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January 01, 1988 - Image 52

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-01-01

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less saturated tats



American Heart

Thinliing for two.

A wonderful private birthing suite for
families seeking an alternative to the more
traditional delivery room program is
available at Grace. Private rooms are also
available. And at Grace, mother and
infant are cared for together under a long
established maternal bonding program.
Families are encouraged to tour
the Grace maternity section before making
a hospital decision. And parents-to-be
can use the Grace physicians referral program
to find a conveniently located Grace
affiliated physician.
Thinking for two
means planning ahead. We
think Grace should be a
future mother's first thought.
A member of
The Detroit Medical Center.
Affiliated with the School
of Medicine, Wayne State
University. (313) 966-3100.

Parents-to-be are more assertive today about
their hospital choices. They want to be
certain about the quality of the hospital expe-
rience for both mother and child. The
medical aspects are most critical, but comfort,
friendliness, family involvement, and
privacy are also important. So families check
things out for themselves. It's not just the
doctor's choice anymore. That's why hospitals
are talking about their differences.
And the differences at Grace are significant.
Grace is a teaching hospital.
And that means patients receive more atten-
lion from more professionals.
It also means that patients
see improved procedures intro-
duced sooner.
. '',.. -
. ..e.
Grace is a leader in
the prenatal, neonatal and high -
risk pregnancy specialties,
but normal deliveries get lots
of special attention, too.

Grace Hospital

Serving the north and northwest metro areas.

C 1987


Corning To Grips

Continued from preceding page

multiple medical problems in
early life will tend to see
himself as sickly. "The child
gets that message and grows
up with that image of him-
self," she explains.
However, your physiology
cannot be discounted. In fact,
according to Hendler, the cur-
rent theory among resear-
chers is that your tolerance
level to pain is a combination
of physiology and upbringing.
"Just as some people can
fight off colds better than
others," he says, "some people
have higher levels of enkeph-
lins and endorphins — natur-
ally occuring morphine-like
substances that protect the
body against pain — which
were . discovered at Johns
Hopkins Hospital by Dr.
Solomon Snyder and Dr. Can-
dace Pert."
Moreover, he adds, resear-
chers have discovered that at
different times in people's
lives, they can secrete higher
levels of these chemical
substances; for example, the
body secretes higher levels of
these natural "pain protec-
tors" during times of stress.
Marty Levinson, a Birm-
ingham pediatrician and
chairman of the department
of pediatrics at Sinai
Hospital, also believes that
there are different com-
ponents in how children react
to pain. "Different in-
dividuals have different
thresholds," says Levinson.
"Children do respond to cues
so that there is a learned
behavior as well as an in-
herent threshold and
response to pain," he says.
Dr. Susan Torrey, director of
emergency medical services
at Philadelphia's St.
Christopher's Hospital for
Children and a mother of two,
says that what children, es-
pecially in their early years,
see parents do becomes the
model for behavior in later
In addition, a parent's reac-
tion to childhood hurts can
mold a child's outlook on pain
when he becomes an adult.
Ibrrey feels that by three or
four months old, infants look
to parents for cues on how to
respond to situations. But she
also points out that the whole
burden is not on the parent;
each child comes into the
world with his or her own per-
sonality and consti-
"A parent who is off the
wall may have a child who is
intrinsically more stoical and
level-headed. Or a very rea-
sonable parent may have a
child who can't calm down.
The bottom line is, if the
parent has a reasonable and
sympathetic approach to the
child's pain, the child will be


better equipped and sup-
ported to handle it," she says.
On the other hand, she
adds, "Listen to your children
when they say they have
pain. Sometimes, it may be
serious and you don't want to
trivialize it because you may
be missing an important pro-
Parents also have an impor-
tant role in helping their
children understand what
they can change and what
they can't, and what's impor-
tant and what's not Some
children, for example, react
strongly to getting injections.
The parent should educate
the child about how the shot
prevents illness and explain
how at times it is necessary to
do things that may be tem-
porarily unpleasant for long-
range gains.
Understanding that the
family has considerable im-
pact in teaching responses to
pain, experts offer the follow-
ing guidelines for helping
children develop healthy
responses to pain:
• If a child has a complaint,
it deserves attention. First
treat it as a medical problem.
Consult your pediatrician. He
or she can rule out an organic
problem, offer suggestions for
coping, or refer the child for
counseling, if necessary. If it
turns out not to be a physical
problem, you'll need to deal
with what else is going on in
the child's life that may make
him uncomfortable or cause
• Help the child remain as
functional as possible. Talk to
him about what he can do in
spite of the pain. If he has a
sports injury, encourage him
to stay in shape with milder
• A child's imagination is
very fertile. If he doesn't know
or understand what is hap-
pening, he may fantasize
about the problem, which
may be more frightening
than reality. Give him infor-
mation — on his level and in
his language — which you
feel he can understand.
• Try to set a good example
when you are hurt. It's all
right for parents to cry, so
that children learn adults
have the same range of emo-
tions as they do. Then, when
the incident is over, tell the
child "I'm fine now" or "I'm
ready to cook dinner now."
• Demonstrate an action-
approach to pain. Once you've
complained of a headache and
taken an aspirin, go on with
your business.
• Keep a positive outlook on
recovery whether it is for
yourself or for your child. Say
things like "you'll feel better
once we bandage your leg" or
"you'll be up and about in no

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