Getting To Know Your Child — Part 1: Understanding The Basics

Children need to be given nutrition, and it’s important to maintain a regular feeding schedule to maintain optimal operation of your child…

You can envision where that might go next, but unfortunately, babies don’t come with instructions. Parents are fraught with countless challenges that often arise at 3:00 a.m. Many parents report they experience long periods where a good night’s sleep is a forgotten luxury. And that’s with 2 parents — single parents I bow deeply in your direction.

As a result, adults who are sleep deprived often have decreases in mental alertness, functioning and impulse control. The unfortunate outcome can be child abuse. While I can’t provide you with the manual, I thought I might talk a little about your relationship with your child. In the part 2, we’ll talk about stress and how you cope with it. I hope this helps in those stressful moments that is collectively called “parenting”.

First, remember, no one expects you to be Super Parent all the time. Full Entry »

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Donating Breast Milk: Sharing Love And Ensuring Safety

Blog post co-written by Dr. Steven Abrams, Neonatologist.

It is indisputable that mother’s own milk is the best nutrition for nearly all infants. However, there are situations when a mother is not able to provide her baby with her milk. In these circumstances, especially if the baby cannot tolerate infant formula or is a very preterm infant for whom infant formulas are not as safe as human milk, breast milk can be obtained from another mother. This ‘donor milk’ has seen increasingly wide use in recent years, quite a change from the days after the beginning of the AIDS epidemic when many donor milk banks in the U.S. closed because of public fear. Thanks to improved screening processes and pasteurization techniques, the feeding of donor breast milk from milk banks is extremely safe.

Recently, there has been more discussion about the direct sharing of breast milk, a practice involving the sharing of unpasteurized breast milk between mothers known or unknown to each other. Such sharing may involve an arrangement between friends or family members or extend to a larger online network of women. Unfortunately, Full Entry »

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Not All Carbohydrates Are Created Equal

Not All Carbohydrates Are Created EqualAmericans have a love-hate relationship with carbohydrates.

We believe that carbs make us fat and sluggish, but despite our beliefs, the research reveals we consume carbohydrates in almost record amounts.

So what’s the truth about carbohydrates? Full Entry »

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Identifying Child Abuse And Its Lifelong Impact

A recent headline was brought to my attention regarding the trial of Travis Mullis. The crime he is convicted of is a horrendous case of child abuse, where he stomped on his son Alijah’s head to quiet him. The shocking incongruity of that statement is the nature of my work in social work, unfortunately. The other thing that really caught my attention in this truly horrific example of child abuse is what happened after the conviction in the punishment phase in the father’s trial for capital murder.

According to testimony, Mr. Mullis had quite a difficult childhood. Leaving aside the issue of whether this mitigates his responsibility for his actions, it raises an interesting point being examined in the literature of child abuse. It is becoming increasingly apparent that child abuse and neglect have multiple phases of impact that continue throughout the life of the abused child.

Evidence is mounting that in addition to psychological harm that occurs as a result of trauma and negative social learning, physiological changes occur in children who are abused. These changes are linked to biological changes that may make the individual more prone Full Entry »

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Omega-3 (Fish Oil) Helps Babies Who Have Liver Disease And Intestinal Disorders

Update: Monday, June 10, 2013
Dr. Nancy Snyderman recently visited us from NBC’s Rock Center to learn more about Omegaven, the experimental drug we’re using to treat babies suffering from liver disease. Watch her video interview with me to find out more.

Additionally, we have now treated over 100 babies, including Noah, the infant described in the video. We’re happy to report that he has made a complete recovery, and his mom has captured his Omegaven story.

Original Story:
One of the most dreaded complications of intestinal illness in newborn infants is damage to the liver, called cholestasis. The liver damage seems to be related, at least in part, to the need for long-term intravenous nutrition for newborn babies with severe intestinal illnesses or complications of prematurity. When severe, cholestasis can lead to the need for an intestinal transplant or lead to fatal complications.

About 4 years ago, a team at Boston Children’s Hospital discovered that giving fish oil intravenously (omega-3’s) to babies with this problem could lead to remarkable improvements in the liver disease. Some babies thought to need a liver transplant had a near complete recovery of their liver disease and the transplant was canceled. Since then, this recovery from liver disease related to intravenous nutrition has been shown to occur in many babies.

However, as of now, the use of fish oil given intravenously is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Doctors and hospitals need to have special permission from the FDA to use it. It can only be given to babies who have Full Entry »

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