- Your Baby
- Common Illnesses
- Useful Tools
- My Baby Clinic Articles
- Ask The Doctor
An epidural is one of the best ways to reduce labor pains. An anesthesiologist administers an epidural and side effects are minimal depending on the doctor’s experience.Common side effects include:
It is important to note that contrary to common belief, epidurals do not cause any chronic backache or herniated discs in the long run as they are administered through a layer of muscle.
If you continue to suffer from back pain, please consult with your doctor regarding your posture when handling your child.
It is important to note that children need no more than 3 servings of milk or milk products each day for bone growth. Teenagers need 4 servings of milk or milk products each day.
Some expectant mothers who start with an epidural for labor need to undergo a caesarean delivery if the mother or the baby’s condition is at risk, or if the labor is not progressing.
If the epidural is functioning well, the Anesthesiologist will administer more medication through the epidural catheter to deepen the anesthesia and make it adequate for surgery to take place.
If the Anesthesiologist feels uncomfortable with epidural performance, he/she may opt for spinal anesthesia or general anesthesia.
Not all expectant mothers can take epidurals.Epidural administration is not advised if the expectant mother has:
Moreover, expectant mothers taking specific blood thinning medications may not be good candidates for epidural administration. The Obstetrician must be consulted prior to epidural administration in such a case.
It is very rare for expectant mothers to experience headaches after epidural administration. The Anesthesiologist performing the epidural will inform the expectant mother if this may happen.
In the case of severe headache, the Anesthesiologist can look into the situation further, as some headaches can be caused by stress, straining, fatigue, sleep deprivation or even migraine.
If you suspect your child has enlarged adenoids, you must consult with your pediatrician immediately. Enlarged adenoids are usually diagnosed using a nasal endoscope that can show the degree of enlargement and blockage.
Your child will be partially sedated using local anesthesia. Your doctor usually applies a cream or gel on the nose area prior to examination to eliminate any discomfort.
If endoscopy cannot be performed, your doctor may ask for an X-ray to determine the size of the enlarged adenoids.
Enlarged adenoids are surgically removed to avoid complications. General anesthesia is normally used.
The doctor, with the assistance of a small mirror, will remove the adenoids using a special shaver known as an adenoid curette. The procedure is fairly simple and takes no more than 20 minutes to complete successfully.
Adenoids can incite a middle ear infection due to decreased immunity and dysfunctions in the Eustachian tube.
As Adenoids are located next to the Eustachian tube, the tube connecting the middle ear to the throat, they can:
Removing adenoids in children has proven to reduce middle ear infections and elimination of fluid build-up for children over 3 years of age.
Young children need encouragement to develop a liking for healthy, high-fiber foods. Here are our suggestions:
As most speech problems can be easily remedied in early stages, you can utilize the following tips to help your child talk more clearly:
Be a role model: Don't use baby talk with your child. Talk to him/her in full, proper sentences.
Enunciate: Pronounce your words clearly, slowly and correctly for your child to hear and imitate. Try to repeat a troublesome word several times.
Maintain eye contact: Face your child when talking. Children learn by imitation, so it's more likely your child will master certain sounds if he/she watches the movement of your lips, tongue and mouth.
Praise: Praise your child whenever the sounds are correct. Do not reward bad pronunciation as to not encourage it. Many mothers make the mistake of laughing or smiling at wrong pronunciations, this may give your child the sense you're happy about this behavior and will continue to do it. If you feel your child is frustrated, encourage your child and tell him/her "He's doing great" or "Almost there".
As mentioned earlier, young children learn to speak and understand through imitation. You can utilize the following tips to stimulate and accelerate speech and language development:
Play sound games: Have fun imitating indoor sounds such as kitchen noises, doors slamming, vacuum humming, sirens, horns and dogs with your child to develop sound recognition and listening skills.
Name objects: When using objects in front of your child, say the object's name slowly and clearly. Let your child repeat after you.
Vary pitch: Say the same word in different pitches, be it high or low, to help your child master pitch and intonation.
Describe activities: When doing an activity, encourage your child to describe the activity in two or three words by asking a question such as "What is mama doing?" Your child will often respond in comprehensible, yet imperfect phrase such as "Wash the dishes" or "pick up spoon" or "drink milk". Don't be discouraged if your child does not use the correct prepositions and/or pronouns in the beginning.
Dissect words into sounds: Help your child identify parts of words into sounds that could be used in other words. Such as "e" in "see and bee" or "I" in "ice or rice" or "o" in "coat or boat".
Encourage speech and sounds during playtime: Encourage your child to talk to his/her toys and playmates and make playful noises such as car whooshing or doll singing. The more often your child uses learnt vocabulary, the more able he/she is to use proper sentences and learn new words.
It is common for us to communicate with family members, relatives or friends who are suffering from a speech difficulty or disorder. So how can you teach your other children to deal with a sibling suffering from a speech disorder? You must instruct your children to:
An Anesthesiologist will administer the epidural.The following steps highlight the procedure:
An undescended testicle is easily diagnosed during the hospital checkup after birth. If both testicles are not in the sac at birth but are felt by the examining doctor then the male sex of the baby is not in doubt. The real concern about the male sex is when none of the testicles is felt at birth.
It is important to feel the testicle. A testicle that is not felt can either be inside the abdomen or can be missing.
Circumcision entails cutting and removing a living, nerve-rich foreskin. Without pain control, this is extremely painful. Circumcision in a newborn should not be performed without an effective local anesthetic.
While many medical professionals may opt not to use anesthetic, circumcision in a newborn without effective pain control is a cruel act of torture exercised by an adult on a helpless child. As a parent, you should consider requesting pain control to alleviate any pain felt by your newborn.
Your child's ability to produce sounds will develop as he/she grows and you will be able to assess development according to the timeline below:
2-3 months: Early vocalizations in response to your voice or family member's voice
6-7 months: Babbling around you and when left alone
18-30 months: Usage of keywords used in direct environment such as "car" or "door"
Your general rule of thumb is how strangers perceive your child's speech. If a stranger cannot understand your child by 3 years of age, there might be an underlying speech problem. While not perfect, your child's speech should be structured conveying a clear message such as "dad bell door" or "cat on table".
We recommend scheduling an appointment with your obstetrician or gynecologist as soon as possible to conduct clinical and laboratory tests, in addition an ultrasound to ensure the safety of your baby. You will also get a prescription for prenatal vitamins to prevent any congenital anomalies during fetus development.
There should be no difference in the pain relief for normal weighing and overweight expectant mothers.
The Anesthesiologist can find it more challenging to administer an epidural due to the extra fatty tissue. Once the needle is in, the epidural works as expected.
Anesthesiologists use different needle lengths to accommodate the increased fatty tissue.
If a boy's testicle that was once felt in the scrotum is no longer there, there is no reason to worry. This is commonly known as a "retractile testis" and does not pose any danger or require any medical intervention.
By puberty, the testicle is fixed and can be felt without any problems.
An expectant mother can feel her baby's movements on a daily basis by the 7th month of pregnancy. You can monitor your baby's movement by lying on your right side after lunch or dinner and counting the number of movements you can feel – be it weak or strong. If your baby makes around 6 movements during one hour, this is usually an indicator of your baby's health. If your baby's movements are less than 6, we recommend you consult with your doctor immediately.
Adenoids (pronounced: add-eh-noids) are small clusters of spongy tissue in the back of the nasal cavity. As these tissues are identical to the tonsils tissue, they are sometimes referred to as “a third tonsil”.
Adenoids are present at birth but can start enlarging by the first year of age and peak at 3-4 years of age. By the time your child is 7 years of age, enlarged adenoids are drastically reduced in size. Moreover, adenoids are rarely present in any child above 10 years of age.
While adenoids are part of the immune system and are there to help prevent illness in children, they can become a hub for bacteria and infections that are easily transferred to the nose, ear and throat.
A middle ear infection affects the middle ear, which lies directly behind the eardrum. Usually caused by bacteria or viruses, middle ear infections can affect one or both ears and usually occur during a cold or flu where fluid is accumulated in the middle ear.
While middle ear infections are not contagious, the cause of infection such as a cold or respiratory tract illness can be contagious. As a result, children placed in nurseries, daycares and kindergartens are vulnerable to recurrent middle ear infections.
Middle ear infections can affect a child’s balance and result in injuries, in addition to temporary hearing loss. It is important to consult with your pediatrician if you suspect a middle ear infection immediately.Symptoms
Pregnant women are scheduled for a number of routine tests to guarantee the safety of both mother and baby including:
First visit: During this visit, full clinical and laboratory tests are done to check blood type and hemoglobin levels, in addition to ensuring there are no dangerous common infections such as hepatitis.
Second visit (end of month 3): During this visit, an ultrasound is done to ensure the safety of the baby and ensure there is no risk of Down Syndrome (DS).
Third visit (end of month 6): During this visit, a blood and urine test are done to measure hemoglobin and blood sugar levels to rule out any risks for diabetes or anemia.
Fourth visit (end of month 8): During this visit, blood and urine tests are done again to ensure hemoglobin and blood sugar levels are in normal range. A vaginal culture may be required to ensure the vaginal canal is free from the Group B Streptococcus bacteria that cause recurrent infections for newborns.
Please note that weight, blood pressure, urine and ultrasound tests are done during each visit to your doctor to reduce pregnancy risks or complications.
If you experience any of these signs, you must head to the hospital immediately.
If your child is prone to such disorders, you will begin to notice warning signs from as early as 1 year of age.
Our warning signs are divided into three main groups: slow development, slow learning, and general behavioral problems. Let us explore each warning sign:Slow Development
Your child may have a speech or language disorder if by:
In addition to the signs above, is your child having trouble learning new concepts? Does your child have poor reading skills in comparison with peers in the direct environment?Behavioral Problems
Finally, you must observe if your child suffers from any behavioral problems such as:
If you are able to identify two or more of these warning signs, we recommend consulting with your pediatrician right away. Your pediatrician will be able to assess the need for a referral to a speech and language specialist if needed.
It is important to remember that early detection and treatment is critical in preventing a lifelong struggle with language and speech.
Preventing speech and language disorders is not as hard as you may think. You must follow the following guidelines:
Communicate: Talk with your children all the time. Do not ignore their questions or stories.
Use short sentences: Do not use long, complex sentences as not to confuse your children. As your children begin to master simple sentences, you can move on to compounded phrases and sentences.
Listen: Listening is one of the most important skills you can develop in your family. Many mothers are not aware that their habits greatly affect their children. If you do not listen to others and often interrupt, your children are likely to imitate. Encourage your family members to only speak after they have listened carefully to what the other person is saying. You can tell if your children have learnt to listen by the way they talk to each other during playtime.
Read: Reading to your children can help them develop speech and language skills, in addition to creativity and critical thinking. A bedtime story is best as children are usually still and not facing any distractions such as toys or peers.
For most babies, symptoms can be managed by adopting the following guidelines:
Depending on the severity of GERD, your pediatrician may recommend adopting these steps all throughout the day or just for a few hours after feeding. If your child continues to experience GERD symptoms, consult with your pediatrician to avoid complications.
There are no conclusive causes as to why one testicle fails to finish its trip into the scrotum.
In 30% of premature births and 5% of regular births, boys can be born with an undescended testicle on one side. While the testicle usually descends by 6 months of age, in some cases, the testicle does not descend and medical intervention is needed to prevent damage to the testicle.
Epidural anesthesia is one of the most popular forms of pain relief for expectant mothers during labor and delivery.
Epidural anesthesia blocks the pain in a specific region of the body by blocking the nerve impulses from the lower spine. As a result, a mother experiences decreased sensation in the lower half of the body while remaining conscious and pain-free.Benefits of an epidural include:
When the foreskin is removed, a circumcised penis should have the glans uncovered by skin. If penile skin is still covering the glans, your doctor may consider a revision. We recommend taking a second opinion before considering a revision, as it can lead to complications and/or bleeding.
Bottom two front teeth are usually the first to appear inside the mouth followed by the top two front teeth then the adjacent lower followed by the adjacent upper. Please note that the first molar usually erupts before the canine.
Please remember that this is the average sequence. Anything out of this order does NOT mean that something is wrong.
If your child has a negative attitude towards speech and language, it is probably due to a past experience. If family members have made fun of your child's speech in the past, this may cause your child to hate communicating.So how can you help your child when he/she is uncooperative?
Pretend you're not paying attention: Use words and speech in their presence. Repeat words clearly in a casual manner to help your child learn. Do not direct your speech towards your child, as not to make him/her withdraw negatively.
Make speech fun: When communicating with others in front of your child, make speech colorful and fun. Use only positive adjectives that can create a positive atmosphere or incite laughter or smiles. This will get your child to speak as children at that age are always seeking to belong and be accepted by their surroundings.
Use toys: Toys that make noises and sounds are an excellent aid. Audio books enable your child to learn at his/her own pace without feeling uncomfortable.
Avoid negative feedback: Try not to discuss your child's speech problems. This will only cause your child to withdraw further.
Keep it simple: Try to use books and picture books that are simple and uncluttered. Books with too many words and details can make your child feel overwhelmed and distressed when unable to deal with them properly.
While the fetus begins moving from as early as week 1 during pregnancy, the expectant mother cannot feel the movement of her baby until much later. The first movement she can feel happens around the middle of the fifth month during the first pregnancy or beginning of the fifth month during other pregnancies.
On average, at the age of 6-7 years children lose their lower front teeth. It is also very important to be aware that the first permanent molars come through at around that age. These do not replace any of the existing baby teeth and will not be replaced later on in life. Because these molars are permanent, and erupt at an early stage of life, they should be looked after very carefully.
An amniocentesis test, conducted in weeks 15-20, determines the genetic makeup of the fetus. It is done by taking 20 mm of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby with a needle into the abdomen. The test doesn't take more than 15 minutes and causes mild discomfort for the expectant mother.Your doctor can conduct this test if:
Final results can take up to 20 days and there are little complications associated with this test.
It is best if circumcision is done before the mother and child go home after birth. Medical professionals at the maternity ward are trained and prepared to perform such a procedure and can provide proper care in the case of bleeding or infection.
Furthermore, it is healthier to perform circumcision no later than 2 weeks after birth. Delaying circumcision can result in higher incidences of bleeding, infection and complications.
It is not advisable to circumcise a boy at later ages, as the procedure is not similar to that done on a newborn. Moreover, newborns heal faster than babies and young men.
In some babies, circumcision should be done under general anesthesia. If the baby is older than 4 months of age and is obese or older than 6 months and slim, general anesthesia is needed.
General anesthesia is used to reduce risk of bleeding as babies at this age can move.
To sum it up, circumcision should be a happy event for the family performed by a trained medical professional. Do not take circumcision lightly.
If the newborn is suffering from an abnormal urine opening, twist of the penis, tilt of the penis, curvature of the penis and short skin between the scrotal sac and penis tip, circumcision may need to be delayed.
Your doctor will be able to assess the situation better. Before performing circumcision, make sure you examine your newborn and voice any concerns you may have to your doctor.
The sooner the better. Starting at birth you can clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using a small soft-bristled toothbrush and a smear of children’s fluoridated toothpaste. Remember, young children cannot brush effectively; assist your child’s tooth brushing.
Your Obstetrician and/or Anesthesiologist can help you decide when the timing is right.
It is preferable to administer an epidural during an “active stage” of labor. This is usually after you are 3-4cm dilated with regular contractions to make sure it is not false labor.
Some expectant mothers request epidural upon arrival; others wait and decide at a later stage. The epidural can be inserted and activated once labor pains begin.
If you suspect you're pregnant, you can use a home pregnancy test available from local pharmacies. Home pregnancy tests are very accurate and can be done within 24 hours after your period is late. Another way to test for pregnancy is through a blood test that measures pregnancy hormones. This test can also be used at later stages to monitor pregnancy – if any.
Babies are born with iron reserves. Babies delivered normally, known as term babies, usually have an iron reserve enough to sustain them during the first 4-6 months of age. Babies born weighing less than 2.5 kg, known as preterm babies, have around 2-3 months worth of iron reserves.
Mothers often make wrong choices when it comes to their baby's nutrition especially when starting on solid foods. This may cause an iron deficiency by the child's first birthday.
Regardless of anesthesia type during a cesarean procedure, expectant mothers do not feel any pain. Some women are conscious of their surroundings but will not feel any discomfort.
At the time of delivery, the doctor will inform you that he/she shall push down on your abdomen to facilitate the delivery of the baby. It will not cause any pain or discomfort.
Many expectant mothers are concerned whether epidurals have long-term effects on their backs. Contrary to common belief, epidurals do not cause any chronic backache or herniated discs in the long run as they are administered through a layer of muscle.
Studies show that mothers who have natural childbirth without epidural administration are as likely to experience general back pain. Back pain experienced by mothers is usually due to poor posture when breastfeeding or handling their child.
Your doctor will explain the procedure comprehensively if an epidural to be administered. The doctor will numb the area with a local anesthetic before inserting the needle. Some expectant mothers feel a little sting, pressure or mild discomfort during the insertion. Others do not report any discomfort.
At-will breast-feeding should be avoided after the first baby teeth start to erupt and other sources of nutrition have been introduced. Children should not go to bed with a bottle containing anything other than water. Juices in a bottle should be avoided too. Fruit juice and milk should only be offered in a cup with meals or at snack time.