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Mom Q&As

  1. Expert: Dr. Charles T. Price
    August 10th, 2011
    How can I swaddle my baby safely?

    Doctors have recently discovered that infants whose hips were normal at birth are developing hip dysplasia – and this may be due to improper swaddling.

    Swaddling has many positive effects, such as calming a crying baby or soothing discomfort. Unfortunately, many parents are taught to swaddle their baby’s entire body to create a tight cocoon, and this restriction of movement in the lower half of the body can lead to post-natal hip dysplasia.

    Here are some of my “hip healthy” swaddling tips:

    1. If using a blanket, wrap it firmly around the arms, but loosely around the legs so the hips can move freely.

    2. When swaddling your baby, avoid stretching the legs out straight or pressing them together. 

    3. Encourage your baby’s hips to be spread and bent as if riding on a horse. (When carrying your baby, wrap his legs around your body for proper hip development.

    Charles T. Price, MD, FAAP, is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon with the Pediatric Orthopedic Specialty Practice at Arnold Palmer Hospital. He currently serves on the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Council on Education and Dr. Price is also Director of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI).

  2. Expert: Dr. Lisa Kellett, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C), D.A.B.D.
    July 14th, 2011
    What can I do about post-pregnancy hair loss?

    Now that you've had your baby, your hair may be coming out in handfuls – but don't panic, post-pregnancy hair loss is completely normal and only temporary.

    Your hair follicles typically produce new hair for a three to four year period, then rest for three to four months. The growth period is known as the anagen phase and the rest or "fall out" stage is known as the telogen phase. The average person doesn't notice the telogen phase aside from a few extra hairs in their brush or shower drain (we have about 100,000 individual strands of hair and losing around 100 of them every day is completely normal).

    But when you get pregnant, the telogen phase fails to occur in most hair follicles, giving you lush, full locks. Then, once your baby arrives, the telogen phase kicks into overdrive and most women experience pronounced hair loss (some can lose up to 30 percent of their hair).

    Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to stop post-pregnancy hair loss. Just remember that the enhanced falling out phase is temporary and should return to normal within about six months of your baby's arrival.

    Dr. Lisa Kellett, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C), D.A.B.D. is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, a Diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology, a member of the Canadian Dermatology Association, the Canadian Laser Aesthetic Surgery Society, and the Toronto Dermatological Society. For more information, check out Dr. Kellett atwww.dlkonavenue.com and www.skinlibrary.com 


     

  3. Expert: Renee Kaufman and Natalie Aston
    January 17th, 2011
    How can I hide my post-baby weight and still look stylish?

    It takes nine months to put on baby weight so don't expect it to disappear overnight a là Heidi Klum and other Hollywood anomalies. So what's the best way to mask that muffin top while you shed those last few pounds? Rather than hiding behind baggy clothing, which only adds extra pounds, draw attention to your positive assets by following these simple style strategies:
     
    1. Focus on your waist: Accentuate your waist by drawing attention to the narrowest part of your body, which is often slightly above your natural waistline. Opt for a high-waisted jean or pant, or an empire-waist dress that flows away from the hips. You can also try adding a belt above your waistline over a tunic or button-down top.
     
    2. Layer, layer, layer: Instead of oversized clothing, a long top paired with a structured jacket can hide problem areas while looking hip (not hippy). Details such as seaming will help create shape.

    3. Open up: Higher necklines tend to create a very top-heavy look, so try an open neckline, which will also accentuate your newfound cleavage.

    4. Be happy: Most importantly, focus on eating healthy and enjoying your new bundle of joy. The best fashion accessory is a positive attitude and a smile.

    With combined backgrounds in business and fashion, Renée Kaufman and Natalie Aston co-founded Hatch Maternity after they recognized a distinct lack of stylish, comfortable and versatile maternity wear on the market. Their goal is to create the perfect maternity wardrobe-easy-to-wear, classic pieces in luxurious knits. The Hatch Maternity collection has been tried and tested by Renée, who gave birth to Sam in July 2007. Hatchmaternity.com

  4. Expert: Elizabeth Pantley
    July 20th, 2010
    My son sleeps in my bedroom and I am afraid to move him because his room is two stories above mine. How long can we continue to share the same room?

    There are no rules when it comes to sharing a room with your child. You can move your little one to his own room whenever you feel it’s the right time for your family. When you do make the move it’s important to be able to hear him if he needs you in the middle of the night. If you do not have another bedroom close by, use a baby monitor. Also, make sure there is a smoke detector in your child’s bedroom. 

  5. Expert: Alyson Schafer
    July 6th, 2010
    My toddler has started masturbating. What should I do?

    Children need to feel comfortable about their bodies and their budding sexual responses. It’s common for toddlers to discover that masturbation sensations are pleasant. Stay "body positive" while you enforce the "public" versus "private" aspects of where we choose to expose, touch and rub ourselves.  

    Simply saying: "No thank you" or " I don't like" is sufficient if your child is pressing on your leg. If she is touching herself or rubbing against furniture say:  “It feels nice to press like that, but that’s for private (like picking your nose is).” Then, give her a choice to continue in the privacy of her room or stop pressing and stay with everyone else. “Staying here and pressing is not an option.” If she continues, take her hand and walk her to her room and say: "This is where we do that.”  

    Be sure its not punishment or shunning, just directing your child to the privacy of her room where she can enjoy genital sensations.  

    This should help socialize her to our social norms with regard to sexual behaviors without shaming or humiliating her for those wonderful sensations she is discovering.   

    Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada's leading parenting experts. She is the best selling author of Breaking the Good Mom Myth (John Wiley and Sons 2006) and Honey, I Wrecked The Kids (John Wiley and Sons 2009). Her popular TV call-in show, The Parenting Show, is now in its fourth season. For more on her principles, rule and tools for parenting visit: alyson.ca

  6. Expert: Jack Newman, M.D.
    April 25th, 2010
    I heard that the quality of breast milk decreases after a baby turns one. Is this true?

    Breast milk is made for the needs of the baby, whether the baby is 18 days, 18 weeks, 18 months or older. That’s the beauty of your body. It understands what your child needs. Yes, breast milk changes depending on how long you’ve been breastfeeding, but that doesn’t mean the “quality” is less beneficial for your child.  

    The World Health Organization encourages mothers to breastfeed for two years and beyond. If you choose to continue breastfeeding after one year, do so as often as your baby needs it. The quality of your interaction with your child is different at 18 months compared to 18 days. You may not feel comfortable breastfeeding in public once your child reaches a certain age and that’s okay. Do what’s best for you and your child.

    For more information on breastfeeding a toddler visit www.nbci.ca.

     

  7. Expert: Dr. Marjorie Greenfield
    March 29th, 2010
    My baby was born over a week ago, but I still have heavy bleeding. Is this normal?

    Women are often surprised by how much they bleed after childbirth, but it can be like having a heavy period for up to two weeks and is totally normal. However, you should call your doctor if you experience extremely heavy bleeding that soaks a maxi pad within an hour, or if the bleeding includes large clots of blood.

    Postnatal bleeding is caused by the placenta separating from the uterus, which is why it occurs even if you’ve had a C-section. The bleeding can last for as long as six weeks and usually starts out bright red before fading to a pink or brown discharge, called lochia, which eventually becomes a yellowish color.

    When dealing with postnatal bleeding, remember to use pads as opposed to tampons, which could cause an infection by introducing bacteria into your still-healing uterus.

    Dr. Marjorie Greenfield is a practicing board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and associate professor on the full-time faculty at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She is also the author of the The Working Woman's Pregnancy Book. Dr. Greenfield lives in the Cleveland area with her husband and their teenage son. www.marjoriegreenfield.com

  8. Expert: Elizabeth Pantley
    November 30th, 2009
    How can I make long-distance holiday travel easier on my child?

    Leaping across time zones can force your child’s biological clock out of sync with the clock on the wall and his regular activities. When you travel long distances it’s important to be flexible and patient. Here are some more tips to make holiday travel easier on your child:

    • Keep your child well hydrated with plenty of water, milk, juice or breastfeeding sessions.
    • Travel with plenty of healthy, non-sugar snacks in your carry-on bag.
    • Don’t use any over-the-counter products such as sleep-aids or antihistamines without your doctor’s specific approval and instructions. Many of these can be harmful to young children.
    • Switch to the new time zone as soon as reach your destination. Powerful biological cues, such as the timing of meals and naps, plus exposure to daylight and darkness help the body adjust to the change in time more quickly.
    • Avoid letting your child take excessively long naps at the wrong times. This will just prolong the adjustment. Keep naps to their regular length and wake your child gently.
    • Watch the time. It’s easy to miss mealtimes, naptimes and bedtime when you’re on vacation yourself. However, if you stick to your child’s usual pattern you’ll be able to avoid any major meltdowns from a hungry, over-tired child.

    Elizabeth Pantley is a mother of four and the best-selling author of eight parenting books, including: The No-Cry Sleep Solution and The No-Cry Discipline Solution. She is also a contributing author to The Successful Child with Dr. William Sears. Based in Washington, Pantley is the president of Better Beginnings Inc. (a family resource and education company) and a parenting expert for a variety of publications including: ParentsParenting and Redbook. (www.pantley.com)

  9. Expert: Dr. Jennifer Shu
    October 31st, 2009
    Why is thimerosal in the H1N1 vaccine? Is it dangerous?

    Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that is used for multi-dose vials of vaccines. It prevents bacteria from contaminating these vials, which require repeated introduction of needles to remove multiple doses of the vaccine.

    Manufacturers stopped adding this preservative to certain childhood vaccines (although most, including MMR, have never contained thimerosal) as a precaution when some people theorized that it may be linked with autism. This link has never been proven. In fact, after removing thimerosal from vaccines, there has actually been an increase in autism diagnoses. Still, vaccines that are currently intended for children six years and under now contain either trace amounts or no thimerosal at all.

    Multi-dose vials of vaccines are much less expensive than single-dose vials. At the time of this writing, many physicians and health departments are offering only the multi-dose option and the nasal spray for H1N1 vaccination. The single-dose versions of seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines do not contain preservatives (again as a precaution in case there is any potential risk) and may be offered to children ages 6 months to 3 years. However, if a preservative-free option is not available, it is still recommended that children in this age group receive the multi-dose vaccine to protect them against the flu since young children are at high risk for complications of seasonal or H1N1 flu infection. The risks from the infection itself are thought to be much higher than any risk from the vaccine, with or without thimerosal.

    The nasal spray (mist) flu vaccine does not contain thimerosal. It is an option for people ages 2 years to 49 years who are not pregnant and do not have chronic medical conditions such as asthma.

  10. Expert: Jack Newman, M.D.
    September 21st, 2009
    How long does it take breast milk to dry up?

    There is a huge genetic variation in how long it takes breast milk to dry up. Certain life changes, such as pregnancy, can increase the rate breast milk will dry up. Also, breast milk will dry up at different rates depending on how long you have been nursing.

    If you have only been breastfeeding for a few months, your milk supply will usually dry up quite quickly. Generally, the longer you breastfeed, the longer it will take your milk supply to dry up. If you have been breastfeeding for over a year you may find you can express small amounts of milk for over a year after you wean your child.

    Eventually breast milk will dry up on its own. In the meantime, if you feel a slight engorgement, or if milk is leaking, try placing fresh cabbage leaves over your breasts to help dry up the milk supply. Drinking a cup or two of sage tea each day can also help dry up your milk.

     

    Jack Newman, M.D. is one of North America's most respected breastfeeding experts. He is the author of Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding (Canada) and The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers (United States). Dr. Newman's breastfeeding information is available at www.drjacknewman.com