February 2019
This Month's Newsletter
According to groundhog Phil, despite the cold temperatures, we are in for an early Spring! Spring will officially arrive soon enough on March 20th. We hope you enjoy these last few weeks of winter.

In this month's newsletter, we discuss prenatal tests during your pregnancy and what to expect. We also recognize National Children's Dental Health month with this year's theme from the American Dental Association. In addition, February is American Heart Month. Heart disease can happen at any age - it is a good reminder to practice heart-healthy behaviors early to prevent heart disease. Our own Romelia Hasegawa, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, authors an article on teen relationships and dating. Finally, we share a recent article distributed by The Pediatric Center discussing the very sensitive topic of loss and how to cope.  

Our goal is to further develop our relationship with our patients and create an open forum. We welcome your comments and ideas. If you would like to see something included in this newsletter, please email us at pedcenter.com@gmail.com  with ideas only, please no medical requests.

As always, we welcome you to share your experience with our practitioners with an online review. 

The Pediatric Center Staff
Prenatal Testing
Throughout your pregnancy there are several prenatal tests that will be administered by your OB/GYN to ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth.

Some of those tests include:

Ultrasound Exam
An ultrasound exam is used to check your baby for physical abnormalities. Your health care provider will look closely at your baby's basic anatomy, including his or her head, neck, chest, heart, spine, stomach, kidneys, bladder, arms, legs, and umbilical cord to make sure they are developing properly. 

The ultrasound is usually performed after 18 weeks into your pregnancy, however may be done earlier if there are any health concerns. 

Your baby's ultrasound should be performed by a trained sonographer and read by a radiologist, obstetrician, or maternal fetal medicine specialist. If there are any problems suspected, you may be referred for a more detailed ultrasound that is read by a specialist.   Sonograms performed at hospital-based clinics have a higher rate of detecting abnormalities (up to 80%). It is recommended your ultrasound is performed at a practice accredited by the  American College of Radiology  or the  American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM).

Nonstress Test
A nonstress test electronically monitors the fetus's heart rate and movements. In this test, a belt is positioned around your abdomen. It is called a "nonstress" test because medications are not used to stimulate movement in your unborn baby or trigger contractions of the uterus.

Contraction Stress Test
A contraction stress test is another means of checking the fetus's heart rate, measured and recorded in response to mild contractions of the uterus that are induced during the test by an infusion of a hormone. By monitoring your baby's heart rate during the contractions, your doctor may be able to determine how your baby will react to contractions during the actual delivery; if your baby is not responding favorably during these contractions, the delivery of your baby (perhaps by Cesarean section) might be scheduled prior to your due date.

Biophysical Profile
A biophysical profile uses both a nonstress test plus an ultrasound. It evaluates the movement and breathing of the unborn baby, as well as the volume of amniotic fluid. Scores are given for each component of the profile, and the collective score will help determine whether there is a need for an early delivery.

Screening Tests
Your doctor may recommend other screening tests. For example:
  • Glucose screening  - to check for high blood sugar levels, which could indicate gestational diabetes. This screening is usually performed between the twenty-fourth and twenty-eighth week of pregnancy within a lab setting. You drink a sugar solution and have your blood drawn. Your sugar levels will help determine if you have gestational diabetes.
  • Group B streptococcus (GBS) screening is used to determine if a type of bacteria is present that can cause a serious infection (such as meningitis or a blood infection) in your baby. If GBS is detected in a pregnant woman, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics intravenously during the birthing process. The GBS screening test is usually between the thirty-fifth and thirty-seventh week of pregnancy.
  • HIV (or human immunodeficiency virus) testing is now commonly done in pregnant women, preferably early in their pregnancy.  HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. When a pregnant woman is infected with the virus, it can be passed to her baby during pregnancy, delivery of her baby, or during breastfeeding.
Other Tests
Other tests may be recommended, depending on your own physical health and personal and family history. Particularly for women with a family history of genetic problems or for those who are age thirty-five or older, your obstetrician may advise tests that can  detect genetic disorders. The most common genetic tests are amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.

Source: HealthyChildren.org/American Academy of Pediatics (AAP)
National Children's Dental Health Month
Every year, in recognition of National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM), the American Dental Association (ADA) presents a dental health theme. The NCDHM Campaign for 2019 is "Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile".

This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others.
Along with the 2019 theme, the ADA offers Healthy Smile Tips that include:
  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Clean between your teeth daily.
  • Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.
  • See your dentist regularly (every 6 months) for prevention and treatment of oral disease.
Note, fluoride is a drug - use cautiously. Usually it's ok to use when children spit well (around 3-4 years old).

Following good dental hygiene is an important part of your overall health care.   Poor oral hygiene  can lead to health issues including diabetes, heart disease and other concerns. 

When children learn proper dental care at a young age, it increases their chances of continuing proper and independent dental hygiene as they get older and throughout their lifetime.

Source: American Dental Association (ADA)
It's All In Your Heart
Throughout the month of February, we are surrounded by hearts. Most of these hearts are a symbol and recognition of Valentine's Day, however February is also American Heart Month - a time to remember the importance of heart health and bringing awareness to heart disease and prevention.

Heart disease can happen at any age, even in children. The increase in childhood obesity and high blood pressure is putting younger children at risk for heart disease earlier in life. 

What are some of the risk factors of heart disease?

Blood Pressure
High blood pressure occurs  when your arteries cannot dilate properly to accommodate changes in blood  flow. High blood pressure is one of the biggest risks for heart disease and other conditions, including stroke. 

High Cholesterol
Our bodies need cholesterol to build healthy cells, however when levels get too high, it can increase your risk of heart disease by developing fatty deposits in your blood vessels, which can end up blocking blood flow.

Smoking damages the blood vessels, which can lead to heart disease. Vaping has become very popular with youth and it is just as dangerous as smoking.

Nearly 1 in 6 children ages 2 to 19 are considered obese. Obesity is typically measured by a person's Body Mass Index, or BMI. BMI is an equation of weight divided by height. Although this is not a comprehensive measurement, it is a basic guideline. Obesity is a common contributor to heart disease.

Diabetes causes high blood glucose levels which can  damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart . The longer you have diabetes , the higher the chances that you will develop heart disease .

Physical Inactivity
Daily physical activity helps us burn calories and excess fat. When we are dormant, or have low activity levels, our body starts to store what it can't utilize as fuel. The recommended level of activity is at least 150 minutes per week of cardiovascular exercise (biking, running, walking, swimming, etc).

Unhealthy Eating Patterns
The typical American diet includes foods that are high in salt, saturated fat, added sugar and processed ingredients. Ingesting this type of food can increase blood pressure and the risk for heart disease.  It's critical to teach children healthy eating patterns early in life, including an abundance of fruits and vegetables, so they can practice those healthy habits in the home, and after they move out of the house. 
Teen Relationships and Dating: What Parents Need To Know
by Romelia Hasegawa, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC

Most parents have some fears of the day their child will start dating.  This is a very big step for most teenagers, and shows that they are growing up and entering into adulthood. It is very important to be aware that they still need you now and this is all a normal part of development for all teenagers.
There are several questions parents should ask themselves:
  • What role do we have in our child dating?
  • Should we make ground rules for dating?
  • Should we provide education about dating?
Some of these questions are difficult, but should be catered to the individual teenager. Some teens are forthcoming with dating and some are not as forthcoming about their dating life. It is important for a parent to at least establish with their teen the idea of what should be expected in a healthy relationship versus an unhealthy relationship.  
Teenagers should understand that healthy relationships have balance. Teens should still participate in their daily activities and spend quality time with family and friends, instead of hyper-focusing on their dating life/relationship. This type of advice for a teenager can allow them to maintain perspective about what is expected of them if/when they start dating. Read the full article...
How To Cope With Loss
Mid-February, we sent a separate email covering the difficult topic of loss, specifically from a child's perspective. Loss, especially within our community, can be a very difficult subject for children to comprehend.  school_bus_drawing.jpg
This special edition email includes tips and guidance on loss in your community and at home. To read the article, click here.
On-Site Lactation Support Center
The Pediatric Center's on-site Lactation Support Center led by our own Director of Lactation Support, Clare Cardo McKegney, DNP, APN, CPNP, is here to support you in breastfeeding your child. Dr. McKegney is a board certified pediatric nurse practitioner and certified breastfeeding counselor with over 18 years of advanced practice in pediatrics. 

Our modern and private on-site lactation suite provides a warm and relaxed environment for the mother and infant to enjoy a positive breastfeeding experience. 

We also offer a free prenatal class every month, open to the public. 

To schedule your lactation consultation, attend our free prenatal class or make an appointment please call us at 908-508-0400.

Find More Topics On Our Blog
The Pediatric Center's blog is an invaluable resource for pediatric and parenting topics. The blog is right on our website . It includes topics such as "12 Super Foods for Lactation Aid", "Best Winter Skincare Tips" and so much more. 
Patient Portal
The Pediatric Center's patient portal provides personal access  to your family's  medical records. 

You can access information such as immunization records, visit summaries, request appointments, view dates for upcoming appointments and pay your bill.

Sign up is quick from our website. Click here.
Do You Need A Pediatric Specialist?
If you are in search of a pediatric specialist, please know we are here to guide you.

We have a wide network of doctors we can refer to ensure you are in good hands.

We specialize in developmental & behavioral health and focus on positive parenting practices. We can offer guidance on depression, eating disorders, developmental concerns and many other issues.

You are not alone. 
Please call to make an appointment to meet with one of our physicians:  
The Pediatric Center Online Bill Pay
Online Bill Payment
The Pediatric Center offers the ease and convenience of online bill baby_laptopbuying.jpg payment.   

Simply visit our " Bill Payment & Insurance" page on our website. 

Payments Over The Phone
If you prefer, you can still make a payment over the phone by calling The Pediatric Center's billing department, HealthCare Billing, Inc:  
Toll Free:  877-852-9092  or
Local:  908-237-9092
Vaccine Education Center
Did you know our website includes a Vaccine Education Center where you can find the immunization schedule for your child?
Reminder - we offer all students going to college the Meningococcal B vaccine. This vaccine is covered by insurance.  It is recommended it be administered to all students starting college as part of their pre-college physical. Please also discuss the new Gardasil vaccine with your practitioner.
View all the details here.
We Love Your Feedback!

Your feedback is very important to us! We would love to hear about your positive experience with our doctors and nurse practitioners.  


Did you know you can write and post a review right on our website? Click here.


You can use this page to provide feedback, kudos, or just share thoughts. 


Thank you for your kind words!

Free Prenatal Class
We offer a free prenatal class on the 3rd Thursday of every month with our own
Dr. McKegney!
Click here to learn more.
It's A Partnership
Resources for breastfeeding, immunization schedules, what to do if your child is sick, online references & much more! Click here.
Read Our Blog!
Check out our blog to read about news and current events. Topics are relevant to our practice and patients. Click here.
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The Pediatric Center

556 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974



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