SEATTLE, May 9, 2012 - Washington state hospitals, physicians and expectant mothers have teamed up to deliver a dramatic increase in the number of babies born at full term – 39 weeks – instead of earlier in their pregnancies. They did this by rapidly changing established obstetric practices in place for many years. This change came about because of new research demonstrating the short- and long-term hazards of delivery prior to 39 weeks.
We currently have a pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic occurring in Washington State. Infants under 6 months of age are particularly vulnerable but anyone, even if you are fully vaccinated, could potentially contract the disease and spread it.
(Is it really an epidemic? Yes: an epidemic (of a disease) affects many persons at the same time, and spreading from person to person in a locality where the disease is not permanently prevalent.)
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a very contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. Among vaccine-preventable diseases, pertussis is one of the most commonly occurring ones in the United States (CDC).
What are the symptoms of whooping cough?
The early signs for pertussis are ...
When we imagine having children, we have these images of ‘having a baby’. The sweet bundle all swaddled, snuggling, and sleeping peacefully in their crib whilst we gaze lovingly, and then we quietly tip-toe out of the nursery and off to our own bed.
Then reality hits. Babies cry. Diapers explode. Breasts leak. Exhaustion hits. And just when we think we’re getting the hang of it, they grow. Their abilities change. Their needs change. Their brains develop. That sweet baby turns into a defiant toddler, that turns into a messy child, who then turns into a smelly teenager (it’s just the hormones, it’ll pass).
We give our lives over to our children. Every thing we do, every decision we make, we take them into account. There is a fantastic quote by Sophia Loren, “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. You are connected to your child and to all those who touch your lives. A mother always has to think twice: once of herself and once for her child.”
Now, we could debate parenting styles but the more important point is how do you know if you’re ready to potentially live your life for that little baby? How do you know, before you have a baby?
Ruth Ballweg will turn 68 this year, but because of her leap day birthday, she is really turning 17! Ruth provides some insight into her life growing up as a leap year baby.
Dr. Dorcas McLennan, director of the Swedish/Ballard OB/GYN unit in Seattle, WA., also provides expectant or planning parents with some basic tips for their pregnancy, especially around the leap year holiday.
New Year’s Day is a day of celebration. A day for starting anew. We create resolutions to become help us be steadfast in reaching personal goals whether that’s to lose weight or stop smoking, or just be on time to work. We have a happy, fresh outlook on a new year.
But, there is a lurking danger following all those midnight celebrations. There is an increase in infant deaths on New Year’s Day. A 33% increase in infant deaths, in fact.
There is not a clear reason for these deaths. They are probably not all SIDS deaths since SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion.
The bottom line is parents of infants must make good decisions and safe arrangements for their infant before they decide to celebrate the new year....
Every family is unique, but those families who have grandparents who live nearby or are involved in their children’s lives are lucky. It somehow seems just a bit brighter for kids who get to be regaled in stories of long ago, those stories about when mom or dad was a child.
However, some of you with grandparents nearby might wish there was a bit more distance between your house and theirs.
When a baby is born, we have a new baby, new parents, and new grandparents. Our roles have all instantly changed. The new grandparents can be a wealth of information. They have amassed 20, 30, or 40 years of parenting experience. Everything from infants to teens to parenting adults. It’s only natural that they now want to share with you everything that they’ve learned. (They also might want to try to correct what they believe are mistakes that they made as parents.)
The most important thing that new parents need is:
If you’re expecting or thinking about having a baby, finding the right doctor is a pretty good place to start this incredible journey. But how to find the right doctor? You could try OB Speed Dating.
When you come to OB Speed Dating, you’ll meet several doctors who will deliver at our beautiful new campus located in the Issaquah Highlands starting November 1. By participating in a 'speed dating' session, you can get to know them in a fun, low-key environment. You are able to participate in five-minute one-on-one interviews with each obstetrician or family-practice doctor with an OB specialty. If you hit it off with one, then you can make a follow-up appointment when you’re ready to start your care.
Before and after the speed-dating interviews, you can exchange notes with other parents, learn about prenatal care and Swedish classes for expectant and new parents and take a mini-tour of the new campus.
To sign up for the next OB Speed Dating session (on November 17 at Swedish/Issaquah), visit www.swedish.org/baby. Pre-registration is required.