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B A B Y!



• Birth Options • New Trends • Care for Mom • and more


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Our cover model is the 2015 Today’s Family Beautiful Baby winner, Ashlyn Seow-Thomas. Ashlyn is an enthusiastic 15-month-old whose favorite phrase is “ta-da!” Her parents, Ashley and Antonio Thomas, say she dances whenever she hears a Taylor Swift song and enjoys reading her Minnie Mouse piano book.

Dr. Korie Acord, owner of Derby City Pediatric Dentistry, met Ashlyn and presented her with the $1,000 savings bond and basket of goodies.

At 10 months old, Nash Vogel, the winner of our Beautiful Baby Runner-Up contest, is the son of Kate and Jeremy Vogel. Nash has fun NASH VOGEL playing with the family’s television remote, cell phones, and his dog Tito. Nash flashes his adorable smile for anyone who is nearby and always shows affection. “He loves waving hi, giving high fives and playing peek-a-boo,” says his mom, Kate.


The Today’s Family Beautiful Baby contest is determined by votes online at The winner receives a $1,000 savings bond and the runner-up receives a $250 savings bond and prize bucket from Derby City Pediatric Dentistry. PHOTOS: MELISSA DONALD

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Other Suggestions from Parent Writers Kite-flying is a great experience for children ages 5 and under. It is funny to see the wind whip a kite around, its tail soaring and sinking. What a thrill to hold the string and feel the powerful gusts of air. -Carrie Vittitoe

By Stacy Westray Tackett


hat do children need to know by the time they turn 5?

So many parents are so focused on getting their young children off a bottle, off the pacifier, and out of diapers that they forget some things that are far more important. I have been in education since 1986, and I am a mom. I’m by no means a “Fuddy Dud” who doesn’t understand the differences between generations. The world is so competitive, and schools so are competitive, that sometimes parents focus so much on academics that they forget to teach their children social skills. Being a school administrator in a K-8 school for the past seven years has truly opened my eyes to changes in technology, academics, and parenting. It is a huge adjustment for kids when they begin kindergarten, but if they have these skills already built in, they will have greater all-around success.

Social Skills: By the time a child turns 5, he or she should be able to: • Follow simple directions or instructions without complaining, negotiating, or refusing • Follow basic rules and understand consequences of not following the rules • Listen to an adult without interrupting or contradicting • Play with another child independently, under supervision, without conflict, and without constant adult intervention (cooperative play) • Share and take turns willingly • Cope when he does not get his way • Understand it is OK to make a mistake • Accept the answers “No,” “Please wait,” and “Not now” without having a meltdown, arguing, negotiating, or disrupting others • Accept correction or reprimands without throwing a fit • Wait and be patient • Use basic terms such as “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” and “I’m sorry” • Know how to advocate for herself and communicate her needs in a respectful manner • Understand the importance of telling the truth • Look an adult in the eye when talking to her

Personal Skills: By the time a child turns 5, he or she should be able to: • Put on his jacket, coat, or sweater and take it off without pulling sleeves inside out • Wash her hands and dry them off • Use the bathroom correctly and independently, including pulling up his own pants • Blow or wipe her nose using a tissue • Use basic manners: chew with his mouth closed, push in her chair, hold the door for another student, and respect the space of others Stacy Westray Tackett lives in St. Matthews with her husband and son. She has an adult son and daughter. She has been assistant principal of St. Aloysius Catholic School since 2007.

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Throw a baseball or softball. • Learn how to swim — in the pool and in the ocean. • Sing and listen to music. • Ride a bike. • Swing. • Help in the kitchen. • Fold clothes. • Pick up toys. • Write thank-you notes or sign them at least. • Plant and grow seeds. • Play in a leaf pile that the family rakes up. • Be quiet in church. • Help with a pet. • Look people in the eye when speaking to them. • Create art. -Mary Ellen Bianco

Before age 5, I believe all children should be taken to the library to help develop a love of learning and showcase that there is no limit to finding out the answers to their whys and hows! Parents should provide opportunities to explore answers and foster curiosity through reading. -Stephanie White

• We felt strongly that Ian should be exposed to nature. That is why we bought a house on a pond with a nature trail. • A trip to Disney! I know it’s cliché, but it is so true. Five years old is the perfect time to capture all that magic. • Music of all types. My husband is a Grateful Dead fan and I am a pop queen, so our son loves it all. • A parent should try to provide many experiences, not just material goods. Yes, Legos will keep them busy, but a trip outside will be a great learning tool and wear them out. -LaDonna Kennedy

I think every small child should know how to escape from the home in an emergency such as a fire or home invasion. Fifty years ago, this would’ve been scoffed at, claiming a 3- or 4-year-old wouldn’t know what to do. Today we have kids who are barely walking managing to call 911 and understanding emergencies. I think they should have an active part in the family’s monthly safety drills. -John G. Warren

Take the child on a hike. A child should be able to witness nature, touch it, feel the calm inside the forest floor, and get dirty. Instilling the notion that we are earth cultivates respect and harmony with nature and a sense of peace. -Megan M. Seckman |


Don’t Become an Isolated Mom By Tami L. Pyles

was at the grocery store, my baby and toddler in tow, desperately trying to get through my list before someone had a meltdown, when I heard two of the most beautiful words: “Hi, Tami.” I looked up, and it was a mom from our preschool. We had recently moved, I had recently lost my job, and I was trying to navigate staying home with two kids under age 3. I had no friends in my new town. This woman actually knew who I was! As she went on with her shopping, she had no idea what an impact her friendly greeting made. I left the store thinking perhaps I would make friends here after all, and I already felt less isolated and lonely. Whether you are a new mom or a mom transitioning to a new city or new way of life, there is no substitute for the benefits provided by friendship. It allows you to grow, release, find strength, and — studies even show — stay healthy. Taking time to cultivate and nurture your friendships is one of the best things you can do to survive and enjoy all that motherhood has in store for you. Making friends can be hard, especially as a busy, overwhelmed, or exhausted mom. Here are some things to consider:



g Join or volunteer with a group Friendships form as you work side-by-side with women focused on a similar purpose. During my transition to stay-at-home-mom, I joined my local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group and helped plan events. I got to channel some of my unused corporate talents and make wonderful friends too. Check with your hospital or with your church for group options. Meetup ( also provides a way to look up moms’ groups in the area. Other great mommy meeting opportunities include attending story time at your local library and working out at a gym that offers childcare.

g Exercise empathy Women are known for their ability to empathize. Use that talent to reach out to others who need a smile, a meal, or a call. Invite them to a play date or moms’ night out. We can all relate to feeling new or out of place at one time or another. Be the woman who makes that uneasiness fade and extend your friendship first.

g See into the future Befriending a mom who has older kids can not only help you prepare for what is to come but also gives you that been-theredone-that perspective. While sleepless nights and potty training may seem never-ending, a friend who has been through it and lived to tell about it can give you the encouragement you need to push through your latest mommy challenge.

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g Sideline screen time While Facebook and Pinterest allow us to stay connected, get off the computer and have a real conversation. Online friendships, while nice, are not a substitute for face-to-face conversation and connection. Have coffee with a friend or set a phone call “talk date.”

g Make time for your friends After a long day of changing diapers, making meals, and endlessly cleaning things, it is hard to feel like being there for anyone else. Take one night a week to reach out to a friend to see how she is doing. Simply making the effort will give you a release and strengthen your friendships. Fast forward four years from my grocery store trip. The woman who said hello to me is one of many I am lucky to call my friend. Friendships — especially building new ones, as I found — take effort and time, but motherhood is a journey made much sweeter with friends. Taking time to cultivate and nurture the gift of friendship is an investment of time you will not regret. Tami L. Pyles is the owner of Thrive On Consulting, which is dedicated to helping those with food allergies. She lives in Prospect, Kentucky, with her husband and two daughters, ages 6 and 4. |


Chiropractic Care for Baby Alternative therapies outside the pediatrician’s office that can help your little one By Megan M. Seckman

t 4 weeks old, Jenna Embry’s new baby, Olive, started crying and wouldn’t stop. “She cried all day, non-stop,” Embry says. “She would scream for an hour and a half straight until she wore herself out and would then pass out. When she woke up, she’d start it all over again.” Olive suffered from severe acid reflux, a condition that occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close all the way, allowing stomach acid to move up the esophagus and resulting in burning chest pain. “You could hear her choking on her stomach acid,” Embry recalls. Olive’s pediatrician began a treatment of various pharmaceuticals that caused her severe constipation and didn’t seem to be relieving her pain. During this time, Embry visited her regular chiropractor for an adjustment and brought up her baby’s issues. The chiropractor recommended a visit to Rachael Kuperus, D.C., of Kuperus Family Chiropractic, who specializes in pediatric chiropractic and craniosacral therapies for the whole family. “My insurance covered 26 visits, so I thought it would be worth a shot,” Embry says. “At that time, Olive would go a whole week without having a bowel movement. She was still in pain, so she refused to have tummy-time, which caused the back of her head to flatten. I also noticed that she wasn’t able to turn her head to the right. She was just uncomfortable all the time.” During the first session, Dr. Kuperus held Olive on her lap and distracted her with toys as she gently turned Olive’s head, adjusted her spine, and pushed gingerly on her tailbone. After one week, Jenna noticed Olive’s head beginning to round, and she finally pooped. After two visits, Olive could turn her head equally on both sides, and her crying days came to a close. “I told my pediatrician how much better Olive was after the chiropractor at our next appointment, and he attributed the success to the new medication — which we did start around the same time as seeing the chiropractor — and to her age,” Embry says. “Maybe the combination of the new medication and the chiropractor helped. I don’t know, but I could see a difference in her head shape and her overall comfort after that first visit.” Dr. Wendy Daly of Brownsboro Park Pediatrics incorporates integrative practices in the treatment of her little patients. “I recommend several alternative therapies to my patients: craniosacral, the use of probiotics and homeopathics that have gone


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through rounds of research studies, and sometimes, yes, chiropractic care,” she says. “I go to one myself; I respect what my colleagues do. “Chiropractic care is especially beneficial for early scoliosis treatment. In fact, I had two patients with uneven hips that made one leg longer than the other. I referred both to chiropractors, and the one patient who followed through avoided surgery and was normal one year later. The patient whose parents did not incorporate this treatment had to have surgery because the condition worsened.” Kuperus says that when the body is misaligned, many issues arise. “The misalignments are called subluxations,” she says. “Birth is often a traumatic experience for babies: Contractions are forced on an infant’s head and neck by the uterus, the spine is twisted and pulled during delivery, forceps, vacuum. Subluxations affect the function of the nervous system, and many symptoms can result.” She explains that a subluxation of the sacrum (tailbone) can affect the nerve supply to the colon and pelvic floor, resulting in a spasm of ligaments that cause constipation. A misalignment of the neck muscles after the trauma of birth can restrict the drainage of lymph nodes, “After two resulting in clogged Eustachian tubes visits, Olive and ear infections. “I have many referrals could turn her from pediatricians, OTs, PTs, and lactation head equally consultants who understand what I do,” Kuperus says. “I have found that both on both sides, parents and professionals who do not have and her crying any experience with chiropractic have a days came to much scarier idea about what an adjustment a close.” looks like than what it actually is. When they see how delicate and gentle a treatment is, they are often pleasantly surprised.” Olive’s screaming days came to a close after a few visits to the chiropractor. Was it the alternative therapy or the pharmaceuticals? Embry’s not sure, but she says she’ll use her remaining visits covered by her insurance. As long as Olive’s treatments cause her to coo and thrive instead of scream and writhe, she’ll welcome this alternative therapy into the whole treatment of her child. Megan M. Seckman lives in Louisville with her husband Billy and their children Will (10) and Nadine (7). |


New Ways to Help You Get Pregnant From bankrolling in-vitro fertilization to putting your best egg forward, advances in medicine and technology could have you advancing toward the labor and delivery unit. By Keri Foy


fter I got pregnant with my first, I thought getting pregnant again would be a piece of baby shower cake. Not true. Turns out, I wasn’t producing enough progesterone and needed to take a supplement to sustain a pregnancy. The truth is that just because you’ve had one child, the second isn’t a shoo-in. “About half my patients are women who already have one child,” says Dr. Sherif Awadalla, the medical director for the Institute of Reproductive Health in Cincinnati. The path to pregnancy isn’t always straightforward. In fact, about one in 10 women have impaired fertility, according to the CDC. After two miscarriages, Leigh Ann Burckhardt, mom of two, took shots once a day, then twice daily after 35 weeks to prevent blood clots. “If you’re having problems, I think a woman should get a second opinion,” Leigh Ann says. Our stories of trial and error in the quest to have babies seem more common. Chandler, a character from the TV sitcom Friends, eloquently explained his wife’s desire

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for a child with this simple sentence: “She’s a mother… without a baby.” Advances in fertility can help those “moms without babies” get and stay pregnant. Here are the four latest trends in fertility treatments.


Genetic testing takes the guesswork out of embryo selection

Three years ago, doctors chose embryos to implant for invitro fertilization (IVF) based on looks alone. But like the old saying goes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. New genetic testing on embryos now screens all the embryo’s chromosomes to determine if it’s genetically normal before IVF. Estimated to cost around $5,000, this test helps doctors select the best embryo, which decreases the likelihood of a miscarriage because of chromosomal abnormalities. “If you’ve got seven embryos ready for IVF, we can now literally handpick the embryo that has the best chance of surviving,” says Dr. Johanna Archer from Fertility First, who is the only female board-certified reproductive endocrinologist in Kentucky.

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Freeze your eggs for a later date

The uterus of a 20-year old doesn’t look that different from a 40-year-old’s. While your ovaries – and your eggs – age, the uterus stays about the same. If you’re approaching your mid-30s and getting pregnant doesn’t seem like a near-future event, freezing your eggs to get pregnant later in life is a newer route. “This is a great option for a woman who doesn’t have a partner at the moment but plans to become pregnant one day,” Awadalla says. “It also gives some confidence to women recently diagnosed with cancer who want to preserve their eggs before chemotherapy or radiation treatment.” Freezing eggs, a $5,000 investment up front and a $500 yearly storage fee, used to be a riskier gamble compared to freezing embryos. The new process of freezing, called vitrification, is proving more successful than previous procedures.


Better incubators, purer drugs, and quality fluid improve in-vitro fertilization

After eight miscarriages in 19 months, Chinh Scharinger, mom of three, was ready to try IVF. “I had a really easy time with IVF, and it worked,” she says. “But I know other people who have tried, and it wasn’t so easy.” Doctors and researchers continue to hone IVF to make it more like Chinh’s experience. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IVF has a 32 percent chance of a live birth, which is an improvement over the last 10 years. The stats are increasing thanks to advances in technology and medicine. The environment, such as the incubator in the lab and the fluid that sustains the embryo, is a crucial part of the IVF procedure and has been improved. New injectable drugs now contain pure follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This form, which is more effective with less adverse effects than other popular fertility drugs, costs about $500 to $1,000 a month.


Bankroll IVF with money-back guarantees

With IVF ranging in price from $12,000 to $15,000, some fertility practices offer “guaranteed IVF” or “shared risk” programs. More expensive than typical IVF by about 50 percent, patients agree to IVF services at a prepaid price but will recoup 70 percent of their investment if IVF doesn’t work. Essentially, patients either get a baby or get their money back. How many eggs do you have left? When Leslie C., mom of two, was thinking about having her third child, her fertility doctor, Miriam Krause, M.D., who practices at Fertility and Endocrine Associates, recommended she get an anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test. “Even though a woman in her 30s may look and feel young, her ovaries are aging,” says Dr. Krause, who presented information on the AMH test to the Louisville OB/GYN Society last year. It’s for this reason that Krause recommends her patients get the AMH test, which is thought to reflect the size of the remaining egg supply or “ovarian reserve,” as a first line test. She believes the results are better than the previously standard Day 3 Testing, which has to be taken in a short time span during a woman’s menstrual cycle. The AMH test can be taken on any day. While this test doesn’t measure egg quality, a higher AMH level correlates with more eggs with which to work. Keri Foy lives in Prospect with her husband David and their children Olivia (6), Miles (3), and Vivienne (1).

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New App Analyzes Data to Track Your Fertility Created by the founder of PayPal, Max Levchin, Glow helps you track everything from diet and exercise to fertility. Use your smartphone to help you on your journey to pregnancy with an app everyone is raving about. Glow crunches vast quantities of data, empowering you to take control of your reproductive health. As women start families later, the app aims to help them achieve pregnancy as quickly as possible. A 2014 Webby winner for best Health & Fitness app, some highlights include: • Predicts ovulation. • Gives reminders before your fertile window starts. • Provides a mirror app for your partner to share the journey • Assists women undergoing fertility treatments such as IVF. The free app is available for download on the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon App Store.


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Birthing Options So, you’re having a baby. You’ve got a lot to think about, we know, but you have the rest of your life to fret over your parenting decisions. First, you must decide how this baby will be brought into the world. By Megan M. Seckman with help from Susan Linville, certified doula

First-time mom I am raising a baby, not a birth. Let’s get this over with, as pain-free as possible, so I can get on with the business of parenting. You can knock me out; I’m not much interested in seeing this messy business anyway.


I am a natural woman, hear me roar. I want to experience the whole natural, whiteknuckled, beautiful experience of birth. Women have done this for centuries, so how bad could it be?

I’ve had a C-section or vaginal birth with an epidural, and I’ll go with what I know.

Hospital Delivery Options Create a detailed birth plan and use your OB-GYN. If interventions are necessary, the physician will manage accordingly. A big OB-GYN practice with a hospital delivery is probably best for mothers needing a C-section or help with pain. The higher C-section and induction rates mean you’ll have experienced physicians, although they probably rotate their call, so your baby may be delivered by another OB in the group. Nurses will monitor your progress until the doctor arrives for the Want some bling pushing. with your birth? Norton’s

Hire a doula to advocate for you and your baby during labor and delivery. While the OB-GYN dashes in at the crowning moment of delivery, a doula will attend the entire labor and delivery and help you make big decisions before and during the birth, provide information and advocacy throughout your labor, coach you and your birth partner to ease pressure, sometimes provide photography packages, and work as a liaison between your family and the hospital staff. Your OB will still deliver the baby. Cost: $200-700 for two prenatals and delivery.

Women’s Care at Suburban offers Joseph’s Salon and Spa packages for new mothers: mani/ pedis, reflexology, massage, and hair and makeup for afterbirth photos.

Delayed Cord Clamping during Kangaroo Care allows the cord blood to flow into the baby for 30-60 minutes after birth. This practice can increase circulation, lower risk of blood transfusion, and increase Baby’s red blood cell volume.

I’ve had a C-section in the past and felt robbed of my vaginal birth experience. Or, I’m so good at natural childbirth, I could do it in my sleep.

Home Delivery

Deliver your baby with a midwife at Clark Memorial or UofL. Midwives are certified by the medical field and will attend the entire birthing experience from labor to delivery. Midwives have a lower C-section rate and higher VBAC success rates. They’ll provide the emotional and physical support you need and will support natural or interventional (pain management) choices. If issues arise (major tear, need for vacuum, forceps, or C-section), the midwife calls in the OB-GYN for interventions. Otherwise, one woman handles the whole shebang.

Opt for a home birth. The state of Kentucky does not issue a license for a midwife to deliver within the home, so it is legal to deliver your baby at home, just not with a midwife. Plus, it’s about the only scenario in which you can eat during your labor.

Find your doula, midwife, and postpartum supp ort at the Birth Care Ne twork (birthcarenetwork .com).

Therapies Clark Memorial offers two birthing suites that include gardenstyle tubs for laboring hydrotherapy, a proven pain reliever. Norton’s Suburban offers one laboring tub on a first-come, firstserved basis.

Movement is a common request from laboring mothers and should be addressed within the birth plan. Think: Do I want to walk the halls, roll on a birth ball, use the restroom and shower, squat and do yoga poses, push in various positions?

Kangaroo Care (the uninterrupted first 30-60 minute skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby) is encouraged by most hospitals on request. It’s known to regulate a baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels, assuage crying, assist with weight gain, and promote bonding.

Natural painmanagement strategies menu: Use music and/ or singing, massage or reflexology, heat, movement, water, selfhypnosis, visualization, aromatherapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic services during labor. |