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House Calls: Three things to give your unborn child


House Calls runs every other Saturday. Today’s column is written by Laura Lyons, a nurse practitioner at the Sutter Coast Community Clinic.

I’ve been honored to have cared for women in labor for almost 20 years. Now as a women’s heath care nurse practitioner I take care of women during their pregnancy, to help bring healthy babies into this world.

It is such an exciting time, and there is so much to talk about. It is also a time to make decisions that will affect you and your baby. We talk about the many changes going on and how to care for yourself and your growing baby.

It is the time in your life to take the best possible care of yourself. It is important to eat healthy, drink several glasses of water daily, exercise and get plenty of rest. Avoid things that can hurt you and your baby like toxic fumes, smoke, alcohol and drugs.

One of my favorite discussions is about a mother’s three gifts to her newborn. The first one is love, sometimes that’s not an instant, overwhelming feeling. Don’t worry, they will grow on you.

Remember if it isn’t love at first sight there is a good chance the birth was one of the greatest, most intense workouts of your life. Not to mention the tsunami of hormonal changes. Just put that little one skin to skin between your breasts right after birth and whisper a little prayer.

The second gift is clean air. Please, please don’t let anyone smoke around your little one. They can’t protect themselves, so it’s your job to protect their fragile lungs. Take them outside to breath in our fresh ocean air.

The third gift is your milk. It is a natural resource, healthy and nutritious. Your milk is everything your newborn needs for the first six months of life. Plus breastfeeding is cheap, always ready and helps protect your baby from infections. Another big plus is breastfed babies’ poop doesn’t stink.

We are programmed to survive, and one of the most healthy ways that babies can do so is the breast crawl. The baby is placed skin to skin between the mother’s breast and they can instinctually find their mother’s milk without guidance. They will latch on and begin to nurse.

Babies have limited vision but they can see a contrast of colors, which, along with their sense of smell, touch and taste, they can use to  find their mother’s milk. The best time to do this is right after birth while they are most alert.

Just think, in the animal world they are hard-wired to do the same. Little kangaroos are called joeys and their journey after being born is an incredible one. They are blind and much undeveloped when they are born, but still they can crawl up their mommy’s belly and into a pouch to find their source of mother’s milk.

So remember there is no formula that comes close to the ingredients that are in mother’s milk.  For a newborn to find life-supporting nutrition is an instinct; this is a skill a new mother may need some advice and assistance with. Here at Sutter Coast Hospital, our labor and delivery staff is experienced, knowledgeable and supportive.

Further, a newly developed group called The Del Norte Breastfeeding Coalition has the mission of making breast-feeding being the cultural and social norm in our county.  The coalition is composed of health-care professionals, community members and public health nurses.

Email suggestions for future House Calls columns to Beth Liles at Sutter Coast Hospital, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Artisan Cuisine: Eat raw local honey; reap many benefits

Ever see signs for raw local honey? Its flavor is so much nicer than the pasteurized honey sold at the store and it’s very good for you, too.

I love using it in my gourmet recipes instead of sugar or corn syrup. Did you know that you can start your own beehive and collect honey from the flowers and plants growing along your property?

If you  and your neighbors don’t spray with pesticides or use chemicals on your lawns and gardens you can have bees of your very own. Talk to a local beekeeper for advice or visit this website to find out how to get started:



Reel Deal:Adult chinook are increasing on Klamath R.


Last week’s additional release of water from Lewiston Dam on the Trinity River seems to be drawing more Chinook salmon into the lower Klamath River, according to fishing guides.

“Things have been picking up a little bit,” said fishing guide Steve Huber. (Tribal commercial season has) started, so that definitely took out some of the supply of fish, but there’s still plenty of action going around.”

Huber said the water temperature of the lower river “definitely cooled with that water release.”

More adult Chinook salmon were trickling into the system  along with salmon jacks and steelhead.

“Things will only get better from here on out,” Huber said.


Warrior Memories: Looking back at a true star

One thing I always enjoy is looking back at some of the great teammates I had the privilege of playing Warrior sports with.

It seems the older I get the more treasured these memories become.

A 1950 graduate, Sonny May, is one of those special people. While at Del Norte Sonny played both football and baseball.

It was on the baseball field where Sonny really excelled. He was the corner anchor on two Warrior championship baseball teams. The 1949 and 1950  teams were the first of three straight championships.

Yoga Bites: Make the most of gnarly waves and little ones

Yoga Bites appears every four weeks.

Everything everywhere moves in waves. Wave motion is the movement of life. Everything in the universe vibrates in wave-like patterns: sound waves, light waves, radio waves, ocean waves, seismic waves, heat waves, brain waves, peristaltic waves — even our breath, blood and heartbeats move in waves.

Here on the coast summer equals Lake Pacific, and deprived surfers tend to go a bit bonkers.  (Thank goodness this is also the Wild Rivers Coast where summer also equals river season!)  In perfect surfing paradise, head-high waves would peel for miles, one glassy peak after another. But in surfing, as in life, you’ve got to have the flat spells and micro swells to appreciate the excitement of the crazy, epic times.

Life is like a wave.  All waves come with crests and troughs, ups and downs, highs and lows. These ups and downs are the constant play of the polarities of life. Day follows night, fortune follows misfortune, and rain follows sunshine.  It is our attachment to having the “good” and our aversion to the “bad” that creates suffering.


House Calls: Think about posture and get healthier

House Calls runs every other Saturday. Today’s column is written by Kristine Vargas, a physical therapy student at Sutter Coast Hospital.

Summer is here, and school is out. This may be the perfect time to address some of those aches and pains you have.

Most of us don’t realize how our posture could be causing us pain whether we’re fishing, running, swimming, window shopping, working at our desk or just sitting in front of the television.

Your spine has three natural curves, a cervical curve (your neck), a thoracic curve (your mid-back), and a lumbar curve (your low-back). Proper posture helps maintain these curves. Poor posture can cause extra stress on joints, leading to fatigue and pain in your neck, shoulders, back, and hips. This can also contribute to headaches, numbness and tingling in arms, wrists, and hands in people of all ages. 


Artisan Cuisine: Small batch jam: ’Tis the season

While there are still stone fruits available at the farmer’s market, get yourself some and make some small batch jam.

I made up some apricot vanilla bean jam and it’s heavenly on homemade bread toasted with some fresh butter. I also used strawberries and added just a spoonful of edible lavender to flavor a batch of jam last month.

What I love about apricot and also peach jams is the tangy flavor. But other fruits are coming into season now, so the varieties will include blackberries and plums.

Del Norte Gardening: Weather-wise, we shouldn’t be complaining

Del Norte Gardening runs monthly. Paul Madeira and Julie Jo Ayer Williams own Ocean Air Farms in Fort Dick.

By this time of the year things on the farm are really buzzing.  We’ve made it into our “harvest” season, along with all the weeding, watering and maintenance a seven-acre garden requires.

One thing that we seem to hear a lot of this time of year from folks, is how abnormal of a growing season it is, and how it just hasn’t gotten sunny and warm yet.

We usually do our best to agree and smile. However, the last three years at least have been, in our eyes, pretty “normal.”  We have made it through the blasting north winds of spring and we’ve clearly moved on to foggy summer mornings, giving way to afternoons with sun and light breeze.

Del Norte 4H: The focus is on service to community

Editor’s note: The Del Norte 4-H column appears every four weeks. Today’s column is written by Kelly Lynch.

As our youth are busy gearing up for showing their animals, crafts, and food at the Del Norte County Fair, I wanted to bring community service to light.

Within 4-H, our youth not only focus on learning about their animals and different crafts, but a major focus of 4-H is also community service. Del Norte 4-H and our community both benefit from the services our local members perform.

4-H youth range in age from 5 to 19. Our project leaders have the task of guiding the youths toward becoming well rounded citizens. Each project group has the ability to take on a community service project, and often several project groups will come together to do a large project.

House Calls: Wake up to a possibility of sleep disorder

House Calls runs every other Saturday. Today’s column is written by Doron Andrews, a respiratory therapist at Sutter Ctoast Community Clinic.

Can snoring ruin a marriage? Some of you reading this are already nodding your head. This is a frequent problem within many marriages that nobody is paying enough attention to.

The scenario usually happens like this: The husband snores. The wife nudges him to flip over. Both wake up feeling grouchy the next morning. The lack of sleep for both partners puts a strain on the marriage and creates a hostile and tense situation.

But the issues concerned with snoring are far more severe than marital issues, and in some cases can be life-threatening. Snoring can be strongly associated with a medical disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a serious health problem in men and women of any age that should be treated.

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