strongbabies ohio

Have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy, strong baby. 

Illegal Drug Use and Pregnancy

Pregnant women should know that whatever they put into their bodies may pass into the bloodstream of their unborn baby. Basically, if you can feel it, there’s a good chance your baby can feel it too. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the number of drug addicted newborns is soaring in Ohio, increasing six-fold in the last decade. Newborns who experience neonatal abstinence syndrome, a disorder found in infants exposed to drugs, can exhibit withdrawal symptoms, respiratory complications, low birth weight, feeding difficulties, joint stiffness and seizures among other conditions. A new initiative was announced yesterday by the Kasich administration to help pregnant women kick their heroin and prescription drug habits. The Maternal Opiate Medical Support Project is designed to help mothers receive drug addiction counseling and treatment.

Where can someone find more information on stopping drug use?
To learn more, ask your health care provider or contact:
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
(800) 622-2255
Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator
(800) 662-4357

Get more information regarding alcohol and drug use during pregnancy in the staying healthy while you’re pregnant page.

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How do I figure out my due date?

There’s a simple way to figure out your due date. It’s called Naegels Rule.

Naegels Rule involves a simple calculation: add seven days to the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP), then subtract three months.

For example, if your LMP was November 1, 2004:
1.add seven days (November 8, 2004);
2.subtract three months (August 8, 2004); and
3.change the year if necessary (to the year 2005 in this case).

Your health care provider will conduct an ultrasound and that will help to confirm your due date.

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Preterm Labor

Preterm labor is labor that happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Babies born too early can have life threatening or life long health problems. Call your healthcare provider right away if you experience any of these symptoms:
*Contractions or cramps – more than 5 in one hour
*Bright red blood from your vagina
*Sudden gush of clear, watery fluid from your vagina
*Low, dull backache
*Intense pelvic pressure
*Cramps with or without diarrhea
Call your healthcare provider right away, even if it’s in the middle of the night.

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Your Guide to Breastfeeding

The best publication I’ve found to help inform and support mothers about breastfeeding is one by Health and Human Services entitled “Your Guide to Breastfeeding”. You can download it at this link: It offers advice and support for all women, in English, Spanish or Chinese as well as a specific publication which may be ordered in hard copy for African American Women. It provides great practical advice as well as helpful tools such as a diaper tracker, feeding charts, information regarding breast pumps, you name it! It’s all there in “Your Guide to Breastfeeding”.

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How to Make Sure Your Baby is Sleeping Safely

Here are some tips to make sure your baby is safe while sleeping:

*Never let a baby sleep with you.
This is tempting for parents, especially when they’re exhausted and don’t want to get up for baby’s feedings. But this is a dangerous habit as a parent may roll over on top of the infant, suffocating him or her. An infant might roll off the side of the bed on to the floor. The safest place for an infant is in his or her crib. The crib may be placed right by the bedside.
*Don’t place toys or soft objects in the crib.
This might look nice and comfortable but it’s actually a sleeping hazard for your baby. Stuffed animals or a puffy bumper guard can put your baby at risk for suffocation. A safe crib and tight crib sheet is all your baby needs. Be sure to dress the infant in a sleeper appropriate for the room temperature and he or she will be comfortable.
*Purchase a portable crib.
If you travel you can bring the portable crib with you so you don’t have to worry about an infant sleeping in an unsafe crib. Often grandparents, relatives might have a crib from generations past that is not safe for infant to sleep in. A popular portable crib is the Pack and Play.

Watch this short video reminding you of these important steps to make your baby’s sleep environment safer.

If you go to the keeping your baby safe and healthy page, you can find more information on safe sleep.


Mental health and pregnancy

Pregnancy is considered to be a time of joy for women, but some, research says up to 1 in 7 mothers, experience a mental health disorder during their pregnancy or just after birth. One of the most common mental health risks that pregnant mothers have is that of depression. Depression is dangerous, because if left untreated it threatens not only the health of the mother, but also the health of the baby. Signs of depression are:
•Feeling restless or moody
•Feeling sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed
•Crying a lot
•Having no energy or motivation
•Eating too little or too much
•Sleeping too little or too much
•Having trouble focusing or making decisions
•Having memory problems
•Feeling worthless and guilty
•Losing interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
•Withdrawing from friends and family
•Having headaches, aches and pains, or stomach problems that don’t go away

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, contact your prenatal care provider and ask for help. Often something as natural and easy as exercise can help to alleviate depression. Go to staying healthy while you’re pregnant to read more about pregnancy and depression.


August is National Breastfeeding Month

You already know this, but it’s worth saying again…just about everyone benefits from breastfeeding; infants, mothers and well, most of the people in the U.S. You can probably think of several positive reasons to breastfeed, but in case you need more motivation, go to the how to breastfeed page, and read the article “What are the benefits of breastfeeding?”, printed from the NICHD web site. You can find benefits of breastfeeding that you may not have considered. Are you doing anything to promote breastfeeding? Share it with our readers in the comment section!

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