Archive for Health

How to be an Advocate for Your Sick Child

How to be an Advocate for Your Sick Child | @BloomMaternityWhen your child is sick, you’re naturally focused on helping her get better and managing the implications of an illness. For most parents, the doctors and nurses in charge of your child’s medical care are seen as steadfast allies. When medical care goes wrong or school administrators aren’t willing to work with your child during an extended absence, you’ll be forced to act not only as a caregiver and comforter for your child, but also an advocate for her.

Trust Your Own Instincts

As a parent and the person who spends the most time with your child, you’re in the perfect position to recognize the difference between a minor complaint and a real illness. Full waiting rooms, high overhead and tight schedules can motivate your child’s pediatrician to examine and diagnose her as quickly as possible, which could lead to the dismissal of a real ailment as a minor one. If your instincts are telling you that there’s more to your child’s illness than the doctor is acknowledging, you need to have the confidence to challenge the pediatrician’s opinion. It’s entirely possible to approach her with your concerns in a polite and respectful manner, and it’s something you should absolutely do if you feel that your child isn’t getting the care she needs.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

A brusque pediatrician that projects a rushed, harried air may not be the easiest person to approach with questions, but it’s important for parents to realize that they’re well within their rights to ask their pediatrician questions. If you don’t understand a prescribed treatment, aren’t sure of what your pediatrician is diagnosing your child with or simply don’t understand his instructions for the child’s care, you’ll need to question him further on those subjects. Regardless of how tight your pediatrician’s schedule is, he should make time to address the questions and concerns of worried parents.

If Necessary, Seek a Second Opinion

The faith that many parents place in their pediatrician leads them to follow her advice without question, but it’s important to remember that your pediatrician is human and, as such, is completely fallible. Not only is it okay to seek a second opinion if you don’t feel that your child’s diagnosis is correct, it’s essential. Your child’s health should be your primary concern, and it’s important to remember that even a pediatrician with his best interests at heart could miss subtle signs or indicators of an illness. Before you accept a diagnosis of a common cold or minor ailment when you suspect something more serious, consider getting a second opinion.

Work With School Administrators

Some school districts are great when it comes to working with chronically-ill children and have plenty of programs in place to ensure that those kids don’t fall behind in their studies while managing the symptoms of their illness. Others have very rigid regulations, aren’t interested in working to meet your child’s needs and will find any way possible to absolve themselves from the responsibility of caring for your chronically-ill child’s educational needs. In such cases, it’s important that you act as an advocate for him. Learn the laws in your state, as well as the requirements of public schools under Federal law in regard to chronically-ill or special-needs children. Remember the old adage about catching flies with honey, and maintain your composure when you’re discussing the matter with recalcitrant school administrators. The last thing you want is for your grievances to be dismissed due to your actions, so maintain a respectful and firm attitude when confronting teachers, principals and other administrators.

Keep Exhaustive Records

From the doctor’s office to the principal’s office, the most effective weapon in your arsenal when it comes to advocating for your sick child are well-maintained and exhaustive records. Keep up with every episode of an illness, every missed day of school and every doctor’s excuse so that all of your bases are covered.

Acting as an advocate for your sick child can feel like a full-time job sometimes, but it’s important that you remember what you’re fighting for. Your child needs quality healthcare and the attention of his educators, but he also needs the comfort and reassurance of a parent that loves him. Dealing with an illness can be a scary thing for a child, and it’s easy for parents to become so wrapped up in their fight with the healthcare and education systems that they forget how much affection and comfort their ill child needs.

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15 TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR NEWBORN HEALTHY | @bloommaternityBringing your new baby home is one of the most exciting times in a parent’s life, but it can also be one of the most nerve-wracking. A newborn is so small and vulnerable, it’s not hard to believe that their immune systems aren’t quite developed enough to fight off illnesses. Keeping a newborn healthy is essential, but it certainly isn’t impossible. These 15 tips can help you protect your little one until her body is better able to fight off infections, maintaining her health and your emotional well-being in the process.

  1. Be Firm With Friends and Relatives – It’s natural to want to show your newborn off to your nearest and dearest, but they can present a health risk for her. It’s important to keep in mind that not only is it okay to be firm in regard to your child’s health, it’s imperative. Don’t let a cousin with a case of the sniffles handle your new baby or allow loved ones to pick her up before washing their hands.
  2. Insist on Good Hand Washing Habits – One of the most effective ways of protecting your newborn’s health is to insist that everyone who touches her wash their hands thoroughly before doing so. Hands come into contact with so many germ-laden surfaces and objects throughout the day that it’s just not a good idea to skip a thorough scrubbing before cuddling.
  3. Keep the Kisses Away from Baby’s Face – Newborns are so cute and cuddly, they seem to be just begging for affection. No matter how much you want to cover her little face with kisses, it’s smart to keep in mind just how many germs are carried by your saliva.
  4. Don’t Skip the Vaccinations – There’s a battle raging amongst parents about the efficacy of vaccinations versus their perceived risks, but vaccinations do prevent many illnesses. Not only should your infant be immunized according to doctors’ recommendations, but so should older siblings and adults that will be caring for her.
  5. Remember that Breast is Best – Breastfeeding isn’t always an option, but it’s one that should be carefully considered if there’s any feasibility at all. In cases of adoption, low milk production or a mother’s need to be on medications that can be excreted through breast milk, formula is a perfectly adequate nutritional substance. It doesn’t, however, contain the antibodies that boost a baby’s new immune system.
  6. Avoid Crowded Places – Shopping malls, restaurants or even dinner parties can be crowded areas with high concentrations of people who are carrying communicable illnesses. In the interest of keeping your baby healthy, it’s wise to save his big debut for a time when his immune system is a bit more developed.
  7. Pay Special Attention to Older Siblings – Older siblings who attend preschool, daycare or elementary school are exposed to illness-spreading germs all day long, and they may have developed a resistance that allows them to still carry those germs without exhibiting symptoms of illness themselves. Make sure that your older children understand the importance of good hygiene, especially when it comes to spending time with a new baby.
  8. Keep Your Doctor’s Appointments – Time is a commodity that new parents seldom have an adequate supply of, but it’s important to remember that appointments with your pediatrician should be kept if at all possible.
  9. Hire an Experienced Caregiver – The rookie nanny you’re considering might be enthusiastic, but she may also lack the experience or training that will allow her to confidently care for a newborn without spreading illnesses. While it’s perfectly acceptable to hire a nanny with little to no practical work experience, you should make sure that she’s well-versed in the care of newborns and minimizing the spread of germs.
  10. Keep the Nursery Clean – When you’re sleep deprived and living on the quick snacks you can fit in during Baby’s naps, the idea of house cleaning probably isn’t an appealing one. Making sure that your newborn’s nursery is clean, however, is one of the best ways to prevent her from becoming sick.
  11. Practice Good Crib Safety Habits – Guarding your newborn’s health doesn’t just mean keeping her clear of illness-causing germs; it also requires you to be focused on her safety. Fluffy pillows, snuggly blankets and soft crib bumpers may seem like great tools for keeping her comfortable, but they can actually increase her risk of SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants’ cribs contain no pillows, plush toys or thick blankets.
  12. Minimize Play Dates – If your older children are accustomed to hosting play dates, it may be a smart move to consider putting them on hold for a few months or working with other parents in your playgroup to find alternate hosting solutions until your newborn is a bit older.
  13. Keep Pets Clear of the Nursery – Fido might be man’s best friend, but he doesn’t need to be licking your newborn’s face or spreading dander throughout her nursery. Making the baby’s room a pet-free zone for a while can reduce the number of germs and contaminants that she’s exposed to during the earliest days of her life.
  14. Sterilize Bottles and Nipples – It simply isn’t possible to keep every germ away from your newborn, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make an effort to protect her from them when you’re able. Sterilizing the bottles and nipples that she puts into her mouth during feeding time is one of the measures that you shouldn’t neglect.
  15. Take Care of Yourself! – An exhausted, overworked parent’s immune system might not be the most effective, so it’s important that you make every effort to take care of yourself, too. When you’re sick, it’s difficult to avoid passing those illnesses on to your baby. Guarding your own health and well-being isn’t self-indulgent; it’s a necessary step of preventing the spread of illnesses to your child.

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8 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Medications for Kids

8 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Medications for Kids | @BloomMaternityHealth care costs are soaring higher every year, and as they do many American workers are watching their health insurance coverage simultaneously diminish. In this economic environment, many families are forced to find ways to cut medical costs wherever and however they can. Consider these eight ways to reduce the cost of their kids’ medications.

  1. Generic Alternatives – Any medication that your child might need will almost always have a generic equivalent that can be substituted for the name brand version at a cheaper cost. Ask your child’s doctor or pharmacist if going generic is an option.
  2. Start with Samples – You don’t necessarily have to buy an entire month’s worth of medication that’s been prescribed for your child all at once, especially if there isn’t a specific medical need for that much. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if they have any free sample packs.
  3. Buy in Bulk – On the flip side, if you’ve been prescribed a medication for your child that you expect she will need for an extended period of time, try buying a 3-month vs. a 1-month supply. Medications are often cheaper per dose in larger quantities.
  4. Larger Dosage Sizes – Another way of reducing your per-dose expenses is to buy a larger dosage size than the prescription and then split the pills to match the prescribed dosage. Here again, the larger pills are often cheaper per milligram than the smaller versions. You’ll need your doctor’s permission before going that route and the medication needs to be conducive to easy splitting.
  5. Shop Around – Like everything else, prices vary for medications. For instance, Wal-Mart pharmacies have a $4 prescription plan for 30-day supplies, and $10 for 90 days’ worth. Sometimes referred to as a 4/10 plan, this doesn’t require insurance. You can find a list of medications and available doses here. Ask your pharmacist if they’ve got a 4/10 plan.
  6. Mail Order – This is rapidly increasing in popularity as a means for purchasing prescription drugs at a discount. You can find deals for a 3-month supply of a prescription that for the cost of only one co-pay.
  7. Coupons – Yes, drugs have them too. You may be able to get them from your doctor or find them online. Check the website of the drug’s manufacturer too. You can save a bundle with coupons.
  8. Discount Cards – Certain groups and organizations offer memberships which afford their members discounts on certain products. You may already have a means to save on your child’s medications right there in your wallet, next to your hard-earned cash.

You don’t have to resign yourself to high medication costs. Instead, try to find different ways where you can reduce the price. Health care coverage may be diminishing, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune to stay healthy.

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Day 2 — 12 Days of Christmas List

Bravado Bra Sale

Day 2 offer expires Dec. 9, 2012.

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Saving Cord Blood as a Lifesaving Medical Resource

Today’s guest post is by Charis Ober, co-founder of Save the Cord Foundation. Charis has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. She graduated from The University of Arizona with a degree in marketing and gained extensive sales and marketing experience by educating physicians, hospitals and medical staff on scientific advances and new product technology. Umbilical cord blood is a valuable, non controversial, medical resources that can be donated to treat and cure over 80 life-threatening diseases like sickle cell and blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.Cord blood can also be donated to expand cord blood research.

Parents can privately or family bank their newborn’s cord blood and cord tissue for future regenerative medicine therapies for the child. Medical researchers and physicians are currently using autologous or the child’s same cord blood cells in clinical trial treating cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury. Privately banked cord blood can also be saved as a family medical resource for a sick sibling or family member, this is especially important if the family has a history of certain diseases that can be treated with cord blood.

Cord blood has no ethical, religious, moral or religious issues and neither mother or child is harmed in the collection. Save the Cord Foundation’s mission is to provide all expectant parents and the public with non commercial, factual information about the value of saving cord blood, so they can make their own educated decision for their family and child concerning this valuable medical resource.

There are over 3.5 mission births in the US each year, and 95% of all cord blood from these births is thrown out as medical waste. Save the Cord Foundation’s vision is to make saving cord blood the new standard of care of all newborns and birthing hospitals across our nation. Learn the facts and the public and private resources for saving cord blood at

Every cord saved, can save or change a life!

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What to Expect When Expecting

photo by ecahal

Maternity is the period during pregnancy that typically lasts for around 9 months. While pregnant, there are many different concerns that you may have regarding the safety of yourself and your baby, what type of clothes you’ll fit into, things that you’ll need to buy for the baby, what to expect during labor and much more. This can be an exciting time during any new parents’ lives. During pregnancy, there are a few things that you will need to know and be prepared for to make the very best of the new life that you’re bringing into the world.

1. Safety – One thing that many parents-to-be are concerned about is keeping their baby safe. While medical complications can occur in some circumstances, this may not have anything to do with anything that you have done during pregnancy. The best things that you can do during maternity to keep your baby safe include taking prenatal vitamins, attending doctors’ appointments, consulting a physician is there is any pain, getting good nutrients into your body and simply by being careful. Avoid bumpy rides or attractions at theme parks that are not recommended for those who are pregnant.

2. Maternity Clothing – As your belly continues to grow during pregnancy, some changes will need to be made to your wardrobe. Maternity clothing can be purchased at a number of major retail locations. These clothes are designed to fit your growing body in a comfortable and stylish way. From tunic tops to flowing dresses and stretchy waistband pants, it is important to be comfortable and feel good while pregnant. Rather than spending a fortune on maternity clothes that will only be worn for a few months, try visiting local consignment stores that carry cute maternity clothes at affordable prices.

3. Baby Items – During maternity, many choose to buy essential items that they will need for their baby. From decorating the nursery to shopping for newborn clothes, this is one of the most exciting parts of getting ready for the birth of your little one. Some baby item essentials that you will need include burp cloths, swaddle blankets, hats, pacifiers, onesies, several select outfits in varying sizes, diapers, wipes, baby wash, formula or a breast pump if breast feeding and blankets. Other items that you may choose to get include a bassinet, crib, baby swing, bouncy seat, bedding set and more. A great tip is to create a registry or list of everything that you think you will need for your baby.

4. Labor – One thing that many mothers think about during maternity is what labor will be like. This can be different for everyone. Consider pain relief options such as an epidural for a more comfortable labor.

Maternity is a time in your life that you will never forget. In addition to preparing, it is important to cherish the memories that you make while caring for your little one before birth.

Author Bio

Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to service by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at]

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Dental Health for Baby

ImageWait, waiting, waited….that’s what we did for Baby Firecrackers first tooth; which four decided to come in at once when he turned 16 months old.  Thankfully that didn’t hold him back from eating, however I decided not to delay making an appointment to see a pediatric dentist to make sure every thing is okay.

Here is what I learned:

Your baby’s teeth begin to develop during the second month of your pregnancy.

Some babies are born with teeth that have already erupted from their gums.

The average age for a baby’s central incisor’s to erupt is 6-10 months (lower teeth) and 8-12 months (upper teeth).

However it’s ok if your baby is at the extreme of either end of the statistical chart, like my little Firecracker. If you’re concerned, ask your dentist or other moms for a good pediatric dentist referral.

For a quick reference, here’s a chart for when your child should be developing their smile.

Upper Teeth Erupt Shed
Central Incisor 8-12 months 6-7 years
Lateral incisor 9-13 months 7-8 years
Canine (cuspid) 16-22 months 10-12 years
First Molar 13-19 months 9-11 years
Second Molar 25-33 months 10-12 years
Lower Teeth
Central Incisor 6-10 months 6-7 years
Lateral incisor 10-16 months 7-8 years
Canine (cuspid) 17-23 months 9-12 years
First Molar 14-18 months 9-11 years
Second Molar 23-31 months 10-12 years

*Source: American Dental Association

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