Podcast

All Articles in the Category ‘Podcast’

5 Days of Mindfulness: Day 2 – Becoming a Tree

Dr. Hilary Mead continues with our 5 Days of Mindfulness series with this 15-minute guided imagery meditation. Listen as she walks you through being (or watching) a tree rooted into the ground as it changes throughout the seasons just as we change over time. This mindfulness practice can be done alone or with your family or friends. You can use what you learn during this podcast to help when you’re not able to fall asleep.

As mindfulness is about being in the moment, aware, accepting and non-judgmental, this exercise helps hone your focus and find ways to practice it.

I personally went through this guided practice with Dr. Mead and the landscapes and vistas, trees and colors kept changing in my mind. During the middle of the imagery I started to wonder if I was messing it all up. Turns out you can’t. Dr. Mead reminded me there is no failing in mindfulness! Phew.

More on mindfulness from Dr. Mead:

I hope you’re enjoying these guided mindfulness practices. Tell me what you think about these so far in the comments below and come back each day this week for more podcasts and blog posts as we continue our 5 Days of Mindfulness series.

5 Days of Guided Imagery: Day 1 – Send Love, Feel Better

Today marks day one of our 5 Days of Mindfulness with Dr. Hilary Mead, a child clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s. Throughout the week we will be sharing seven guided meditations and imagery via the Seattle Mama Doc podcast. We invite you to include your children and your entire family for each of these episodes as they’re great for all ages!

In the first of seven podcasts, Dr. Mead leads a meditation via guided imagery that helps create a greater sense of connection, well-being and love for others and yourself. This meditation practice has data to support its effectiveness in increasing the daily experiences of positive emotion.

For this meditation, you will begin by focusing on sending loving-kindness to someone else as it can be difficult to give it to yourself first. It is such a lovely thing…

Learn more about mindfulness from Dr. Mead here:

Stay tuned for more podcasts and blog posts this week as we continue our 5 Days of Mindfulness series.

5 Tips for Teaching Mindfulness to Children and Teens

As promised, Dr. Hilary Mead, a child clinical psychologist in Outpatient Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Seattle Children’s, is back to share her tips on using and teaching mindfulness to our kids. If you missed her first podcast on mindfulness, listen to get a better understanding of what it means to be mindful. And how easy it may be to build it into your everyday life.

Mindfulness is about being in the moment you’re in, aware, accepting what’s unfolding and being non-judgmental of yourself and your relationships. Using mindfulness with children and teens can help them cope with pain-related conditions or emotional, behavioral or mental conditions. This includes depression, panic disorders or trauma. Children can use mindfulness to boost mood, improve coping and gain a sense of control over their experiences with mental challenges.

With that said, here are Dr. Mead’s tips for teaching and incorporating mindfulness into your entire family’s life: Read full post »

Be Sun Smart – Improving Childhood Sun Exposure

It may not always be the sunniest here in Washington, but that doesn’t mean we’re safe from sun exposure and skin cancer risks. In fact, Washington had the 10th highest rate of skin cancer in 2013 (we beat out sunny states including Florida, California and Arizona). Part of that has to do with the population that lives here (non-Hispanic Caucasians have higher rates of skin cancer) but in general it’s a reminder that sun exposure and UV radiation can happen in even this horrific, rainy climate!

Childhood can be a time of potent sun exposure. The majority of sun exposure and sunburns occur during childhood and teen years. Because UV sun exposure and UV light is the #1 preventable cause of skin cancer, as you reduce the amount of exposure for your children you reduce the risk of them being diagnosed with skin cancer later in life.

When it comes to sun exposure and UV light, there are two types you need to know about:

  • UVA radiation causes Aging, deeper skin damage and wrinkles skin. It is constant throughout the entire year, regardless of the season or heat index. That’s why sunscreen while out in the snow in the winter makes sense!
  • UVB radiation causes Burning and is what SPF helps protect you from when using sunscreen. It is most intense in the summer in North America as the earth’s rotation and angle increases sunlight intensity.

In the quick podcast below, you can get smarter about the sun and how you consume it.

Read full post »

Vaccination Hesitancy: 4 Myths Explained

Vaccination hesitancy or concern about getting your child their shots isn’t new. But it has recently been gaining attention in the media. In February, Robert Kennedy Jr. offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who could turn up a study showing that it is safe to administer vaccines to children and pregnant women. Let me start by saying that there are countless studies and data in support of vaccination safety. So the offer and claim should be given/received over and over and over again.

I mean, COME ON.

However, with politicians using their platform to blast these fallacies and doubts about vaccination, I worry there is a new sense of unease growing among parents. This unease is causing pediatricians to worry about what’s to come in the coming years for families and their safety.

The below chart from the American Journal of Health Behavior and shared by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) depicting the various types of parents and their responses to vaccinations helps frame up who we are. Even with all of the hoopla in the media, studies have found only 16% of parents are fence-sitters or worriers about immunizations. That means there’s a lot of distortion in the voices that are being heard in these conversations, which is causing “health advocates” and others to question if they should continue moving forward with vaccinating their children.

It’s my job as a pediatrician to make sure you hear the other 84%. The following are four of the most common myths that cause parents to worry about vaccinations, and most importantly, why they shouldn’t worry as much with real data to back it up. Read full post »

Mindfulness With Children And Teens

Cultivating mindfulness is clearly a concept all of us want to improve while parenting. Good news is there are ways to incorporate strategies that are mindful in every day activities; being mindful might be easier than it seems and it’s less “way out there” and voo-doo than it seems at first glance, as well. The practice of mindfulness isn’t just for the kale-eating-uber-natural-super-zen families — this, in fact, is for us all.

Mindfulness: paying attention in this moment, non-judgmentally.

Honing focus and taking in the luxuries of raising children is a daily treasure. But living mindfully, intentionally, and without judgment — right in the present moment — is a simple concept and yet hard to practice every day. Luckily, I had Dr. Hilary Mead, a child clinical psychologist in Outpatient Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital talk through what we know about mindfulness in pediatrics and in children, how we use it specifically to boost mental health, and when it can be implemented easily into our everyday lives. She’s a pro at supporting children and teens, and their parents, in incorporating mindful practices into life.

There isn’t really failing at mindfulness — Dr. Hilary Mead

This podcast is really good. Really….I suggest you listen to Dr. Mead….I just loved what she taught me and how she guides mindfulness.

Read full post »

Getting Out Of Town With Children: Anchors of Happiness

Spring has sprung (hurrah!) and summertime is oddly just a couple of months off. A co-worker reminded me this week that school is out in 2 months. What?

As the rituals of summer near I’m reminded of the power and value in creating memories that break the mold of routine. Trips, time away, adventure, and creating a sense that the world is truly as big as it is. This starts and gains value right from home at the kitchen counter…

Recently, I’ve seen a series of online parenting articles about how family vacations throughout childhood are “anchors of happiness.” That they make and enhance a child’s life. At first glance it seems like pressure. It’s just been Spring Break, or is this week for you, and the pressures of watching families on Facebook fly off to Aruba are real… But I think there is something more essential to talk about here. Not the need or want to plan a luxury vacation, but the pristine opportunity to think on and prioritize exploration with our children. Clearly children notice and in my heart I know it’s meaningful.

The simple exercise of moving around our city or county or state or country or continent to different places with our children, during breaks from school and work, is magic. From planning a trip with your children to taking an actual vacation, there are a lot of data driven benefits – enjoyment (joy!), memory-making, cultural exposure and simple protected time away from school and work together to reflect on what matters.

In one article I read about family-vacationing, I saw this:

  • Only 25% of kids say they talk to their parents about something of great importance to them in a weeks time

Ohhhhhh, no! I decided to vet the above data with my 10 year-old. Puffed up with great pride that just in the last week I’d brought up the temperature of space, talked about the implications of a recent political scandal, worked on his school project together and generally been a stimulating conversation partner and “master mom” I said, “do you think we talk about things of great importance every week?” He paused and said, “No, I don’t think so.”

OH, no. Gotta get out of Dodge… Read full post »

How Genetic Technologies May Change How We Approach Parenthood

Seattle writer Bonnie Rochman has a new, smartypants book on genetic testing. It’s not a “how-to,” per se, rather a storytelling look and near confessional at how confusing it can feel when you’re pregnant (or plan to be) and faced with the marketplace of ideas and opportunities for knowing more from genetic testing. Simply put, she articulates the quandary nestled in the “to know” or “not to know” more about your expected baby, genetically speaking.

In the book (and the podcast and TV seg she joined me for —  included below) Bonnie talks of her own journey as a mom but also interviews researchers, geneticists, families, expecting parents, and ethicists along the way. It’s researched; the pages of notes and references at the end could overwhelm, if you let them. Thankfully, the book reads like a story and yet Bonnie doesn’t shy away from complex ethical spider webs like the implications (for some) in getting tested for fatal diseases and the option to enter the abortion debate. More than anything, Bonnie takes on the reality that when it comes to prenatal genetic testing, the tests themselves, the official guidance, and the technology itself is moving faster than our public and medical understanding…

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5 Things That Confirm You’re A Master Parent

After I published my book Mama Doc Medicine, I toyed around with the idea of writing tiny little books inspired by a favorite short story publication, One Story. Literally I was thinking that the way to consume ideas about parenthood was not in book form but in pamphlet-sized publications on parenthood, vaccines, & general tips for feeling awesome while raising children. I haven’t entirely tanked the idea (please weigh in if you think you’d read them!) but it’s not at the top of my to-do list. That being said, I realized after publishing years of blogs and a whole book of stories about my boys and science and parenting and the general overwhelm we all feel, that I could have perhaps just published five tips in five pamphlets! Sure would have saved time…

Thing is, in my opinion, if you do these five things, you’re wildly decreasing the likelihood of death for your child and pretty much preforming at the top 99%, parenthood-wise. All the rest is gravy. As a mom and pediatrician, I think if you do these things well you should feel like a ROCK STAR. The rest of what we all read about is a smattering of parenting “style” advice. There will continue to be books on grit and food selection and poop and sleep forever. And reading up on new ideas and new data can be great ways to bolster our confidence. But really, I’m saying, do these 5 things out of love and with ongoing daily respect for who your child is as an individual, and I think you’ll be a master.

This is the cousin to my recent “5 Things To Stop Worrying About” blog. In my mind, there are five non-negotiable pediatric parenting must-dos. If you can make these things a top priority, you’re pretty much nailing it. Congrats. Check this off on your life list as an awesome new start to spring. Listen to the podcast, please but little notes about it are below, too. Love up your children and love up yourself for doing all of this so well!

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Tongue-Tie And Breastfeeding: What To Do For Babies With Tongue-Tie

Image c/o Mayo Clinic

Tongue-tie is a condition in which an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue (frenulum) tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. Often it goes unnoticed and causes no problems in life but rarely it can affect how a child eats and how they sound when they speak, and can sometimes interfere with breastfeeding because baby’s tongue may not have enough range of motion to attach to the breast, suck and swallow effectively. Sometimes tongue-tied babies can’t maintain a latch for long enough to take in a full feeding, and others remain attached to the breast for long periods of time without taking in enough milk. Sometimes babies with tight frenulums make it miserable for mom to feed because of the way they attach and latch. When a newborn has a tight frenulum breastfeeding moms may have nipple pain, mom may hear clicking sound while the baby feeds, or mom may feel it’s inefficient. Sometimes a parent will notice a heart shape to the tip of the tongue as the band of tissue pulls on the tongue where it’s attached.

What to do about tongue-tie can be controversial. Not all pediatricians, Ear, Nose and Throat surgeons, lactation consultants and occupational therapists always agree. However, every baby deserves the chance to be evaluated by both a physician and a board certified lactation consultant if there is concern! Awareness about a newborn’s challenges with breastfeeding increases diagnosis in the newborn period but decisions to clip a tongue-tie come about from a variety of factors. The American Academy of Pediatrics states: “surgery, called frenotomy, should be considered if the tongue-tie appears to restrict tongue movement, such as inability to latch on with breastfeeding. It is a simple, safe, and effective procedure—general anesthesia is not required.” It takes only a few seconds and many pediatricians can perform the clip in their office.

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