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Posts for: March, 2018

By Pediatric Associates of Davidson County
March 28, 2018
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: breastfeeding  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 80% (approximately 8 out of 10) of new mothers in the United breastfeedingStates breastfeed their newborns for varying lengths of time. There are general guidelines and recommendations for the optimal length of time to breastfeed, but the experience is different for every woman and child. The doctors and healthcare professionals at Pediatric Associates of Davidson County in Nashville, TN, can answer your questions and concerns about breastfeeding and pediatric services for your newborn and children.

Breastfeeding Support and Assistance in Nashville, TN

It is normal to have questions and concerns about breastfeeding, especially with your first child. Here are answers to some of the most common questions that new mothers often have about breastfeeding:

Q: How Often Should You Breastfeed?

A: Your baby's feeding habits and needs will change as they grow and get older. Every baby is different and their needs and schedules will vary. A typical newborn usually nurses between 8 to 12 times per day for the first month, and between 7 to 9 feedings after the first month. However, the goal is to feed the baby when they are hungry, which can range from every 90 minutes to a few hours. It will take some time to get used to the baby's needs and your body's milk production and you can adjust the schedule as needed.

Q: When Should You Stop Breastfeeding?

A: Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization range from one to two years old, but it really depends on your individual situation. Many mothers begin breastfeeding at birth and switch to formula before the year, or continue to breastfeed for longer.

Q: Are There Certain Foods/Drinks That Nursing Moms Should Limit or Avoid?

A: If you are breastfeeding you should avoid alcohol, or refrain from breastfeeding until the alcohol has left your system. Even if you are eating a healthy diet, certain foods may still irritate the baby's stomach or cause an allergic reaction. For example, if you are breastfeeding your baby but drinking regular milk in your tea or coffee, it can be difficult for the baby to digest if they have a reaction to cow's milk. Keep track of everything you eat and watch for potentially adverse reactions in your baby after nursing such as fussiness, gas, vomiting, rash, or diarrhea and consult with the baby's pediatrician for recommendations and adjustments.

Q: What If I Can't or Decide Not to Breastfeed?

A: The choice to breastfeed or not is a personal decision. If you decide not to breastfeed, speak to your pediatrician about the best formula and alternatives to breast milk.

Find a Pediatrician in Nashville, TN

For more information about the benefits and best practices for breastfeeding, contact Pediatric Associates of Davidson County by calling (615) 329-3595 to schedule an appointment today.

By Mary Kay Bartek, M.D.
March 13, 2018
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: Baby Food  

Solid Baby FoodGiving your baby his first spoonful of solid foods is an exciting time! Many parents look forward to the day their little one takes their first bite of rice cereal, and in many cases, baby is just as eager! So how do you know if your baby is ready to transition to solids?

Here are a few tips for helping you introduce and successfully navigate feeding your baby solids.

Is my baby ready for solids?

As a general rule, most babies are ready to tackle solids between 4 and 6 months of age.

  • Weight gain. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies are typically big enough to consume solids when they reach about 13 pounds—or about the time they double their birth weight.
  • Head control. Your baby must be able to sit up unsupported and have good head and neck control.  
  • Heightened curiosity. It may be time to introduce your baby to solids when they begin to take interest in the foods around them. Opening of the mouth, chewing motions and staring at your plate at the dinner table are all good indicators it’s time to give solid foods a try.

Getting started

To start, give your baby half a spoonful or less of one type of solid food. Generally it doesn’t matter which food is introduced first, but many parents begin with an iron-fortified rice cereal. Once they master one type of food, then you can gradually give them new foods.

Other foods, such as small banana pieces, scrambled eggs and well-done pasta can also be given to the baby as finger foods. This is usually around the time the baby can sit up and bring their hands or other objects to their mouth.

As your baby learns to eat a few different foods, gradually expose them to a wide variety of flavors and textures from all food groups. In addition to continuing breast milk or formula, you can also introduce meats, cereals, fruits and vegetables. It’s important to watch for allergic reactions as new foods are incorporated into your baby’s diet. If you suspect an allergy, stop using that food and contact your pediatrician.

Talk to your pediatrician for recommendations about feeding your baby solid foods. Your pediatrician can answer any questions you have about nutrition, eating habits and changes to expect as your baby embarks on a solid food diet.

By Mary Kay Bartek, M.D.
March 02, 2018
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: Eczema  

It’s normal for a child to get a rash at one time or another. But one common type of rash, known as eczema, can be especially troubling. Eczema refers to many types of skin inflammation, with atopic dermatitis being one of the most common forms of eczema to develop during a baby’s first year.  

You may first notice signs that your child has eczema as early as one to four months of age, appearing as a red, raised rash usually on the face, behind the knees and in the bends of elbows. The rash is typically very itchy and with time may spread and lead to an infection. The patches can range from small and mild to extremely itchy, which may make a small child irritable.

While the exact cause of eczema is not known, the tendency to have eczema is often inherited. Allergens or irritants in the environment, such as winter weather, pollen or certain foods, can trigger the rash. For most infants and small children, eczema improves during childhood. In the meantime, however, parents should help reduce the triggers that cause eczema outbreaks and control the itch to prevent infection.

Managing Eczema

While there is no cure for eczema at this time, there is treatment. Talk to your pediatrician about ways to alleviate itching and reduce the rash. Minimizing how often a child scratches the rash is especially important as the more the child scratches, the greater the risk of infection.

To prevent flare-ups and help your child cope with eczema, parents should follow these tips:

  • With your doctor’s direction, use antihistamine to relieve itching and reduce scratching.
  • Minimize nighttime itching by having child sleep in long-sleeved clothing to prevent scratching through the night.
  • Apply cortisone creams or medication to reduce inflammation.
  • Use mild soaps during bathing and avoid frequent, hot baths, as they will dry out the child’s skin.
  • Wrap moist bandages around the affected areas of the skin before bed to soothe and rehydrate the child’s skin.
  • Avoid triggers that aggravate eczema, such as rapid changes in temperatures or seasonal allergies.

Many kids will outgrow atopic dermatitis, but it is still important to treat the condition right away to keep it from getting worse. Work with your pediatrician to find the best combination of skin care strategies and medications to ease the itch and inflammation and keep infection at bay.