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Bonnie Root R.N.Bonnie Root, R.N.Eugene Pediatrics will now make house calls! Starting Dec. 1, parents of every baby born into our practice will have the opportunity to receive a free, one-hour visit with our newest team member, Bonnie Root, R.N., in the comfort of their own home. All of us at Eugene Pediatrics are very proud and excited to tell you about this new way of caring for babies and families.

Those first few weeks at home with a newborn can be challenging for any parent, whether it's your first or your fifth child. Your pediatrician sees you each day in the hospital and then immediately after your baby comes home from the hospital. If everything is going well, we don't see you again until the two-week well baby checkup. That leaves a gap where babies and parents can often benefit from additional help.

Registered nurse Bonnie Root is a specialist in newborn and pediatric care. She has worked for the past several years at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend, in both the mother-baby unit and the pediatric ward, where she has honed her skills in caring for babies, children and moms. Her passion for teaching shines each month when she leads newborn classes for expectant parents at Women's Care Obstetrics and Gynecology.

As an important member of our Eugene Pediatrics team, Bonnie is skilled and focused on:

  • Newborn feeding – She is trained at supporting breastfeeding mothers and is experienced in the use of formulas and special feeding equipment for bottle-fed babies.
  • Assessing babies for medical problems, such as jaundice, low blood sugar or illness.
  • Basic newborn care, including diapering, burping and sleep safety. She can answer a variety of common questions, review important information and work with parents where the baby lives.
  • Medical care for premature babies.
  • Parent wellness – Caring for a baby can be challenging. Bonnie can help connect parents in need of a stronger support network to resources in the community.

Bonnie fits seamlessly into our full spectrum of care at Eugene Pediatrics, communicating directly with your pediatrician and entering her notes from your house call visit into your baby's patient file remotely, from her secure network laptop computer. She also has immediate access to our case manager for families in need of more support.

Visits with Bonnie can be scheduled just like an office appointment, either by phone or in person when you visit our office after your baby goes home from the hospital.

Eugene Pediatrics is the only pediatric clinic in our region offering house calls, continuing to create a new model of care to lead our region in quality and innovation.

We want to do what's best for every baby, caring for each child like they are our own. We are proud to welcome Bonnie with her exceptional skills, loving personality and wonderful new concept in newborn care.

Posted by on in News

31pch bradshaw 168 MG 9788The government and private insurance companies now demand a great deal of detailed information be documented by doctors during your visits to the office. In response, many practices like Eugene Pediatric Associates have purchased electronic medical records.

There are some great advantages for patients:

  • Improved tracking of your child’s medications, allergies and medical problems.
  • Ability to proactively manage the health care of patients with chronic medical conditions.
  • Easier and more complete sharing of information with specialists.

But there is a huge challenge created by technology in the exam room with doctor and patient: How to keep the technology from interfering with the very important connection between doctor and patient.

One of the pioneers of modern medicine Sir William Osler (1849-1919) said, “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis.”

Twenty years in pediatrics has taught me that a keen awareness of the conversation and complete interaction in the exam room often yields better a diagnosis of medical conditions, an enhanced patient experience and greater family satisfaction. Subtle body language by parent or child, facial expressions and word choices are important. Having a computer in my face distracts me from noticing what parents and kids are telling me.

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Posted by on in News

130826epa postpartum1Postpartum depression may appear to be the baby blues at first, but the signs and symptoms are more intense and longer lasting. It’s not uncommon that new mothers are irritable, easily moved to tears and anxious, or have feelings of being overwhelmed.

But when the common symptoms and emotional upheaval of new motherhood stretch beyond the first weeks after giving birth, it’s time to take notice. They can eventually interfere with your ability to care for your baby and to handle other daily tasks.

Postpartum depression symptoms may include:

• Loss of appetite
• Insomnia
• Intense irritability and anger
• Overwhelming fatigue
• Loss of interest in sex
• Lack of joy in life
• Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
• Severe mood swings
• Difficulty bonding with your baby
• Withdrawal from family and friends
• Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby

Individually, any one sign may be insignificant, especially if it’s mild. Postpartum depression is marked by an acute sense of anger, agitation or anxiety. Untreated, postpartum depression may last for many months or longer.

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Posted by on in News

EPA-cosleeping2-1I appreciate the many comments I received about my blog post on bed-sharing. The acceptance I saw of opposing viewpoints contributed to a healthy conversation. It allowed us to think more deeply, and I thank you for that.

The question of whether you feel comfortable sharing your bed with your baby is highly personal, and I respect the varied opinions. During my 15 years as a pediatrician, my observation has been that parents make decisions about their children’s health by reviewing a variety of sources, and then assessing the risks and benefits.

On any topic, I believe my job as a pediatrician is to give you the most up-to-date information available, add my own best advice as an experienced physician and then encourage parents to make their own decisions. So, as a response to my recent post, I provide here some comments and additional data for further consideration.

Many of you commented that in other countries parents co-sleep, so why shouldn’t we? The devil is in the details, and those details are often hard to find.

For example, the specific bed-sharing practices in those countries with high rates of bed-sharing and low rates of Sudden-Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are often different than in the United States. Parents in these other countries often sleep on the ground, a floor or very firm surface (like a futon), and use no heavy bedcovers.

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Posted by on in News

EPA co-sleeping-1A controversial subject, co-sleeping (sharing a bed with your infant) may provide rest and convenience for breastfeeding and sleep-deprived moms, but it comes with serious risk of infant death caused by suffocation, asphyxia and entrapment.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a strong position statement against co-sleeping recently, which provided detailed instruction on the best ways to keep your baby safe while sleeping.

AAP offers extensive data on pediatric deaths in bed with parents, as well as research on infant respiration to support its instructions, which are as follows:

  • Infants should only sleep on their back, in a bassinet or crib that meets modern safety standards.
  • Babies should be in a bare crib – no bumpers, pillows, blankets or quilts; mattresses should be firm and should maintain their shape, even when a fitted sheet is used.
  • Infants should stay in their parents’ room until 6 months of age, then can be moved into a different room; room-sharing without bed-sharing provides close proximity, which facilitates feeding, comforting and baby monitoring.

 

In the United States, parent-infant bed-sharing is still common despite the known risks. In one national survey, 45 percent of parents said they had shared a bed with their infant (8 months of age or younger), according to AAP.

Then why do so many mothers (including Dr. B, who did so at times with her own babies) so often sidestep the established recommendations? And how do I, as a pediatrician who has done it myself, reconcile this conflict for parents in my own practice?

As a mother, I believe much of our motivation to co-sleep stems from pure exhaustion. We sleep-deprived moms realize quickly that babies emerging from 10 months in our womb are more peaceful if they are close to our bodies. And nursing is easier when your baby is at arm’s length, eliminating the need to sit up, get up or fully wake up.

Additionally, many breastfeeding advocates strongly endorse co-sleeping, muddying the waters as mothers seek expert opinions that support their own choices.
 
Our son, Jack, was exceptionally colicky. One of the few things that quieted him was sleeping next to me. One night, in a near comatose state caused by weeks of dealing with a fussy baby, I woke up in a panic because I had fallen so deeply asleep that I no longer knew where my baby was sleeping.

Knowing that I had slept so soundly and that I could easily have rolled onto him shocked me and provided enough fear that I realized he needed to sleep in his bassinet. It was a struggle, because he didn’t like the bassinet; it was cold, impersonal and isolating. But I learned a few tricks along the way, including preheating his bassinet with a heating pad, then removing it before putting him down. I was trying to imitate my body heat, and I think it helped. I also had the bassinet arranged next to the bed, so that my arm could lay next to his little body. Draped over the edge, my arm fell asleep right along with him. But I felt better knowing that he was in a safe environment. There are other tricks, as well, such as swaddling.

As a pediatrician, I often struggle advising new moms and dads. But the AAP recommendations could not be clearer. If I provide advice that is in direct opposition to the AAP, a family whose child dies in a co-sleeping situation can sue me. On the other hand, I run the risk of alienating parents if I press the issue.

I have chosen what I hope to be a wise middle ground. I tell everyone that AAP never recommends co-sleeping, and I explain all the reasons why. I also acknowledge the need for parents to sleep and their desire to breastfeed easily. And I often tell them my own story.

As in every aspect of parenting, I feel that my role as a pediatrician is to educate, to provide data when it’s available, to share my own experiences and, finally, to support the choices my patients’ families make.

 

 

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