Improvement Needed in U.S. Breastfeeding Rates

By Lisa Pecos

Thanks to widespread educational efforts, most modern mothers are very aware of the importance of breastfeeding their babies, and research indicates that we have come a long way in the past generation. However, according to the most recent CDC Breastfeeding Report Card, we still have room for improvement, especially among certain subgroups in the U.S. Because breastfeeding has huge benefits for young children, we need to continue working on this issue to bring the numbers higher.

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What is Colic, and What Should You Do About It?

By Lisa Pecos Babies are supposed to cry. Some do it more than others, and all babies cry a lot from time to time, but up to a certain point we usually do not think of babies’ crying as a big deal. Most of the time, it just means that the baby is feeling hungry or tired, and these problems are relatively easy to fix. But there is a certain percentage of babies-estimated to be between 15 and 25 percent-whose crying goes beyond normal. They cry seemingly all the time and are inconsolable, even when they are rested, well-fed, not too hot, and not too cold. Pediatricians refer to babies like this as “colic.” (more…)

Essential Items to Have Before the Baby Comes

By Lisa Pecos

If you are a soon-to-be first-time parent, you are probably already working through your checklist of items you will need for the new baby. But these things can add up quickly, and you have so much to think about right now that it is easy for little things to slip your mind. And it is best to get these things taken care of as soon as possible, because once the baby comes you are not going to have nearly as much time to get your shopping done.

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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Causes and Prevention

By Lisa Pecos

Sudden infant death syndrome, also known as SIDS, is one of the most tragic and mysterious causes of death among young children. Although the syndrome has been around for thousands of years, we have yet to figure out exactly what causes it. In all likelihood, it results from a variety of factors that may differ from case to case. The good news, however, is that modern research has at least provided us with a set of practices that we can use to dramatically reduce the risk of SIDS in our children.

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Helping Baby Sleep: Strategies and Safety

By Lisa Pecos

For new parents, getting the baby into a regular sleeping pattern can be a challenge. Newborns simply do not seem to be on the same schedule as the rest of us. They fall asleep whenever they get tired, which can be at unpredictable times, and they wake up at seemingly random intervals. This is part of what makes the first several months such a difficult stage for many parents; in accommodating the baby’s irregular patterns, it is hard to get enough sleep for yourself. When you combine this with all the other things new parents have to think about, these first few months can be exhausting.

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Baby Milestones: The First Two Years

By Lisa Pecos

For anyone who has never had a baby, it can be difficult to understand how thrilling it is when your little girl or boy passes those important developmental markers. When a baby smiles at you for the first time or says her first word, this can seem so momentous that you may feel like calling everyone you know to tell them the earth-shattering news. But beyond the emotional impact of these milestones, they are also important markers signifying that your baby is developing at a normal rate. Here are seven of the most important baby milestones to watch for during the first two years.

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Cord Blood Donation-Now Available at at Hospital Near You

cord blood, cord blood donation, cord blood therapy, stem cells, cord blood research, duke's public cord blood bank
Duke's Cord Blood Kit
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had read about the benefits that the blood in my baby’s umbilical cord could have for others. Filled with stem cells, this blood could help those with cancer, sickle-cell anemia, immunodeficiency, marrow failure and genetic diseases that call for transplants. Normally, this blood is literally thrown away, so if it has so many benefits, I thought, why not donate it? Unfortunately, when I told my OB my intentions, she informed me that the hospital that I was giving birth at didn’t have the availability to store the blood and get it to a bank. And my hospital was of the norm–there are only approximately 175 hospitals in the United States that can transfer cord blood to a bank, but it looks as if that’s about to change. Time recently reported on a Public Donation Kit that’s allowing (more…)