Imagine this exciting, yet, physically overwhelming moment for yourself

 You are on the home stretch of your pregnancy.

An incredibly physically and emotionally challenging  time for you.

You are bursting with emotions – confusion, anxiety, happiness, and sadness.

It’s utterly overwhelming  –  but you know there’s a silver lining to it: That you will soon hold and care for your baby in its entirety.

Either way, you are still wondering: Is there a way to water down  the pangs of discomfort in the final trimester?

The simple answer is YES.

In fact, there are tons of them.

So, what marks the last trimester of your pregnancy?

Here’s the thing:

At this point, you are anywhere from 28 to 40 weeks into your pregnancy. Or simply seven to nine months pregnant.

As your baby continue to grow in size, hormones progesterone, estrogen, and relaxin are increasingly  elevated in your blood.

In response, your  joints and muscles soften and relax in preparation to childbirth.

This may cause you to have a number of body aches.

But you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. And it’s totally okay.

Personally, Epsom salt, along with these other tips worked pretty well for me. You can as well try your hands on them.

–  Lower back and hip pain.  As your uterus gets bigger, your posture changes. And in a way, it also changes your center of gravity.

Tip: When you sit, support your back and hips with pillows. Or wear support belt over and below your belly. This is to take a bit of weight off your lower back and hip.

You can also apply a warm towel, or hot water bottles on the affected areas.

Consult with your midwife if: You have piercing and unrelenting pain. Change in your vaginal discharge. Regular and increasing abdominal cramps.

Groin pain. Depending on the baby’s position in your uterus, it will be more elaborate on the right or left side of your abdomen.

Tip: Along with wearing support belt on your belly, take a warm Epsom salt bath to sooth your muscles.

– Leg pain or cramps. You get this kind of pain when your enlarged uterus presses on a nerve or blood vessels headed towards your legs.

Or because of changes in how your body absorbs calcium.

How does it feel like? It will give you  a feeling of discomfort all over your leg(s): Burning, pulsating, and an obvious need to move your legs.

And since it’s rampant at night, you may not be able to get any sleep.

Tip: Lifestyle changes:

– Daily intake of calcium and vitamin D supplemments. But with an OKAY from your doctor

– Daily strolls of  about 20 to 30 minutes

– Adequate fluid intake to hydrate your muscles. At least 10 glasses a day

– Prenatal massage to relax your muscles

– Proper footwear – Preferably, flat firm heels to ensure support and comfort

– When you sit, do not cross your legs. Rather keep them raised on a surface

– Do not stay grounded in one place. Instead, move around

Call your doctor if: Your legs are persistently red and swollen. Or if you experience difficulty walking.

– Cervical pressure. It occurs when your uterus exert  pressure on the cervix.

Tip: Wear support belt over and under your belly. Tighten it a bit to get sufficient support. And NO, it won’t hurt your baby.

Also, with both legs and knees bent, place a pillow in between to help relieve the pressure.

Call your doctor if: Pressure doesn’t go away. Or is accompanied by change in your vaginal discharge or regular contractions.

– Acid reflux.  As your uterus enlarges, it begins to push up on your stomach. Additionally, the valve between the two organs doesn’t close properly anymore.

Tip: Eat your food in small portions. But more frequently. Also, avoid spicy and oily foods, and citrus fruits.

When you lie down to rest, use pillows to raise your head a little.

If you are worried, consult with  your doctor.

– Frequent urination. At this time, you are going to have more fluid building up in your kidneys. Mark you, your baby’s weight is also  pressing on your bladder. As such, you may need to pee more often.

Tip: Do not cut on your fluid intake. Instead, rehydrate to help  prevent dizziness and muscle cramps.

Inform your doctor if: You experience pain when passing urine. You see blood in your urine. You pass excess urine.

– Mild  tightness on the abdomen. Apparently, this is how  your body prepares for real labour.

Tip: Ensure adequate rehydration to help  minimize muscle cramps.

Inform your doctor if: The contractions are insistent, becomes severe, or your water breaks.

Now:

As far as your third trimester goes, the above symptoms are normal.

However, you must also alert your doctor if  you get:

Severe swelling on your face, fingers, ankles or toes

-Severe or persistent headache

-Fever and chills

– Changes in your eyesight

 

Is Epsom salt effective for lower back pain in pregnancy?

Lower back, hip and leg pains are notoriously common towards the end of your pregnancy.

According to multiple studies, Epsom salt, has been proven to deliver   the much-needed relief for body aches.

It is particularly safe for pregnant women. As such, there is no need to worry.

To me, a warm Epsom salt bath is the best a pregnant woman can get.

And, the fact that you do not have to rinse off is even more enlivening.

Because for one:

It’s not your ordinary (sodium chloride) salt. But rather pure magnesium sulfate.

And two:

It is highly soluble. As in, it readily dissolves in water.

Further;

According to Global Journal of Science Frontier Research, Epsom salt is among natural bath salts that are  safely absorbed  through the skin.

Additionally, it has a number of benefits you wouldn’t want to miss out on.

Here’s a link to some of those:

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/epsom-salt-bath

Can you ignore vaginal pain in the third trimester?

While vaginal pressure is not uncommon during pregnancy, vaginal pain is an outright red flag.

Take note; pelvic pressure tend to come  with aches identical to menstrual cramps.

On the other hand, vaginal pain is nowhere near pelvic  pressure. It is excruciating and you can barely go about your everyday activities with it.

To be more clear, it usually doesn’t present alone.

Instead, it comes hand in hand with:

– Vaginal bleeding

-Severe abdominal cramps

– Regular and persistent contractions

Chances are, you’re either having a miscarriage or early labour.

Or even more serious medical problems, such like preeclampsia and early separation of the placenta.

In such cases, it’s important that you get medical help right away.

 

What sleeping positions help improve breathing at night?

From a bulging uterus to stretched ligaments – you may not be able to find yourself a soothing sleeping position, as you’d like to have.

Not to mention, the involved breathing issues.

Nevertheless, these simple tips will do you good:

Lie on your right or left side. This is to help  improve your comfort. And encourage enough supply of blood  and nutrients to your baby.

– With both legs and knees bent, put a pillow in between. Also below your abdomen. The idea here is to take pressure off your groin, hips and  back.

  For shortness of breath, lie on your left  side. And ensure your back is comfortably supported with pillows. This will help your lungs expand more.

– However, at this moment, you may want to avoid sleeping on your back. For three main reasons:

. First, it causes a drop in your blood pressure

. Secondly, it limits blood flow to your baby

. And thirdly, it encourages difficult breathing

For  more tips on sleeping positions, go here: https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/sleeping-positions-during-pregnancy/

Wrap up:

Your last three months are going to be more Physically demanding. And without a doubt – the hardest.

Especially if you have no idea how to keep at arms length – the discomforts of your pregnancy.

Because the truth is:

You have lots of options.

You just need to find one that fits you best.

 

 

 

5 proven tips to fight off weight stigma

Let’s be honest:

Being overweight is naturally very painful and demoralizing to a majority of individuals.

But, to actually wear that shoe and cope with relative social stigma is even more unbearable. It only adds salt to your injury. 

For the most part, you not only have to deal with staring eyes but nasty comments about your weight.

So what do you do? Continue to stay down and watch your life spiral out of control? r stand up for yourself in the best way possible? 

That’s right!

Without putting a good fight, you’ll be throwing your social well being to the dogs. Not to mention, it may lead to a host of emotional and personal health problems. 

But you don’t have to go down that road. Remember, the key here is a sense of personal responsibility. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.

It may come out as a cold splash of truth, but it will get you started off the ground. 

So, if this feels like you, here are five tips to jump-start your fight against weight stigma.

.  Embrace high self-esteem

As an overweight person, you can expect lots of ugly talk about your looks. But really that’s not your problem. Do not even start to believe in it.

Instead, try to remain calm and positive about everything.

That way, you will be able to create and nurture high self-esteem within you.

High self-esteem will offer you smooth sail through the waters of discrimination.

While this is true, negative coping strategies do not cut it.

I know..

Refusing therapy, hiding, or retaliating in a nasty manner offers a short cut. But such behaviors come with more harm than good. The worst part is, they only make you more vulnerable to weight stigma.

But hey! things are not as bad as you may think.

On the contrary, there’s a lot you can do to crawl out of your cocoon.

In fact, here’s the kicker:

First,  rid your mind and body of negative energy.

You must then proceed to “X” out everyone, and anything that seems to threaten your progress. Regardless of whether they are people closest to you.

Last but not least, set your mind on the positive things about you: Could be an act of kindness that changed someone else’s life.  Or your  past achievements. In short, forget about your misdoings, and redirect your mind on stuff that guarantees success.

For instance, self discipline(while on therapy) is a great way to start. Also, responding positively to insults and going way and beyond to prove stereotypes wrong – are totally doable.

Either way, whatever you do, don’t give up. Don’t put your identity in someone else’s hands. 

Love yourself 

 Self-love is the name of the game as far as your fight against weight stigma goes.

And trying so hard to please everyone but yourself – is an outright loss.

Many obese individuals struggle with self-acceptance. This is majorly contributed by the feeling of inadequacy. 

But the question is, do you need others to be happy? Is your self-worth entirely on their hands? I guess not!

Truth is, you’re worth more and your happiness is simply up to you.

So, instead of weeping, hiding and the, “I can’t take it no more” – cast your net wide but differently this time:

Step outside and engage in some fun activities – such as challenging your friends to an activity duel. Or competing as a team to challenge other groups.

Plus, full-body workouts such as voluntary park clean-up and wall painting, are by far the perfect ways to feel good about yourself.

Additionally,  if your family has your back, that is awesome.

Often, however, the people around you may not come out as loving, and supportive as you’d like them to be.

Despite that, do not wallow in self-pity.  Rather be motivated by the fact that you’re still here, alive. Hence, it’s only right that you pick up the pieces.

However, only stubborn perseverance can make this possible. Since you’ll learn to fail and get up again and again and again until you succeed.

. Shun stereotypes

Are you pulling out your hair because of negative name-calling?

You know you cannot stop people from talking, right? But here’s what you can do:

You can change how you perceive yourself.

You want to know how? By bringing the best out of yourself, and remaining consistent.

Because contrary to popular belief, overweight individuals are quite smart and hardworking in many ways.

Let me show you why:

Back in high school, just when I was about to sit for my final examinations, I met my new friend – Shem.

Shem was BIG but very brilliant at the same time. A Math genius to say the least.

Since I was(I’m still) not good with calculations, the timing was just perfect.

And for the first time in my high school life, I managed grade “A” in Mathematics! Thanks to Shem.

Despite being a pro in Mathematics, he never escaped negative name-calling from a section of the class. And, I saw how sometimes that affected his emotions.

But if there’s something I liked about Shem, then it’s how fast he’d recover from the insults. On many occasions, the insults only motivated him to wake up from the dead, with the vigor of a bouncing baby.

He continued to do far much better in his studies and proved just how competent, and disciplined he was than the rest of us. Especially to the bullies.

See why you cannot let others define you? 

Trust me, bullies are full of crap. And they only get to you if you let them. 

So, here’s the deal:

Never second guess your potential. The sweetest comeback you can hand bullies is to triumph over them.

. Get Help

It is said that if you want to go fast – go alone. But if you want to go far, bring others on board.

I mean, it’s okay to feel sad after you hear someone call you fat. It’s natural for the comment to sting a little.

But it’s not okay to bottle up everything. Talking to someone is the best way to water down your emotions. It helps you offload your pain and sadness.

No matter how ruthless some folks can get, there are a few who are incredibly empathetic. These are people who will be happy to share in your struggles – and even hold your hands during these cold and dark moments.

Speaking to people who’ve walked down the same path hands you a well full of strategies to draw from.

Additionally, religious places such like churches, mosques and temples are perfect for social support.

Here, you’ll find people who’ll listen and encourage you.

. Find humor – Head off Negative Remarks.

Laura Wilder said, “A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other thing.”

And I agree.

Having previously worked at a mental institution, I think it’s safe to say it can be quite depressing.

That’s because you are constantly surrounded by weird characters, and things can get awkward at any given moment.

However, some of these patients can get you rolling down on the ground with laughter. They just brighten your day with their exceptional sense of humor.

Listen, laughter not only relieves you of stress and boredom, but boosts your level of engagement.

Incorporating humor in your daily life is a good start. For example,  you can routinely help yourself to a good comedy show, or hang out with that funny friend.

However, that does not mean your violators won’t be lurking around.

Should they attack,  do not hesitate to respond – as bullies only pick on you because they know you are gullible to their  abuse.

On the other hand, choose well on your comebacks. Make sure your responses are aimed at stopping the bully, but not too biting.

For instance, you can assume whatever they said was just a compliment. And even respond in a similar manner. A “Thank you for noticing” response  will do.

But if you’re going to make a rude comment, make sure you are in a safe place, because some bullies respond badly to comebacks.

Also, do not  make anymore comebacks if the bully won’t stop with the insults. Instead, simply ignore the comments to stop them from aiming at you in the future.

Remember, it’s always okay to walk away from the bully. But if they are  family, then it’s totally  okay to excuse yourself and leave the room. 

In Conclusion…

Firstly, I know most of you will exit this page and proceed to get nothing done.

That’s fine! I wrote this post for the small handful of you who yearn for change.

I genuinely believe you have what it takes to confront social stigma.

I want you to take the bull by the horns…

Unfortunately, I can’t want it more than you do.

Do me a favor, one step at a time – implement each one of the tips above for a change.

Don’t hide, cry, hate on yourself, or refuse therapy.

No more excuses.

 

Are You Cheap,Fast, And Fake? Nutrition Facts.

Ever wondered why Real foods are much expensive as compared to the fast and fake ones? Which by the way, you’ll realize are usually at your disposal.

It’s surprising though, how a majority; myself included would be upset if we were to be branded “CHEAP”!

Yet, we literally live off cheap, street foods. Foods with little or no nutritional value to us.

Fast foods are foods that are ready to eat, and typically sold on the street, by a vendor –  from a food truck, or booth, and are relatively cheaper than real foods from restaurants, or homes.

According to 2007 study from the Food and Agricultural Organization, 2.5 billion people eat street food everyday.

Sadly, not even our kids are left out in the trend, and you will be surprised at how many fast foods joints your kid knows about.

In addition to having all the fast food joints at their fingertips, the kids are so oblivious to the hard work done by farmers to produce fresh and nutritious foods.

While this may be true, we can’t just blame it on them, because these poor kids tend to draw their strength from what they see done by adults.

We prioritize the amount of calories consumed, rather than the amounts of chemicals in processed foods we are so obsessed with.

Do we still have to mention where our kids derive their motivation from?

I mean, if you can’t stop yourself from continuous intake of these highly processed fake foods, then get it from me;  you’ve successfully brewed the perfect recipe for a slow death – for both you, and your next generation!

You know,  sometimes, I can’t just help but wonder why so many people die every minute of the day, even with the advanced technology that we have, today.

Surprisingly, these deaths are not due to old age as it was believed before, but due to diseases.

For instance, as I was growing up in the 90s, I was never given any pain killer, but just some herbal tea – in case of an headache or something.

And, that was it, nothing more! But today, majority literally depend on medicine as food, instead of food as medicine.

Here’s the deal; if your diet is wrong, medicine is(will be)of no use, and vice-versa. As in, if you eat healthy and nutritious meals, counting calories will be none of your concern.

If you truly desire to keep a healthy family, and ensure the continuation of a healthy generation, then you need to at least practice the following:

1. Help your kids recognize, and appreciate the work done on our farms to produce fresh goods for us all.

2. Spend some ample time to prepare, and cook a ” Hearty” meal for your family. I mean, even if you want to second guess on it – who doesn’t know that the only way to the heart is through the stomach?

 Try as you can, to not just eat for the purposes of filling your stomach, but for nutritional reasons. Never forget that good nutrition is the source of fuel for your body.

Bottom Line:

Look; there’s no huge secret on how to live healthy, and strong other than living right.

Hat that means is that, you need to start eating natural and healthy foods. Make sure you eat slowly to aid for effective digestion & metabolism.

Secondly, do not try to copy, or compare yourself to individuals in the beauty magazines – because most of it is just illusions, and dreams

Lastly, have it in mind that your body is the only temple you live in!  And so, honor and embrace it, all the time.

 

 

Is Natural Family Planning Worth A Try?

A good number of women shy away from natural family planning due to various reasons.  But, from my experience in the medical field, one main reason has always stood out: The inability to point out whether they are fertile or not.

Undeniably, we are living in a world where women have been empowered to work as hard as men in order to help with family expenses. Not too many have the time to track their fertile days and hence, opt for hormonal methods of family planning.

Basically, if  you have no plans of falling pregnant in the near future, you might want to try natural family planning before resorting to artificial methods. However, discipline and dedication is key to succeed in achieving it.

Reason being, you’ll need to pay attention to changes occurring in your body from one menstrual cycle to another, and for quite a while. So doing, you’re able to mark both fertile and infertile phases of your cycle – and that is Fertility Awareness!

According to a 2007 study in China, on Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Natural Fertility Regulation Program, fertility awareness was found to be 99% effective – if used correctly and consistently.

However, it’s failure rate varies widely depending on; method used, instructions given and if followed to the later, as well as the studied population.

A random prospective study by the American Journal Of Obstetrics and Gynecology(October 1981), on the use-effectiveness of two methods of natural family planning, found that the actual failure rate of natural family planning is 25% per year or higher.

That aside, there are three main signs that will help you know if you are fertile or not. Moreover, it’s important to note that each of these methods can only deliver best of results if combined with the other.

Following what’s been discussed above, here are the three main methods that will help you attain success when aquiring  natural family planning;

1. Basal Body Temperature – There are certain times of the month when you’ll realize you’re warmer than usual.  Most likely, it’s because you are ovulating – your basal body temperature increases a little with 0.2 – 0.5 degrees/ 0.5 & 1℉, from the normal.

You will need to continuously keep track of  the days when  your body temperature tend to rise. This way, you can figure when to have or avoid sexual encounters.

This method has been found to be much effective when used together with  Cervical mucus and(or) cervix position.

2. Cervical Mucus/ Fluid – Usually, after you’ve had the last drop of menstrual flow, you’re likely to notice progressive changes in the vaginal/cervical fluid. It starts from dry-yellow, to thick-milky/creamy discharge, and finally to the most fertile stringy/jelly – like mucus.

Basically, clear, stringy discharge marks the start of your fertile phase. You may, or may not notice rise in your body temperature at this same time. But one thing is for sure; use of protection or abstinence is necessary as you could easily get pregnant.

3. Position of your Cervix – The only way  to know how your cervix is positioned is to feel it! As uncomfortable as it may be, it will help you ensure accuracy, especially if you fail to notice either of the above discussed methods.

Physiologically,  the cervix tends to sag a little lower down the vagina during your infertile period. It  feels firm on touch just like the tip of your nose.

On the other hand,  during your fertile phase – it rises higher above the vagina, and feels softer on touch just like your lips.

Here’s a simple suggestion; while on a squatting, insert a clean index finger up into your vagina to feel the cervix. Do it both during the fertile and infertile phases, and you’ll notice the difference.

The Other Methods Would Be;

– Mittlelschmerz. In simple terms, ovulation only happens when an egg is produced and released by your tubes. Sometimes, you may get some uncomfortable pain in the flanks when ovulation is taking place.

However, the pain could be due to some other causes, and that’s why it has to be used together with  the other three main signs of fertility.

– Breast Tenderness.  Actually, it’s the hormone oestrogen  that’s responsible for conditioning your body  for ovulation as well as producing  fertile cervical fluid.  And breast tenderness is as a result of this.

Usually, it can be noticed at the same time when you’re having slight rise in body temperature, clear discharge as well as the other methods. It’s also a common premenstrual symptom.

– Calendar method. If usually you get your monthly flow on a regular basis, then this method is totally for you. In essence, it’s not recommended for breastfeeding women, or those who bleed in between their cycle – as there’s high rate of failure.

That said, it demands high levels of discipline. You’ll be required to  track the length of your cycle, and mark both the fertile and infertile days.

To be much safer, it should be used in combination with one or more of the other methods. Additionally, abstinence or use of protection is encouraged, especially during fertile periods.

– Lactational Amenorrhea. This method entirely depends on exclusive breastfeeding for it to be a success. It is therefore suitable for women who are exclusively breastfeeding.

Lactational amenorrhea is a natural way for child spacing. It’s based on the fact that after child birth, the hormone responsible for the production of breast milk completely surpasses oestrogen hormone – responsible for ovulation.

And hence,  the woman is believed to be much less fertile, but not completely infertile at this time. This method is considered safe as long as you’re yet to start receiving your menstrual flow after giving birth. Let alone, postpartum bleeding.

Just like hormonal methods used for birth control, natural family planning is poised to fail. This especially, due to lack of compliance, and not paying attention to instructions.

However, fertility awareness is a very safe method you can use to plan for your family. Unlike hormonal methods, it has zero side effects! Your hormone levels remains normal and regulated, and there are no risks of cancers, weight gain, depression, low sex drive or cardiovascular diseases like hypertension.

All it requires of you is self discipline, compliance and paying attention to instructions given.

 

 

 

4 Significance Of PreventiveCare In A Child’s Health.

Do you know what preventative health care services are? Well , let’s find out together.

Preventative health care services are mainly purposed to protect you and your family. These services are done to, either identify, rule out or prevent health problems from your body.

In case of any impending health condition, various interventions are put into action to prevent the problem from escalating and becoming chronic or fatal. And unlike other health care services, preventative health is free. Especially when given by qualified personnel.

Disease prevention/preventive health can be divided into 4 – 5 categories:

– Primal. It involves collaborative measures  between the parents – to – be, and the health care provider put in place to ensure that both the emotional and physical security of the kids are met, right from conception to the first year of birth.

– Primary. This kind of health care is aimed at eradicating the main causes of disease, and strengthening your body to resist diseases as well. You can ensure this by; eating healthy and nutritious diet, doing frequent physical exercise, and getting immunization.

– Secondary. The usual activities here will be to detect diseases before you get any symptoms. This is done during routine screenings or check ups. Screenings can vary from; dental, blood sugar, cholestral levels, cancer, blood pressure, and sexual transmitted illnesses.

Tertiary. At this level the disease is already in your system and you probably have its symptoms. The action being taken now is to prevent its extensive harm to your body. You could be put into rehabilitation, or have surgery, or get started into a certain treatment regime. These are meant to reverse the course of the disease.

The key to preventive health is food. You, therefore, need to have healthy and nutritious foods like green vegetables and fresh fruits, proteins, starch and fats in moderate proportion. These foods should also be prepared in a proper, and healthy way that ensures the nutrients are well retained by the time they are consumed.

However, a good number of people globally can’t afford food. Let alone the healthy and nutritious foods, which at times can be expensive . And this would always be due to poverty. In 2011, a survey on National Health Interview was conducted in the US, by the Center for Disease Control. And it was the first and only survey to ask questioms about people’s ability to buy food.

In addition to food, specific protective measures like; water purification, sewage treatment, and regular personal and general hygiene(including hand washing, safe food handling), are major contributors to preventive health.

These simple practices help protect you from contracting communicable diseases like:

– Diarrhea.

– Typhoid.

– Gastritis.

– Brucellosis.

– Other digestive  illnesses.

Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases is also an important part of preventive health care. It requires you to either abstain, or use protection during any sexual encounters. Treatment regime is usually started incase of positive test results; follow up of the infected partners, and drug compliance to prevent disease resistance is part and parcel.

Let’s find out how important preventive health care is to your child.

Preventive health care has quite a large number of significance in your child’s life. Below are a few examples:

1) Your Child’s Nutrition And Exercise.

a) As soon as your child starts to wean, introduce fruits and vegetables in their diet, to set their nutrition in the right levels. Regular meals and nutritious snacks motivates healthy eating, even in a picky child.

Even if your child avoid some healthy foods like beans, it’s necessary to continue offering other healthy meals. Always remember to minimize your child’s intake of fruit juices. These despite being healthy, are mainly sugar water. Some kids loose their appetite during meal time after drinking excess fruit juice .

b) Encourage outdoor playing with your family. It’s a good way to encourage kids to exercise and avoid obesity. Exercise, good physical and emotional health are beneficial for kids.

2) Examination And Immunization.

Your child should undergo various body exams and immunizations .This, at the first contact they have with the doctor after birth. The activities continues during routine visits, until they are old enough to take care of themselves.

a) At first contact, the following are checked:

– Broad clinical view exam. This include; height, weight, length and head circumference; physical features from head to toe. Including the heart, lungs, spine, genitals, legs and arms, ears, nose.

– The doctor gets various information from the parents on; feeding(is it poor, well or unable to feed) Behavioural characters(irritability, sleep and waking up cycles or thumb sucking) .

– Early identification of impairments and disabilities; developmental milestones(age in which a certain milestone is achieved is compared to the normal limits ); identification of vision problems. The teeth/ gums are also checked routinely by a dentist at age 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5.

Your child’s teeth play an important role in speech/ jaw development, eating and beauty. Therefore, should be maintained all the time.

b) Immunization.

Routine vaccination are given to kids until they are 60 months old. This is done to boost their immune systems and hence, the ability to fight communicable diseases.

Your child will be given birth doses of oral polio and BCG(within 2weeks of birth) .

When your child is 6,10and14weeks old; 6 and 9 months; one and a half years,  another category of vaccines is administerd. This goes on until your child’s is 5years old. The vaccines are given in addition to Vitamins for healthy growth and de wormers.

3) Screening.

In young children, screening is done mainly on vision and hearing abilities. For kids aged 3 – 4 years, vision test include use of charts and testing machines. Kids from families with history of stroke at an early age are at risk of high cholestrol. And thus, should undergo blood test to rule that out.

The blood test is also used to screen for anaemia.

4) Safety Of Your Child.

Your child’s safety is part and parcel of preventative care. It’s based on the age of the child. For injury prevention in kids aged 12 months to 4years, implement the following.

– Prevent falls.

– Remove handguns from home.

– Use safe caps and latches.

– Tie window cords to avoid strangulation

– Place car seats in the back seat of your car.

For ages between 5years and above.

– Ensure they wear bicycle helmet and protective gear.

– Instruct child on safe street crossing.

– Closely supervise swimming. Have them put on life jackets while swimming or boating.

Conclusion.

Preventive health services are affordable and available for every age groups. It’s all about disease prevention, unlike treatment. Most likely, you could get affected even without knowing, and that’s why you need to utilize preventive health services. This way, you are preventing yourself from inevitable disability, or serious illnesses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Can We Improve Maternal Health.

I was able to define maternal health on my previous post. And now we know it’s a woman’s health during pregnancy, childbirth and after childbirth.

I highlighted a bit on the causes of maternal deaths. But today, I’m just going to provide insight on what need to be done to improve maternal health.

First, why is it even important to improve maternal health?

More often, it’s poverty that causes poor maternal health. And with poor health of the mother, it is not easy to avoid deaths of either the mother or the baby.

See how these 3 simple interventions can make the difference.

Maternal Nutrition.

A mother’s nutrition directly affect that of her child. The pregnant woman should therefore, maintain healthy and adequate diet to ensure similar supply to her unborn child. This help prevent fetal malnutrition.

To achieve this;

Eat one extra meal every day during the pregnancy.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Take iron and folic tablets daily, to supplement your diet gaps.

Maternal Distress.

This tend to occur especially, when the psychological and emotional wellbeing of a pregnant woman are compromised. The woman shows signs of depression or anxiety.

It is important to understand that every woman has individual reasons; or signs and symptoms. And each will respond differently to the predisposing factors involved.

The most significant step, is to prevent and eliminate these predisposing factors. Remember prevention is always better than cure. A woman with these symptoms will easily develop postpartum psychosis. That’s why mental heath assessment is important during routine antenatal visits.

Safe Motherhood.

It involves ensuring, all women receive the care they need to stay safe and healthy during pregnancy and childbirth.

On my post about composing your birth plan; I talked about saving money for the purposes of easy movement. This ensures, your access to a health facility for regular antenatal visits, childbirth and maternal child health clinics is well planned for.

These visits are important because they help identify and eliminate any pending health problems throughout your pregnancy. And hence, most unnecessary deaths are prevented.

Conclusion.

Maternal health is the core determinant of whether we are going to have healthy generation in the future or not. And we all have the responsibility of improving and ensuring good maternal health.

You can do it at apersonal level, I can do it at the level of a health worker and we can all do it as a community at large.

 

 

Reasons You Must Not Neglect Your Health During Pregnancy

Falling pregnant is very sacred in any woman’s life. However, it’s only the first step to motherhood. Usually, it’s preceded by birth, breastfeeding, weaning, and so on and so forth.

That said, the foundation to motherhood is built on pregnancy. More often, and for a  majority of women pregnancy is very smooth.  But, for a handful it could be the direct opposite.

Either way, pregnancy is very demanding as everything ceases to be just about you. You are now required to take care of  yourself a little much better. This in terms of  diet, rehydration, physical exercise, antenatal visits just to name but a few.

In essence, the well being of your unborn child entirely depends on you! You become its sole supplier for oxygen and nutrients as well as assisting in waste removal, and protection.

Practically, your body will need to be in shape for it to effectively perform these functions. Here’s how it does;

How Does Your Baby Get Oxygen And Nutrients Supply?

The answer to this question will be given in respect to functions of the placenta.  Biologically, the placenta is completely developed by the end of first trimester – 12weeks gestation. This simply means it can fully perform each and every task it’s charged with.

Notably, it provides an area of attachment between your blood stream, and the umbilical cord – which attaches directly to your baby. This connection allows oxygen and nutrients to reach your baby.

For this reason, you should make it a habit to eat healthy:  Fresh, green, and healthy vegetables/fruits would be a great way to start. Eat more of organic foods as well as animal products such like beef and eggs. These two groups of food are no doubt good sources of iron.

Iron helps boost your blood levels which then ensures sufficient oxygen supply. Additionally, daily intake of your iron and folic tablets is highly recommended as these, not only help boost blood levels but also fill any gaps in-between your meals.

It’s of great significance that you avoid fast foods – as they add little or zero nutrition value to you. Also, foods with additives or preservatives(processed) should be avoided at all cost. Apparently, your body does not digest or metabolise these foods as fast as it would usually do.

And hence, you may end up with metabolism related medical conditions like for example,  gestational diabetes.

 Are Headaches and Muscle Pains Common During Pregnancy?

Inevitably, pregnancy hormones are solely responsible for each and every change in your body.  Initially at their peak in the first trimester, you’ll most likely get headaches, muscle cramps, constipation, nausea and vomiting, etc. Some of these are likely to go on till the third trimester, and even during birth.

As common as these signs are, they should however not occur frequently.  Not unless, you do not consume good amounts of water  – to rehydrate.

In a nut shell, your unborn child does not have the ability to remove its own waste and thus, it’s  done via your blood stream. Inadequate amounts of water in your body could be the reason for frequent headaches, muscle cramps, nausea, constipation and dizziness.

Therefore, you should take at least 7-8 glasses of water per day as recommended by the World Health Organisation. You can also eat water based fruits such as, melon, rice and iris potatoes. Certainly, this will ensure your body gets rid of all waste effectively.

Moreover, the placenta provides protection to your unborn baby by preventing various viruses such like Rubella, Herpes, Hepatitis, and even HIV  from reaching it.

However,  it’s necessary for you to make all the antenatal visits.  Reason being,  it’s only during these visits that any pending medical issues can be identified and treated in good time.

But, that’s not all; once your baby is born, he/she continue to receive  preventive health services –  routine screening and immunization. This, until their immune system is strong enough to instantly fight infections.

Routine walks and mild workouts are a good way to stay active and fit  during pregnancy. Workouts should however be under supervision by a professional.

Here’s a summary of how you should take care of yourself during pregnancy:

1.Eat one extra meal every day during pregnancy.
2.Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
3.Take your iron and folic acid tablets.

4.If you’re located in an area infested by malaria parasites make sure you sleep inside a treated mosquito net.
5. Do not miss any of your ANTENATAL visit for any reason at all – should be at least 4 times during your pregnancy.

 

 

5 Practical breastfeeding tips for new moms

Are you utterly disturbed because you don’t just get it?

You are a new mom so, you know you need to master a few skills – before you can get on top of things.

You have even researched and learned a lot about breastfeeding far in advance.

But for some reason, you aren’t seeing success. You are blatantly struggling to take it all in.

That’s okay. Every mom has a share of her “bad” nursing experiences.

That is why I have found five breastfeeding tips to help you pull through your challenges as a new mother.

Your first milk

In the beginning, you are going to produce no ‘real’ milk.

But a thick yellow substance known as colostrum.

This may seem extremely disturbing. Especially for moms deep in the trenches of new motherhood.

But guess what?

Though inadequate, colostrum milk is very nutritious.

Plus, it provides your baby with protection from diseases and helps with its bowel movements.

For that reason, let your baby suckle on the breast. This way, the breast is also triggered to start producing milk.

In a few days, your ideal milk will start to trickle in – in abundance.

As such, it is not always necessary to supplement since breast milk is an absolute goldmine to your child.

Anticipate breast engorgement

Many moms know just how relaxing and fulfilling breastfeeding can get. Let alone the kind of bond it creates between you and your little one.

However,  a few days after birth this gradually becomes elusive.

You start producing way too much milk.

Your breasts get large, tight and firm.

Not to mention, the never-ending milk leakages and stains on your dress. Not so what you expected!

Want to know the worst part?

At this point, your newborn baby does not need that much milk.

But even if he or she did, your rock-hard nipples make it an uphill battle as far as finding the correct latch goes.

The good news is, it all goes away in a matter of a few days.

In the meantime, here’s what you can do to smoothen things out:

Before you put your baby to the breast, remove excess milk. Preferably, hand express

Breastfeed more frequently and efficiently. Both day and night.

Empty one breast before offering the other

–  Apply warm or cold compresses on your breasts to relieve tightness

If done well, you can be sure of a consistent milk supply.

Avoid painful breastfeeding

Do you have painful, swollen, and sore breasts?

Well, that was me – two and a half years back.

I must have broken a sweat or two, trying to find the right nursing position for my daughter.

So, you know what I ended up having? Painful breastfeeding –  four weeks straight after childbirth.

But, you don’t have to do that. Since it’s not rocket science.

Here’s what I mean:

For your baby to remove enough milk from the breast, he or she needs to properly attach onto it.

Now for that to happen, you need to see that the darkest area of the breast – is entirely inside your baby’s mouth. Also, the baby’s lips should readily remain curved with its chin resting on your breast. 

Avoid painful breastfeeding with these further tips  

Meet your baby’s needs

Here’s the thing:

Many moms find it hard trying to understand their baby’s cues – or rooting behaviors, in that case.

A handful cannot even tell whether the baby is hungry or just upset.

That’s fine. Your baby is also trying to make good of her “SENSES” – so that mom can understand better.

Along with breastfeeding, embracing your baby immediately after birth is an incredible way – to jump-start his or her senses of smell, touch, sound, and sight.

It hands them the natural ability to find and latch on the breast on their own.

Secondly, while some babies tend to cry a lot, others are surprisingly calm.

If your baby is a settled one – you are safe.

But if your baby is the direct contrast –  maintaining skin-to-skin contact may just do the trick.

Chances are, he or she will calm down and want to feed again.

Last but not least, pay attention to your baby’s ‘advances.’

As a new mom, I could not understand a number of my daughter’s cues, myself. Even now,  I still have no clue about some of the things she says to me.

But I have to admit; at that time,  some cues were pretty obvious.

For instance, when baby wants to stay close to mom. Or is beginning to get hungry. She or he will probably:

Bring his or her hands to her little face

Munch on her  hands

Turn head from one side to another

Or make familiar mouth movements

Also, do not  leave your baby on a crib or a stroller for long periods of time.

Instead, hold  her more to help build trust and emotional bond between you two.

So, if you do not want to upset your baby any longer, respond to his or her needs  right away.

Accept help from others

New motherhood hormones tend to keep moms focused towards baby’s well-being.

And the exhaustion that comes with it is insanely unthinkable.

For that, it’s okay to accept help from the people around yo

Take advantage of this rare chance to rest or sleep.

Especially once you have established a solid nursing relationship with your child.

Additionally, learn how to express or pump a bottle(s) for use when you are resting, or not around.

As you get ready to return to work – make sure everyone involved is brought up to speed – as far as bottle preparation and feeding goes.

Make sure you keep at it  even after you return to work.

However, it is important that you inform your boss about your plan to continue breastfeeding. This way, you can continue  pumping during work breaks.

In Conclusion.

To many moms, breastfeeding is a joyous experience.

But for others, it is such a hard nut to crack. Particularly, for moms who are knee-deep in their new motherhood.

The above tips are incredibly practical. And will give you a breakthrough in your breastfeeding challenges.