- Women’s Health
- Healthy Living
- Health Conditions
- Nurse Barb
I hear from a lot of women who are suddenly ready to have a baby. They want to be pregnant as soon as possible. Others are considering pregnancy and trying to get prepared.
Stop All Birth Control
It may sound obvious, and that’s because it is! If you’re ready to become pregnant, then the first thing to do is to STOP using any birth control.
With most birth control methods once you stop using them, your menstrual cycle will start up again. It may take a few weeks to see a period return, but the process that leads to your period resumes as soon as you stop birth control.
This time of year many moms are busy in the stocking up phase, from gathering up school clothes and lunch boxes to helping their kids who are leaving home find a mini fridge for their dorm or apartment.
When my son was little, sure, I had the list of recommended notebooks, flashcards and markers, but I had to figure out the options for healthy lunches and snacks on my own. Then when he went off to college, my focus changed: What suggestions could I make, without nagging or being pushy, that would help him make healthy choices away from home?
It may be surprising to consider how many kids aren’t getting the recommended servings of dairy, fruits and vegetables every day just when their bones and muscles are growing the most. This is the time when their bodies need a variety of foods to get the essential vitamins, nutrients, protein and calcium necessary.
Since everyone is busy, I’ve gathered up a few tips here for healthy snacks, lunch box ideas and yes, even the mini fridge for moms with kids at every age and stage.
On my 2nd day, here at FAME, I saw something, extraordinary. I was privileged to be at the right place at the right time and witnessed a jaw dropping display of talent and knowledge in a most unexpected place. Pauline Diaz, the volunteer coordinator was giving me a tour and suggested that we bring the new donated baby hats from the US and the brand new Tanita baby scale to the maternity ward. Sure! Why not?
Here in Africa, many people come to see the Big 5 animals on safari. Yes, I know there are birders out there and plenty of people who love the cheetahs, warthogs, jackals, hyenas, antelopes, giraffes and zebras. Thousands of dollars are spent, and thousands of miles traveled to catch a glimpse, or perhaps get close enough to see the elephant, cape buffalo, lion, rhino, leopard, all of whom belong to the exclusive group of the Big 5.
However on that 2nd day at FAME, within seconds of arriving in the maternity ward and setting up the new baby scale, what I saw was Mama Evelyn, a 62 year-old experienced midwife, who delivered a baby, kept traction on the cord, and then resuscitated the new infant.
As I start to haul down the Thanksgiving decorations that remind me of visiting Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims and the very first Thanksgiving, I’m also thinking about families with children who might also be celebrating their very first Thanksgiving. I love having big groups to our house, especially when our friends bring their kids. Thanksgiving is so much more fun with little ones. Besides stuffing, my favorite part is not watching football, it’s the group walk after and getting on the floor and playing with the kids!
I’m going to be busy! That’s an understatement, so I’ve found some super simple and very fast recipes that will be prepped in minutes not hours. I want to concentrate on flavors, family and fun, not kitchen time. As a spokesperson for the National Honey Board, I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and have learned a lot about how to use honey as a natural sweetener for cooking and baking, because it contains just one ingredient – honey!
Honey locks in moisture and adds a boost of natural sweetness (more…)
My go-to, not-so-secret ingredient is as close as my pantry. I always turn to honey as a natural ingredient to jazz up typical meals and snacks to make this back-to-school season exciting for the whole family.
With more than 300 different types or varietals of honey in the U.S., honey adds its own unique flavor to your recipes. I love that it’s such a versatile ingredient that helps make foods more appetizing.
Plus, did you know that once your little one has turned one year of age, they may be able to enjoy honey with the rest of the family! The digestive system of a one year old child is usually considered by pediatricians to be “grown-up” enough to digest honey.
Tips for Toddlers
Also, moms are often asking me for ideas and tips to get their toddlers to eat more vegetables. Back-to-school season is the perfect time to shake up your recipe arsenal and experiment with new snacks and meals that the whole family will love. I make a yummy sweet potato and honey puree that is a terrific do-it-yourself (DIY) toddler favorite.
Here’s my recipe:
Nurse Barb’s Sweet Potato and Honey Puree
Preheat your oven to 400 o F.
Wash and scrub the outside of sweet potato or yam.Using a fork, pierce the outside of the sweet potato or yam. (This allows steam to vent and prevent little eruptions.)
This is a question I hear from a lot of moms who are doing everything right, following all the advice and still they’re not producing enough milk for their baby.
I met with Elisa*, a mom, who I’d cared for throughout all of her 4 pregnancies. She was the kind of mom who makes it all seem so easy. She juggled part time work as a nurse while also caring for her children. She breastfed her first three children exclusively without any issues and said to me once, “If I can do it, then there’s no reason why every mom can’t breastfeed. I think it’s just laziness.” Elisa was dismissive of the reality that many moms face. Then, without warning, the unexpected happened with her fourth child.
Elisa is shocked
Elisa’s pregnancy and delivery were uneventful, she even took more time off for this fourth baby, because she knew he would be her last. Elisa wanted to enjoy and savor the time she had with her beautiful baby boy. I called to check on her 1 week after her delivery and she was distraught. Her milk hadn’t come in. (more…)
My Life Won’t Change With a New Baby
Remember saying this? I do. I remember thinking it. I remember looking at my friends with babies and kids and wondering what happened to them. Why couldn’t they just meet for a movie. Babies sleep right? They always seem to be sleeping, there’s lots of time to get stuff done.
I see my patients come in during their pregnancies with lots of ideas about what their lives will be like after their first baby arrives. Some have an idea that life will be turned upside down. Many don’t and lay out for me how they’ll manage to continue their lifestyle with the new baby. They have lots of great and reasonable plans.