Current Health Trends For Women

The year 2018 is filled with fresh new ideas and hot health trends that will make your life better in different and exciting ways. Here are just a few that should appeal to you:

Wearable Tech Gadgets

Devices frequently used today can be added to clothing! Google has been collaborating with Levi Strauss & Co, the jeans manufacturer, to develop clothing that interacts with tracking devices. The sensitive surfaces will show how many calories you burn while running, give weight and other readings, check sleep patterns, and even make a phone call!

The Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) of Levi’s, a company of firsts for more than 150 years, has been working on a conductive yarn and woven multi-touch fabric that senses touch gestures able to swipe a hand over jeans or the sleeve of a jacket to silence a phone, play a song, and more.

Now they have created the “smart clothing” Commuter Trucker Jacket, known as Project Jacquard, with Jacquard technology woven right into the sleeve. Officially announced at Google’s annual developer conference, but not announced was a timeline for when any smart clothes, using a special yarn that has to work on existing industrial looms, would be available commercially on a global scale.

Worn on stage was a normal-looking jacket custom made by London tailors with 85 percent cotton and 15 percent Project Jacquard. Waving a hand over the arm, a display showed information such as a phone call picked up by tiny electronics in the flexible snap tag connecting the Jacquard Threads in the cuff, looking like part of the jacket, to the mobile device. The tag also houses a battery which lasts up to two weeks between USB charges.

Nut-Milk Yogurts

Kite Hill has blended its almond milk with live active cultures and 10 grams of almond protein to create new plant-based yogurts. Enjoy creamy yogurt made with Madagascar vanilla beans by itself or with added mouth-watering peaches, strawberries or blueberries.

Healthier Noodles

More alternative pasta options will appear in 2018. Ancient Harvest’s Supergrain Pasta, Green Lentil, and Quinoa Penne will taste like and have the texture of regular noodles but have fewer simple carbs, have 14 grams of plant-based protein and seven grams of fiber per serving, be gluten-free and non-GMO, and offer more nutritious nutrients.

Caution

It is always wise to check with your doctor before trying any unusual foods or other products to make sure that they fit in healthily with the medications you are taking and the particular physical ailments that you have.

 

Top 3 Questions You’re Embarrassed to Ask Your OB-GYN

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For first-time and veteran mothers alike, pregnancy can bring up a variety of questions that might feel a little awkward asking out loud. The good news is that most women have had those same questions at some point and that there are answers from trained professionals.

 

Here are some questions about pregnancy you may have wanted to ask but felt too nervous to do so:

 

How Likely Is a Bowel Movement During Delivery?

This fear comes up frequently with new mothers, to the point where they can become so fixated on not having a bowel movement that it inhibits their ability to push.

 

It’s actually extremely common to have a bowel movement during labor, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s a simple reason why it happens: the same muscles a woman uses to push a baby out of her uterus are the same ones she uses when having a bowel movement. With the added weight on her colon and rectum as the baby moves through the birth canal, it’s a very natural bodily reaction.

 

While it may seem embarrassing, keep in mind that childbirth is a very private affair. Doctors are not only undaunted by this, but generally expect it. They’re trained professionals and their primary concern is making sure the mother and baby are healthy throughout the entire pregnancy and delivery.

 

Will My Vagina Be Stretched After I Give Birth?

Not really. Believe it or not, vaginas have muscle memory. The vagina is also made to accommodate childbirth; in other words, it stretches during childbirth and then contracts to its normal size. If a woman wants to strengthen her pelvic floor muscles, there are Kegel exercises, though make sure to check with a doctor first before trying them.

 

Why Does Sex Hurt After Birth?

Having a baby is hard work! With childbirth comes natural trauma to the vaginal area, and it needs time to heal. It’s natural for the sex drive to decrease, given how exhausting caring for a newborn can be. On top of that, if mothers choose to breastfeed, that can change her hormone levels as well, particularly her estrogen levels. This can lead to problems with lubrication. One potential solution is to use a lubricant, as well as giving the body time to adjust postpartum.

 

If the pain continues to exist months after birth, however, it’s best to speak to a doctor to make sure there aren’t any lasting issues.

A Healthy Work-Life Balance Can Improve Your Overall Health

A Healthy Work-Life Balance Can Improve Your Overall Health _ Dr. Lori Gore-Green (1) (1) (1)We’re all overworked and tired, and many of us struggle with the idea of carving out personal time.

“Work-life balance” is a phrase that we hear often, but it isn’t something that we’re all experiencing. Employees struggle with scheduling, work hours, and finding support. Many businesses encourage and promote balance, asking that workers gain control of personal stressors, and juggle priorities, poor management, technological demands, and physical or psychological challenges. Established balance means defined career ambitions, and a well-managed personal schedule, which includes hobbies, family, and leisure. It also indicates an ability to increase one’s level of engagement and productivity at work, and opportunities to fully participate in your on social and family life.

It’s in a company’s best interest to treat their employees to a greater sense of workplace wellness. A line drawn between work and home translates to conflict-reduction, company productivity, and it bodes well for a company’s reputation. Such businesses have higher employee retention rates, which means continuous in-house expertise and fewer time-consuming training sessions. These better-balanced individuals opt to take fewer sick days, and they don’t compromise efficiency or productivity.

Also, while men struggle as much as women to maintain a work-life balance, reports show that women still bear a more substantial load than men in balancing work and family, according to Pew Research Center. Despite progress seen in recent decades, approximately 68 percent of Millennial mothers find it difficult to get ahead at work, compared to just 19 percent of Millennial fathers.

Enabling healthy habits, such as healthful meals, regular exercise, and sleep can fuel success within an organization and foster a greater sense of wellbeing.

Share Your Needs | Employee needs should be met, but that can only take place if you voice your needs. Speak with your HR consultant and communicate how your job can help you to accomplish your goals better. Inquire about flexible scheduling, possible solutions, and childcare.

Exercise | Exercise doesn’t merely trim the fat; it helps to reduce stress. Many employers have an onsite facility for employees to enjoy. Others have membership discounts to local gyms. Try to take advantage; it could do wonders for your health and your attitude. Studies show that workers are up to 13% more productive working from home than working at the office.

Be Vigilant | You don’t want to burn out, and the best way to keep that from happening is being aware of your job performance, monitoring your stress, and taking care to prevent physical exhaustion and error rates.

Embrace Telecommunication | If your job allows any work-from-home days, be sure to take advantage of those days. While it may be a challenge for some to be productive from home, others meet the challenge without difficulty.

Less Busy Work, More Efficiency | Being productive and working more isn’t the same thing, and we know this. Extended work hours tend to mean that employees grow more irritable, anxiety, and depression. Rather than working more hours, better manage the hours that you work, which should help address performance concerns.

Prioritize Health Initiatives | Long hours often means compromised health. By that, I mean, people often sacrifice fitness and health in favor of goals. To correct this, try to take time out of your busy day to workout quickly, and be sure to take time to visit the doctor.

Decorate Your Workspace | As you attempt to strike a balance between home and work, be sure to bring in images of your loved one, and personalize your workplace. If you create a more comfortable workspace, you’ll find that it’s easier to execute ongoing tasks.

Boost Creativity | Developing interesting creative projects helps to foster a better sense of balance. By taking a creative break, you’ll be able to better focus on your duties following the break.

If you know of other ways to achieve work-life balance, be sure to share!

5 Foods to Increase Your Vagina Health

Increase Your Vagina Health | Dr. Lori Gore-GreenThere are many factors to your vaginal health. What you may not realize is that food is one of the largest and easiest to control factors. Whether it’s a smell that you would prefer not to have, dryness, or just not feeling very fresh, food just might be the answer. Taking the time to add certain healthy foods to your diet can greatly improve your well being down there.

So which foods should you be eating and for what reasons?

  1. Garlic

Consuming garlic is a great way to combat vaginal infections. This includes the dreaded vaginal yeast infection. The reason garlic helps heal is because it has strong antibacterial properties. This helps give your body the edge it needs to fight bacterial and fungal infections. Look for ways to incorporate more garlic into your daily diet to not only cure but prevent vaginal infections.

  1. Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice is highly beneficial for your feminine well-being. Drinking a glass (or two!) of cranberry juice helps your body work hard to fight against harmful bacteria. This makes it a viable option for curing and preventing issues like Urinary tract infections. However, be sure to choose an all natural, no sugar added cranberry juice. High sugar content and unnatural dyes can do the opposite of helping cure your problems.

  1. Flax Seeds

Flax seeds contain phytoestrogens which help increase estrogen levels in the body. This can help your body keep your feminine area healthy. It may also aid in added wetness if you’re feeling a little drier than you should down there. Because flax seeds contain these fantastic phytoestrogens, they are great for your overall female upkeep as well. They are definitely worth taking advantage of!

  1. Kale

Kale is rich in kaempferol which has been shown to help reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Other healthy foods that contain kaempferol include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and green tea. Incorporating these healthy foods into your daily diet is a huge step to taking care of your vagina and overall female health.

  1. Greek Yogurt

Leaving the best for last, Greek yogurt might just be the greatest food you can eat for your vagina! Greek yogurt contains live and active cultures. This good bacteria makes it a super star for helping keep your pH balanced down there. Overall this will aid in keeping your vagina feeling fresh and healthy. If you’re experiencing itchiness, dryness, or just general discomfort, try adding more Greek yogurt to your diet!

It is absolutely vital to take care of your vagina and overall female well-being. Simply adding these five beneficial foods to your diet will go a long way in helping you take care of your own beautiful body today.

Summer Bliss: 6 Tips for a Healthier and Happier Summer for You and Your Body

16937042916_1f0d5765c5_bThe warm summer season has its perks: sun-kissed skin, freeing clothing, and warmth in spades. The sunbaked days unveil an opportunity to shed layered clothing and jackets; simultaneously, countless individuals take to their gyms, parks, and neighborhoods as they attempt to shed pounds in favor of beach-readied bodies. During these hot days, it’s vital that women, men, and children proceed cautiously, consuming water and submitting themselves to safe practices, ensuring that they avoid sun damage during outdoor hours.

Extended, cumulative exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays do a bit more than contribute vitamin D. That direct sun exposure can lead to incidences of skin cancer, with basal and squamous cell carcinoma outpacing incidences of all other cancers combined. More than sun safety, the summer sparks concerns around heat illness, food safety when grilling, swim safety and avoiding bugs.

In addition to increasing water consumption to decrease the risk of heat exhaustion and avoiding bugs to curb the contraction of viruses or illnesses, women should commit to the following actions that promise to maximize comfort during stifling summer days and night, and prevent illness and injury. Be prepared to yourself during warmer weather, vacations, and pool time.

Purchase sunscreen/sunblock: Using sunblock can help to save your son from malformations caused by sun damaging. Skin cancer, which is on the rise, can be life threatening, but more commonly it threatens the quality of life. Members of the public can continue to enjoy outdoor activities, but taking proper care of one’s skin is a matter of being proactive and informed. So, apply it every day, reapply it every three hours all over, including your face, your hands, your scalp, and under your bathing suit (the SPF of regular clothing is only 5 to 6). This important because UV radiation will destroy sunscreen over time, and water will rinse it from you. Avoid sunscreens that are too fragrant, too greasy, or too expensive. Any sunscreen with the protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater should do the trick.

Don’t Use Tanning Beds: Golden skin is certainly attractive, but tanning beds increase the risk of melanoma by 75 percent. Also, tanning beds deliver cancer-causing radiation, leading to poor health and skin damage.

Keep your immune system up: Warm weather doesn’t mean you should dodge vitamins and other supplements. Continue to drink juice, consume vitamins, and get a good amount of rest, so your body is prepared to fight off illnesses and viruses.

Wear Loose Clothing: Rather than wearing snug clothing and fabrics that are synthetic, wear underwear that has a cotton crotch and clothing that’s loose-fitting. Additionally, don’t lounge around in wet clothing or a bathing suit, as that isn’t very good for your vaginal health.

Consider Your Vaginal Health: It’s important to urinate frequently, shower often with mild soap, and stay away from vaginal sprays and douches. Douching can upset your natural pH balance and it can irritate the vagina by washing away healthy bacteria. Also, don’t use perfumed products or scented tampons, Also, if you’re experiencing vaginal discomfort, abnormal discharge, and burning during urination. Approximately 75 percent of women will have at least one vaginal infection in their lifetime, and women face additional threat of that during the summer months, where the rise in temperatures leads to a subsequent increase in sweat. Be sure to change your tampons and sanitary napkins to keep the vagina clean and odor-free. Also, keep in mind that any sort of hair removal should take place at least 24-48 hours before enjoying a swim at the beach or the pool.

Take Care of Your Skin: Don’t skimp on your normal skin and hair care regimen. Make sure you consistently clean and moisturize your skin, so it remains supple and shining.

And, remember, hydrate!

Contraception, Reproductive Health Are Economic Issues

Opened_Oral_Birth_ControlFor parents within the United States, particularly women, reproductive health is an economic issue. Both mothers and fathers are quick to describe parenthood as a life-changing feat, an adventure, or the most fulfilling commitment you’ll ever have, but they rarely readily address the countless expenses attached to parenthood.

From birth until adulthood, children can cost parents approximately $245,340 (or $304,480, adjusted for projected inflation) for middle-income, husband-wife families, according to the latest annual “Cost of Raising A Child” report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Expensive, particularly during the time of economic instability, children can add to financial struggle. That’s in addition to the emotional investment that’s tied to the decision to start a family and put parenthood planning into action. The ability to decide and plan for a family drives major economic conversations, which is why the decision of politicians and policymakers pointedly affects women, impacting personal freedom and contraception access, which is directly tied to economic security.

Economic security is fundamental for survival, whether one is choosing to have a family or not, particularly for contraception-users who are sexually active and of childbearing age. Nonetheless, state legislation sometimes misses the importance of access to reproductive care, including birth control and abortion. Of course, this shrugs off the fact that health care and birth control is very important to many American women, who want control over their reproductive health.

American women have face challenges in this regard, dealing with restricted access to healthcare, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and stripping public funded health programs –which is an affront to the basic economic realities. Approximately 70 percent of voters recognize that true economic security lies with access to affordable reproductive healthcare, as well as equal pay, paid time off to care for families, and affordable childcare.

Across political parties and races, constituents feelings about abortion care, but there’s a recognizable understanding that the ability to plan is piped directly to Millennial’s core economic values and the needs of multicultural communities. Also, approximately 76 percent of all voters believe that access is necessary for basic economic survival. Likely because there’s an involved connection, linking reproductive care and major economic discussion.

Beyond conversations around reproduction health care, women are breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, and HIV tests, and reduction in funding for women’s reproductive care hit multicultural communities hardest. Reproduction care is more than a woman’s issue and social issues, it’s a freedom issue, a family issue, a values issue, and an economic issue.

Evolution of Wearable Technology: Women Can Track Fertility Levels, Stop Menstrual Cramps

Apple_Watch-Beyond pedometers, fitness and health trackers are doing a great job of helping to improve the lives of women and men.

Wearable technology has achieved something incredible,  incorporating advanced electronic technologies with clothing. In some cases, this is called “tech togs,” while other refer to it as “fashion electronics.” No matter what you called it, it’s been recognized that wearable technology is being used to boost the health of women.

Women face specific health issues, which stand apart from health issues faced solely by men. More and more, businesses are looking to meet the unique needs of women, developing and perfecting wearable technology that intends to keep them healthy. These technologies aren’t restricted to tracking running and walking, smart fitness clothing and wearable technology to track fertility levels and other things that a technician would be required for.

Livia

Livia, for instance, is a gadget that promises to stop menstrual cramps, which is debilitating for some women. Drug-based pain relief can be temporarily sufficient, but doesn’t help quite as much as it should and could become expensive. Livia targets ‘the pain gates’ and attempts to close them. This is done by stimulating the nerves involved, and blocking pain signals being sent to the brain. The compact device can fit comfortably on a waistband while two electrodes are applied to the abdomen to put an end to the pain. The USB-chargeable device has no side-effects, and can last about 15 hours.

Elvie and OhMiBod’s Lovelife krush

Whether you’re attempting to recover from childbirth or improve your bladder and bowel control, pelvic floor exercises are likely quite beneficial to you. Elvie, which is a tampon-like device provides pelvic floor workouts in five-minute increments. In conjunction with a cell phone, users can control program and strength rating before they complete kegel exercises. The device is able to meet the needs of different body types and ‘skill levels.’ As kegel muscles strengthen, the device adapts and become gradually more difficult in order to encourage and track progress. OhMiBod’s Lovelife krush is a similar device, but it has a slight twist. It’s part pelvic floor exercise gadget and part sexual health device. It has built-in sensors, a supplementary app that tracks daily activity, and it has special vibration patterns for sexual intimacy.

The Looncup

The Looncup is a wearable sensor for your period, tracking menstruation volume levels and color variations. The device analyzes the health of a woman’s period, it checks for discrepancies and determines if a visit to the doctor is warranted. This device is made from hypoallergenic silicone, and has a battery life of about six months, and it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other conventional options.

iTBra and OMbra

The iTBra is a smart bra that detects the early signs of breast cancer. The bra can detect if there have been any sudden changes in a woman’s circadian temperature, unveiling abnormal developments within the breast cells. Examinations take anywhere between two and 24 hours, and the results are sent to the wearer’s smartphone or personal computer for future consultation. The detection rate for the iTBra is higher than for mammograms. Also, OMbra is a smart bra, which adapts to body and workout, absorbing pressure and reducing stress on one’s back and shoulders. Feedback is shared on heart rate, cadence, impact, and breathing rate. It perfectly captures how much you push yourself when working out.

The Pilldrill

The Pilldrill is an updated take on the pillbox. As opposed to just housing your pills, this pillbox delivers timely visual and audio alerts for each dose. A user only needs to scan the pill container, and the Pilldrill tracks tablets. The box works in conjunction with a number of other apps, such as Mood Cube, which tracks adverse side effects when switching birth control methods.

The digital resources available to women can truly change their lives and improve their personal health.

5 Tips On Recovery After Giving Birth

Dr. Lori Gore-GreenIt’s true, every pregnancy is different. If you talk to any woman who has had more than one pregnancy, she will likely be able to recount distinctive differences between them. That being said, it’s not surprising that “recovery” times from the pregnancy can also vary drastically depending on the woman and depending on the pregnancy itself. Therefore, coming up with a standard checklist for shortening or improving recovery time is difficult, if not impossible. However, there are certain steps that women should take in order to improve or at least better understand their recovery period. 

  1. Talk with your doctor. Check in regularly, and ask what you (specifically) should be looking out for given your pregnancy and medical history. 
  2.  Try to keep a journal. This is great for nostalgia and overall well-being. Keeping a journal is also a good way to track any issues that may be related to the pregnancy or your health.
  3. Take your time. Some women want to snap back in to a rigorous exercise routine and packed daily calendar as soon as that baby cries for the first time. But pace yourself. Your body has been through a lot, and your chances of sleeping through the night are going to be slim to none with your newborn. In addition to that, whether you delivered via a caesarian section or vaginally, you will likely have stitches that need time to heal, and you will also likely have some residual bleeding initially ( while this is normal, make sure that you talk to your physician about what is to be expected). Therefore, make sure that you continue talking to your doctor about what kind of exercise is and is not appropriate for your body at different points in the recovery process. 
  4. Ask for help. Caring for a newborn is exhausting, and sometimes you just need to take a nap, or go for a walk. Make a point to carve out time for yourself to just relax. And when you get overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help. 
  5. Dr. Lori Gore-GreenNutrition. “Good nutrition” may seem like something somewhat subjective, but this is another topic to discuss with your doctor. Make sure that you are eating enough and eating the “right” things that are nourishing for both you, and your child. 

Remember that recovering from giving birth is a process, and that there may be some changes that won’t necessarily completely recover to their pre-baby state. Think of this recovery time as a chance to give your current body a fresh start and the opportunity to feel nourished and as rested as possible as you embark on this new chapter of your life with a child! Good luck, and make sure to consult with your physician regularly.

5 Ways to Prepare for your Due Date

dr. lori gore-greenImpending parenthood is often a time fraught with a unique blend of excitement, anxiety and a whole host of other emotions. And while many claim that no one is ever fully prepared for parenthood, there are some concrete steps that expectant mothers and their partners can take in the days leading up to delivery. Below are some of the easiest ways to relieve stress related to the delivery process, simply through preparation.

Make a Go Bag

While this may seem fairly obvious, make a point to pack a bag that includes comfortable clothes that are easy to get into (think zip up hoodies, yoga pants, a warm shawl or fleece that you can wrap yourself in) without much movement or effort. I wouldn’t suggest bringing much in the way of jewelry or makeup. Instead pack simple, fragrance free products. The most important thing to include in your to go bag are any medications that you are currently taking or may need to take. Also, don’t forget to include your folder of important documents (outlined below) and extra pairs of underwear . 

Contingency plans

Whether you are having an induced labor or going the natural route, it’s important to have a plan in place for getting to the hospital, but it’s equally important to have a backup plan, and to have a plan for your other responsibilities. If you have another child or other children, make sure that they also have a go bag so that they can stay with a trusted babysitter or relative while you are in labor and recovering. Discuss the time frame for your expected delivery and make sure that this works with the guardian for your child. Create a document with all relevant information for your child, and for you. Do this well in advance so that you don’t have to worry about it when you are focusing on the delivery, and make a point to email a copy and give this guardian a printed copy. 

Automate Bill Pay

A month or two before your expected delivery date, make a point to automate or take care of any bills coming up in the next few months. While automated bill pay is a convenience that you may already take advantage of, if you haven’t started, now is a great time to try it. This way, you won’t have to worry about bills getting paid on time while your focus is elsewhere. You can always change this option once you are home, but the more things that you can automate while you are focusing on this birth, the better. Also, consider sharing your bill pay or “errand” calendar with your partner or a trusted confidante if you don’t have time to finish these tasks prior to delivery.

Important Documents

While this may seem like the last thing on your mind as you approach your labor day, this is something that will reduce paper-work related-stress, and will serve you well even after the birth of your child. Early on, I recommend that you create a folder that includes copies of all important documents including a copy of your government-issued ID, a copy of your Health Insurance Card(s), a sheet that lists all of your current doctors and medications that you are taking – as well as any allergies. Additionally print out a sheet that includes your emergency contacts and their information. Also keep an updated copy of your will and any pertinent instructions regarding end of life care. Keep this information in a folder in your go bag, and leave a copy at home or in your safety deposit box and/or with your partner or family member(s). Make sure your partner or hospital companion keeps an eye on this folder once you arrive. While this may seem like a somewhat somber set of documents to procure in the midst of your pregnancy, it is all a part of being responsible for both your health and the health of your child. Talk to your doctor and ask if there is any other information that would be relevant to have on hand, or if there is any way to share this information beforehand (to cut back on the number of items you bring with you).

Be Kind to Your Body

Although this means different things to different people, there are certain things that you should do for yourself throughout your pregnancy. Finding ways to exercise regularly (from yoga, to walking to more aerobic workouts, always make sure you consult with your doctor and listen to your body). Make a point to meditate. Drink lots of water and eat healthy whole foods. Visit your doctor regularly, and never be afraid to ask any questions. And most importantly, find ways to de-stress your daily life.

There are a number of other ways that you can prepare for your child’s arrival. Preparing your home before you go to the hospital or birthing center is also a huge component of preparing for the birth. For more information on how to prepare, do your research and talk to your doctor.

Are Screens Hurting Your Baby?

dr lori gore green dentonIt’s undeniable that emerging technologies are changing virtually all facets of how we live. And childrearing is certainly included in theses sweeping changes. Parents are currently faced with a myriad of options when it comes to arming themselves with as much information about their children through using various tech gadgets to aid them in tending to their children. (See my earlier article on micro tech here). Overwhelmingly these advancements in changing technologies are solving all sorts of problems and opening up opportunities and possibilities across many fields that were unimaginable just one or two decades ago. However, it is worth taking a moment to reflect on the many ways in which certain uses of technologies effect children. For example, what does screen time do to our babies?

With the introduction of so many screened devices into our adult lives in such a relatively short amount of time, there haven’t been any significant longitudinal studies to better understand the effects of screen time on the development of children. In addition to being unaware of what the long-term effects may or may not be for babies, we also don’t know what factors might mitigate potential negative side effects.

As with all kinds of thorough research, time is a factor, and unfortunately these screened devices have not been widely available for very long. However, there are certain things that are known currently through research from the past, that can be extended to this arena when thinking about best practices and safety guidelines as they pertain to parenting and childrearing.

Screens are problematic in childhood development-especially for babies and toddlers when they displace interactions with people. In the first year of life, some of the most important interactions are those of the “serve and return” variety. Essentially a baby makes a noise, a parent responds in kind back, and it goes from there. Here a baby is learning the concept of a conversation, imitating sounds and observing that different facial expressions signify different things. This process can be extended to a number of other scenarios, and the practice requires repetition.

Although certain apps are interactive and educational, the American Academy of Pediatrics still suggests that children under the age of 2 not be exposed to screen-devices as the effects are not yet known.

While an interactive app may ultimately be more significant as a positive step in the development of a child than a distracted parent, we just do not have enough information to fully assess the effects of these devices. What we do know, is that the more meaningful and attentive interactions that a baby shares with other people, the better.