This Popular Sleep Aid May Be Harmful to Kids

There’s no quick fix that gets kids to sleep sooner, better, deeper. But melatonin comes pretty close.While medical experts don’t have much bad to say to adults about using melatonin, which isn’t a pharmaceutical rather a health supplement, some are concerned when it comes to regular use in children.

A recent New York Times Well blog post reported that while a lot of parents have given melatonin for their kids because it works—doctors don’t actually know whether it’s doing harm in the long run. Children’s brains are still growing and developing, and melatonin is a synthetic form of a hormone the pineal gland produces, and which signals to the brain it’s time for sleep.

“I think we just don’t know what the potential long-term effects are, particularly when you’re talking about young children,” said Dr. Judith Owens, director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Parents really need to understand that there are potential risks.”

Research isn’t conclusive but some suggests that it could have effects not just on the brain but on other systems developing in children: reproductive, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic.

Melatonin has known possible side effects for adults, including “headaches, dizziness and daytime grogginess,” the Times reports. That last one is what makes it a sleep aid and also dangerous for drivers who might use it. The hormone-like substance, which is also found in foods like barley and walnuts, can also interfere with medications for blood pressure and diabetes.

When researchers looked into consistency across melatonin products, they found that 71 percent of their samples were at least 10 percent off from the written dose.

Doctors who treat sleep disorders in children have long known parents turn frequently turn to melatonin to help their kids with sleep issues, often picking up the pills at a health food store and not telling their own doctors—a mistake.

“I rarely see a family come in with a child with insomnia who hasn’t tried melatonin,” Owns said. “I would say at least 75 percent of the time when they come in to see us” at the sleep clinic, “they’re either on melatonin or they’ve tried it in the past.”

For those who give it to their children, Owens recommends letting their child’s doctor know. She also said the pills should be picked up from a reputable source. Because they’re not regulated by the Food and Drug Adminstration, there’s no way of know how much of the useful ingredient is in each pill. Buy “pharmaceutical grade,” which tend to have “more precise dosing levels.”

When researchers looked into consistency across melatonin products, they found that 71 percent of their samples were at least 10 percent off from the written dose. In fact—and this is where parents, particularly, should be cautious—some contained nearly 5 times the dosage written on the label.

So while there’s still no silver bullet for kids and sleep—except for lots of exercise, predictable nighttime routines and early (yes, early!) bedtimes—the melatonin temptation should be met with caution and some medical support.

Contributions on this post via Mom.me

When It’s OK to Use Home Remedies on Kids and When It’s Not

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A traditional pediatrician and a naturopathic physician weigh in on when you should—and shouldn’t—use home remedies on your kids.

Chances are you’ve probably used at least one home remedy on your child, whether it’s a “magic potion” cold remedy concoction of essential oils or a simple bee sting cure-all made out of baking soda and vinegar.

Whether you’re a believer in home remedies or not, the plethora of websites, books, and online courses available on the subject—from the not-so-natural medicine cabinet miracles to 100 percent organic homeopathic cures—suggests that many parents are not only believers but proactive embracers of treating their children with alternative methods.

But recent horror stories and warnings such as the Canadian parents who were convicted for their toddler’s death from meningitis because they used home remedies instead of taking him to the hospital; the infant who suffocated from a plastic bag home like remedy; and the Tennessee poison control center’s warning that more children are being accidentally poisoned by “essential oils”—have sparked a rather heated debate among parents online about the safety of treating kids without a doctor’s supervision.

Amid this sometimes angry dialogue, the crux of the conversation seems to hinge on this question: How do you know when it’s okay to use home remedies on your kids, and more importantly, how do you know when it’s not okay?

In hopes of empowering parents with information on the dos and don’ts of home remedy treatment, we spoke to two pediatric professionals to get their advice. Here are their thoughts:

The Traditional Doctor

Dr. Joseph Gig ante is a professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

When it comes to parents treating their children’s common ailments at home using either a “home remedy” or a homeopathic treatment option, what’s your overall philosophy?

“My philosophy regarding home remedies and homeopathic treatments is “first do no harm,” which echoes the Hippocratic Oath. There are many home remedies that might have minimal if any benefit to the child. However, if the parents feel like they want to try something and the treatment will not harm the child, then I don’t have a problem with the treatment. A second situation is one that is more worrisome and dangerous. This is when parents choose not to use a traditional medicine therapy that is known to be effective and instead opt for a homeopathic treatment that is ineffective, resulting in a delay in treatment and harm, and possibly death, of their child, as we have seen in a few cases recently.”

What symptoms or ailments do you think are safe for parents to treat at home—at least in the beginning?

“There are many symptoms and illnesses that are safe for parents to treat at home. The most common of these is the cold. Parents can support their child and make them feel more comfortable if their child has the common cold symptoms: cough, congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat. Fever can also be managed at home. Parents often get very worried about fever, but fever is a response to an infection and helps fight the infection. Giving your child Tylenol or Ibuprofen helps bring the fever down and makes the child feel better. Vomiting and diarrhea are also common symptoms children get, which parents can treat at home by being sure their child stays well hydrated by encouraging fluid intake. Children will often also complain of headaches and stomachaches. In most instances, these symptoms are not serious and can be managed at home.”

Are there ailments and symptoms that you think parents should never treat at home?

“Yes. A fever that’s equal to or greater than 100.4 Fahrenheit in an infant less than 3 months of age should not be treated at home. The fever may be a sign of a serious bacterial infection. Fever associated with a severe headache and a stiff neck should also not be treated at home as these may be signs of meningitis. A parent should have their child evaluated if a fever lasts more than 5 days. A child who is having difficulty breathing, which may result in a blue color to their lips/mouth, should also be seen immediately. Children, who have had vomiting and diarrhea and now are not drinking at all, have decreased urination or are not acting like they may be severely dehydrated and need IV fluids.”

What are the most common errors that parents make when treating their kids at home?

“The most common error I see that parents make when treating their children at home is not giving their child enough Tylenol or Ibuprofen to treat a fever. The doses of these medicines are based on the child’s weight. As infants gain weight, their dose of Tylenol or Ibuprofen should increase; however, parents often dose based on a previous weight and as a result under dose their child. The other error I often see is parents using the wrong kind of thermometer. The most accurate way to measure an infant’s fever is using a rectal digital thermometer. Another common mistake is using over the counter cold/cough medicines. These medicines don’t work in children and can cause serious side effects.”

A couple of recent headlines have showcased tragic endings for parents who treated their kids at home, what can parents learn from these two tragic stories?

“Thankfully, tragic stories of children dying at home instead of seeking medical care are not common, but they are avoidable. They are probably due to a combination of lack of common sense, false beliefs by parents and false claims made by naturopathic practitioners. Parents should always be leery of practitioners who shun traditional medicine completely, are anti-science and make false claims about childhood immunizations. Medicines work; immunizations prevent disease and have saved millions of children’s lives. These practitioners may recommend treatments that are not effective and may result in a delay in seeking medical attention, as was the case in the Stephan meningitis case. If parents are using home remedies, they should seek medical attention if their child is not improving or getting worse within 1-2 days.”

The Naturopathic Physician

Dr. Jamie Oskin is a naturopathic doctor at Arizona Natural Health Center with expertise in homeopathy and natural pediatrics.

As a naturopathic doctor specializing in pediatrics, what is your overall philosophy as it relates to helping parents make the best choices for treating their kids at home?

“[I believe] lifestyle is very important for children to be healthy. For example, I work with parents to [not only cure ailments but also to] improve their child’s nutritional status—i.e., exercise more and get better quality sleep. These lifestyle components of health are essential for a child to live up to their fullest potential. Lifestyle medicine and homeopathy work hand in hand. The homeopathic remedies stimulate the body’s innate capacity to heal.  In other words, homeopathy stimulates the “nature” side of the equation to help make the child healthier. Lifestyle medicine promotes an environment (i.e. “nurture”) for the child to achieve optimal health. The “nature” + “nurture” is a perfect combination to help most children with most health concerns.”

What symptoms or ailments do you think are safe for parents to treat at home—at least in the beginning?

“Minor bumps and bruises can safely be treated at home without a doctor’s help with over the counter, Arnica. Self-limiting coughs and colds can be treated with over-the-counter products. Self-limiting allergic rhinitis (hay fever) can be treated at home with over-the-counter homeopathic products. Basic earaches can also be treated with over-the-counter products since most ear infections are viral, self-limiting and will resolve on their own within 48-72 hours.”

Are there symptoms or ailments that you encourage parents to not treat without calling you first?

“Any condition that is acute and intense, such as a high fever, delirium, unresponsiveness, neck stiffness, strep throat, excessive vomiting or diarrhea, dehydration, difficulty breathing as in pneumonia or asthma, should be treated with the help of a physician. Any condition which is chronic and ongoing that does not resolve with simple over-the-counter treatments should be treated with the help of a physician, example, recurrent ear infections, chronic eczema or psoriasis, ADHD, autism, PANS, tic disorders, asthma, autoimmune disease, etc.

If a patient has an acute life-threatening condition, such as meningitis, appendicitis, etc., then they must be treated in the emergency department or at a hospital. Safety and “first do no harm” always come first.”

A couple of recent headlines have showcased tragic endings for parents who treated their kids at home, what can parents learn from these two tragic stories?

“These two tragic stories are heart wrenching. In both cases, there seemed to be some misguided parents and/or even negligence. Home remedy or not, it is never a good idea to put a plastic bag over a child’s head, and it is downright dangerous to do so and then leave the child unattended. The other family’s child showed clear signs of meningitis—high fever, severe neck stiffness—and should have been seen immediately in an emergency department. Both cases highlight the importance for parents to yield to common sense when trying home remedies and also to always put their child’s safety first. Because these stories were tragic, they received a lot of media attention and shine alternative medicine in a poor light. But in both cases, alternative medicine was not the problem, but rather misguided parent decisions.”

Don’t Want a C-Section? Avoid These 22 Hospitals

I knew Miami would be on the list. 

Via Parents

A new study says some hospitals have Cesarean rates that are well above national targets.

We know the C-section rate is at an all-time high. And that’s concerning, since having a Cesarean birth carries inherent risks for both mother and baby, and has even been linked to long-term, adverse health effects for children, including an increased chance they will be obese, and develop diabetes and asthma.

Of course, some C-sections are unavoidable and promise the best outcome for mother and child. But it’s often theorized that certain doctors and hospitals have become C-section happy, and may perform the procedures either prematurely or unnecessarily. By some estimates, as many as half of all C-sections could actually have been avoided!

A report by Consumer Reports looks at which hospitals have the highest C-section rates in the country. And if you’re trying to avoid a Cesarean birth, it’s a list you really need to see.

Researchers looked at 1,300 U.S. hospitals, and say these are the 22 with Cesarean rates that far exceed the national target of 23.9 percent or lower, set by the Department of Health and Human Services. The report focused on first-time moms, who for all intents and purposes should have been at a low risk of needing C-sections. As in, they didn’t experience pregnancy complications, were expecting only one baby, and that baby was not in a breech position.

Without further ado, here are the hospitals that perform the most C-sections in the nation, along with their individual rates:

1. South Miami Hospital, Miami, FL—51 percent

2. Richmond University Medical Center, Staten Island, NY—44 percent

3. Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ —43 percent

4. Woman’s Hospital of Texas, Houston, TX—41 percent

5. Midland Memorial Hospital, Midland, TX—40 percent

6. Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA —39 percent

7. Las Palmas Medical Center, El Paso, TX—39 percent

8. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, Plano, TX—39 percent

9. Memorial Regional Hospital, Hollywood, FL—38 percent

10. Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, Richmond, VA—37 percent

11. Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance, Edinburg, TX—37 percent

12. Baptist Hospital of Miami, Miami, FL—37 percent

13. Riverside Community Hospital, Riverside, CA —36 percent

14. Bayshore Medical Center, Pasadena, TX—35 percent

15. Jackson Health System, Miami, FL—35 percent

16. Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Boca Raton, FL—34 percent

17. St. Joseph’s Healthcare System, Paterson, NJ—34 percent

18. Medical Center at Bowling Green, Bowling Green, KY—34 percent

19. Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX—34 percent

20. Wesley Medical Center, Wichita, KS—34 percent

21. Inova Alexandria Hospital, Alexandria, VA—34 percent

22. Baptist Medical Center, San Antonio, TX—34 percent

Go to the Consumer Reports site if you want to see the response of each hospital that made this list.

It’s worth noting that no one is saying these hospitals are bad places to deliver your baby. But if you are concerned about your risk factors for having a C-section, talk to your doctor ahead of your delivery. Make sure you understand your chances for a Cesarean birth, and also know both your doctor’s and hospital’s policies regarding when C-sections are recommended and/or required.

When Mom or Dad Is Seriously Ill

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When a parent becomes gravely ill, the entire family is thrown into crisis; for children, it may well be the worst of their lives so far. Often, the first impulse is to protect children, to spare them as much pain as possible. But children usually have to take on new responsibilities and confront stark realities, frightened and exhausted adults often have little energy to spare for children who are themselves terrified and confused.

As a parent you feel like the whole world is crashing down, feeling like you are sinking, and hard to give your kids the support, and at the same time you don’t want them to be ruined by this.

Ms. McCue, the supervisor of the Child Life Program at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, a major medical center, has spent years trying to help adults and children not only to endure these crises, but also to emerge stronger. For years, she said, children were “the invisible people” in hospitals. Only in the last five years, she said, have professionals begun to recognize that techniques devised to help seriously ill children can be used to help healthy children whose parents are sick.

Probably the most difficult principle for well-meaning parents to follow, but the most central, is to tell children the truth, with the details adjusted to suit their ages. Parents, she writes, should always tell the children three things: that the mother or father is seriously ill, what the name of the disease is, and what the doctors say is likely to happen.

Most parents, she said, have found their children are far stronger than they thought. Children must be allowed to express their grief.

“Although telling the children the truth is very frightening and can be very emotionally overwhelming at the time, once you’ve gotten past that moment, everyone is carrying the burden together,” Ms. McCue said. “You can deal with it and help the child make the most of it. You say, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do to handle this.’ ”

Adults must be careful, however, not to overburden children or to expect them to offer more than fleeting comfort, Ms. McCue said. They will need help talking about their fears, reassurance that the illness is not their fault and permission to have fun, Ms. McCue said.

Children may also need to be prepared for the sight of a sick parent in the hospital, and Ms. McCue recommends showing them pictures of hospitals and describing in detail the machines or other medical devices the children will encounter.

In many cases, children’s grades might suffer, but both the well and the sick parent, if possible, need to tell children that illness cannot be an excuse for failure, example, stopped doing his homework and started acting up.

While these are normal reactions for children, Ms. McCue also provides a list of warning signs that should prompt parents to seek professional help. These include severe problems with sleeping or eating, risky actions that might indicate suicidal thoughts — like deliberately dashing in front of cars — very aggressive or withdrawn behavior and extreme fears.

When the worst happens, and a parent is going to die, Ms. McCue offers detailed guidance about how to prepare children and how to handle final hospital visits. Although generally she advocates not pushing children if they are reluctant to talk about their parents’ illness, she said that if death is imminent, children must be told as soon as possible, to give them time to prepare.

She suggested that parents offer children several opportunities to visit the parent, but not to force them to do so. Whenever possible, the dying parent can be encouraged to dictate a last message to children, something they can hold on to in later years.

In her years of work with children, Ms. McCue said that she has been continually surprised at how much children can grow and even thrive despite the trauma of parental illness. “They develop some skills they didn’t know they had,” she said. “If you could make it go away, that’s the first choice. But if they can get through this, they can get through many things.”

 

What Parents Need to Know About the Child Who Died Under Dental Anesthesia

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Article original from Parents

Our hearts go out to the parents of the toddler who passed away during a dental procedure. And here’s what parents can take away from this unthinkable tragedy.

You may have read about Texas 14-month-old Daisy Lynn Torres, who passed away under anesthesia during a dental procedure back in March. But in case you’re seeing this heartbreaking story circulating again online, here’s what you need to know.

According to Yahoo News, a pediatric specialist at Austin Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Michael Melanson, at first informed Daisy’s mom, Betty Squier, that Daisy needed to be put under anesthesia to fill two cavities, because she wouldn’t be able to sit still long enough for the procedure.

But Squier recounted to Inside Edition that during the procedure, Dr. Melanson told her, “things have changed, [and it’s] six cavities. We’re going to go ahead and do 4 crowns and 2 fillings.”

Understandably, Squier wasn’t so sure putting a crown on baby teeth was necessary. But she explains, “I allowed him to do it because I trusted him.”

Unthinkably, Daisy went into cardiac arrest while under anesthesia. She was rushed to the hospital, where she later died.

The medical examiner concluded anesthesia likely killed this adorable little girl, according to the autopsy results. “One can only speculate as to why any treatment was performed considering no indication of dental disease or pathology,” the report also says.

In a statement to Inside Edition, Dr. Melanson’s attorney said, “There is no evidence that either the mother, the anesthesiologist, or the dentist did anything to cause the event. The best interest of the child was everyone’s only goal. Our hearts continue to go out to the family.”

As does mine. I am shattered for this mom.

Even worse is that this is not the first case of something like this happening. In July, a 3-year-old girl in California died after being put under anesthesia for a dental procedure, according to People magazine. And in January of 2014, a Hawaiian 3-year-old lapsed into a coma and later died after being placed under “heavy sedation” in the dentist’s chair, the Association of Health Care Journalists reports. And those are just the cases that made headlines. As the Huffington Post reports, 31 kids have died under dental sedation in the past 15 years.

Given this scary statistic, and in light of the tragedy that took the life of Daisy and other kids mentioned here, we talked to Jade Miller, D.D.S., president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), to ask what parents should know. When asked how young might be too young for general anesthesia, Dr. Miller replied, “The primary factor to consider is the severity of the dental disease. Young children with dental pain and/or infection require treatment at any age. Alternatives should be assessed to determine all options that may be available. In some cases, a general anesthesia is the very best approach for that child and can be completed in a safe and effective manner.”

If your dentist recommends general anesthesia, Dr. Miller said to keep these three tips in mind:

  • Get ALL your questions answered. “We always recommend if a parent has any concerns or questions related to their child’s dental care to make sure they are answered to their satisfaction,” Dr. Miller said.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. If you’re uncomfortable with or have questions about your child’s diagnosis or treatment, there’s no harm in talking to your child’s dentist or getting a second opinion.
  • Know your options. “Parents should understand any alternatives to a general anesthesia, which could include a conscious sedation and the advantages and disadvantages of an alternative approach,” Dr. Miller said. “They should ask about where the procedure will take place, such as in a surgery center or a dental office, and the experience and training of the anesthesia provider.”

My son was 2 years-old when I first took him to the dentist when he broke his frontal tooth, my first nightmare and first question was about the anesthesia, if gradually during the process he will be under general anesthesia or some type of local anesthesia, but the answer was NO.

I realize Daisy’s procedure was completely different, but the point is that I can relate to Squier trusting a medical professional’s advice as to how her daughter should be treated. And then, to have this happen? It’s unimaginable.

Flavor Your Life. Is Cooking with Olive Oil Dangerous?


I learned about this Zucchi olive oil applying to the blogger program through Moms. Meet, the experience was pleasant, even that I enjoy Olive Oil I love this type fresh flavor, and pure smell that I experience in this sampling campaign. I loved the presentation, the kit and the convenience container to keep it fresh and easy to use for my daily cooking routine.

Zucchi 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil combines quality and tradition in a blend of carefully selected extra virgin oils made by the mechanical cold-pressing of Italian olives only.

You’ve probably heard that olive oil is great for drizzling and dressing, but bad for high-heat cooking like sautéing and roasting. Maybe you’ve also heard that olive oil develops dangerous toxic compounds when you use it with high heat. Olive oil is perfectly safe to cook with. “I have found no evidence that high-heat cooking with olive oil is unhealthy,” says Rebecca Blake, RD, director of clinical nutrition at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. “There’s no proof.”

Still, this is not to say that you should run off and deep-fry a turkey in for dinner tonight. Here’s everything you need to know about cooking with olive oil:

  1. Choose the right olive oil for the job.
    Extra virgin isn’t the only game in town. There are several different varieties of olive oils, all of which have different flavor profiles, smoke points (more on that later), and cooking purposes. Follow this quick guide to make the best choice for your dish:
  • Extra virgin: Made from the first cold pressing of olives, this has the strongest, fruitiest, and arguably most pleasant flavor. Use in dressings, dips, and garnishes to allow the robust flavor to shine. It’s also a fine choice for sautéing.
  • Virgin: Made from the second pressing of olives, virgin has a milder flavor. Use in medium-heat sautéing and pan-frying.
  • Pure: Made from the second pressing of olive or by a chemical extraction process, pure olive oil isn’t exactly “pure” and lacks the flavor and fragrance of extra virgin and virgin. Use in roasting, baking, or deep-frying.
  • Light: Don’t be fooled—light olive oil isn’t lower in fat or calories than other types of oil. And this type should actually be avoided, since it’s made from a combination of virgin and refined oils, and lacks both the flavor and health benefits of virgin and extra virgin.
  1. Don’t hit the smoke point.

Smoke point is the temperature at which oil starts to break down. You’ll know its happening when the oil starts to, well, smoke. Each type of olive oil has a slightly different smoke point:

    • Extra virgin: 375 to 405°F
    • Virgin: 390°F
    • Pure: 410°F
    • Light: 470°F

Do your best to avoid the smoke point. While it’s not harmful to your health, Blake explains, cooking oil past its smoke point can cause nutrient loss and create unpleasant off-flavors that’ll affect the taste of the finished dish. I hope you found this article Is Cooking with Olive Oil Dangerous? informative and useful for your daily cooking activities. Sometimes information is misunderstand.

5 Best Deodorants for Women

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Living in South Florida means that is warm and hot most time of the year. As a result here is a short list of the five best deodorants found for women.

 1.Native deodorant

Made from natural ingredients, blew us away in terms of effectiveness, and is one of the favorite deodorant by far.  It is fantastic at eliminating odors – you can wear it to yoga and to the gym multiple times, and never felt worried about your body odor. In addition, Native kept us feeling dry all day long, and didn’t leave behind that sticky or oily feeling that some deodorants gave us.

Native deodorant is completely natural, and doesn’t contain chemicals like aluminum and paraben. Most antiperspirants (like Secret, Dove and Degree) have aluminum, which has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, so we wanted to avoid it.  Native comes in a few different scents, including Unscented, Coconut & Vanilla, Lavender & Rose, Eucalyptus & Mint, and Citrus & Herbal Musk.

2. Aesop Deodorant

Aesop Deodorant is a skin care company that started in Australia and has really begun making a name for itself in the United States.  Like the other deodorants on the list, Aēsop Deodorant is aluminum and paraben free.  It has a sophisticated scent and is on the pricey side for deodorants and earned the #2 spot.

3.Jason Deodorant

JASON has a long history of making natural products, and its deodorant is no different. It came in stick form as opposed to a spray or cream, and based on some reviews the stick form tend to be more effective at keeps you dry.

4. Honest Deodorant

If you are a parent, you’ve likely experimented with some Honest Co. products. Honest Deodorant comes in a spray format.  Has been found that natural spray deodorants don’t do a good job at preventing wetness.  Honest Co is no different – it has great scents (Bergamont Sage ) but doesn’t do enough to prevent wetness, ranked Honest Co. #4 on the list.

5. Organic 101 

Organic 101 Deodorant is certified organic by the USDA, and I’m not sure if any other deodorants are able to say that. The deodorant smelled a bit manly more like Old Spice or a heavy dose of cinnamon, and comparing with Honest, Honest’s scent was superior.  It is also a bit dry to roll on, it earned #5 spot.

I hope this list helped you to choose the best and natural option, through years aluminium and paraben has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, and we can start to be more careful and choose the best option for us and for our family.

This post contains some products from an affiliate program, I earned commission if your buy through an affiliate program, prices are not extended.

Motherhood And The Tendency To Alcohol

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Mothers have unique challenges that can aggravate drinking issues in those with susceptibility. However, it is important not to blame external circumstances exclusively for leading mother’s to drink heavily, also are also biological and physiological factors at play.

There are many challenges and blessings of motherhood that are not unique to alcoholics, as other mothers experience them.  However, it is important to acknowledge them and support other mothers in finding strategies to address the challenges in order to enjoy the blessings:

Challenges:

  • It can be challenging to find time for self-care without the support of loved ones, as an example alone time, massage, exercise, nap, read)
  • Mothers may experience “mommy guilt” for leaving their babies in order to take care of themselves.
  • Hormones are unstable during pregnancy and after, especially if a mother is breastfeeding.  Mood and energy can be effected and difficult to regulate.
  • The extreme change in routine with a baby can throw off the recovery plan a mother may have had previously, one of the most difficult stages in life.
  • HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired) is an abbreviation for possible causes that lead to decline.  These 4 triggers are sometimes hard to avoid as a new mother and it is important to stay aware of how vulnerable they can leave you to fading.
  • Mental health issues as anxiety, and depression can be intensified during early motherhood for reasons that include: stopping psychotropic medications due to pregnancy, hormone variations, sleep deprivation, mood issues, stress.  For those women who used to drink to self-medicate mood issues in the past this can be a difficult and causing time to learn to handle without turning to alcohol.
  • Loss of freedom:  drinking alcohol can be an escape and lead one to forget about their responsibilities for a short time. Parenting can lead some to feel locked and trapped.
  • Mothers put their child first and this can lead them to ignore recovery suggestions and to avoid taking the time to fit their recovery program into their new busy life.
  • Motherhood is continuous in a non stop routine. Alcohol can offer a quick escape and sober mothers need to find other options that may require support from others.
  • Marriages and partnership dynamics inevitably change after a baby enters the family, and there may be an increase in tension for a long period of time.
  • Motherhood is the opposite of a lifestyle and feeling responsible for another human being can lead some mothers to long for a time when they were independent and spontaneous.
  • Motherhood involves delayed gratification and patience in the process.  For those who require immediate gratification and rewards, they may look to other sources as alcohol, and food.
  • Many alcoholics’ desire excitement and stimulation in their life, becoming a mother requires a quieter existence and a monotonous routine.

But don’t be discouraged there are many protective positive factors that motherhood can add

Blessings:

  • Taking care of a baby is the ultimate act of sharing and can increase our selflessness therefore, decreasing selfish addictive behaviors
  • Being a mother may increase motivation to get and stay sober, so that you have something to offer to your child.
  • Being in recovery can prevent feelings that parenting is “getting in the way” of your drinking life.
  • Motherhood brings new meaning to your life and can fulfill you in a way that you may have been searching for through alcohol.
  • Motherhood can inspire you to plan for a healthy future and excessive alcohol would not fit into that type of lifestyle
  • Mothers want to set good examples for their children, and being a mother in recovery is an admirable
  • Genetics account for 50% of the chance of developing alcoholism.  Therefore, it is vital that alcoholic parents take responsibility for getting sober and staying in recovery in order to increase the chances that their children either don’t develop alcoholism or have role models to support them if they do.
  • Drinking alcohol in excess inevitably brings an element of danger into your own life (health, drinking and driving, blackouts, etc.).  Therefore, as a mother, you would not want to bring these issues into your child’s life.

Recovery involves more than just “not drinking”.  It also includes living a balanced and healthy lifestyle.  Here are some suggestions of ways to balance recovery and motherhood:

  • Ask for help!  Mothers are not superwomen and need support in parenting from their spouse, partner, loved ones and friends.
  • Make sure that you are eating regularly and if you need help getting groceries or cooking, then reach out to others.
  • Be sure to integrate self-care into your day when taking care of your child: take a nap, exercise, read a good book, watch a fun T.V. show, meditate pray, etc. Cultivate a hobby.
  • Find ways to combine self-care and childcare: get a jogging stroller so that you can walk/run with your child; do yoga stretches while they are playing in an activity center on the floor; get a seat or “pack and play” that will allow you to shower, cook, clean, etc. Be sure to get outside each day, especially if there is sunshine. A lack of vitamin D from the sun can contribute to depressed moods.
  • Ask a loved one to watch your child or pay for a babysitter so that you can do something good for yourself at least once a week: therapy mutual-help group meeting, yoga, exercise, massage, manicure, etc.
  • Join a Mom’s support group such as “Mommy and Me” or library affiliated mother’s groups
  • Begin to create a daily routine that can bring some predictability and stability to your days.
  • Get sleep!!!  Sleep deprivation can lead to many mood-related issues.  If you are having insomnia or constantly interrupted sleep, then it is important to find some support and solutions:
  • Take a nap while your child is napping even if you have chores and other tasks to accomplish, have your partner alternate getting up to feed the baby at night, sleep with ear plugs and have your partner be “on call” alternate nights, listen to a guided relaxation before bed, turn off all electronics 1 hour before bedtime, go to bed first so that you are asleep before your partner comes to bed and have them be “on duty” so that you can sleep, have a night off and sleep at a loved one’s house so that you partner can cover for you (even one night of good sleep could help to recharge your battery).
  • NOT drink caffeine after 4:00pm, “Sleepy time” tea, consult with your physician about getting a blood test for your Thyroid or other post-partum imbalances that could lead to sleep issues, talk with your physician about non-habit forming sleep aid options if all other techniques do not help you.

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Kids & the Pasta Relationship


Use the “power of pasta” to introduce more variety in meals and see your child learning to enjoy a more balanced diet without mealtime drama.

Imagine this scenario. You found time in your busy day to schedule and prepare a family dinner. You included protein and vegetables to make it balanced, only to see your child piling pasta on his plate… then more pasta… and eating nothing else but pasta!

Sound familiar? You are not alone. I have met many parents who were concerned about their child’s love for plain starchy foods like noodles, bread, rice, or mashed potatoes.

A seemingly logical step would be to implement portion control and encourage the child to eat in a more balanced way. But limiting food does not work for children (or grown ups) who tend to react to dietary restrictions with intense cravings and usually find a way to get what they want. I remember counseling a family in which a five year-old girl was sneaking bagels into her bedroom after her health-conscious parents started “watching” her portion sizes.

But the question is, are starchy foods bad for your child?

Far from it. Starchy foods are rich in carbohydrates. This makes them a great option for kids. Here’s why:

* Kids have a innate penchant for sweet and starchy foods, which is logical from an evolutionary stand point. These foods make an efficient source of fuel for developing bodies and rapidly growing brains.

* Although many adults choose to limit carbohydrates or eat only whole grains for weight and health reasons, I typically do not recommend doing the same for children unless directed by a health professional for medical reasons. First of all, carbohydrates are a great way to meet high energy needs since they are easy for even the pickiest eaters to like. Secondly, too many fiber-rich foods may fill kids’ small stomachs before children get enough calories or nutrition. Aiming for a 50/50 ratio of refined to whole grains is a good goal for most kids.

* Although many starchy options like pasta and potatoes get a bad rep as “empty carbs”, they are far from being nutritionally void. Potatoes, for example, are a good source of fiber (if you do not peel them before cooking) and vitamin C. And did you know that just one serving of pasta contains around 1/3 of a toddler’s daily protein needs? And if you take into account that many starchy foods like pasta and cereals are fortified, it’s clear that these foods are quite nutritious.

But it’s easy to fall into the trap of preparing the same starchy foods, even nutritious ones, over and over again. For example, my kids went to three playdates last week and were served some kind of pasta at every single of them. And guess who made noodles and mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner the same week?

Here are a few ideas to increase variety without making your child feel carb-deprived:

* Experiment with other grains and vegetables. Explore the grain and starchy vegetable aisles in your grocery store. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with wheat unless one has a gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy, it is very easy to over rely on it, mainly because it is so ubiquitous in our food supply. Toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, crackers for snack, and pizza for dinner make up a fairly typical menu. What about granola, cooked oatmeal, or buckwheat pancakes for breakfast? Corn tortillas with guacamole or veggie chips with hummus for a snack? Potato fritters, roasted sweet potato wedges, grilled corn on the cob, polenta, boiled potatoes, rice, or quinoa for a dinner side?

* Think of veggie and protein “safe food” options. Do you always include a familiar and liked option in family meals for your child? If so, great! I am a big proponent of the Division of Responsibility in feeding, where parents carefully and lovingly plan meals while kids choose what and how much to eat. To make it work for your family, make a list of your child’s preferred or safe foods, divide them into foods groups, and include one or two in every meal you plan for the whole family. Remember, the safe food you include does not always have to be starchy. Try serving a familiar veggie or protein instead and combine them with a new or less liked starch. Example: breaded chicken and peas (both safe foods, perhaps) served with quinoa (a less familiar food).

* Mix it up. It is absolutely fine if your child eats only white pasta or rice, but, for the sake of variety, why not introduce their whole grain cousins? To start, mix a small amount of whole grains into the refined option and increase the ratio of whole grains gradually over time.

* Set up a “bar”. Instead of offering plain noodles or a naked baked potato, set up an exciting mix-and-match toppings bar. Make sure to include some conventional options like cheese, butter, or tomato sauce as well as more interesting toppings like olives, canned tuna, avocado, corn, herbs, fresh tomatoes, cooked chicken or ham, crumbled bacon, wilted or fresh spinach, sautéed or fresh onions, and even jalapeño peppers.

Starchy foods are most kids’ all-time favorites. Instead of limiting them in the hope to get children to explore other dinnertime offerings, use the “power of pasta” to introduce more variety in meals. Chances are you’ll see your child learn to enjoy a more balanced diet without mealtime drama.

I hope you identify with article and found it informative about Your kids’ eating habits that sometimes is a challenge for many parents.

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The Benefits of Himalayan Salt

salt

The pink Himalayan Salt has a myriad of healthy medicinal properties, being rich in 84 minerals and trace elements.

It can be used as a replacement of the processed table salt, as a bath soak or body scrub, or as pink Himalayan salt lamps. Yet, you might not know that you can use it as a salt inhaler and enjoy its numerous health benefits!

These salt inhalers have small Himalayan salt rocks at the bottom, and when you inhale, the natural moisture of the air helps absorb the salt particles into the lungs.

This is highly beneficial in the case of colds, congestion, allergies, and asthma. The method is completely safe and natural, and thus causes no side-effects.

These are the benefits of salt inhalers:

  1. Protect against Harmful Organisms

Himalayan salt protects against numerous dangerous organism, and due to the high extent of minerals and natural elements, it boosts the immune system and offers potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties.

  1. Detoxification

The air we breathe is full of chemical pollutants, smog, smoke, dust, and pet dander, and the lungs are exposed to constant stress due to air pollution. The use of such a Himalayan salt inhaler detoxifies the lungs and the air around you.

  1. Soothe Sinus issues

Salt inhalation therapy strengthens the respiratory system, and the inhalation of pure, ionized air in salt mines treats respiratory issues, and even general irritation due to smoking and air pollution.

  1. Mucus Buildup prevention

Pink Himalayan salt cleanses the body of the mucus deposits from toxins in the air. These inhalers will relieve congestion and eliminate mucus buildup.

  1. Improve sleep

Salt inhalers soothe a nighttime cough and snoring by reducing mucous build up and congestion, and help you breathe easily and get the needed rest.

This is how to use them:

You should avoid plastic inhalers, but put the Himalayan rocks in a ceramic one. Then, put the mouthpiece in the mouth, and start breathing slowly and deeply through the mouth, and exhaling through the nose.

This is a dry therapy, so do not add water. Deep breathing will bring the small salt ions to the lungs, and they will bypass the nasal filtering system and go directly to the lungs.

They will be easily absorbed in the lungs and brought into the bloodstream, where they will soothe the inflammation and pain due to various reasons, like respiratory issues, such as pneumonia, asthma, and bronchitis.

I hope you enjoyed this information about Himalayan Salt

I was not aware it was useful for many health conditions.