La Vida Dolce

We the People

We the people – 3 simple words with great significance. These words helped establish America’s founding principles of equality, inclusiveness, and unity, but with each passing day, it seems we’re straying farther from them.

How can we close this divide that we’ve allowed to open?

It’s simple…We the People – we the people stand together against inequality

We the people stand together against isolation

We the people stand together for love, truth, and peace.

We the people stand together against unjust racism and disunity.

We the people stand for a more perfect union.

We the people are stronger together, than we are separate.

We the people…

Enjoy my latest favorite Tedtalk from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks 🙂 I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Be inspired to inspire 🙂

When Breath Becomes Air

Yesterday evening I attended a book club meeting at a fellow resident’s house where we discussed the inspiring book When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. For those who are unfamiliar with this book, it’s a memoir written by a young neurosurgeon (Paul Kalanithi) as he faces an untimely death due to lung cancer. This was my second time reading the book and I was equally entranced by Dr. Kalanithi’s writing as he grapples with facing the limits of his humanity.

How can a young man be faced with such a task? His “life” had just begun.

With every life that’s brought into the world, there’s a lesson we must learn: how to navigate this journey while experiencing love, loss, death, and life. It’s all of these moments that make us human – to feel each emotion, to think each thought, and speak each word.

Lucy Kalanithi’s Tedtalk continues to explore this topic in the aftermath of her husband’s death. I encourage you all to watch it and may it impact you as it did me.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Be inspired to inspire 🙂


Newborn News

Congratulations on your new family addition! Bringing home a newborn is such an exciting adventure – new memories will be created, a new grandchild to spoil, and a new minion for its siblings. During their first month of life we need to take special care of our new munchkins so they thrive, so let’s get down to baby basics:

1) Feeding: There’s 2 options to feed our new babies, breast milk and formula. As a pediatrician we always say “breast is best” because it provides newborns with nutrients, immunity, and reduces future allergies. Breast fed babies should eat about every 2-3hours with 15-20 minutes on the breast (try alternating breasts with each feed). Make sure the baby has a good latch where you see active sucking motions in their cheeks, as well as, swallowing along their throats.

Now, for those mommies who do not wish or cannot breast feed, it’s perfectly acceptable to use formula. I know medical professions prefer breast-feeding for the reasons I mentioned above, but my primary concern is that the infant grows well and thrives, and if formula is the way, then I am happy with that. Formula fed babies should eat about every 3-4hours, taking 1-2oz (30-40ml) during the first week of life and 2-3oz (50-60ml) by the second week of life.

2) Umbilical cord care: The umbilical cord is essentially the belly-button of the newborn. During pregnancy it allows the mother to share blood, oxygen, and nutrients with the baby. After the baby is born, the umbilical cord will slowly dry out, shrivel, and fall off around the second week of life. Make sure to keep it dry, dry, dry – no water or alcohol (exception: if it becomes red, odorous, or has discharge, apply alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and inform your pediatrician).

3) Dirty Diapers: Ok – let’s talk about the dirty D’s! The number of wet diapers a baby should have in the first week of life correlate to how old they are. Example: if they are 3 days old, they should have 3 pee-pee diapers, and so on. After the first week, you should be changing 6-8 wet diapers per day! More pee = better hydration!

Now for the poops – there will be a difference in breast fed vs formula fed poopy diapers. Breast fed babies’ poopy diapers will be yellow and slightly loose, whereas formula-fed diapers will be yellow and softly compact. There’s no specific amount of poopy diapers you should be changing, but we never want to see any red, white, or black poop (if any of those happen – immediately call your pediatrician)

4) Sleeping: A well slept baby is a happy baby. With that said, we want to make sure our sleeping angels are comfortable and secure. They should be placed in a crib or self-standing bassinet in your bedroom or nursery, laying on their back, swaddled in a onesie. Please refrain from placing stuffed animals, other blankets, or bumpers next to your baby – newborns don’t require much to fall asleep peacefully.

5) Sniffles and Sneezes: Whenever a newborn arrives, so do the visitors! Our munchkin’s body isn’t used to the germs from the outside world, so during the first month of life, minimal visitors are best. When family or friends do wish to visit, everyone must wash their hands and refrain from kissing the newborns’ face or hands. If someone coughs, sneezes, or sniffles, kindly tell them to return when they’re better, as we don’t the baby to get sick. If the baby does get sick and you think they have a fever, take a rectal temperaturea fever in a newborn is 100.4F – call their pediatrician, and take them to the nearest pediatric emergency room to evaluate viral vs bacterial illnesses.

Whew! Now that’s a lot to review! Please contact me with any questions – stay tuned for more about our Wee Ones! Happy reading! 🙂

Am I Alone or Just Lonely?

I’ve started a new chapter in my life recently – I moved to New Jersey and started my career
as a pediatric resident. While I truly love my job and excited to be here, it’s difficult moving away from family and friends, and starting anew.

On my coveted days off, I want to explore and socialize with my fellow residents, but sometimes our schedules do not coincide and I resort to activities alone. Does being alone too much mean I’m lonely? Is being alone bad? 

In my opinion, spending time alone and feeling lonely are not synonymous, and here’s why:

Alone – Spending quality time with me, myself, and I while having insight that you’re always surrounded by family and friends even if they are not in proximity. It’s a time of reflection to experience who you are. It requires comfortability and confidence in yourself to know that being alone sometimes is quite ok.

– An overwhelming feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that prevents you from experiencing life and social interactions. A deep-rooted sentiment that you cannot connect with those around you, whether it be family or friends. You prefer to remain closed to new possibilites and often find solace in those who make you feel empty.

I encourage everyone to take some time from your busy weeks and spend time alone – you never know what you may discover 🙂 We may not be surrounded by family and friends, but know that you will never be lonely.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading 🙂

Welcome to the Wee Ones!

weeoneswellnessWelcome to the Wee Ones page 🙂 I am a budding pediatrician so I thought it would only be appropriate to introduce this section to La Vida Dolce. I’m so excited 🙂 I’ll be discussing a variety of topics ranging from infant care to adolescents to child/teen/young adult development. If there’s any topics you all would like, please let me know in the comment section below; otherwise, sit back, relax, and happy reading 🙂

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