Infant Care

11 medical decisions to make for your baby before delivery (or someone else will make them for you)

You’ve educated yourself about pregnancy and made choices for your labor and delivery, but are you prepared to make medical decisions for your baby?  In the first few hours of your baby’s life you will need to make 11 medical decisions for your tiny new person, or someone else will make them for you.  I’ve attended deliveries for more than a decade at five different hospitals, and it’s shocking how few mothers are able to make educated decisions on these issues.  So take a few minutes to think through these 10 issues, and include your preferences in your

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Understanding SIDS

In my grandmother’s days they called it “blue baby” or “cot death,” the terrible phenomenon doctors now call sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.  It’s horrible when these babies come into the ER– found dead and blue in their cribs, the parents start CPR and call 911, hoping and praying for a miracle.  It doesn’t usually happen.  Instead we finish the code and call time of death, then comfort the parents.  It’s hard to explain to parents why their healthy baby suddenly died in their crib, without any apparent cause.  Do these babies just die peacefully in their sleep?

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Nipple twiddling while nursing- how to stop the tweeks

I thought twice about writing on this topic– it seemed almost indecent– but many moms have nervously asked me to address this this embarrassing and annoying problem.  Breastfeeding babies often twiddle the other nipple while nursing, and breaking them of the habit is no easy task.  Many babies and toddlers continue nipple twiddling after weaning.  When you and your little one are ready, there are gentle ways to to stop the tweeks and give your nipples a break.

I must admit that I’ve lived this reality: two of my five children were nipple twiddlers.

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Better births, healtheir babies: Delayed cord clamping made easy

Waiting just 1-2 minutes after birth before cutting your baby’s umbilical cord can protect her from anemia, yet most obstetricians don’t do it.  I know why—I’m a hospital based pediatrician and I attend deliveries regularly.  Practicing “delayed cord clamping,” as this procedure is called, means that the OB has to hold the crying, wet, squirming baby down at the level of the mother’s vagina for 1-2 minutes, letting gravity pull the blood from the placenta into the baby’s tiny body.  It can seem like an eternity.  At that serene moment when the baby is finally out, all the mom wants i

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