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If you follow the above guidelines and your child is still constipated, you must consult with your pediatrician immediately. Chronic constipation can be a symptom of an underlying condition. Further diagnosis may be needed to resolve constipation.

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An epidural is one of the best ways to reduce labor pains. An anesthesiologist administers an epidural and side effects are minimal depending on the doctor’s experience.

Common side effects include:
  • Blood pressure drops – this is usually stabilized by using prescribed blood pressure medication
  • Headache - this usually lasts for no more than 3 days and can be relieved by proper hydration and pain relievers
  • Back pain – back pain after an epidural can last for several days after administration.

It is important to note that contrary to common belief, epidurals do not cause any chronic backache or herniated discs in the long run as they are administered through a layer of muscle.

If you continue to suffer from back pain, please consult with your doctor regarding your posture when handling your child.

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Certain food items are known to cause or aggravate constipation.
These include:
  • Bananas
  • Chocolate
  • Fried foods
  • Excessive intake of milk and milk products such as cheese and yogurt

It is important to note that children need no more than 3 servings of milk or milk products each day for bone growth. Teenagers need 4 servings of milk or milk products each day.

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You can start applying sunscreen on your baby's skin by 6 months of age.It is important that you pick a hypoallergenic sunscreen brand and do a patch test on a small area of your baby's skin to ensure there are no allergies. Yes you should not a sunscreen bottle that has been opened from previous season.
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Some expectant mothers who start with an epidural for labor need to undergo a caesarean delivery if the mother or the baby’s condition is at risk, or if the labor is not progressing.

If the epidural is functioning well, the Anesthesiologist will administer more medication through the epidural catheter to deepen the anesthesia and make it adequate for surgery to take place.

If the Anesthesiologist feels uncomfortable with epidural performance, he/she may opt for spinal anesthesia or general anesthesia.

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Not all expectant mothers can take epidurals.

Epidural administration is not advised if the expectant mother has:
  • Abnormally low blood pressure
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Blood infection
  • Skin infection near site of injection
  • Allergic reaction to local anesthetics

Moreover, expectant mothers taking specific blood thinning medications may not be good candidates for epidural administration. The Obstetrician must be consulted prior to epidural administration in such a case.

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Epidural administrated by an experienced Anesthesiologist have no long-term side effects.

If the expectant mother does not have any contraindications for the pain relief being administered, epidurals are a safe option and side effects are rare.

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You should never insert a cotton swab or any object into your baby's ear. Earwax protects your baby's ear canal and will not cause any harm. If you're concerned about an earwax build-up, always consult with your pediatrician. If left, earwax usually comes out on its own – rarely a pediatrician may need to interfere and remove it.
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We do not advise warming up a formula in a microwave. It is better to place the bottle in a pot of hot – but not boiling – water. An alternative is placing the bottle under a running facet of warm water. It is important to test the milk on your wrist to make sure it's not too hot.
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Many mothers pump breast milk in advance, in case they'll be away from their baby or unable to nurse in public. You should never heat breast milk in a microwave as it destroys essential antibodies and enzymes that are heat-sensitive.
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Before changing formula brands, we recommend comparing ingredients in both. Check if both brands are fortified and whether the new one contains any potential allergens. If you notice your baby is fussy, having stomach cramps, suffering from diarrhea, or excessive bloating, it is best to consult with your pediatrician for a recommendation on which formula brand to use. If you suspect your baby has a milk allergy, please check our What's the Best Milk for My Child Guide.
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Yes, you can. You should notice if your baby's skin is showing any signs of allergy. If your baby has allergies or sensitive skin, you should change the type of detergent you're using and consult with your pediatrician. We recommend using baby detergent until one year of age and older if your baby suffers from eczema or sensitive skin.
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Your baby can go through the night without a feeding by 6 months of age. Some babies stop feeding at night by 4-5 months of age, however.
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It is very rare for expectant mothers to experience headaches after epidural administration. The Anesthesiologist performing the epidural will inform the expectant mother if this may happen.

In the case of severe headache, the Anesthesiologist can look into the situation further, as some headaches can be caused by stress, straining, fatigue, sleep deprivation or even migraine.

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If you suspect your child has enlarged adenoids, you must consult with your pediatrician immediately. Enlarged adenoids are usually diagnosed using a nasal endoscope that can show the degree of enlargement and blockage.

Your child will be partially sedated using local anesthesia. Your doctor usually applies a cream or gel on the nose area prior to examination to eliminate any discomfort.

If endoscopy cannot be performed, your doctor may ask for an X-ray to determine the size of the enlarged adenoids.

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Enlarged adenoids are surgically removed to avoid complications. General anesthesia is normally used.

The doctor, with the assistance of a small mirror, will remove the adenoids using a special shaver known as an adenoid curette. The procedure is fairly simple and takes no more than 20 minutes to complete successfully.

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Adenoids can incite a middle ear infection due to decreased immunity and dysfunctions in the Eustachian tube.

As Adenoids are located next to the Eustachian tube, the tube connecting the middle ear to the throat, they can:

  • Act as a source of bacteria transferring through the tube and causing infection
  • Enlarge drastically causing the tube not to drain fluids from the middle ear and as a result causing infections

Removing adenoids in children has proven to reduce middle ear infections and elimination of fluid build-up for children over 3 years of age.

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Young children need encouragement to develop a liking for healthy, high-fiber foods. Here are our suggestions:

  • Begin with small portions of fiber
  • Present the food in an attractive, appetizing presentation
  • Offer small snacks if your child is a light or picky eater
  • Offer fiber each day

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As most speech problems can be easily remedied in early stages, you can utilize the following tips to help your child talk more clearly:

Be a role model: Don't use baby talk with your child. Talk to him/her in full, proper sentences.

Enunciate: Pronounce your words clearly, slowly and correctly for your child to hear and imitate. Try to repeat a troublesome word several times.

Maintain eye contact: Face your child when talking. Children learn by imitation, so it's more likely your child will master certain sounds if he/she watches the movement of your lips, tongue and mouth.

Praise: Praise your child whenever the sounds are correct. Do not reward bad pronunciation as to not encourage it. Many mothers make the mistake of laughing or smiling at wrong pronunciations, this may give your child the sense you're happy about this behavior and will continue to do it. If you feel your child is frustrated, encourage your child and tell him/her "He's doing great" or "Almost there".

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To prevent a possible iron deficiency, you must:
  • Under 6 months of age
    • Breastfeed your baby to build up iron reserves (breast milk is more bio-available and rich in iron)
    • Use an iron-fortified formula if not breastfeeding
    • Avoid low-iron formulas commonly used to treat colic, constipation, cramps or acid reflux
  • 6 months and above
    • Give your toddler two servings of plain, iron-fortified cereal
    • Supplement your toddler's diet with at least one serving of Vitamin C foods to enhance absorption (oranges, guavas, bell peppers, spinach and kale)
    • Introduce plain and pureed meats gradually into your toddler's diet
  • 1 -5 years
    • Avoid giving your child more than 720 ml of cow's milk, goat's milk or soy milk per day

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As mentioned earlier, young children learn to speak and understand through imitation. You can utilize the following tips to stimulate and accelerate speech and language development:

Play sound games: Have fun imitating indoor sounds such as kitchen noises, doors slamming, vacuum humming, sirens, horns and dogs with your child to develop sound recognition and listening skills.

Name objects: When using objects in front of your child, say the object's name slowly and clearly. Let your child repeat after you.

Vary pitch: Say the same word in different pitches, be it high or low, to help your child master pitch and intonation.

Describe activities: When doing an activity, encourage your child to describe the activity in two or three words by asking a question such as "What is mama doing?" Your child will often respond in comprehensible, yet imperfect phrase such as "Wash the dishes" or "pick up spoon" or "drink milk". Don't be discouraged if your child does not use the correct prepositions and/or pronouns in the beginning.

Dissect words into sounds: Help your child identify parts of words into sounds that could be used in other words. Such as "e" in "see and bee" or "I" in "ice or rice" or "o" in "coat or boat".

Encourage speech and sounds during playtime: Encourage your child to talk to his/her toys and playmates and make playful noises such as car whooshing or doll singing. The more often your child uses learnt vocabulary, the more able he/she is to use proper sentences and learn new words.

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It is common for us to communicate with family members, relatives or friends who are suffering from a speech difficulty or disorder. So how can you teach your other children to deal with a sibling suffering from a speech disorder? You must instruct your children to:

  • Be patient and attentive even if the sibling speaks slowly or is hard to understand
  • Speak slowly and enunciate to help the sibling to follow
  • Talk in a quiet environment free from distractions
  • Let the sibling kindly know if you cannot understand or follow
  • Avoid taunting or teasing

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Babies suffering from GERD will exhibit the following symptoms:
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Pain
  • Failure to gain weight – due to nutrient loss when vomiting( If the condition is severe)
  • Refusing to eat

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Newborn and babies tend to have unpredictable eating and sleeping schedules. Moreover, different babies have different preferences and habits. You can establish a feeding schedule for your baby by feeding him/her at regular times. However, you should always watch your baby's cues – whether he's hungry or full. Never force your baby to eat or sleep.
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To know if your baby is getting enough formula milk, look for cues of satisfaction such as sleeping after feeding, weight gain, frequent wet diapers and general wellbeing. You can also check our month-by-month guides on how much formula milk is needed per feeding.
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Using an oral syringe to give your baby medicine is simple. Determine how much dosage you need to use, fill up the syringe with medicine by slowly pulling back the plunger. Once you have the amount needed, gently put the syringe into your baby's mouth and squirt it between the tongue and the side of the mouth. It is important not to squirt the medicine at the back of the baby's throat, as it uncomfortable and can cause choking or gagging.
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An Anesthesiologist will administer the epidural.

The following steps highlight the procedure:
  • You will either be asked to sit up or lie on your side
  • A small amount of local anesthetic will be injected to minimize any discomfort.
  • A special needle is then injected into the epidural space on your lower back, and a small tube(catheter) is then inserted through the needle
  • The needle is removed and the catheter remains taped in position.

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An undescended testicle is easily diagnosed during the hospital checkup after birth. If both testicles are not in the sac at birth but are felt by the examining doctor then the male sex of the baby is not in doubt. The real concern about the male sex is when none of the testicles is felt at birth.

It is important to feel the testicle. A testicle that is not felt can either be inside the abdomen or can be missing.

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Circumcision entails cutting and removing a living, nerve-rich foreskin. Without pain control, this is extremely painful. Circumcision in a newborn should not be performed without an effective local anesthetic.

While many medical professionals may opt not to use anesthetic, circumcision in a newborn without effective pain control is a cruel act of torture exercised by an adult on a helpless child. As a parent, you should consider requesting pain control to alleviate any pain felt by your newborn.

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It depends on the amount and concentration of the dose given as well as its volume.

The effect of any given dose starts being effective in 10-20 minutes after injection depending on the type of local anesthetic used.

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Newborns may have 5-6 bowel movements a day; especially if he/she is on breast milk. Some may have one bowel movement every 3 days. If your baby goes for one or two days without any bowel movements, do not be concerned, especially if your baby does not show any signs of discomfort, fussiness or pain. Consult with your pediatrician if any other symptoms are present.
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Term babies: 1 mg/kg

Preterm babies: 2-4 mg/kg

As you'll notice, preterm babies require more iron as the body is still heavily building the body's organs and immune system.

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A detailed ultrasound, commonly referred to as a 3D ultrasound, is usually done once in the beginning of the 6th month of normal pregnancy. The ultrasound ensures the health of the baby's internal organs using a 3D or 4D ultrasound device.

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Your child's ability to produce sounds will develop as he/she grows and you will be able to assess development according to the timeline below:

2-3 months: Early vocalizations in response to your voice or family member's voice

6-7 months: Babbling around you and when left alone

18-30 months: Usage of keywords used in direct environment such as "car" or "door"

Your general rule of thumb is how strangers perceive your child's speech. If a stranger cannot understand your child by 3 years of age, there might be an underlying speech problem. While not perfect, your child's speech should be structured conveying a clear message such as "dad bell door" or "cat on table".

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We recommend scheduling an appointment with your obstetrician or gynecologist as soon as possible to conduct clinical and laboratory tests, in addition an ultrasound to ensure the safety of your baby. You will also get a prescription for prenatal vitamins to prevent any congenital anomalies during fetus development.

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Every boy with an undescended testicle should celebrate his first birthday with two testicles in the scrotum. The doctor will manually bring the testis into the correct permanent position. For further details on the procedure, you must consult with your pediatrician.

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Epidurals are considered to be safe for both mother and baby. Your baby will be monitored constantly to ensure his/her well being.

The effect of epidural on the baby is directly affected by the mother’s well being.

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Yes. This causes bacteria spreading in the mouth and the liquid in the bottle flowing around the teeth, which in turn dissolves the tooth enamel with time and causes cavities. Moreover, your baby will be more prone to frequent middle ear infections.
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Most babies start crying with tears few weeks after birth. As long as your baby is feeding normally and not fussy, tearless crying is not a cause of concern until his tear glands develop.
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Yes. It is normal and it all depends on your baby's body. Some babies eliminate right after a feeding, some eliminate after three feedings.
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Newborns, both boys and girls, are sometimes born with swollen genitals due to excess fluid and the pressures of delivery. By the first week, all swelling should resolve on its own. If not, you must consult with your pediatrician.
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Newborns, especially those being breastfed naturally, pass a lot of watery stools. As your baby grows, the stools become thicker and less frequent. If your baby shows any signs of discomfort, fussiness or pain, consult with your pediatrician for consultation.
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The baby's nose is connected to the back of the throat. Sometimes, spit will come out the nose instead of mouth - similar to how adult human sometimes have vomit come out of their nose.
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Hiccups are very common in babies. Hiccups are simply a contraction of the diaphragm caused by stimulation or irritation. Contrary to common belief, hiccupping in babies is not a sign of a breathing problem or lack of oxygen in the room.
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It is not unusual for a newborn girl to have some blood from the vagina. If you're unsure where the blood is coming from, it is best to consult with your pediatrician.
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Yes, it is safe to use cornstarch-based powders on the diaper area. Use sparingly and avoid overuse, as your baby can inhale powder and have breathing discomfort or allergies.
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While there is no direct link between bubble baths and Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), there is a link between soap and the irritation of the urethra if not rinsed thoroughly. When this happens, the child often abstains from urinating which in the long run causes urinary tract infections.
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There should be no difference in the pain relief for normal weighing and overweight expectant mothers.

The Anesthesiologist can find it more challenging to administer an epidural due to the extra fatty tissue. Once the needle is in, the epidural works as expected.

Anesthesiologists use different needle lengths to accommodate the increased fatty tissue.

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Rubbing alcohol on your child's body is not a wise idea. While initially, it will bring down the child's fever, it may cause alcohol poisoning at a later stage. Using a cool washcloth on your child's body and head is a better way to bring the fever down.
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No. When you cut your baby's hair, you are essentially cutting the outside or surface of the hair, rather than the hair follicle itself. There is currently no medical evidence that shaving your baby's head will make a difference in the rate of hair growth.
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It is normal for your child to pass hard stools, especially when you first introduce solid foods into the diet. It usually resolves by itself, however you should contact your pediatrician if the baby is uncomfortable.
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Babies under 1 year of age often get stressed or anxious in a bathtub, as it is an unfamiliar setting. You can minimize this by making it a pleasant experience with rubber ducks, toys, and lukewarm water.
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Wake up your baby every three hours for feeding during the day. Also, you must keep the room bright during the day, so your baby can start distinguishing between morning naps and night sleeping.
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If your baby seems to be hungry all the time and is under 3 months of age, there's a good chance he/she hasn't master breastfeeding yet. In such a scenario, it's important to pump excess milk to maintain a constant supply of milk. If this persists, it is best to consult with your pediatrician immediately, especially if your baby is not gaining weight.
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Your pediatrician can determine if your baby is indeed falling outside the usual standards of height/weight for children of the same age. Consult with your pediatrician.
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It depends on the severity of the infection. You should always consult with your pediatrician before flying with your baby. Having your baby fly with a severe ear infection may cause the ear drum to burst.
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If a boy's testicle that was once felt in the scrotum is no longer there, there is no reason to worry. This is commonly known as a "retractile testis" and does not pose any danger or require any medical intervention.

By puberty, the testicle is fixed and can be felt without any problems.

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It depends on your baby's symptoms. If your baby has lost consciousness, is crying, fussing, vomiting, or simply lethargic, call your pediatrician immediately. If not, keep an eye on your baby for any unusual symptoms.
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You can use warm water alone or with a very mild soap to clean your baby's diaper area.
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An expectant mother can feel her baby's movements on a daily basis by the 7th month of pregnancy. You can monitor your baby's movement by lying on your right side after lunch or dinner and counting the number of movements you can feel – be it weak or strong. If your baby makes around 6 movements during one hour, this is usually an indicator of your baby's health. If your baby's movements are less than 6, we recommend you consult with your doctor immediately.

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Absolutely not! Do not add anything to your baby's milk – especially not when bottle drinking at night. This poses a serious choking hazard. Moreover, if your baby is under six months of age, he/she is not ready to start on solid food yet. To read more about this, check out 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Start Your Baby on Solid Food Yet.
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Adenoids (pronounced: add-eh-noids) are small clusters of spongy tissue in the back of the nasal cavity. As these tissues are identical to the tonsils tissue, they are sometimes referred to as “a third tonsil”.

Adenoids are present at birth but can start enlarging by the first year of age and peak at 3-4 years of age. By the time your child is 7 years of age, enlarged adenoids are drastically reduced in size. Moreover, adenoids are rarely present in any child above 10 years of age.

While adenoids are part of the immune system and are there to help prevent illness in children, they can become a hub for bacteria and infections that are easily transferred to the nose, ear and throat.

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A middle ear infection affects the middle ear, which lies directly behind the eardrum. Usually caused by bacteria or viruses, middle ear infections can affect one or both ears and usually occur during a cold or flu where fluid is accumulated in the middle ear.

While middle ear infections are not contagious, the cause of infection such as a cold or respiratory tract illness can be contagious. As a result, children placed in nurseries, daycares and kindergartens are vulnerable to recurrent middle ear infections.

Middle ear infections can affect a child’s balance and result in injuries, in addition to temporary hearing loss. It is important to consult with your pediatrician if you suspect a middle ear infection immediately.

  • Excessive crying and irritation
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Fluid drainage from the ear
  • Difficulty in maintaining balance
  • Lack of response to surrounding noise
  • Pulling at the ears and itching
  • Ear pain – usually in older children

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  • Chronic sinus infections- due to lack of drainage and nose blockage
  • Chronic throat and tonsil infections- due to excessive mucus draining into the back of the throat
  • Increased asthma attacks– due to excessive mucus descending to the lungs
  • Sleep apnea and breath- holding spells leading to increased pressure on the heart, irregular heartbeats

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Pregnant women are scheduled for a number of routine tests to guarantee the safety of both mother and baby including:

First visit: During this visit, full clinical and laboratory tests are done to check blood type and hemoglobin levels, in addition to ensuring there are no dangerous common infections such as hepatitis.

Second visit (end of month 3): During this visit, an ultrasound is done to ensure the safety of the baby and ensure there is no risk of Down Syndrome (DS).

Third visit (end of month 6): During this visit, a blood and urine test are done to measure hemoglobin and blood sugar levels to rule out any risks for diabetes or anemia.

Fourth visit (end of month 8): During this visit, blood and urine tests are done again to ensure hemoglobin and blood sugar levels are in normal range. A vaginal culture may be required to ensure the vaginal canal is free from the Group B Streptococcus bacteria that cause recurrent infections for newborns.

Please note that weight, blood pressure, urine and ultrasound tests are done during each visit to your doctor to reduce pregnancy risks or complications.

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There are three major signs of going into labor:
  • Continuous mild contractions that are 15 minutes apart during the day
  • Mild bleeding known as "showing" or “spotting”
  • Water breaking – this is due to the amniotic sacs rupturing and releasing around 1/2 a liter of amniotic fluid

If you experience any of these signs, you must head to the hospital immediately.

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  • Breathing through the mouth at night
  • Snoring
  • Fever
  • Excessive mucus
  • Nasal congestion

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If your child is prone to such disorders, you will begin to notice warning signs from as early as 1 year of age.

Our warning signs are divided into three main groups: slow development, slow learning, and general behavioral problems. Let us explore each warning sign:

Slow Development

Your child may have a speech or language disorder if by:

  • Year 1: Your baby does not cry, babble, or pay attention to other voices in the direct environment
  • Year 2: Your child can't put some words together in a sentence
  • Year 3: Your child's speech is difficult to understand for those outside the family
  • Year 4: Your child doesn't have a growing vocabulary, doesn't speak in sentences, and makes most sounds, in addition to pointing to things instead of talking
  • Year 5: Your child can't carry on a simple conversation, stutters, and/or sounds much different from playmates in the direct environment
Slow Learning

In addition to the signs above, is your child having trouble learning new concepts? Does your child have poor reading skills in comparison with peers in the direct environment?

Behavioral Problems

Finally, you must observe if your child suffers from any behavioral problems such as:

  • Excessive shyness and reluctance to talk
  • Feeling self-conscious and nervous when speaking
  • Increased defensiveness or withdrawal when speaking

If you are able to identify two or more of these warning signs, we recommend consulting with your pediatrician right away. Your pediatrician will be able to assess the need for a referral to a speech and language specialist if needed.

It is important to remember that early detection and treatment is critical in preventing a lifelong struggle with language and speech.

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The soft spots on your baby's head are what we call "fontanels".They allow the skull to grow and accommodate the growing brain, the soft spot on the back of the head usually closes at 8 weeks. The one in the front closes at 12-18 months of age.
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Preventing speech and language disorders is not as hard as you may think. You must follow the following guidelines:

Communicate: Talk with your children all the time. Do not ignore their questions or stories.

Use short sentences: Do not use long, complex sentences as not to confuse your children. As your children begin to master simple sentences, you can move on to compounded phrases and sentences.

Listen: Listening is one of the most important skills you can develop in your family. Many mothers are not aware that their habits greatly affect their children. If you do not listen to others and often interrupt, your children are likely to imitate. Encourage your family members to only speak after they have listened carefully to what the other person is saying. You can tell if your children have learnt to listen by the way they talk to each other during playtime.

Read: Reading to your children can help them develop speech and language skills, in addition to creativity and critical thinking. A bedtime story is best as children are usually still and not facing any distractions such as toys or peers.

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For most babies, symptoms can be managed by adopting the following guidelines:

  • Keep your baby in upright position after feeding to help keep food down
  • Avoid putting your baby in a car or infant seat after feeding as it can put pressure on the stomach
  • Place your baby to sleep on his/her back
  • Feed your baby smaller, more frequent feedings to facilitate digestion.
  • Use a thickened milk formula, commonly known as an Anti-Regurgitation Formula (AR),
  • Burp your baby frequently during feeding; avoid putting pressure on the stomach

Depending on the severity of GERD, your pediatrician may recommend adopting these steps all throughout the day or just for a few hours after feeding. If your child continues to experience GERD symptoms, consult with your pediatrician to avoid complications.

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There are no conclusive causes as to why one testicle fails to finish its trip into the scrotum.

In 30% of premature births and 5% of regular births, boys can be born with an undescended testicle on one side. While the testicle usually descends by 6 months of age, in some cases, the testicle does not descend and medical intervention is needed to prevent damage to the testicle.

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You can follow the suggested daily routine listed below:
  • Begin the day with fruit juice - preferably prune, apple, or pear juice
  • Offer a high-fiber cereal at least once a day
  • Serve raw vegetables or a salad with dark green lettuce every day
  • Use whole grain or bran bread instead of white bread
  • Help your child drink more water by offering 2 to 4 glasses of water throughout the day
  • Help your child develop a taste for bran. Try to include 2 to 4 tablespoons of bran every day. You can sprinkle bran on cereal, yogurt, or applesauce.

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Epidural anesthesia is one of the most popular forms of pain relief for expectant mothers during labor and delivery.

Epidural anesthesia blocks the pain in a specific region of the body by blocking the nerve impulses from the lower spine. As a result, a mother experiences decreased sensation in the lower half of the body while remaining conscious and pain-free.

Benefits of an epidural include:
  • Reduction of anxiety and stress during labor and delivery
  • Opportunity to relax or sleep during labor
  • Facilitation of labor when stress hormones slow down contractions

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When the foreskin is removed, a circumcised penis should have the glans uncovered by skin. If penile skin is still covering the glans, your doctor may consider a revision. We recommend taking a second opinion before considering a revision, as it can lead to complications and/or bleeding.

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Bottom two front teeth are usually the first to appear inside the mouth followed by the top two front teeth then the adjacent lower followed by the adjacent upper. Please note that the first molar usually erupts before the canine.

Please remember that this is the average sequence. Anything out of this order does NOT mean that something is wrong.

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Lanugo is fine hair that covers your baby's body all throughout the last stage of pregnancy and directly after birth. Lanugo is shed during the first weeks, but many babies are still covered in lanugo for a couple of months.
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The first step is to schedule an appointment with your pediatrician. Your doctor will perform an examination before referring you to a specialist if necessary. We recommend a routine hearing screening for all babies at 1 week of age.
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If your child has a negative attitude towards speech and language, it is probably due to a past experience. If family members have made fun of your child's speech in the past, this may cause your child to hate communicating.

So how can you help your child when he/she is uncooperative?

Pretend you're not paying attention: Use words and speech in their presence. Repeat words clearly in a casual manner to help your child learn. Do not direct your speech towards your child, as not to make him/her withdraw negatively.

Make speech fun: When communicating with others in front of your child, make speech colorful and fun. Use only positive adjectives that can create a positive atmosphere or incite laughter or smiles. This will get your child to speak as children at that age are always seeking to belong and be accepted by their surroundings.

Use toys: Toys that make noises and sounds are an excellent aid. Audio books enable your child to learn at his/her own pace without feeling uncomfortable.

Avoid negative feedback: Try not to discuss your child's speech problems. This will only cause your child to withdraw further.

Keep it simple: Try to use books and picture books that are simple and uncluttered. Books with too many words and details can make your child feel overwhelmed and distressed when unable to deal with them properly.

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The best breastfeeding schedule for your baby is one that goes with his/her appetite on demand. You can follow our general breastfeeding guidelines for an idea of the ideal feeding frequency.
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During the first days of life, your baby's stool will be dark green or black due to passing of meconium, a tarry substance resulting from the accumulation of bowel movements in the womb. As your child grows, the stool color ranges between yellowish-brown and light brown. Breastfed children usually pass yellow, seedy loose stools.
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Routine visits to your doctor are scheduled as follows:
  • Two monthly visits during the first 3 months
  • One monthly visit during months 4-7
  • Two monthly visits during months 7-8
  • A weekly visit during month 9
  • An internal examination (middle of month 9) to assess the size of the uterus, pelvic dimensions and possibility of natural delivery

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You can give your baby a bath using lukewarm water and sponge bath during the first week. Many pediatricians prefer to continue with sponge bath routine until the umbilical cord stump falls and area heals.
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Babies usually start developing motor skills required to drink from a cup from as early as 9 months. Most babies master drinking from a cup around 12-16 months of age. It is important to switch your baby to a cup before he/she is too attached to bottles. After 9 months of age, your baby begins to see his/her bottle as a source of comfort. Take him/her out shopping for a sippy cup to make the process easier and more fun.
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Babies usually start developing motor skills required to hold a bottle from as early as 6 months. Most babies master this around 10-11 months of age. It is important not to force your baby by propping up the bottle in his/her mouth. This will not speed up the process; instead, it can pose a choking hazard. Also, propping bottles before your baby is ready may cause ear infections.
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While the fetus begins moving from as early as week 1 during pregnancy, the expectant mother cannot feel the movement of her baby until much later. The first movement she can feel happens around the middle of the fifth month during the first pregnancy or beginning of the fifth month during other pregnancies.

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At 2-3 months intra-uterine. Usually the full set of baby teeth is formed before the baby is born.

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On average between 6-9 months of age. Usually, this process lasts up to 3 years of age until the full set of baby teeth is complete. However, some babies can have delayed eruption of up to one year of age or even more.

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On average, at the age of 6-7 years children lose their lower front teeth. It is also very important to be aware that the first permanent molars come through at around that age. These do not replace any of the existing baby teeth and will not be replaced later on in life. Because these molars are permanent, and erupt at an early stage of life, they should be looked after very carefully.

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At 7-8 months intra-uterine but continue to form after a baby is born.
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A woman's fertility period is around the time of ovulation. In women with regular menstrual cycles of 28 days, ovulation happens on the 14th day from the beginning of the cycle. To conceive, it is recommended to try during day 11 -17 every 48 hours.

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An amniocentesis test, conducted in weeks 15-20, determines the genetic makeup of the fetus. It is done by taking 20 mm of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby with a needle into the abdomen. The test doesn't take more than 15 minutes and causes mild discomfort for the expectant mother.

Your doctor can conduct this test if:
  • There is an obvious risk for any genetic diseases such as Down Syndrome (DS)
  • The expectant mother is over 35 years of age and further testing is needed to ensure the safety of her baby

Final results can take up to 20 days and there are little complications associated with this test.

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It is best if circumcision is done before the mother and child go home after birth. Medical professionals at the maternity ward are trained and prepared to perform such a procedure and can provide proper care in the case of bleeding or infection.

Furthermore, it is healthier to perform circumcision no later than 2 weeks after birth. Delaying circumcision can result in higher incidences of bleeding, infection and complications.

It is not advisable to circumcise a boy at later ages, as the procedure is not similar to that done on a newborn. Moreover, newborns heal faster than babies and young men.

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In some babies, circumcision should be done under general anesthesia. If the baby is older than 4 months of age and is obese or older than 6 months and slim, general anesthesia is needed.

General anesthesia is used to reduce risk of bleeding as babies at this age can move.

To sum it up, circumcision should be a happy event for the family performed by a trained medical professional. Do not take circumcision lightly.

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Children should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.

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If the newborn is suffering from an abnormal urine opening, twist of the penis, tilt of the penis, curvature of the penis and short skin between the scrotal sac and penis tip, circumcision may need to be delayed.

Your doctor will be able to assess the situation better. Before performing circumcision, make sure you examine your newborn and voice any concerns you may have to your doctor.

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You should start as soon as your baby grows his/her first tooth using a small piece of moist gauze to wipe any plaque from the teeth and gums. You can start using a baby-friendly toothpaste and toothbrush once your baby has several teeth.
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The sooner the better. Starting at birth you can clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using a small soft-bristled toothbrush and a smear of children’s fluoridated toothpaste. Remember, young children cannot brush effectively; assist your child’s tooth brushing.

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You can start weaning your child off his/her bedtime bottle between 6-9 months of age. As babies start eating solid foods, the need for bedtime nursing gradually decreases. It is important never to leave your baby sucking on his/her bottle for long periods of time, as it can cause ear infections and teeth problems.
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Your Obstetrician and/or Anesthesiologist can help you decide when the timing is right.

It is preferable to administer an epidural during an “active stage” of labor. This is usually after you are 3-4cm dilated with regular contractions to make sure it is not false labor.

Some expectant mothers request epidural upon arrival; others wait and decide at a later stage. The epidural can be inserted and activated once labor pains begin.

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Pediatricians recommend weaning your baby from the pacifier from as early as 1 year of age.
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Remember this: “first visit by second birthday”. However, should you suspect any abnormality please visit a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. Early visits and preventive care will provide your child with a better smile now and in the future.

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Babies use thumb sucking as a soothing and calming tactic. Most stop sucking their thumb around 3-5 years of age. If your child is sucking his/her thumb in certain situations that cause anxiety such as on the way to the doctor or when left alone in a room, you should address the source of anxiety before discouraging thumb sucking. Otherwise, try to distract your child by encouraging him/her to do an activity that requires the use of both hands.
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If you suspect you're pregnant, you can use a home pregnancy test available from local pharmacies. Home pregnancy tests are very accurate and can be done within 24 hours after your period is late. Another way to test for pregnancy is through a blood test that measures pregnancy hormones. This test can also be used at later stages to monitor pregnancy – if any.

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A newborn baby often has a cone-like or pointy head due to being compressed in the birth canal during birth. This will resolve within a few weeks and your baby's head will become round.
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It all depends on your baby's natural hair growth rate. Most babies lose all of the hair they're born with within the first six months. If your baby does not have a full head of hair, do not be worried, it will grow in eventually.
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Babies are born with iron reserves. Babies delivered normally, known as term babies, usually have an iron reserve enough to sustain them during the first 4-6 months of age. Babies born weighing less than 2.5 kg, known as preterm babies, have around 2-3 months worth of iron reserves.

Mothers often make wrong choices when it comes to their baby's nutrition especially when starting on solid foods. This may cause an iron deficiency by the child's first birthday.

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Bowed legs are common in newborns due to their position in the uterus. When your baby starts to walk, the bones will reform on their own. If you suspect that your baby still has bowed legs even after walking, consult with your pediatrician.
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Antibiotics are prescribed to kill bacteria. Most common colds and Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs) are caused by a virus, and thus cannot be fought with an antibiotic.
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Regardless of anesthesia type during a cesarean procedure, expectant mothers do not feel any pain. Some women are conscious of their surroundings but will not feel any discomfort.

At the time of delivery, the doctor will inform you that he/she shall push down on your abdomen to facilitate the delivery of the baby. It will not cause any pain or discomfort.

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Most children outgrow GERD by 6 to 12 months of age. If your child is still vomiting frequently by the time he/she is 18 months old, you must consult with your pediatrician for further diagnosis.

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Many newborns are born with umbilical hernia, which in turn causes the belly button to stick out. You should not worry about your baby's belly button sticking out unless it is coupled with swelling, tenderness or discoloration of the skin around it. If so, consult with your pediatrician immediately. Otherwise, it will go back to normal on its own with time.
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The color of the eyes will usually stay the same or become a bit darker. By the time your baby is 9 months old the eye color becomes permanent. Babies born with dark eyes stay with dark eyes and will not have lighter-colored eyes.
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It's very possible, as the skull's bones are not fully grown and there are soft spots on the head. However, you should avoid putting your baby to sleep on his/her stomach to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Instead, try alternating the position of your baby from sleeping on the sides or on the back.
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Many expectant mothers are concerned that epidural may slow down contractions and delay labor. This is true if an epidural is administered early in the first stage of labor.

Your Obstetrician may opt to administer a drug to speed up labor.

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Many expectant mothers are concerned whether epidurals have long-term effects on their backs. Contrary to common belief, epidurals do not cause any chronic backache or herniated discs in the long run as they are administered through a layer of muscle.

Studies show that mothers who have natural childbirth without epidural administration are as likely to experience general back pain. Back pain experienced by mothers is usually due to poor posture when breastfeeding or handling their child.

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Your doctor will explain the procedure comprehensively if an epidural to be administered. The doctor will numb the area with a local anesthetic before inserting the needle. Some expectant mothers feel a little sting, pressure or mild discomfort during the insertion. Others do not report any discomfort.

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At-will breast-feeding should be avoided after the first baby teeth start to erupt and other sources of nutrition have been introduced. Children should not go to bed with a bottle containing anything other than water. Juices in a bottle should be avoided too. Fruit juice and milk should only be offered in a cup with meals or at snack time.

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