Hey everyone, I'm chatting with Real Housewife and new mom, Bethenny Frankel, on today's episode of The Doctors. We're talking pregnancy, babies, and girl stuff (so, you might want to watch when there isn't a kiddo in the room...fair warning for my patients who like to see me on TV)!
Have a great weekend,
The manufacturers of the popular infant formula, Similac, have voluntarily recalled some lots of Similac powder infant formula sold in plastic containers and in 8-ounce sample cans, and 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans. There is a concern that these products are contaminated with a common beetle.
According to the manufacturer, "The United States Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae, could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract. If these symptoms persist for more than a few days, a physician should be consulted."
Check out the manufacturer's website here for more details: http://similac.com/recall/, check here to see if you possess one of the products involved in the recall or call Abbott's consumer hotline, (800) 986-8850, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We love Rachel Zoe (and wish she would lend us a few pairs of shoes and a handbag or two). But we are particularly excited about tonight’s season finale that airs on Bravo at 10pm EST/9 Central. That’s because our own Dr Michele Hakakha of Expecting 411 makes a guest appearance! Tune in tonight and tape Glee for later.
If you are like us, pregnancy is a really good excuse to go shopping! Besides all that cute baby stuff, there are a few key purchases you should get for yourself. Warning: none of these must-haves were spotted on the runways at New York Fashion Week.
1. Granny panties. We know, it can be pretty demoralizing to outgrow your sexy little thong undies. But, granny panties can be quite comfortable with your ever-expanding belly. When you reach this state, you probably won't care about how those panties look on you. If you are really dead set on the thong, you may want to check out Hanky Panky brand or Cosabella brand--both of which are low enough to sit below your blossoming belly.
2. Maternity Belt. This can be a real quality of life-saver if you've got back, belly, or leg pains. Our suggestion: don't order one online. Go into a maternity store, get fitted, and figure out which style suits you best.
3. Support hose. We know, we know, they just don't look good with your Christian Louboutin's. But, you shouldn't be wearing those right now anyway! Support stockings help reduce swelling in your feet and improve blood flow in your legs. That's a good thing...trust us. They come in white, black, and beige knee-highs and white thigh-highs (no need for a garter belt, they have a tight elastic at the top). Most pharmacies stock them. "TED hose" is a well known brand name.
Like attendees of the Academy Awards, new moms get bling bags after delivery. (While your labor may not have been Oscar worthy, you do deserve something for that feat!) But those goodies are coming from infant formula manufacturers who spend big marketing dollars distributing samples of their product.
I understand why the op-ed author is so concerned.
An op-ed piece in the LA Times this week called this tradition into question. The author rightly mentions that the World Health Organization discourages distribution of free formula samples in hospitals that encourage breastfeeding. Despite this, most American hospitals ignore this advice.
Fact: 75% of U.S. newborns are breastfed. Great!
Fact: 43% of U.S. babies are still breastfed at six months of age. Not so great.
Fact: 22% of U.S. babies are still breastfed at one year of age. Really not so great.
But, do moms decide to stop breastfeeding because they got a free sample at the hospital? After working with families for 15 years, honestly, I believe there are more significant factors that influence this decision. Flat nipples. Engorgement. Breast infections. Sheer exhaustion. Pressure when returning to work.
Breastfeeding is not for wimps. Most women stop nursing when dealing with the early hurdles in the first weeks...not realizing that nursing is a walk in the park after that.I understand that some families may view the formula sample as an implicit endorsement of the product. But, we should find other ways to improve breastfeeding rates than blame formula companies for our failures. In an ideal breastfeeding friendly world, insurance companies would cover the cost of private lactation consultant services and breast pump rentals. And, healthcare providers would do a better job of educating our communities and socioeconomic classes who do not routinely breastfeed.
I agree that those formula freebies are unnecessary--maybe hospitals should hand out a good breastfeeding instruction manual instead if they want to give new moms a really useful gift.
We have some exciting news! The new 3rd edition of Toddler 411 has hit the bookstores and it is the #1 bestselling toilet training book in the US, according to Amazon.com. Okay, it's not on the New York Times Bestseller List, but this is about as good as it gets in the world of toddler books!!! Of course, Toddler 411 is jam-packed with 500 pages of other really useful information on living with and caring for a toddler (besides teaching him to poop on the potty and wipe!) Hope you will take a look at the new and improved edition--we are very proud of it.
It’s standard operating procedure for babies who are born prematurely to go home from the NICU taking an iron supplement. But, what about those babies who are born just a few weeks early and weigh between 4.5-5.5 pounds? New research suggests that they benefit from an iron supplement from six weeks of age until six months of age. With the increase in late preterm births (babies born between 34-36 6/7 weeks), there are more of these little newborns around. In fact, about 3-5% of babies fall into this category.
Don’t babies get iron from breast milk or formula? Yes... And, babies who start solid food from 4-6 months might get a little iron from their baby cereal. For full-term babies, that’s probably all they need to get their iron needs met. But smaller babies need a supplement because they are at greater risk of iron-deficiency anemia than their larger friends.
Bottom line: Babies need iron for brain and nervous system development, so it’s wise for little babies to get a daily dose of iron to help out!
Medical offices and pharmacies usually receive their flu vaccine shipments in October. This year, we got a pleasant surprise: early shipments of flu vaccine are here and ready to go. My office already has plenty of the nasal spray version (Flumist)—we are still waiting on the flu shots. So, here are 10 things you need to know about flu vaccine:
Q. Who should get flu vaccine?
Everyone over six months of age. The flu vaccine is not approved for use in babies under six months. If you have a baby under six months of age living in your home, he relies on those around him to be vaccinated. So roll up your sleeve (or take a big sniff) to protect your child.
Q. Is it too early to get the flu vaccine now?
No. Flu season usually arrives later in the fall and winter, but it can come unpredictably early (like last year!). So, it’s a good idea to get the vaccine as soon as it is available. The immunity provided by the vaccine lasts about a year, so you should still be protected even if flu doesn’t show up until February or March.
Q. Can I get the flu vaccine if I have an egg allergy?
Possibly. Both live and inactivated flu vaccine use egg protein in the production process. We used to tell egg-allergic people that they could not to get the vaccine. But allergists can now test egg-allergic patients for an allergic reaction to the vaccine. If they tolerate the test, they can get the flu shot. So, it’s worth it to find out!
Q. Can I get the flu vaccine if I am pregnant?
YES! And you should because you're at greater risk of complications from this infection. You can receive the inactivated flu shot. If you have an egg allergy, check with your allergist about your options.
Q. Can I get the flu vaccine if I am breastfeeding?
YES! In fact, you can receive either the inactivated flu shot or the live flu nasal spray vaccine. If you are doubly protecting your baby against getting the flu by nursing and by getting vaccinated.
Q. Who can receive the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine?
You can get the nasal spray flu vaccine (Flumist) if you are aged 2 years up to 49 years. But, you should NOT get the nasal spray if you are/have:
—Ages 2 to under 5 and have a history of recurrent wheezing
—Asthma, diabetes, kidney failure, chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, or weakened immune systems
—Take aspirin regularly
—Guillain-Barre Syndrome after receiving flu vaccine previously
Q. Can I get Flumist if I am around people with weakened immune systems?
Yes, in most cases. You can safely come in contact with people who take steroids regularly or those with HIV according to the Centers for Disease Control. You should opt for the flu shot instead if you are around someone with a severely weakened immune system (for example, we are talking about someone who has recently received a bone marrow transplant).
Q. What virus strains are covered in this year’s seasonal flu vaccine?
H1N1 (Influenza Type A), H3N2 (Influenza Type A), and Brisbane (Influenza Type B). So, the “regular” flu vaccine will cover for infamous H1N1 this year. That’s good news. Now we just have to hope and pray that the strains in the vaccine are the ones that decide to show up this year.
Q. How many doses of flu vaccine does my child need?
Either one or two doses, depending on his age and how many flu shots he has had before. If your child is 9 or older, he only needs one dose. If he is 6 months to 8 years of age, check out this algorithm from the American Academy of Pediatrics below.
Q. If my child needs two doses of flu vaccine, when does he need to get the booster dose?
The doses should be given 4 weeks apart.