This post is for mom’s who are concerned about those extra pounds that were put on during their pregnancy. Gaining weight during pregnancy is normal and should happen, with most of the weight gained in the last 3 months. Many doctors suggest women gain weight at the following rate:

  • 1 to 4 pounds total during the first 3 months (first trimester)
  • 2 to 4 pounds per month during the 4th to 9th months (second and third trimesters)

The total amount of weight you should gain during your pregnancy depends on your weight when you became pregnant.

 Women whose weight was in the healthy range before becoming pregnant should gain between 25 and 35 pounds while pregnant. The advice is different for those who were overweight or underweight before becoming pregnant.

 If you gain too much weight during pregnancy, it can be hard to lose the weight after your baby is born. Most women who gain the suggested amount of weight lose it with the birth of the baby and in the months that follow.

 Breastfeeding for more than 3 months can also help you lose weight gained during pregnancy. If you gain too little weight during pregnancy, you may have a higher risk for a premature delivery and a low birth weight infant.

 Follow your MyPyramid Plan for Moms to choose the right amounts from each food group. In addition, visit your health care provider regularly so they can check on your weight gain. If you are gaining weight too slowly or too fast, change the amount you are eating:

  • If you are gaining weight too fast, cut back on the calories you are currently eating.
  • The best way to eat fewer calories is by decreasing the amount of “extras” you are eating. 
  • “Extras” are added sugars and solid fats in foods like soft drinks, desserts, fried foods, cheese, whole milk, and fatty meats. Look for choices that are low-fat, fat-free, unsweetened, or with no-added-sugars. They have fewer “extras.”  You need a certain number of calories to keep your body functioning and provide energy for physical activities. Think of the calories you need for energy like money you have to spend.  Each person has a total calorie “budget.”  This budget can be divided into “essentials” and “extras.”With a financial budget, the essentials are items like rent and food.  The extras are things like movies and vacations.  In a calorie budget, the “essentials” are the minimum calories required to meet your nutrient needs.  By selecting the lowest fat and no-sugar-added forms of foods in each food group you would make the best nutrient “buys.”  Depending on the foods you choose, you may be able to spend more calories than the amount required to meet your nutrient needs.  These calories are the “extras” that can be used on luxuries like solid fats, added sugars, and alcohol, or on more food from any food group.  They are your “discretionary calories.”Each person has an allowance for some discretionary calories.  But, many people have used up this allowance before lunch-time!  Most discretionary calorie allowances are very small, between 100 and 300 calories, especially for those who are not physically active.  For many people, the discretionary calorie allowance is totally used by the foods they choose in each food group, such as higher fat meats, cheeses, whole milk, or sweetened bakery products. You can use your discretionary calorie allowance to:
  • Eat more foods from any food group than the food guide recommends.
  • Eat higher calorie forms of foods—those that contain solid fats or added sugars.  Examples are whole milk, cheese, sausage, biscuits, sweetened cereal, and sweetened yogurt.
  • Add fats or sweeteners to foods.  Examples are sauces, salad dressings, sugar, syrup, and butter.
  • Eat or drink items that are mostly fats, caloric sweeteners, and/or alcohol, such as candy, soda, wine, and beer.

For example, assume your calorie budget is 2,000 calories per day.  Of these calories, you need to spend at least 1,735 calories for essential nutrients, if you choose foods without added fat and sugar.  Then you have 265 discretionary calories left.  You may use these on “luxury” versions of the foods in each group, such as higher fat meat or sweetened cereal.  Or, you can spend them on sweets, sauces, or beverages.  Many people overspend their discretionary calorie allowance, choosing more added fats, sugars, and alcohol than their budget allows.

  • Alcohol is also considered an “extra,” but you should not drink at all while pregnant.
  • If you are not gaining weight, or gaining too slowly, you need to eat more calories. You can do this by eating a little more from each food group.

         I have four grandchildren and the twin girls started walking alone at thirteen months and my two grandsons started walking alone at seventeen months. As you can see, children develop at their own pace, so it’s impossible to tell exactly when yours will learn a given skill. The developmental milestones below will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don’t be alarmed if your child takes a slightly different course.

         During this time, your child is becoming increasingly more mobile, and aware of himself and his surroundings. Her desire to explore new objects and people is also increasing. During this stage, your toddler will show greater independence, begin to show defiant behavior, recognize himself in pictures or a mirror, and imitate the behavior of others, especially adults and older children. Your toddler will also be able to recognize names of familiar people and objects, form simple phrases and sentences, and follow simple instructions and directions.

         If you have any questions above your child’s achievement at certain milestones, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician, I am only providing information not diagnosis.

 

Movement                                                                                                                                                                

  • Walks alone
  • Pulls toys behind her while walking
  • Carries large toy or several toys while walking
  • Begins to run
  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks a ball
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture unassisted
  • Walks up and down stairs holding on to support

Hand and Finger Skills

  • Scribbles spontaneously
  • Turns over container to pour out contents
  • Builds tower of four blocks or more
  • Might use one hand more frequently than the other

Language

  • Points to object or picture when it’s named for him
  • Recognizes names of familiar people, objects and body parts
  • Says several single words (by 15 to 18 months)
  • Uses simple phrases (by 18 to 24 months)
  • Uses two- to four-word sentences
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation

Cognitive

  • Finds objects even when hidden under two or three covers
  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors
  • Begins make-believe play

Social

  • Imitates behavior of others, especially adults and older children
  • Increasingly aware of herself as separate from others
  • Increasingly enthusiastic about company of other children

 

 

Emotional

  • Demonstrates increasing independence
  • Begins to show defiant behavior
  • Episodes of separation anxiety increase toward midyear then fade

Developmental Health Watch

Because each child develops at his own particular pace, it’s impossible to tell exactly when yours will perfect a given skill. The developmental milestones will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don’t be alarmed if he takes a slightly different course. Alert your pediatrician; however, if he displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.

  • Cannot walk by 18 months
  • Fails to develop a mature heel-toe walking pattern after several months of walking, or walks exclusively on his toes
  • Does not speak at least 15 words by 18 months
  • Does not use two-word sentences by age 2
  • By 15 months, does not seem to know the function of common household objects (brush, telephone, bell, fork, spoon)
  • Does not imitate actions or words by the end of this period
  • Does not follow simple instructions by age 2
  • Cannot push a wheeled toy by age 2

They’re small and your baby cannot explain why he/she is not feeling well, as a parent or guardian we must make sure that they stay healthy because our babies depend on us!  In this post, we have provided some important information on keeping your baby healthy after you leave the hospital.

Finding a Health Care provider and Health Insurance

There is no reason that you cannot provide preventative care for your bay and if you don’t have health insurance for your baby, you can learn about resources in your state by contacting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Insure Kids Now Program. To learn more, call 1–877–KIDS–NOW (1–877–543–7669) or visit their Web site at www.insurekidsnow.gov

In case of an emergency, always call 911 but if you don’t know where to take your baby for care, call your local health department. The phone number is in the “government” listings of the phone book. You can also ask a local hospital. Another way to find a health care provider is to ask a close friend or relative who has children about where her children receive their health care. Ask if she really likes her children’s provider and if he or she is good at taking time to explain things and answer questions.

If you are eligible for Medicaid, your baby can get free checkups. You can call your local social welfare, health, or family services office to see if you qualify for Medicaid or State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) services.

Newborn Health Screening

Your baby is tested for certain medical conditions when she is born. Many conditions can be treated if they are found early enough. Early treatment means your baby can grow up healthier. Your health care provider, usually a doctor or nurse, can answer questions about the tests.

Checkups

Before your baby is born, you will need to have a pediatrician on hand, if not the hospital will have one and you may choose to continue to use his/her services. When taking your baby out for checkups, do not expose them to the sun directly. Your baby needs medical check-ups during her first days, weeks, and month so the health care provider can see if she is growing right and provide the necessary screenings and shots. The way your baby grows in her first year can affect her health for life. Checkups are a normal and important thing for babies. Even though your baby seems healthy, her first checkup should take place within 3–5 days after birth if your baby was discharged from the hospital within 24–48 hours after delivery. Keeping appointments is very important, because newborns are at risk for certain health problems such as jaundice, feeding problems, maintaining enough fluids, and blood infections. During the first checkup, ask your health care provider for the results of the hearing screening if it was done in the hospital. If a hearing test was not done, ask your health care provider how to get the test. You need to know as soon as possible if your baby has hearing problems. If she does, she may need special help now so she can communicate with people. This will help her when she learns to talk and read. The health care provider will also make sure that your baby’s nutritional needs are being met. Vitamin D supplements are recommended for babies who are breast- fed. This should begin in the first few days of life. The supplements come in the form of drops. Babies who are fed formula do not need vitamin D supplements, because formula is fortified with vitamin D. Once you begin feeding your baby solid foods, usually at 6 months, vitamin D supplements are not needed if you feed your baby foods containing vitamin D, such as rice cereals. If you have questions about supplements for your baby, ask the health care provider.

Your baby should have regular checkups at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months of age. At each checkup, the health care provider will:

  • Examine your baby’s head, eyes, ears, heart, lungs, and other body parts. Measure your baby’s length, weight, and head size.
  • Ask about your baby’s hearing and vision.
  • Ask you questions about how she eats, sleeps, and acts.
  • Give you information about how a baby develops and grows.

Shots

At checkups, your baby will be given shots (immunizations). Your baby will get her first shot in the hospital at birth. This shot helps protect your baby from hepatitis B. Later, your baby will get shots to protect her from diseases such as polio, measles, mumps, and chicken pox. Your health care provider can answer any questions you may have. Some babies may run a low fever from the shots. Ask your health care provider what signs to look for after your baby gets a shot so you will know if your baby needs medical care. Keep a record of what happens at your baby’s checkups. This record will help you and your health care provider know about your baby’s development and what is best for your baby. Always ask your health provider questions concerning your babies health and growth patterns.

The information supplied above is not a medical diagnosis, your must consult you medical provider for professional help.

            SIDS is a very sensitive issue and it’s extremely important that we know the facts and what is expected of a loving parent, grandparent or guardian. Please review the below information, practice the possible solutions described and follow the links to learn more about preventing SIDS.

Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) Sudden unexpected infant deaths are defined as infant deaths that occur suddenly and unexpectedly, and whose manner and cause of death are not immediately obvious prior to investigation. Each year in the United States, more than 4,500 infants die suddenly of no obvious cause. Half of these Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) are due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the leading cause of SUID and of all deaths among infants aged 1–12 months.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is defined as the sudden death of an infant less than one year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history. SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants aged 1–12 months, and is the third leading cause overall of infant mortality in the United States. Although the overall rate of SIDS in the United States has declined by more than 50% since 1990, rates have declined less among non-Hispanic Black and American Indian/Alaska Native infants. Preventing SIDS remains an important public health priority. 

How can I reduce the SIDS risk?

Health care providers don’t know what exactly causes SIDS, but they do know certain things can help reduce the risk of SIDS:

  • Always place babies on their backs to sleep – Babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides.  Placing your baby on his or her back to sleep is the number one way to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Use the back sleep position every time – Babies who usually sleep on their backs but who are then placed on their stomachs, like for a nap, are at very high risk for SIDS.  So it is important for babies to sleep on their backs every time, for naps and at night.
  • Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as a safety-approved *crib mattress covered with a fitted sheet – Never place a baby to sleep on a pillow, quilt, sheepskin, or other soft surface.
  • Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area – Don’t use pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins, or pillow-like bumpers in your baby’s sleep area.  Keep all items away from the baby’s face.
  • Avoid letting your baby overheat during sleep – Dress your baby in light sleep clothing and keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.
  • Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing your baby down to sleep, but don’t force the baby to take it.  (If you’re breastfeeding, wait until your child is 1 month old, or is used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier.)

* For more information on crib safety, visit http://www.cpsc.gov.

The NICHD’s publication Safe Sleep for Your Baby: Reduce the Risk of SIDS gives a complete list of ways to reduce the risk of SIDS.

What groups are most at risk for SIDS?

  • Babies who are placed to sleep on their stomachs or sides are at higher risk for SIDS than babies who are placed on their backs to sleep.
  • African American babies are more than two times as likely to die of SIDS as white babies.
  • American Indian/Alaska Native babies are nearly three times as likely to die of SIDS as white babies.

Will my baby develop flat spots on his or her head from back sleeping?

For the most part, flat spots on a baby’s head go away a few months after the baby learns to sit up.  There are other ways to reduce the chance that flat spots will develop on your baby’s head, such as:

  • Providing Tummy Time when your baby is awake and someone is watching.  Tummy Time not only helps prevent flat spots, but it also helps a baby’s head, neck, and shoulder muscles get stronger. 
 

 

It is important to remember that this information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Diagnosis and treatment should be done only by your health care provider. For more information contact your local health department or physician.