Did you know that at birth your baby can make out most of your facial features right from your arms? The topic of infant vision is always on new parents’ list of questions and is now better understood than ever, as ongoing research has continued to shed light on what infants are able to see from the get-go and how that evolves over the first year of life.
This past January Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin announced the The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. Due to mounting evidence of breastfeeding’s myriad health benefits she declared its promotion a national priority. Indeed, most people have heard about the passage of immunities from mothers to their breastfed infants, but few parents have been informed that formula-fed babies are at higher risk for developing lower respiratory infections, asthma, atopic dermatitis, obesity, necrotizing enterocolitis, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In fact, the Surgeon General estimates that if 90% of mothers breastfed exclusively for 6 months, nearly 1,000 deaths among infants could be prevented annually!
I just finished reading How Eating at Home Can Save Your Life and am moved to share this striking article by Mark Hyman, MD, a brilliant and forward-thinking functional medicine physician. Most of you know that I have a passion for nutrition, gut health, and food as medicine, and many of you have chosen GetzWell in part because what is on your own and your child’s plate is very important to you. I advocate a whole foods, organic diet and encourage parents to offer a variety of colors and flavors in children’s diets as soon as babies begin to eat solid foods. Many of GetzWell’s kiddos shun juice, sweets and empty carbs preferring veggies and other whole foods, and they enjoy the fantastic health benefits that come from eating well.
Although Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are the most studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorders affecting children, there is still little consensus about the root causes of the disorders and their appropriate treatments. According to the CDC, almost 10% of all children in the United States have received an attention deficit disorder diagnosis. Treatment of the telltale symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders (including chronic inattention, frequent distraction, impulsivity, fidgeting and difficulty controlling behavior) now accounts for a significant proportion of all drug use in children between the ages of 4-17. In fact, there are now 17 different drugs approved to treat ADHD, contributing to a multibillion dollar ADHD industry. However, a new study conducted by Radboud University Medical School and the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands1, presents compelling evidence that this blanket pharmacological approach to ADHD is misguided. According to Dr. Lidy Piesser, the author of the study published in last month’s The Lancet medical journal, up to 64% of children who experience symptoms of ADHD might actually be experiencing sensitivity to foods.
Greening the Womb, Part 2: How food choices and reducing stress and toxin exposures during pregnancy can protect your baby for years to come.
Researchers in the field of “fetal origins” propose that the 40 week gestation period may be one of the most significant times of our lives. The 9 months before birth may shape our susceptibility to disease and the functioning of our major organs as well as influence our temperament and intelligence.
Learn more about how to manage your cold and minor viral infections.
Parents often ask if they should premedicate their baby before immunization in order to prevent fever and discomfort that’s associated with the shots. In fact, a study published last year in The Lancet suggested that acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) blunts the immune system’s response to the vaccines. At GetzWell, where we often vaccinate children on a staggered schedule (fewer vaccines per appointment) and strongly discourage premedication, we rarely see post-vaccine fevers or pain. Additionally, an Italian study involving 450 babies (published in Pediatrics in May 2010), showed that half as many infants who were exclusively breastfed developed post-vaccine fevers compared to babies who weren’t breastfed at all. Yet another reason to support breastfeeding whenever possible!
Most parents avoid letting their kids get involved in the kitchen because of the negative images they conjure up: giant clouds of flour, eggs smeared from one end of the counter to the other, peanut butter hair-do’s. However, a whole host of studies from organizations as diverse as the American Heart Association and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University strongly encourage parents to reconsider their children’s roles in helping to prepare the family meal.
Our collective consciousness appears to be shifting towards the acknowledgment that our green choices matter, for ourselves and the generations that follow. As integrative pediatricians focused on supporting and optimizing children’s health, we at GetzWell Pediatrics believe that green affirmations and their legacies are not only integral to the well-being of our world but also inextricably linked to the ultimate life-giving and life-sustaining environment — the womb.