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          Mom’s Biggest Health Mistakes

          December 13, 2005

          Moms have a tough enough job taking care of their families without adding medical complications for their children down the road. Dr. Robert W. Sears, a pediatric physician, shares his tips for avoiding the common health mistakes that some mothers make.

          • Don’t stop breastfeeding.
            “In the very beginning, don’t give up on breastfeeding too easily and avoid using bottles in the early weeks,” says Dr. Sears. “If you’re having trouble in the first few days, do seek as much help as you can get from a lactation consultant, a doctor or a nurse.”

          • Make sure your infant is sleeping properly.
            “Do not lay your baby on his stomach to sleep,” stresses Dr. Sears. “The safest position for sleep is on the back.” This position has significantly cut down on the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

          • Lose the pacifier.
            “With toddlers, a big mistake is keeping a bottle or pacifier beyond age 2,” Dr. Sears cautions. Prolonged use can cause tooth decay or a severe overbite.

          • Help your child maintain a healthy diet.
            “A big mistake that can contribute to childhood obesity is choosing convenience foods for your child’s snacks,” says Dr. Sears. Introduce healthy options early on, like fresh fruit and vegetables.

          Dr. Williams Sears has been in practice for 11 years, and is the co-author of The Updated Baby Book and The Premature Baby Book. Please visit his Web site for more information.

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