Mon 2 Nov live webchat with Dr Miriam Stoppard

Concerned about swine flu and how it may affect your child? Or not sure what jabs your baby needs and when? Dr Miriam Stoppard will be joining us between 12-1pm to discuss your baby's health. Start posting now and Dr Miriam will answer as many questions as she can during the hour-long slot.

[Modified by: webeditor on 02 November 2009 11:08:30 ]


  • my husband has asthma but no sign of it yet in our toddler aged 18 months. Is he likely to inherit it? Should i get him jabbed against swine flu just in case? Sorry to be a bit paranoid!
  • Dear Franticmum,
    Just because your husband has asthma, this doesn't mean he'll pass it on to your children. As you don't have it your baby inherits asthma free genes from you. As your baby has reached 18 months, without any sign of it, the chances are you're home-free. I don't think you should treat your baby as a special case and have swine flu vaccination as a precaution. I would chill, relax and just do as your doctor advises. You might also like to make sure that your little boy has his regular check ups at the children's clinic or centre.
  • Hi Dr Miriam,
    Not strictly baby health, but I wonder whether you can help anyway. My baby is 8 months old and exclusively breastfed. I want to start introducing some bottle feeds now but he won't take a bottle. I've tried using expressed milk, a few different brands of formula and all sorts of bottles and teats but he refuses them all. He won't take a bottle from me or anyone else even if I'm not present. Help! Am I condemned to another year or so of breastfeeding!!?
  • Dear Cornetto

    There's lots you can do. First of all you should know that if you're anxious your baby will pick that up and be anxious too. That will make him or her more fretful and he will feel more pain. If you're calm, your baby feels secure and feels less pain. So, to calm your anxiety I suggest you plan ahead. Firstly leave plenty of time for your appointment so you're not feeling frazzled. Secondly take along your baby's favourite toys so you can both play games and laugh a lot before you go in to see the nurse. MAKE SURE YOU SMILE ALL THE TIME BECAUSE THIS MAKES YOUR BABY FEEL EVERYTHING'S OKAY. To reassure yourself that you're being a good mum, make sure you have some Calpol by you in case the injection site gets a bit red and swollen or your baby has a little temperature. And an hour before you leave the house rub on a little numbing cream which you can get from your chemist. And then your baby will hardly feel the prick. When you go in to see the nurse, keep chatting normally to your baby, sit her on your knee facing you with her back to the nurse and continue chatting, playing, tickling and cuddling and your baby will hardly notice that she's had the jab. If a few seconds afterwards she squeals lots of kisses, cuddles and 'there theres' will help to comfort and quieten her. Together you've got through it without mishap.
  • Dear newnewmum

    Congratulations on breastfeeding your baby exclusively for so long!
    I think a good way round this is to get going with solid food if your baby isn't already weaning. The WHO recommendation, which I follow, says that babies should be exclusively breastfed up to six months, and then solid foods introduced. At eight months a baby should be eating vegetables, fruit and all kinds of protein including meat, eggs and fish and the reliance on milk diminishes. Also, your baby can start to take fluids from a cup and might enjoy that in preference to a bottle. Then, he might enjoy a bottle at the end of the day. When introducing mixed feeding, particularly at six months or older, I'm a fan of baby-led weaning because a baby has the grip and hand-eye coordination to get food into their mouth at this age. The baby also feels a great sense of satisfaction and it does wonders for his self-esteem. Simply but on the table of the high chair the various kinds of foods you want to, like apple slices, pieces of banana, portions of cheese, little bits of meat or fish, small pieces of broccoli, tomato, potato etc, and let your child decide what he wants to eat. Don't worry, his body will tell him what he needs and he'll choose the right foods. Once a baby begins on mixed feeding he needs water to drink rather than milk (at a meal) and I think it's best to simply to stick with water with very dilute fruit juice, so he doesn't get a sweet tooth.
  • Hi, i have a question with reguards to the vaccine for swine flu. I have an appointment at 15:10 to get mine and i am so undecided I heard a story on the radio a minute ago another women has died who had given birth 18 days before hand she had swine flu had an emergency c-sect and then developed complications. Such a hard decision to make. Any advice?
  • Dear Noah's Mummy

    I'm so sorry Noah is unwell. I'm really concerned about his explosive stools and diarrhea and I think you ought to take him to the doctor as soon as you can, so that your doctor can assess him fully (I can't) and also give you some advice about whether or not there is a bug going around in your district, and prescribe you specific treatment. Even without a temperature, a baby who has more than three really loose stools needs medical attention.
  • Thanks Miriam,
    One other question.
    Does Emla cream really work? I've been told it helps take away the pain of a jab? Is it OK to use on babies?
  • Hello, What is your opinion please on a child contracting chicken pox, and whether it is better for the child to contract it earlier in its life than later? I have a very healthy and happy 21 month old boy who hasn't had any illnesses at all so far.

    He is looked after at home by a nanny for my three working days a week, and I look after him for the rest of the time (with my husband), Lots of friends of ours have young children, and he often sees children looked after by friends of our nanny, so he could easily be deliberately exposed to the virus if we wanted to deliberately get it out of the way. But equally, we could try and avoid children who we knew had chicken pox in its contagious stages and take our chances of him contracting in during everyday life at todder groups, the swimming pool, classes etc.

  • Hi there,
    This is my first webchat so sorry if this seems a little silly. My niece recently had her HPV vaccine and said it was ver very painful, I'm already quite afraid of needles even though most of the ones Ive had didnt hurt!! but im taking my little one for his first jabs next week and am now really worried that they might hurt him.
    Just seen the advice you gave cornetto which is great, maybe im just being paranoid!!?
    Is it best to speak to the GP or the nurse as my health visitor hasnt offered much advise?
  • Dear newnewmum
    Emla has been used for 25 years as a numbing cream in hospitals all over the world and it is safe to be used on babies (from full term birth) and has a license for use in babies.
  • Hi,

    I stopped taking the pill in Sept 09 after taking Cerazette for about 8 years (before that I was on depo for injection for 2 years and a POP pill before that - in total about 15 years I've been on some kind of pill).

    Since stopping the pill, I have had lots of symptoms, such as sore breats and nipples, feeling sick, tummy cramps, headaches, feeling tired. Have done a pregnancy test and this has come up negative.

    Do these symptoms just sound like it's my body re-adjusting after being on the pill for so long?

  • Hi, i have a question with reguards to the vaccine for swine flu. I have an appointment at 15:10 to get mine and i am so undecided I heard a story on the radio a minute ago another women has died who had given birth 18 days before hand she had swine flu had an emergency c-sect and then developed complications. Such a hard decision to make. Any advice?
  • is there a chickenpox vaccine I can get for my daughter? She's almost 5 and hasn't had it yet. I've heard it's worse if a child contracts it later and unfortunately she didn't catch it as a baby. Should I try and get her immunised? We're moving to Hong Kong soon and i want her to get all the jabs I can beforehand.
  • i have a the same question bout swineflu jab

  • Hi
    Not technically a baby issue - more my toddler -
    He has recently started waking in the night, of a sorts. He started screaming in his sleep a couple of nights ago, and i had to wake him up to stop him, and then we had to traipse round the house to show him nothing was there before he would go back to bed, it happened a second time that same night. He also had to make sure daddy was there before going willingly back to bed.
    Last night it happened once more, and I'm wondering if there is any reason why? His literally clung to me, crying and whimpering, hiding his face against me till i told him everything was ok in every room.....

    Nothing at all has changed about his routine, me and his dad get on brilliantly, there is a bit of chaos as we've started an extension but thats been like that for a good 3 months or so now, his diet hasnt changed, he has a quiet hour before bed inc milk drink, and bath then bed....

    we cant work out why it happening, and wondered if you'd have any idea whatsoever? Or do we need to speak to the Health visitor or GP?



    Edit - sorry should say he is a genuinely happy little boy, goes to nursery twice a week (and has done for over 6 months), runs around, likes being outside and is a typical toddler - tantrums and all :lol:

    [Modified by: MummyStephe on November 02, 2009 12:52 PM]

  • Dear Me-Time

    You're obviously a very good mum who wants to do her best for her children and I'm glad you're such a fan of childhood vaccinations - I wish more mums were. I don't think there is a chickenpox vaccine available as part of a child's routine immunisation programme so I can only advise you to go and see your doctor and see if there would be any special circumstances in which your daughter would be given protection against chickenpox.
  • I would also like to hear your oppinion on the swine flu vaccine. Are you purposely avoiding this question? I understand why you would but I would like to know so I am not waiting for an answer. Thank you,
  • Dear Stephen's Mummy
    You don't say the age of your toddler but toddlers do go through a phase of having nightmares and night terrors for no apparent reason. The rule of thumb I followed with my own children was not to waken them if they weren't awake. I know it's deeply unpleasant to hear your child screaming out in the night because you think they must be frightened or in pain but as a child has no memory of a nightmare or a night terror it's better to simply sit with them, pat them gently, talk quietly so they know you are there without actually waking them by lifting them out of bed. If you do wake them, you may cause more distress because the child carries the nightmare or night terror into the real world and they need a great deal of reassurance in order to settle down. With one of my sons, his night terrors would last 15-20 minutes over a period of about six to nine months and it was very distressing for my husband and I because he was not amenable to being comforted and would push us away. Be assured that your baby isn't coming to any harm and try the technique that we used. I hope it works for you.
  • It's 1pm now, so please no new questions.
    Many thanks for all your posts and thank you too to Dr Miriam for making time to be with us today.
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