Thankfulness: Day 14

Every day in the month of November I will express my thankfulness and gratitude towards my life. I choose to only live in the positive.

Today I am thankful for wonderful teachers.

board-2161880_960_720Let’s face it, we owe a lot to teachers. There are not even words to begin to describe how much we owe it to teachers. Teachers are with our children just as much as we are with them (if not more). They are the ones that make sure our children are set up for success in the life when they reach adulthood. They are the ones who have to have the patience of a saint during those rough times at home. They have to comfort our children at school when they need that motherly/fatherly hug because they got hurt at recess, or someone hurt their feelings. They are in charge of their confidence while in the academic world.

bullying-3362025_960_720Those of you that don’t know yet my daughter was bullied while she was at her old school. She had just started kindergarten, and the teacher decided she did not like my daughter. My daughter was physically bullied. She was cut at with scissors, clothes were ruined, she was pushed down, made fun of, and sometimes worse. She would come home with bruises. I tried several times talking to the teacher about the situation. Her final thoughts were it was my daughter’s fault because she could not sit still in school and was disruptive (later finding out it is because she’s academically ahead and needed harder work to do).

back-to-school-2629361_960_720We finally moved! She switched school corporations and switched kindergarten teachers. The new teacher was amazing!! She embraced my daughter and helped her build her confidence back up. She started making friends again. She was getting along with everyone.

This year she started first grade. My biggest fears started to set in again. Thankfully, her first grade teacher has been just as amazing as her kindergarten teacher in this school corporation.

thank-you-944086_960_720I am so thankful for all the amazing teachers my daughter has worked with. I am so thankful to the ones who saw her potential and decided she needed to be doing more things academically because she is smart and ahead. I am so thankful for them seeing her natural abilities and talents.

Thank you Miss Hickner, Mrs. Toby, and Mrs. Ousely! My words will never be enough to express my gratitude towards you.

To my readers: What are you thankful for today?

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How to Keep Your Child Healthy During Cold/Flu Season

Hi Medical Mama fans and followers! Today we’re going to talk about keeping you and your children healthy during cold and flu season. Cold and flu season is among us! The one thing I hate more than ice and snow is spreading germs (no seriously).

1) Hand Washing

This might seem the logical thing everyone says. However, it really is. According to Mayo Clinic Staff in an article they said “As you touch people, surfaces and objects throughout the day, you accumulate germs on your hands. You can infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth, or spread them to others. Although it’s impossible to keep your hands germ-free, washing your hands frequently can help limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes.” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018).

hands-2238235_960_720Washing your hands is the single most effective way to not spread germs and to prevent YOU from getting sick. When you touch something chances are you touched a germ that can make you sick. Keep your hands away from your face and out of your nose and mouth. Make sure you teach your child this. Have they wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs to them and to other people.

2) Get Enough Sleep

baby-1151347_960_720Getting enough sleep allows your body to heal and fight off germs and infections. When we sleep it resets our metabolism and helps even out our moods (Huffington Post, 2017).

Make sure you know how much sleep your child needs.

3) Take Your Vitamins

birth control pillsEveryone needs their vitamins to help boost their immune system during a time when germs are rampid. Plus, when the weather changes it lowers your immune system response to catch up. Lower immune systems means higher chance of getting a germ making us sick.

4) Exercise

mom with child exercisingObviously, the best thing you can do for your body is to eat healthy and exercise. Eating healthy is #7 on this list.

“Exercise is better than any advertised cure or miracle,” says Harley A. Rotbart, M.D., Parents advisor and author of Germ Proof Your Kids: the Complete Guide to Protecting (Without Overprotecting) Your Family from Infections.

With that being said make sure you exercise. Make sure your kids are exercising.

5) Vaccinate

nurse bearThis one is going to ruffle some feathers. Vaccinate your children! I’m not going to go in to detail as to why you should vaccinate your child to keep them healthy. Don’t be neglectful! VACCINATE.

6) Stay Away From Cigarette Smoke

cigarette-3288363_960_720There a million and one reasons to stay away from cigarette smoke! I’ll give you only one because I could literally spend a day writing about this topic! Cigarette smoke lowers your immune system and compromises your lungs healthy tissues needed to fight off infections and viruses.

7) Eating Healthy

child watching parent eatLike I said earlier in the article eating healthy is so important! Eating healthy helps you consume your vitamins you need in order to stay healthy. Also, eating healthy boosts your metabolism. This in turn increases your immune’s system to “jump start” to fight off anything that could potentially make you sick.

8) Brush Your Teeth

toothbrush-3297525_960_720Brushing your teeth is just as important as washing your hands. All the bacteria that lives in your mouth daily needs to be brushed away.

Don’t forget to use mouth wash and floss!

9) Stay Hydrated

aqua-3445987_960_720Keeping your body hydrated also helps your immune system. It also helps keep your mouth free from bacteria and germs.

“Our brains are 80 percent water, so hydration is extremely important…” (Huffington Post, 2017).

10)Cover Your Mouth and Wash Your Hands Regularly

 

 

Resources and References:

Huffington Post. (2017). 7 Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy and Happy in 2016. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/kidsinthehousecom/7-ways-to-keep-your-kids-_b_8923884.html

Crouch, M. (Unknown). Healthy Kids: 6 Secrets of Kids Who Rarely Get Sick. Retrieved from https://www.parents.com/health/cold-flu/cold/6-secrets-of-kids-who-rarely-get-sick/

CDC Office of Women’s Health. (2014). Tips for Raising Safe and Healthy Kids. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/family/parenttips/index.htm

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Hand-Washing-Do’s and Don’ts. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/hand-washing/art-20046253

 

The Elf on the Shelf and Special Visits

Hi Medical Mama fans and followers! It’s that time of year again. The Elf on the Shelf season is coming up. Does your little one get impatient though? Have they mentioned their scout elf returning before it’s scout elf week? I have the solution for you!

There is a website that tells children and parents how they can get their scout elf to return early or even for just special events (like birthdays, special family days, and other holidays). You can find it here on the official Elf on the Shelf website.

It’s super easy. First, you need to ask Santa’s permission because the scout elves are helping Santa with all the toys in the North Pole. Once Santa gives the “O.K.” it’s time to make special treats, don’t forget the fake snow, and make sure your scout elf has a great place to hang out in your home until scout elf return week, or until the visit is over.

It’s THAT easy. Let me know if your little ones are ready for their scout elf to return.

Should We Give Moms a Day Off on Holidays?

Okay, I’m not actually talking about taking time off from being a mom. Quite the opposite actually.

UntitledLet me paint this picture for you – A working mom, named Gillian, requested to get off early on Halloween to spend Halloween with her 1 year old son, Ryan. It’s his first time celebrating Halloween. Her and her husband would love to take out their one and only son to go trick or treating on Halloween. Anyway, Gillian requested to get off work early to get home in time to feed Ryan and prepare to go out. There is one other mom Gillian works with who already requested the entire day off. The person who did the schedule did not schedule accordingly because the person who was supposed to come in early enough to cover Gillian was not scheduled to come in early. They were scheduled to come in after the time Gillian had requested to leave.

Readers: What are your thoughts on this?

meeting-1453895_960_720Should we allow moms to get off work early, if at all, to spend holidays with their families when it is still a business day?

I can honestly say I have been in this sort of a situation, as I’m sure a lot of you have as well. What do we do about it?

nurse-359323_960_720I was in a position at one point that I constantly had to cover a full time employee even though I was only the part-time employee. I wanted to spend more time with my daughter. I wanted to have that “mom” time with her. I constantly had to give up my plans because the full-time employee would go to the person who does the scheduling and ask for the time off. She never once asked me if I had plans already. Most of the time I had to cancel my afternoon plans. I understand we all have to fill in and help out each other when times call for it.

Is it fair though that we handcuff the working mom to her station without any regards to her family? Who do we set above her? Who do we set below her?

My Thoughts:

My thoughts are that working moms are the least appreciated in the business world. They get taken for granted at home, then come to work and get the same treatment. Should we allow them to take time off, or get off of work early, to go home and spend a holiday with their child? Absolutely. Most companies don’t even care when you say you have to go pick up your child from school because they’re vomiting. We get penalized for it! Unacceptable. We don’t get any more personal time off days or anything like that. I think we should. I think working moms are part of the backbone to this society. Not only are you helping to be a part of a company or business, you are raising human beings who will have to do the same thing one day. These children are our future. Do we want them to see how mom had to miss out on a super important holiday, recital, or field trip because work said “I’m sorry. Not a good enough reason.” No.

super momI think working moms are the most unappreciated type of employee today. I think they should be valued more.

10 Breastfeeding Tips and Tricks

Photo Credit Melissa Willets, Parents.com. (2018)

Let’s talk about breastfeeding. Sometimes it comes natural to moms. Others have to work at it to keep their supply up. Others are not able to breastfeed at all. I just want to say this article is not bias one way or the other. What matters most is feeding your child. I don’t care if you breastfeed, bottle feed, or formula feed. Please just feed your child.

I also want to let my readers know we are about to get up close and personal about breastfeeding.

Okay, let’s dive right in.

1) Let’s Start With Nipple Care

applying nipple cream
Photo Credit babyclub, tesco-baby.com. (Unknown)

Make sure you find a good cream to apply before AND after breastfeeding. They make some that are okay for baby to ingest while breastfeeding. I wrote a great article on “10 things to bring to the hospital with you when you deliver”. In it there is a section on nipple cream and how to choose the right one. You can read about it here. So I am not going to go in depth about it. It is a good read though for those of you who are wondering what to bring, or the moms who haven’t had a baby in a while and need a refresher (myself included).

I use only creams that I can understand everything I read on the back (the ingredients). Make sure you invest in one that is safe for baby to ingest as well. Applying that cream before and after breastfeeding is important.

If you don’t invest in a good cream you will be faced with dry, cracked nipples. This forces you to heal your nipples and not be able to feed your baby while you wait for it to heal. Also, if one is cracked and “out of commission” then you are forced to use your other breast more often you will naturally produce more milk on the side you use more often. Your milk supply may go down in the other breast that is “out of commission” for the time being. That would not be a great start to breastfeeding baby.

2) Try a Nursing Pillow

boppy pillow
Photo Credit TeraPeak.com, terapeak.com. (2018)

We’ve all heard of those darn Boppy Pillows. I actually LOVE these! Albeit they’re expensive, they’re worth every penny. I like the ones where you can actually Velcro your baby in to it. It worked great for when my daughter was a baby and had a cold or something that was making her cough. She was able to sleep propped up. That helped with breathing and coughing. In the picture to the right of this section it shows the different ways you can use the Boppy with the Velcro. Again, I highly recommend getting one with the Velcro.

Okay, back to breastfeeding: having a great support pillow, or nursing pillow, for you and your baby is a major advantage. It keeps your baby comfortable and at a good height for breastfeeding. It also is great for baby’s positioning with breastfeeding. They’re able to lay down at a more horizontal angle than being propped up in an awkward position while still trying to learn to latch on to you. It makes your job and baby’s job easier, and who doesn’t want that?

3) Find the Right Feeding Position for You and Baby

Let’s talk about feeding positions. There are several to choose from. They all depend on what works best for baby though. They can also get a little confusing at time. Just be patient while learning. You and baby are in this together. There’s the cradle hold, the cross-over hold, the clutch or football hold, or the reclining position. There is a fantastic article here that I highly recommend. It goes more in depth about the different positions and what they are best for. Read it!

breastfeeding positions
Photo Credit Sakra World Hospital, sakraworldhospital.com. (2018)

My personal favorites were the side-lying and the cradle positions. I am a bigger chested woman, so those positions were great for both me and baby. My daughter was able to latch on and I didn’t have to worry about suffocation. I was so worried my breast size would smother her while she was feeding. These positions made breastfeeding easier on both of us.

4) Be Patient While You Wait for Your Milk to Come in

woman looking at watch
Photo Credit Vector Toons, vectortoons.com. (2018)

I’m sure if you’ve read my other articles then you know I’ve touched on this subject. Do not expect your milk to come in as soon as you deliver. Sometimes this happens for moms, and sometimes it takes a couple days. Just because it doesn’t come in right away doesn’t mean you will have issues later on. Just be patient.

Mine came in AFTER we had left the hospital (4 days later). I remember laying in bed at home and I could feel my breasts start filling up with my milk supply. They started hurting and I felt immediately engorged. That is when you need to feed. If you get too engorged it is harder to feed.

Be patient while your milk comes in. The more you feed the more your supply will increase and naturally try to keep up supply with the demand for feedings. Supply and demand at it’s finest!

 

5) Get Help From a Lactation Specialist

lactation specialist
Photo Credit Higher Education Articles, educationcareerarticles.com. (2013)

There is nothing wrong with getting help to help feed your child. Most hospitals have a lactation specialist on the maternity floor to help moms with breastfeeding. Take full advantage of that.

They will guide you with the best way to position baby for feedings, and talk to you about the different feeding positions. They’ll even help you position your baby properly. If baby is having a hard time latching on they can usually pin point if there’s an issue with baby’s mouth, nipple shape, etc.

I can not stress enough how much I support seeing a lactation specialist.

6) Try a Nipple Shield

nipple shield
Photo Credit Nuk, nuk-usa.com. (2018)

Some babies and moms do better with a nipple shield. A nipple shield can make it easier for baby to latch on to your breast. My daughter had to use a nipple shield. I know several other people who breastfed that had to use a nipple shield for breastfeeding. It just makes it a little easier for everyone involved (this is never a bad thing).

If I haven’t said it already I am picky and very brand loyal. I actually have talked about this several times in my other articles. For a nipple shield I use the NUK brand. You can find it here.

7) How do I Know My Baby is Latched on?

Correct breastfeeding position
Photo Credit Insured Ameda Direct, insured.amedadirect.com. (2018)

One of the biggest questions (other than the one I will address in #8) is “How do I know that my baby is latched on properly to my breast?” I’m glad you asked!

If you look at the picture to the right of this section there is a check mark and an X. Baby’s mouth should be a wide angle and your nipple should be covered with baby’s mouth. There is a great article here you can read about that focuses on the proper latch. I highly recommend it!

You’ll also know baby has a good latch because you’ll see baby swallowing up the milk from breastfeeding.

8) How do I Know My Baby is Getting Enough Milk?

I think this is also one of the most asked questions I hear. I am so glad moms want to know though. You will know that baby is getting enough milk by how they act when they go off of the breast. They will feel satisfied and relaxed. Your breast will also feel softer from them depleting your milk supply. Your baby will also continue to gain weight. When I worked pediatrics we could tell the babies that were not getting enough milk because they would weigh significantly less than a week before. There’s always a solution if this happens though. Don’t stress about it. Your baby will urinate frequently and stool frequently. Their urine should be normal. There should be no concentrated smells or colors (from dehydration). Their stools should also be soft. Hard, dark stools could mean baby is not getting enough breast milk from feedings.

9) What Should I Put in My Diet While Breastfeeding? Is There a way to Increase Milk Supply Naturally?

breastmilk nutrients
Photo Credit Simply Remedies, simplyremedies.com. (2018)

Breast milk is much better for baby than any other milk. If you plan to breastfeed you need to keep taking your prenatal vitamins to ensure baby is getting all of those vitamins/nutrients as well.

I just want to point out that if your baby has a food allergy make sure you take that in to consideration when planning your diet. If baby can’t have lactose that means you can’t have lactose either. If baby can’t have peanuts, you can’t have peanuts either.

Make sure you eat a lot of proteins. Baby needs proteins to grow and develop. Make sure you incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables as well. Your diet should be a wide array of different foods. That is the only real way to make sure baby is getting enough nutrients.

Try to avoid things like processed foods, mercury exposed foods such as fish, and things high in fat. Basically, whatever you know isn’t healthy to eat, don’t eat it (Murkoff, H., 2014).

fenugreekHow Do I Increase My Milk Supply Naturally?

I know a lot of you might be wondering “How do I naturally increase my milk supply?” There is an over the counter supplement you can take called Fenugreek that you can take to help increase your milk supply naturally. Honestly, beyond that there really isn’t anything else you can do except keep on the pumping and nursing. There are things that are “hear say” that people recommend “because it worked for me!” Don’t buy in to that. Working pediatrics for a while we never encouraged moms to do anything else except take a supplement and increase nursing/pumping.

 

10) Practice Makes Perfect

Be patient. Practice makes perfect. You and baby will figure it out. You and baby will find a schedule and a routine that works best for you and baby. You guys will get in to a groove of what to do. Keep on the feedings and pumping every 2-3 hours and your body will learn to keep up.

I hope this article helps a lot of you moms out there. What is your breastfeeding story? Any tips and tricks you would like to share as well?

 

Resources:

Baby Center Medical Advisory Board. (2015). Positions and Tips for Making Breastfeeding Work. Retrieved from https://www.babycenter.com/0_positions-and-tips-for-making-breastfeeding-work_8784.bc

American Pregnancy Associations. (2018). Breastfeeding Latch. Retrieved from http://americanpregnancy.org/breastfeeding/latch/

Kimberly Tchang. (2018). Is My Baby Getting Enough Breast Milk? Retrieved from https://www.fitpregnancy.com/baby/breastfeeding/my-baby-getting-enough-breast-milk

Baby Center Medical Advisory Board. (2017). How to Tell Whether Your Baby’s Getting Enough Breast Milk. Retrieved from https://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-tell-whether-your-babys-getting-enough-breast-milk_617.bc

Heidi Murkoff, What to Expect. (2014) The Breastfeeding Diet. Retrieved from https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-diet.aspx

 

Spanking: Is There Ever a Need to Spank?

photo illustrated by Robert Neubecker

I want to start this off with letting all the parents out there know YOU ARE doing a great job. Don’t get discouraged with anything you read. Don’t hesitate to get help when needed. You are fantastic, beautiful and doing great!

Questions About Spanking:

One of the big questions that is controversial these days revolves around spanking. Should we spank our children? When should we spank our children? Is there ever a need to spank my child? Where do we draw the line at abuse? Where do we draw the line at spanking too much? How hard is too hard to spank?

I want to let all of my readers know I am not against spanking a child. I spank my child from time to time. Please know this article is not about shaming parents for spanking.

Children often times need redirection. Sometimes they also need a swift pat on the bottom to let them know you mean business because you’ve told them to stop doing something a hundred and one times.

Let’s Talk About Spanking.

According to parenting.com, an article you can read about here, there are several factors that play a role in the child that gets spanked. It is really interesting and I recommend the read. “94% of 3- and 4-year-olds have been spanked at least once during the past year, according to one study. 74% of mothers believe spanking is acceptable for kids ages 1 to 3, says another study. 61% of parents condone spanking as a “regular form of punishment” for young children, according to a different study.” (O’Callaghan, K., unknown).

Now let’s talk about that. Where do you stand on this? I was spanked as a child. I think it was more out of frustration for not knowing the correct way to handle things. Moms spanked a lot more back then than they do today. Don’t get me wrong, I am not by any means an “anti spanker.” I think some kids need it. There are other ways to handle situations though without the need for spanking. I also believe there was not the resources for parents that there are today either. We have the internet for one, local community groups, etc. to help us parents with the education to be better parents.

How Do I Handle Situations Without Spanking?

According to an article from Psychology today, which you can read here, it is important to give your child choices (Leyba, E., 2016). I understand when they’re being difficult and being “two” it’s hard sometimes to let go and let them make decisions.

Now let’s talk about what it means to give those choices. I like the two choices method. Too many more choices leaves a kid feeling out of control because there isn’t a clear path for them to follow. One choice to give them is a wrong choice with a negative consequence. The other choice is the behavior for which you want them to follow with the positive consequence. It is usually that simple. I’ll give an example. You are at the mall and little Timmy is throwing a fit because he wants to go to the toy store right this second. The choices you give him are 1. Timmy can either keep throwing a tantrum and not go to the toy store today to look at all the cool toys, then have a time out later for his behavior. Or 2. Timmy can stop and calm down. We need to pick up some other things at the mall first, then we can go to the toy store and look at all the cool toys. I bet you little Timmy is going to pick choice #2 and everyone wins. There was no need for spanking involved.

I just want to reiterate that you can spank, but try the two choices method first. Maybe you have another way to handle the situation? I would love to hear from you in the comments section of this article.

Is Spanking Okay?

I want to know what you guys think of spanking. After reading this will you be trying out the two choices method and see if that works better? Again, I believe some children need a swift pat on the bottom to get their attention after several warnings. I am saying though spanking is not always necessary for every situation.

As always don’t forget there is no right or wrong way to parent YOUR child. Every child is different. Parent with what’s best for them. Spend as much time as you can with them and be that positive force in their life. You are the one person that loves them the most in this world.

Sources:

O’Callaghan, K. (Unknown). Is It Okay to Spank? Retrieved from: http://www.parenting.com/article/is-it-okay-to-spank

Leyba, E. (2016). 5 Guidelines for Giving Kids Choices. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/joyful-parenting/201602/5-guidelines-giving-kids-choices

 

My First Love

Hi Medical Mama fans and followers. Just like a lot of you I’m sure, I also had a first love. Who was it you may be asking? Maybe you’re wondering what I’m going to dish next!

I thought I had found love several times in my life. Of course, when we are young we are “in love” or in infatuation as the case may actually be.

The boyfriend at the time being so nice to me had me on cloud 9. After being hurt over and over emotionally I found my husband. I love Nathan, don’t get me wrong. However, he is not my first love.

556437_4271345831558_1403189258_nMy first actual feeling of love struck me hard 6 years ago on June 25th. My love’s name is Elexys. She’s amazing. When she was born and nurses brought her to me the way she looked at me and I looked at her is not something I can even explain. Her love is so pure. The way I feel for her is not like any other love I’ve ever experience.

36278290_10104042927807643_193425398363586560_nAbout 6 months ago on March 5th the same love struck me hard in my heart. Her name is Elayna.

Being a mother is the most amazing love I’ve ever felt in my entire life.