Dr. Mark Gostine, Author at BabyQ

Baby bipolar?

Can a Baby Be Bipolar?

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The classic signs of a bipolar disorder are extreme ups and downs.  If we think about infancy, all young babies are by definition bipolar.  They can go from crying one minute to smiling and laughing the next.  If we saw that type of behavior in an adult we would suspect they were bipolar.  In a young baby, these bipolar symptoms are normal.  That is why pediatric bipolar disorder is rarely diagnosed under the age of nine; but occasional reports indicate in it can present as young as six. Pediatric bipolar disorder is often diagnosed on the basis of behavior because a child may not always be able to express himself appropriately in words. They may lose weight secondary to a poor appetite, no longer enjoy their usual activities, and have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.  These are the usual characteristics of depression.  When children are in the manic phase…

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Keeping CRP levels low

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Recently, some well-designed studies have pointed out a link between increased maternal inflammation and a negative impact on infant brain development during pregnancy.  We can track inflammation with a blood test called CRP and in Finland a very large study indicated that high CRP blood levels during pregnancy could impair emotional development later in childhood.  How do mothers keep CRP levels low?  The answer is straight forward: Don’t smoke Keep your teeth in good shape, floss and brush regularly Eat lots of fruits and veggies Exercise 40 minutes 5 days a week Avoid deep fried foods These simple good habits will give your child a “head” start.

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Darkened Areola

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One of the changes to your skin during pregnancy is that the tissue around your nipple, called the areola, will darken.  This is absolutely secondary to the hormonal and metabolic changes that occur during pregnancy.  While the areola lightens up after pregnancy, they never go back to the color they were before you became pregnant.

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How Do I Know If I’m Having Contractions?

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What are the different types of contractions? The first type of contraction you will experience during your pregnancy is Braxton-Hicks, or what is known as false labor. This type of contraction causes the cervix to become softer and thinner, making it easier for the baby to pass through during delivery. Braxton-Hicks contractions become more frequent in the weeks before your delivery date. You can tell if you are experiencing a Braxton-Hicks contraction if: You feel your uterus muscles becoming tightened at odd times or you get a squeezing feeling in your lower abdomen. The contractions range from a painless tightening to extremely painful. The contractions don’t follow a pattern. They come and go unexpectedly in the afternoon or evening. On the other hand, true labor contractions, which indicate that the birth process had begun, follow a regular pattern, start at the back and move to the lower abdomen, are from…

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Nasal Congestion

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Many women suffer from nasal congestion during pregnancy.  This is because your body is producing more blood and holding on to fluids in preparation for delivery.  During delivery you will lose a lot of fluid, including the baby that is 90% water, the amniotic fluid and the placenta.  Your body will want to balance this sudden loss of fluid by storing extra fluid.  This makes your tissue swell, including your nasal passageways, leading to snoring during sleep and occasional difficulty breathing through your nose. To help reduce snoring, you can wear support hose during the day.  During the day, while you are up and around, extra fluid is stored in your legs.  Then it enters your blood stream at night when you lay flat.  It causes your nasal passageways to become congested and you may snore. The support hose prevent the extra fluid from being retained in your legs.  Hence,…

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Is lower back pain normal?

Is Lower Back Pain Normal During Pregnancy?

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Is Lower Back Pain a Common Symptom During Pregnancy? Is Lower Back Pain Normal During Pregnancy? Yes. Statistics show that between 50 to 80 percent of all pregnant women experience some form of back pain, ranging from a mild pain that only manifests during certain activities to a more severe, chronic pain. Lower back pain is most common from the fifth month to the seventh month, but can begin as early as the second month. Women who have back problems prior to becoming pregnant are at an increased risk for lower back pain, and these women generally experience lower back pain earlier on in their pregnancy. What Causes Pregnancy Lower Back Pain? There are several explanations for lower back pain: Additional weight – As a women begins to gain weight, it puts additional pressure on her spine, causing lower back pain. There is also additional pressure on the spine as…

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What are the Benefits and Challenges of Home Birth?

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Why Do Women Choose to Have Home Births? Home births offer healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies the chance to deliver their babies in a peaceful, familiar setting. You are attended by a midwife or a doctor, but you are free to move around, to have control over who is present, and to enjoy the comfort of your own home. You and your newborn will also be free of the risks inherent in a hospital setting, such as infectious organisms and treatment errors. For these reasons, the percentage of women who choose home births is rising rapidly. Are Home Births Safe? The statistics say that home births are safe for women who are carefully screened. A 2013 British Medical Journal study of over 146,000 low-risk births found that women who had their babies at home suffered fewer complications than low-risk women who gave birth in hospitals. One important aspect of this research to…

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Acne

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Many young women experience acne during pregnancy.  This is influenced by the hormonal changes taking place in your body.  Nonetheless, each woman’s tendency for acne may change during the pregnancy.  Most topical products for acne are safe during pregnancy with the exception of Retin-A also known as isotretinoin.  If you become pregnant on isotretinoin, stop immediately and tell your OB.

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How Much Does a Baby Cost?

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How Does the Cost for Hospital Delivery Compare with Delivery at a Birth Center? The US government organization, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Utilization Project offers the following hospital cost statistics: Vaginal birth no complications – $9,617 to $10,657 Vaginal birth with complications – $12,532 to $13,749 C-section no complication – $15,799 to $17,859 C-section with complications – $21,495 – $23,923 The American Association of Birth Centers claims that the cost for a vaginal delivery at a birth center is $2,777. How much will it cost to raise my child? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2012 Expenditures on Children by Families reports that parents with an annual household income between $59,410 and $102,870 can expect to spend $295,560 per child born in 2011 until the age of 17; while parents with an annual household income of less than $59,410 can expect to spend $169,080 per…

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