Dad Stress

Comment

Dad Stress

Dr Amy Whittaker writes about new research that highlights the impact a father’s mental health has on the development and behavior of his children.

"Dads need to be reassured that parenting can be stressful and if their moods are impacting on their relationship with their child they should ask for help, not suffer in silence."

 

Comment

Who needs sleep?

Comment

Who needs sleep?

Children who don't sleep well are more likely to behave poorly and are less effective learners. The flow on effect to the family is also significant with much higher rates of maternal depression in mothers whose children are poor sleepers.

Comment

Terri and Caitlin - National Diabetes Week

Comment

Terri and Caitlin - National Diabetes Week

Terri sat in the GP’s room for the second time that week, this time with her nine year old daughter Caitlin. It was a bit awkward because Terri had only recently bought her son in with boils, after a Google search showed it could be a sign of Type 1 diabetes.

So when Caitlin started drinking a lot and going to the toilet constantly Terri felt a bit embarrassed to turn up again, wondering if this time her daughter could have diabetes.

Comment

Ali and Finn - National Diabetes Week

Comment

Ali and Finn - National Diabetes Week

ife is busy for parents of toddler twin boys.

Ali and her husband had given up hope for a good night’s sleep and were already exhausted when 23 month old Finn started waking up even more.

Too little to communicate, Finn was waking up crying with thirst. He drank so much he was wetting through at least two nappies a night.

Comment

Small kicks to big dreams

Comment

Small kicks to big dreams

Speaking in front of his class was incredible for Billy. He went from not wanting to be away from me to talking to anyone and making more eye contact, sharing his achievements and his passion. 

Comment

Vaccination and Meningococcal Disease

Comment

Vaccination and Meningococcal Disease

This Tuesday 28 February is World Rare Disease Day, created to raise awareness among the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and the impacts they have on those affected personally and their families.

Over 400,000 children in Australia have a rare disease (affecting less than 1 person in every 10,000), many of which are chronic and debilitating.  

This Rare Disease Day we are sharing the stories of some Gold Coast families who live with Rare Diseases. 

Comment

Rebecca and Amelia - National Diabetes Week

Comment

Rebecca and Amelia - National Diabetes Week

It was a humid January day when Rebecca realized something wasn’t right with her ten-year-old daughter Amelia.

Since Christmas she seemed increasingly lethargic and was drinking a lot of water during the long hot days.

She had lost weight too, but Rebecca put it down to a growth spurt.


Comment

Melissa and Max National Diabetes Week - "It's about time"

Comment

Melissa and Max National Diabetes Week - "It's about time"

It’s common for many children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes to end up seriously ill in the Emergency Department before they are diagnosed.

Max has a different story. His mother Melissa knew the signs and Max was diagnosed and on treatment before he developed any dangerous complications such as Ketoacidosis.*

Max is now 15 years old and an excellent student and athlete, but six years ago life seemed very different.


Comment

Rare Disease Day 2017

Comment

Rare Disease Day 2017

This Tuesday 28 February is World Rare Disease Day, created to raise awareness among the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and the impacts they have on those affected personally and their families.

Over 400,000 children in Australia have a rare disease (affecting less than 1 person in every 10,000), many of which are chronic and debilitating.  

This Rare Disease Day we are sharing the stories of some Gold Coast families who live with Rare Diseases. 

Comment

Bailey - Rare Disease Day 2017

Comment

Bailey - Rare Disease Day 2017

tiffany (Bailey’s mum): Soon after Bailey’s birth it became clear something was seriously wrong. He had dislocated shoulders and was floppy and a blood test showed his CPK was off the chart, indicating dangerous muscle wasting.  He was too weak to swallow properly.  We were advised to have him christened if we wished, and to take him home.  Each morning we were not sure if he would live through the day.

Comment

Lenny - Rare Disease Day 2017

Comment

Lenny - Rare Disease Day 2017

Aimee (Lenny's mum): When I found out I was pregnant my partner Darren and I were thrilled.  We had been trying for 12 months so the pregnancy felt particularly precious. 

Like all young parents we were amazed and full of love to see our baby’s heart beat at the 12 week scan. The obstetrician saw something else too, what he called “Rocker bottom feet”.  A later scan showed a problem with the kidneys too.

Comment

Cruz - Rare Disease Day 2017

Comment

Cruz - Rare Disease Day 2017

Tammy (Cruz’s mum): Cruz started having troubles soon after birth with failure to thrive, then a twisted bowel needing surgery. He ended up in ICU and barely left hospital for the next 18 months.  

A blood test showed Cruz has an incredibly rare diagnosis called 2q37.3 Deletion syndrome, which is only known in 100 people across the world. Cruz is extra rare because he also has duplication in his genes and this particular deletion/duplication combination has not been described in anyone else in the world. 

Comment

Comment

Welcome new Leading Steps Paediatrician Dr Amy Whittaker

Health issues can be complex and the correct diagnosis and management plan makes a difference for each child, now and into the future.

That’s why children with a serious health issue benefit from a consistent dedicated paediatrician who takes responsibility for their care.

As one of Australia’s largest private paediatric clinics we’ve made it our mission to cut waiting times, so that children and families are able to access paediatric specialists when they need it.

We’ve handpicked the best new consultant paediatricians for the benefit of children on the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales.

To be considered as part of the Leading Steps team paediatricians must have outstanding clinical judgment and skills, dedication and diligence and care and compassion for their young patients.

So we are thrilled to introduce our latest Leading Steps Paediatrican – Dr Amy Whittaker.

Dr Amy Whittaker is a consultant paediatrician who is passionate about caring for children and their families.  As a mother she understands the stress and anxiety associated with concerns about a child’s health, development or wellbeing.

After completing her Medical, Surgical and Science (Honours) Degrees in the UK she finished her qualifications in paediatrics at the Sydney Children’s Hospital working as an advanced trainee and then a Consultant Paediatrician. 

Dr Whittaker fell in love with the Gold Coast and made the decision to relocate to this beautiful area when she had a family of her own to share it with.

Dr Whittaker will be working from our Tugun (John Flynn) rooms starting Friday April 29. Ring the general number ((07) 5564 9668) to make an appointment.  

 

Comment

Comment

World Breastfeeding Week 2015 - working and breastfeeding

 

Combining specialist medical training with family life is a challenge at the best of times. When Leading Steps Paediatric Registrar Dr Victoria Matheson returned to full time work six weeks after giving birth to her son she worried that breastfeeding was “doomed to fail”.

Vicky wrote about her experience for World Breastfeeding Week 2015.

 

I chose to breast feed whilst returning to work as I had a young baby and I felt it was important to provide the benefits of breast milk in this period, the short answer!!

The longer answer, as a working mum I felt a huge guilt leaving my baby (even if it was with daddy) and by breast-feeding it alleviated some of that guilt. It also continued to give me a connection to him whilst at work. I was returning to work for ten weeks before having a six-month break.

In retrospect one of the reasons I contemplated continuing to breastfeed and returning to work was because I was in a supportive work environment. My employers allowed me to disappear every three hours like clock work to pump and I had an incredibly breastfeeding friendly environment to pump in, without that I don't know I would have gotten through the first few weeks!!

The first challenge I faced was to keep my milk. I lost my milk early on with my first child, not sure why. It's no secret amongst my friends that I didn't enjoy breastfeeding the first time round. I had difficulties with technique, pain, emotional rollercoaster and embarrassment feeding in front of people and most of all feeling like a failure when I lost my milk and my girl failed to thrive. I was utterly horrified that I had inadvertently starved her. So this time round I was acutely aware of how pumping and not feeding might detrimentally affect my milk.

To begin with I felt it was doomed to fail and I was extremely anxious about losing my supply. So I gave myself a mental slap and approached this like I would an exam or a race and made it a challenge. I stopped feeling sorry for myself about how hard it would be and decided to own it.

My husband was very supportive of whatever I wanted to do but hated seeing me permanently anxious about my supply. He gently suggested I switch to formula, but like setting out to do a long run I told him to push me when it all seemed too hard that I wanted to win!!! This I’m sure wouldn’t work for everyone and sounds quite cheesy but it worked for me.

I went out this time and bought a wardrobe of new clothes that were breastfeeding friendly and made me feel pretty, wish I had done that last time!!! I used domperidone to help when my supply was low. I ensured I pumped every three hours whilst away from the baby, this I know is a luxury.

I tried not to let a failed pump be a disaster, stress and rushing don’t mix well with let downs! I accepted my supply would have good and bad days and topped up with formula when my stored supply ran out. I let myself be ok with that!

With a week left to go I'm really glad I did this, and would do it again if I had to! I love coming home in the evening and breast-feeding my boy.  This time round I would go as far as to say I have enjoyed feeding! Managing to do this has left me a lot more confident. I even feed in public without a shawl sometimes!

 This brings me to my final thoughts, breastfeeding like everything to do with your children and family is a personal journey. Advice can be helpful but at the end of the day it’s your life, your baby and your family. Working out what best works for you is most likely to lead to successful breastfeeding regardless of the challenges. I now intend to breastfeed for much longer than I had originally planned and I’m looking forward to post feed snuggles on the couch with my boy.

Comment