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How to store breast milk (Infographic)

Your biggest questions about breast milk storage are answered here:

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Essential oils: mankind’s first medicine

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Essential oils were mankind’s first medicine. Shown in Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts, we know that priests and physicians have been using essential oils for thousands of years. Essential oils are extracted from plant leaves, flowers, stems, roots or bark and carry the essence of the plants in such a potent form that a single drop of essential oil can equal multiple teaspoons of the dried herb. One drop of peppermint oil, for instance, equals more than 25 cups of peppermint tea!

Essential oils can be used or applied in a variety of ways and combinations to bring powerful results. Lavender, for example, can be used for issues such as burns, insect bites, headaches, PMS, insomnia and stress. Oils can be applied directly on the skin or within compresses, by inhalation, in baths or through cooking. Many essential oils have antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibiotic properties.

As essential oils become more mainstream, more choices flood the store shelves. Keep in mind that the purest therapeutic-grade essential oils are the most effective and worth the cost. Anything less than pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil may not produce the desired result and can in some cases be extremely toxic. It is also a good idea to consult your provider before beginning use of essential oils, especially if you are pregnant. Continue Reading »

Baby Teeth Chart (Infographic)

Our pediatricians are often asked about teething timelines for babies. To help, we thought we’d make a baby teeth chart for you to download, save and print.

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What your doctor listens for when checking your heart

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It’s a practice we’re all likely used to, whether it’s for a checkup or an illness-specific appointment. Your provider pulls out his or her stethoscope as he or she listens to different areas of your chest, you may also be asked to take several deep breaths. Have you ever wondered exactly what your provider is listening for?

The sounds our hearts make can warn of several different issues. Typically, your heart should be sounding out a regular, steady rhythm with a strong beat of about 60 to 100 times per minute. A heart sound is produced by the closing of your heart valve, a sound that is described as a “lub” noise as the valves between the atria and ventricles close and a “dub” noise as valves between the ventricles and large blood vessels close. If your provider hears a rapid or irregular heartbeat, a heart murmur or additional heart sounds, further testing could be needed to rule out the following potential issues.

Heart murmur
A heart murmur is essentially a noise, not a specific disease. Murmurs are generated by the turbulent flow of blood inside or outside the heart. Heart murmurs can be innocent or abnormal. An innocent heart murmur is one that is not indicative of any underlying health problems, and may disappear over time.

Abnormal heart murmurs are often caused by valve or blood flow abnormalities. Your provider will determine whether a murmur is innocent or abnormal and a sign of a health issue by listening to your heartbeat and assessing how long the murmur lasts, when it happens, what activities prompt it, and where it is the loudest. Continue Reading »

Nutritional benefits of Navy beans

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Navy beans, you know them, those small off-white colored beans that look… well, pretty plain. Did you know they pack a nutritional punch?

Navy beans, like most beans, are high in fiber and low in fat – perfect for folks who want to eat healthier or who are watching their waistlines. These beans are high in potassium, which plays a role in blood pressure regulation. They are also high in protein, which is great news for anyone wanting to increase their intake of plant-based foods. They are a good source of iron, too.

Interesting fact: Navy beans got their name because they were a staple food in the US Navy during the 19th century. They are also referred to as the white pea bean, but Navy bean is its more popular name.

It is the bean most commonly used to make baked beans. They have a mild taste and this allows them to pair well with other foods. They can be used to make spreads or dips and take on the flavor of spices used in those recipes. Continue Reading »

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.