September 18, 2006

Haute Pediatrician Profile - Dr. Beth Hawse

Hautemomma Profile

Last week, Jen and Gretchen were privileged to enjoy a yummy lunch and glass of wine with Hautemomma and Pediatrician, Dr. Beth Hawse.

Our friend, Beth paractices two days a week with Commonwealth Pediatrics. She is married to David (who is also a Pediatrician with CP) and is the mother of 3 sweet children. Beth shared her tips on everything from packing the diaper bag to preventing the flu.

Here's what we discussed:

HMS: Debunk some common myths for us
Dr. Hawse: One common misconception is that you can spoil a baby. That's just not true for a baby under six months of age. Babies need to be held, and you need to respond to an infant's cries. Although you can start some habits that you might not want to continue, you can't spoil a baby.

HMS: Feed a cold, starve a fever?
Dr. Hawse: No. Babies and children may become dehydrated quickly, especially if they have a fever. It's important to encourage fluids, even milk, when a child is sick and let them eat what they want.

HMS: What about the vaccine-autism connection?
Dr. Hawse: There have been extensive studies which have definitively shown that Autism is not caused by vaccination, specifically MMR. Autism is a devastating disease which affects social interaction of those that are afflicted. This results in dysfunction of their relationships with those that they love and that love them. It is a very difficult for families to cope with the disease.

There have been millions of dollars spent in attempts to identify a cause of this disease. Recently there has been a link to the age of fathers (greater than 40 years) at the time of the child's birth. Likely there are multiple factors which all contribute to the development of this disease. At this time there are no known preventative measures to combat autism. We encourage parents to discuss any concerns that they may have with their pediatrician.

I guess the take home message is that although autism is clearly not caused by vaccination, many life-threatening diseases are prevented by vaccination. I am often asked about the risks of vaccinations. I tell my patients' parents the bottom line is that my husband and I have fully vaccinated all of our children. If we thought that the risks of vaccination were greater than the benefits, we would not risk our own children's health.

HMS: Do you have any advice for new parents:
Dr. Hawse: Relax and enjoy your baby. They really are only this little for such a short time. You are their rock, and babies sense if you're stressed. While you're in the hospital, trust the nurses and doctors. When you're at home and something worries you, just call your Pediatrician and ask them about it. That's what we're there for. Again, know the milestones and if you have a concern discuss it with your Pediatrician. Also, try not to enable delays. It is very easy to do and not even realize it. Don't be afraid to let your baby do things for his/herself.

A great reference book I suggest is the AAP book, Caring for Your Baby and Young Child Birth to Age 5.

HMS: Cold and flu season is approaching...any advice?
Dr. Hawse: Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. It really makes a big difference. The AAP has also recommended a flu shot for children from 6 months of age through 59 months of age AND for their household contacts-like parents, siblings and caregivers. Ask your OB about the flu shot during pregnancy. Nursing moms can receive the flu shot and will pass some protective antibodies on to their baby through breast milk. Even with all these precautions, it's still normal to have 10-12 colds a year.

HMS: How has being a pediatrician changed for you since becoming a mom?
Dr. Hawse: Being a mom has definitely helped with the day to day stuff like discipline and behavior. I couldn't have been around so many sick kids during my Residency if I had my own at the time. It has made me really empathetic for anyone with a sick child.

HMS: How do you juggle it all...work, husband, family time, time for yourself?
Dr. Hawse: Do what's right for you and for your family at that moment. You have to just do what you can and let the rest go. Make time for you-it's hard to have your own thing, but you need to keep your sanity and sense of self.

HMS: What is the hardest thing to find time for?
Dr. Hawse: Reading. I can't even remember the last book I read for pleasure when I was not on vacation. I read continuing education journals in my truck in line at school. You have to find 5 minutes here and there when you can.

HMS: Tell us about your style for days off and for at the office.
Dr. Hawse: On days at home, I'm in some combo of jeans, tees and sweats. I walk in the morning (exercise is the 2nd hardest thing to fit in) and shower in the afternoon. At the office, I try to be stylish yet professional-not frumpy.

HMS: What is your favorite shoe for running around all day with the kids?
Dr. Hawse: I like Dansko clogs. I've gotten a lot of the ladies at the office wearing them, too. I also have a pair of Donald J Pliner sandals that I wear often.

HMS: What's in your diaper bag? Any must-haves you'd like to tell us about?
Dr. Hawse: Aquaphor. I have one tub for bottoms and one tub for cheeks and hands. It's great! I keep a diaper bag packed in each car and restock it once a week or so. I carry a big purse to stash a paci or cup in.

HMS: What's in your makeup bag? Any favorites you'd like to share:
Dr. Hawse: I use gloMinerals from
Dermstore.com. I am addicted to Burt's Bees lip balm and I like Bobbi Brown spf 15 lip gloss and Nars Lip gloss and blush.

HMS: If you had a sitter for two whole days, totally alone, what would you do / where would you go?
Dr. Hawse: I would go to Scottsdale, AZ to a spa and read, take walks in the desert and recharge!

For more information about Dr. Beth Hawse and Commonwealth Pediatrics, please visit their website - www.cwpeds.com.

pictured above from left to right, Jen, Dr. Beth Hawse, Gretchen


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Hawse is wonderful! She recommended the AAP book when my first child, now 5, was born. It has been a great reference. But, I still call the office (Commonwealth Peds) for everything!

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this. Thanks for the great info. Dr. Hawse answered some good questions and I love getting to hear a more personal side too. I live in my Dansko clogs this time of year!

9:43 AM  

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