March 30, 2009 by Robin Beckett
What are the benefits of probiotics during pregnancy?
Dr. Robel says: Probiotics, or friendly bacteria that reside in our gut, may increase fertility and reduce early miscarriage as well as help prevent eczema and allergies in infants, according to several recent studies.
Probiotics are found in yogurt and other fermented foods. They serve to protect us from infection and help prevent a wide range of health problems including constipation, diarrhea, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies and various skin problems.
New research is finding that probiotics may also be beneficial to women trying to conceive. In a study done in Belgium, supplementing with a probiotic while women underwent in vitro fertilization increased the rate of conception compared to women not taking the supplement. Likewise, several studies have found that women given a probiotic at the onset of pregnancy have lower rates of spontaneous miscarriage in the first trimester.
Besides the benefits to mom, there are benefits to your infant. Taking a probiotic supplement for the last three to four weeks of pregnancy may reduce rates of eczema and allergies by as much as 50 percent, according to a study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Probiotics can be obtained by eating yogurt labeled as containing “live and active cultures.” Also, there are various supplements that can be taken.
Always speak with your health care provider before taking any supplements, including a probiotic, to decide if it is right for you. Also, not all supplements are created equal so it’s important to get a recommendation to ensure you are getting what your body needs.
— Heidi Robel, ND, is a naturopathic physician and acupuncturist in private practice in Yakima.
She’s expecting her first little one in August.
March 29, 2009 by Robin Beckett
We know you’re out there, Clutter Bugs. We’ve seen the evidence: Photos of clothes and toys all jumbled together, piled on the floor, spilling out from your children’s overstuffed closets.
You want to clean it up, but you don’t know where to start. You’re not alone:
“I have REALLY tried to do something about this problem, but every time I get the rooms a little organized then more clutter is created,” wrote Yakima mom Chantelle McKinney, whose plea for help won our Messy Closet Contest. “This is a never-ending battle… I am so overwhelmed.”
Want to organize your kids’ closets? Click here for tips from the pros.
Chantelle is mom to 9-year-old Tanner and little brother Colton, 6. After sharing a room for several years, the boys were ready to have their own space. Trouble was, the spare bedroom had become a disorganized dumping grounds for everything that didn’t fit in the boys’ shared bedroom.
The clutter had become a source of friction in her marriage to the boy’s dad, Johnny. Family history played its part: Chantelle comes from a clan of collectors, but her husband was raised “just the opposite.”
Chantelle really wanted to get organized, but felt overwhelmed by the task at hand: Two rooms overflowing with toys, clothes, baby mementos and art projects. Contributing to the chaos, this busy mama watches other children in her home while her boys are in school, leaving little time for getting organized.
“I’ve got little mess makers everywhere,” Chantelle sighed.
To help out, we called in some gals who really know how to straighten up: Professional organizers Sheila Treat and Tamara Alexander, a.k.a. Clutter Busters.
“We make people so happy,” Sheila said about her work. “That’s just really rewarding. In some cases, we feel like we’ve saved their sanity.”
The main reason kids can’t keep their rooms clean, Sheila told us, is too much stuff. Chantelle recognized this as a problem at her house, but she’s also sentimental and had a hard time knowing what to let go.
The Clutter Busters promised they wouldn’t throw away anything she really wanted to keep. However, “we will be encouraging you to throw a lot away,” Sheila advised.
“Once it’s gone, you won’t miss it,” assured Tamara. “You’ll be so relieved.”
Their predictions proved true: Even before the project was finished, Chantelle reported that her boys were excited about how much more space they had to play and how nice their rooms looked.
“When Tanner walked into his room today, he said, ‘This is a good day.’”
The boys even pitched in with the purging, and vowed to keep their rooms organized.
Unfortunately, for Chantelle, it looks like she kicked the Clutter Bug but caught a case of spring fever: “Now I’m looking at my (kitchen) cupboards thinking, ‘Oh, that has got to go.’”
— Sara Bristol
March 29, 2009 by Robin Beckett
Is there a nightmare in your child’s closet? When it comes to organization, children’s rooms are typically tormented by two mess monsters:
1. TOYS. “Most kids have way too many toys,” says Sheila Treat, a professional organizer with Clutter Busters. “If they’ve outgrown them or they don’t play with them, regift them or donate them.”
The rest should be organized into bins that can be rotated so the kids don’t have access to all the toys at the same time. The more toys they can access, the more you’re going to keep finding on the floor.
2. CLOTHES. Like toys, most kids have too many clothes. Sort them out, Treat says. If it’s something they don’t wear, doesn’t fit, is torn or stained, or was a gift or hand-me-down that you don’t really want… get rid of it.
Moms might think (or hope, with fingers crossed) that more clothes somehow equals less laundry. Think about it, gals: This strategy just means you have five loads of laundry lurking on the basement floor, and you still can’t find a pair of matching socks.
YOU CAN DO THIS
Ready to dive into the disaster zone and tidy up? We asked Clutter Busters for some tips on how to get organized:
- Don’t start with the whole house. Find one space: A desk, a closet, a room.
- Begin by sorting, grouping like items together: Toys, clothes, papers, etc.
- Keep a garbage bag handy. Use a black sack so you can’t see what’s inside. You won’t miss it.
- Tackle each of your piles, deciding what to keep, trash or donate/sell. Then go through the keepers again — there are probably a few more things you really don’t need.
- For things that are going away, put them in a bag or box and label it with the charity or friend who will receive it. Then, get it out. “Don’t put (the bags) by the back door or in the basement,” Treat says. “Figure out where you’re going to take them and get ‘em gone.”
- For things that you’re keeping, group like items together (little men, cars, books) and make a place for them. Use separate, smaller containers for each kind of toy rather than dumping everything together in a larger tub. Save kids’ schoolwork or art in a scrapbook or binder.
- Plan a schedule to keep it clean. Whether it’s a few minutes before bed or an hour on Saturday morning, set aside a specific time to straighten up until it becomes habit.
- Need an extra set of hands, or someone to walk you through the process? Call in the Clutter Busters at 952-3202.
by Ashley Tercero, DDS
Will thumb-sucking harm my child’s teeth?
Dr. Tercero says: Non-nutritive sucking habits (finger or pacifier sucking) are normal in infants and toddlers. These habits help address a child’s need to feel secure.
Although normal and harmless for young children, non-nutritive sucking can result in long-term problems if persistent. Prolonged finger or pacifier sucking can lead to a permanent open bite and other dental and jaw deformities.
In order to prevent these problems, the habit must stop by age 5. However, the difficulty of ceasing this habit increases with age, so it’s best to stop the habit before age 3. If the habit persists beyond the age of 3, it’s recommended to see a dentist for professional evaluation.
— Ashley Tercero, DDS, is a children’s dentist at Yakima Pediatric Dentistry.
Her 7-month-old daughter, Kya, doesn’t have any teeth.
March 24, 2009 by Robin Beckett
by Ryan Moultray, D.O.
What is postpartum depression?
You’ve just had a baby. You’re not sleeping, your hormones are completely confused, your body hurts and there is this constant crying noise in your ear. Who wouldn’t be a little depressed?
The “baby blues” are common, and usually develop within the first few days after birth. You might experience mood swings, anxiety, sadness and insomnia. This is a transient phenomenon and usually resolves without treatment within two weeks.
Postpartum depression is also common, developing in up to 10 percent of mothers, but often goes unrecognized. The symptoms can be nonspecific, including fatigue, sadness and crying, insomnia, feeling guilty or inadequate, being overwhelmed, poor concentration, decreased libido, anxiety and not wanting to do usually enjoyable activities. In rare and extreme cases, a woman can develop psychosis (a loss of contact with reality).
Treatment usually involves a combination of counseling, medication, exercise and spiritual or emotional support. Some women are more prone to developing PPD, so if you have a previous history of depression or other mental health issues, you may want to talk to your doctor before the baby arrives. Usually, a mother doesn’t have a follow up appointment with her doctor until six weeks after delivery. It’s important to seek help sooner if there are any concerns for PPD.
— Ryan Moultray, DO, is an osteopath at Selah Family Medicine. Will and Owen call him Dad.