World Prematurity Day is November 17th

Disclosure – I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MedImmune. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”


When my quadruplets were born eight years ago they were eight weeks premature. The two girls spent two weeks in NICU and the boys spent four weeks in NICU before we could bring them home. They usually take pictures of babies at the hospital but they waited to take this one until the babies were just about ready to go home and didn’t have all sorts of tubes sticking out of them anymore. It was a pretty scary time for us and we spent that first month visiting the hospital several times each day and scrubbing up thoroughly before we were allowed in to see the kids.

I didn’t realize that 13 million babies are born prematurely each year around the world, and more than one million preemies have died just this year from the serious health challenges they face.

There were several babies in the hospital while we were there with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common seasonal virus, contracted by nearly all children by the age of two, that typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms in healthy, full-term babies. Preterm infants, however, are born with undeveloped lungs and immature immune systems that put them at heightened risk for developing severe RSV disease, often requiring hospitalization.

I had never heard of RSV disease before having premature  babies and we had a bit of a struggle getting visitors to understand that we weren’t just being overprotective parents when we asked people to take extra precautions before handling the babies. We were thrilled that people wanted to see them and believe me, more than happy to hand them over for a few minutes to friends and family who wanted to help out with feeding and changing them, but we also had to insist that people take proper precautions with our precious bundles.

In honor of World Prematurity Day November 17th I wanted to bring you this information and share the infographic below:

Download (PDF, 3.97MB)


Informed Medical Decisions with the Free Healthgrades App

 Disclosure – I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Healthgrades. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating”

Healthgrades app

We just recently moved to another state and I had to find a new doctor for one of my kids who takes a maintenance medication for his ADHD and has to visit the doctor every three months for a new prescription. I had asked a friend whose son has the same issue for a recommendation but the doctor she referred me to had moved so I was stuck and needed a good doctor pretty quick.

I turned to the free Healthgrades iPhone app and was able to search through several local doctors to find the right one at a great location for us. The great thing about the app is that you can also read reviews on doctors and hospitals from other patients, plus you can keep track of your caregivers and appointments all in one spot. We’re very happy with my son’s new doctor and I’m glad to have found Healthgrades for help with the referral!


Sponsored: Move to the “Head” of the Class – Visit for Head Lice Resources

The below content is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur’s Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice campaign on behalf of Mom Central ConsultingI received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Unfortunately, head lice are common in elementary schools – about one out of every 100 elementary school children becomes infested.

Most parents would agree, the letter home informing of a head lice outbreak is not a welcome sight. The question of “What do I do?” is common. Knowing the facts beforehand can help you resolve the situation quickly.

The Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice website aims to help you do just that. Created by head lice experts (and moms) for other moms, families and communities to learn about head lice—what they are, what they look like and how to treat them.

The site offers a variety of tools including:

So if you are trying to get rid of head lice, or a parent who always likes to be prepared, visit Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice for more information.


Sponsored: Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice A New Head Lice Website Resource for Parents

The below content is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur’s Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.


When sending the kids off to camp this summer, it’s important to think about a common and hard-to-treat problem: head lice. Luckily, expert information parents need for dealing with and treating head lice is in one place at Get educated by the Headfirst! Experts and have the information to battle head lice with confidence!


What Type of Heart Rate Monitor is Right For You?

Heart Rate Monitors

There are so many choices these days when it comes to heart rate monitors that it can be difficult to make a selection. Here are some of the different kinds available and some tips on choosing the perfect one for you:

Fitness or Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight, get more active, or improve your fitness level then a heart rate monitor would be great for you. Use them to monitor your heart rate to help get the most out of your workout and take it to the next level. Basic heart rate monitor watches with chest straps are perfect for this.


There are sport watch style heart rate monitors that are specifically made for runners, mountable GPS style monitors for cyclists and even waterproof styles designed for swimmers and triathletes that actually count your strokes as well.

GPS Monitors

Some wrist watch style and bike mount heart rate monitors include GPS capabilities that also track your speed and distance while cycling, running, jogging or walking.

Before you pick out a heart rate monitor for yourself, think about all the activities that you’ll be doing while wearing it so that you can choose one that best suits your style and needs then get ready to maximize your performance by tracking your personal stats.

Photo Credit: iClipart

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post, however all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.


Do A Mid-Year Health Check-In!


Our family’s health care expenses including health insurance have become the biggest part of our monthly budget next to our mortgage of course. Over the years our family’s health care needs have changed, as the children have gotten older we’ve had to add things like deductibles and co-pays for dentist visits to the budget. While the costs add up, I believe it is very important to take advantage of all preventive checkups and measures that are covered by your health insurance plan so you don’t end up with larger more expensive issues later on that may have been prevented.

Healthcare costs will likely continue to rise so I highly recommend that you do a mid-year health check-in. Here are some great tips to get you started:

  • Make sure that you’re taking advantage of all preventive services offered by your health plan such as annual checkups.
  • Be sure to keep the phone numbers for your doctors and pharmacy handy, keep the list in your purse or wallet and on the refrigerator.
  • Know where your nearest urgent care center is as they are often less expensive and more fully covered than the emergency room.
  • Finally, plan to spend a night at least once a year where you review your family’s health care needs and potential expenses. Will anyone need glasses this year? Or braces?

Planning ahead for future healthcare expenses and keeping them in your budget like you would groceries or utilities will help you to stay healthier and still receive the high quality care that you deserve. Watch the video above for information on preventive health care in the Health Plan Conversation video series from Cigna.

Disclosure – I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Cigna. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.


How to Afford Your Health

We’re all asking ourselves the same question: what am I going to do about my health insurance? Answers are as hard to come by as next week’s paycheck, and easy answers have dwindled away along with our savings accounts. Don’t despair—I’m going to tell you a few things you’ll be glad to hear, a few things you’d rather not hear, and one thing you’ve been waiting a long time to hear.

You can keep costs down

Even as costs go up, you have ways to get the health care you need on the cheap. Walmart and other supermarkets, for example, have generic prescription drugs for as low as $4. With open enrollment periods going on right now, you can take advantage of new plans for you or for family members. Look at last year’s coverage—what worked? What didn’t? Are you kicking yourself for signing a service that you never needed? Now is the time to plan ahead. Tailor your plan to suit your needs, and use this opportunity to look ahead.

It’s homework time…

Now for something you’d rather not hear: you’re going to have to do some good ol’ homework. I know you left research papers behind years ago, but this research project is worth it.

First things first: plan ahead. If you’re planning on fixing your knee that you blew out during basketball or if you and your spouse are counting on a new bundle in 9 months, then you’ll want to figure in all the major medical expenses that you will have. Get rid of any coverage that you didn’t need last year—I know, I’d like to keep it, too, but pinching pennies requires some sacrifices.

Second, look at your options. It’s basic economics—who’s going to give you the most coverage for the smallest price tag? This is where most of that research is going to come in, and you’ll be glad you did it (or mad you didn’t) the next time you need to test out your deductible.

Some companies offer Preferred Provider Insurance (PPO), Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Health Savings Accounts (HSA), or even a combination of the three. I’d love to be able to tell you which one is right for you, but it all depends on your circumstances. Read the pamphlets, check the websites, and make an educated decision. It’s worth every second.

A ray of hope

Good health insurance exists, you can have it, and you can afford it. While I was growing up, I always heard my dad say that insurance is like gambling: it’s like throwing money away if you don’t need it, and it’s like heaven when you do need it. You can take care of your loved ones without feeling like you’re handing your check over to the insurance companies.

Do your homework. Buy generic. Plan ahead. Spend the time to make the right decision so you don’t have to spend the money for making the wrong decision.


Jared Heath is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in medicare advantage plans and other ways help people keep a little more money in their pocket. He passionately loves his wife, his job, and his gym membership. For more crazy things that Jared can come up with, email him at


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