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…some common baby q&a

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…some common baby q&a

Posted on 20 December 2011 by Annerley

Is it true that newborn babies only see black and white, and no colors?

To a certain extend this is correct.  The eyes of newborn babies are not fully developed and for a while after they are born they can not fully see colors.  They also cannot focus far away so only things around 10 – 30 cm away from their eyes are clearly visible.

My baby has got a bit of hair and it is growing fast, but there are some bold areas on the back of his head.  Is this normal?

Yes, and try not to worry about this.  This happens mainly because babies lie on their backs most of the time and the friction between the head and the surface underneath usually causes some of the hair to fall off.  Because of increased risk of cot-death when babies sleep on their front, sleeping on the back is the preferred position so most parents see bold spots on their babies’ heads after a while.  The good thing is that after the hair grows a bit thicker, this bold spot disappears and you never see any signs it was there in the first place.

When is the right time to give solid foods to babies?

The need for solid food differs quite between babies.  They also tolerate new types of food in a different way, so therefore it is important not to start too early and start really slowly.  We recommend parents to take the baby to a baby clinic and get advice from midwives or doctors on what is suitable for each child.  General guidelines from the WHO in 2005 are to wait until the baby is 6 months old and ideally to feed only breast milk until then.

How often do we have to change nappies?

As a rule of thumb, it is good to change nappies every time you feed the baby, ideally in the end of the feed since most babies will urinate/pass stools during the fees or right after.   If your child develops nappy rash, you must change more frequently than this and try and ensure some time every day without the nappy to dry the area.  You do not have to change the nappy every time the baby does a little pee unless the baby seems really sensitive to this.

Is it good or bad to warm up milk in the microwave?

BAD!!  Microwave ovens are designed in the way that temperature of fluids that have been heated can be extremely uneven.  Then when you touch the milk on the outside of the bottle it might seem the right temperature, but inside it might be a lot warmer, causing serious damage to the baby’s mouth and stomach.  Another reason is also that some of the ingredients of the Breast milk can be damaged with microwaves.

If you wish to warm up milk, we suggest to put hot water (30 – 40 degrees) in a small bowl and then to put the bottle in there for a few minutes.  The milk will warm up quickly without any risk to the baby.  Make sure to test the milk before feeding it, by putting a drop on the inside of your arm/wrist.  It should not feel hot.

Colic – what to do?

Babies often get the occasional colicky period, without developing“every day” colic.  Best way to deal with it is to try different advice and see what seems to suit your child.  You might want to try and have the baby lie flat on the stomach on your forearm and walk around like this.  Also you can make chamomile tea and cool it down until around room temperature, and then give around 2 teaspoons.  This often soothes the stomach and lasts for a few hours.  If the baby does not seem to be calmed in any way, call a midwife or a doctor to get advice.  Another treatment that has proven both very popular and useful is to have osteopathic treatment.  At Annerley, Ines De Beer is our in-house osteopath.

When can I give my child normal cow’s milk?

In the first year, if the baby is not given the breast milk, formula powder is the second best option.  When the child has been given food from all food groups and has gotten used to those, he/she can have cows milk.  This is usually around 12 months of age.  We recommend delaying giving other types of dairy, such as cheese and yogurt until 9 – 11 months, or at least give them sparingly.

How can I prevent nappy rash?

  • Most babies get nappy rash sometime in their early months.  Here are some tips about how to prevent it:
  • Clean the bottom carefully with only cotton wool and water and dry well with a cloth.
  • Leave the baby with no diaper on for a while every day, or even every time when you change a nappy.
  • Change nappies as soon as they get dirty.

If none of this works, a nappy rash cream might be helpful, especially the ones with zinc oxide in.

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Acupuncture for pregnant women and new mothers

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Acupuncture for pregnant women and new mothers

Posted on 06 November 2011 by Annerley

Dear all. I am writing these words from Iceland, where I am at the moment, studying acupuncture for pregnancy, birth and postpartum. This has been a very interesting education for me, which started earlier this year and is undoubtedly going to take some time to get advanced in.

So far I have treated quite a number of women and luckily I can say that the feedback has been fantastic – it seems like acupuncture will be a nice addition to other treatments that I have been able to provide.

It is interesting to have to travel around the world, back to the snowy Iceland to study this ancient form of therapy that we all know comes from right where we are in Hong Kong and China – but the reason is that in Iceland but rather, in Scandinavia, this is now a very well established and recognized form of treating women during the pregnancy, birth and postpartum, so much so that it is now offered in most hospitals here before offering any more intense interventions of more western medicine type.

I am lucky that my colleagues here in Iceland, including my aunt who is in charge of the biggest maternity unit in the teaching hospital here, have offered a very good insight into how the acupuncture is used and what has been particularly helpful and giving good results.

Amongst those are treatments for inducing labour, relaxing women, turning breech babies and pain relief during labour. Additionally, back, hip and joint pains, oedema and nausea have very successfully been treated with acupuncture here. Read more here to learn other ways to deal with joint pain.

One might ask why not just go to the acupuncturist for all of this and true, I would very much suggest that women do so, – but it is fantastic for me to be able to also offer this along with other things that I work on and not have to send the women off elsewhere, particularly when it is often in the middle of the night or at some weird hours where acupuncturists are not working.

More to come later, – I trust that my Annerley team members are all working hard in the clinic while I am here and that you are all having a great time in this fantastic season where crispy days with sun and less humidity give you a pleasant feel and positive spirit.

Best,
Hulda midwife-in-constant-training

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