Helping Your Child Make Healthy Choices

Posted by Susan Brown on March 12, 2019 0 Comments

Helping Your Child Make Healthy Choices

There are a lot of negative influences on young people today when it comes to maintaining healthy habits. It’s hard to commit to a healthy diet when there’s so much junk food on the market, and so much money spent promoting it. But the stakes are high: unhealthy eating habits when you’re young can lead to obesity and other health problems later in life. Exercise and choosing a diet that includes vegetables, fruit, whole grains and protein are building blocks for a lifetime of good health. If your child is in high school, reinforcing the good habits you worked to instill when your child was young is as important now as it was then.

Good Habits

As a parent, you’re in an excellent position to set a good example for your child by developing some good habits that everyone can follow; for example, keep healthy snacks and toss out the old ones. Also, serve well-rounded meals at dinnertime to encourage your son to eat well when he goes away to college. Eliminate or reduce the amount of caffeine in the house and limit your caffeine consumption. Make sure your son sees you getting some exercise, in whatever form you choose. A best-case scenario would be one in which your child chooses to reduce the amount of time he spends playing video games, instead taking the time to get some exercise. Exercise and healthy eating can reduce the temptation of drugs and alcohol. This is another area in which you want your child to make good choices.

One habit that everyone probably needs to improve is getting regular dental check-ups. Considering that poor oral hygiene can often lead to problems such as depression, making sure your teeth stay healthy should remain toward the top of your list. If your child is afraid of the dentist, find one who specializes in nervous children to help decrease that anxiety.

A Healthy Example

Continue setting a good example as your child gets older. The temptations that were there when he was younger are still there. Find ways to exercise together. Purchase some free weights and work out with your son. Try challenging each other to do a certain number of reps each day, and try to exceed that number. Buy a good kitchen scale so you can properly portion your meals to avoid overeating. Avoid using alcohol or smoking in front of your child. In fact, this might be the right time to try and kick the smoking habit. If your child sees you following a healthy daily regimen, he’s that much more likely to follow suit.

 

Temptations

Teenagers and young adults are bombarded with temptations every day, through the media and at school. Drugs and alcohol are facts of life that can’t be ignored, so take the time to talk to your child about the dangers of addictive substances. Make sure he knows the dangers of smoking and what the long-term risks are. Double down and make sure you lock away grown-up items like medications and alcohol so that temptation is never an option.

Instilling good health habits in your child doesn’t stop once he hits high school or begins growing facial hair. Young people are highly impressionable and, as a parent, it’s important to keep reinforcing those good habits you’ve been teaching him since he was old enough to walk. Keep the lines of communication open with your child during the teenage years, but avoid confrontational situations whenever possible. Emphasize the positive as much as possible and continue to encourage him in good times and bad. Finally, trust your child to make good decisions and don’t be unnecessarily strict. Showing trust maintains the strong bond you and your child have established.

 

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Keeping You and Your Child Safe: Medication And Your Pregnancy

Posted by Susan Brown on March 04, 2019 0 Comments

 

Keeping You and Your Child Safe: Medication And Your Pregnancy

 

Around 90% of pregnant women make use of at least one form of medicine during the course of their pregnancy according to the findings of the CDC. As the health of the mother and the child hangs in the balance when it comes to side effects of medicine, it’s important to know what to avoid before and after the pregnancy. So exactly what sort of medication should be given a wide berth? 

 

 

During Pregnancy

 

 

Drugs and substances deemed too dangerous for pregnant women are called teratogenic. Whatever medication you take, whether safe or teratogenic, will affect the life growing inside you. In some cases, the effect of medicine like Isotretinoin (used to fight acne) can be damaging. Known effects are birth defects, low birth weight, and even increase the likelihood of premature birth as established by J. Parboosingh. If you take substances like opioids, there is a huge chance that your child will be at risk for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).

 

 

The pregnant body often has a compromised immune system. The health of the child needs to be considered before you take any medicine. This is particularly true when it comes to taking antibiotics. There are certain kinds that are thought to be dangerous for pregnant women like Bactrim, Macrobid, and Doxycycline. There are other substances that can put your health risk so you need to be suitably informed.

 

 

After Birth

 

 

Once the child is born, this does not mean that you will be completely free to take medication and substances without due consideration. Take for example regular medication for colds. Breastfed babies get roughly 10% of the dose of cold medication that their mother takes as found by Dr. Elisa Ross of Cleveland Clinic. Substances like Domperidone (used to fight nausea) can put infants at risk for cardiac arrhythmias. Medicine like Metamizole or Dipyrone (a painkiller) can increase risk of pharmacological effects in children. It is generally for the best to avoid taking any antipsychotics while breastfeeding. If you take medication to treat schizophrenia, the child may be at risk for speech delays.

 

 

Things To Remember

 

 

Before taking any sort of medication, it is always good to consult your OB-GYN and your child’s pediatrician to be guided accordingly. The effect of medication can depend entirely on factors like your health and your child’s age, weight, and medical history. If you have any preexisting medical conditions, you aren’t doing anyone any favors by staying away from your medicine. It is fully possible to take necessary medication and reap the benefits. For example, the likes of mild painkillers, antihistamine, antacids, and certain antimicrobial medication can help. They can boost your health so you can better care for yourself and your child.

 

 

At the end of the day, the act of assumption will do the most damage to your health. Your pregnancy and subsequent birth are both exciting times and you need to be in your peak physical health. Medication isn’t the enemy and being fully aware of the things you need to avoid can give you and your child a better chance of staying healthy.

 

 

 

 

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Finding Your Stride As A First-Time Parent

Posted by Susan Brown on December 04, 2018 0 Comments

Finding Your Stride As A First-Time Parent

  As many as 2 in 5 new parents experience mental health issues. Like any major life transition, becoming a parent can wreak havoc on your confidence. Every day is a flood of new experiences with huge potential consequences and it’s easy to feel like you have no idea what you are doing. All new parents feel this way and in time you’ll find your stride. Until then, there are things you can do to smooth out the ride.

Practice self care to boost Self Esteem

Rooted in Buddhism, the notion that we must first take care of ourselves before we can take care of others is an idea that new parents would be wise to take to heart. Although taking time for yourself may seem like a ridiculous notion when you are taking care of a tiny human 24 hours a day, filling up your cup, even in the smallest ways, will have a big impact on how you feel and on your ability to persevere in the parenting game.

How will you find the time? Start with naps. While baby sleeps, get some rest, read a book, exercise, have an uninterrupted shower--whatever it is, do it for you and only you. Taking care of yourself not only leaves you more emotionally, physically, and mentally able to care for others, it increases your self-esteem. You become more sure of yourself as you encounter all those new parenting experiences.

Choosing carefully increases confidence

New parents are faced with innumerable choices. Each one, from what pediatrician will care for your baby to what bath products to use is an opportunity to grow your confidence as a parent. As you spend time carefully considering options you are adding to your parental knowledge base. Making selections based on your family’s needs and preferences is like laying another brick in a foundation of sound decisions. Each new choice makes the foundation, and your confidence, stronger.

Ask for advice but trust your gut

Without a doubt, there will be times when you seek the advice of others. Your tribe of fellow parents are a wealth of information and they may have some tricks or common experiences that can help. Knowing you aren’t the first to ever encounter a particular problem or question can be hugely comforting in itself. Just bear in mind that your child is unique and your parenting style is unique. What worked for them won’t necessarily work for you. If your gut tells you that something isn’t working, listen to it.

Experience is everything

A study of first time Danish mothers attempted to gauge confidence, mood, and stress at 2 months and 6 months postpartum. In every category, the new moms significantly improved at 6 months as compared to 2 months. Experience is everything. The first time you bathe your baby you will be nervous and unsure. By six months, you will be lathering and rinsing like a relaxed pro. Your confidence will increase with your experience.

Parenting is the most important job most of us ever do. We receive little training and the stakes are immeasurably high. With so much on the line, it’s no surprise that new parents often lack confidence. With lots of self-care, careful considerations, and time in the role, new parents will eventually find their stride.

 

 

 

 

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How to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly for the Entire Family

Posted by Susan Brown on September 21, 2018 0 Comments

Every year, 120,000 babies in America are affected by birth defects. Among the main causes are environmental factors such as chemicals and contaminants. In fact, chemicals in home cleaning and hygiene products are responsible for 10% of birth defects. On top of that, there are over 4 million chemicals found in work and home environments. So, what are the most common, yet harmful toxins in our environment?

You can find them being used during your daily routine, such as:

  • Arsenic and Cadmium: often found in agricultural areas with arsenic-containing fertilizers. Such toxin may cause a greater risk for stillbirth and miscarriage
  • Lead: resulting in skin tags, low birth weight, undescended testicles, shorted gestation, and developmental delays
  • Mercury: mercury found in fish and seafood may lead to adverse effects on the nervous system development
  • Pesticides: toxins found in pesticides are the most common as families may gain exposure to insect repellent, herbicides, and more. This may disrupt the endocrine system and increase the risk of health issues.

As a result, while most of these chemicals are not considered harmful, they may pose a threat to not only our lives but your children as well. Here’s how you can make your home eco-friendly for the entire family.

 

Create a Toxin-Free home

Whether we know it or not, toxins are everywhere in the home. They can be from the polyurethane to clean our foods to the sealant paint on our walls. Toxins can also be found in the products we use to clean our homes, feed our children, and for bathing. Thus, it is important to make the switch and choose non-toxic products that are fragrance-free and chlorine-free with natural properties.

 

Buy furniture that doesn’t contain formaldehyde

Unfortunately, pressed wood, fiberboard, and plywood are widely used in furniture today. However, they are also treated with formaldehyde. Not only is this harmful toxin a suspected carcinogen, it can release fumes for up to five years. Avoid mattresses that are made of polyurethane as well as any fabrics with polyvinyl chloride, polyester, and acrylic – all of which are toxic to the respiratory system.

Instead, aim to purchase wool or cotton fabrics rather than synthetic cushions. You can still use furniture that is eco-friendly without having to buy brand new. In fact, your local auction sites may even provide a better selection of eco-home living than the average department store.

 

Get rid of flame-retardant fabrics

Do you have a favorite baby carrier, or your child have a favorite pajama with a cool design or glow-in-the-dark features? For some families, flame-retardant clothing may cause allergies. Instead, know what to look for when choosing the right eco-friendly clothing. Avoid pajamas made of fabrics other than polyester or tight-fitted cotton.

 

Have a healthy perspective

As parents, the efforts to keep our homes free of toxins will come to no use if we do not encourage our children to become aware of their surrounds. While we will also be faced with choices on what to keep in our homes, we can keep our family and ourselves informed. Thus, this will lead to making healthier choices – creating homes that are less toxin and better of your family’s health in mind. 

 

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How Baby Carriers Can Reduce Crying In Babies

Posted by Susan Brown on July 20, 2018 0 Comments

Thirteen percent of mothers admit that they find it difficult soothing their crying baby, according to a study carried out by Mohebati. If you’re one of these moms, you’ll be pleased to know that baby carriers are making a comeback. Business Wire reports that the global baby carrier market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.49% over the next four years. What’s even better is that placing your baby in a carrier gives you the opportunity to care for your skin after pregnancy without hindering the bond between you and your baby.

 

 Constant comfort

  One pediatrician-led Montreal study found that over the course of a six week period the babies of parents who carried their babies in a carrier for at least three hours a day and were encouraged to use the carrier cried 43% less than babies who were infrequently carried. While many babies cry because they want something, such as food or a clean nappy, there are times when they’ll get upset due to feeling insecure. Having spent nine months nestled in your womb, listening to your heartbeat, the sound of your voice and getting used to your smell, to suddenly be left alone in a Moses basket can be daunting. However, the comfort of a sling ensures these sounds and smells are available to your baby at all times and will ensure he or she is content.

 Learning rather than crying

  When a baby cries their full attention is on being comforted. But, when a baby is happy, they’re learning. Researchers have found that babies who are carried have increased visual and auditory alertness, due to them being content and in a calm atmosphere, known as ‘quiet alertness’. When a baby is in this state they are taking in everything that’s going on in the world around them and are learning all the time. Your Amazing Newborn explains that during the ‘quiet alert’ state babies "can follow a red ball, gaze at a face, turn to a voice.” Therefore, when you’re looking for ways to comfort your baby and boost his or her development, opt for a high-quality sling which keeps them close at all times.

Fights boredom

Babies can get bored, according to child psychologist Penelope Leach who states that parents who fail to interact with their newborn may have a restless baby on their hands. Bath time is a great way to combat boredom as your child will love the feel of the bubbly water and a massage with some nourishing baby lotion afterward will provide a sense of calm. However, it may not be long before boredom sets in. Placing your newborn in a carrier during this time should provide amusement as your little one will have countless things to see and do which will trigger his or her interest as you go about your day to day skincare routine and clean the house. It might seem dull to you, but watching your facial movements as you clean the dishes or hang out the washing will keep your child entertained for hours and there’ll be no tears to contend with.

There is strong evidence to support the theory that carried babies cry significantly less than non-carried babies. No mom wants to see or hear their little one crying for hours on end, so be sure to cradle your newborn to prevent boredom from setting in, for comfort and to enhance his or her development.

 

 

 

 

 

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