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Why premature birth happens

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
Although most babies are born full term and free of medical problems, some are born too early. A premature (preterm) birth — a birth that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy — gives a baby less time to develop and mature in the womb. As a result, premature babies may…
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Toilet training: Recognizing readiness

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
Many children show signs of being ready for toilet training between ages 18 and 24 months. However, others might not be ready until they’re 3 years old. There’s no rush. Rather than relying solely on your child’s age — or when his or her peers are being toilet trained —…
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When to start feeding your baby peanut butter, milk, and other foods

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
It’s time to begin feeding your baby some of the same nutritious foods the rest of the family enjoys at mealtimes, such as mashed or pureed vegetables, fruits and cereals. But be aware that some foods can cause problems if they’re not introduced at appropriate times. Here’s some advice about…
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Taking care of everyone else? It’s ok to take a break

Stephanie S. Faubion, M.D.
If you are a caregiver for someone you love, give yourself a break. Many people who are actively caring for older adults don’t identify as a “caregiver.” Yet, when considered  more carefully, women often identify  with this role. Realizing this and recognizing the emotional and physical demands involved with caregiving…
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Managing colic and keeping your cool

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
Caring for an infant who has colic can be exhausting, confusing and stressful — even for experienced parents. Colic isn’t a result of poor parenting skills, so don’t blame yourself for your baby’s colic. Instead, focus on ways to make this difficult stage a little more bearable. Remember, this too…
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It’s all natural. It’s from the drug store. It’s just a vitamin. Yeah, but is it safe?

Stephanie S. Faubion, M.D.
A vast world of products fall under the umbrella of dietary supplements. Some supplements can be part of a healthy lifestyle and are safe in recommended doses, while others have significant safety concerns. It’s always good to assess supplements with a critical eye. Keep in mind that supplements — like…
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Brain-building: How to grow your cognitive reserve

Stephanie S. Faubion, M.D.
In addition to protecting your heart and staying physically fit, there’s another factor that may play an important role in preserving your brain health. It involves the concept of cognitive reserve — essentially your brain’s ability to adapt to age- or disease-related changes by drawing on existing neuronal networks or…
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Keeping your cool during family mealtimes with babies and toddlers

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
Mealtimes are an important part of family life. They offer family members a chance to come together to share not just food but companionship. Whenever possible, have your baby eat at the same time as the rest of the family. This helps your baby get used to the process of…
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Single parent? Go from surviving to thriving

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
As a single parent, some days it may feel like you’re doing all you can just to survive. It will get better. As one mother says, ”I learned that regardless of whether or not this is the life I planned, this is my life and I need to embrace it.
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Modeling healthy problem-solving for your kids

Angela C Mattke, M.D.
To work together effectively as parents, one of the best things you can do is to maintain healthy interactions and habits in your adult relationship. A mutually respectful and caring partnership not only benefits the two of you but provides a sense of security and well-being for your child. Your…
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Helping your child process news of a mass tragedy

Angela C Mattke, M.D.
When a mass tragedy — such as a natural disaster, shooting or terrorist attack — comes to the attention of your child, you can help your child comprehend what’s happened, feel safe, and cope with his or her emotions by taking the following steps. Keep in mind that if your…
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Establish good sleep habits in your child

Angela C Mattke, M.D.
While your child is sleeping, a complex cycle of events is taking place. During slumber, the body is alternating between one of two states: no-rapid eye movement (NREM), which is the quieter stage of sleep, and rapid eye movement (REM), which is when dreams typically occur. By the time your…
In 2020, Mayo Clinic researchers defined a form of Alzheimer’s disease that strikes younger people as early as their 40s or 50s, involves atypical symptoms, and affects a different part of the brain not usually associated with Alzheimer’s. Their paper was published in Brain Communications in May of last year.
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Policies in health care lead to cruelty

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In his book Why We Revolt (Mayo Clinic Press, 2020), Dr. Victor Montori writes about cruelty in health care. In this excerpt from the book, he describes the unintended effects of heavy patient loads on both patients and health care providers. Cruel policies affect how our work…
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Robot-guided technology can bring greater precision to back and neck surgery

Mohamad Bydon, M.D. M.P.H.
When it comes to back pain and neck pain, surgery is often a treatment of last resort. Most back and neck problems respond to nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy, injection therapy or medication. But if other treatments haven’t been successful and pain remains persistent and debilitating, surgery may be…
Between 250,000 and 500,000 people worldwide suffer a spinal cord injury each year, often with life-changing loss of sensory and motor function, according to the World Health Organization. Up to 90% of these cases are from traumatic causes.
Dementia is a serious health challenge. By some estimates, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia could triple by 2050. In this Q&A podcast, Jonathan Graff-Radford, M.D., a behavioral neurologist at Mayo Clinic, and Angela Lunde M.A., co-investigator in Mayo Clinic’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research…