Category: Health

What Is Average Birth Weight these Days?

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 by No Comments

Three of my friends and I were sharing our birthing stories a couple of evenings ago after one of the women told of how their daughter was under 5 pounds when she came home. Yes, she was a preemie. Her now teenage daughter walked over to us to remind her mother that she’s not so little any more.

The conversation went on to tell birth weights of our various children, and all of us thought our eight-pound-something kids were plenty big. The daughter asked what average was and it raised the question in all our minds. We all thought the seven pound range was average territory, but with so many extremely big babies being born these days is there a new normal?

According to Kids Health, “Most full-term babies (born between 37 and 40 weeks) weigh somewhere between 5 pounds 8 ounces (2,500 grams) and 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams).” So that means the average is about the same as what we thought weighing about 7.5 pounds.

So what’s making so many babies tip the scales at weights like 14, 15, and even 16 pounds? One of the things that plays a role is diet and weight before you get pregnant and while you’re pregnant. That means those of us who are overweight to start can expect to have a heavier baby. Does that mean the baby is born “overweight?”

At the other end of the spectrum, if we don’t take in enough nutrients, then our baby might be smaller. Other factors that can influence birth weight are lifestyle habits like drinking and smoking and health issued like diabetes.

Things we have no control over include genetics and our own birth weight and the sex of the baby (boys tend to weight more than girls). Firstborns usually weigh less than their siblings, too. All of this makes me wonder if the rise in obesity and overweight is being passed on to the next generation! All the more reason why we should try to get ourselves in shape before we get pregnant!

Photo credits: Coolins335

 

Link Round-up: Healthy Snacks, Natural Sweeteners, and More

Posted on Aug 21, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has delicious, healthy snacks (and one not-so-healthy one), an easy way to open that annoying plastic packaging, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie taught us how to make protein granola bars.

Mind Body Green shared how to stay open-hearted in a world with so much suffering.

Muslin and Merlot shared an easy way to open plastic packaging.

link ru chocolate chia shake
A Beautiful Mess shared a recipe for a chocolate banana chia seed shake.

Suzy Sitcom taught us how to make quick and easy banana pudding cupcakes.

Pet Scribbles taught us how to make a weathered wood tissue box cover.

Natural Chow shared the ultimate guide to natural sweeteners.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and A Beautiful Mess

Head Lice Happen

Posted on Aug 20, 2014 by No Comments

One of my favorite movies is I Don’t Know How She Does It with Sarah Jessica Parker playing a mom who battles with the perfectionist gene. I identify so closely with her that I could watch the movie every single day.

One of the best scenes in the movie is when she is on an important business trip and gets a call from the school that her child has lice.

We have only dealt with that once and it was a very long time ago. It still makes me feel crawly to think about it. We did get a letter home from the school last year letting us know that one of the students had been sent home with lice so I have been compulsively itching my head and checking the kids every ten minutes or so. No matter who you are, or how clean you are, head lice happen.

There are plenty of articles on how to deal with them. I don’t know about you but I am more interested in preventing them! Here are some things to talk to your child about that may keep those nasty critters away.

Obviously don’t share:

  • Brushes
  • Combs
  • Barrettes
  • Headbands
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Helmets
  • Ear buds and ear phones
  • Helmets
  • Ear muffs

It’s also good to teach your child to avoid head to head contact, as when they are looking at a book or computer website with a friend and their heads are in close proximity. Keeping your daughter’s long hair in a braid or pony tail may be helpful, too. Preventing lice is easier than getting rid of them, for sure!

photo credit: otisarchives3 via photopin cc

Mom Gets Kicked Out of Restaurant for Table Diaper Change

Posted on Aug 15, 2014 by No Comments

When my kids were in diapers, changing tables weren’t a prevalent convenience. That’s right they are a convenience, they are not required even today.

One mom recently was eating out and with her three kids when her four-month-old baby needed a diaper change. She went into the bathroom only to find there was no changing table. Now we’re talking about a stinky, dirty diaper. What would you do?

She returned to the table at Brothers Pizza Express in Spring, Texas, and instead of dragging her eight year old, four year old, and 4 month-old baby back to her mini van, she opted for changing the diaper at the table. In her view, going back out to the van was just too inconvenient.

However, messy diapers are rarely “convenient.” She placed her changing pad on the table and changed the baby right there with other diners watching and smelling the diaper change. Needless to say other patrons complained.

The restaurant brought the woman’s food to the table in to-go containers and asked her to leave. The request didn’t sit well with her, and now she has filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

Changing a messy diaper on a table where her children would be eating was a poor choice. It’s not like breastfeeding in a restaurant. It is a sanitation issue as well as environmentally offensive.

The smelly whiff  of dirty diaper wafting in the air for other paying customers to bear while they tried to enjoy their meal bred unhappy diners. I mean, would you want to eat at the table where you just changed a dirty diaper or have that smell filling the restaurant while you’re eating? Yuck!

I do understand the hassle of taking all three kids back out to the van to change a diaper, but that’s how things go sometimes with motherhood. In this particular mom’s case, I would recommend that she check with restaurants ahead to see if they have a changing table, or she should be ready to take the changing pad out to the van in the future. I know it’s not convenient but it is the courteous thing to do.

Photo credits: Amazon

Grandma Duct Tapes Pacifier as a Joke But No One Is Laughing

Posted on Aug 14, 2014 by 1 Comment

One of my girlfriend’s once duct taped her mouth as a gag gift for her husband’s birthday. It was funny until she peeled the tape and skin from her lips. So when I saw the picture of a baby with a pacifier duct taped to her face, I thought, “Oh no! That tender skin!”

It turns out that an Ohio grandmother, Jackie Sheaks, was responsible for the pic and said she did it as a joke. The duct tape was applied to the pacifier and only on the baby long enough to take the snapshot.

When the grandmother posted the picture to Facebook, her intent was to share the photo of her granddaughter and a few laughs with friends, but instead she received tons of negative feedback.

“It started as just a joke; we put a little tape on the pacifier because we were being silly. We wanted to share it with friends because everybody that knows us, knows we play around like that.” Jackie Sheaks via 10tv

To her surprise, the sheriff and child services ended up making a visit because they were concerned for the baby’s welfare. What started out as a joke caused others to think the baby was in danger.

Sheaks also posted a picture of the baby in a roasting pan with some potatoes. They were just being silly looking for props that were different. But what she thought was playful turned out to be a nightmare with harassment starting almost as soon as the pictures were posted.

The baby’s grandfather, Tommy Sheaks says “It’s been a big toll on the family. We almost feel like we have to relocate.”

The baby’s mom has no problem with the pictures, but Jackie Sheaks has said she won’t be posting pictures of her granddaughter on social media ever again. The lesson she has learned is that what she and her family think is funny, isn’t viewed the same way by others.

Image credit: AP News

Vitamin K Shots for Newborns: Are They Safe?

Posted on Aug 5, 2014 by No Comments

There’s a trend with more parents choosing not to have their newborns receive the vitamin K injection. Some think this may be related to anti-vaccination movement, but vitamin K is not a vaccine.

The vitamin is administered at birth because babies are naturally deficient in the vitamin which helps blood to coagulate. The lack of vitamin K increases the risk of vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB), which causes internal bleeding which can lead to brain damage and death.

While this is a rare condition that affects 1 in 100,000 babies, last year doctors at Vanderbilt University in Nashville started diagnosing infants with VKDB and saw seven cases in 8 months. It seemed a mystery until they found that the cases were tied to parents who had refused the vitamin K shot when their babies were born.

The problem is that vitamin K shots have been so successful that most people haven’t heard about VKDB. Since the discovery in Nashville and the media coverage there, parents for the most part have gone back to getting the injections and no new cases have been reported since May.

Newborns who do not get a vitamin K shot are 81 times more likely to develop severe bleeding than those who get the shot. — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

While the risk remains low for those babies who don’t get the shot, it really is an unnecessary risk. VKDB can happen in otherwise healthy babies up to the age of 6 months. What happens is that babies deficient in vitamin K can’t form clots to stop bleeding. Bleeding can happen in the brain or other important organs and it can happen quickly.

Is the Vitamin K Shot Safe?

The question is: Is the vitamin K shot safe? According to the CDC “Vitamin K is the main ingredient in the shot. The other ingredients make the vitamin K safe to give as a shot. One ingredient keeps the vitamin K mixed in the liquid; another keeps the liquid from being too acidic. One of the ingredients is benzyl alcohol, a preservative. Benzyl alcohol is a common ingredient in many medications.”

I don’t know about you, but even though I knew vitamin K helped with clotting, I wasn’t aware of the bleeding risks. If you have questions about the vitamin K shot for your newborn, talk them over with your doctor.

Photo credits: Derek Clapham

Baby Wipes May Cause Allergic Reaction

Posted on Aug 1, 2014 by No Comments

When our babies are born we are careful about our laundry soap, the diapers we choose, the foods they are fed, and even steer clear of chemicals in the environment. But did you know your baby could be allergic to baby wipes?

It turns out doctors have known that several of the preservatives used in baby wipes have the potential for developing rashes or irritation to the skin. According to one study, the culprit is a chemical called methylchloroisothiazolinone or MCI.

In this study, baby wipes were predominantly associated with hand dermatitis in parents and there were also reactions to MCI found in shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, moisturizers, skin cleansers and facial wipes.

Another study shows that for some children, using baby wipes can lead to itchy, scaly, red rashes.

Co-author of the study, Dr. Mary Wu Change, an associate professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, says, “I think it may be more common than people realize.” It is thought that allergic reaction to baby wipes may often be diagnosed as other conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and impetigo.

Honest Wipes

Honest Wipes use botanical ingredients.

The number of kids who showed allergic reaction to the wipes was a low number. With that in mind, I think it is important for us to all be aware it is a possibility, but not to villainize all baby wipes. However, I’m one who would rather use less chemicals and the use of MCI raises a red flag for me.

Wipes certainly make life easier for cleaning up poopy bottoms to messy faces and we do have options out there that don’t contain MCI like Honest Wipes. They’re not only hypoallergenic and biodegradable, they contain gentle, yet effective, ingredients derived from plant extracts that promote healthy skin.

Not every child is allergic to wipes, but if you have suspicions about a rash that may be the result of using wipes stop using them and call your doctor.

Photo credits: lovelihood, Amazon

Link Round-up: Ice Cream, Christmas in July, a Stress Ball, and More

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has ice cream recipes, Christmas in July ornaments, how to make a stress ball out of clay, and more.

The Suburban Soapbox has toasted marshmallow ice cream and other cold treats.

Chicago Jogger taught us how to make Crockpot BBQ with apricots.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom taught us how to make an aromatherapy stress ball out of clay.

link ru melted crayon ornaments
Upstate Ramblings taught us how to make melted crayon Christmas ornaments for Christmas in July.

Domestic Mommyhood showed us how to make a squishy sensory bag.

Create Craft Love showed us how to make DIY clipboard art displays.

Peekaboo Pattern Shop shared a free button-up romper pattern.

Photo credit: The Suburban Soapbox and Upstate Ramblings

Giving Up Caffeine for Your Baby

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 by 1 Comment

Contradicting information surrounds caffeine and pregnancy. Do you have to give it up or not? Actually that’s between you and your doctor.

My doctor suggested limiting my intake. In the UK, the NHS recommends limiting caffeine intake to 200mg a day which is about the equivalent to two mugs of instant coffee or 2-3 cups of tea. However, a study of 1,000 women in their first trimester showed a doubling of miscarriage when drinking that amount of caffeine per day.

Another study in BMC Medicine linked caffeine to lower birth weights; babies who are at a higher risk of both short- and long-term health problems. So what’s a mom-to-be to do? After looking at all the conflicting information, I decided to play it safe and give it up.

When I decided to cut caffeine, no one warned me about the symptoms like the headache that was so bad it sent me to the bathroom vomiting. A friend told me to sip a half cup of coffee and the headache went away. Instead of quitting cold turkey, I cut back a little each day. I started with a half a cup in the morning. When I felt a hint of the headache, I had another half cup.

I gradually reduced my half cups to quarter cups and eventually quit drinking coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages all together. I also became aware of the caffeine in painkillers, ice cream, chocolate, and other products.

If you plan to breastfeed, I’d say you might as well wean yourself off caffeine totally before the baby is born because babies don’t excrete caffeine at the same rate as adults, and too much caffeine can make the baby cranky and keep it awake.

In my book, anything that lessens the chance of a fussy, sleepless baby is worth trying and once you’re done breastfeeding, you can always enjoy a cup of coffee again.

Photo credits: Joanna Bourne