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Upstate Parent is getting answers to those health questions you’ve always wanted to ask. This month, experts from Mary Black Health System answer. Have a burning question? Let us know! Remember that these answers are the opinions of these specific experts and not intended as medical advice. Always consult your personal doctor about your health.

Q: Nutrition information seems to change by the minute. Is red wine still considered a healthy choice? 

A: Yes! Multiple studies throughout the past several decades report that moderate consumption of red wine (one glass per day) leads to decreased cholesterol levels which in turn leads to decreased incidence of heart disease. This has even been shown to include people with well controlled type 2 diabetes. Although these potential health benefits do exist, it is important to keep in mind the reasons to avoid alcohol all together including pregnancy, having a personal or strong family history of alcoholism, liver or pancreas disease, or precancerous conditions of the digestive tract.

— Dr. Jessica Heintzelman, Mary Black Physicians Group: Family and Internal Medicine West

Q: I want to continue exercising during pregnancy. What advice do you have to help me stay fit without injury? 

A: Most healthy women can safely exercise in pregnancy. It is important to discuss exercise options with your physician. Whether you start a new program or continue a current routine, it is necessary to follow a few simple rules when you are pregnant. Stay hydrated. When the temperature is over 90 degrees, it may be best to walk for shorter periods of time or exercise indoors. After 28 weeks, it is probably best to perform activities that you enjoy that do not increase the odds of falling. It is necessary to listen to your body and if the exercise is too great a challenge, perhaps less on that day is best. Be reasonable.

— Dr. Berniece Remond, Mary Black Physicians Group: Obstetrics and Gynecology

Q: When is it OK to introduce solids if I am still breast-feeding? 

A: Exclusive breast-feeding is recommended for the first 6 months of life. Most healthy infants can try pureed foods between 4 to 6 months of age. Age isn’t the best way to judge a baby’s readiness. Your baby should be able to sit with support and have good head and neck control, and show other signs such as pushing up until elbows are straight when on their tummy, exploring hands with their mouth, leaning forward toward food and turning away when they are satisfied. When at least 4 months old and with signs of being developmentally ready, try a bite of smooth single-grain cereal — rice is the least allergenic — with a spoon. If he licks and smacks his lips and seems interested, he is probably ready. If he pushes the food out with his tongue or lets it drip out, he’s not quite ready.

Wait a few weeks and try again. Keep up the breast-feeding and talk to your pediatrician if you have questions or concerns about your individual child.

— Dr. LaClaire Stewart, pediatrician, Mary Black Health System

Have a question?

Email questions to Upstate Parent writer Chris Worthy: chris@worthyplace.com.

Find more on www.upstateparent.com

Find more health and wellness stories like this, things to do with kids and as other stories relevant to Upstate moms and dads, on www.upstateparent.com.

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