Tag Archive | "baby"

Co-sleeping, room sharing or nursery? What should you be doing?

Tags: , , , , ,

Co-sleeping, room sharing or nursery? What should you be doing?

Posted on 04 October 2015 by Kristrun

Quality time

Co-sleeping

To be very honest there is no way to fully prepare yourself for sleeping when it comes to the first months and years of parenthood. There is no point in trying to understand it too much, you simply need to deal with what happens – that’s the brutal truth!

However, you can educate yourself by becoming aware of the different options available to you as a family. Many of our new parents have never actually seen more than one form of sleeping arrangement whilst others are fortunate enough to have experience of seeing how different families deal with different babies. They therefore understand beforehand how thinking out of the box and being creative sometimes becomes very important once you enter the various stages of parenthood.

Those that are only aware of the one traditional sleeping arrangement likely will have learned this from movies and TV shows. We often hear our couples talking about “getting the Nursery ready” and this is certainly a lovely thing to do together. By the time the baby arrives, a beautiful room has been prepared complete with cot, changing table, feeding chair and beautiful toys and accessories. The expectant Mum has images of going to her hungry baby at night after hearing his cries on the baby-monitor, lifting him from the cot and then sitting to feed in the rocking chair, before gently placing him, peaceful and satisfied, back in his cot.

It can subsequently cause much stress if the realities of night feeds, an unsettled baby and sleep deprivation make this arrangement seem impossible. But if you have never seen or heard about any other options, what do you do?

Let’s draw up a picture of the most common sleeping arrangements. We are assuming our new parents are aware of safe sleeping practises and don’t abuse drugs or alcohol, always make sure the baby is not overheated, do not fill baby’s cot or basket full of unnecessary accessories etc.

Co-sleeping

Full blown co-sleeping is when you keep your baby in your bed most of the time. The baby might have their own bed in the same bedroom and then it is normally very close to the parents’ bed. You will either keep the bed up against the wall and the baby between the mom and the wall – or between both parents. It’s recommended the baby is kept close to the top of the bed to avoid the baby becoming overheated or covered by parents’ blankets or bodies. Bed sharing cots are available which create a designated space for the baby. Others simply share the same bed.If you sleep with your partner you might need check out snorerx review to sleep well.

Mattress on the floor

Some may worry that baby may fall off the bed. Then you can get rid of the bed frame and just sleep together on your best mattress for back pain on the floor. Or with the baby basket or separate baby mattress between your mattress and the wall. More babies = bigger or more mattresses!

Baby cot within arms length from your bed

Still close-by but not sharing the same bed-space. This is great for those who want that closeness but struggle with the idea of baby in the same bed, or who find it difficult to sleep themselves beside their little wriggler/snorter!

Nursery

A separate, dedicated room for the baby, with a cot for sleeping in. Some may use a baby monitor to listen for signs of waking although often, in small Hong Kong apartments, this may be unnecessary. Some Mums profess to be able to hear the slightest whimper through several closed doors! Do what works for you.

We are not in the business of telling anyone what to do – every family must do what works for them. But we would just like our brand new Mums and Dads to be aware that one size does not fit all, and that there are other sleeping arrangements used by many families around the world.

Where babies are concerned, getting creative (always with safety in mind) and rolling with the punches may just bring you a few more hours of precious sleep. And that is only ever a good thing.

Sleep well

The Annerley Team

Do you need more support? Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

check out snorerx review

Comments Off

About Grandparents

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About Grandparents

Posted on 07 September 2015 by Kristrun

Most of us were lucky enough to grow up in a loving family and environment.  Most of us have parents that we love and who love us back.  As mentioned in my last blog, parents can be helpful, and also unhelpful, when it comes to the first days with a new baby, partly because when they were raising their children, the environment and advice was very different to now.

It is hard for parents to abandon their beliefs and habits and they do not always understand the way our generation does things as parents – all the access to courses and information, how we research and investigate before we do anything.

In fact, our parents are often of the belief that despite it being great to be able to get support from the internet and our friends, the overflow of the same is only making our lives more confusing and frustrating. Taking away the independence and “get on with it” parenting.

Of course, we all know this and probably agree to a point, but we cannot go back in time.  And to be honest, there are so many things from the past that we are grateful to not have to go through. I am not even going to start the list of comparison.

What I wanted to remind us all of was that grandparents, despite their perhaps different opinions and other difficulties (the typical MIL issue), are not something we should take for granted.

The day will come, and has already come for some, that the grandparents will say goodbye for good. There will be no more remarks or comments, no more unrealistic demands or opinions, no more decisions on how to split the holidays etc. 

And in my opinion, to have grandparents in my children’s lives, is such a treasure.  They add such tremendous value and richness into the lives of those kids – they teach them so much by just being there.  By their manners, their personalities, the way they speak, think, the things they have gone through in life, their way of handling situations, money, travels, how they hold books when they read and how they patiently cut the food for the children.  How they have time, and make time, and quietly teach them without teaching them.

Everything about the grandparents is different and not easily emulated by those of a younger generation.  It is something that comes from living through the times they lived through, growing up amongst larger families and more generations of people under the same roof. Having gone through the times where money, electricity, heat, access to all sorts of products and services was limited, travel was not an option so easily and more and more.

If we grew up in a loving household where our parents were kind to us and did their best, our parents deserve, however annoying they may sometimes be (I mean this in a humorous way), that we treat them with dignity and kindness back. Perhaps they can sometimes just have their way with the kids, without us getting annoyed.  Perhaps it will not do any harm to our children.  And perhaps, we need sometimes to slow down and remember to enjoy all the moments that we have with our own parents too. 

Every year I try and “let go“ of my kids for a few weeks and they grow up in the arms of their grandparents. I try and let them not be guests in the homes of their grandparents, but rather to live with them. I am lucky, as the grandparents have health and the willingness to offer and welcome this.  They get something out of it too, of course.  But it is not something I take for granted. 

 

Of things in life that my children have, I rate this amongst the highest of all things.

 

Hulda 2015

 

Comments Off

About support

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About support

Posted on 28 August 2015 by Kristrun

hthorey

Most of us have many loving family members and friends that surround us when we have a  baby. Even if we are living away from home, often our nearest and dearest will come to visit to offer their help and support and of course many others want to feel involved and offer advice. I remember it being so nice when the extended family offered to help and even just spend some time at home with us and the new baby, once some time had passed and we were getting used to this new reality. Luckily for most new parents, the support is genuine and needed.

Last month, I was seeing a woman at home to help her with breastfeeding.  She was having a hard time adjusting her sleep to the baby and breastfeeding was more tiresome than she had expected.  I guess we have all been there at some stage.  What caught my attention was that she kept repeating to me how supportive her family was and that she really should be grateful.

She had a little bit of – again what most of us have unfortunately – the ‘good girl’ syndrome.

She felt she should be grateful, even though actually the support that she was getting was entirely on the terms of the givers – not the receiver. The kind of things she was hearing, I have heard many times before….

“He is just hungry, I really think we should give him some formula, you have had no rest“

“If you want us to help, we need to be able to soothe him, and obviously we cannot breastfeed him.“

“You really should go out more, it will do you good, plus we have not seen any of Hong Kong during our stay here…. let’s go for lunch.“

“A baby should self settle, crying does no harm to them“

The thing is, all of the above can be said and may sometimes be appropriate, but it is NON-SUPPORT when it is given in this format.  It is not actually helpful, especially in a case like this, where the mum was just in a very normal situation – baby was sleeping well but waking up reasonably often, gaining loads of weight and nothing wrong with him.  But what has got to be remembered is that our parents’ generation grew up in a different environment to us.  They received very different instructions and advice from those in the know and sometimes, despite their best intentions to support, they just don’t actually know how to.  Hence the comments that don’t help.  So it is important, before inviting them, to ask yourself if they will actually be helpful, i.e. are they happy to just hang around you on yours and your baby’s terms.

Another comment I had from a lady not so long ago threw me completely.

“My husband is so happy how everything is going well but he really thinks that I should stop breastfeeding now“.

The couple had a two months old baby that was happily breastfeeding, no problems at all.  The opinion expressed, was because the husband was uncomfortable with his wife breastfeeding right from the start – happy to tolerate it for a certain amount of time – but was of the opinion that it was inappropriate and unnecessary. He was formula-fed himself, as his mother had reminded him, and he really did not see the need for it.

A part of me wanted to scream.  Sorry – but I really feel that that this is simply not even something that anyone, but the mum, can even have an opinion about, let alone express it to the mum. How dare anyone suggest that she should not feed her infant when everything about it is going very well?

A part of me remembered that this is actually, all about how people are raised, what information they are given and so on.  Of course this dad really must not know any better.

So parents, we really do need to educate our kids well.  Raise them up in an environment where this is not even a debate.  That they understand that breastfeeding is normal for babies for as long as mum and baby want it and nobody should question that.  Equally, that when someone bottlefeeds their baby, they are not entitled, as kids or adults, to judge that.

And when we grow old ourselves, let’s try and remember, when our kids have children, that we can support them a lot.  But it is not our role to tell them how to do things.

“Surely this kid needs to socialize“ – I was once told about a 3 week old.
Seriously!

Hulda x

Comments Off

Outdoors? In this heat?

Tags: , , , ,

Outdoors? In this heat?

Posted on 15 June 2015 by Kristrun

Outdoors in this heat?The steaming hot summer weather of Hong Kong is a fact we cannot hide from. For me this is an annual thing to share with you; the importance of bringing your babies and children outdoors despite the very hot weather. It can be challenging to come up with ideas and to drag the whole family out of the well air conditioned apartment to spend the day, or even an hour, in the hot and sticky outdoors. But as parents, we are responsible for stimulating our children and exposing them to the world – it will make them smarter and they will sleep better then ever after a day outdoors.

To make it very simple, when a baby is born – their “memory” (let’s call it memory; brain function or synapses) is stored in big blocks – very big blocks. As the baby grows, their memory will be broken down into smaller blocks, and as the baby touches and feels – heat, cold, rough, sand, hard, soft – the memory breaks into even smaller pieces that can be put together in a number of different ways. The more a child feels and experiences, the smaller the memory components become, and the more components the better.

The outdoors is far more important than the indoors because it offers so much more variation on the same theme. For example, sand can be hot, cold, wet, fine or coarse. Grass can be soft, spikey, sticky, cold or warm. The weather itself offers endless variations. Then there is the multitude of different sights, sounds and smells outside…. The list goes on and on, and again, the more differences the better.

But where to go? What to do?

We have fantastic beaches in Hong Kong, and even if it´s hot it is super nice to stay under the umbrella on the beach even with small babies. Make sure you have shade with you or make sure you can rent some at the beach.If the trip involves a short boat ride – even better! So much to see, smell and feel whilst bumping along on a sampan. In fact, just the boat ride there and back can be an adventure for a baby! .http://www.littlestepsasia.com/articles/play/top-10-family-beaches

The public pools here are great. Be well prepared and enjoy cooling down in the water. A good tip is to go early when it’s less crowded and the pools are cleaner. If you are bringing your baby for the first time you will find a few useful tips here: http://www.annerley.com.hk/blog/planning-your-babys-first-trip-to-the-pool/ from our blog last year.

There are so many parks in Hong Kong and just to give a child or a baby a chance to walk on grass becomes very valuable. I used to bring my kids sometimes in the rain and let them play in the puddles. It´s cooler – the sun is not shining and it´s a great way to get them exhausted without having to worry about sunscreen and overheating. Take shoes off in a safe place and let them feel the earth with their toes. http://www.hong-kong-hotels.ws/attractions/parks.htm

It takes a little preparation to really enjoy being outside with a baby when the temperatures are soaring, but it is doable, and it is so important. It is always good to get out, so beat the heat, make sure everyone is well hydrated and enjoy!

Xx

Kristrún

Do you want to know more? Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

Comments Off

Your Relationship Plus a New Baby: See Allison’s advice on Sassy mama

Tags: , , , , , ,

Your Relationship Plus a New Baby: See Allison’s advice on Sassy mama

Posted on 04 May 2015 by Kristrun

SassyRelationsihpallisonYour Relationship Plus a New Baby: What to expect and how to support your partner

 ”A baby neither makes nor breaks a marriage; a baby can, however, highlight the weaknesses and strengths of a marriage and will inevitably change it. How a couple chooses to respond to this change can set the tone for years to come — for better or worse, in sickness and in health.

What changes after the baby arrives:

Labour arrives and so too does the baby. The initial moments and months can be an intoxicating, maddening mixture of delight and frustration. Who is this soul, and how do we care for him/her? How do we care for ourselves? And, what happens to the marriage?”.

To read the full article on Sassy Mama - click here

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

 

Comments Off

Breastfeeding and Sleep

Tags: , , ,

Breastfeeding and Sleep

Posted on 10 November 2014 by Kristrun

Hi! (1)This is one of our most popular topics and every time Conchita gives this talk we have a full house! Dealing with reduced sleep yourself, whilst encouraging good sleep habits in your baby, can be one of the most challenging aspects of new motherhood. So what is the magic formula? Is there one? I asked Conchita for a few things to keep in mind when trying to understand what to expect when it comes to breastfeeding and sleep. If you need sleep have your partner take over for the night and get some comfortable ear plugs for sleeping, to block out noise. Your partner can bring the baby to you when she needs to nurse or you can pump before the night.

Facts
50% of all babies have night wakings until the age of 5. So review your expectations, you might want to play it by ear. Of course there are babies who can sleep through the night sooner, but most likely it will come in waves.

Babies are not born with the ability to distinguish between day and night. They just sleep when they are tired. Some are ‘worse’ than others.

Teething, dreaming, travels, coughs and colds will always affect a baby’s sleep and their sleeping routine can change overnight, sometimes with no obvious reason.

Long periods of ‘controlled crying’ associated with sleep or feeds will only create fear and confusion and should never be used for babies less than two months of age. “I hardly ever suggest controlled crying for young babies” Conchita says.

Solutions and suggestions
Start a bedtime routine very early on. Teach your baby that the bed is a safe place so don’t create any drama around the bed, bedtime and the bedroom. Make sure your baby feels safe and secure around the bedtime routine.

A bath before bedtime should be calm and short. A calm and cozy atmosphere along with regular routine will prepare a baby for a long nice sleep.

Feed more during the day, less at night. Always do demand feeding to being with. But not less than 3 hours between feeds during the day and 4 hours at night.

Use the first few weeks to get to know your baby. Let her know she is safe, build up trust and try to understand her needs.

Baby massage can help when babies are stressed or excited when they are about to go to bed.

Every baby is different, as are every mother and family. Embrace support and let someone guide you through the upcoming changes with sensible suggestions and advice to help you deal with it. Our midwives are available for home visits.

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

 

Comments Off

Recommended Immunisations in Hong Kong

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Recommended Immunisations in Hong Kong

Posted on 03 November 2014 by Kristrun

blockforVaccinationsARrticleThere is not much difference between vaccinations in the public health system and the private health system in Hong Kong. A few things to consider are:

The Hong Kong government schedule recommends to give Hep B and BCG at birth. Some parents have a preference to delay those vaccines and then usually the Hep B is given at 1, 2, and 6 months as a part of a combined vaccine with DaPT and HIB (Haemophilus Influenza B).

The BCG (only one dose is needed), is then usually given in the buttock instead of the other option of the upper arm if given by the Government hospital staff.  There is not any obvious reason for this except that many parents feel that the scar will not be visible there as in the arm (the BCG is the only vaccine that always produces a scar, which is usually circular and can be 1 to 2 cms in diameter).  Some doctors claim that there is more risk of an infection by the BCG vaccine, or in the pimple that it gives before the scar is formed (the first three months or so there is a pimple that may burst, with some pus, but then eventually heals) – the infection being caused by rubbing of the diaper on the area, urine, stools etc.  

The HIB part of the 2, 4, and 6 months vaccine is not available in the public health system and therefore if you wish to give this to your child, you must see a private doctor.   For this you will pay a consultation fee and the fee for the vaccine.  Because the HiB can be given as a part of the 5 in 1 mentioned above, many parents then choose to give all of these together, instead of having the DTaP and Polio in the Government clinic, and then HiB in the private clinic, at the same time (2, 4 and 6 months).  It is more expensive to get the full 5 in 1 than it is to just get the HiB but it saves a trip and one injection (the actual needle).  In terms of giving many vaccines at the same time, this is a discussion of a different story, – in developed countries it is considered the safest to give these vaccines and they have been on the market for a long time, so they are not considered unsafe because of heavy metals, interactions, etc.

  • In the past, the Hepatitis B vaccine contained Mercury as a preservative, but nowadays, in Hong Kong, the vaccine used is a Mercury free Hepatitis B (ENGERIX).
  • Both private and government doctors recommend to give the MMR vaccine around 12 to 15 months.    This is the only vaccination given that contains live vaccines, and usually has side effects (the actual symptoms of all three diseases, or at least some fever and usually rashes, around 10 to 14 days after injecting it).
  • It is very important that the child is free of any diseases, colds etc. when being vaccinated, and as some get a little sick and feverish, and it may be a good idea to have some paracetamol on hand, doses depending on age and weight of baby.
  • All vaccines, can cause side effects, but they’re generally mild and short-lived and the benefits outway the risks of severe illness or fatality due to disease.

Below is information about the most common vaccinations in Hong Kong:
The 5-in-1 vaccine, the DTaP/IPV/Hib vaccine, is a single injection which protects against five serious childhood diseases. These five illnesses are diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, (pertussis) Polio and Haemophilus influenza type b.  In the government system, this vaccine is a 4 in 1 (without the HIB), as there are not many outbreaks of HIB in Hong Kong, although other countries see a reason to vaccinate against this.  Private clinics in Hong Kong offer this as a 5 in 1, vaccinating against the following diseases:

Diphtheria is a highly contagious bacterial infection that mainly affects the nose and throat. Less commonly, it can also affect the skin. The bacteria spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and droplets of their saliva enter another person’s mouth or nose.  Diphtheria can lead to potentially life-threatening complications, such as breathing difficulties and problems with the heart and nervous system.

Tetanus is a serious but rare infection caused by bacteria. It usually occurs when a flesh wound becomes contaminated. The symptoms include: Stiffness in jaw muscles usually the first symptom, also known as lockjaw. Muscle spasms and stiffness then spread from jaw into neck and limbs. Other symptoms include high temperature (fever), sweating, rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), and high blood pressure (hypertension).  Muscle spasms in neck can make swallowing difficult (dysphagia). In the most serious cases, severe breathing difficulties could develop. This may lead to suffocation and death.

Whooping cough (pertussis), Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs and airways. The condition usually begins with a persistent dry and irritating cough that progresses to intense bouts of coughing. These are followed by a distinctive ‘whooping’ noise, which is how the condition gets its name.  Other symptoms include a runny nose, raised temperature and vomiting after coughing. The coughing can last for around three months. Whooping cough is caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis, which can be passed from person to person through droplets in the air from coughing and sneezing.

Polio, in the past was very common it caused paralysis and death. Since a polio vaccine was introduced in 1955, the number of polio cases has dramatically reduced. There are now only a few countries in which the condition remains a serious problem.

Haemophilus influenza type B. HiB is a bacterial infection that can cause a number of serious illnesses especially in young children. Many of children who get HiB infections become very ill and need hospital care.  HiB can cause any of the following infections: meningitis (lining of the brain and spinal cord), pneumonia (lungs), pericarditis (lining surrounding the heart), epiglottitis (epiglottis – flap that covers the entrance to your windpipe), septic arthritis (joints) and cellulitis (skin and underlying tissues). Some of these infections can lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning), which can be fatal.

Side-effects of the 5 in 1 vaccine:   
The 5-in-1 vaccine is very safe but some babies do have side effects. Your baby may have any of the following side effects after receiving the 5-in-1 DTaP/Td/IPV infant vaccine.

Very common reactions include:  pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, irritability and increased crying, being off-colour or having a fever.

Common reactions include: loss of appetite, diarrhoea, vomiting,

Rare reactions include:  febrile convulsions (fits) and floppiness.

Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumonia which can lead to pneumonia, septicaemia (blood poisoning) and meningitis.

Side effects of pneumococcal vaccine

Although the pneumococcal vaccination is safe, both the childhood and adult versions of the vaccines can cause mild side effects, including:

a mild fever, redness at the site of the injection, hardness or swelling at the site of the injection

Occasionally, the childhood version of the vaccine may lead to more serious side effects including:

high temperatures sometimes leading to convulsions (febrile seizures)
mild allergic reactions in the form of itching skin rashes
In very rare cases, children and adults can have a serious allergic, anaphylactic reaction and it can cause life-threatening breathing difficulties and collapse. It’s a serious side effect and is very alarming at the time, but it can be completely treated with adrenaline. The doctor or nurse giving the vaccine will have been trained to know how to treat anaphylactic reactions and, provided they receive treatment promptly, children and adults make a complete recovery.

Rotavirusis a highly infectious stomach bug that typically strikes babies and young children, causing an unpleasant bout of diarrhoea, sometimes with vomiting, tummy ache and fever. Most children recover at home within a few days, but nearly one in five will need to see their doctor, and one in 10 of these end up in hospital as a result of complications such as extreme dehydration. A very small number of children die from rotavirus infection each year. The rotavirus vaccine is expected to prevent four out of five cases of vomiting and diarrhoea caused by rotavirus and there could be 70% fewer hospital stays as a result.

Side effects of rotavirus vaccine

Common side effects: restless and irritability, mild diarrhoea
Rare side effects: As with all vaccines, there is a very rare (approximately one in a million) possibility of the rotavirus vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is very serious and a medical emergency, but with prompt treatment most people make a full recovery. All health professionals responsible for giving vaccines should be trained to recognize and treat anaphylaxis. In very rare cases (about two in every hundred thousand babies vaccinated), the rotavirus vaccine can affect the baby’s lower gut and they may develop a rare gut disorder called intussusception. The symptoms of intussusception are tummy ache, vomiting and sometimes passing what looks like redcurrant jelly in their nappy. If this happens, contact your doctor immediately.

The Meningitis group C bacteria, can cause two very serious illnesses: meningitis and septicaemia.  The Men C vaccine does not protect against meningitis caused by other bacteria or by viruses such as meningococcal group B, so it’s important for parents to be aware of the symptoms of meningitis.

Side effects of Meningitis C vaccine

The Men C vaccine has an excellent safety record. The most common reactions tend to be minor and very temporary.   Many children and adults have no side effects at all after having the meningitis C vaccine, and in those that do, any side effects tend to be mild and short-lived.

Common reactions are: swelling, redness and pain around the injection site, mild fever, vomiting and diarrhoea (more common in babies and toddlers), crying, irritability, drowsiness, disrupted sleep and going off food (more common in babies and toddlers), headaches and muscle aches (teenagers and adults).
Rare side effects:  A baby can have an allergic reaction soon after the injection. This may take the form of a rash or itching that affects part or all of their body.
In very rare cases, an anaphylactic reaction – a severe allergic reaction – within a few minutes of the vaccination. This can cause breathing difficulties and collapse. It’s very alarming at the time, but the doctor or nurse giving the vaccine will have been trained to know how to treat these reactions and, provided they receive treatment promptly, children and adults make a complete recovery.  Very rarely, vaccine may trigger dizziness, fever-related seizures, fainting, numbness and a type of muscle weakness called hypotonia.

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

Comments Off

Hands on Pumping

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hands on Pumping

Posted on 15 September 2014 by Kristrun

Although pumping or expressing is not recommended for the first 6 weeks after birth, it is sometimes necessary especially if your baby is ill, premature or unable to breastfeedingonbedbreastfeed for any reason. To get the milk production started after birth it is important to stimulate your breasts as soon as possible – preferably within two hours after the birth. To maximise the amount of colostrum produced, you may have more success hand expressing the first time since this is often more effective than using a pump.

After that initial expressing it is recommended to use a hospital-grade pump with a double pump kit about 8 times or more per 24 hours. This works out as approximately every 3 hours or whenever convenient – it doesn’t have to be always at the same time. For maximum milk production by pumping, it is important you use breast massage before and during the pumping session. This will stimulate the ‘let-down’ and the milk will flow more easily. When you’re pumping you should watch the sprays of milk and when this subsides, turn off the pump. This might take 5 minutes for some women and 25 minutes for others; you don’t pump for 20 minutes just to pump for 20 minutes. After you turn off the pump, it is recommended you try to hand express for 5-10 minutes into the pump flange since that can sometimes double your output and you can get more hindmilk which is the richest milk for your baby.

Maternal factors influence milk volume and things like stress, anxiety, fatigue and illness can decrease milk production significantly. Having an ill or premature baby can call on all these factors, so it is really important to be kind to yourself and give yourself time. It is crucial important to try to sleep and rest regularly, eat well and drink lots of fluids since your own nutritional status during lactation can affect milk volume and composition.

It is also important to know that there are experts out there who can help you so you don’t have to suffer in silence. If you’re having problems or concerns don’t hesitate to call Annerley and schedule an appointment with our breastfeeding consultant or one of our midwives. Or as a home visit.

Comments Off

Safety at home

Tags: , , , , ,

Safety at home

Posted on 12 September 2014 by Kristrun

Why is home safety important?

Giving children the best start in life is a priority for us all and this includes keeping them safe from harm. We cannot prevent every bump and bruise — nor should we try — drugsbut we do need to protect children from serious injuries, the effects of which can sometimes last a lifetime. Seeing a child who has been badly hurt is very upsetting and is made worse when you realise (usually just a short time after the injury) that it probably could have been easily prevented. We cannot prevent every incident, but the risk of injury can be reduced. With hindsight, it is usually possible to see how timely action could have prevented the child being injured.

We can apply this hindsight to help parents reduce the risks to their children. Practically this amounts to careful supervision, improved awareness of the hazards around us and the use of safety equipment.

Together we should focus on reducing the most serious injuries that can have long term consequences. These are the injuries that result in formal admission to hospital or an intensive care unit and in the saddest cases, death.

Most accidents happen in the home.

The abilities that children acquire as they grow and develop – such as grabbing, rolling over, crawling, and standing, climbing, opening bottles and turning handles – can delight us as parents and carers. But these same abilities, when they take us by surprise, can lead to serious childhood accidents. For example:

  • A young baby grabs a nappy sack and pulls it to their face, but is unable to let go or pull it away again, so suffocates in silence.
  • A toddler climbs up to play but gets tangled in a blind or curtain cord and is strangled.
  • A young child learns to open a child-resistant container and swallows oven cleaner or bleach. Many of these accidents happen in a matter of seconds, when an adult’s back is turned or their attention is focused on something else.

Young children love to copy the grown-ups around them, whether that’s swallowing pills, straightening their hair or stirring pans in the kitchen. It’s not naughtiness – copying adult behaviour is how they learn and develop.

Young children are also good at repeating instructions back to us. But this doesn’t mean they can understand risk and consequences in the way an adult does. For example, research shows that children cannot judge the speed and distance of traffic until the age of eight or nine, so cannot be relied on to cross the road safely on their own.

What’s more, young children’s bodies are different to ours. For example:

  • Their skin is thinner, which makes them more susceptible to serious burns and scalds.
  • Their heads are proportionally larger, which increases the likelihood of a serious fall.
  • Their windpipes are smaller and less rigid (and honestly need to be replaced by this SR Windows guide to single pane window glass replacement), so they suffocate far more quickly if their necks are constricted.

What can we do?

Keeping one step ahead of your child is essential and, depending on their developmental stage, different accidents are more likely to happen.

  • Educate all carers in CPR and First Aid – including yourselves and helpers
  • Educate all carers on child development and what your child is capable of – especially occasional carers such as grandparents or friends
  • Have a plan for emergencies, including an escape route in case of house fire
  • Educate all carers about your emergency plans

Below is a list from closeupcheck of things to keep in mind when going through safety at home from room to room, but be mindful that this is not a complete list for every household. Every home is unique and those living in each home will know best where the biggest traps are to be found. The best option is to have a tailor-made safety check in your home and here at Annerley Conchita Amende is qualified to do a home assessment for you and to provide you with advice.

Falls

  • Make sure your baby cannot roll off the changing surface.
  • Fit restrictors to upstairs windows so they cannot be opened more than 10cm.
  • Keep chairs and other climbing objects away from windows and balconies.
  • Fit safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Don’t leave anything on the stairs that might cause someone to fall over, and ensure there is enough light on the stairs.
  • Check there is no room for a child to crawl through any banisters at the top of the stairs.
  • Keep balcony doors locked to prevent your child from going on to it alone – if it has railings your child could climb through, board them up or fit wire netting as a safety guard.
  • Secure any Reclinercize furniture and kitchen appliances to the wall if there’s a risk they could be pulled over.

Poisoning

  • Keep anything that may be poisonous out of reach, preferably in a locked cupboard – this includes all medicines and pills, household cleaners and garden products.
  • Use containers with child-resistant tops – be aware that by three years of age, many children are able to open child-resistant tops, although it may take them a little longer.
  • Keep all dangerous chemicals in their original containers.
  • Dispose of unwanted medicines and chemicals carefully.
  • Discourage your children from eating any plants or fungi when outside – some are poisonous and can be fatal. Avoid buying plants with poisonous leaves or berries.
  • Install smoke/gas detectors in your home.
  • Remember that child-resistant devices, such as bottle tops, strips of tablets and cigarette lighters, aren’t completely childproof – some children can operate these products.

Burns and scalds

  • It’s best to keep your toddler out of the kitchen, well away from kettles, saucepans and hot oven doors – you could put a safety gate across the doorway to stop them getting in. Unless of course you’ve decked you kitchen out like the boise showroom with all the child safe fixings, you can never be too safe.
  • Use a kettle with a short or curly cord to stop it hanging over the edge of the work surface, where it could be grabbed.
  • When cooking, use the rings at the back of the cooker and turn saucepan handles towards the back so your child can’t grab them.
  • Never leave a child under five alone in the bath, even for a moment.
  • Fit a thermostatic mixing valve to your bath’s hot tap to control the temperature.
  • Put cold water into the bath first, then add the hot water – use your elbow to test the temperature of the water before you put your baby or toddler in the bath. This is more sensitive than using your hand.
  • Put your iron, hair straighteners or curling tongs out of reach while they cool down after you have finished using them.
  • Fit fireguards to all fires and heaters.
  • Keep matches, lighters and lit candles out of young children’s sight and reach.
  • Keep hot drinks well away from young children – a hot drink can still scald 20 minutes after it was made.
  • Put hot drinks down before you hold your baby.
  • After warming a bottle of milk, shake the bottle well and test the temperature of the milk by placing a few drops on the inside of your wrist before feeding – it should feel lukewarm, not hot.
  • Don’t let your child drink a hot drink through a straw.
  • Encourage your child to play in the shade (under trees, for example) especially between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest.
  • Keep babies under the age of six months out of direct sunlight, especially around midday, and use sunscreen.

Drowning

Children can drown in even a few centimetres of water. They should be supervised at all times when near water. Make sure you:

  • Never leave a baby or child in the bath or paddling pool unsupervised, not even for a minute – this includes in a bath seat.
  • Don’t leave uncovered containers of liquid around the house, such as clothes soaking in a bucket of water.
  • Empty paddling pools and store them away when not in use.

Strangulation

Babies and young children can easily swallow, inhale or choke on small items such as marbles, buttons, peanuts and small toys. The steps below can help prevent this happening:

  • Keep small objects out of the reach of small children.
  • Choose toys designed for the age of your baby or child – encourage older children to keep their toys away from your baby.
  • Beware of clothing with cords, dummies on necklace cords and bag straps – they can easily get caught and pull tightly on the neck.
  • Lay your baby on their back in a cot to sleep – don’t let babies sleep in an adult bed or on the sofa and don’t use pillows as they can suffocate.
  • Keep plastic bags away from young children – they can pull these over their heads and suffocate.
  • Nappy sacks, used to dispose of soiled nappies, can also pose a risk – keep them out of the reach of babies and young children.
  • Curtain and blind pull cords should be kept short and out of reach of children.
  • Keep animals, particularly cats, out of your bedrooms – if they jump into cots or beds they could suffocate your child. Attach a net over prams if necessary.
  • Make sure any cot toys have very short ribbons, and remove them when your baby goes to sleep.
  • Never hang things like bags with cords or strings over the cot.
  • Cut or tie up curtain or blind cords well out of your baby’s or toddler’s reach

Ref: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/safety-under-fives.aspx#close

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

Comments (0)

My child is biting…. what do I do?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

My child is biting…. what do I do?

Posted on 13 August 2014 by Kristrun

IMG_2162Let your child know immediately that biting is unacceptable. Use firm, short and simple commands: “No, no biting”. But don’t dwell on it, don’t shout and be careful not to scare your child. Distract the child and try to focus on something else almost in the same moment…. “look, the moon”, and walk away from the scene where the biting took place.Don’t explain why they should not bite, don’t say anything else about the biting and don’t mention it again. You are actively ignoring what happened, and that works! Praise the child for doing other, unrelated things. Make sure to support positive behavior and the child will be a lot less likely to bite again.Remember: toddlers don’t understand the concept of apology until the age of 3 or 4 (depends on the child). By spending time on forcing the toddler to say “I’m sorry”,  you are dwelling on the negative behavior and it’s a lot more likely to happen again. Children don’t care if the attention is positive or negative, just as long as they get your attention. Support and praise positive behavior and actively ignore bad behavior.
It works!
Conchita Amende
Specialist community health nurse (health visitor UK)
To book consultation with our health professional click the link – available as home visit, skype, phone or office visit.

Comments Off