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Infant Eczema: the Scourge of Winter

April 2, 2011

J had awful red spots of eczema on his cheeks this past winter (facial cheeks). To the point where a stranger asked if he had a birth mark. Terrible thing to ask a harried new mother. We explored all solutions, natural, unnatural, and in between. We plagued the pediatrician and the pediatric dermatologist. The New York Times had an interesting article about it, here. J’s appears to be due to my hay fever allergy. It surfaces mostly on his cheeks, but sometimes between his fingers and on his thighs, knees, and forearms. The latter three have never been bad, more like extra rough skin. Check with your doctor to see if he or she has particular recommendations. Here is how we approached the problem: 1) Lotions. a) Aveeno Infant Lotion: Nope. Nothing. b) Cetaphil Infant Lotion: Nope. Nothing. c) Aquafor: Nope. Nothing. d) A&D / other petroleum jelly based lotions: Nope. Sticky. Irritative. Yucko. e) California Baby, Calendula Cream: FINALLY! Something that worked. Target sells the 4 ounce tubs. Excellent. It seemed to act as an anti-inflammatory and moisturizing agent simultaneously. But after four weeks, the red patches on his cheeks returned. We still use it on an ongoing basis for deep moisturizing. f) Four Elements, Look, No Xema: Wonderful moisturizer. Worked for a month. Used all of it up. Recommended by the pharmacists at the Coop. g) Butt Naked baby, 911 Rescue Cream: Thicker than the calendula, works really well on his body but not as well on his face. Ineffective at taking…

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Dads for Doulas

April 1, 2011

J sports his “Team Emily” shirt I made him. My husband was a skeptic initially about the whole “doula” idea. In hindsight, he found Emily Rumsey, our doula, to be pivotal in having a secure, positive birthing experience. A doula helps through pregnancy with the preparation of a birth plan, offers home remedy suggestions for nausea and other delightful discomforts, and acts as an additional sounding board to your health care professional. And even for the parents who aren’t strident about an all-natural birth, having a doula there helps both parents, especially the one who is not in labor. Doulas provide experience, comfort, encouragement, and support for the non-laboring parent as well as the one sweating. Our doula even offered to fetch us pizza from a local Italian shop after the baby was born. I was ravenous. It was delicious! AA firmly believes all dads need doulas. Labor is an unpredictable and unnerving experience for the first-time parent. Someone present throughout the entirety of it who has gone through it before is a must. And as your nurse is not there the entire time, nor is the doc/midwife necessarily, the doula provides extra hands, and experienced eyes to direct and ease you through your labor.

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