Dr. Gareth Forde, Author at BabyQ - Page 2 of 12

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy can be a time of unusual cravings, but there are definitely several foods that women should avoid during these nine months. It is important to thoroughly discuss with your healthcare professional about your diet and nutritional needs during pregnancy, and be sure to also have a conversation about what not to eat when pregnant. Deli Meat – As easy as it can be to grab a deli sandwich for lunch on your break at work, it is also that easy to contract listeria. This poisoning is caused by a bacterium that sometimes exists on deli meat (among other places). In healthy people who are not pregnant this can cause painful and uncomfortable side effects, but in pregnant women it can result in miscarriage, premature birth, or stillbirth. Some physicians and dieticians recommend heating your meat until it steams in order to kill the listeria. Undercooked Meats and Eggs –…

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How much sleep do I need in pregnancy?

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The value of sleep is best realized by the lack thereof.  Ask anyone who has ever been sleep deprived and they will be able to clearly articulate how tired, jittery, and confused they felt.  Thus, although sleep is an automatic, semi-conscious physiological state that most people participate in on a daily basis, often it is not appreciated until it is withheld.  The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per day. Sleep is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Varying theories exist as to what happens while we sleep. The most widely accepted theory suggests that sleep is an essential time for the body to “power down”, rest and rejuvenate.  Sleep allows the body time to repair damaged tissue and replenish neurotransmitters in the brain.  As well, much of our long-term memory is solidified while we sleep. Pregnant women often need more sleep depending on the…

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Fish Oils and Pregnancy- What is all the buzz about?

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Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oils, have been the source of considerable debate regarding their beneficial properties for pregnant women and babies.  Often pregnant moms must decide whether they will consume fish during pregnancy and if so, in what amount. Fish is known to contain essential protein, iron, vitamin A & omega-3 fatty acids. However, some fish also contain high levels of mercury that can cause harm to a baby’s developing brain and nervous system. To get the benefits without the possible harm, many pregnant women choose to consume fish oil supplements instead of fresh fish. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation for fish consumption is to choose fish that are low in mercury, such as salmon, catfish, cod and tilapia. Conversely, fish prone to have higher levels of mercury, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish, should be avoided. Regarding whether the beneficial effects of…

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How Can I Keep My Baby Safe?

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Babies by nature are explorers.  They reach, grasp, “mouth”, sit, roll, crawl, and “cruise” along objects of interest.  Babies are curious about different textures and shapes and brightly colored objects easily attract babies’ attention. Unfortunately, many small, easily accessible objects pose a choking risk or may be poisonous if ingested.  Given such risk, often parents must take precautions to “babyproof” their homes. This is particularly true as an infant grows into toddlerhood and becomes more mobile, additional precautions are needed to childproof areas where little explorers “cruise”.  To babyproof your home, you’ll need to protect your nursery, kitchen, bathroom & any other place where your baby will be exploring. To protect a baby’s nursery—ensure that the mattress fits the crib or bassinet snugly.   According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 35 babies every year suffocate or strangle in cribs that don’t meet current safety standards or when…

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Manicures and pedicures during pregnancy— Are they safe?

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There are many beneficial effects associated with the growing body of a pregnant woman. Many women savor the nail and hair growth that often accompanies pregnancy.  These beauty “enhancements” are due to increased hormone production that supports the growing baby and expectant mother. Additionally, a healthy pregnancy diet and prenatal vitamins such as biotin, a B-complex vitamin has been associated with healthy, thick and firm nails.   Given the exponential growth of the pregnant woman’s nails, regularly she contemplates how to best care for her nails.  As such, many women wonder, “are manicures and pedicures safe during pregnancy?”  By most accounts, the answer to this question is “Yes”, with a few precautions.   Health and safety recommendations for nail care include maintaining nail hygiene, such as keeping nails clean and dry; avoiding biting or picking at nails; applying moisturizer to nails; and gently pushing cuticles back instead of cutting them. …

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Choose safe toys for your child.

How Do I Choose the Right Toys for My Child?

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It seems that several times each year there are reports in the news about baby toys that are no longer considered safe and are removed from the market. It can leave parents concerned and confused about how to find safe baby toys, and how to make sure that the toy investment will continue to be safe. There are several factors that you should consider when choosing toys for your baby. They include age guidelines, construction, electronic components, warranties, and educational and developmental value. Age Guidelines Look at the recommended ages on the packaging. These age recommendations, such as Ages 6 Months+, indicate to you the safety level as well. It tells you whether or not this toy is appropriate in skill level and safety for your baby. In general toys for ages birth to 5 months are limited as far as the interaction your child will get from it. During…

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I can’t afford a breast pump, what are my options?

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There is no doubt about it; breast milk offers incredible health benefits for little ones. If full time breastfeeding is not always an option, for example if your little one won’t or can’t latch-on, or you have to return to work, then a breast pump can help you to express milk swiftly so that your baby will be able to get the nourishing benefits. Breast pumps can be very expensive and may simply be out of the budget. If the high cost of a hospital grade breast pump, which is required for more than occasional use, seems to be a barrier to breastfeeding, here are a few options you can look into. Local Programs And Support There are numerous programs designed to specifically help women with the care of their newborns. The WIC (Women Infants Children) program exists to help lower income families with the nutritional needs that their children…

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How to Feed a Baby

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Newborns and infants all require some of the basic needs of nutrition and sleep, but choosing a method of feeding your baby can seem anything but basic. The World Health Organization (WHO) and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding as the most optimal choice for feeding your baby, but that does not mean that infant formula is not a viable option for many mothers and babies. The decision between bottle and breastfeeding should weigh many factors, and should include discussions with your baby’s pediatrician. How Do You Choose Between a Bottle and Breastfeeding? Choosing between breastfeeding and bottle feeding is something that you should ideally begin considering long before your baby is born. There are many factors that will influence your decision, and the best way to ensure a successful plan for you and your baby is to consider the pros and cons of each, and how those fit into…

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What Do Prenatal Vitamins Do For You?

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Pregnancy means that the foods you eat and the vitamins you choose are working for two, but how do you know what vitamins might be best for you and your baby? Before you go and buy prenatal vitamins in bulk there are three things you need to do: Talk with your healthcare provider. He or she will be able to help you determine if there are any specific health concerns for your or your baby. Eat a healthy diet. The best way for most women to absorb quality vitamins and minerals is through healthy food choices, most often fresh fruits, vegetables, and sources of protein. Compare standard vitamins to prenatal vitamins. Pregnancy takes an extra toll on certain body systems, and developing babies need specific vitamins and minerals for optimal development. Understanding these needs will help you and your healthcare provider to make informed and healthy decisions. When Should I…

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What to Avoid During Pregnancy

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If you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant you are probably thinking about the various dos and don’ts when it comes to eating, drinking, medications, and anything else that might affect your growing baby. Alcohol is definitely something that should be avoided during pregnancy as no level of alcohol has been shown to be safe for your baby’s development. Smoking cigarettes and exposure to secondhand smoke also pose dangers to your and your baby’s health, so take steps to quit if you do smoke and try to stay away from others who do. These aren’t the only health risks you have to worry about, though, and some of the following dangers might surprise you. What Else Besides Alcohol and Cigarettes? Heat – Whether it is from the hot tub at the gym or a sauna on vacation, excessive heat should be avoided during pregnancy. In fact, spending as little as…

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