The Checklist by P-HarpercollinsPubl


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									The Checklist
Author: Manny Alvarez

In the tradition of YOU The Owner's Manual, The Checklist is organized as a guide to help individuals and
families take the right precautions, at the right time in their lives, to avoid the most common health pitfalls
and illnesses, and put them on the path to a vigorous and sound lifestyle. Each decade in a person's life
introduces new risks not seen in their previous ten years. A health plan must be tailor-made to fit a body
as it matures decade to decade. Dr. Manny's friendly, easy explanations and simple maintenance
breakdowns show people how to act preventively and proactively, without unnecessary fears or reliance
on the abundance of outdated, counterproductive health myths. Dr. Manny's mission is to aid readers in
their pursuit of living a healthy and long life, and to help close the door on future life-threatening illnesses
using proven, sound medical knowledge.

(The First Decade: Ages 0 to 9)This is the carefree decade, though you won't realize that for another
decade or more. You will be completely taken care of by your parents. All you have to do is play and
enjoy life. There are no worries for you; your parents will be doing plenty of that. These are the most
important years of your life. What your parents do for you now establishes the foundation on which your
future mental and physical health rests.Every time I deliver a baby, the beauty of the newborn amazes
me. I always wonder if they are already longing for the days and months of warmth in their mother's body.
They are so beautiful and perfect. Yet from the moment a child is born we start counting the days and the
many firsts that accompany them: the first visit to the pediatrician, the first vaccination, the first day of
preschool . . . wait, let's back up a moment.A minute after birth there is life's first test, administered by
the pediatrician or nurse in the birthing room. The Apgar test, as it's called, is a quick evaluation of the
newborn's physical condition that determines if the baby needs emergency care. If the baby has good
Apgar scores and looks fine, the baby is handed over to the mother so that the very important bonding
process can begin immediately. (See "Welcome to the World," page 20.)Bonding is one of the most
beautiful moments of human life. Bonding reestablishes a physical attachment to the mother, after the
physical detachment from the womb at birth, and forges the emotional and psychological attachments
the child will need to thrive in the world. Bonding with the father is important as well. Fathers can bond
with their children by holding them, helping them get to sleep, and giving them baths. A firm bond
between the mother and child, and between the father and child, will boost the child's self-esteem, which
in turn will affect how well the child does later in school and how he or she will build relationships with
friends and react to stressful or new situations later in life.To Breast-feed or Not?Now is the perfect time
to begin breast-feeding. By continuing to nourish your child with your own body as you have done for nine
months, you will ensure a healthy future not only for your child but for yourself as well. This may sound
like a big promise, but it's one that delivers. Breast-feeding is very important because it significantly
reduces the risk for all sorts of allergies and improves the baby's health as well as the mother's. Not only
does it improve her metabolism, it definitely has some long-term protective benefits for the breast health
of the mother. Some studies have shown that women who have breast-fed a child have lower breast
cancer rates.Typically, breast-feeding is recommended for anywhere between six months to a year. The
longer you do it, the better. But most women cannot breast-feed after six months, and doing it even for
just a month or two is fine, too. A little bit is better than nothing at all.Many mothers, however, will
choose to use baby formula instead. Most formulas today are nutritionally balanced with the right
minerals, vitamins, and iron. While formula is effective, it does lack immunoglobulins, the antibodies
found in breast milk that protect the child's ears, nose, throat, and gastrointestinal tract from viral and
bacterial infections. (The mother's milk is said to be environmentally specific, meaning that her milk
specifically protects her infant from the organisms to which the infant is most likely to be exposed.) There
are many kinds of formulas, of course. For instance, soy-based...
Author Bio
Manny Alvarez
Manny Alvarez, M.D., is a dedicated medical professional and pioneer of innovative advances in medical
technology. For nearly a decade, Dr. Manny has served as Chairman of Obstetrics, Gynecology and
Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. He is also an adjunct
professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University School of Medicine in New York City. Dr.
Manny is one of the most popular contributors to the FOX News Channel. He appears regularly on Fox
and Friends, Fox News Live, and DaySide. Born in Cuba, Dr. Manny lives in New Jersey and is married to
his lovely wife, Katarina. They have three children: Rex, Ryan, and Olivia.

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