Upstate Parent gets answers to those health and wellness questions you’ve always wanted to ask. You ask us, and we ask local experts to weigh in with some answers. 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.

QIs there such a thing as ideal spacing between children? What should we consider?

For Caesarean delivery, it is ideal to wait at least two years. It is important to give sufficient time to allow the uterus to heal, especially if a vaginal birth is going to be attempted. There is no set rule for vaginal deliveries. However, women who get pregnant before 12 months after a vaginal delivery are more likely to give birth prematurely.

— Dr. Leah Goodson-Gerami

Mary Black Physicians Group
Obstetrics and Gynecology

QAre there supplements that I should avoid while breast-feeding?

Many herbs and some dietary supplements may be contraindicated during breast-feeding, meaning the supplement should not be ingested by a breast-feeding mother because it could pose a risk to the health of her infant. Additionally, unless the benefit hoped for when taking the supplement will outweigh the potential risk to an infant, I recommend that it is best to avoid taking any supplements while breast-feeding.  For example, if formula supplementation or total weaning is being contemplated due to inadequate milk supply, a breast-feeding mother’s first priority should be to seek assistance from a registered lactation consultant who has the knowledge and expertise to assist her with other proven measures to increase milk production first, before taking an herbal supplement to increase her milk supply. A breast-feeding mother should always inform her baby’s pediatrician before taking herbs or other dietary supplements while breast-feeding.

— Peggy Shull 

Lactation consultant

Mary Black Health System – Spartanburg Family Birthing Center

Q: How can I tell the difference between the start of a cold or flu and allergies in my child?

The symptoms of both can be quite similar in their early phase. Medications targeting particularly bothersome symptoms can be prescribed, making the recovery process much more tolerable. Contrary to popular belief, neither of these conditions warrants the use of antibiotics, as bacterial sources are not the culprit. One of the most delineating symptoms is the presence of a mild fever with the common cold. Both conditions commonly present with runny nose and sore throat. However, this drainage is often green or yellow in a patient with the common cold. Patients with a cold often have body aches and generally appear more fatigued. Medication aimed at reducing the fever, aiding the pain and clearing the nasal congestion is typically adequate.

Seasonal allergies typically present with clear nasal discharge, a nonproductive cough, sneezing and watery eyes. Babies can frequently be adequately treated with nasal saline drops, followed by bulb suctioning to thin nasal secretions and clear the nasal passages.

— Dr. James Shrouder

Mary Black Physicians Group

Family and Internal Medicine West

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