The Individual Health and Family Health Connection

With a growing understanding that one family member’s health is linked to the health of the whole family, doctors treat the family as a whole whenever possible.

Many studies, for example, have shown that when a mother is depressed, her baby’s development may be delayed. The children of parents who smoke are more likely to develop asthma and other breathing disorders. In fact, “third-hand smoke”—even the toxic residue left in furniture and carpets—is a hazard for children.

Allergies and other chronic illnesses tend to run in families. Even the eating habits and mealtime practices of families can affect the overall health of all the members.

When health issues arise in your family, seek medical care for the individual, but also look at the overall health of your family. What are the connections and patterns that may relate to the issue?

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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