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Why you should consider giving birth in a hospital with a NICU

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The desire for a healthy baby is shared by all, whether you are a first-time parent or you’ve gone through the experience of having a baby before. Every parent has their worries about the birthing experience, which is one reason to consider choosing a hospital with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

As with anything in life, sometimes babies and new moms need a little extra help, and the NICU at St. Elizabeth Hospital is equipped with a caring, experienced medical team that specializes in delivery-day hiccups.

Did you know that each year, 1 of every 8 infants born in the United States is born ahead of schedule? Preterm birth, or birth prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy, can sometimes mean that extra care is needed for mom or baby. In a hospital with a NICU, most preterm health issues can be dealt with close by, right after your baby is born. Preterm babies born at area hospitals are often transferred to St. Elizabeth Hospital’s NICU, making this a great local benefit for Fox Valley parents! We are lucky to live in an area with a number of great providers, including Mercy Medical Center and Calumet Medical Center, both of which St. Elizabeth Hospital is equipped to transport your baby to the NICU if need be. Continue Reading »

FAQs on what to do when you want to stop breastfeeding

breastfeedingWhen a mother decides she wants to stop breastfeeding, a lot of questions will run through her head. As a lactation consultant, it’s my job to answer them. Here are some of the questions I get asked on a daily basis:

1. How do I go about stopping breastfeeding? 

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages mothers to breastfeed for a full year, or when mother and baby mutually desire it. When it is time to wean, the best approach is to do so gradually. This makes the transition away from breastfeeding easier for all. Gradually dropping one breastfeeding session at a time (drop one every few days) is the general idea behind gradual weaning. Replace the dropped breastfeeding sessions with bottles. After a few days, your body will gradually become used to making less milk and when it has adjusted, then it is time to drop another breastfeeding session. Continue Reading »

Natural remedies and medications to take while pregnant

shutterstock_70250746One of the most frequent questions I get asked by patients is: What kinds of natural remedies and medications can they use while pregnant. While it is a very frequent concern, it’s also a very complex topic to discuss. Overall, less is more. The best advice I can give is to avoid medication or supplements if you don’t need them.

Because there are very few studies done on pregnant women, we don’t know the effects of medications on your unborn baby. Health care providers decide which medications you can take by using ‘pregnancy risk’ categories and by experience to determine if a drug is safe for you to take while you are pregnant. There are always side effects to anything you put in your body, including food. Continue Reading »

Signs and symptoms of Preeclampsia

shutterstock_69626293Preeclampsia is a condition that can develop after 20 weeks of pregnancy. You may be diagnosed with preeclampsia if you have high blood pressure, generalized swelling and excess protein in your urine. Physicians use a cutoff blood pressure reading of 140/90 for mild preeclampsia and 160/110 for severe preeclampsia. Continue Reading »

I want to get pregnant. What do I do now?

shutterstock_108496100So you made the big decision to proactively try to get pregnant. (Congrats!) Now what? Making healthy choices a month or two before you become pregnant is an important step to a healthy and happy pregnancy. This is a good time to focus on getting your body into its most healthy state. A few things you may want to consider are:

  • Start taking a prenatal vitamin with .4mg of Folic Acid included – It’s recommended to take .4mg of folic acid a day for at least one month before you conceive and during your first trimester. This reduces your chances of having a baby with neural-tube defects such as spina bifida by 50 to 70 percent. Continue Reading »

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