When my son, Adam, was born at 35 weeks into my pregnancy with a rare genetic disorder, my husband and I knew life would be different. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot of lessons that I hope can help you.
- Ask lots of questions. When I think back to when Adam was born more than 16 years ago, there were so many questions my husband and I had. The first was “why …Continue reading →
I have some great news to share. The breastfeeding support team at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has been given breastfeeding care award! This means we are being recognized for all the work that our team does for the moms and babies at Children’s Hospital.
Our team helps mothers who want to provide breast milk to their babies. It’s important to provide the best nutrition to all babies, especially when they are sick. Sometimes mothers find it difficult to breastfeed. So, the support my team provides is critical. Click here for more information about how breastfeeding benefits both mother and child.
All four breastfeeding experts on our team are board-certified lactation consultants and registered nurses. Together, we have decades of experience and knowledge about infant care and breastfeeding, and we use the latest research to provide the best care to families.
The award is given out by the International Board of Lactation Examiners and the International Lactation Consultants Association. To qualify, a breastfeeding support program must offer educational programs about breastfeeding and breast milk pumping and support breastfeeding with a qualified team of lactation specialists.
I have been a nurse for almost 28 years and a board-certified lactation consultant for nearly 12 years, and this award means a lot to me. It means we are offering high-quality care to mothers and their babies. It makes me proud to be doing the work that I do while working for such a great hospital.
~ Linda McNamara, BS, RN, IBCLC, RLC, lactation consultant
Several times a week, we find ourselves sitting in meetings discussing the best way to keep babies safe while sleeping. At Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin one of our initiatives focuses on injury prevention and death review. Additionally, we provide grief and bereavement services for families who have experienced the unexpected death of an infant. Our work keeps us motivated to find ways to keep babies safe and parents well rested!
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents follow the ABC’s of safe sleep.
Sometimes, babies can’t fall asleep on their own or wake up frequently at night, which can make parents very tired and cranky. Parents can try the following tips to help baby fall and stay asleep.
Keep bedtime and naptime routines the same every day.
- Keep things quiet for 1 hour before bedtime.
- Soft lighting helps baby get sleepy.
- Babies like to hear a quiet story or song before bedtime.
- Cuddle and rock baby gently before bedtime.
- Most babies sleep well after a feeding and/or a bath.
- Gently rub baby’s arms and legs.
Consider using a pacifier when you place baby on his/her back for sleep. If baby is breastfed, wait until she is 1 month old or is used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier. If baby spits out the pacifier after falling asleep, you do not need to put it back in her mouth.
If baby is only fussing wait a minute to make sure baby is actually awake. Some babies fuss a bit during sleep but will quickly settle down.
If baby wakes up and cries, go to him or her as quickly as possible. Calming the baby down quickly should help the baby go back to sleep. Try not to play with baby during the night when s/he wakes up. Keep play time during daytime hours.
Hold and feed baby if s/he is hungry, and comfort him or her before placing on their back to sleep in their own crib or bassinet. In the early weeks and months of life, babies need to be fed often. The time between night feedings should increase as babies grow bigger and begin to sleep for longer periods of time at night.
For more information about safe sleep visit Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin.
~Abby Collier, MS, project manager, Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin
While glitter and talking cards shout out “I love you” to a child, simple acts each day provide a chance for parents to show their love. Here are five easy ways you can show your children you love them.
Stop and listen. With so many activities taking up our time and energy, sometimes pausing and listening is the best way to show your love. Ask your children what they want to be when they grow up or what the school cafeteria served for lunch. Whatever you …Continue reading →
February 1 is the 10th anniversary of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley. I would like to share our experience and let others know what a tremendous impact having the hospital close to our home has meant to us.
My son, Griffin, was born in 2003 with a rare brain abnormality called Lissencephaly (Miller-Dieker syndrome). We knew of his condition while I was pregnant, and though somewhat prepared, had no idea what was to …Continue reading →
October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month
Having a healthy baby means making sure you’re healthy, too. One of the most important things a woman can do to prevent serious birth defects is to get enough folic acid. It’s important to take folic acid before you get pregnant and during early pregnancy. Studies show women who get at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid before and during pregnancy reduce the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects (serious birth defects involving the incomplete development of the brain and spinal cord) by up to 70 percent. These defects happen during the first 28 days of pregnancy, usually before a woman even knows she’s pregnant. Only half of all pregnancies are planned – so any woman who could become pregnant should make sure she is taking enough folic acid every day.
What is folic acid? How much do you need?
Folic acid is a water soluble B vitamin found in green vegetables like spinach and asparagus as well as in orange juice and enriched cereals and breads. Water soluble means it does not stay in your body for very long, so it needs to be taken every day. For most women, eating the right foods isn’t enough. To get the recommended level, you probably need to take a vitamin.
During pregnancy you require more of all the vitamins and nutrients than you did before you became pregnant. Most nonprescription prenatal vitamins contain 500 to 800 mcg of folic acid. A prenatal vitamin shouldn’t replace eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, but it does ensure you’re getting the recommended amount of folic acid every day.
If you’ve already had a pregnancy that was affected by a neural tube defect, make sure you talk about it with your health care provider. You may need to increase your daily intake of folic acid before getting pregnant again to lower your risk of having another baby with the same defect.
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has a long history of caring for children with neural tube defects. There are programs available for your child with Spina Bifida and other special needs. For more information on these programs, visit chw.org.
Deb Walbergh, RN, BSN, is a graduate student in Nursing in the Spina Bifida Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in any woman’s life. So many fun, new changes happen when we have a baby. There are so many decisions to make, especially about what to feed this new little wonder. Most people have heard that breast milk is best, but often they don’t know why. Being a nurse and a lactation consultant, I have learned so much about breast milk and why it’s so fantastic. I have a few insights that may help you in making your decision about whether to breastfeed. …Continue reading →
There’s still time this summer to hit the road or take to the skies for a family trip. Whether it’s a short visit to grandma’s house or a trip across the country, traveling with children can be challenging. When embarking on a family trip, consider selecting a destination that’s geared toward children.
Whether you are traveling by car, plane, train or bus, the key to an enjoyable trip with your child is to plan ahead. Advanced planning will ensure a successful, fun vacation and reduce the stress associated with traveling as a family.
Here are some things you can do to ensure you and your children have an enjoyable and memorable experience: …Continue reading →
Did you change the batteries in your smoke alarm this past weekend as you turned your clock forward? How about your carbon monoxide detector? Carbon monoxide or CO detectors may not be as familiar as smoke alarms to some people, but they are just as important. And now, they’re the law.
Just like smoke alarms, CO detectors now are required in single-family homes as well as duplexes. They already were required in multifamily homes or apartments.
More than 15,000 people are treated for unintentional CO poisoning each year. CO is extremely dangerous because it is a colorless, odorless gas that only can be detected by installing CO detectors.
…Continue reading →
The snow is melting, temperatures are rising and over the weekend we turned the clocks forward. Yes, spring is in the air. And in many homes across southeast Wisconsin, so are the scents of cleaning products.
Spring-cleaning, an annual tradition for many, can bring about potential poison hazards if you’re not careful. At Wisconsin Poison Center, we see an increase in calls this time of year, usually related to children getting into cleaning products. If a poisoning occurs, I suggest following the guidelines below.
…Continue reading →