Top Safe Sleep Tips for Your Baby
Becoming a parent for the first time means lots of new unknowns – from learning to breastfeed and swaddle to buckling your newborn into the car seat for the first time. But when it comes to putting them to bed safely, it’s important to remember it really can mean life or death. It’s something we’re taught before our little one is even here: the correct way to put your baby to bed safely. Sadly though, the number of infant deaths continues to climb. The main culprit of sleep-related infant death continues to be all the items parents leave in the crib with their babies. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 3,500 sleep-related deaths among babies each year. “The best advice is ‘bare is best.’ Keep your infant’s sleep space clutter free – no blankets, bumpers, toys or pillows,” said Karen Wagner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Follow the ABCs for Safe Sleep Remembering the ABCs is an easy way to remember how to put your little one to bed safely. A: Alone No blankets, toys or pillows. “We do recommend using a sleep sack as a blanket alternative,” said Karen. “It prevents the risk of suffocation and keeps your baby warm.” Keep in mind, the greatest risk for suffocation happens when babies are under 1 year of age, so it’s best to save the toys, blankets and pillows for their “big kid bed,” or around 18 months old. B: Back The slogan “back is best” is another good reminder. Keeping your baby on their back until they’re old enough to rollover helps reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). C: Crib It is best to have your baby sleep alone in their crib. While co-sleeping may be enticing, especially after a late-night feed, it increases the risks of possible suffocation. However, “having your child in your room, in their own crib or bassinet, is protective for SIDS,” Karen said. “In fact, we think co-rooming reduces SIDS risk by almost 50 percent.” Co-rooming allows parents to keep new babies in close reach and helps parents oversee their baby’s sleep, just in case something happens.
What Foods to Eat and What to Avoid When Pregnant
Eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet when pregnant is one of the more essential things you can do for your baby and yourself. The basic principles of what to eat when pregnant are quite similar to how we should be eating all the time. This includes focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. Of course, there are a few areas that you should pay close attention to when you’re pregnant and a few foods you should avoid. We consulted Renown Health’s Caitlin Bus, RD, LD, CDE to learn more about pregnancy nutrition. Foods to Eat Regularly: Veggies Vegetables of all kinds -- and in all forms -- are beneficial for you and your baby during pregnancy. Veggies ensure your body is getting the fiber, vitamins and minerals it needs. However, fresh or frozen veggies are considered best, but if you choose to eat canned veggies, make sure you choose a low sodium product. The more greens, the better! If you have an aversion to vegetables, especially in the first trimester, try sneaking them into smoothies. Healthy Proteins Protein-rich foods support your baby's growth while giving your body the nutrients to build and repair tissues, including your muscles, hair, skin and nails. Although protein requirements vary from person to person, a pregnant woman needs additional protein for her baby's growth, especially in the second and third trimesters. Regularly eating high protein foods -- like fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, peanut butter, nuts and beans –– promotes your baby's healthy brain and heart development. Grains Food like brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta and oatmeal are great to eat while pregnant. They are rich in fiber, iron, B vitamins and folic acid, which are all beneficial to physical development. Grains also help alleviate constipation and hemorrhoids. Fruits Fruit can help satisfy any sugar cravings you have when pregnant while also supplying your baby with nutrients – it's a win-win. Some people advise against fruit consumption while pregnant, but this is a myth. Like with all foods, moderation is key. Fruit can be high in sugar, so it is important to be aware of your intake. Also, make sure you are mindful of your preparation – thoroughly rinse produce under running water for 30 seconds to help avoid foodborne illness. Pasteurized Dairy Dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt can be great sources of protein and calcium needed for the healthy development of a baby's bones, teeth and muscles. These foods also help with ensuring healthy heart function and nerve transmission. When buying these products, make sure to choose pasteurized products to avoid exposing your body to germs and bacteria. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 1,000mg of calcium per day for pregnant and lactating women. This equates to 4 servings of dairy or calcium-rich foods such as leafy greens, broccoli, tofu, almonds or dried figs. DHA Omega-3 Fats Omega-3s like DHA help support the health of a baby's brain and parts of their eyes. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should eat at least 8 ounces and up to 12 ounces of seafood each week. Ideally, food sources that offer DHA omega-3 and that are lower in mercury should be emphasized in your diet, including fish like salmon, sardines and anchovies. If you do not eat fish or omega-3 fortified foods, a DHA omega-3 supplement is recommended. Choline Did you know that 92% of pregnant women fail to meet the daily choline recommendation? Choline is crucial for an infant's brain and central nervous system development. One egg supplies 33% of the recommended daily intake. Although choline is often absent or low in prenatal vitamins, the best food sources include eggs, meats, fish, dairy, navy beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and spinach. Iron and Folic Acid Iron is the most common nutrient deficiency during pregnancy. Foods with high and moderate amounts of iron include red meat, chicken, fish, fortified cereals, spinach and beans. Folic acid is used to make the extra blood your body needs during pregnancy. Consuming adequate folic acid early in pregnancy reduces the risk of birth defects that affect the spinal cord. It is recommended to consume 400 micrograms (mcg) per day for pregnant women. This amount is included in your prenatal vitamins. Water Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby when pregnant. In addition to just being good for you, hydration alleviates morning sickness and nausea, while dehydration can lead to contractions and even pre-term labor. Aim for 10 cups of fluids per day, on top of the water naturally occurring in foods. Foods to Avoid: Raw Fish and Fish with High Mercury Content Sorry sushi fans, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women are 10 times more likely to get infected by Listeria, a bacteria found in raw or undercooked fish. Also, avoid fish often found to be high in mercury, including swordfish, king mackerel, tuna and marlin. Processed or Raw Meat Similar to eating raw fish, eating undercooked or raw meat increases your risk of infection while pregnant. Hot dogs and lunch meats should also be avoided, unless they have been reheated to be steaming hot (for example, in a microwave). Alcohol Drinking alcohol when pregnant can impact your baby’s brain development and increases your risk of premature birth, low birth weight or miscarriage. Just don’t do it! Minimize Caffeine High caffeine intake during pregnancy can restrict your baby’s growth; therefore, it is recommended that pregnant people limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day – that’s roughly two cups (16 fl oz) of coffee per day. Runny Eggs Eating raw or runny eggs when pregnant increases your risk of Salmonella, which can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. Always make sure your eggs are cooked through or use pasteurized eggs.
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Breast Feeding Doesn't Have To Mean Sore Nipples
If you think sore nipples are just a normal part of breastfeeding, think again. Robin Hollen, APRN, and Breastfeeding Medicine Specialist, says that nursing can be an enjoyable experience for mom and baby without pain and discomfort. A top concern of nursing moms within the first week after delivery is how to prevent sore nipples. Even moms who’ve nursed before struggle with this common issue. While many women think it is a regular part of the nursing experience, it is actually a sign that something isn’t quite right. “Nursing your baby should be enjoyable,” says Robin Hollen, Breastfeeding Medicine Specialist with Renown Health. For over 30 years Robin has been supporting moms to breastfeed. Below she shares some valuable information and tips, helping you create a happy and healthy breastfeeding experience for you and your baby. What causes sore nipples? The most common cause of sore nipples involves incorrect latching. For a proper latch, a baby’s mouth takes in the entire nipple and some of the breast, so that the nipple rests at the back of the mouth where the palate is soft. With an improper latch, the mouth may slip down to the tip of the nipple while the baby nurses. This constant pressure on your sensitive skin may cause discomfort and pain. A board-certified lactation consultant can help assess if your baby is latched correctly and troubleshoot your breastfeeding concerns. Less common causes of sore nipples include: • Improper tongue placement of baby • Clenching • Incorrect breast pump use How can a mother prevent sore nipples from an improper latch? Breastfeeding is a learning experience for both mom and baby. Ask for help with the latch so your baby learns it correctly and maintains its depth. In the past, new mothers were surrounded by a community of women — their own mothers, grandmothers, or other family and friends — to provide assistance and guidance with every latch at the beginning of an infant’s life. In today’s culture, new moms can find themselves on their own with no extended family to lend their knowledge. Nurses, pediatricians and lactation consultants now fill that role; they are the eyes and hands along with the much-needed experience to guide new mothers. Our Breastfeeding Medicine experts assist nursing moms with latch every day. Even a single visit with a lactation consultant observing your breastfeeding baby can provide valuable insight on achieving, and maintaining, the proper latch - preventing future nipple soreness and discomfort. How to heal sore nipples from breastfeeding To heal sore nipples, you must first fix the cause, and correcting the latch prevents further damage. A lactation consultant can also help you address the pain. Below are some breast healing tips: • Your own expressed breast milk is excellent to rub into the nipple for anti-bacterial protection. • For those moms who need more lubricant or fat than breast milk offers, use a lanolin or a cream that is labeled safe for the baby. • Soothies are a gel pads providing comfort in between feedings, but should not be used with lanolin products. • Breast shells, not to be confused with shields, can guard the nipples from irritation or pressure in between feedings. If you have more questions about preventing and healing sore nipples or general breastfeeding concerns, talk to your pediatrician or a Renown Health Breastfeeding Medicine specialist at 775-982-6365.
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4 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
While breastfeeding is natural, it's not always easy. We asked Certified Lactation Counselor Sarah Mitchell for some tips to help make the process easier for mom and baby. From increased infant immunity to improved maternal health and well-being, the benefits of breastfeeding are many. Still, only 60 percent of U.S. moms in the United States continue to breastfeed past their baby's first six months. There are for many reasons for why moms stop, including the mother's their need to return to work. We reached out spoke to Sarah Mitchell, a certified lactation counselor at The Lactation Connection at Renown, for some expert advice. Tip 1 At first, it's normal to expect obstacles. Even in cultures where close to 100 percent of moms breastfeed, they can experience issues, including getting the baby to "latch on," sore nipples, and milk production. In addition, it sometimes can take several weeks for mom and baby to get comfortable. Tip 2 Line up a coach, even before the baby is born. This can be a professional lactation coach, family member, or friend who is experienced and encouraging. While online videos can be helpful, most new moms need the one-on-one guidance that a coach can provide. Renown offers outstanding resources in its Lactation Connection center, including expert consultants, products, and support. Tip 3 Well ahead of the due date, set up a support network of friends, family members, or community groups such as La Leche League. Women historically have relied on extended support systems to help them with raising children, and breastfeeding is one of those areas that, while natural, still needs encouragement from the women who’ve been there. Tip 4 Don’t get discouraged if you need to supplement at times with formula. This, too, as it turns out, is not uncommon in other cultures. In other parts of the world, babies are given beverages and foods such as tea, broth, soup, juice, mashed bananas, and papaya. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends supplementation only with approved formula -- but the point is, it’s ok to supplement if you need to. Finally, don’t forget the importance of breastfeeding for connecting with your baby. It’s essential to maintain breastfeeding over the weekends, preferably “on-demand,.” and will keep that special bond strong after you have returned to your job.
How to Safely Store Breast Milk
Breast milk. It's often referred to as liquid gold. And fortunately, it can be safely refrigerated or frozen for later use, which can allow you to be a bit more flexible in your new routine with baby. Whether you're getting ready to return to work, planning for the chance date night out or just exclusively pumping, it's crucial to understand the guidelines for proper breast milk storage. Storing Breast Milk Use clean bottles with screw caps, hard plastic cups that have tight caps or nursing bags (pre-sterilized bags meant for breast milk). Be sure to label each container with the date the milk was pumped and your baby's name if the milk is going to childcare providers. You can add fresh, cooled milk to milk that is already frozen, but add no more than is already in the container. For example, if you have two ounces of frozen milk, then you can add up to two more ounces of cooled milk. For healthy full-term infants, milk can be stored as follows: Room temperature - six to eight hours (no warmer than 77°F, or 25°C). Refrigerator - up to five days at 32°-39°F (0°-3.9°C). Freezer– Varies depending on freezer type. Up to two weeks in a freezer compartment located within the refrigerator. Three to six months in a freezer that is self-contained (standard kitchen fridge/freezer combination) and kept at 0°F (-18°C). Breast milk should be stored in the back of the freezer and not in the door. Six to 12 months in a deep freezer that is kept at -4°F (-20°C). Be sure to leave about an inch of space at the top of the container or bottle to allow for expansion of the milk when it freezes. Thawing Breast Milk Place frozen breast milk in the refrigerator to thaw (about 24 hours) then warm by running warm water over the bag or bottle of milk and use it within the next 24 hours. If you need it immediately, remove it from the freezer and run warm water over it until it's at room temperature. Never microwave breast milk and do not refreeze it. Once your baby has started to drink from the bottle, you should use it within one hour. You may find that different resources provide different recommendations about the amount of time you can store breast milk at room temperature, in the refrigerator and in the freezer. Talk to your doctor or lactation consultant if you have any concerns or questions.