home. Parents can take many steps to fix problematic bedtime behaviors and ensure the entire household gets the sleep they need.


Oh Baby 23

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Oh Baby

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Oh Baby, 2014