Babies

Surviving when the crying won’t stop!

It’s the end of the day and you’re looking forward to sitting down and relaxing, if only for just a minute, when it begins … the crying. She doesn’t want to feed. She doesn’t need to be changed, and none of your regular tricks for soothing her are working. She just keeps crying. You are at your wits’ end, but the screaming continues. You have entered: “The Period of PURPLE Crying.” Infant crying typically starts to … Read More

Vitamin D helps your newborn build healthy bones

What is vitamin D? Vitamin D is an essential nutrient found naturally in some foods and produced in our skin in the presence of sunlight. It helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus and also is important for healthy bones, nerves, muscles and immune system function. What are some sources vitamin D? Vitamin D is found naturally in cod liver oil, liver, organ meats, egg yolk and oily fish. Most people do not consume enough … Read More

Q: My baby is 2 months old. Does he need a flu vaccine?

Babies younger than 6 months are too young to receive the vaccine for influenza. One way to decrease their chances of getting the flu is to be sure their close contacts, family members and caregivers get the vaccine. OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital is now in its third season of offering free flu shots to the parents and other adult close contacts of established OHSU Doernbecher patients. This “Free Vaccine for Parents Cocooning Project” is intended to … Read More

The power of reading

A number of studies link reading and writing literacy to productivity later in life. And research demonstrates that early exposure to books and reading can predict better academic skills in early grade school. Given the substantial evidence on the importance of literacy, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital participates in an innovative national program called Reach Out and Read, which offers books to children and their parents at well-child check-ups from ages 6 months to 5 years. … Read More

Keeping newborns safe from whooping cough: It takes a village!

Whooping cough is a respiratory infection sometimes called the “100-Day Cough,” or simply pertussis. This infection, which is caused by the bacteria Bordatella pertussis, has been on the rise since the 1980s. Washington State currently is experiencing an outbreak of whooping cough and the number of cases in Oregon is much higher than the national average. People of all ages can contract this highly contagious illness, but it can be especially dangerous for infants. Most babies … Read More

Delivering a breath of life — via robot

As I watched that beautiful, healthy, happy baby on the computer screen during my TV interview last week, I recalled my first encounter with him back in April. I was paged for a telemedicine consult with Silverton Hospital and informed that a mother was being taken for an emergency cesarean section because the baby was in distress. When I connected to Silverton by way of the OHSU Telemedicine Network, I found the Silverton medical team … Read More

Pulse oximetry screening helps detect critical congenital heart defects

In the United States, critical congenital heart defects affect about 4,800 newborns each year. Babies born with a critical congenital heart defect are at significant risk for death or disability if they are not diagnosed and treated soon after birth. But some babies may appear healthy at first and can be sent home with their families before the defect is detected. It has been estimated that at least 280 infants with an unrecognized critical congenital … Read More

Babies should ALWAYS sleep on their backs

As a new parent, you may have difficulty fending off newborn sleep advice from grandparents and friends. On top of advice, there seems to be a dizzying array of infant sleep products on the market. At OHSU Doernbecher, we recommend families adhere to the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and place babies on their back for every sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Babies who sleep on their stomachs are much … Read More

Why does my newborn need a vitamin K shot?

Vitamin K deficiency bleeding recently made the news when four cases of late bleeding were reported in healthy newborns in Nashville, Tenn. All parents had declined vitamin K, and their infants were reported to be developing normally until sudden bleeding occurred between 6 and 15 weeks.  During my first year as a pediatric resident, I had the opportunity to work in the OHSU Mother-Baby Unit. It was fun and incredibly fulfilling to be the first medical provider for … Read More

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