Category Archives: Baby Your Baby

Why tummy time is important for your baby’s development



Since 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that infants be placed on their backs to sleep at night and during naps. The Back to Sleep and Safe Sleep campaigns have contributed to a 40 percent decrease in sudden infant death syndrome in the U.S.

Pediatric experts around the world also recommend babies spend time on their tummies – when they’re awake – to help them develop strong muscles and good motor skills. Studies show only 30 percent of parents follow these recommendations.

Jade Elliott spoke with Dr. Lindgren, a pediatrician with Intermountain Healthcare about the importance of tummy time on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast.

“When babies are on their tummy, they start trying to lift their neck, move their arms and legs and work their core abdominal muscles, which helps them develop motor skills and better balance,” says Peter Lindgren, a pediatrician with Intermountain Healthcare.

Spend 3-5 minutes a few times a day interacting with your baby on their tummy. Place baby on your chest to talk and play, but don’t let baby sleep there. And don’t fall asleep with baby on your chest. Place baby in a safe place on the floor where you can watch and play with your baby for a few minutes. Some babies might not like being on their tummy at first, but gradually work up to 30 minutes a day of tummy time.

Fun ways to help your baby exercise during tummy time

  •  Place a toy just out of baby’s reach, to see if they’ll move their head or arms.
  • Place several toys in a circle around baby to encourage baby to roll over, scoot or crawl.

Place babies on their back to sleep until their first birthday

Babies should be placed on their backs to sleep at night and for naps until they reach their first birthday.

“Once baby can roll over both ways, from back to tummy and tummy to back, you do not need to return your baby to the back position,” says Dr. Lindgren.

“Nothing else should be in an infant’s crib. Do not put blankets, pillows, bumpers or soft toys into the crib.”

Dr. Lindgen says pacifiers are ok, but you may want to delay their use for the first two to three weeks after birth if you are breastfeeding. Make sure there is nothing that could cover a baby’s mouth or nose while sleeping.

If baby falls asleep in a car seat, stroller, swing, infant carrier or sling, move them to a firm sleep surface on their back as soon as possible.

Vary baby’s position to help prevent a flat spot on the back of their head

“It’s also very important to spend time holding your baby and bonding. Varying baby’s position can help reduce the risk of developing a flat spot on the back of their head. Limit the time baby spends in car seats, swings and bouncy chairs. And don’t forget to change the side you hold your baby during feeding,” added Dr. Lindgren.

For more information visit intermountainhealthcare.org

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Three ways to improve your toddler’s manners



Toddlers can say the sweetest things, the most outlandish things – and things that could be considered rude. Such moments can make parents feel awkward, and maybe not know how to respond.

So how can you help teach good manners to your toddler? And what should you do when your toddler’s actions are rude?

Jade Elliott spoke with Dr. Peter Lindgren, a pediatrician with Intermountain Healthcare about improving your toddler’s manners.

“Good manners in the early years often start with children behaving in appropriate ways, such as kindness to others, sharing, or taking turns,” said Dr.  Lindgren. “Modeling these behaviors, and giving children the right kind of attention and reinforcement, help to build these behaviors in young children.”

Here are three ways you can help improve your child’s behaviors and manners, according to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

1. Model good manners. Point out good manners among adults. Example: “Daddy is sharing his treat with mommy. Good job, sharing, Daddy!”

“Children watch everyone around them, including siblings and especially, parents. So as parents, you’re in a great position to show them the behaviors you’d like them to adopt, and help them practice good manners,” Dr. Lindgren said.

Use manners in your interactions with your children and others. When giving your child directions, remember to use “please” and “thank you.”

2. Give children positive attention throughout the day. Parents can start by gently touching the child in a loving way. The AAP recommends parents give children at least 50 brief, loving touches every day, as simple as a touch on the shoulder or the back.

Another way to show positive attention is to spend quality time with children – if even a few minutes at a time.

This could be in reading a book together, or playing with your child when you return home from work. Let the child guide the play, and comment on what they’re doing, such as “You’re working hard to color that picture!” You can also use the opportunity to praise them for putting their crayons back in the box when finished.

3. Reinforce positive behaviors. Pay attention when your child is behaving, and remove attention when she’s misbehaving (except in cases when the behaviors are dangerous or will result in harm), according to the AAP.

“Often, when kids are quiet or behaving, we don’t give them much attention – until they misbehave. And rude behavior often gets adults’ attention very quickly,” Dr. Lindgren said. “But paying attention only to misbehavior can create more misbehavior.”

Pay special attention to your child when he’s behaving, and praise a specific action. For example, you might say, “Great job listening the first time” or “Good job waiting patiently for your turn” to reinforce these behaviors.

“This is a habit parents can build, and start to build at any time,” Dr. Lindgren says. “The more you practice, the better you’ll be at noticing and praising positive behavior.”

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Water safety



Families are flocking to swimming pools in the summer heat. Primary Children’s Hospital has some tips on how to keep tots safe around water.

“Bringing babies and toddlers to pools or beaches is a wonderful experience for families and children,” said Jessica Strong, community health manager at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. “These are cherished memories in the making. That’s why is so important to keep kids safe around water, and remember to remove hidden hazards around your home.”

Jade Elliott spoke with Strong about tips for keeping your children safe around water on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast.

In Utah, drowning is the second leading cause of preventable injury death for children under age 14, Strong said.

A good way to protect children from tragedy is through planned supervision, Strong said.

“Have a dedicated water watcher who is solely focused on watching the children, and won’t be distracted by a phone call, text, or side conversation,” Strong said. “This is a duty that can be rotated in a group, in 15-minute shifts, for example. Some families choose to wear a lanyard with a water-watcher card as a reminder — to the water watcher and others — of who’s on shift.”

Here are some other tips to keep tots safe at the pool or lake:

  • Teach children to swim.
  • Have children wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets instead of water wings, which can deflate or fall off a child’s arms. Many public pools offer lifejackets to rent or borrow.
  •  If you have a pool, keep a locked gate around it at all times.
  •  If a child is missing, always check nearby water first.
  • Teach children to stay away from water while hiking or camping.
  •  If a child falls into rushing water, call 911. Don’t jump in after them.
  •  Learn CPR.

Strong also recommends parents and caretakers check their homes and yards for hidden water hazards. Kiddie pools, bathtubs, or even buckets with a little water can be hazardous.

“Toddlers are top-heavy,” Strong said. “They can fall in head-first to these containers — and may not be able to get out of the water by themselves.”

When not in use, Strong recommends draining kiddie pools and other containers and turning them upside-down to prevent injury.

More information is available at primarychildrens.org/safety

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


How hospital caregivers help your baby transition to life outside the womb



As you prepare for childbirth, there’s such a focus on labor and delivery and getting your baby here. It’s so important that delivery happens safely. But many moms may wonder about what happens at the hospital after birth.

Jade Elliott spoke with Taylor Hanton, a neonatal nurse practitioner with Intermountain Healthcare,  about the special newborn care and bonding and the important screenings for your baby that are offered at the hospital after birth .

The first hour after a baby is born is a very special time that neonatal providers like to call the golden hour as your baby transitions from living in the womb to living in the world and begin bonding with mom and her partner.

Why is the first hour of a baby’s life called the golden hour?

It’s a time for mom and baby to bond and ensure baby is adapting well to their new environment as well as making sure mom recovers from the delivery of her baby.

What happens right after birth?

The labor and delivery nurse is frequently in the room during the first couple of hours checking on mom and making sure she remains stable after delivery. The nurse will also assist mom with breast or bottle feeding and monitor vital signs on both mom and baby.

Skin-to-skin

Right after an uncomplicated vaginal delivery or even caesarean birth, the baby is placed on mom’s chest, to encourage skin-to-skin contact, bonding, keep baby warm, and help regulate newborn breathing. This can happen even before the umbilical cord is cut. If you have a Caesarean section, skin-to-skin is delayed due to the location of the surgery, but often can occur prior to mom leaving the OR.

Apgar scores help measure your baby’s general condition and how well your baby is adapting to the new world outside the womb and if assistance is needed. They can be done with your baby still on your chest. Apgar assess your baby’s heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, reflex response, and color. Apgar scores are assigned at one minute after birth and again at five minutes.

Most newborns have an Apgar score greater than 7. Few babies score a perfect 10, since babies are born blue and it take some time for their entire bodies to turn pink.

Approximately 5-10 percent of newborns will require some degree of resuscitation. This may include assistance with removal of oral secretions, drying and/or tactile stimulation to increase the baby’s heart rate, and to facilitate effective breathing and consequently oxygen delivery to the body.

Only about one percent of newborns require extensive resuscitation at birth. If you are delivering in a hospital, the staff is skilled and prepared to perform all resuscitation interventions on your baby if needed. Neonatal caregivers can help baby breathe with an oxygen mask or a tube placed in the windpipe, and fluids and medications may be administered through a blood vessel in the umbilical cord. If Apgar scores are still low, your baby may be transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for further care.

What’s the difference between a well-baby nursery and a NICU?

Well baby nurseries are typically for babies 35 weeks and above, however some rural nurseries only care for newborns 37 weeks and above. Newborn intensive care units are for babies that require extra monitoring and care, including all babies born less than 35 weeks gestation. It’s important to know the level of care available at your delivery hospital and if you will need to go somewhere else if you go into early labor. This will help you and your newborn receive care at the same hospital and not be separated.

What advice do you have for parents during that golden hour?

It’s a time to make sure the baby is adapting to life apart from the protection of the womb. The newborn caregivers make sure the baby is breathing comfortably and does not need any assistance or additional oxygen as well as make sure the baby can maintain a normal temperature.

It’s not the best time for a lot of visitors to be in the room. Babies need a low stimulation environment as they continue to clear fluids from the lungs and use their calories to work on feeding and maintaining a normal body temperature. Newborn transition is often interrupted in babies who are overstimulated (for example being held by multiple people, loud voices, or being unwrapped). These babies often become worn out and are not able to feed as well, become cold, and/or start to work harder to breathe.

The Golden Hour is a special time for mom and partner to have some time alone with the baby and to help the baby make a successful transition to his/her new world. This is also an important time for your baby to have a positive feeding experience and receive the appropriate nutrition to continue the transitioning process. In fact, newborn baths are even delayed to not interfere with this important process.

What newborn screenings are offered at the hospital to check baby’s health?

Many newborn screenings are required by state law. Here are some screenings routinely provided in Intermountain hospitals.

A screening for critical congenital heart defects or CCHD test helps identifies babies that are born with a heart defect that could put them at risk for delivering blood and/or oxygen to the body. The screen evaluates the amount of oxygen in your baby’s blood by sticking pulse oximeter sensors to your baby’s skin. If your baby does not pass the CCHD screen, an echocardiogram (an ultrasound to look at pictures of your baby’s heart) may be performed to further access the heart anatomy and function. Early detection and treatment for CCHD can be lifesaving.

Newborn screening is the first step towards a healthy start for your baby. Neonatal screening is a state requirement to help detect specific conditions in infants who would benefit from early detection and treatment. The Utah Newborn Screening Program checks for more than 40 disorders, such conditions include hormone abnormalities, inborn errors of metabolism, immunodeficiency disorders, red blood cell abnormalities, and cystic fibrosis. Early identification of disorders, provides an opportunity for treatment that can lead to significant reductions in morbidity and mortality. This is a simple blood test that requires just a few drops of blood collected from your baby’s foot. The first screening is obtained 24-48 hours after birth and the second is performed 7-16 days after birth.

Click here for the Baby Your Baby Podcast on newborn screenings.

A hearing screening checks for hearing loss. For this test, tiny earphones are placed in your baby’s ears and special computers check how your baby responds to sound. It is not unusual for a newborn to fail one or both ears since there is often fluid still in the ear canals. If this happens, a repeat test is scheduled shortly after discharge.

Bilirubin screening is done to check for high levels of bilirubin which can cause jaundice. Mild jaundice may go away on its own, but higher levels may need treatment with special lights. This blood test is usually done at 24 hours after birth, but is may be done sooner if your baby is at a higher risk for developing jaundice.

Administering vitamin K. Babies are born deficient in Vitamin K. Giving them this important vitamin helps prevent dangerous bleeding or intercranial hemorrhage. It is best given through a shot in the thigh within three hours of birth. Administration of oral Vitamin K is less effective than the shot due to erratic absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and must be given weekly until your baby is three months of age.

Administering erythromycin eye ointment. Erythromycin eye ointment is administered within three hours of birth to treat ophthalmia neonatorum. This is an infectious and potentially blinding conjunctivitis transmitted to a neonate by exposure to maternal chlamydial or gonococcal infection during birth. These infections can cause corneal scaring, ocular perforation, and blindness as soon as 24 hours after birth. This treatment is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC for prophylaxis against newborn conjunctivitis.

What about vaccines and follow-up care?

Hepatitis B vaccine is given to newborns at the hospital. It’s important to follow up and take your child to their well-child visits with their provider starting a few days after discharge. During these visits, the newborn provider will check the baby’s growth, ability to orally feed, evaluate for jaundice, and listen to heart and lung sounds. Additional well-child check-ups are important to assess continued growth and development and provide additional vaccines to prevent childhood diseases.

Do caregivers teach you about taking care of your newborn?

Women and newborn caregivers will teach you about how to care for your baby. They will show you how to care for the umbilical cord, and how to hold, bathe, diaper, swaddle, nurse or bottle feed, and burp your baby. They will also provide you with information on when to call your baby’s provider for other concerns such as diarrhea, vomiting, and fevers.

For a schedule of well visits go to intermountainhealthcare.org

For more information about newborn screenings in Utah visit Utah.gov. Outside of Utah, visit your state’s website or marchofdimes.org

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Swaddling: How to do it safely and when to stop



Newborn babies often sleep better when swaddled. But how babies are swaddled, and through what age, can make a difference in their long-term sleep patterns — and help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), said Rachelle Rigby, RN, pediatric medical and surgical services director at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.

Jade Elliott spoke with Rachelle Rigby, RN, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, about how to swaddle and when to stop.

“Newborn babies love to be snuggled up tight because that’s how they were developing inside mom, and they like that feeling,” Rigby said. “But parents should wean babies from swaddling around the third month, and make sure they’re swaddling correctly so their faces don’t end up covered by the blanket when the baby moves.”

Rigby recommends swaddling baby in one thin blanket, just below the neck area. Baby’s arms can be inside or outside the swaddling, largely depending on preference.

“If in every ultrasound the baby was seen with their arms up, leave their arms out of the swaddling blanket! They might like it better,” Rigby said.

To swaddle baby, place a thin blanket on a solid surface, and the baby on top. Fold one side over the baby, fold up the bottom, then fold the other side over the baby and tuck it in.

Be sure the blanket is below the neck to keep the blanket out of the face when the baby wiggles.

Using a thin blanket helps prevent overheating, which has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Rigby said. Placing a fan in the room can help prevent overheating as well, she said. Babies also should sleep on a firm crib mattress or bassinet in a separate sleeping area in their parent’s bedroom, and never in the same bed as the parent.

“At three months, it’s good to start using footed pajamas or a sleep sack instead of swaddling. While this may disturb the baby’s sleep temporarily, this is also an opportunity for the baby to learn to self-soothe, which is a critical part of their development,” Rigby said. “Self-soothing skills will pay off in the long run for the baby, and help parents get the sleep they desperately need.”

More information: Primarychildrens.org

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


A no-frills crib can reduce the risk of SIDS



New parents often are worried about their baby’s safety and the risk of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. But they can reduce the risk of SIDS by what they choose for their baby’s sleep environment, said Rachelle Rigby, RN, pediatric medical and surgical services director at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.

Jade Elliott spoke with Rachelle Rigby, RN, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, about ensuring your baby is sleeping safely.

“New parents may be tempted to decorate their baby’s crib with stuffed animals, soft pillows and fluffy blankets and bumpers,” Rigby said. “But fluffy things in the crib can actually create a danger for infants.”

The cause of SIDS is unknown, but research indicates that there are contributing factors. Soft surfaces, such as a couch, fluffy blanket or pillow, can block an infant’s airway. Overheating also can increase a baby’s risk of SIDS.

“Parents should always place a baby on his or her back to sleep to help reduce the risk of SIDS,” Rigby said. “Tummy time should be reserved for play when a parent or caretaker can engage with baby.”

Here are some ways to reduce risks for sleeping infants:

  • Place babies on their backs to sleep. SIDS deaths decreased significantly following the American Academy of Pediatrics’ “back to sleep” campaign, in which parents were urged to place their babies on their backs, not tummies, to go to sleep.
  • Never bed-share. Room-sharing is recommended, but bed-sharing is not, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Room-sharing without bed-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent. Parents should place their baby’s crib in the room where they sleep until the child is at least 6 months old.
  • Use a firm mattress, covered with a fitted sheet, that fits snugly inside the crib.
  • Remove loose bedding and soft objects from the crib.
  • Do not overdress baby for bedtime to prevent overheating. Consider putting a fan in baby’s room in warm weather. Remember, babies are comfortable at the same temperatures as their siblings and parents.
  • Do not use car seats, swings or strollers as beds for infants under the age of four months for routine sleep.
  • Never smoke, drink, or use illicit drugs around an infant.

“Exhausted parents might be tempted to put baby in the bed with them to help the baby fall asleep. But it’s best to let baby fall asleep on their own in a separate space to keep them safe,” Rigby said. “If baby looks tired, get them swaddled and into their crib bassinet so they can learn to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own, so you can do the same.”

More information: Primarychildrens.org

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Cesarean delivery or vaginal birth – Which is right for you?



If you’re pregnant, you may wonder about how you want to deliver your baby, and how you might end up delivering your baby – either vaginally or via Cesarean section.

The body is designed for vaginal birth, and most babies are born vaginally, where the baby is delivered from the uterus, inside the pelvis, through the vagina to the outside world. But, babies can also be born surgically, through an incision in the abdomen, which is called a Cesarean delivery or C-section. Sometimes a C-section is needed to protect the health of the baby or mother or both, and other times, patients simply prefer a C-section delivery.

Jade Elliott spoke with Dr. Helen Feltovich, a maternal fetal medicine physician, an OB/Gyn who cares for patients with high-risk pregnancies, with Intermountain Healthcare, about the differences between C-sections and vaginal deliveries.

Advantages of a vaginal delivery

Delivering vaginally usually means you’ll recover faster from childbirth and your hospital stay will be shorter.

Common reasons a scheduled C-section may be recommended:

  • Baby is in breech (feet-first or bottom-first) or transverse (sideways) position, rather than cephalic (head-down) position.
  • Placenta previa—placenta is covering all or part of the opening to the birth canal.
  •  Maternal infection the baby can catch if delivered vaginally, such as HIV, or active genital herpes.
  • Multiple gestation (being pregnant with more than one baby).
  • A vertical incision on the uterus from a previous C-section or uterine surgery .
  • More than two previous C-sections.
  •  Baby’s head can’t fit through the maternal pelvis.
  •  Baby has a large birth defect that could rupture during vaginal delivery.

Common reasons for unplanned C-sections

  • Sometimes complications during labor or delivery necessitate a C-section birth.
  • Labor stops or isn’t progressing, or baby can’t fit through the pelvis.
  •  Placental abruption (placenta pulls away from uterine wall too soon, cutting off baby’s oxygen).
  • Umbilical cord becomes pinched or drops into the birth canal ahead of baby, which can lower baby’s oxygen supply.
  • Changes in baby’s heart rate that suggest baby may not be getting enough oxygen

How birth in an operating room is different from birth in a hospital room

While a C-section is a surgery, it is primarily a birth, and this is the focus. Patients are almost always awake and typically have their partner right by them. Mom and partner can see and touch the baby, just like in a vaginal delivery.

As soon as your medical care team is sure your baby is stable, you can hold your baby. Skin to skin contact as soon as possible is encouraged to promote bonding, whether the baby is born via vaginal or Cesarean delivery.

Intermountain is working to reduce unnecessary C-sections

A C-section delivery is major abdominal surgery and like any surgery comes with some risks. If it’s elective, your doctor or midwife can help you evaluate if the benefits of having a C-section outweigh the risks. If there are medical indications, your provider will explain these to you. Once you have a C-section, you have a choice about whether or not to have a C-section in the future, or try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean). After you have had two C-sections, it’s not recommended to try a vaginal delivery.

With any surgery, there are risks for possible complications such as infection, injury to bladder or bowel, blood clots and in rare cases, brain damage or death. However, many of these risks apply to pregnancy or delivery in general and they are very, very low. Risks for the baby include a possible increased chance of breathing problems, and extreme sleepiness can occur in the unusual case that general anesthesia is needed.

The C-section rate in the U.S. is a public health issue because of the small increased risk of complication, and increased time of hospitalization. Average stay is two days for a vaginal delivery and 3-4 days for a C-section.

Intermountain was an early adopter of national recommendations to reduce the rate of C-section in American women, and has one of the lowest C-section rates in the country. That said, sometimes patients need to have a C-section for their safety or that of their baby, Intermountain is committed to adhering to evidence-based recommendations for C-section delivery while simultaneously honoring patients’ wishes for how their babies will be delivered.

Vaginal birth after a C-Section for a previous pregnancy

A vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC) delivery is possible for anyone who has had only one or two C-section deliveries. There is a small but serious risk of the uterus rupturing during a VBAC delivery because the uterus has a scar from the previous surgery. Talk with your provider about your specific medical history to see if you’re a candidate for a VBAC delivery. Factors involved in the decision include the reason for your previous C-section; the type of uterine incision (if it was low on the belly and done side-to-side, it’s more likely you can try VBAC); when your last delivery occurred (less or more than 18 months ago), and other factors.

Do’s and don’ts for recovery after a C-section

Do:

  • Take time to sit and bond with your baby.
  • Rest when you’re tired.
  • Walk every day to maintain strength, and prevent blood clots and constipation.
  • Hold a pillow over your incision when you need to cough or laugh to be more comfortable.
  •  Shower normally (or take a bath after two weeks).
  • Eat healthily
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids.
  • Take a fiber supplement daily to avoid constipation.

Don’t:

  • Lift anything heavier than your baby.
  • Use tampons or douche for at least six weeks.
  •  Take baths for about two weeks, until your incision is healed.
  •  Participate in rigorous activity or core muscle exercises until recommended by your doctor.
  •  Have sex until your body feels ready (at least two weeks).
  • Be afraid to ask for help from friends or family.
  • Soak in public pools or hot tubs for at least six weeks.
  •  Crash diet

C-Section incision care:

  • Keep the incision area dry and clean.
  • Use warm, soapy water to gently wash your incision daily (usually when you shower).
  • Pat the area dry, after cleaning.
  •  If your doctor used tape strips on your incision, let them fall off on their own. This usually takes about a week.

When to call your doctor:

  • Depression, sadness, hopelessness, or having troubling thoughts.
  • Signs of an infection including pain, pus, swelling, redness, swollen lymph nodes
  •  Fever of more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
  •  Difficulty breathing.
  •  Vaginal discharge that smells bad.
  • Severe pain in your belly.
  • Bright red vaginal bleeding that soaks through more than one pad in two hours or less.
  • Vaginal bleeding that gets worse or is still bright red more than four days after birth.
  •  Signs of a blood clot, including pain in your thigh, groin, back of knee, or calf.
  • Incision comes open.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Vaginal blood clots larger than a golf ball.
  • Trouble passing urine or stool.

For more information about Cesarean sections visit intermountainhealthcare.org

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


New dietary guidelines for infants and toddlers



New USDA dietary guidelines are out – and for the first time include the needs of infants and toddlers.

Dietary guidelines are updated every five years to help people know what they should eat and drink to meet nutrient needs, promote health, and prevent disease.

Jade Elliott spoke with Alyssa Scordo, RDN, Intermountain Healthcare, to discuss the new guidelines and how parents should handle sugars and potentially allergenic foods.

This is the first time the guidelines have been differentiated for life stages, from birth to older adulthood, including pregnancy and lactation, said Alyssa Scordo, a registered dietitian nutritionist for Intermountain Healthcare.

“It’s never too early or too late to implement healthy eating – that’s what these new guidelines tell us,” Scordo said. “Introducing infants and toddlers to healthy foods can make a difference in their health and wellbeing throughout their lives.”

Research shows an individual’s eating habits have the greatest impact on their health. Nationally, more than half of all adults have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor diets and not enough physical activity. Childhood obesity continues to rise, with about one-fifth of children clinically obese nationwide.

Here’s what the new “Make Every Bite Count” dietary guidelines say for infants and toddlers:

Birth to 6 months: Exclusively feed infants human milk and continue through at least the first year of life. If human milk is not possible, feed infants iron-fortified formula during the first year of life. Provide supplemental Vitamin D soon after birth.

At 6 months: Introduce nutrient-dense complementary foods, and a variety of foods from all food groups. Include foods rich in iron and zinc, particularly for infants fed human milk.

Start introducing allergenic foods, such as peanuts, egg, cow milk products, tree nuts, wheat, shellfish, fish and soy. Introducing peanut-containing foods, for example, reduces the risk that an infant will develop an allergy to peanuts. For infants at high risk of peanut allergy, introduce peanut-containing foods between 4-6 months of age.

Hold off on giving babies foods and drinks with added sugar, and limit foods high in sodium.

At 12 months: Toddlers should consume between 700-1,000 calories per day through age 23 months, in a variety of food groups:

  • Vegetables (2/3 cup to 1 cup)
  •  Fruits (1/2 cup to 1 cup)
  • Grains (3 ounces, half of which are whole grains)
  •  Dairy (1 2/3 cup to 2 cups)
  •  Protein (2 ounces)
  •  Oils (1/2 tablespoon)

It’s also important to avoid added sugar and limit foods high in sodium. Juice should be 100 percent fruit juice, and limited to 4 ounces per day.

Here are a few simple changes to help toddlers eat healthier:

  • Replace sugary cereals with cereals containing minimal added sugar.
  •  Replace fried vegetables with roasted vegetables.
  •  Replace sugary fruit products with fruit canned in 100 percent juice.
  •  Replace high-sodium meats, like hotdogs, with lean ground meats.
  •  Choose unsweetened beverages over sugary drinks.

“Everyone, even young children, can benefit from making changes to what they consume to help build a healthy diet,” Scordo said. “Giving children healthy foods early on will help them make better food choices as an adult, and hopefully, help them to live happier, healthier lives.”

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.

For more information: intermountainhealthcare.org.


What parents should know about birthmarks/Hemangioma



Many babies develop birthmarks in the first few weeks of life. Many of those birthmarks are harmless and will disappear with age. But some will need special treatment to prevent issues as the child grows.

Jade Elliott spoke with Dr. Kate Puttgen, Intermountain Healthcare, about birthmarks on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast.

Some infants develop a hemangioma, a non-cancerous tumor made of excess blood vessels. Hemangiomas can be superficial with a red color, or deep beneath the skin with a bluish color, or a mix of superficial and deep with both red and blue coloring, said Dr. Kate Puttgen, a pediatric dermatologist with Intermountain Healthcare. They grow rapidly in the first three to five months of life.

“It’s critical for hemangiomas to be detected early,” Dr. Puttgen said. “Most babies do fine with diagnosis and watchful waiting, but it’s important to work with a pediatrician who can refer the child to a specialist when necessary to ensure the hemangioma is not more dangerous.”

Hemangiomas occur in up to 10 percent of Caucasian infants, and are more common in babies of low-birth weight and who are born prematurely. They also are up to three times more common in girls than in boys.

Hemangiomas can develop anywhere on the body, and go through a period of growth and stabilization, and then decrease in size. Many will eventually disappear, but some can leave behind significant scarring or cause functional problems, such as with vision or feeding, depending on their size and location, Dr. Puttgen said.

Most hemangiomas present by about 2 weeks of age, and will at least double in size in the first two months of life. Eighty percent of the time, the maximum size will be reached by the time the baby is 3 months old, and by age 5 months, the vast majority have essentially finished growing. Deep hemangiomas and larger hemangiomas usually have a longer growth phase.

But in rare cases, a hemangioma can grow for longer periods of time or, if on the head or neck, can create distortion to the face, and result in disfiguring scar tissue or eye damage if left untreated, Dr. Puttgen said.

“The bottom line is, the majority of birthmarks in babies will not adversely affect their growth and development,” she said. “For other more complicated hemangiomas, we have excellent treatments, and can prevent the need for surgery or laser treatment before the child starts school if we start medicine as soon as possible in most cases.”

Beta blockers, commonly used for decades in babies with heart issues, are an effective treatment for hemangiomas, without significant side effects for most babies. The beta blockers shrink hemangiomas, and come in oral or topical versions. They are most effective when used in the baby’s first four months of life, though children as old as 5 years have benefited.

“Well-child checkups are a great time to talk to pediatricians about skin concerns, and address issues early on,” Dr. Puttgen said. “If a parent notices a birthmark, they should feel empowered to speak up and consult with their provider to determine whether a specialist is needed, and know that there are safe and effective treatments.”

For more information about birthmarks, go to primarychildrens.org

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


Prevent heat stroke in vehicles



As the weather warms up, parents and caretakers need to pay extra attention to protect children from accidental heatstroke in cars.

People should never leave a child in a vehicle – even for a minute – to prevent unintended injury or even death.

Jade Elliott spoke with Jessica Strong, community health manager at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, to discuss how to keep your children safe.

“Even if it’s not that warm outside, the insides of cars heat up quickly and can present a serious hazard for children,” said Jessica Strong, community health manager at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. “Everyone must remain vigilant to never leave a child alone in a car for any amount of time to prevent a tragedy.”

About 40 children across the country die each year after being left in a hot vehicle, Strong said.

In Utah, 13 children have died in hot vehicles since 1990, and others have suffered injuries in “close calls.”

Yet 2020 was one of the lowest years for heat stroke deaths in recent memory, at 25 deaths nationwide. In Utah, no hot car deaths were reported.

“My speculation is that with fewer people driving, and more parents working from home, there were fewer opportunities to leave children in cars, resulting in fewer deaths,” Strong said. “My hope, though, is that this decrease is the start of a trend in the right direction, which will continue until the number of deaths reaches zero.”

Strong says accidental heat stroke tragedies can happen to anyone, and often occur when caretakers forget a child is in the car.

Stress, fatigue, and change of routine can push a person’s brain into autopilot, making it easier to forget. Summer time can present more risk of injury due to hot weather and changes in routine, including children out of school and families staying up late for activities.

Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital is offering these tips to help caretakers remember that a child is inside a vehicle to prevent unintentional injuries:

– Never leave your child alone in a vehicle – even for a few minutes. A child’s body temperature can increase 3-5 times faster than an adult’s. Cracking a window has very little effect on the temperature inside the car.

  • Always check your vehicle before leaving it.
  • Keep a visual reminder that a child is with you, like a stuffed animal or diaper bag in the seat next to you.
  • Place something you’ll need when you arrive at your destination, like your briefcase, backpack, purse or cell phone, in the back seat. That way, when you reach for the item, you’ll likely see the child.
  • If you see a child left alone in a car, contact the police or call 911.

For more information, visit primarychildrens.org/safety.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.