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101 Old Short Hills Rd
Atkins-Kent Building, Suite 101
W. Orange, NJ 07052
33 Overlook Rd.
Summit, NJ 07901
Bayonne, NJ 07002
1119 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066
Robert J. Rubino,
Audrey A. Romero, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.
Jacqueline Saitta, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.
Allan D. Kessel,
Priya R. Patel,
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"I didn't know that!"
New brain connections are created every time you form a memory.
Your brain uses 20% of the total oxygen and blood in your body.
It's hard to believe it is already April. Soon enough, the flowers will be blooming and outdoor activities will be increasing. April is Stress Awareness Month. Try to take time in your busy schedule to de-stress and enjoy the warmer weather.
We are excited to announce we are now accepting online bill payment - details below. In addition, in this issue of our newsletter, a guest author discusses baby care essentials and helpful advice for parents of newborns. In response to a patient request, we also cover the topic of vaginal dryness. In our Healthy Living section, we talk about memory health and how you can actually train your brain to improve its performance. And, you'll find a new interesting "Medical Fact".
As always, we will continue to provide topics that are current, informative and important to your good health.
Baby Care Essentials
Mary Beth Cahill, MSN, CPNP
Bringing your baby home from the hospital is one of life's most joyful moments. Along with the excitement and joy parents are often met with normal feelings of uncertainty on how to care for a newborn. There are no ground rules but only general guidelines in parenting. Every baby is different so most often, you have to figure it out as you go along.
Following are some common questions and evidence-based answers for parents that may need some guidance:
How should I dress my baby?
Babies will be comfortable in the same layers of clothing as their parents. It is recommended to keep the temperature of your house between 68 and 72 degrees. If your baby was born prematurely, he or she may require more layers of clothing for temperature regulation.
When can I give my baby their first bath?
Your baby should be given a sponge bath until their umbilical cord falls off, which usually occurs by 2 weeks of age. Once the cord falls off, you can give your baby his first real bath. Perfume and dye-free baby cleansers are recommended. Dry skin is normal in the early days but if it is bothersome to you, hypoallergenic skin lotions may be used.
My baby sleeps so much. Is that normal?
Newborns sleep an average of 16-20 hours per day. Babies take several weeks to get their own circadian rhythm regulated, which means an average of 4 months to develop sleep patterns. Sleeping through the night means 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. If your baby is not sleeping through the night by 6 months of age, it is a good time to seek help to establish a healthy sleep routine.
How do I prevent SIDS at home?
The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2011 expanded their policy on SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) to include recommendations for a safe sleep environment that can reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths. These recommendations include back to sleep, firm sleep surfaces, breastfeeding, room-sharing without bed-sharing, routine immunizations, pacifier use, and avoidance of soft bedding and loose objects in the crib, overheating, and exposure to tobacco smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs. Talk to your pediatrician about these risk factors.
Why is my baby crying?
Babies cry as a means of communication. They are trying to tell you something - they may be hungry, over-tired, need a diaper change, have colic or reflux, or just need to be soothed. The average baby cries 1 to 4 hours a day. To calm a crying baby, offer a pacifier, swaddle your baby, or try motion such as rocking or a swing if you have ruled out the baby is not hungry. Consult with your health care provider if you are having difficulty consoling your baby.
How do I know if my baby has colic?
The "rules of three" define colic:
- Colic starts around 3 weeks of age
- Crying lasts for 3 hours per day and occurs at least 3 days a week
- Crying lasts until the baby is 3 months of age
Sometimes crying is a result of gastro esophageal reflux (GER) not colic. With reflux the crying usually happens during and after feedings at anytime of the day. GER usually peaks at 4 months and resolves by 6 months of age.
I plan to breastfeed but I am not sure what to expect the first few days?
Within an hour of birth you will be encouraged to breastfeed your baby for the first time. Your baby will be alert and will be ready. The hospital staff will be there to assist you in establishing good breastfeeding techniques right from the start.
It is recommended to breastfeed your baby every 3 hours for 5-10 minutes per feeding. It's normal for your baby to be sleepy in the first few days and not want to breastfeed for a long time. If you are unable to breastfeed, hospital grade breast pumps are available to you with the recommendation of pumping every 3 hours.
During your baby's first few days of life, you will be producing colostrum to meet all your baby needs. Mature milk, richer in calories and fat than colostrum, usually comes in 3 to 4 days after birth.
Supplementation may be medically necessary in the early days with conditions such as prematurity, hyper-bilirubinemia (jaundice), excessive weight loss and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Breast milk production works by supply and demand. Many mothers worry if their baby is getting enough milk. It is normal for babies to lose up to 10 percent of their birth weight. Please talk to your pediatrician about any feeding concerns. Your pediatrician can recommend a lactation specialist to help you with your breastfeeding needs. Remember it takes a few weeks to feel confident with your breastfeeding routine.
Answers to the questions above were written by Mary Beth Cahill, MSN, CPNP, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, The Savvy Parent Educating Parents, One Baby at a Time. www.thesavvyparentnj.com; (973) 868-7536
Experiencing Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness is a common condition in postmenopausal woman or with women who have had both ovaries removed during a hysterectomy. It can also occur in women who have just had a baby, specifically if they are breastfeeding or with women that are using certain
medications, including birth control. The main culprit of vaginal dryness is anything that causes a reduction in estrogen production.
Symptoms can include: burning discomfort, pain during sexual intercourse, itching and abnormal vaginal discharge.
If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, there are some immediate steps you can take including:
- Avoid using soap on the inner parts of your vulva. Clean water is adequate for cleansing.
- Use only white, unscented toilet paper.
- Wash your underwear in detergents without dyes and perfumes.
- Do not use fabric softeners and anti-cling laundry products.
- Avoid lotions, bubble baths and perfumed products on the inner vulva.
To relieve symptoms, you can often start with vaginal lubricants or moisturizers. Lubricants reduce the friction associated with thin, dry genital tissue. If you have more severe vaginal dryness and related pain, a low-dose vaginal estrogen prescription may help alleviate discomfort. These prescriptions deliver estrogen directly to the vagina, with minimal absorption to the rest of the body and help restore vaginal tissue thickness and flexibility. If neither of these two options offer relief, a medication may be prescribed.
A recent development in advances on the condition of vaginal atrophy for post menopausal women is the release of the medication ospemifene or "Osphena." This is a designer drug known as a SERM- selective estrogen receptor modulator, intended to offer the benefits of estrogen without any negative effects. It is designed to target the tissue in need, in this case, vaginal tissue depleted of estrogen, and not effect other tissues.
Other natural remedies to relieve vaginal pain include staying hydrated by drinking six-eight glasses of water every day to keep tissues moist, avoiding personal hygiene sprays and douches and eating a good amount of "healthy fats" including Omega-3's such as flaxseed oil, nuts and soy, which contain isoflavones that mimic the action of estrogen.
If you have concerns with vaginal dryness, please make an appointment to see one of our doctors.
Healthy Living: Memory Health
There are things you can do to improve your memory and mental performance. It all depends on the health and vitality of your brain.
Scientists have discovered that the brain has the incredible power to change - even into old age. Your brain can form new neural pathways, alter existing connections and adapt and react... this is called neuroplasticity. This especially applies to learning and memory.
In the 1850's, psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus determined a person forgets much of what they have learned within 20 minutes of the initial learning. Within 1 hour, a person forgets nearly half of what was originally learned. After 24 hours, 2/3 of previously learned material is forgotten. This became known as the "Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve." A recent lecture focused on studying tips for students to combat this forgetting curve. The theory is smaller bursts of memorizing were more effective, and had a longer lasting recall, than memorizing for a long period of time, all at once. These study guidelines include short cycles of studying followed by a break with a different activity. The time lapse between studying and stepping away from the material increases over a designated time frame, ie. over the week before a test. The concept is overall cognitive function improves and is more efficient as you segment the studying over time with prolonged intervals, rather than memorizing all at once and quickly forgetting.
Tips to improve your memory:
1. Workout your brain. Over the years, your brain becomes comfortable processing the same information over time. New stimulation keeps your brain growing and developing. This can include trying a new route when driving home, visiting new places, reading a different book, trying a new game or doing activities with hand-eye coordination. Memory, like muscular strength, is "use it or lose it". The more you use your brain, the better you can process and remember information.
Additional tactics include paying close attention, trying to explain something to someone in your own words, rehearsing information you've learned, connecting new information you know to old and involving as many senses as possible. Cognitive activities such as cross words, cryptoquotes and ballroom dancing have also been shown to increase memory function.
2. Keep your stress in check. April is Stress Awareness Month. Stress, depression and anxiety are some of the brain's worst enemies. It can destroy the brain cells that form new memories and retrieve old ones and create difficulty concentrating and making decisions. Scientific evidence suggests that meditation, even for a couple of minutes each day, can help improve focus, concentration, creativity, mental sharpness, learning and reasoning skills.
3. Eat a brain-boosting diet. For brain health, it's not only the good things you eat that are important: fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein, but also what you don't eat that is important. Omega 3's are top ranking in beneficial brain health. They can come from fish, nuts, flaxseed, beans, spinach, broccoli, seeds and soybeans. Try to eat omega 3's every day. Try to limit high levels of calories and saturated fat which can increase your risk of dementia and impair concentration and memory. Keep your alcohol consumption to a moderate level. Moderate levels of red wine have shown to actually improve memory and cognition, however more than one glass can have adverse effects.
4. Nurture your brain with adequate sleep and exercise. When you are sleep deprived, your brain can't operate at full capacity. Sleep is necessary for memory consolidation - which is enhanced during the deepest stages of sleep. Physical exercise increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk of diseases and disorders that lead to memory loss.
5. Have fun with family and friends. Research shows having meaningful relationships are vital to emotional and brain health. Laughter activates multiple regions of the brain. Surround yourself with fun activities including spending time with fun, playful people, reminding yourself to keep life light with fun photos or screensavers and spending time and paying attention to children, who exemplify fun and laughter.
You can experiment with your own memory by trying some of these tips.
Pay Your Bill Online
You can now pay your Rubino OB/GYN Group bills online right from the homepage of our website! Simply click on the button at the top of the page that says "New! Pay Your Bill Online!".
Options include paying by credit card or echeck. It is an easy one-time registration to create a password.
For easy reference, the direct link is: Pay My Bill.
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|Office Announcements |
Pay Your Rubino OB/GYN Bills Online
The Rubino OB/GYN Group is now offering vitaMedMD™ in all 4 office locations. VitaMedMD offers patients high quality physician recommended products at an affordable price. Available products include Women's Multivitamin, Prenatal Plus, Prenatal One, Menopause Relief and Iron 150.
Emmi Video TutorialsEmmi is a free, online video tutorial that makes complex medical information simple and easy to understand. Emmi provides clear and concise step-by-step information on common health topics and procedures right on our website. Click here to find out more.
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To schedule online appointments, consultations or view your personal health records at your convenience, just visit the home page of www.rubinoobgyn.com. You can also call 973-736-1100 now to schedule an appointment at any of our four locations.
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