The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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It’s any mom-to-be’s number one concern: doing what she can to make sure her baby is healthy. That’s why Sarah Michelle Gellar decided to get a Tdap vaccine to protect her now 8-month-old son, Rocky, from pertussis, or whooping cough: a highly contagious infection that can be deadly for babies.
A new study from Denmark found that mothers who reported having the flu during pregnancy were at least twice as likely to have a child with autism compared with those who did not report having the flu, NBC News reports. In addition, "Those who had a fever lasting a week or longer — perhaps caused by the flu or maybe by something else — were three times as likely to have an autistic child," according to the NBC News report.
The next time you need to schedule a vaccination for your baby, opt for an afternoon appointment. A new study found that infants slept more during the next 24 hours if they got their shots later in the day—and a long, sound sleep is believed to boost a vaccine's effectiveness.
Measles, pertussis (whooping cough) and Hib meningitis—all vaccine-preventable diseases—are making a comeback in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the time of writing, 2011 was on track to be another record year for measles, a potentially deadly illness; 10 infants died in California in 2010 from pertussis; and five Minnesota children contracted Hib meningitis in 2008, resulting in one death.
Shortly after your baby is born, he’ll receive his first shots and medications for some very serious health issues, including a rare bleeding disorder and a few sexually transmitted diseases. Very few parents question why their baby needs these medications, but a few who do, ask: Why should my child be treated for health problems he probably doesn’t have? Because your child is part of the general population.
An estimated 1 in 70 boys and 1 in 315 girls in the U.S. now have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a 2009 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Increased awareness and detection as well as earlier diagnoses cannot alone account for the steep increase over the past few decades, experts say.
Parents can't sue drug firms when vaccines cause harm, according to a new ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, USA Today reports. The 6-2 decision upholds the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which grants immunity to drug companies against certain lawsuits from injuries or deaths tied to vaccinations, the online article said.
Well, we gave it a good try. Nights regressed a bit since last week, and we let him cry again one night, but since then he’s gone down without any problem and slept like a log until 6 or so the next morning. He’s so sweet: I love watching him sleep now that he’s not swaddled. When he stirs he lifts his legs ALL the way up in the air, and flings his arms around, then lets them drop down oh-so-slowly.
When an infant needs a routine-but-painful medical procedure, such as a vaccination or blood draw, nobody’s happy. “It troubles parents, it stresses health care providers, and the adults transmit their anxiety to the baby,” says Neil Schechter, M.D., director of the Pain Relief Program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. Happily, some simple techniques can reduce stress and tension for everyone without the need for medications.
I must have been the only person in America who hadn’t seen Mad Men. That is, until last weekend when rain and lack of motivation found me lying on the couch with my laptop and a pile of Season One DVDs. No surprise that it’s just like everybody’s been telling me - phenomenal. I’m totally hooked - the characters, those clothes, the furniture and that hair. It’s love.
“From the time you are born, your body is bombarded with thousands of different microbes, some of which can cause illness,” says Jon S. Abramson, M.D., professor and chairman of pediatrics at Wake Forest University Health Sciences in Winston-Salem, N.C., and a member of the World Health Organization Strategic Advisory Group of Experts for Immunizations. “Vaccines protect infants from these serious diseases.”
Because the influenza virus can be dangerous, the American Academy of Pediatrics and virtually all other official medical groups recommend the flu shot every fall or winter for children 6 months of age and older. I almost never recommend getting the shot; I just don’t think it’s that effective. (Each year, the vaccine is formulated for the particular strains of influenza virus health experts think will strike that season, and it often misses the mark.) Instead, I believe the more important approach is to keep people from getting sick
in the first place by staying healthy.