Baby and Maternity Guide 2016

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The Dish on Motherhood

During pregnancy we try to soak up all of the info we can to prepare for motherhood –
This is what I should be doing right now to be healthy. These are some of the things I’ll need when the baby comes. When my baby does this, this will help. Then that baby is born and…well…let’s just say the experience is unique to everyone.

Here, Findlay Area Family Editor Sarah Mayle and three Findlay moms Keturah Harding Pohl, Kathleen Cindric and Lisa Vick reflect on motherhood, answering questions on what was/is most difficult and how to get through it, how they carve time for themselves, a funny story, their must-have product, and advice for a new mom.

I’ll go first:

Sarah Mayle

Mother of Ben, 10, and Rosalynn, 7
Findlay

When you think back to caring for your baby, what did you find to be the most difficult? What did you do to get through it?
It is a toss-up between breastfeeding and getting my baby to take a nap. Breastfeeding did not come naturally to me and I struggled with it after having a c-section. I did visit the lactation consultant at the hospital and found her to be very helpful. I managed to breastfeed for about 10 months, but chose not to breastfeed with my second child. (I must admit it was a relief for me, so much less stress.) With naps, I used to carry my son around to get him to sleep and it was so frustrating. So for my younger daughter, I found a variation…driving in the car! Once she was asleep, I’d put her, car seat and all, in her room, right next to the monitor. I’m not sure it was the best way, but I guess it was my way.

What did you do to carve out a little time for yourself?
When my son was at preschool and my daughter took a nap, I would put the baby monitor on an extension cord and drag it all the way to the end of the driveway. Then I’d rollerblade up and down our dead-end street. I loved fitting in some exercise and time to listen to music.

Do you have a funny story?
I took my 3-year-old son to a park on his bike with training wheels while pushing my new baby in the stroller. We started down an incline, and I realized my son was out of control, about to fall. I sprinted to catch him and realized I’d let go of the stroller, now free-wheeling it down the hill. I frantically ran back to stroller, grasping it as it was about to tip. No one was hurt…only my sanity, and maybe a little of my pride!

What is a must-have product you use/d and why did you like it?
A forehead scanner thermometer – so much easier than trying to put one under the tongue or anywhere else! Also, a nice jogging stroller because even if you don’t run, they’re easier to get around with.

Advice for a new mom?
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t feel like breastfeeding is for you. Take time for yourself – don’t forget the things you like to do and make sure you take time for them. Schedule regular date nights with your husband. Enjoy the kids while they’re little. Everyone says this, but it does go fast. My kids are already in 4th and 1st grade!

Keturah Harding Pohl

Mother of 18-month-old daughter
Findlay

When you think back to caring for your baby, what did you find to be the most difficult? What did you do to get through it?
I found the most difficult thing was the balance between caring for our baby, and everything else that needed attention (work, home, husband, etc). It takes time as a new parent to figure out a schedule and a balance; which can take a good six months+. We are blessed to have family come to Findlay to give my husband and I a break. We also have a wonderful caregiver who watches our child every Friday evening so we can get away.

What do you/did you do to carve out a little time for yourself?
I try to carve our time outside the home for myself. I meet with friends, go for a walk, go grocery shopping by myself, or read a book.

Do you have a funny story?
The times that you laugh during the first year are endless. Most of the times it is because you do something when you are sleep-deprived. Examples would be putting a diaper or outfit on incorrectly, or putting the laundry in the refrigerator.

What is a must-have product you use/d and why did you like it?
We must-have our Aiden and Anais swaddle blankets. They are wonderful! They work great as swaddle blankets, then crib blankets, and also as lovies. They also get softer as you wash them and the baby can breathe through them (so no worry of suffocation at night).

Advice for a new mom?
Go with your instinct. There is no way for you to know everything or do everything right the first time. If you need help, ask a friend, read a book, research, and then make a decision for what you believe is right for you and your child. Every child is different and although you will hear lots of advice, you will also make your own life story with your child.

Kathleen Cindric

Mother of Luke, 7 mos, Leighton, 2, and John, 4
Findlay

When you think back to caring for your baby, what did you find to be the most difficult? What did you do to get through it?
Physically, for sure, the lack of sleep! Those first couple of months can be brutal. There is no magic answer; ultimately accept that you're going to do more with less and try to get to bed early. Mentally – letting go of the expectations. I'm totally guilty of it! Before I had children, I thought, ‘I'm going to be this type of a mom' and only do 'that' — but so much of those things go to the wayside. Parenting can be difficult and kids are so unique. What works for one family or mom, might not for your children or your lifestyle. And what works when you have one child might not when you have three (I can attest!). We probably don't have the cleanest house or perfect anything, but we have a lot of laughs and lots of love!   

What did you/do you do to carve out a little time for yourself?
"Me" time is between 5-6:30am. Once I feed the baby, if it's after 5am, I'm up! I could sleep in until 6:30, but I treasure my coffee, toast, and reading The Courier. It's so simple and maybe silly, but keeps me informed and makes me feel like I've done something just for me. The kids are up at 6:30 like clockwork, and then it's go-time until 8:30pm.

Do you have a funny story?
Traveling with babies is a roll of the dice. The flight out to visit my parents was smooth sailing… But the flight home – not so much! What a sight I was – 6 months pregnant, with a 1.5-year-old 'lap-baby' and a 3.5-year-old next to me. Things were actually going well – an on-time departure for an hour flight, kids eating their snacks, IPad fully charged, ready for takeoff…I'm thinking "I've got this!" when the pilots announce Detroit is closed due to weather. WHAT?! IT'S SUNNY HERE!! They'll give an update in 20 minutes. Well 1.5 hours later we're still on the runway, my potty trained 3.5-year-old decides to poop and his change of pants is in my luggage (poor guy next to me!), my 1.5-year-old is crawling under the seats and I'm laughing and crying at the same time…(that can really happen!). The looks of pity on the other traveler's faces was hysterical. We finally arrived back in Findlay 6 hours after we should have!

What is a must-have product you use/d and why did you like it?
Zip-up onesies – forget the snaps! No one wants to fiddle with buttons at 4am after changing a diaper And a Graco, over-the-door frame, bouncer. I didn't discover this until my second child. It's totally portable and my two youngest kids have loved it.

Advice for a new mom?
Create an email for your kids! It's a no-cost way to keep memories for them. After each child was born, I created a gmail account in their name and sent the address out to family so they could send the baby a note – or pictures from special events if they'd like. I personally use this as a way to keep funny memories and one liners that I'm bound to forget. My most recent one liner was a most serious question from my straight-faced, 4-year-old son, John. "Mom, would you still love my sister if she was a swamp monster?" May 6, 2016 on the way to preschool…

Lisa Vick

Mother of Owen, 7, and Griffin, 4
Findlay

When you think back to caring for your baby, what did you find to be the most difficult? What did you do to get through it?
As a first time mom, I found breastfeeding to be the most difficult (but also the most rewarding at the same time). To get through it I used the help of friends, but looking back I really should have gone back to see the lactation consultant (though I did call and talk over the phone with one) and we would have been more successful in the long run. We made it about 5 months. I was much more successful with my second son and more relaxed.   

What did you/do you do to carve out a little time for yourself?
My first son was born May 30, so I took lots of walks with him that summer with the stroller. We also belonged to the pool and I would take him there and sit under a tree and relax during the day for an hour. Even though he was with me, it was still some time for me to relax outdoors. Once he was about 3 months old, I got out with my friends regularly to have ‘girl’s nights’ which are so important!

Do you have a funny story?
When Griffin was about 9-months-old my grandmother gave him a bunny for Easter. He quickly became attached to this bunny and it went EVERYWHERE with him. When he turned 3 he went to preschool and it even went in his backpack each day. Just before his 4th birthday, bunny got lost. We literally got up that morning and he was never to be found again. We went to the grocery that day, but no one remembers bunny getting into the car with us. He has never been found.

What is a must-have product you use/d and why did you like it?
Love, love, love the Fisher Price Rock N Play! This is one of the few baby accessories that I feel is reasonably priced and you can use it a variety of ways for a long time. The baby can sleep in it like a bassinet, but on an incline which seems to make them more comfortable (I have friends who told me their child slept in it for the first 6 months).  It also is nice to have nearby if you want to put the baby down during the day, but don’t want to put them on the floor or have a big Pack N Play set up in your living room. It is very portable, easy to move around the house or put in the car for an overnight trip somewhere.

Advice for a new mom?
Trust your instincts. Put down all the ‘advice’ books and listen to your heart. You were made to be a mom.

More Than the “Baby Blues”

1. What are some signs or symptoms of Postpartum Depression (PPD)?
Postpartum “baby blues” signs and symptoms— which last only a few days to a week or two: Mood swings, anxiety, sadness, irritability, feeling overwhelmed, crying, reduced concentration, appetite problems and trouble sleeping.
Postpartum depression symptoms— are more intense and last longer, eventually interfering with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Symptoms include: Depressed mood or severe mood swings, excessive crying, difficulty bonding with baby, withdrawing from family and friends, loss of appetite or eating much more, inability to sleep or sleeping too much, overwhelming fatigue, reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy, intense irritability and anger, fear that you are not a good mother, feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy. Untreated, postpartum depression may last for many months or longer

2. Are there factors that predispose women to postpartum depression (PPD)? 
Yes, a history of depression, either during pregnancy or at other times, bipolar disorder, PPD after a previous pregnancy, family members who have depression or mood disorders, stressful events such as pregnancy complications, illness, job loss, if the baby has health problems or special needs, or difficulty breastfeeding as well as a tense relationship with their spouse or significant other, a weak support system, financial problems, or that the pregnancy was unplanned. 

3. Have you noticed less stigma related to PPD in recent years? 
Yes, PPD is more recognized as a real problem. Women may be reluctant or embarrassed to admit they are feeling “depressed” more than just the “baby blues.” They may not be aware of symptoms of depression. If someone suspects a loved one has PPD they should help them seek medical advice. 

4. I remember physicians asking, at my six-week-postpartum checkups, whether I felt depressed or unhappy. If women admit to depression or unsettling thoughts, what are your recommendations? 
Diet, exercise and stress reduction are discussed. The woman may be referred to a social worker and/or psychiatrist. An antidepressant may be started if the woman has been on one in the past or symptoms warrant immediate treatment. 

5. Do you have recommendations for helping women maintain a sense of identity during motherhood? Does social media help women feel connected with friends/family during this transition? 
A woman may feel less attractive after a baby is born or that she has lost control over her life. She should stay connected with friends and co-workers, take time for herself and participate in social activities. 

6. Is there anything women can do to reduce the likelihood of PPD?
Yes, surround herself with a strong support system, eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise and at least 8 hours of sleep. It is important for a woman to educate herself and understand the signs and symptoms of depression.

Teresa Jones, CNP has practiced at the
Neil and Laura Clark Women and Children’s Center
301 Wallace St., Findlay since 2007 and welcomes new patients.
419-424-0180

Breastfeeding Benefits

For some new moms, breastfeeding comes naturally. For others, it is a struggle. Still others opt to formula-feed for one reason or another. Natalie Shenk, IBCLC, imparts her breastfeeding knowledge below.

What are the benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby?
Breastfeeding contributes to lower risk of chronic diseases and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Mother’s milk has living cells and contains enzymes, hormones, and immune system support, which formula can’t offer. For mother, she will recover from birth faster.

What are some common issues/obstacles women face with breastfeeding?
Having help at home [from] friends and family is huge…[new moms] need time to rest and get breastfeeding off to a good start. Having to return to work is the biggest obstacle most mothers face. We are the only developed country that does not offer paid maternity leave to provide the time new mothers need for breastfeeding.

For those who choose to breastfeed, how long would you suggest?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies breastfeed for at least one year. Solids are added along with breastfeeding at about 6 months.

Do you have any words of wisdom for those who are struggling with breastfeeding?
Gather supportive people and reach out to breastfeeding experts. International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) have the most training and can refer to support groups and resources. Some breastmilk is better than none, and there are many ways to manage breastfeeding problems even if formula supplement is needed for a time.

How do you know if breastfeeding is right for you?
This assumes that breastfeeding is a lifestyle choice. All the medical associations agree that breastfeeding is the best health choice. The more obstacles we remedy, the more mothers will be able to choose breastfeeding.

Any words for those who want to breastfeed but cannot for various reasons? 
While most mothers can at least do some breastfeeding, it is sad when there is a reason that it doesn’t work out. I encourage them to hold their babies a lot since part of the benefit of breastfeeding is interaction and physical closeness with mom. As parents, we do the best we can with the knowledge and situation we have at the time.

Natalie Shenk and Lisa Holman are
International Board Certified Lactation Consultants for the Blanchard Valley Health System.
They run a breastfeeding support group that meets at
4pm at the hospital the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month. 
To reach them, call 419-423-5518.

Tips from Chiropractor Dr. Chris Lofquist, DC

1. What are some common conditions women run into during pregnancy that chiropractic care can help?
One of the most common issues for pregnant women is low back pain, as well as sciatic nerve or hip pain that often radiates down the back of the leg. Pelvic pain both during and after pregnancy is something that many women contend with as well. Musculoskeletal pain in pregnancy is something that many women think is “just part of the gig” when in reality it often does not have to be. 

2. What can you tell those who may be concerned if chiropractic care is safe during pregnancy?
The question of safety of chiropractic care during pregnancy is one that is often brought up. Washington University and Logan University recently teamed up to research the safety and efficacy of chiropractic care and stabilization exercises during pregnancy and found it to be helpful in reducing pain and increasing function, with very few side effects.

3. What about treatment for mothers after the baby is born?
About 49-69 percent of women experience either low back or pelvic pain 18 months after giving birth. Unfortunately because of the view that the pain will subside after childbirth, there has been a lack of research for low back pain or pelvic pain in the postnatal population. Some patients who come to my office are concerned to take medication both during and after pregnancy while breastfeeding, and prefer a more natural way of addressing and eliminating the pain, rather than simply covering up their symptoms. This is where proper soft tissue and chiropractic care is extremely beneficial.

4. How do you know if your baby or young child might benefit from a visit to a chiropractor?
Chiropractic care for infants and young children can be extremely beneficial, though seeking out a practitioner who is familiar with treating infants and young children is important. These patients require specialized care that differs from older patients. Unfortunately there are no large scale studies of successful chiropractic treatment of colic, ear infections or bed wetting, but there are a large number of success stories in many chiropractic offices. Chiropractic care can be very beneficial for children when the chiropractor takes a “team approach” with the patient, the parents and the patient’s pediatrician. 

5. What other suggestions can you offer for a healthy pregnancy for mom and baby? 
The importance of proper nutrition during pregnancy cannot be overstated. A mother is truly eating for two, so prenatal vitamins and a diet that is focused more on whole foods rather than highly processed foods is generally healthier. Exercise, even just 45 minutes of walking 3-4 times per week at a moderate intensity (heart rate at 80-100 beats per minute) has been shown to be extremely beneficial in avoiding chronic diseases that can stem from retaining baby weight. Other natural methods to assist in a happy healthy mommy and baby include massage by a licensed massage therapist, experienced with prenatal massage. Seeking and keeping normally scheduled appointments with an Obstetrician or Certified Nurse Midwife is also important, even if an expectant mother is planning on utilizing a doula or birthing at home. We are fortunate in the Findlay area to have excellent OBs and CNMs.

 

Dr. Lofquist has been in practice in Findlay for 7 years.
He graduated with a BS in Athletic Training from Heidelberg,
a MS in Sport & Exercise Rehabilitation
from Logan University and a Doctorate in Chiropractic (DC) from Logan University.
Lofquist specializes in treating soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments)
injuries in addition the conventional chiropractic bone and joint issues.

Flag City Sport & Spine | 643 Trenton Ave. | Findlay | 419-427-6300
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