Commercially Published Articles

Back to The Gym…

by Candy on January 14, 2014 No comments

Beautiful Happy new year 2014 bright colorful celebration backgr


 Happy New Year, loyal followers!

Follow the link below to my latest article, published earlier than expected in   Portland Family Magazine.

It came out during the holidays— incentive for the January diets?

Sometime next year, It will be featured in a collection of stories, tentatively titled, This Race Called Life.

 Interesting story behind the story: Immediately after this   experience, I limped into the ladies’ room to wash my face before I went   home to collapse. There, I ripped off about 18” of industrial-strength paper  towel and scribbled down the ideas.  The paper got stuffed into one of the several boxes of notes I keep with funny bits and story ideas. Every time I moved my office, I would look at it and say, “Yep, someday I’m going to write this up.” Well, I moved my office AGAIN this summer, it hit me: I’m no spring chicken anymore. I have successfully procrastinated for 33 years. So, there you have it. No sooner was it written, than it found a home in my book, with reprint rights to PFM. Many folks have written to say they enjoyed this story. I hope you do, too!




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CandyBack to The Gym…

Bringing Baby Home

by Candy on November 13, 2010 No comments



Bringing Baby Home

By Candace Campbell, MSN, RN

[reprinted with permission, Health4Women magazine]


Congratulations and welcome to a new stage in your life – parenthood! Or maybe this isn’t your first baby and it’s welcome back to the magic kingdom!

In an instant, your new baby has changed you from a couple into a family. The irony of your new essence, parenthood, evokes what I like to call a babylove addiction, which in a poetic sense, may be likened to a line from the old Eagles song, “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” In a few months, you’ll look back at photos and squint to recall life before babylove.

Basic Parenting 101

But first, there’s work to do. Your transition will require intense concentration and physical endurance (tempered by angelic smiles, the softest skin, and the sweetest giggles). You’ll likely not find time to tackle these tasks after baby is born, so tackle these top four areas before your little bundle arrives:

The Trenches

  • Declutter floors/stairs, secure throw rugs (for safe, late-night baby soothing).
  • Install childproof locks (wise parents practice fumbling with them before they’re sleep-deprived) and night lights in strategic places.
  • Place extra pillows around for comfortable infant feeding in any chair or couch.
  • Practice rapid installation and adjustment of baby car seat in all vehicles.

Chow and Chores

  • Make double portions of meals you enjoy, and freeze half. Cool thoroughly and label with ingredients, date and freezer life-expectancy. If using plastic bags, make sure they are specifically made for freezer use. Find food-safe practices recommended by the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
  • Buy or borrow a freezer and stock it. This will save many trips when you do NOT feel like going out.
  • Avoid microwaving baby’s food or milk. Microwaves work by vibrating molecules, so food and liquids heat from the inside out. The friction produces uneven heat. The contents of a bottle that may feel cool on the outside but could burn baby’s mouth and throat!
  • Breastfeeding moms remember to eat a balanced diet and take in an extra 500 calories a day. Don’t forget to feed yourself at night when you’re awake feeding baby. Plan ahead. Hubby can prepare a plate of healthy snacks before bed, plus a pitcher of juice or water and keep it by your breastfeeding area. Snacking at night allows your blood sugar to stay at a more even level, which protects against low dips. Fasting causes a cascade of hormone swings and results in mood swings to match.
  • Plan in advance how you will handle pet care, especially during the first few weeks after the baby’s birth.
  • Use a crib tent to keep your curious cat from jumping in to snuggle with your baby; it may make for a cute picture, but it could be dangerous since many cats like to snuggle on top of their people!

Ammunition – Keep germs at bay

  • Always wash your hands before touching your baby (and after every diaper change); insist that visitors do the same.
  • Stock up on liquid soap, hand-sanitizer, and paper towels.
  • Bar the door to anyone with a runny nose, cough, fever, or other cold/flu like symptoms. If you get sick, wear a surgical mask or a scarf around your baby. Turn your head away to cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue – never your hands, and wash your hands every time you use a tissue.
  • Prohibit smoking in the house, and If you smoke, quit.


  • Avoid crowds when possible (walk in the mall early or late); this is particularly important if your baby is born during the fall or winter flu seasons.
  • Protect baby from the elements, especially the sun (dark skinned babies also need protection!).
  • Avoid smokers.
  • Let curious toddlers touch your baby’s leg or foot, as opposed to her hand or face.
  • Bring more than one diaper and change of clothes in the diaper bag.

Got it? Good. You’re ready for action. Now go out there and enjoy your new baby.

About the Author: Candace Campbell, MSN, RN, has practiced as an NICU nurse and educator for 20 years. Her documentary film, Micropremature Babies: How Low Can You Go? plus her delightful children’s books, My Mom Is A Nurse, and Good Things Come In Small Packages (I Was A Preemie), are available on or: A percentage of the profits of each sale goes to the March of Dimes.

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Newborn Skin Care 101

by Candy on February 5, 2010 No comments

Greetings, Blogfriends,

Here’s a new article also seen in the new Health4Moms website. Printed with permission. Feel free to pass it on, but please remember to share the source. Enjoy!


Newborn Skin Care 101
How to love and protect your baby’s skin
By Candace Campbell, MSNc, RN
Even experienced parents flinch at the idea of skin care for a new baby and the many products with their associated promises on the market. What’s a parent to do to keep baby smiling? It’s enough to make a grown person cry! Here are three ways to fight the Skin Care Blues.

#1 The best defense is a good offense

Skin, our largest organ, contains and protects everything we have on the inside. All baby skin is delicate, but even more so for preemies, who lack the deep skin layers that babies born at full term have. To protect baby’s skin, don’t bathe your baby daily or you’ll deplete his skin’s natural moisture barrier. Once or twice a week should be sufficient, until he’s old enough to start making mud pies!

Avoid applying lotions and creams to baby’s skin after bathing. Skin is semi-permeable, so clogged pores may result, which can trigger infection. If you chose to use baby lotions or creams, do so sparingly, go organic when possible and make sure your baby’s skin stays clean and dry.

The second-best thing you can do for his skin is protect it from damaging ultraviolet rays. Always try to keep him in:

  • indirect sunlight
  • breathable hats and clothing fabrics
  • sunscreen (avoid sunscreen on his face and look for organic products specifically for babies)
#2 Take arms against a sea of chemicals
Be wary of harsh detergents. Wash clothes with mild, unscented soap, and use your machine’s second or double rinse option if you have one. Avoid soaps and detergents with dyes and fragrances. There are several detergents on the market specifically for babies without harsh chemicals or fragrances; and there are now many organic choices as well.

#3 Go to the mattress with diaper rash

The dirt on diaper dermatitis isn’t pretty. All babies experience a rash down under at one time or another, and girls statistically more so, since they have higher estrogen levels (the hormone that makes our skin so soft). Dueling diaper rash is simple but takes dedication. Try these tips to keep baby rash-free:

  • Frequent diapering is a must. Despite the claims of disposable diaper companies, no diaper keeps moisture away from the skin for long. Check the diaper at least every two hours or whenever you suspect a soiling. If you use cloth diapers, avoid plastic underpants placed over the diaper as these just trap and hold moisture in.
  • Cleanse your baby’s diaper area after every diaper change, even for wet diapers only. Good ol’ H2O, the universal solvent, water, squeezed over the area is the cheapest solution. (A small squirt bottle works quite well for this task.) Disposable wipes with aloe also protect delicate areas. Stay away from wipes with fragrance or any other chemicals.
  • Gently pat dry and, when possible, allow your baby some diaper-free time.
  • If applying a barrier cream, ointment or paste, chose one that has the fewest ingredients so that your baby’s bottom is exposed to the fewest possible irritants. Some of the best barrier creams include zinc oxide, petroleum, dimethicone, lanolin, and mineral or olive oil.
  • If, despite treatment, a diaper rash continues more than 3 days, call your healthcare provider.

Rashes that refuse to clear up or go away may need prescription medication. The most common rash is a yeast infection. If Candida albicans is diagnosed, then both mom and baby will need treatment. And any items that face cross-contamination between you and your baby will need cleaning as well, including pacifiers, teething toys, breast pumps, bras, etc.

Most important, to prevent diaper rash, wash hands before and after every diaper change! This small step goes a long way in preventing an infection or rash on your baby’s bottom.

About the Author: Candace Campbell, MSN, RN, has practiced as an NICU nurse and educator for 20 years. Her documentary film, Micropremature Babies: How Low Can You Go? plus her delightful children’s books, My Mom Is A Nurse, and Good Things Come In Small Packages (I Was A Preemie), are available on or: A percentage of the profits of each sale goes to the March of Dimes.

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CandyNewborn Skin Care 101

Bathing Your Preemie

by Candy on January 11, 2010 1 comment

A parent of a preemie asks, “Once we get home, I’m a little nervous about bathing my baby. He is so small!  It’s one thing to do it with you all here in the NICU, but I’m feeling a little nervous about bathing the baby at home. Any suggestions?”

Dear Preemie Parent,

Good question! Here is an article I crafted just for you (and a version of it is featured in the new consumer magazine, Healthy Mom and Babies, and the new AWHONN websites and ) on Bathing Your Preemie. Special thanks to the Farmer family and Annie Tao Photography for permission to use their photos.

Feel free to share this article with your friends, but please let people know you got it here! I welcome your questions and comments.

Yours for better parenting,


preemie bath with mommy and daddy Bathing Your Preemie

(Reprinted with permission)

Congrats! You’re home!

You’ve done the bath in the hospital; but wait!  What did they say again??  Here are 6 steps to help you complete the bath in a stress-free manner.

1. Be the Boy Scout

Be prepared.

Just as you would gather supplies before making your favorite recipe, get those bath things assembled in a warm environment. Most bathrooms will serve for this activity.  Avoid drafty kitchens, unless you mean to intentionally cool the baby.  Silence the phone, or better yet, have an extra pair of hands to help in case…since parenting seems to invoke Murphy’s law.

Assuming your preemie’s umbilical cord has healed, you will dunk as opposed to swipe n’ wipe. Place the baby bathtub on a firm surface. Make sure articles remain away from baby’s reach. Prepare the after-bath area for drying by padding with extra clean towels.  Better grab an extra diaper, since bathing often stimulates babies to relax and let it rip!

Before you begin, toss clean clothes and bath towels in the dryer on “delicate” to warm them for a special touch. (Never use the microwave or convection oven to warm clothes.) Remove and place towels on the prepared surface.

2. Test the Water

Baby’s bath should be warmer than lukewarm, so she doesn’t get chilled. Body temperature is 98.6  F, so figure about 99F-100F for bath water. A wise old maxim says to test by putting your elbow in the water, as our hands are used to warmer temperatures.

Use a non-glass container, and fill with rinse water before you begin.

supporting head + shoulders Supporting head and shoulders

3. The Dunk

Spread your fingers and grasp the base of the skull and the shoulder girdle with one hand.  Concentrate on supporting the upper body and allow the lower torso to float freely.

If your baby doesn’t relax into the bath, she may be telling you the water is too hot or cold, you are holding her at the wrong angle, or that she doesn’t feel well.

eye wash inner to outer corner Wiping inner to outer corner

4. The Eyes Have It

Cleanse from top to bottom. Beginning with the eyes, use cotton balls or a corner of a clean washcloth in plain water.  Squeeze out the excess water and with one swipe, move from the inner to the outer corner. Then change cotton balls, or rotate to another corner of the cloth. The principle here is to avoid cross-contamination; any bacteria housed in one eye is easily transfered to the other. With this in mind, also avoid back and forth swipes on the same eye.

Continue to wash the rest of the body with mild baby soap. (Note: For boys with fresh circumcisions, do a sponge bath until your baby’s doctor or healthcare provider confirms it is completely healed.)

Give extra attention to the neck folds and creases in the arms and legs.

Rinse, using the plastic pitcher. It will be helpful to have an extra pair of hands!

5. How Dry I Am!

Lift baby out of the tub, keeping the head and spine in alignment, and place on her back on those nice warm towels. Dry quickly, blotting, into the nooks and crannies of the neck, arms, and legs.

You may use a cotton swab to dry behind the ear or in the curlycues of the outer ear, but avoid entering the ear canal except to soak up what moisture is visible. (A cloth wrapped around a finger may do just as well.)

The skin, our largest organ, is a semi-permeable membrane, and clogs easily. Preemie skin is delicate, owing to the fact they have fewer layers beneath the surface, and it dries easily. Know that if you use lotions, creams, or powders, you will need to bathe more often. Lotion is not needed for most babies, but if you do so chose, use it sparingly, and avoid the face and genitalia.

6. When to Shampoo?

Applying water to the head causes an immediate cooling effect. If baby is feverish or the weather outside is hot, you may cool your baby with water to the head first. In most cases, plan to shampoo last.

The process of applying soap and doing an actual shampooing is not a daily need for baby (or most adults, for that matter). Once or twice a week should be sufficient.

Wrap baby in a warm, dry towel and place in the football hold, tucking her legs under your arm. Angle her head down slightly, to avoid getting water down her neck. Hold baby over the sink and use your hand or the plastic pitcher to wet the hair.

Next, add a small amount (about a dime-size) of baby shampoo to the back of the scalp. Proceed to stimulate the sebaceous glands beneath the scalp with your finger pads (or by using a soft baby brush), in a circular motion, until all the hair has been covered. This will help keep oil from accumulating in the pores. (Note: a condition known as sebaceous dermatitis or “cradle cap” may appear at first as scaly skin or dandruff. You may apply a small amount of natural oil and work into the scalp with a gentle massage, to loosen these flakes a few minutes prior bathing.) Be sure to rinse thoroughly.

Timing is everything

Remember, your preemie will likely be fatigued and sleep longer after the bath. Do make sure to begin about 30 minutes prior a feeding, to avoid stomach upset. Preemies, in particular, need to digest while unstressed.

If you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of bathing your preemie, you are not alone. Trust that you have grown to know your child and that you have the skills to parent her well. With practice, soon you’ll be recalling these 6 simple steps with ease, and baby bath time will be a fun and relaxing time for all!

Farmer family by Annie Tao _1 Farmer triplets- all clean!

Candace Campbell, RN, MSN, has practiced as a NICU nurse, and educator for 20 years. Her documentary film, Micropremature Babies: How Low Can You Go? plus her delightful children’s books, My Mom Is A Nurse, and Good Things Come In Small Packages (I Was A Preemie), are available on or at: or A percentage of the profits of each sale goes to our friends at the March of Dimes.

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CandyBathing Your Preemie