Aspen Birth Center Blog

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National American Indian and Alaskan Native Heritage Month

November 15, 2018


Native American Heritage Month recognizes the histories and continuing invaluable contributions of American Indian and Alaska Native people in the United States.

This month honors the rich diversity of American Indian and Alaska Native cultures, traditions, and languages, and it focuses on how heritage intersects with health.

By working together to raise awareness of health disparities and providing a platform for national American Indian and Alaska Native health organizations to discuss challenges and opportunities, we can all help move communities toward health equity.

Click for more resources here

Heather Knott, RN-IBCLC


 
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Halloween Tips-National Safety Council

October 31, 2018

Kids love the magic of Halloween: Trick-or-treating, classroom parties and trips to a neighborhood haunted house. But for moms and dads, often there is a fine line between Halloween fun and safety concerns, especially when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.

In 2016, 7,330 pedestrians died in traffic or non-traffic incidents, according to Injury Facts. Non-traffic incidents include those occurring on driveways, in parking lots or on private property.

NSC research reveals about 18% of these deaths occurred at road crossings or intersections. Lack of visibility because of low lighting at night also plays a factor in these deaths.

Here's a scary statistic: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. In 2017, October ranked No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month, with 3,700. July is No. 1, with 3,830 deaths.

Costume Safety

To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a list of Halloween safety tips. Before Halloween arrives, be sure to choose a costume that won't cause safety hazards.

  • All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
  • Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision
  • If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks
  • When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first
  • Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation

When They're on the Prowl

  • A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you
  • Agree on a specific time children should return home
  • Teach your children never to enter a stranger's home or car
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends
  • Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home
  • Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street

Safety Tips for Motorists

NSC offers these additional safety tips for parents – and anyone who plans to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:

  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
  • Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween
© Copyright 2018 National Safety Council - All rights reserved
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Get Moving to Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

October 15, 2018


Engaging in regular exercise is good for you for many reasons, and one of them is to lower your risk of getting breast cancer. Many studies conducted over the past 20 years have shown consistently that an increase in physical activity is linked to a lower breast cancer risk.

How exercising lowers breast cancer risk is not fully understood. It’s thought that physical activity regulates hormones including estrogen and insulin, which can fuel breast cancer growth. Regular exercise also helps women stay at a healthy weight, which also helps regulate hormones and helps keep the immune system healthier.

How much exercise do women need?

Unfortunately, there is not a magic number of hours that a women can exercise to prevent cancer from occurring or to lower risk. But we do know that some is better than none, and more is better than less. Also, more vigorous activity is more effective than less vigorous activity. The American Cancer Society recommends all adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes hours of vigorous intensity activity each week, preferably spread throughout the week.

Examples of moderate intensity activities include brisk walking, dancing, leisurely bicycling, yoga, golfing, softball, doubles tennis, and general yard and garden maintenance. Examples of vigorous intensity activities include jogging, running, fast bicycling, swimming, aerobic dance, soccer, singles tennis, and basketball. All of these activities are in addition to those that are part of your usual routine at home and work – things like walking from your car to the garage, and climbing a flight of stairs.

Limit the time you spend sitting

Another advantage to exercising is that when you’re exercising, you aren’t just sitting. Evidence is growing that sitting time, no matter how much exercise you get when you aren’t sitting, increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer and some other types of cancer, as well as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

For many of us, working means sitting at a desk for long stretches. That makes it even more important to incorporate activity into your day. Here are some ideas:

  • Limit time spent watching TV and using other forms of screen-based entertainment.
  • Use a stationary bicycle or treadmill when you do watch TV.
  • Use stairs rather than an elevator.
  • If you can, walk or bike to your destination.
  • Exercise at lunch with your coworkers, family, or friends.
  • Take an exercise break at work to stretch or take a quick walk.
  • Walk to visit coworkers instead of sending an e-mail.
  • Go dancing with your spouse or friends.
  • Plan active vacations rather than driving-only trips.
  • Wear a pedometer every day and increase your number of daily steps.
  • Join a sports team.

For people who haven’t exercised in a while, it makes sense to start slowly and build up gradually. And clear any new activity with your doctor.

Article:American cancer Society, October 12, 2018.

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Posted by Heather Knott, RN-IBCLC and Childbirth Educator
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National Emergency Preparedness Month

September 19, 2018


Key Facts about Breastfeeding and Emergencies

Emergencies often occur when least expected, and sometimes when we are least prepared. They can include a wide range of unsettling events, including personal or family crises, public health emergencies (such as a flu pandemic), acts of terror and violence, and natural disasters or weather-related events (such as floods and blizzards).

Research shows that infants and children are the most vulnerable during emergencies.

  • Nearly 95% of infant and child deaths in emergencies result from diarrhea due to contaminated water and an unsanitary environment.
  • Infant formula has been linked to an increase in infant disease and death: it can also be contaminated and requires clean water and fuel to sterilize formula, bottles, and nipples. Lack of electricity also can make it difficult to preserve formula.
  • Breastfeeding saves lives! Human milk is always clean, requires no fuel, water, or electricity, and is available, even in the direst circumstances.
  • Human milk contains antibodies that fight infection, including diarrhea and respiratory infections common among infants in emergency situations.
  • Human milk provides infants with perfect nutrition, including the proper amount of vitamins and minerals required for normal growth.
  • Breastfeeding releases hormones that lower stress and anxiety in both babies and mothers.
  • Mothers who breastfeed are able to keep their babies warm to prevent hypothermia.

Mothers can breastfeed in an emergency!

  • The safest food in an emergency is the mother’s own milk. Donor human milk is the next best option. Mothers who cannot directly feed their babies can also be supported to express their milk.
  • Women who are stressed can continue to make milk. A quiet area that helps mothers relax can help their milk flow to the baby.
  • Malnourished mothers can make plenty of milk.
  • Even mothers who have already discontinued breastfeeding may be able to restart breastfeeding (known as
    “relactation”).
  • If a baby (or mother) becomes ill, the best thing the mother can do is to continue breastfeeding to provide her baby with human antibodies that fight the illness.
  • Support makes the difference!

USBC Resources on Breastfeeding and Emergencies

Position Statement: "Statement on Infant/Young Child Feeding in Emergencies"

NEW! Story Collector: "Tell Us About Your Experience with Breastfeeding and Emergencies..."

Racial Equity Webinar: "Infant and Young Child Feeding During Emergencies (IYCFE)"

2018 National Breastfeeding Coalition Convening Presentation: "Adapting the Models of Prevention to Address Lactation and Safe Infant Feeding in Emergencies in Puerto Rico"

Additional Resources on Breastfeeding and Emergencies

1,000 Days: "5 Things You Need to Know About Breastfeeding in Emergencies"

American Academy of Pediatrics Flyer: "Infant Nutrition in Disasters and Other Emergencies: Breastfeeding and Other Options"

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Interagency Working Group on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies: "Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies Operational Guidance for Emergency Relief Staff and Programme Managers

International Lactation Consultant Association:

Kellymom:

La Leche League International Website: "Links To Resources For Infant Feeding In Emergencies (Multilingual)"

National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color: "Statement on Infant Feeding During Disasters"

Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response: "Infant Feeding During Disasters"

SafelyFed USA:

Save the Children: "IYCF-E Toolkit"

Wellstart International: "Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergency Situations"

World Breastfeeding Week 2009 Website: "Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response. Are you ready?"

World Health Organization Website: "Child and adolescent health and development, documents on emergencies"

WHO / UNICEF / WFP Joint Statement: "Call for support for appropriate infant and young child feeding in Haiti"

Resources on Talking with Children / Helping Children Cope

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers tips and instructions for talking to children about disasters and for promoting adjustment and helping children cope.

The National Association of School Psychologists has published resources for helping children or youth cope with tramautic and unsettling events.

Save the Children offers resources to assist parents, teachers, grandparents, and other caregivers on how to help children cope with a crisis.

Shelter During and After an Emergency

Ready.gov offers information and resources on taking shelter in an emergency. The safest locations to seek shelter vary by hazard. Be informed about the sheltering suggestions for each hazard. There may be situations, depending on your circumstances and the nature of the disaster, when it's best to shelter in place. Search for open mass care shelters by texting SHELTER and a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA). Ex: Shelter 01234 (standard rates apply).

The American Red Cross responds to approximately 70,000 disasters in the United States every year, providing shelter, food, health, and mental health services to help families and communities get back on their feet. Use their tools to search for the closest open shelter during an emergency, and to register or search the Safe and Well listings.

Recovery Resources

Ready.gov provides advice on steps to take to recover from a disaster and begin getting your home, your community, and your life back to normal, including: health and safety guidelines, returning home, seeking disaster assistance, coping with disaster, and helping others.

The American Red Cross has Recovery Guides on more than 20 types of emergencies.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, year-round crisis counseling and support. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs" to 66746.

Resource: United States Breastfeeding Committee

Posted by Heather Knott, RN-IBCLC and Childbirth Educator
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