health

Show 53: Excerpt - Infants and Sleep

 

SPEND ANY TIME with new parents and it won’t take more than a few minutes for the topic to turn to sleep. Getting your newborn to sleep – and getting enough sleep for mom and dad – can be all-consuming for a few months.

Contributor Jessica Cochran went to Cuddlers at Providence to speak with some new parents there to find out how much rest they are getting, and Dr. KTD Michelle Laufer comments on what is normal.

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Nurse Karen's 12 Tips for Good Sleep

Authors: Anne Morris, MD and Karen McBride, RN, October 2011
 
1. Getting a good night’s sleep is the foundation for physical and mental health, as well as for safety and learning. You can teach your children by your own behavior and example.
 
2. Strive for a regular sleep schedule with the same wake-up time and bedtime as much as possible every day of the week.
 
3. Recommended hours of sleep each day (includes naps for the little ones):
 

  • Infants (3-11 months old): 14 - 15 hrs
  • Toddlers (1-3 years old): 12 - 14 hrs
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years old): 11 - 13 hrs
  • School-age (5-12 years old): 10 - 11 hrs
  • Pre-teens/Teens (12-18 years): 8.5 - 9.5 hrs
  • Adult (18 years and older): 8.0 - 8.5 hours

4. In the evening hours, limit or avoid television and video or computer games. These lighted devices send the message “be awake” to the brain and will make it difficult to fall asleep when it is bedtime.
 
5. Turn off and take out of the bedroom electronic devices such as cell phones, televisions, and computers.
 
6. Create a sleep-friendly space: darkened and quiet bedroom, warm and comfy bedding, and cool room temperature. In the morning, seeing bright lights will make it easier to wake up and give the message “be awake” to the brain.
 
7. Follow a similar and relaxing bedtime routine every night: light snack if hungry, a warm bath or shower, read comforting books to young children. Teens and adults may enjoy reading or listening to low volume audio books or music.
 
8. Naps are best taken before late afternoon and kept to an hour or less.
 
9. Do exercise, but not within two hours of bedtime.
 
10. Younger children should avoid caffeine in general, and teens and adults should avoid caffeine by late afternoon, if not earlier.
 
11. Watch for signs of chronic sleep difficulty such as loud snoring, breathing difficulty, unusual nighttime awakenings, behavior problems during the day, and frequent daytime sleepiness. Let your health care provider know if these occur.
 
12. Check out these Sleep Resources for more information:
 
Nemours Foundation - a nonprofit organization devoted to children’s health
 
National Sleep Foundation - a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving sleep health and safety

Show 52: Excerpt - SuperSibs! Helping Those Who Have a Sibling With Cancer

 Image via: SuperSibs.org

WHEN ONE CHILD in a family is diagnosed with a serious illness it takes a toll on all of the family members. It can especially affect siblings of the sick child who will not only experience feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness, but they also tend to get less attention than their ill brother or sister.

SuperSibs! is an organization serving exactly these kids. Through referrals from all 50 states and every province in Canada they’ve ensured that no brother or sister of a sibling with cancer goes unsupported.

Kids These Days! producer Sarah Gonzales spoke with the founder of SuperSibs!, Melanie Goldish, at her office in Illinois.

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Show 49: Postpartum Mood Disorders

A new baby is a reason to celebrate but the time after birth can bring with it a wealth of conflicting emotions that sometimes go beyond typical "baby blues". What does everyone need to know about recognizing and treating postpartum mood disorders and supporting those who are suffering? Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio are two perinatal mood disorder experts who join us to dispel myths and educate about recognizing the signs, symptoms and where to get help.

• Margi Clifford is the state of Alaska's coordinator for perinatal mood disorders and she runs the Maternal/Postpartum Support parenting groups at Providence Hospital.

• Dr. Diana Lynn Barnes is the former director of Postpartum Support International, and currently sits on the President’s Advisory Council for that organization. Dr. Barnes is a nationally known forensic expert in women’s reproductive mental health as well as the author of The Journey to Parenthood: Myths, Reality and What Really Matters.


DID YOU KNOW? These are the signs and symptoms of a perinatal mood disorder (including postpartum depression):

  • Are you feeling sad or depressed?
  • Do you feel more irritable or angry with those around you?
  • Are you having difficulty bonding with your baby?
  • Do you feel anxious or panicky?
  • Are you having problems with eating or sleeping?
  • Are you having upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out of your mind?
  • Do you feel as if you are “out of control” or “going crazy”?
  • Do you feel like you never should have become a mother?
  • Are you worried that you might hurt your baby or yourself?

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, you can get help by visiting Postpartum.net, or in Alaska, by calling the Crisis Line at: (907) 563-3200


FEATURED STORIES:

One woman's story of Sleepless Days - A few years ago when Susan Kushner Resnick was experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression she wanted to read about another woman who'd been through it and made it out okay - but she couldn't find anything. So after she survived PPD, she wrote a memoir, Sleepless Days: One Woman's Journey Through Postpartum Depression, all about her experience and to let others know that it gets better. She spoke with Sarah Gonzales. (Read an excerpt of her book here.)

A father's perspective on PPD - The partners of those experiencing postpartum depression will not only support their partners during a very hard time, but they will most likely have to take on more household responsibilities while mom gets better. Steve SueWing's family recently weathered PPD, and we asked him to share with our listeners why dads need support, too. (Steve's new blog - "Capitol Letters: Notes from a Juneau Dad" - starts Thursday here at KidsTheseDays.org!)

Parents talk about self-care - At a recent “parentTalk” meeting held by thread, parents shared their tips for sneaking some “me” time into the day – even if it’s just in 2 or 3 or 5 minute doses. Jessica Cochran spoke with the guest-presenter and some of the participants to share those tips with our listeners. (Thank you to thread and Wells Fargo for supporting this story from our our Early Childhood Desk.)


For more discussion on this topic, check out a recent episode of Line One: Your Health Connection with Dr. Thad Woodard on the topic of Maternal Mental Health.

 

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Show 48: Web Extra! - Handling Sexually Awkward Situations

Family members living under the same roof will no doubt accidentally intrude on each others' privacy from time to time - walking in on one another, discovering your kid playing doctor with the neighbor kid or overhearing something from behind closed doors.

So how can caregivers best handle a sexually awkward situation with the least amount of embarrassment or shame? This week's guests, Katherine Huffman and Chris Reynolds, answered this burning question many parents have as a special feature just for the web!

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10 Books to Help With the Sex Talk

One of our guests this week, Katharine Huffman, spends her days training professionals, parents, groups, schools and individuals about how to speak to the children in their lives about healthy sexuality. She brought a stack of books with her to the studio and although we didn't have time to include her talking about these books on the air, we have her recommendations right here for you!


  1. It's Not the Stork: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends
  2. The Teenage Body Book
  3. It's So Amazing: A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Family
  4. From Diapers to Dating: A Parents Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Children From Infancy to Middle School
  5. My Body, My Self for Girls
  6. My Body, My Self for Boys
  7. Amazing You! Getting Smart About Your Private Parts
  8. Period. A Girl's Guide
  9. What's the Big Secret? Talking About Sex With Girls & Boys
  10. Where Did I Come From? Facts of Life Without Any Nonsense and With Illustrations

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Show 48: Teens Talking About Sex

Adults may imagine they know what teens think about sex but they might actually be surprised to learn how teens really feel about it - like, when to begin a sexual relationship, if they think teens are safe and smart when it comes to having sex and who do they talk to when they have questions about sex?

We asked our young colleagues at the Alaska Teen Media Institute to help us out with this assignment. ATMI’s Kelsey Hernandez recently asked her teenage peers at East High School in Anchorage what they had to say and here’s what they told her...

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Show 48: Excerpt - Alaskan Teens & Access to STD Testing

Whether or not teens make the choice to engage in safe sexual relationships, there is always the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease after intercourse. Getting tested and treated for a STD can be as easy as visiting a local public health clinic, but what if you're too shy to be seen in person, live in an area not served by a local clinic or simply can't get a ride? Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced a mail-order STD test kit in 2004 on the east coast to much success among teens and young people. (Report: Free Web-based Ordering of Home Test Kits for Sexually Transmitted Infections Proves Popular and Effective with Teens and Young People) Now this same program has come to Alaska.You can order a kit at IWantTheKit.org, and visit IKnowMine.org to learn more about sexual health, testing and resources in Alaska.

For testing in person in Anchorage: The POWER Teen Center is located in the 6th Avenue transit center in downtown Anchorage. It’s a place for teens to go just to hang out - there are snacks, movies, video games and teen educators on staff. Teens can also take advantage of a full range of reproductive care services – including free STD and pregnancy testing done by a nurse three days a week. A counselor is on staff to talk to teens who need emotional support. The center says it’s able to help about 50 teens every week. KTD Producer Sarah Gonzales has the story.

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Show 45: Excerpt - When I Was Young: First Periods

No, this isn't a bunch of adults remembering their first class of the day. This is adult women candidly speaking about that all-important female rite of passage: menstruating for the first time.

We asked women if they'd been prepared ahead of time and if so, by who? Where did it happen and what did they remember about that day? And, did they feel any differently afterward?

What say you, listeners? Share your story in the comments below.

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Show 42: Excerpt - Toxins and Fertility in Alaska

We’re blessed in Alaska with wild fish and game, plenty of open space and fresh air so it’s easy to think of our environment as “clean”. But it may be that Alaskans are exposed to just as many or more pollutants and chemicals as our lower 48 counterparts and and they may be affecting our fertility and reproduction for generations to come.

Resources for more information on avoiding harmful toxins:

Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Chemicals and Reproductive Health
The Collaborative on Health and the Environment
Bad Plastics

As contributor Jessica Cochran reports, a slew of researchers are working to figure out just how different chemicals affect reproductive systems.

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