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  • Patti Grandidge-Herrera's Son Was Diagnosed With Eczema At 4 Months: How She Manages It

    The first-time mom’s son Neo is now 17 months old.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
  • For first-time mom Patti Grandidge-Herrera, breastfeeding her now 17-month-old son Neo has been one of the highlights of her motherhood journey so far. She feels lucky and blessed that it happened naturally, so she didn’t feel pain at all.

    “I know that’s not always the case, right?” she said. “I was prepared for the worst because I’ve read stories about it. I’ve even taken classes before with my fellow mom-friends. We just had a really good experience, and I’m just encouraged to just keep going.”

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    SmartParenting.com.ph spoke to Patti at the press launch she recently hosted for Bepanthen, a global brand of products that address the itch and dryness caused by eczema.

    Patti and her husband Jon Herrera are dealing with their son’s bouts with eczema, a hereditary skin condition that the couple never experienced.

    “Neo was four months old when he had eczema,” she recalled. “I just started noticing, like, ‘Oh, he doesn’t have baby-smooth skin! Why are there rashes or red patches?' Gano’n, so we took him to a pedia derma, and he was diagnosed with atopic dermatitis.” 

    “You just have to have a whole skincare regimen you’ve got to do,” she added. “For us, it’s every day, morning and night. So you just have to manage it.”

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    Patti gave these pieces of advice for fellow parents who suspect their children are experiencing similar symptoms: “You have to go to your doctor for professional advice because they can further ask you questions. Everyone’s journey is different. What if that skin symptom is for something else? You don’t want to self-diagnose. It’s always safe, especially if you’re a first-time mom, to just go to an expert.”

    Thankfully, Baby Neo’s eczema has become manageable. “Sometimes he has flare-ups, sometimes he doesn’t. We just have everything on hand. That’s the most important thing — just be prepared. We have Bepanthen in our diaper bag.

    “So if we do notice sudden flare-ups — ’cause they just go any time, right? — we have something to combat it. So it makes me feel safe and more at ease. Because the first time it happened, I didn’t have anything. I really didn’t know what to do. Now, if you have proper products, you feel more at ease.”

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    Patti has observed that her son’s eczema could be triggered by anything, from the environment to heat, temperature, and weather.

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    On the mind of the event host as well is rebooting her old exercise routine and eating lifestyle. She pointed out to us, “You know, I just got back to everything I did pre-baby."

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    Patti, who runs Patti Sweet Cakes, explained it took some time to realize the importance of self-care, as her life revolved around Baby Neo when he was born in August 2018. Then she slowly learned to put her own needs first to be a better mom.

    “For example, Pilates. I was doing Pilates before I was pregnant, while I was pregnant, and then I started to crave and missing movement. Now, I’m doing Pilates again. I’m just getting into better eating habits. I’m still breastfeeding, so with the first few months, I was just so hungry all the time. I was just mindlessly eating. Now, you can say that I’m mindful eating.”

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    Speaking of traveling, Patti proudly reported that she’s gotten better at packing for every trip, adding that their carry-on luggage is filled with extra clothes, diapers, blanket, and tissue. They also have a kit consisting of lotion and creams.

    “The first trip we took, I had so much stuff,” she remembered, laughing. “Then I learned you don’t have to take the whole bedroom with you, so I’ve narrowed it down and edited.”

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