photography by Laurie Sachs
Laurie Sachs Photography 305-5493
There's nothing we love more than babies - except, maybe, preparing for babies. Inside SCV
publisher Jeanna Crawford had her "dream highchair" in storage before she even got pregnant. Therese's college dorm room was festooned with Anne Geddes photos of infants dressed as tulips. And now, with their newborn days (temporarily?) behind them, their new labor of love (pun intended) has been gathering tips, quips and helpful hints for the newest batch of mommies and daddies.
Hot-weather Survival Tips for Moms to Be
Beloved SCV midwife Renee Sicignano, LM, CPM, LC, is a walking, talking pregnancy and childbirth encyclopedia. We wanted to know: How can a mommy-to-be get through the notorious strain of summer pregnancy? Here are her answers.
Pregnancy causes hyperpigmentation and can cause "raccoon mask" - also known as pregnancy mask - which is sun damage around the eyes and on the cheeks. In addition to wearing (and reapplying) sunscreen, you should also wear a hat when out in the sun.
Swim & stay cool.
Exercise is important during pregnancy - we recommend walking for an hour per day. Get your walk in early in the morning before it's too hot or at the end of the day once it has cooled off. Swimming is also great. Submerging in the water can reduce swelling and blood pressure. The water pressure pushes extracellular fluid back into blood vessels and peripheral vasodilatation drops the blood pressure. Ideally, this type of immersion is done in warm water. The effect lasts for some hours after the immersion.
Sip on a "spa" beverage.
We encourage our mothers to drink at least three liters or about 100 ounces of water per day. Avoid sugary drinks and carbonated waters; they dehydrate you. Try creating your own "spa" waters by adding lemon, orange, watermelon, cucumbers or mint. Drink up: Water flushes waste products from the cells and aids in liver and kidney function for both Mom and Baby. During pregnancy, water is also needed for the body's expansion as Mom's blood volume increases significantly. Insufficient water intake can be a factor in constipation, preterm labor and miscarriage, and even slight dehydration can cause or contribute to fatigue.
Renee the Midwife is owner of the SCV Birth and Woman's Health Center, Inc. Upcoming classes include a four-week childbirth education series for expectant parents, breastfeeding classes and a Baby Basics course, which will teach you how to care for your new baby the first two weeks of life. Call for dates and times; 254-3000 www.reneethemidwife.com
The Nation's "Top 5 Percent" in Maternity Care is Close to Home
Antelope Valley Hospital
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has always provided excellent maternity care, and since 2006, they have delivered that care in the Women and Infants Pavilion - a spacious, modern facility with the right blend of comfort and technology. The pavilion's home-like atmosphere includes private rooms and couplet care, as well as a state-of-the-art NICU and three new surgery suites. Antelope Valley Hospital is a recipient of the HealthGrades 2006 Maternity Care Excellence Award and has received five stars in maternity care from HealthGrades for the past five years in a row, ranking in the nation's top 5 percent for the past three years. One of the most exciting additions at the Women & Infants Pavilion is the chance to experience "couplet care," which places newborns in the same room with their mothers until both go home. A single nurse attends to the needs of both mom and baby. Couplet care rooms include extra sleeping accommodations for Dad or a partner for the duration of Mom and Baby's stay; 949-5000 www.avhospital.org
When You & Baby should Join a Learning Activity Group
Laurie Sachs Photography 305-5493
Mommy and Daddy should consider getting their baby active in a group learning activity as early as they are comfortable with it, with a minimum age recommendation of 4 to 6 weeks, when the doctor has cleared Mommy to be up and about and Baby has had his first set of shots, says Lisa Leone of Gymboree of Valencia
There are so many wonderful benefits to Gymboree for both parents and baby. Designed by their program directors in collaboration with the national child development experts, Gymboree's age-appropriate classes and activities help develop the cognitive, physical and social skills of children while they play. The programs are also recognized for the unique approach to parent involvement, which helps encourage participation and understanding in their child's development, builds bonds with their child, and fosters lifelong friendships with other families in the class.
In the newborn to 6-month classes, Gymboree works on skills like tactile development, auditory stimulation, infant massage and tummy time. In the 16- to 22-month play classes, the children are working on opposites while exploring and mastering their climbing, balance and social skills on safe, high-quality proprietary equipment. The same cognitive, physical and social skills are developed throughout all of Gymboree's play, music, art and preschool programs. There are so many new challenges and things to consider when having a baby. Getting involved in a group learning activity like Gymboree will help the family maneuver through these changing, exhausting, joyous, busy times!; 287-3890 www.gymboreeclasses.com
SCV's Only Hospital on Target with NICU Construction
Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital
is pleased to report that construction of its neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), slated for completion at the end of this year, is on schedule. Great thought went into the NICU design to ensure a high-quality, comprehensive continuum of care for all mothers and babies who need extra support, along with a warm, nurturing environment that will meet the needs of the tiniest patients right here in our own community and close to family and friends. Henry Mayo's NICU will be equipped and staffed for a full range of highly-specialized neonatal care experts and include state-of-the art equipment and materials to ensure the best care for babies. A neonatologist will oversee care, and nurses with advanced training will provide continual monitoring, while respiratory care specialists, dietitians, pharmacists and physical and occupational therapists will all provide support for the newborns and their parents.
Santa Clarita deserves the security and comfort of a neonatal intensive care unit, and many Henry Mayo physicians, staff and volunteers, as well as members of the SCV community, have stepped forward with meaningful contributions for the NICU. Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation continues to gratefully accept all gifts, large or small, for our tiniest patients; 200-1200 www.henrymayogiving.com.
Choosing a Pediatrician before Baby
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According to Bhavana K. Arora, MD, FAAP, of the Department of Pediatrics for Facey Medical Group
, parents should consider selecting a pediatrician at least two months prior to their due date. "There are many things to consider when selecting a pediatrician, but of utmost importance is whether or not the parents are comfortable with and trust the physician they select. To this end, consider the pediatrician's style of childrearing and style of practice. Every pediatrician has a unique perspective that determines their advice on discipline, newborn schedules - even eating," informs Arora.
The first step in selecting a pediatrician is research. "Facey patients can look at the profiles of the pediatricians on our website. Referrals from your trusted friends are a wonderful resource. Parents should make note of office hours, after-hours care, the process of returning phone calls during and after hours, the availability of the doctor for sick visits, consistency of seeing their pediatrician rather than whichever physician is available and more. Also, information should be obtained and clarified as to when and by whom the baby will be examined in the hospital and when to follow up in the office. Any medical insurance issues should be clarified as well by the office staff and/or the pediatrician," explains the doctor; www.facey.com
Must-have Nursing Supplies
Every new-ish mom has a list of go-to items that, at one time or another, single handedly saved her sanity, her body or both. (Eds. note: I still think back to my firstborn's fourth day of life, when my blimp-sized, severely-engorged breasts threatened to consume him - and not vice versa. I'm convinced that my Medela breast pump, purchased in a panic at Valencia Pharmacy by my mother, is the reason I'm here today.)
Here's our must-have list. All items are available at Valencia Medical Supply
(located next to Valencia Pharmacy; 255-7910 www.valenciarx.com), which is a good thing... Because who wants to walk up to a scruffy, 20-something box store employee and ask, "What would you recommend for chaffed nipples?"
You'll find medical-grade pumps and accessories in the newest styles and colors at Valencia Medical Supply. They also carry rentable pumps, like the Symphony. Its "Natural Expression" is designed to pump in a way that mimics your baby nursing. A hospital-grade breast pump, Lactina, is also available. Renting a breast pump allows a new mom to see which brand and style works best for her.
Breastfeeding is the most natural experience in the world, but it's still a skill that must be learned. Both Mom and Baby have to work at a proper "latch," and until they get the hang of it, breast shields can sometimes come in handy. The thin silicone "caps" make it easier for baby to latch and can provide pain relief for Mom, too.
EPIBI Breast Pads help absorb leaks and keep the clothes and skin dry, reducing the risk of skin irritation. The pads keep infection away and keep moms comfortable (and, um... not looking like the winner of a wet-tee-shirt contest) while nursing.
"Rockabye Baby" for Only $149
ABC Furniture 775-0360 (photo by Ted Dayton)
Through the month of June, all AFG deluxe gliders, with ottoman, are only $149 at ABC Baby Furniture
. Plus, take 10 percent off all other rockers, gliders or recliners; 775-0360 www.abcbabyfurniture.com
What Vaccines does your Child Need?
has served the children and families of Santa Clarita since 1972. All doctors are certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and are fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to this experienced collection of doctors, during the first 18 months, children should receive immunizations against:
• Diphtheria, Whooping Cough and Tetanus
• Haemophilus Influenza B
which can cause meningitis and other life-threatening infections
• Hepatitis B
the major cause of dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea
• Measles, Mumps and German Measles (Rubella)
which causes pneumonia and meningitis
considered benign, but deaths have been associated with it
From age 2 to adolescence, children need:
• Hepatitis A
• Booster for Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Chickenpox
• Booster for Tetanus/Whooping Cough
• HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)
To protect against cervical cancer; although only girls have been vaccinated, boys will be soon.
There is a presumption that many of these diseases have disappeared from the United States. It's true that a number of them are at record-low numbers, but travelers from other parts of the world - where these diseases still reign - have introduced them into communities across the country. Unimmunized U.S. children have become sick, or even died. If there are reactions to vaccines, they are usually mild - like a sore or red area where the shot was given, or a mild fever; 294-2229 www.valpeds.com
Meet your Baby before your Due Date
Storks & Co. 254-8100
You know that she has your lips and his nose. You know that she sucks her thumb. You know that she's a "she." You know that you love her more than anything in the world - and she hasn't even been born yet. A visit to Storks & Co.
allows for expectant families to discover their baby's gender as early as 15 weeks. For an even more detailed experience, Storks & Co. offers 3D and 4D (3D in live motion) Sonograms at 26 to 33 weeks. The company is committed to excellent service exclusively provided by experienced medical sonographers. The setting is cozy and family friendly - the ideal place to first lay eyes on your precious child; 254-8100 www.storksncompany.com