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Monday, October 28, 2013

Baubles for Babies: Jewelry Designer Alberto Parada to Host Give-back Event at Midtown Jewelers

Thursday, October 24, 2013, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Midtown Jewelers
11990 Market St, Reston, VA ‎
(703) 707-9663

To help celebrate the March of Dimes 75th anniversary, local Washington, D.C. jewelry designer Alberto Parada will host a give-back event at Midtown Jewelers.  Midtown Jewelers will donate 10% of all proceeds from sales Thursday, October 24 through Saturday, October 26 to support the March of Dimes work of helping moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.            

Midtown Jewelers is a top jewelry destination in Northern Virginia. The store specializes in unique pieces that are sought after and brought in from around the globe.  

Alberto Parada, a self-taught designer, will showcase his latest pieces at Midtown Jewelers throughout the weekend. Drawing inspiration from the natural beauty of his native South America, Alberto is known for his commitment to providing a high-quality product that is both environmentally and socially responsible. Some of his celebrity fans include Camille Grammar, Vanessa Williams, Mila Jovovich, Star Jones, Kyle Richards and Taryn Manning.

Founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938, the March of Dimes has been a leading organization – saving lives by supporting community programs, research, vaccines and breakthroughs that benefit every baby.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bon-Ton Community Day Coupon!

Purchase a $5 Community Day coupon booklet online to be used at the Bon-Ton family of stores (Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers) on November 15 & 16.  100% of your donation will benefit the March of Dimes, so you can feel good going shopping and giving back!

This valuable coupon booklet includes the following great deals:

First time ever, Community Days coupons can be used on Bonus Buys!
  • Booklet contents worth over $500!
  • A $10 coupon to use on an item of $10 or more.
  • A shopping pass to save up to 25% off, shop online or at your local store.
  • A 30% off Early Bird Coupon valid BOTH DAYS until 1pm.
  • Coupon offers for extra dollars off on items throughout the store!
  • A Web Exclusive Offer, plus free shipping on November 15 & 16
  • Plus, the booklet is filled with great items to use your coupons on.

To designate March of Dimes as your charity, select the LaVale, MD store at checkout and click on Western Maryland Division March of Dimes.

Booklets can also be purchased directly through the Western Maryland Division office by contacting Jessica Wagoner at 301-723-7263 or Also, if you are interested in helping to sell booklets in-store at the LaVale or Hagerstown Bon-Ton locations, please contact Jessica Wagoner.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Taking your child’s temperature

Always use a digital thermometer to check your child’s temperature. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents remove mercury thermometers from their homes to prevent accidental exposure and poisoning. It’s a good idea to remind grandparents of this, or even buy them a new digital thermometer for use in their house.

So, what type of digital thermometer is best? It depends on the age of your child. Here are three types:

Digital multiuse – This can be used in the bottom (rectally), in the mouth (orally) or under the arm (axillary), just don’t use the same thermometer for different positions. This is good to use right from birth.

Temporal artery – This is used on the side of the forehead and may have best results at age 3 months and older.

Tympanic – This is placed in the ear and is most reliable when used at age 6 months and older.

For more information on the different types of thermometers and how to use them properly, click on this link to the AAP article How to Take a Child’s Temperature.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects a woman’s hormones and ovaries. PCOS affects up to 7 percent of women of childbearing age and is the leading cause of female infertility. Some women learn they have PCOS when they have problems becoming pregnant.

Women with PCOS have high levels of male hormones (androgens), which may interfere with normal ovarian function. Affected women often do not ovulate regularly. PCOS also affects other bodily systems, increasing a woman’s risk for diabetes and heart disease. Signs and symptoms of PCOS include:
• Irregular or absent menstrual periods
• Ovaries containing many small cysts (fluid-filled sacs)
• Increased facial hair
• Acne
• Weight gain or obesity
• Male-pattern baldness
• Abnormal blood sugar levels or diabetes
• High blood pressure

The exact cause of PCOS is not known. However, there are quite a few factors that may play a role:
Genetics: Women who have a mother or sister with PCOS, are more likely to develop PCOS.
Hormonal imbalance: Women who have PCOS seem to make more androgens (male hormones) than women who do not have PCOS. All women produce some male hormones, but levels that are too high may affect egg development and ovulation.
Insulin: Insulin is a hormone that allows cells to convert sugar (glucose) to energy. Women with PCOS tend to have too much insulin. And excess insulin seems to result in increased androgen production.

There is no specific diagnostic test for PCOS. Diagnosis is usually based on:
• Signs and symptoms, including menstrual irregularities
• Physical examination
• Blood tests to check androgen and blood sugar levels
• Ultrasound of the ovaries

There is no cure for PCOS so the goal of treatment is to manage symptoms and prevent complications. There are a number of ways that this can be accomplished. Women with PCOS who are overweight or obese should attempt to lose weight. Women who lose even 10 percent of their body weight can improve menstrual irregularities, lower androgen levels and reduce their risk of diabetes. Weight loss can improve fertility, as well.

Women who do not wish to become pregnant right away can take birth control pills. Birth control pills help to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce androgen levels. In some cases, metformin (Glucophage), an oral diabetes drug, may be used instead of or in addition to birth control pills. Metformin also helps reduce androgen levels and may help with weight loss.

Women who want to get pregnant and are having difficulty conceiving can be treated with medications that stimulate ovulation. If those medications are not successful, other fertility treatments can be considered.

Studies suggest that women with PCOS who become pregnant are at increased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia (a pregnancy-related form of high blood pressure) and premature birth. Women with PCOS should see their health care provider before pregnancy to make sure any health problems, such as diabetes, are under control, and that any medications they take are safe. When they become pregnant, they should go to all their prenatal appointments so that any complications can be diagnosed and managed before they become serious.


Monday, October 14, 2013

What is a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician?

Is there a difference between a Pediatrician and a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician? In a simple word - yes.

A Pediatrician is a medical doctor (MD) who is specifically trained to care for children (from birth through teen years). If you have a baby, child, or a teenager, you have probably had her seen by a Pediatrician for her healthcare needs. This would include well-care visits as well as sick visits.
But if your child has any kind of need beyond the “typical” health issues common for her age, you might wish for her to see a pediatric specialist. A Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician (DBP) is a Pediatrician with advanced specialty training in the physical, emotional, behavioral and social development of children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says “Developmental-behavioral pediatricians are medical doctors who have completed
• Four years of medical school
• Three years of residency training in pediatrics
• Board certification in pediatrics
• Additional subspecialty training in developmental-behavioral pediatrics
In 2002, the American Board of Pediatrics began certifying developmental-behavioral pediatricians via a comprehensive examination process.”
When should your child see a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician?

If you have concerns about your child’s development in any area – social, emotional, behavioral or developmental – you should ask your child’s health care provider about consulting with a DBP. Often a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician works with a team of pediatricians or pediatric health care providers. This team approach can provide a more in-depth perspective for a parent, which will ultimately help your child be the best that she can be.

You may benefit from having your child see a DBP if your child has (or you think she may have):
Delayed speech and/or trouble understanding language
Delayed motor skills (crawling, walking, eating, riding a bicycle)
• Poor social skills
• Trouble sleeping (including bedwetting)
• Trouble feeding or eating
• Sensory sensitivities
• Trouble at school (paying attention; learning to read, write or do math)
• Cerebral Palsy
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or ADD (without hyperactivity)
• Learning disabilities
• Anxiety disorder
• Depression
• Tics or Tourette Syndrome
• Spina Bifida
• Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Intellectual disability
• Other chronic conditions, serious illnesses, or
complications due to prematurity

A Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician may suggest additional testing or input from other pediatric specialists or therapists. Then, she will review the results and take all the different pieces of the puzzle and put them together to make a plan of action. The result is a comprehensive evaluation with treatment recommendations which will give your child the best chance at making progress.
The AAP has a great one-page sheet that describes all of the ways that a DBP can help you and your child.

How do you find a DBP?
To find a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician near you, visit AAP’s physician locator or ask your child’s health care provider for a referral.

Bottom Line

Often a visit with a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician will help to clarify complex issues. If your child is having difficulty in an area, it may be very beneficial to gain the insight from another pediatric specialist.

This post is part of the weekly series Delays and disabilities – how to get help for your child. It was started in January and appears every Wednesday. Go to News Moms Need and click on “Help for your child” on the menu on the right side to view all of the blog posts to date. As always, we welcome your comments and input.
Have questions? Send them to
Tags: complications due to prematurity, delays, developmental behavioral pediatrician, developmental delay, disabilities, motor skills, specialists, speech, therapy

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Car seat tips for tiny babies

The law requires that you bring your baby home from the hospital in an infant car safety seat. But the federal government’s standard for car seat safety has no minimum weight limit. It also does not take into account some of the special needs of your preterm or low-birthweight infant.

When choosing a car safety seat for your preemie or low-birthweight baby, keep these tips in mind:
• Choose an infant-only car safety seat with a three- or five-point harness system. Convertible car safety seats with a point-point harness system are also good.
• Don’t pick a car safety seat with a shield, abdominal pad or armrest. Your baby might have trouble breathing behind the shield or may hurt his face and neck in a sudden stop or crash.
• A car safety seat with the shortest distance between the crotch strap and the seat back is best. Ideally, pick one with a crotch-to-seat back distance of 5 1/2 inches. That way, your baby won’t slip forward feetfirst under the harness. You can also place a rolled diaper or blanket between the crotch strap and your infant. This will help keep your infant from slipping.
• Car safety seats with multiple harness-strap slots are also good. They offer more choices than other seats and are better for small but growing infants. It’s best to pick a car safety seat with harness straps that can be placed at or below your infant’s shoulders.

Read this important article for information on placing your premature baby in a car seat, recommend safe angles, what to do for head support, etc.

Preterm and low-birthweight infants in car safety seats have a higher chance of slowed breathing or heart rate. Because of that, your NICU staff may suggest they watch your preterm infant in his car safety seat for 90 to 120 minutes before you leave the hospital. They may watch your infant even longer if your travel home after discharge is more than 2 hours. If you have any questions at all, check with your NICU staff.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Flu season is approaching

Complications from influenza, such as pneumonia, can be serious and even deadly to mothers and their babies. The March of Dimes recommends that pregnant women and women who expect to become pregnant get a flu shot every year.

Flu season is right around the corner and early fall is not too early for pregnant women, and women who expect to become pregnant, to get their flu shot. Dr. Siobhan Dolan, a medical advisor to March of Dimes, says “The influenza virus poses a serious risk of illness and even death. Babies born to mothers who got their flu shot while pregnant were protected from serious illness with influenza during their first six months of life.”

Studies looking at thousands of pregnant women receiving the seasonal flu vaccine found that babies did not have a higher risk of premature birth or developing a birth defect when compared to babies born to women who did not get a vaccine. Researchers found that women who received the flu shot were less likely to experience a stillbirth.

In addition to the receiving the vaccine, pregnant women can also lower their risk of catching influenza by limiting contact with others who are sick, washing their hands with soap and water before touching others and by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or arm. Unimmunized pregnant women who develop influenza symptoms such as muscle aches, fever and coughs should contact their health providers immediately to begin treatment.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months or older, including pregnant women, receive a vaccine against the influenza virus, ideally by October.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Vote for Don Post!

Longtime March of Dimes volunteer Don Post is one of four finalists competing for a $100,000 prize sponsored by the NASCAR Foundation. The finalist who receives the most online votes receives $100,000 for their charity of choice, along with a unique experience that only NASCAR can offer.

What You Can Do
Everyone, is encouraged to cast their vote – once per day until December 5that Ask everyone you know to vote so the March of Dimes will be the beneficiary of the $100,000 prize.
 In the immortal words of Al Capone, “Vote early and vote often,”

After you vote, take a look at this short video about Don and his passion for volunteering.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Understanding newborn screening results

Before your baby leaves the hospital, he or she has some special tests called newborn screening. Newborn screening checks for serious but rare conditions at birth. It includes blood, hearing and heart screening.

A baby can be born with a health condition but may not show any signs of the problem at first. If these conditions are found early with newborn screening, they can often be treated. All babies in the United States get newborn screening. But each state decides which tests are required. You can find out which conditions are tested for by your state here.

In most cases after your baby has had the newborn screening tests done, you won’t hear anymore about them. Most newborn screening results are normal and if that is the case, families are not contacted again. But you can always ask your baby’s health care provider for the results.

In rare cases when your baby’s screening results aren’t normal, you will receive a phone call about 2-3 weeks following the screening. This call can come from either the state newborn screening program or your baby’s health care provider and it usually means that your baby simply needs more testing.

A “positive” or “out-of-range” result means that the baby’s screening did indicate that the baby may be at higher risk of having one or more of the conditions included on the newborn screening panel. This does not mean that the baby has been diagnosed with a medical condition. In fact, most babies who receive positive results ultimately do not have a condition. However newborn screening tests are not diagnostic and therefore follow-up testing must be done.

If you do get one of these phone calls, don’t panic. Remember that most babies with out-of-range newborn screens are healthy and have normal follow-up test results. But it is important to get the follow-up testing done right away. One of the reasons these conditions have been chosen to be a part of newborn screening is because there is some intervention that can be done to help the baby. So the sooner you find out the results of a diagnostic test, the sooner treatment can begin, if necessary, and that is better for your baby.