Is it safe to breastfeed when you are sick?

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Mothers often worry if it is safe to breastfeed while they are sick. The answer, more often than not, is yes. Our bodies work in such a way that we expose others around us to an illness a day before we begin showing symptoms. This means that your baby would have already been exposed to your illness by the time you actually feel sick. The good thing is that since your body has a building immune response, you pass along illness-fighting antibodies to your baby while breastfeeding which helps to protect your little one.

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It is advised to consult with your doctor to correctly diagnose your sickness but a standard cold, flu, food poisoning or even a fever is not to be worried over, and is fine to breastfeed with. Your doctor may want to put you on a course of antibiotics in case of bacterial infections, in which case you can ask your doctor to prescribe antibiotics that are safe for breastfeeding. Alternatively, you can also pump and store your breastmilk before going on a course of antibiotics if you are not comfortable breastfeeding while sick or switching to formula.

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Withholding your breastmilk during an illness actually increases the possibility that your baby will get sick, and deprives baby of the comfort and superior nutrition of nursing.

Some of the other things you can do while you’re sick is drink a lot of fluids and rest as it helps in keeping your body hydrated as well maintaining a good milk supply.You can also prevent your baby from getting sick by doing some of the usual things to prevent the spread of illness such as washing hands often, avoid sneezing/coughing around your baby, limiting face-to-face contact, etc .

In some cases, you may not nurse frequently enough which happens when you don’t get enough fluids to keep the milk supply going. To avoid a decreased milk supply, drink plenty of fluids. Sometimes medications can also cause your milk supply to diminish. You should avoid taking such medicines after consulting your doctor.

Proofread by Dr. Shantala Yashas. Sp.OB Gynecologist iCare clinics,UAE.

Sources:

http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-breastfeed-if-im-sick_10370370.bc

http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/illness-surgery/mom-illness/

How to foster a healthy lifestyle for a pregnant mother

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Now that the good news has arrived, the next thing every mother should take care about is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Each pregnancy begins with advice being handed over by relatives, friends and family but the most important person to listen to through this beautiful journey is your doctor and of course, your own body.

That said, following these guidelines will see you foster a healthy lifestyle for yourself.

Eat Well

Eating healthy during pregnancy gives your baby the healthiest possible start as well as a smooth pregnancy for you. Since your baby grows with the nutrition you have, what you eat matters a lot. As a rule of thumb it is important to include healthy proteins, vitamin C, calcium, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, adequate fats and iron-rich foods.

While expectant mother are concerned about how much weight they will gain during pregnancy, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight gain.

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Keep Active

Expecting mothers shouldn’t overly exert themselves but taking part in prenatal exercises during pregnancy has many benefits. It helps in improving sleep, reduces swelling and leaves you feeling happier and energetic while also making labour and delivery easier. Exercise provides endorphins that can keep you in a great mood and help you get your figure back faster after delivery. The decision of if one should take part in prenatal exercises depends on one’s pregnancy and should only be taken up on your doctor’s advice.

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Let go of stress

Expectant mothers go through a physical as well as emotional stress. A growing foetus derives all its nutrition from its mother which also leads to added strain on the spine, change in hormones and an expanded abdominal wall. Eating healthy and maintaining healthy levels of activity can help tackle this physical stress. And while pregnancies come with emotional stress as well, the best thing to do is surround oneself with supporting family and worry as less as possible.

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Sources

http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/healthy-pregnancy

http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/first-trimester-exercise-fitness

http://completewellbeing.com/article/carry-on-stress-free/

Accidents: What to watch out for and how to handle them

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There are innumerable ways of preventing accidents involving kids which may happen in their everyday lives. Here are some preventive measures you can follow to keep your kids safe and secure:

Safety on the road

Despite the advancement made in the automotive industry and innovative road safety measures, research proves road accidents to be the most common cause of death among children.

Keep children safe on the road with these products:

Safety on wheels

As your kid starts cycling around, instruct him to wear a well-fitted helmet. In case they are reluctant to wear helmet you can introduce them to the Ferrari Helmet from Babyshop Store.

Playground safety

When it comes to playgrounds, there are many safety guidelines for us to keep in mind.

  • Don’t let children play barefoot. Shoes keep their feet safe.
  • Play only on dry equipment. If it is wet, they could slip and fall.
  • Teach children that pushing, shoving or crowding, while on the playground, can be dangerous.
  • Dress appropriately for the playground. Remove purses, scarves, or clothing with drawstrings that can get caught on the equipment and pose a strangulation hazard.
  • All the playground equipment like the slides, seesaw and the swing should be securely anchored to the ground.

Safety around water 

  • While teaching your kid to swim, ensure that they use proper flotation equipment.
  • Install safety floats at regular interval on the circumference of the pool.
  • Water is a good conductor of electricity. Always ensure that there is no live current source near the water.

Safety at home

While we are building a creative environment for our child, let us also ensure certain basic safety measures are put in place at home.

  • Keep medicines out of children’s reach.
  • Instruct your kid about the toxic and hazardous products in your home so they know the difference between a food item and a toxic substance.
  • Door stops and door holders can help prevent small fingers and hands being pinched or crushed in the doors and door hinges.
  • Keep the emergency phone numbers handy in case of an accident.

For your little one’s Safety on the Road

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Despite the advancements made in the automotive industry and innovative road safety measures, research proves road accidents to be the most common cause of death among children. Furthermore, car accidents account for a staggering 40% of child deaths in the world.

As per the UAE Traffic Law, kids below the age of 10 are not allowed to sit in the front seat and toddlers and babies should be secured in a car safety seat. This can reduce injuries by more than 70% for infants and 54% for toddlers.

Knowing these statistics are not enough, the only way to ensure our children’s safety is to implement preventive measures.

It is important to ensure that you use the right kind of car safety seat based on your kid’s age. Follow the below manual when picking the right one.

car seat selection

Other than making sure that your kids are always secured either with a safety seat or seat belt, depending on their age, here are a few other things you can do to make sure your kids remain safe:

  1. Always slowdown in advance when approaching a traffic signal
  2. Check speed regularly
  3. Use the child safety lock while travelling with children
  4. Always use a hands-free device while driving
  5. Never leave children unattended in the car
  6. Ensure child seats are installed correctly and used on every journey

It is also important to be aware about other potential hazards for your child such as:

Air bags

Airbags are made to protect adults weighing about 75 kg. They are very powerful when inflated and their impact is enough to injure and suffocate a child.

Power windows

Power windows can exert a force of 13-36 kg whereas it takes just about 10 kg of force to injure an infant.

Trunk Entrapment

Kids love hiding or sitting in the trunk of a car and sometimes could inadvertently lock themselves in. Make it a point to educate them that the trunk is out of bounds and make sure that you have an internal trunk release mechanism installed.

Sources:

http://www.landmarkshops.com/lmgContent/Babyshop-catalogue

http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/child_passenger_safety/cps-factsheet.html

http://www.expatwoman.com/dubai/monthly_families_buckle_up_children_6438.aspx

http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/health_advice/facts/childrencar.htm

http://www.kidsandcars.org/

Child-proofing your home

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While you worry about the dozens of ways your kid could get injured – playground injuries, accidents, getting lost etc – there is a higher possibility of him/her getting hurt right at home. Home is where the heart is – and a whole load of other things which might turn out to be a cause of injury for your little one. So how can you go about childproofing your house? Let’s take a look at few options.

Lock it up

What would you do without your cabinets and refrigerators? Suddenly these basics turn into potential damage causers! Make sure to LOCK everything – from your fridge to cabinets and windows. Kids love playing hide and seek and may inadvertently find themselves locked in somewhere you can’t even imagine.

Safety is not child’s play

We know your child’s safety is important but this shouldn’t come in the way of their playful and naughty activities. They will crawl around the house and run from one room into another. They will climb on tables and jump on the sofa. Make sure that your table corners are cushioned and you have walk through gates installed in the right locations like stairways and backyards to prevent their play time from becoming a worrying time for you.

Out of bounds!

Some areas like the kitchen or the tool shed should be out of bounds for kids and they should be taught to stay away early on. There are many kitchen hazards like burns, scalding, fire etc which can harm your child in the blink of an eye. That’s why, it’s always better to keep them away and out of the kitchen but if they do end up entering, make sure that you use back burners instead of the front ones and the handles are always turned away. Also, all the hot or sharp items should be pushed behind and kept out of reach so that your kid can’t easily get to them.

Be careful!

Your home is your comfort zone and you like things to be the way they are, but your kid isn’t used to this and even the most mundane objects like an old charger or battery seem like a novelty to play with. Make sure not to leave electronics plugged in and keep wires neatly organised and out of reach. Cover the electrical outlets before your kid realizes that his fingers and pencils can fit in the holes!
Even after all this, kids are bound to get a few scratches and bruises. It’s a part of growing up! Try not to worry too much and teach your kids the basics early on to avoid accidents and injuries.

Sources

http://www.babycenter.com/0_childproofing-around-the-house_460.bc?page=5
http://www.parents.com/videos/v/61652496/the-complete-guide-to-babyproofing.htm
http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/home/childproof.html#
http://www.webmd.com/parenting/childproof-home
http://www.whattoexpect.com/nursery-decorating/childproofing-basics.aspx

Toddlers’ Sleep Problems

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Crying tantrums, waking up in the middle of the night, wanting to share mommy’s bed are some of the problems parents face when it comes to a peaceful sleep for their little one. Remember, toddlers need about 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Let’s take a look at some of the most common sleep problems your little one may face and possible ways to handle these problems:

Not sleeping in their bed

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When children make the transition from sleeping in a cot to sleeping alone in their room, they may throw tantrums and insist on sleeping with their parents. In such a situation, you need to be firm about it and spend time in your kid’s room till he/she falls asleep. Instead, of finding a perfect bed time routine or alternating between each other to put your kid to sleep, try to regularly chat in your kids’ room after putting them to bed and dimming the lights. This gives them a sense of security and makes them comfortable.

Delaying their bed time

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Just one more story or just 5 more mins of cartoon are excuses you’ve probably heard all too often. Handle this problem smartly! Intentionally, set an earlier bed time because you know kids are going to ask for a few more minutes. This way you’re lulling them into thinking they are getting their way while actually you are getting yours.

Waking up often 

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Firstly look for an underlying problem like discomfort, upset stomach, teething problems etc. However, if your little one is waking up or crying just to seek your attention it’s time to be firm and find a solution. You can either choose to indulge yourself every time they wake up and lull them back to sleep or opt for ‘ferberizing’ – a method where you let your baby cry for a certain time (pre-decided by you) before you rush to them. By opting for the latter method your child will eventually learn self-soothing to sleep on their own.

Napping at the wrong times

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Being a toddler is a transitional period. As a baby they are used to napping through the day due to which they may find it difficult to fall asleep at night. Start gradually by reducing the number of naps during the day and indulging them in some physical activities. This will ensure that they tire themselves out by bed time and have a good, long, peaceful sleep.

Nightmares

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Toddlers have a vivid imagination and often mix it up with reality. So any number of things in their waking life can cause nightmares. They’re also not used to change, so any sort of change in their pre-school or changes in parents’ schedules can make them anxious which may trigger nightmares. Generally the best way to handle this situation is to calm your little one with soothing words and talk to him/her about it.

Most common pregnancy workout questions

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Weight gain during pregnancy can become quite a cause of discomfort for most women.  While some women prefer exercising during pregnancy, there are some who don’t exercise at all out of fear of harming their child. So, what should be the right approach towards exercising for moms to be? Well, exercise is not only safe but is recommended during pregnancy as it strengthens your muscles and improves your mood by producing endorphins.

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Today we answer the five most common questions women have regarding exercising during their pregnancy:

How can exercise benefit me?

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Exercising during pregnancy has several benefits. It improves your cardiovascular system, tones and strengthens your muscles and releases feel-good hormones. What this really means is that you’ll be more confident, energetic and have a positive approach to the problems of pregnancy. It also decreases the chances of constipation that is commonly seen during pregnancy by increasing the mobility of the intestine. Exercising not only controls your weight during pregnancy, but also makes it easier for women to lose weight after child birth, as the body has less accumulated fat.

The stretching and toning of the muscles helps relieve back aches and proves beneficial even during childbirth as you will have the necessary stamina and your body will be able to endure labor pains better. It’s also a good way of keeping your joints healthy and lubricated throughout your pregnancy.

What kind of exercises should I do?

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There is no restriction as such but remember that this is not the time to up your exercise game! Stick to the ones you have been following and don’t get too ambitious. Some forms of exercise that are particularly good for pregnant women are walking, swimming, stationary cycling, and yoga. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you focus on non-weight-bearing activities and those that don’t require an enormous amount of balance.

For how long should I exercise?

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends that women with no complications, should exercise at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes or more, on most, if not all days of the week. If you did not exercise before becoming pregnant, start with a few minutes a day and work up to 30 minutes or more.

What kind of exercises should I avoid?

Listen to your body! Sometimes even regular exercises like jogging may not be recommended for you if you’re not used to exercising or if you have any complications. Avoid exercises that strain your back or that would pose a risk to your core area or your abdomen, especially during your second and third trimester.

What are the warning signs that I should stop exercising?

It’s always better to be cautious so if you experience any of the following you should stop exercising and talk to your doctor immediately:

  • chest, leg, joint or stomach pain
  • dizziness or shortness of breath
  • vaginal bleeding or loss of fluid from your vagina
  • difficulty with walking
  • contractions
  • muscle weakness
  • calf pain or swelling

Also, if you suffer from any health condition such as heart or lung diseases, cervical complications, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure etc. avoid any intense exercises and always consult your doctor.

Always consult your gynecologist and an expert trainer before starting any form of exercise. The proof reading has been done by Dr. Shital Vaidya from iCare Clinics.