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newborn and sibling

6 Tips for Protecting Your Newborn from School Germs

The school year is back in full swing. Unfortunately, just as you’re settling into your new routine, the back-to-school crud is likely to rear its ugly head especially as temperatures slowly begin to cool and flu season approaches.

On average, elementary school children get eight to 12 colds or cases of the flu each school year. Taking care of a sick child is daunting enough, but what if you also have a newborn or infant at home?

Newborn babies are especially susceptible to infection since their immune systems aren’t as developed as older kids. Here are some tips to help prevent school-age siblings from spreading germs during your infant’s first year of life:

  • Immunizations: Following the American Academy of Pediatrics vaccination schedule is the first line of defense for protecting against childhood illness. This won’t prevent the common cold, but it will help against more serious disease like pertussis (whooping cough) or measles. The AAP also recommends an annual flu shot for all children from age 6 months to 18 years.
  • Handwashing: Frequent handwashing is the single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of germs. Teach children to sing ‘happy birthday’ to him or herself twice to make sure they wash for at least 20 seconds. Stress the importance of using soap, not just plain water, and to clean between their fingers and around their fingernails. Hands should be dried with a clean paper towel or hot air dryer.
  • Change clothes: Schools are a hotbed for germs, and dirt and bacteria can adhere to clothing. Have school-age children change clothes as soon as they get home.
  • Establish contact rules: There are few things sweeter than a doting sibling who wants to help take care of or love on their baby brother or sister. To hinder the spread of germs, limit kissing to the top of the head or baby’s feet.
  • No sharing: You’ve spent all this time teaching your child the importance of sharing, but now you have to explain the importance of not sharing. Keep frequently-played-with toys out of baby’s reach and clean them at the end of the day with a sanitizing wipe or in the dishwasher. Also make sure the older sibling doesn’t handle things like the baby’s bottle, pacifier or teether.
  • How to cough and sneeze: Teach your child to cough or sneeze into his or her elbow. Keep tissues within reach to prevent them using their hand or clothes to wipe or blow their nose. Make sure they throw used tissues away immediately.
  • Breastfeeding: If you are breastfeeding, continue to do so even when you or someone else in the household is sick. You should continue to nurse through illnesses such as a cold, sore throat, flu, stomach bug, or fever. Chances are your baby was already exposed before you showed systems and mother’s milk will provide antibodies specifically tailored to help your baby fight off the illness. There are only a few serious illnesses that might require a mom to stop breastfeeding for a period of time or permanently. If you’re unsure, consult your physician.

Unfortunately, you can’t always prevent the spread of germs. Children with viral infections can be infectious before they show symptoms, as well as after their symptoms clear up. But, here are some things you can do to help prepare an older sibling’s ability to fight off infection and reduce the length of time they are sick:

  • Sleep: According to the CDC, school-age children should get 10-11 hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation hinders the immune system’s ability to fight off infection.
  • Diet: A balanced, nutritious diet will help your child have the energy to get through the school day and increase their immunity defense against bacteria and viruses.
  • Exercise: Regular activity is a critical part of staying healthy, even in winter months. At a minimum, children should have a daily dose of 40 minutes of activity.
  • Proper clothing: Teach your children to keep their jackets zipped and hats on their heads when it’s cold.
  • Daily vitamins: Taking the appropriate dose of children’s vitamins gives your child the added boost he or she needs to fight off airborne or direct-contact viruses. There are a lot of options on the shelf. Consult your child’s pediatrician for a recommendation.

Contact Raleigh OB/GYN Centre

If you’re currently pregnant or recently gave birth, contact us today for more tips on keeping you and your family healthy throughout the school year.

Struggling to Get Pregnant? You are Not Alone.

If you have been struggling to get pregnant, know that you are not alone. Believe it or not, one out of every eight couples in the United States have trouble conceiving. Infertility can be the result of both men and women and has a variety of causes. Read on to learn more about the causes and risk factors of infertility as well as what you can do to treat it and achieve your dream of becoming a parent.  

Causes of Infertility

The causes of infertility differ in men and women. In men, infertility may occur because of abnormal sperm production or function, issues with the delivery of sperm, overexposure to certain environmental factors such as cigarette smoking, alcohol, and marijuana, and cancer-related damage.

In women, infertility may be present because of ovarian disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome, abnormalities with the uterus or cervix, damage or blockage in the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, pelvic adhesions, and early menopause.

Infertility Risk Factors

The risk factors of infertility are the same for men and women and include:

  •         Age: As a woman gets older, her fertility gradually declines. After age 37, her fertility drastically declines because she has less and lower quality eggs. Men over age 40 may be less fertile as well.
  •         Smoking: When a woman or man smokes, their chances of conceiving declines. Smoking also reduces the effectiveness of fertility treatments.
  •         Alcohol Use: Women and men should avoid alcohol use while they are trying to get pregnant. It can decrease sperm count and increase the risk of birth defects.
  •         Being Overweight: Men and women who would like to have a baby should lead an active lifestyle as being inactive and overweight may increase infertility risk.

What Can Be Done?

If you are facing infertility, understand that there are a number of treatments that can help you and your partner become parents. Regardless of whether the infertility is caused by a man or woman, one or a combination of the following treatments may help:

  •         Ovulation induction
  •         In-vitro fertilization
  •         Intrauterine Insemination
  •         Fertility preservation
  •         Minimally invasive surgery

Schedule an Appointment at Raleigh OB/GYN Centre

If you are under 35 and healthy and have tried to get pregnant for a year with no success or over 35 and healthy and have not been able to conceive after six months of trying, schedule an appointment at our office today. We can help you achieve your dream of parenthood.

NovaSure: Is It Right for You?

Heavy periods can take a serious toll on a woman’s life. Fortunately, there is a quick and effective solution to this issue. NovaSure endometrial ablation is a one-time procedure that’s designed to remove the uterine lining or endometrium, which is what causes heavy bleeding. This procedure can be completed in only five minutes and does not involve any incisions.

Raleigh OB/GYN Centre is pleased to offer NovaSure for women who are ready to say goodbye to abnormal menstrual bleeding. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of NovaSure and what you can expect if you undergo this revolutionary procedure.

Benefits of NovaSure

NovaSure endometrial ablation has changed the lives of countless women across the country. Women who have had this procedure done state that they are now able to live productive lives and participate in more social activities.

They no longer have to worry about heavy menstrual bleeding and enjoy increased energy and greater self-confidence. In addition, many women report that they have seen a reduction in PMS symptoms.

How NovaSure Works

Although NovaSure can be completed in five minutes, if you undergo this procedure, you should plan on being at our facility for about an hour. Your doctor will begin by opening up your cervix, inserting a thin wand, and extending a triangular shaped device with netting into your uterus.

You will notice that the netting will expand and perfectly fit the size and shape of your uterus. Your doctor will then deliver radio frequency energy through the netting for about a minute and a half. Lastly, the device will be pulled back into the wand and both the wand and device will be removed from your uterus.

Who is a Good Candidate for NovaSure?

NovaSure endometrial ablation was specifically designed for premenopausal women with heavy periods who are finished having children. We do not recommend this procedure if you believe that you may want to have children in the future because your uterine lining, which is vital for growing a fetus, will be removed.

Although NovaSure can improve your quality of life and allow you to participate in the activities you love, it isn’t for every woman. Speak to one of our doctors to determine if this procedure is right for you.

Schedule an Appointment at Raleigh OB/GYN Centre

If you suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding and are ready to find relief, contact our office today to schedule an appointment. We’ll help you determine whether NovaSure is right for you.

How to Treat Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Also known as menorrhagia, heavy menstrual bleeding is a common problem among women. In fact, about one third of women seek treatment for it. Heavy menstrual bleeding can interfere with a woman’s lifestyle and lead to pain and anemia, which occurs when the blood doesn’t have enough healthy blood cells.

If you are living with heavy menstrual bleeding, know that there are ways you can effectively treat this condition and improve your quality of life. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, we recommend the following treatments for heavy menstrual bleeding.

Medications

Oral contraceptive medications as well as hormonal IUDs and pills may reduce bleeding. They work by restoring the correct balance of hormones and making periods more regular. Other medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs can improve menstrual cramps and reduce blood loss.

Fibroid Removal

If your heavy menstrual bleeding is the result of fibroids, your issue can be treated by shrinking them. There are a number of fibroid removal procedures we may suggest including a surgical procedure known as myomectomy or uterine artery embolization.

Endometrial Removal

Endometrial removal involves removing or thinning the endometrial lining to alleviate heavy bleeding. If we determine that an endometrial removal such as endometrial ablation or endometrial resection tissue removal is right for you, you should not become pregnant.

Dilation and Curettage

Dilation and curettage or D&C removes tissue from the uterine lining in order to reduce menstrual bleeding. In a D&C, the cervix is opened and special tools are used to scrape or suction the tissue. You may require multiple D&C treatments if your heavy bleeding reoccurs.

Hysterectomy

If you do not have the desire to get pregnant and your heavy menstrual bleeding persists, a hysterectomy may be an option. A hysterectomy completely stops your menstrual cycles and prevents you from being able to conceive a child.

Prior to designing a treatment plan for you, we will take a number of factors into consideration. These factors include your medical history and overall health, the cause of your heavy menstrual bleeding, your tolerance for certain medications and procedures, how the condition affects your lifestyle, and your future childbearing plans.

Schedule an Appointment at Raleigh OB/GYN Centre

Our women’s health team understands how uncomfortable it can be to live with heavy menstrual bleeding. Therefore, we are committed to helping each and every patient with this condition find the relief they deserve. If you are facing menorrhagia, schedule an appointment at our office today.

Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

Traveling while pregnant does not have to be stressful. Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, certain preparations can reduce discomforts while you are on the way to your destination. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, we recommend the following tips to help make traveling while pregnant a pleasant experience.

Take Timing Into Consideration

Since pregnant women are more likely to face medical emergencies during the first and third trimesters, the ideal time to travel is during the second trimester. During this phase, your morning sickness has probably subsided and you can still move around fairly comfortably.

Fill Your Carry On with Essentials

There are a variety of essential items you should pack in your carry on bag. Be sure to include a refillable water bottle, an extra pair of underwater, snacks like nuts or dried fruit, and medication such as Tylenol in case you experience any headaches, backaches, or pain in general.

Dress Appropriately

Comfort should be your top priority when you are trying to figure out what to wear before your trip. A belly support band can help take pressure off your lower back while you’re standing in security lines, walking across airports, and carrying luggage.

In addition to a belly support band, wear comfortable shoes that easily slip on and off and a light cardigan to keep yourself warm in cold airports but comfortable if a hot flash arises.

Select an Aisle Seat

If you are flying, be sure to select an aisle seat. Doing so will make your trip far easier as you won’t have any issues getting up to use the restroom or stretch your legs.

Pack Light

Although it is easier said than done, packing extra light is important. By packing light, you won’t have to lift heavy suitcases and bags and put them onto an airport scale or overhead bin. Try to pack items that are multi-functional and consider purchasing beauty products and other items once you arrive at your destination.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you are traveling alone, ask for help whenever you need.  Ask the flight attendant for a snack and water bottle if you are feeling faint. If you are unable to lift your bag, find another passenger around you to help you out.

Contact Raleigh OB/GYN Centre

Prior to traveling, it’s wise to consult your doctor. If you are planning a trip, be sure to contact us today for more tips on traveling while pregnant.

Exercise During Pregnancy

Whether you were physically active prior to pregnancy, or if you are interested in a healthy lifestyle change while expecting, you may have questions in regards to safe exercise during pregnancy. Here at Raleigh Ob/GYN Centre, we actually encourage pregnant women to exercise if they were physically active before they got pregnant. By exercising throughout your pregnancy, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  •         Increased energy
  •         Improved mood
  •         Improved posture
  •         Less constipation, bloating, swelling, and backaches
  •         Increased strength, muscle tone, and endurance
  •         An easier labor

Safe Exercises for Pregnant Women

Before engaging in any type of exercises while pregnant, consult your doctor. They will likely clear you for exercise if you are healthy and exercised before you got pregnant. As your stomach gets bigger, you may have to modify your workouts.

If your doctor states that it’s okay for you to exercise, you should try these pregnancy safe activities:

  • Walking: Walking is a great low-impact workout that doesn’t put any strain on your joints or muscles.
  • Swimming: Since the water supports the weight of your growing baby, swimming is an excellent exercise. It’s also easy on the joints and muscles and ideal for pregnant women with back pain.
  • Strength Training: Strength training can give you the opportunity to strengthen your bones and build muscle. Be sure your weights aren’t too heavy if you choose to strength train.
  • Yoga and Pilates Classes: There are many yoga and Pilates classes that are designed specifically for pregnant women. They can help you relax and improve your flexibility.
  • Riding a Stationary Bike: Riding a stationary bike is safer than riding a regular one during pregnancy because you are less likely to fall off it.

Exercises Pregnant Women Should Avoid

There are certain exercises that should be avoided by pregnant women. These exercises can lead to serious complications:

  • Horseback riding, skiing, skating, or any other activity that involves bouncing movements that may cause you to fall.
  • Soccer, basketball, and other sports in which you may get hit in the stomach.
  • Sit-ups and exercises that force you to lie flat on your back and can lower blood pressure and limit blood flow to your baby.
  • Hot yoga or other activities that are usually performed in extremely hot temperatures.

When Pregnant Women Should Stop Exercising

As you are exercising while pregnant, be sure to drink plenty of water and pay attention to how your body feels. If you show any of these signs, stop exercising and visit your doctor:

  •         Headaches
  •         Dizziness
  •         Chest pain
  •         Vaginal bleeding
  •         Muscle weakness
  •         Regular, painful contractions

Contact Raleigh Ob/GYN Centre

If you have any questions regarding exercise during pregnancy, we encourage you to contact us today. We wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy!