Countdown to Baby: What Happens During Delivery

When you’re in the second stage of labor, called delivery, you are mere minutes to a couple of hours away from meeting your newborn.

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To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Top 10 Hidden Hazards to Baby’s Safety at Home

This year, we had the great privilege of being introduced to our first grandbaby.  She’s an incredibly beautiful bundle of energy who will soon be moving about to explore on her own.  Luckily, our home has always been “baby proofed”, but feeling this great responsibility for her wellbeing, and not having had a baby around in quite a while, it is time to seriously think about what else needs to be done.

September is Baby Safety Month, sponsored annually by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), so there is no better time than now to survey the safety of your abode.

The Basics

Ideally, the best time to babyproof is early in your pregnancy, before you register, so you can include needed safety items on your registry list.  The best way to babyproof? Get down on your hands and knees and think like a baby! This is a great activity for both mom and dad, as males and females may look for and inspect different aspects of the home and safety measures in general.

Take care of all the obvious hazards, such as exposed electrical sockets and blind cords, but be on the lookout for those not-so-obvious items – empty dishwashers, hanging tablecloths that can be easily pulled down, and poisonous plants.  Remember,  babies at any age are curious explorers and want to touch, feel, lick, smell, and listen to everything and anything they can get their little hands on. Your job is to make your home as safe as possible so they can roam without worry. After all, this new addition is not a temporary guest and should be able to safely investigate every space in your home.

Consider child-proofing an ongoing process.  Monitor your child’s growth and development and always try to stay one step ahead. For example, don’t wait until your baby starts crawling to put up stairway gates. Install them in advance so the entire family gets used to them and baby doesn’t associate his new-found milestone with barriers.

If you are preparing for baby #2 or #3, don’t underestimate your “seasoned” approach to babyproofing from the first time around. In fact, having an older sibling creates additional hazards – you should be aware of small parts from toys and your toddlers’ ability to open the doors, potty lids, and cabinets you have so ingeniously secured.

Top Hidden Hazards

  • Magnets — Small magnets can be easily swallowed by children. Once inside the body, they can attract to each other and cause significant internal damage. Keep magnets out of your child’s reach. If you fear your child has swallowed magnets, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Loose Change — Change floating around in pockets or purses may wind up on tables around the house, where curious children may be attracted to the shiny coins and ingest them. A wonderful way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to assign a tray or jar for loose change and keep it out of a child’s reach.
  • Tipovers — Tipovers are a leading cause of injury to children and the best way to avoid them is to make sure all furniture and televisions are secured to the wall.
  • Pot Handle Sticking Out from Stove — When cooking, it is best that pot handles turn inward instead of sticking out from the stove where little ones may reach up and grab the hot handle. In addition, if holding a child while cooking, remember to keep the handles out of the child’s reach.
  • Loose Rugs or Carpet — Area rugs or carpet that is not secured to the floor causes a tripping hazard for little ones who may already be unstable on their feet. Make sure that all corners are taped down and bumps are smoothed out.
  • Detergent Pods — It is estimated that thousands of children have been exposed to and injured by detergent pods. Easily mistaken by children as candy, these pods pose a risk to the eyes and, if ingested, to their lives. It is important to keep these items out of reach of children.
  • Hot Mugs — A relaxing cup of coffee or tea can quickly turn into an emergency if hot mugs are left unattended or are placed to near the edge of tables where little hands can grab them.
  • Cords — Cords can pose strangulation hazards to children, whether they are connected to blinds, home gym equipment or baby monitors. It’s important to keep cords tied up and out of reach of children. In addition, remember to keep cribs away from cords that the child may reach while inside the crib.
  • Button Batteries — Button batteries are flat, round batteries that resemble coins or buttons. They are found in common household items such as flashlights, remotes or flameless candles.
  • Recalled Products — Make sure you’re aware if a product you own has been recalled. In addition, check that any second-hand products you own have not been recalled. The best ways to ensure your products are safe is to fill out your product registration card as well as check for recalls at recalls.gov.

How to Choose and Use Products

Choose a baby carrier or sling made of a durable, washable fabric with sturdy, adjustable straps.  Use a carrier or sling only when walking with your baby, never running or bicycling.

Choose a carriage or stroller that has a base wide enough to prevent tipping, even when your baby leans over the side.  Use the basket underneath and don’t hang purses or shopping bags over the handles because it may cause the stroller to tip.

Choose a swing with strong posts, legs, and a wide stance to prevent tipping.  Never place your swing or bouncer on an elevated surface such as sofas, beds, tables or counter tops.

When choosing a changing table, before leaving home, measure the length and width of the changing area available on the dresser and compare to the requirements for the add-on unit before purchasing. Check for attachment requirements.  When changing baby, always keep one hand on baby and use restraints.

It is vital the car seat/booster is appropriate for a child’s age, weight, and height.  Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for both the vehicle and the seat.  As of this writing, the American Academy of Pediatrics used to recommend rear-facing seats for children until at least age 2. Now, the organization is updating its guidelines and wants parents to keep their children in rear-facing seats until they reach the seat’s maximum height and weight limit — even if they’re older than 2. Under the new guidelines, most kids would keep using rear-facing seats until they’re about 4 years old.

Choose a crib mattress that fits snugly with no more than two fingers width, one-inch, between the edge of the mattress and the crib side.  Never place the crib near windows, draperies, blinds, or wall-mounted decorative accessories with long cords.

Choose the right gate for your needs. Before leaving home, measure the opening size at the location the gate will be used.  Gates with expanding pressure bars should be installed with the adjustment bar or lock side away from the baby.

Use waist and crotch strap every time you place a child in the high chair to prevent falls from standing up or sliding out.

And, consider these things when introducing products to your inventory:

  • Safest Option – Keep in mind that new products meeting current safety standards are the safest option.
  • Second-Hand Products – It is recommended secondhand products should not be used for baby. However, if it is necessary to use older products, make sure all parts are available, the product is fully functional, not broken, and has not been recalled.
  • Register your products — Through product registration, parents can establish a direct line of communication with the manufacturer should a problem arise with a product purchased. This information is NOT used for marketing purposes.

Fun Tips and Tricks for New Parents

  • Trying to lose the baby weight? Cut down on late night snacks by brushing your teeth after you put the kids to bed so you won’t be likely to ruin clean teeth.
  • Keep allergens away from your toddler and older children simply by changing their pillow. Don’t know when the last time you changed it was? Buying a new one every year on their birthday is an easy way to remember!
  • While nursing or feeding baby #2, encourage your toddler or older children to read stories to the new baby. Even just telling a story through the pictures keeps your toddler in site and occupied during this already special time.
  • For toddlers working on mastering stairs, install a child safety gate two or three steps up from the bottom stair to give your child a small, safe space to practice.
  • If the sight of blood terrifies your child, use dark washcloths to clean up cuts and scrapes. Better yet, try storing the cloths in plastic bags in the freezer  the coldness will help with pain relief.
  • Keep baby happy and warm during baths. Drop the shampoo and soap in the warm water while you are filling the tub. When it’s time to lather baby, the soap won’t be so cold.
  • Cranky teething baby? Wet three corners of a washcloth and stick it in the freezer. The rough, icy fabric soothes sore gums and the dry corner gives them a “handle”.
  • Having a tough time getting baby to stay still while diaper changing? Wear a silly hat or bobble headband. As a reward for staying still, be sure to let your baby or toddler wear the hat when finished!
  • Before baby #2 arrives, put together a “fun box” for the older sibling that she is only allowed to play with when you nurse or feed baby #2. Inexpensive toys, coloring books, and snacks are all great ideas to include. Be sure to refresh the items once a week to keep an active toddler interested.
  • Put a plastic art mat underneath the high chair while they learn to eat to contain the mess.
  • Tape pics of family members or animals to the ceiling or wall near of your changing table so baby has something to look when diaper changing.
  • Baby or kid yogurt containers make great snack cups on the go. Some yogurt containers cannot be recycled, so why not wash and reuse? They are perfect snack size portions, easy for little hands to grab and even fit in the cup holders of stroller trays. They can also hold just the right amount of crayons for on the go coloring!
  • Can’t get little ones to sit still while you brush or style hair? Put a sticker on your shirt and tell them to look at the sticker. As they get older, make it a game and see if they can count to 50 before you can get those ponytails in!

It’s A Fact

Most injuries can be prevented! Parents and caregivers play a huge role in protecting children from injuries.  Choosing the right baby products for your family can be overwhelming, but safety should never be compromised.

What Can You Do?

  1. Choose and use age and developmentally appropriate products.
  2. Read and follow all manufacturer’s instructions, recommendations for use, and warning labels.
  3. Register your products and establish a direct line of communication with the manufacturer.
  4. Actively supervise — watch, listen and stay near your child.
  5. Frequently inspect products for missing hardware, loose threads and strings, holes, and tears.
  6. Monitor your child’s growth and development and discontinue use when needed.

Newborns in your home or on the way?  In addition to getting your home in order, you’ll want to find a great pediatrician you can really connect with….To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices. You can also create and manage a profile for baby.

Source:  BabySafetyZone.com

Countdown to Baby: What Happens During Labor

Labor is a journey – and it’s different for every mom-to-be. Here’s how it might unfold for you.

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To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Top Pregnancy Dos and Don’ts – Third Trimester

Can you get flu shots while pregnant? Fly on airplanes? Dye your hair?

Download the WebMD Pregnancy App here: http://taps.io/BqZ2Q

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To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare.  Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Your Baby’s Growth in the First Trimester

From a fertilized egg to a garlic-bulb-sized baby, here’s how your growing little one develops week-to-week through the first trimester.

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To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare. Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Dealing with grief after the death of your baby

What is grief?

Grief is all the feelings you have when someone close to you dies. You may find it hard to believe that your baby died. You may want to shout or scream or cry. You may want to blame someone. Or you may want to hide under the covers and never come out. At times, your feelings may seem more than you can handle. You may feel sad, depressed, angry or guilty. You may get sick easily with colds and stomach aches and have trouble concentrating. All of these are part of grief.

When your baby dies from miscarriage, stillbirth or at or after birth, your hope of being a parent dies, too. Miscarriage is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy; stillbirth is when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The dreams you had of holding your baby and watching him grow are gone. So much of what you wanted and planned for are lost. This can leave a large, empty space inside you. It may take a long time to heal this space.

The death of a baby is one of the most painful things that can happen to a family. You may never really get over your baby’s death. But you can move through your grief to healing. As time passes, your pain eases. You can make a place in your heart and mind for the memories of your baby. You may grieve for your baby for a long time, maybe even your whole life. There’s no right amount of time to grieve. It takes as long as it takes for you. Over time, you can find peace and become ready to think about the future.

How do men and women grieve?

Everyone grieves in his own way. Men and women often show grief in different ways. Even if you and your partner agree on lots of things, you may feel and show your grief differently.

Different ways of dealing with grief may cause problems for you and your partner. For example, you may think your partner isn’t as upset about your baby’s death as you are. You may think he doesn’t care as much. This may make you angry. At the same time, your partner may feel that you’re too emotional. He may not want to hear about your feelings so often, and he may think you’ll never get over your grief. He also may feel left out of all the support you’re getting. Everyone may ask him how you’re doing but forget to ask how he’s doing.

You have a special bond with your baby during pregnancy. Your baby is very real to you. You may feel a strong attachment to your baby. Your partner may not feel as close to your baby during pregnancy. He doesn’t carry the baby in his body, so the baby may seem less real to him. He may become more attached to the baby later in pregnancy when he feels the baby kick or sees the baby on an ultrasound. Your partner may be more attached to your baby if she dies after birth.

In general, here’s how you may show your grief:

  • You may want to talk about the death of your baby often and with many people.
  • You may show your feelings more often. You may cry or get angry a lot.
  • You may be more likely to ask your partner, family or friends for help. Or you may go to your place of worship or to a support group.

In general, here’s how your partner may show his grief:

  • He may grieve by himself. He may not want to talk about his loss. He may spend more time at work or do things away from home to keep his mind off the loss.
  • He may feel like he’s supposed to be strong and tough and protect his family. He may not know how to show his feelings. He may think that talking about his feelings makes him seem weak.
  • He may try to work through his grief on his own rather than ask for help.

Showing grief doesn’t have any rules or instructions. Men and women often may show grief in these ways. But there’s really no right or wrong way for you or your partner to grieve or share your feelings. It’s OK to show your pain and grief in different ways. Be patient and caring with each other. Try to talk about your thoughts and feelings and how you want to remember your baby.

How do children grieve?

Children of all ages grieve. If you have older children, they may be afraid, act out or need special attention after your baby’s death. They may think they’re going to die, too, or that they’re to blame for the death of their brother or sister. Children can cope better with grief when you explain things and so they know what’s happening.

Here are some ways you can help them better understand the baby’s death:

  • Use simple, honest words when you talk to them about the baby’s death. You can say things like, “The baby didn’t grow,” or “The baby was born very tiny.” Don’t say things that may confuse them like, “The baby is sleeping,” or “Mommy lost the baby.”
  • Read them stories that talk about death and loss. A funeral home, library or school may have children’s books to help them understand death.
  • Encourage them to tell you how they feel about the baby’s death. Let them ask questions about what happened to the baby and how you’re doing.
  • Ask them to help you find ways to remember the baby. Ask them to draw a picture or make something that you can keep.
  • Tell them they’re not going to die and that no one is to blame for the baby’s death.

Just like you, children may feel hurt, confused and angry as they grieve. Younger children may be clingy or cranky and act in ways that they haven’t for a long time. Older children may be extra worried about things outside of home, like school, friends or sports. Or they may show no reaction at all to the baby’s death or ask questions that you think are rude or uncaring. If your children act out, be patient and loving.

It may be helpful for your older children to see a grief counselor. This is a person who’s trained to help people deal with grief. A grief counselor who works with children can recommend resources, like bereavement groups just for kids. A bereavement group is a group of people who meet together to heal from grief. To find a grief counselor for your children or to help you with your children, ask your provider, your child’s provider or a social worker at the hospital.

Who can help you and your family deal with grief?

Talking about your baby and your feelings can be helpful and comforting. Of course you can talk to your partner, your friends and your family. But talking to someone who’s trained to help you deal with grief may be useful. For example:

  • Your provider. Your provider may be able to help you understand what happened to cause your baby’s death. She also can help you find people to help you through your grief, like a social worker or grief counselor. And if you’re ready, she can help you get ready to get pregnant again. If you feel intense sadness for a long time, your provider can help you get treatment for depression.
  • A social worker. This is a mental health professional who helps people solve problems and make their lives better. A social worker can help you deal with your grief, and she can also help with things like medical, insurance and funeral bills. Your hospital may have a social worker on staff.
  • A grief counselor. This is someone who’s trained to help people deal with grief.
  • Your religious or spiritual leader. Your religious and spiritual beliefs may be a comfort to you as you grieve.

You may want to join a support or bereavement group. A support group is a group of people who have the same kind of concerns. They meet to share their feelings and try to help each other. There are support and bereavement groups just for parents and families who have lost a baby. Group members understand what you’re going through and can help you feel like you’re not alone. Your provider, social worker or grief counselor can help you find a group, or your hospital may have a group as part of a loss and grief program for families. You can find groups online, too, like Share Your Story, the March of Dimes online community where families who have lost a baby can talk to and comfort each other. We also offer the free booklet From hurt to healing that has information and resources for grieving parents.

How can you take care of yourself as you grieve?

Your body needs time to recover after pregnancy. You may need more time depending on how far along you are when your pregnancy ends. Here’s what you can do to take care of yourself:

  • Eat healthy food, like fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads and pastas, and low-fat chicken and meats. Stay away from junk food and too many sweets.
  • Do something active every day.
  • Try to stick to a sleep schedule. Get up and go to bed at your usual times.
  • Don’t drink alcohol (beer, wine, wine coolers and liquor) and drinks with caffeine in them, like coffee, sports drinks, tea and soda. Chocolate and some medicines also contain caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine can make you feel bad and make it hard for you to sleep. Instead, drink water or juice.
  • Don’t smoke and stay away from secondhand and thirdhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is smoke you breathe in from someone else’s cigarette, cigar or pipe. Thirdhand smoke is what you smell on things that been in or around smoke.
  • Talk to your provider if you have bleeding from your vagina or if your breasts have milk
  • Tell your provider if you have intense feelings of sadness that last more than 2 weeks that prevent you from leading your normal life. If so, you may need treatment for depression. Treatment can help you feel better. If you’re thinking about suicide or death, call 911.

You need time to recover emotionally, too. Certain things, like hearing names you were thinking of for your baby or seeing the baby’s nursery at home, may be painful reminders of your loss. Your body’s physical recovery also may remind you of your baby, like if your breast milk comes in after a stillbirth. A counselor, social worker or support group can help you learn how to deal with these situations and the feelings they create.

How can you handle family and friends while you’re grieving?

Your baby’s death affects your friends and family, too. It may be hard dealing with others as you’re grieving yourself. Here are some things you can do to help you handle others as you grieve. Do only what feels right for you:

  • Tell them that their calls and visits are important to you.
  • Decide if it’s OK for them to ask questions about what happened to your baby. If not, tell them you’re not ready to talk about it.
  • Tell them it’s OK if they don’t know exactly what to say. Tell them that hearing honest words like, “I just don’t know what to say,” or “I want to help but I don’t know how,” can be comforting. People may say things that aren’t helpful to you like, “It’s for the best,” or “You can always have another baby.” Try to remember that they’re doing their best to support you, even if what they say is hurtful.
  • Tell them exactly what you need. Do you just want them to spend time with you at home? Do you need someone to bring you a meal, shop for groceries, take your older children out or do your laundry? Tell them specific things they can do for you.
  • If you want them to, ask them to use your baby’s name and to remember your baby. Tell them that even if you have other children, you won’t forget the baby who died.
  • Thank them for their patience and support.

Some people may expect you to limit your grief or get over it in a certain amount of time. Take as long as you need to cope with your loss. Support from others may lessen over time. This doesn’t mean that they’ve forgotten about your baby or that they don’t care. You may need to tell them that you’re still grieving and that you still need their support.

What if you lose a multiple?

Any parent who loses a baby feels grief. But losing one, two or a whole set of multiples can create its own set of feelings. Multiples means being pregnant with more than one baby, like twins, triplets or more. If you lost a multiple, you may feel:

  • Sad about not having time to grieve for your baby who died. If you lose a baby and have one who lives, it may be hard to find time to grieve while you’re caring for your living baby.
  • Scared. If your living baby is sick, you may be scared that he will die, too. You may not want to hold him, get close to him or care too much for him. It may be hard for you to go to the newborn intensive care unit (also called NICU) to care for your living baby if your other baby died there. The NICU is a nursery in a hospital where sick newborns get medical care.
  • Confused. Even if only one baby lives, you’re still the parent of multiples. But others may not see you this way. Your family and friends may not want to talk about the baby who died. They may think remembering the baby you lost will make you sad.
  • Happy and sad about bringing your baby home. You may feel happy about the baby you bring home from the hospital and sad about the baby you lost.
  • Worried. The most common complication of being pregnant with multiples is premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy). Premature birth can cause health problems for babies. If your baby was born prematurely, you may be worried about her health.
  • Always reminded of the baby you lost. You may wonder what it would have been like if your baby had lived. It may be hard for you to celebrate birthdays and holidays if you’re thinking about the baby who died.

What can you do to remember your baby?

You can do special things to remember your baby, even if didn’t have a chance to see, touch or hold him. Remember your baby in ways that are special to you. You may want to:

  • Collect things that remind you of your baby, like ultrasound pictures, footprints, a lock of hair, a hospital bracelet, photos, clothes, blankets or toys. Put them in a special box or scrapbook. Keepsakes like these can help you remember your baby.
  • Have a service for your baby, like a memorial service or a funeral. A service can give you a chance to say goodbye to your baby and share your grief with family and friends. Your hospital may have a service each year to remember babies who have died.
  • Write your thoughts and feelings in a journal, or write letters or poems to your baby. Tell your baby how you feel and how much you miss her. Or paint a picture for her.
  • Light a candle or say a prayer in honor of your baby on holidays or special days, like his birthday or the day he died. Do something on your own or bring family and friends together to remember your baby. Read books and poems or listen to music that you like and find comforting.
  • Plant a tree or a small garden in honor of your baby.
  • Have a piece of jewelry made with your baby’s initials or her birthstone.
  • Donate to or volunteer for a charity in your baby’s name, or give something to a child in need who’s about the same age as your baby would be. Dedicate a project to your baby, like raising money to build a swing set in a park.

We grieve with you.  Every day, there are physicians in the HealthLynked system ready to help those living with such loss. To find a physician who can help or join or create  a group to discuss your pain, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare. Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Last reviewed: October, 2017

Countdown to Baby: 5 Signs of Labor

You’ll know you’re really close to meeting your baby when you notice these five labor signs.

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To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare. Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Your Growing Baby’s Changes in the Third Trimester

What does your baby look like during the home stretch of your pregnancy?

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To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare. Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.

Top Pregnancy Dos and Don’ts – First Trimester

Can you get flu shots while pregnant? Fly on airplanes? Dye your hair?

Source

To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare. Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.