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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!"
Bobbie McCaughey is the mother who holds the record for the most surviving children from a single birth. She gave birth to the first set of surviving septuplets - four boys and three girls -on November 19, 1997, at the University Hospital, Iowa.
We'd like to wish all of our moms a very happy Mother's Day. Thank you for entrusting us to care for you and your family.
In this issue of our newsletter, we discuss the benefits of play time with your child. We also alert you to new legislation on mammograms. In our Healthy Living section, a guest author shares strategies on creating a work-life balance. 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.
Benefits of Play Time
As development experts are fond of saying: play is the work of children. Play allows children to socialize, develop, and hone new skills while learning about themselves, others, and the world around them. Even in those early weeks, your infant is never too young to play. Following are a few ideas for the early months:
During month one, hearing is baby's most developed sense. Now is a great time to get moving with instruments. A few great sound makers include rattles, shakers, tambourines, and castanets. While baby will not be able to grasp or hold instruments on her own yet, the auditory stimulation helps baby continue to develop hearing. By month five, most babies will be able to grasp objects in one hand. The sounds she makes when playing with the toys (or any noise-making object) will teach cause and effect.
Gently clap baby's hands together while you sing. Bring baby's arms out in front and clap over his head, then to the right and left to the beat. Popular movement songs and nursery rhymes include London Bridge, Hokey Pokey and Looby Lou. The rhythm and repetitiveness of nursery rhymes helps develop language skills. Hand movements and clapping stimulate sense of touch, and promotes hand-eye coordination and motor skill development.
By month five, baby will revel in playing with balls of different textures and colors designed for infants. Show your baby different things she can do with the new toy: from rolling and dropping the ball, to drumming and playing peek-a-boo. These games help babies practice balancing skills on the journey to sitting up, as well as provide a tactile experience as they touch and feel.
Baby Sign Language
Babies learn signs before they can even make sounds. Start by picking a couple of signs for words and phrases like "Mom," "Dad," "Eat," "Milk," "All Done," or "More" and use the hand movement with the associated words to teach baby that he can communicate. An excellent application of baby sign language is through song.
As your child grows and develops, his play will become more imaginative and complex as he begins to build curiosity, confidence, and problem-solving skills. As children gain more independence, grown-up participation in play-based activities not only promotes more learning and development but gives families the opportunity to bond. When parents actively join in to play with their child instead of just observing, they can learn more about what their child loves most whether it's sing-along, kicking the ball or the sense of accomplishment of pulling himself to standing.
The following excerpt is from an article written by Banoo Mundegar, owner of Kidville Summit. Kidville Summit offers classes for newborns and children up to 6 years old to support healthy development and create a nurturing environment where children can begin a lifetime of experiential learning and social success. www.Kidville.com/summit / 908-273-2487.
New Law For Mammograms
Starting this month, there is new legislation on reports generated for
mammograms. New Jersey is now the 14th state to enact a breast density notification law that requires changes to mammography reports sent to referring physicians and patients.
The new reports are required to specify breast density and every patient will receive a generic statement connecting the relationship between dense breast tissue and breast cancer. This new information is intended to increase awareness.
Why the awareness on breast density?
Dense breast tissue typically has a greater amount of cells vs. more fatty breast tissue and can more easily hide a growth or tumor. The denser the breast, the whiter the mammogram.
Some risks for breast cancer include a family history, genetic disposition, age, medical history and other factors.
The concern is this legislation will lead to additional breast cancer imaging such as MRIs and ultrasound which can lead to an increase in false-positive results and unnecessary additional procedures.
Mammography is still the best breast imaging test available and the most important test for breast cancer detection.
Healthy Living: Creating a "Work-Life Balance"
By Deborah Munies, Certified Life Coach
We often hear conversations about how to achieve a work-life balance, with the universal thought, "If I could just balance my life, it would be perfect and I would be happy." After much wrestling and research around the idea of "balance," researchers and corporate leaders are now declaring this perfect "balance" doesn't exist and is illusive - what we have been fighting and chasing after is unachievable. Segmentation of the two has become difficult as our work and personal lives are intertwined thanks to technology and the personal relationships we cultivate at work.
While this may be the case, you can achieve balance in your life by actively making your own choices. Following are 10 steps toward building, sustaining and growing that "balanced" life.
1.) Define what you want
Proactively decide what you want and what you will accept. Do you want the high paying career and children? What are you willing and not willing to compromise? Do you want to be home and the CEO of your family? For some, working 18 hour days may be a pleasure if they love what they do and the people they work with, while others may find the 8-hour workday too stressful if they resent their boss and feel pulled away from family. Decide what the best scenario is for you.
2.) Ask for what you want
Women are often hesitant to ask for what they want for fear they will be interpreted as pushy, uncooperative or even self-centered. However, if we don't ask for what we want, we won't get it which can lead to resentment and frustration. Ask and know you tried. If the answer is no, you can then make decisions accordingly.
3.) Categorize your "to-do list"
Do you dread cooking, doing the laundry, cleaning, going to the grocery store, unloading the dishwasher, creating spreadsheets or presentations? Apply the three B's - Bag It, Barter It, Better It. Can you not do it (Bag It)? Can you swap duties with someone else (Barter It with a friend or colleague). Can you Better It by listening to music while you do your task or partnering with a friend or family member?
4.) Create boundaries - be comfortable with saying "no"
You defined the life you want and now it is your responsibility to maintain it andcommunicate it to others. Doctors have found, when we don't communicate proactively, we tend to create boundaries through less desirable ways such as passivity or manipulation. People pleasing and silence can eventually backfire, creating resentment. If you choose not to do something, be ok with saying "no".
5.) Be there
Whether you are at work or home, be present. At home, we often check work email, and conversely, while at work we are tending to personal calls. When we are present and paying attention to the given situation, we are reaping the rewards of being in the moment. A recent Google study showed 69% of responders do not segment their lives (separate work from home) and found they continually checked emails into the evening at home. Try to separate the two by designating a time frame for each and being mindful of the moment. Studies show mindfulness can reduce pregnancy-related stress and improve relationships and psychological well-being.
6.) Listen to yourself
Research shows our thoughts can trigger a physical response and create feelings of stress, which affects our body (and our health). Next time you are with someone or asked to do something, pay attention to your body and what it is telling you. If you feel free, this "Shackles Off" feeling is your body telling you it is ok with this situation. If you feel tight, anxious or unnerved, your body is feeling "Shackles On" and there is something about the scenario that makes you uncomfortable. Take a minute and consider your options. Quickly using the "Shackles On" or "Shackles Off" test can point you in the right direction.
7.) Cut down on social media
In today's overwhelming presence of social media, "Keeping up with the Joneses" has reached a new level. There is a larger, more accessible world to compare ourselves and shape our ideal. While social media is a new frontier with limited research, we are seeing more indicators that social media can have a negative effect on self-image and self-worth. Try not to get caught up in it.
Research has shown that exercise increases your energy level, concentration and makes you more alert. Increased concentration and alertness result in work productivity. Finding time to exercise can be daunting if you look at the mountain, but when you start with smaller steps you are more likely to succeed and develop a habit. Start by taking the stairs at work or walking a longer way to get to your car, and then each day add a few more steps. Continue to progress to a higher level.
9.) Stop resisting and start creating
Those in the workforce spend at least a third of their life at work. If you are spending 30-40% of your time at work, it should be something you enjoy. The wrong job can cause stress, anxiety, increased anger and resentment which can lead to heart disease and premature aging. If you are not in a fulfilling career and are searching for your next journey or are afraid to quit your job, take small steps in researching and experiencing different careers. Volunteer for an hour on the weekends or at night at your local medical center or arboretum as you contemplate becoming a nurse or horticulturist. Are you passionate about a topic? Let your voice be heard and maybe blogging is in your future.
10.) Be kind to yourself
There is no such thing as perfect. Focus on what is right for you, what you like and what makes you happy. Reward yourself and recognize your achievements no matter how small. Next time you get the kids to bed "on time" or make it through your commute when you are 8 months pregnant, make yourself a cup of tea and allow yourself to drink in your accomplishments.
When you exercise these tactics, you take charge of your life and enjoy the journey.
Authored by Deborah Munies, http://deborahmunies.com/
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