Health Check

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    When babies want their bottle, they want it NOW -- not in ten minutes. Which is why it can be agonizing for parents to have to grab their baby in one hand and a pot in the other, turn on the stove, and warm the milk or formula. For millennia, moms have been told this is a necessary step before a baby will accept your offering. Yet many experts now say that warming the bottle is optional and by no means necessary. 

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    Deliver a baby and, suddenly, it's all about poop. We talk about it, analyze it ... even smell it during our few hours of sleep. We count our baby's bowel movements, note the consistency, and worry about constipation.

    Moms especially spend a great deal of time stressing about that last one. According to Dr. Melissa King, pediatrician, director of urgent care, and Dr. Mom Squad blogger at Dayton Children's Hospital, it's for good reason. "Constipation can become chronic if it is not addressed," she warns.

    So, what can mom do to help a constipated baby poop

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    While most pregnant women know they have to be careful not to take many medications without consulting a doctor first, herbal supplements may seem harmless: after all, they're just little ol' herbs, right? Not necessarily. "A woman needs to be careful about taking herbal supplements pregnancy," says Jenny Jaque, MD, an OB/GYN at the online health magazine Health Goes Female. "Regardless of them being 'natural,' some herbal supplements can lead to harmful effects on the pregnancy and growing fetus."

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    Sooner or later it's bound to happen to all teenagers: They wake up, peer in the mirror... and are horrified to find a huge, honking zit prominently displayed for the world to see. Unfortunately, teens and acne go together like peanut butter and jelly -- their bodies are simply primed to pump out pimples galore. "Teen acne usually shows up in teenagers between the ages of 10 and 20 and occurs because of hormonal changes that place during puberty," says David Bank, a dermatologist in Mt. Kisco, New York, and author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age.

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    A Texas woman working at a hospital nursery who didn't realize she had tuberculosis may have reportedly exposed 706 babies and 43 coworkers to the serious and sometimes-deadly, but treatable disease. 

    A health case worker at Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso was recently diagnosed with having an active case of TB, but health officials can't say with certainty whether she passed on the germ to babies born there between Sept. 1, 2013 and Aug. 16, 2014. This week, moms and dads who left Providence Memorial elated that they were going home with their new bundles of joy received the kind of letter in the mail that would be every parent's worst nightmare.

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    There was a time, long long ago, when you could have sworn you were a competent, capable individual. Then you get pregnant, and boom: You miss deadlines, misplace your keys, or blank on the name of a coworker you've known for years ... and once you give birth, the rest of what you think is ironclad in your mind slips away, too. Friends and enemies start whispering that you suffer from "baby brain," also known as "pregnancy brain" or "momnesia" -- all jokey ways to explain a worrisome new development: pregnancy- or motherhood-induced memory loss.

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    One of the things a breastfeeding mom worries about most is whether her baby is getting enough to eat. After all, you can’t really see the “bottle” draining. And if that’s not enough to stress about, some moms wonder whether their baby is getting the right kind of breast milk. There's lots of talk in breastfeeding circles about foremilk (watery, low-fat milk baby first gets when nursing) and hindmilk (the high-fat cream that follows). But is this something you really need to concern yourself with when nursing your baby?

    The short answer is no.

    "Breast milk is breast milk -- it all serves a great purpose," says Leigh Anne O'Connor, a lactation consultant in New York City. "Foremilk and hindmilk are the same thing; it's the fat content of the milk that is removed that varies. Most women do not need to worry about it at all." 

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    Few sensations in a pregnant mom's life are as thrilling as feeling her unborn baby kick, roll, or otherwise bop around inside her body. Fetal movement generally begins at around 18 to 22 weeks, and it's considered a sign that a baby is likely in good health.

    But a mom who is used to her baby moving frequently can be in for a big shock when suddenly baby just isn't moving around as much as she's used to. Before you start worrying, know this: an ebb and flow in movement by your unborn baby is normal and usually nothing to worry about.

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    Given how often parents are glued to their cellphones, it makes sense that their toddlers would want one, too -- and that toy cellphones have exploded in popularity. Some models teach numbers, others sing songs.

    Yet some parents worry that this isn't just harmless play but could be setting their kids up for trouble down the road. After all, we're constantly being warned to monitor our kids' connection to the digital world and limit screen time. But don't throw out that plastic phone yet.

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    As parents, and especially new ones, we tend to rely on pediatricians to tell us and help us properly care for our children. Between initial infant appointments and general growing checkups, they become our reliable confidantes, educated professionals, and the people we trust to prescribe our children the best and healthiest remedies. But what happens when you just can't stand your doctor and need to switch?

    Sometimes it's a matter of location, change of insurance, disagreeing about an issue (to vaccinate or not to vaccinate), not seeing eye-to-eye about how to care for a child, or just not connecting with the doctor. All of these are valid reasons. Simply, you just totally want to dump them.

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