Friday, June 26, 2009

Summertime protection for mom and baby -- inside and out

(ARA) - Whether you're relaxing beachside on vacation, picnicking in the park or strolling through the neighborhood, warm weather offers many opportunities for outdoor fun. However, these activities can lead to dehydration, sunburn and fatigue if you're not careful. Barbara Dehn, women's health nurse practitioner and award-winning author, offers tips to keep mom and baby safe all summer long.

“Mom and baby both need extra protection in the months following birth, especially during the summer season,” says Dehn. “By following a few simple guidelines, the entire family can enjoy summer outings and activities together."

Dehn suggests protecting yourself and your little one with these tips:

Practice sun protection -- If sun exposure is unavoidable, don’t forget to shield yourself and your little one with a hat and sunblock to guard against powerful UVA and UVB rays. Make sure to use a baby-safe sunblock with a high SPF that has no artificial colors or unnecessary chemical additives.

Stay nourished -- It is important to maintain your overall health, especially in the heat. Sufficient hydration is essential because a lack of fluids can cause heat exhaustion and improper digestion. Moms should also increase their intake of foods that are high in protein as well as those that contain natural liquids to improve energy and emotional state, and prevent dehydration. Best bets include dark green vegetables, juicy fruits, eggs and almonds.

For babies who are using infant formula, you can choose one that is designed to support your baby's natural defenses and digestive health. For example, Similac Advance EarlyShield is specially designed to support your baby’s developing immune system. It’s the only formula that has the EarlyShield blend of prebiotics, nucleotides and antioxidants -- nutrients found naturally in breast milk.

Refocus and recenter -- Summertime is meant to be carefree. Allow yourself some alone time to unwind. Have your partner or a friend watch the baby so you can focus on yourself. Keeping a journal is a simple way to organize your thoughts and help examine your emotions. Help baby relax, too. Set aside time to give your newborn a massage. Massaging enhances the emotional bond with your baby, improves sleep patterns, aids with digestion, boosts immunity, helps fight disease and calms your baby.

Rest up -- Hot temperatures during the summer months can cause fatigue. Nap time is not just for your little one. Force yourself to drop chores and nap while the baby does. Use a lavender-scented eye mask to get maximum rest and awaken refreshed. For baby, start a consistent bedtime routine as early as possible. Sing lullabies, read books, give a warm bath or rock in a rocking chair to help trigger bedtime.

Following these simple tips will help ensure a safe and happy summer for both you and your baby. For more information, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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