HEALTH MATTERS: Colic can frustrate the most patient parents
By Jan Chait
TERRE HAUTE — You’ve welcomed your new baby into your home with love and affection. But colic is making you begin to question your choice to have a child. Colic, defined as inconsolable crying that occurs about the same time each day for more than three hours a day, three days a week for more than three weeks, can frustrate even the most patient parent.
But there’s help, via “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” a one-time program for parents on how to calm down crying babies. Maria Da Silva, a certified Happiest Baby educator, is offering the two-hour classes twice a month at the Vigo County Public Library’s Main Branch, at Sullivan Library and Clinton Library. “You just come once, and then you’re done,” she says.
Classes teach techniques to calm crying babies. While the main focus is babies with colic, “it can work for any baby,” Da Silva says. “All babies tend to be super fussy at times, but colicky babies are particularly challenging. Parents with colicky babies have all walked away satisfied.”
Don’t worry about getting a baby-sitter, either. “You can come with an infant. I love babies-and I can use them in demonstrations,” Da Silva says.
Haven’t given birth yet? You’re welcome, too. At least one in five babies can be colicky, she says, and you never know. It’s best to be prepared. And you can be sure that your baby will at least be overly fussy at times.
There is a $5 fee, but you get that-and more-back in the form of a “Happiest Baby on the Block” DVD, a “Soothing Sounds” CD and a swaddling blanket.
Funding for the program is through the United Way, thanks to a grant from Healthy Families.
For more information, including a schedule of classes, go to www.themaplecen
ter.org/happiest_baby.html. You can register at that site, too. (You do need to register before attending a class.)
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Need a doctor? Have questions about a health matter? You can now get answers 24/7 from Consult-A-Nurse, a new service being offered by Terre Haute Regional Hospital.
The free healthcare hotline is staffed by registered nurses. While they don’t diagnose medical conditions, they do offer answers to your health-related questions. Like when you wake up at 4 a.m. wondering why the doctor says you need to lower your cholesterol or something.
Need a doctor? They not only help you find the right person-by specialty, gender, location, or insurance plan-they’ll also transfer your call to the doc’s office so you can make an appointment.
Information about Regional’s health screenings, classes and programs also are available from Consult-A-Nurse. They’ll even register you-but that’s not a 24/7: registration is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekends.
Start getting answers to your questions by calling (812) 237-1200, or toll-free at 877-7-HCA-DOC (877-742-2362).
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Create the comfiest bed you can for your returning war veteran. Among the casualties of war are sleep disturbances akin to severe chronic insomnia in veterans returning from combat, researchers reported at a recent meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Baltimore.
In the small study, the sleep patterns of veterans-primarily from conflicts in the Middle East-were studied in a sleep lab. Nine of the 11 vets studied in the lab also met the full criteria for moderate-to-severe posttraumatic stress disorder. Their results were compared with those of 11 good sleepers.
In a parallel study with self-reported observations, those veterans, plus three more, were compared with those of good sleepers and those with chronic insomnia via an electronic sleep diary and questionnaires.
Compared with good sleepers, the veterans “had significantly worse sleep quality and [effectiveness], took longer to go to sleep, woke up more often after they fell asleep, and were awake longer when they did,” according to a report from MedPage.
But when compared to people with chronic insomnia, there wasn’t much of a difference. For example, it took vets 32.5 minutes to fall asleep, compared with 8.6 minutes for the good sleepers and 42.1 minutes for those with insomnia.
On second thought, maybe you should add some soothing music to that comfy bed. And maybe a nice mug of hot chocolate before bedtime.