Jennifer Arnold, MD, MSc, FAAP
Dr. Arnold is a mom of two toddlers, an assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, an attending neonatologist, and the medical director of the Pediatric Simulation Center, at Texas Children’s Hospital and the Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, TX.
What’s your specialty? Neonatal intensive care. I work in a Level III NICU as an attending neonatologist.
What’s your favorite tip for new parents? My favorite tip for expectant parents is to create an baby urgent medical plan or BUMP. During your pregnancy, talk with your ob-gyn about “plan B”—where you will go if something doesn’t go right. It’s good to be prepared. No mother wants to anticipate any problems during delivery, but should they occur you want to have a plan to find appropriate medical care.
My favorite tip for new parents is to learn infant and child CPR. It might save your baby’s life. You can take a class at a hospital or through the Red Cross. Also, a company called Laerdal makes an Infant CPR Anytime kit that you can buy with a blow-up doll and instructions to learn CPR on your own at home. The kit costs $34.95 at http://www.laerdal.com. You could even invite your friends, family, and caregivers over, and everyone can learn together. I love to give these kits as baby shower presents!
It’s important to know that infant CPR applies to babies younger than one year. After your baby turns one, you need to know child CPR, which then applies until a child is around age 12.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? Right at this moment, I’m not very good at it, but I try. For me, the easiest way to getting exercise is to play with my puppies and to take walks with my husband. We’re building a new home a few blocks from our current house, and we love to walk there to see the builders’ progress.
For formal exercise, I have to schedule it—on both my calendar and my husband’s calendar. We’ve started to schedule yoga and other types of exercise into our weeks. If I don’t schedule it, I’ll forget about it.
How do you recharge your batteries? My quick fix that I enjoy a few times a week is a hot tub bath. After I get home from a long day, I sometimes have joint pain, and so when I get home I take a 15-minute bath. Soaking in the tub gives me some downtime, and not thinking about anything helps me to reenergize.
I also enjoy date nights with my husband, and I love to go to the ocean for long weekends. They really help me to recharge!