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New moms: It gets better

New moms: It gets better

Sometimes when we’re in the thick of it with a tiny newborn who refuses to sleep, won’t let us sleep, or just won’t be consoled, it can feel like things will never change. Like the It Gets Better campaign for harassed LGBT youth to hear from those on the other side that there really is a light at the end of that tunnel, it can help new moms to connect with other women who have been there and see a vision…

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Is it getting easier to continue breastfeeding?

Is it getting easier to continue breastfeeding?

Recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control shows that Pennsylvania is behind the national average in terms of breastfeeding, but the numbers are increasing. According to the data, 71% of infants born in PA in 2012 were ever breastfed; 48.9% are still breastfed (whether exclusively or not) at 6 months (national averages were 81% and 52%, respectively). What’s interesting is that while there was a 4% increase in Pennsylvania infants who’d ever breastfed since 2000, there was a 12%…

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Postpartum anxiety: why so hush-hush?

Postpartum anxiety: why so hush-hush?

Awareness seems to be rising for postpartum depression. But that isn’t the only mood disorder affecting women in the postpartum period. Less discussed is postpartum anxiety. According to Postpartum Support International (PSI), about 6% of pregnant women and 10% of postpartum women face anxiety. This may also be coupled with depression. Postpartum panic disorder and postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder are forms of anxiety some women may face. Yet there is so little coverage of postpartum anxiety and many women feel uncomfortable sharing…

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Now offering in-home course: newborn care and breastfeeding basics

Now offering in-home course: newborn care and breastfeeding basics

First baby on the way? First time planning to breastfeed? Want some new techniques for soothing and caring for baby? Want a private class where you can ask all your questions and learn in the comfort of your own home? Want a class that meets your busy schedule? This class is for you. In this two-session class, I come to your home and work with you and your partner on newborn care skills from breastfeeding and/or bottle feeding to newborn…

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Risks of early induction or C-section

Risks of early induction or C-section

You’re late in your pregnancy, outgrowing your maternity clothes, you can’t sleep at night, and you’re so uncomfortable you just want baby to make an appearance already. As tempting as it may be to consider getting this birth show on the road by scheduling an induction or a cesarean birth, there are plenty of benefits to both mom and baby to wait it out until labor begins on its own. With our healthcare system the way it is, we hear a lot…

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Is swaddling safe for your baby?

Is swaddling safe for your baby?

The baby burrito…there’s nothing so adorable as a sleeping baby all snuggled in a swaddle. And swaddling is a handy tool in a new parent’s arsenal to help soothe a fussy baby, creating a soothing environment more like the womb. But is it safe? After a new study in the journal Pediatrics and a high-profile article in the New York Times, many parents are left wondering if they should ditch the swaddle. So what’s the story? The new information comes from…

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Paid maternity leave associated with reduced infant deaths

Paid maternity leave associated with reduced infant deaths

It’s already been demonstrated by studies that paid maternity leave in affluent countries has benefits including reduced neonatal and infant mortality. Previous research has also demonstrated that paid maternity leave has been connected to improved outcomes for mothers and babies including lower rates of postpartum depression, more successful breastfeeding, and higher compliance with routine checkups and immunizations for baby. A new study examined effects of paid maternity leave in middle to low income countries. They found that there, too, paid maternity…

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The journey back from postpartum PTSD

The journey back from postpartum PTSD

While more attention is (finally) being paid to mothers with postpartum depression, there is much less awareness among other postpartum disorders. While less common than postpartum depression, postpartum Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can also take a severe toll on new moms. A survey by Harris Interactive for Childbirth Connection, a nonprofit maternity-care organization, showed that of more than 900 U.S. mothers surveyed, 9% screened positive for meeting all of the formal criteria for PTSD set out in the Diagnostic…

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Surprise health benefit of getting the flu shot while pregnant

Surprise health benefit of getting the flu shot while pregnant

Nobody wants to get the flu. Especially when you’re pregnant. But despite the safety of the vaccine, only half of pregnant women in the US are getting their flu shots. Well, here’s one more reason those opting to skip the vaccine might want to reconsider their decision: a recent study shows that influenza immunization was associated with a more than 50% reduction in stillbirths. “There are more than 3 million stillborn infants each year worldwide, and in developed countries stillbirth…

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Dealing with the post pregnancy body

Dealing with the post pregnancy body

Many new moms struggle with the many changes to their body in the postpartum period. Among those changes, some have trouble dealing with losing their pregnancy weight again after the birth of baby. It’s important to remember that it takes time to lose that weight and to be gentle with your body in the postpartum period. But it’s important for moms who are looking for information on weight loss to get appropriate information specifically geared to the postpartum period. The…

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