Q & A with Dr. Heather Harrison

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Please email doctor@utahbabyguide.com with your pregnancy, baby, or toddler related questions for Dr. Harrison to answer.

1. What are some healthy snacks to feed my one year old?

It is important to start off with healthy eating habits for your toddlers. I would recommend fruits, veggies, granola bars, and cheese sticks. You have to be careful to not given too much fruit, though, as it can cause diarrhea (i.e. Strawberries and Watermelon). Also, be careful for choking hazards, some one year olds do not have that many teeth yet, so make sure you give him or her appropriate bite sizes. Encourage water for drinks rather than juice. Juice is okay but should be limited to 6 oz/day and watered down as it is sometimes rather sugary.

2. When should my baby be sleeping through the night?

Babies should be able to sleep through the night by 6 months, also if they weigh more than 16 lbs I feel they should be able to sleep through the night. It is often harder on the mom's and dad's than the infants when trying to get them to sleep through the night. A couple of tricks: at 6 months move the infant into his/her own room so you do not hear every peep that they make. Also, babies are pretty smart, they know if they cry you will come pick them up. I call it the "5 minute rule". The 1st night go in the room after 5 minutes of crying but do not pick up your infant, just cover them back up and reassure him/her and go back out, you may have to go in every 5 minutes several times. Eventually they fall asleep, however if they are still crying after 1 hour sometimes you have to change your tactics. The next night go to 10 minutes before you go in the room, and then increase by 5 minutes every night. Usually by the 4-5th night they are sleeping through the night.

3. Are there any risks associated with having a vaginal delivery after having a C-section?

There are risks associated with vaginal birth after Cesarean Delivery (VBAC). The biggest risk is that the scar tissue may be a weakened area and when contractions start, this area breaks open (uterine rupture), and then it becomes an emergency delivery via c-section. This risk is < 1%. There are some hospitals and physicians that are no longer doing an attempt at VBAC due to risks. It is possible to attempt a VBAC, but make sure you review the risks with your physician, as well as the situation that caused you to have a c-section in the first place to determine if you are a good candidate for a VBAC.

4. How long should I breastfeed my baby?

The American Academy of Family Physicians and Pediatricians recommend breastfeeding for 12 months and only breastmilk for the 1st 6 months of life (until you add in solid foods). Once an infant starts solid foods then the breast milk becomes the supplement to the solid foods and breast feeding usually decreases to 4-6 times/day.

Dr. Heather Harrison is a Utah native. She was born in Roosevelt and raised in Orem. She attended medical school at Touro University, College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Vallejo California and then returned to Utah to do her specialty training in Family Medicine at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo. Dr. Harrison enjoys the opportunities that Family Medicine gives her to take care of the family from pregnancy to birth, and childhood through the adult years with all the bumps in between. She joined Grandview Family Medicine in July of 2007. Dr. Harrison enjoys gardening, traveling, biking, softball, and spending time with her husband and 4 yr old daughter.

Feel free to contact Dr. Harrison at the Grandview Family Medical Center by calling 801-373-2001, or visiting 1959 North State Street, Provo.

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