Premature Babies And Their Care In Hospitals

Judy Campbell, a lactation consultant, says because of the team's success, calls from mothers with preemies has nearly quadrupled.

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Premature babies
Low Cost Study Has High Impact Results For Premature Babies. VOA

No one knows exactly why some babies are born prematurely, but some of the smallest premature babies weigh under 1,500 grams. These tiny babies — called micro preemies — can’t afford to lose an ounce. At Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, a team of specialists has come up with a plan to give these babies the best chance to live and thrive.

When Vanessa Ohakam gave birth to her son, she was only 24 weeks pregnant. Vanessa was terrified. Her newborn J.C. weighed just a little more than 736 grams or about one and a half pounds.

“I couldn’t even change a diaper I was so nervous and anxious. He just looked so frail. But the nurses were very supportive and encouraging.”

Ohakam and J.C. were lucky. J.C. was in the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington during the course of a nutritional study.

A team of specialists at the hospital’s NICU, the neo-natal intensive care unit, wanted to see if they could help J.C. and other very small premature babies boost their weight and improve their chances to thrive.

Michelande Ridore is a health care administrator who leads the team.

“Preemies, in particular, have high incidents of malnutrition as well as poor development,” Ridore said.

As Ridore explained, these premature babies have so little body fat, they can’t afford to waste energy. Some are in blanketed incubators to encourage sleep so they don’t move around and burn calories. The team focused on what — and when — the babies ate.

Caitlin Forsythe is the lead nurse on the study.

Tokophobia, premature babies
The team emphasized mother’s milk.Flickr

“We noticed that a lot of our practitioners (doctors) and the way that they were providing feedings for very low birth weight babies, those are babies weighing 1500 grams or less, that they were being fed different ways,” Forsythe said.

The team wanted to standardize the nutrients in what the babies are fed because medical literature shows it helps babies thrive. Wherever possible, Forsythe said the team emphasized mother’s milk.

“That’s what’s best for the premature babies. They tolerate it better, and it has great antibodies,” Forsythe explained.

Judy Campbell, a lactation consultant, says because of the team’s success, calls from mothers with preemies has nearly quadrupled.

“We know that mother’s milk has growth factors in it that can’t be replaced with any other substance,” Campbell said.

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Maternity benefits under PMMVY are given to all pregnant and lactating mothers. (VOA)

The team standardized nutrition practices to include fortified donor breast milk for babies whose mothers couldn’t provide their own, fortified mother’s milk and formula, depending on each baby’s needs. Forsythe said she is pleased with the results so far.

“We have been able to put protocols in place so that there’s a standardization of care. We’ve also increased the amount of mother’s own milk we’ve been providing for the babies which is great,” Forsythe continued.

Also Read: Novel Blood Test May Predict Autism Risk in Babies During Pregnancy

Ridore said there’s a marked improvement in the babies ability to thrive, “We were able to improve their weight by 30 percent.”

The team isn’t quite done. They want to tweak the existing nutrition practices to see if they can improve their results. Once they are finished, they will publish the results so other micro-preemies can benefit, too. (VOA)

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Tips to Overcome Pandemic Effects During Pregnancy

Pregnant women should stay healthy, calm and safe during pregnancy in current times

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pregnant IVF
Pregnancy might be a little more difficult compared to the earlier times because of the ongoing pandemic. Pixabay

As social distancing and staying at home have become the “new normal” in the current scenario, it is important during pregnancy to keep a calm mind, continue their checkups with doctors on online sessions, and be open about their concerns, say experts according to Health Tips.

“With all the uncertainty around, one of the best things that you can do is be positive and practice ways that will help ensure your and your baby’s well-being,” said Dr. Prathibha Babshet, Ayurveda Expert, R&D, The Himalaya Drug Company.

“This is possible by taking care of your mental health and keeping a calm mind. Pregnancy during the pandemic is certainly hard but not impossible. It is advisable to stay home as much as possible to avoid crowded spaces and follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines,” she said.

While pregnancy care may look a little different now than it used to earlier, here are a few tips to approach these changes:

Try to establish a daily routine of activities in a way that it becomes a new normal in your life. From your diet, meditation, and yoga, to skin care, getting adequate sleep, and regular medical checkups, make a list of all the things you do in a day and prioritise them.

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Establish a daily routine and schedule for yourself. Pixabay

If you need to step out for work or a checkup, remember to maintain social distancing and wear a mask and carry a sanitizer, as this can help reduce the risk of exposure to germs and bacteria.

Frequent checkups during pregnancy is vital for the mother and baby. So, check with your gynaecologist on online sessions for these checkups. If you are due to deliver, understand and be open about the delivery options and post-natal care.

As pregnancy skin care is an important aspect of your motherhood phase, include massages and moisturisation in your daily routine to help deal with common pregnancy skin concerns, Babshet said.

Indulge in a soothing massage using a massage oil; this will help promote blood circulation. You can also opt for a body butter that will help with dry skin issues. Whatever routine you follow, do remember to use products containing herbal actives and that are free from chemicals, she added.

Your baby gets nutrients from what you eat. Avoid binge-eating. Make it a priority to stick to a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables, and drink at least 8-10 glasses of water.

Pregnancy
One should take extra care of their diet during pregnancy and take balanced diet for the good health of the offspring. Pixabay

If you enjoy cooking, look up simple recipes online for a healthy immune system.

Manage your stress in different ways — practice breathing exercises to calm yourself and indulge in new hobbies or rediscover old ones. You can also take online courses on playing an instrument, learning a new language, or anything you have always wanted to do. You may also enjoy planning things for your baby’s arrival, like decorating a nursery.

Also Read: Ways to go Sustainable While Maintaining Menstrual Hygiene

Talk to your doctor if you are anxious about your baby being exposed to the virus during breastfeeding. Always clean your nipple area before and after breastfeeding. Sanitise your hands, and the place around your baby, frequently.

In addition to following these tips, read and be aware of the potential symptoms of the virus and take preventive measures.

Avoid reading negative news about the current situation, which might cause anxiety.

Instead, use the screen time to talk to your friends and family, or watch something you enjoy. This will keep you happy and occupied. (IANS)

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Oil Pulling: An Ayurvedic Treatment to Boost Immunity

Oil pulling is an ancient treatment dateing back to more than 3,000 years

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Oil pulling
Oil pulling can boost your Immunity. Pixabay

Oil pulling is regarded as an ancient Ayurveda treatment that dates back to more than 3,000 years.

Considered as a detoxification therapy, it is done by taking a spoonful of cold pressed virgin oil (preferably coconut oil) and swishing it in your mouth for about 5 minutes, similar to using a mouthwash. The purpose of oil pulling is to swish the oil around in your mouth, between the teeth to get rid of bacteria in the mouth, spit it out and immediately rinse with some warm water.

Nutritionist Sheryl Salis shares how oil pulling that can help improve your immunity, uses of virgin coconut oil and the method of oil pulling:

Oil pulling is an alternative health practice gaining traction in recent times not only for oral health but also as an immunity boosting measure. As the mouth is a home to millions of microbes including bacteria, the oil pulling process helps get rid of these bacteria through swishing oil in the mouth and in-between the teeth. Swishing the oil for a prolonged period cleanses the mouth and decreases the bacterial load. Not only does this promote oral hygiene, this technique aids in overall health and well-being.

hand-sanitize
Other than basic precautions like sanitizing and washing hands, immunty is the key factor to protect yourself from COVID-19 pandemic. Pixabay

With the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, it is recommended to build and maintain a strong immune system to help combat the risk of being infected. While external precautionary measures like sanitizing and washing hands are essential, maintaining basic hygiene measures and eating healthy to build one’s immunity is of utmost importance.

Using virgin coconut oil to build immunity

Cold pressed virgin coconut oil is a superfood recommended for its myriad health benefits; it is a rich source of naturally occurring Lauric acid and contains Vitamin E which helps to improve body’s immunity. The medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) that contain lauric acid and caprylic acid strengthens the immune system and has anti-viral properties. Therefore, Adding 2 spoons of virgin coconut oil to the diet every day can help improve the immunity and maintain a healthy, holistic lifestyle.

In most Indian household’s, virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices and is slowly making its way in the mainstream wellness community for oil pulling. Known for its immune boosting properties, virgin coconut oil can be introduced as an effective technique into your heath regime.

Oil Pulling
Virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices. Pixabay

How to do it?

eStart by swishing it in your mouth on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning

Also Read: Ace Learning From Home During Lockdown

eTake about 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in the mouth and swish it for about 3-5 minutes.

eDiscard the oil by spitting it out. Do not swallow the oil as you will ingest the toxins with it as well

eRinse the mouth with warm water and brush your teeth as usual

eRepeat the process 3-4 times a week. (IANS)

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Covid-19 to Cause Lasting Physical and Mental Health Consequences Worldwide

Researchers warn that the pandemic is likely to cause profound health issues globally

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covid-19 consequences
Covid-19 pandemic is likely to cause major physical and mental health consequences on people all over the world. WIkimedia Commons

The coronavirus pandemic’s life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for several people, warn researchers.

For the findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research team studied low-income women from New Orleans in the US, who were surveyed the year prior to, and at intervals after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

The women reported a range of traumatic experiences during Katrina, many of which are similar to those now occurring during the pandemic, including bereavement, lack of access to medical care and scarcity of medications.

Hurricane Katrina consequences
Hurricane Katrina which struck in 2005 had major consequences and a range of traumatic experiences as reported by the survivors, many of which are similar to those now occurring during the pandemic. Wikimedia Commons

The research showed that at one, four and 12 years after the hurricane, the exposures most strongly associated with post-traumatic stress, psychological distress, general health and physical health symptoms were those most common to the current pandemic.

The pandemic continues to cause widespread death and sickness, as well as job loss and severe economic hardship for many.

“This pandemic is likely to have profound short- and long-term consequences for physical and mental health,” said study researcher Sarah Lowe, Assistant Professor at Yale University in the US.

“These impacts are likely to be even larger than what we have seen in previous disasters like Hurricane Katrina, given the distinctive qualities of the pandemic as a disaster,” Lowe added.

The study did not include other exposures that are taking place during the pandemic, such as financial losses and unemployment, which are also likely to have additional and significant impacts on public health.

The results suggest that, in addition to promoting actions to reduce COVID-19 transmission and addressing longstanding health disparities contributing to COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, public health measures should also prevent and mitigate exposures that will have indirect effects on mental and physical health.

consequences like unemployment
Many other consequences like unemployment are also likely take place will have additional and significant impacts on public health. Pixabay

This includes preventing lapses in medical care and medication access. Additionally, another key exposure in the study was fear for one’s own safety and the safety of others.

As such, public health messaging should provide tips for managing anxiety and fear, in addition to promoting efforts to increase safety from COVID-19 transmission.

Also Read: Will announce resumption of more trains to take India towards normalcy: Railway Minister

“Supplemental health services should be provided to those who are bereaved or are experiencing clinically significant fear and anxiety-related the pandemic,” Lowe said.

“This study represents a step toward disentangling the health consequences of disasters, while also recognising more longstanding factors that contribute to health disparities,” she wrote.

Recently, another study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, revealed that people taken ill by coronavirus infections may experience psychiatric problems while hospitalised and potentially after they recover. (IANS)

Premature Babies And Their Care In Hospitals
Tips to Overcome Pandemic Effects During Pregnancy
Oil Pulling: An Ayurvedic Treatment to Boost Immunity
Covid-19 to Cause Lasting Physical and Mental Health Consequences Worldwide