DID YOU KNOW THAT… Your local newspaper will publish a weekly article this year with information on topics related to improving health during pregnancy, growing healthy babies, breastfeeding and many other topics of interest for families with children? That’s right! The articles feature a different topic of interest that members will take turns writing. Currently, 26 members belong to the BabyNet Coalition, a network of professionals working together to improve the health of mothers, babies and families in South Central Kentucky.
The BabyNet Coalition was formed in July 2006, when a group of professionals met to discuss the need for change in our community. Many of us felt that professionals and young families in our ten county region of South Central Kentucky, had needs that were consistently not being met.
Coming together as a group, allowed us “strength in numbers” to better attempt to address and meet the needs in our community. As the coalition met and gained interest we set out to identify our mission, purpose and focus. We discovered that we wanted to provide community and professional education, and to promote and support all the aspects that affect families during the childbearing years. The BabyNet mission statement is: to protect and support families through education about preconception, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, breastfeeding, and parenting to ensure the best chance for a full-term pregnancy and a healthier baby. It also includes encouragement and promotion of breastfeeding as the best nutrition for babies during their entire first year of life.
Others topics of interest include substance abuse, grief, nutrition, folic acid, preterm birth and SIDS. The members of BabyNet live and work in your community. We are people that you already know and trust: nurses, nurse practitioners, lactation consultants, registered dietitians, social workers, doulas, counselors, and educators. We work in hospitals, clinics, private or independent healthcare settings, health departments, and universities. We want to help build a healthier Kentucky, and we continue to grow. BabyNet Coalition is open to all South Central Kentucky professionals who wish to join and participate in our efforts to grow, to learn, and to support childbearing age families.
Be sure to keep reading: DID YOU KNOW THAT…each week in your local paper.
Brought to you by Shelia Catlett, MSN, RN, IBCLC and the Baby Net Coalition. For more childbearing age related information visit: www.BabyNet-ky.blogspot.com
STRESS HORMONE MAY LEAD TO SMALLER BABIES
DID YOU KNOW THAT…a recent study by the University of Miami School of Medicine has shown that levels of the stress hormone cortisol are higher in women who experience unusually high levels of stress during their pregnancy? That's right, babies of mothers with high rates of depression, anxiety, and other forms of stress weighed less and were smaller than average.
It is believed that too much cortisol can reduce blood flow, decreasing the amount of nutrients and oxygen the baby receives from its mother. Mothers with consistently high levels of stress caused from relationship problems, lack of pregnancy support, a death or illness of a loved one, or fear for her safety are the most affected. Researchers state strongly that in most instances, babies are protected from normal levels of anxiety, mood swings, and less extreme stressors.
Unfortunately, women with much stress also often make unhealthy choices for themselves and their babies. For instance, they may skip meals, eat poorly, or overeat. Or they may abuse tobacco, alcohol or drugs.
How can you protect yourself and your unborn baby? Rest, relaxation, and exercise such as yoga or walking, are helpful stress reducers. As are meditation, massage, listening to soft music and getting lots of sleep. Following a healthy diet and eating correct portion sizes and choosing nutritious calories also helps expectant mothers to cope.
Strong support from healthcare providers, family and friends throughout pregnancy is also a key factor in reducing stress. Start prenatal care as soon as you suspect you may be pregnant and continue to keep your regular prenatal appointments. Taking prenatal vitamins daily, and learning all you can about pregnancy by reading, watching videos and attending Childbirth Education classes can help mothers to feel less stressed when they know their pregnancy is normal and that they are doing the right things for their baby.
Pregnant women worried about their stress levels should talk to their healthcare provider. Changing your stress level may help to lower the cortisol in your body-healthier for you and your baby!
Reference Source: University of Miami School of Medicine; published article in Psychosomatic Medicine and iVillage Childbirth Education Connection Newsletter.
Brought to you by Jane Lash, RN, IBCLC, RLC, CCE, CD (DONA), and the Baby Net Coalition. For more childbearing age related information visit: www.BabyNet-ky.blogspot.com
BEING ‘IN TOUCH’ THROUGH INFANT MASSAGE
DID YOU KNOW… that touch is in many ways our first language-a language that scientists at the Touch Research Institute (TRI), at the University of Miami Medical School, call the “biology of touch,” and that their research confirms positive effects from gentle touch?
Gentle touch through infant massage provides a wide range of benefits for families. It builds trust and develops confidence in handling and comforting a new baby. It enhances muscular coordination, stimulates the immune system and circulation, helps with digestion and elimination, calms emotions, soothes and relaxes which helps with sleep.
It is usually a combination of Swedish and Indian massage strokes. Many books are available to describe technique, but the following is a simple method that anyone can do. The strokes are not as important as the love and tenderness you provide to baby during the massage.
To begin: Have massage oil or lotion close, warm your hands by rubbing them together and choose a room without a draft. Relax with soft music. Massage is enjoyed most after a warm bath, or at bedtime. Lie baby on his belly. Gently massage baby (back and forth motions), about 6 full motions or for about 1 minute before moving to the next area:
From the top of babies head to his neck (without lotion)
From his neck across his shoulders
From his shoulder to his hand and back to his shoulder on each arm
From his upper back to his waist
From his thigh to his foot and back to his thigh, on each leg
Now, place baby on his back, facing you. Use eye-to-eye contact. Move baby’s arms gently, first flexing and then straightening. Rotate baby’s legs gently (like riding a bike), continue for 3- minutes. Lastly, place baby on his belly and repeat the routine.
Be sure to recognize if baby is not enjoying your touch. For example: turning his head away, “scrunching up” his forehead, or grimacing. Obviously, fussing and crying means, “I’m tired of this!” Don’t worry, with practice, you and baby will soon find a routine that works best for the two of you and then you’ll truly be: “in touch.”
Brought to you by Jane Lash, RN, CIMI, and the Baby Net Coalition. For more information on infants and children, see our website at www.babynet-KY.blogspot.com