This post was sponsored by Cleveland Clinic Children’s as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Dear Diary,

When I was pregnant, I prayed for a healthy child. I also prayed that my baby would look like me. I admit—I was crushed over my breakup with my daughter’s dad and did not want a daily reminder of the cause of my heartache. Once I wiped away my tears, I wiped away those selfish thoughts. Soon after, my gorgeous girl and mirrored her father. As a first time mom, I counted fingers and toes and inquired about her medical evaluations. I worried about things like Jaundice and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. God answered my prayers, because she received a clean bill of health.

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Be Educated

Since then, I worried from time to time about her health. What if she collapsed while playing at the park? What if she choked while eating at the dinner table? To calm my nerves, my best friend Fawn and I enrolled in a CPR course recently. We learned lifesaving skills, such as adult and child CPR, AED use and the Heimlich maneuver. I never applied any of this knowledge, however Fawn did. Once her child choked on a piece of candy, and her husband rushed to her rescue. Fawn even used the Heimlich on her mother when at a restaurant. Scary stuff, even more scary if her family wasn’t prepared. I hope for the best and prepare for the worse.

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Be Prepared

If an emergency ever strikes, I am fortunate that my family is covered with quality heath insurance, and we are within driving distance from Cleveland Clinic Children’s. The clinic provides longstanding expertise in children’s heart care and cardiology. Physicians care for your children from birth to adulthood and individualize treatment depending on their conditions, ranging anywhere from a heart defect to congenital heart disease. In fact, Cleveland Clinic Children’s has more than 300 pediatric specialists—more than 80 of the staff are annually named as “Best Doctors” by their peers. Additionally, Cleveland Clinic Children’s rated among the “Best Children’s Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report™.

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The clinic also puts kids first. They know that caring for sick children is not the same as caring for adults. So they provide an extra dose of compassion and extra intelligence to make accurate diagnoses. And perhaps most importantly, they give moms a support system. That’s why Cleveland Clinic Children’s physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers and child life specialists are partner with each family. Sometimes as moms we try to protect our kids by shielding them from knowing the full story if something horrible happens. But at Cleveland Clinic Children’s, the child life specialists help young patients understand their medical experiences. According to researchers, when children understand what’s happening to them, they cope more effectively and experience less psychological trauma.

Be Healthy

I hope I never need such a support system, but I do feel reassured that it’s there just in case. Meanwhile, I can follow children’s tips on raising a healthy, active child. I’m reducing our red meat intake. We pretty much eat fish and chicken. I recently tried to wean from what’s considered unclean foods, like pork and shellfish. The struggle is real! I’m also enrolling in a gym this month. I need to set an example for exercise. Caitlynn is a ball of energy, even when I’m in fetal position on the couch.

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Hey DFTM Fam–What are you doing for your family to be educated, prepared and healthy? ant to learn more? Contact Cleveland Clinic Children’s today!


Telephone Number: 216.444.KIDS

Twitter: @ClevelandClinic

Facebook: F/ClevelandClinicChildrens

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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