Care of Babies

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Science Says Menstruation Doesn’t Mess With Women’s Brains

Published July 24, 2017 by teacher dahl

woemen mens

New research suggests menstruation doesn’t change how a woman’s brain works.
The idea that a woman who is menstruating isn’t operating at her cognitive best is hardly a new one. Plenty of (pretty ropey) studies have indicated that it can change fundamental thought patterns.
But robust new research published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience has dealt that idea a significant blow. A team of researchers enlisted 68 women and tested three major aspects of cognitive function across two menstrual cycles, finding they were not affected by changes in levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

While some hormones were associated with changes over one cycle, the effects didn’t repeat in the following cycle. Basically, none of the hormones had any replicable, consistent effect on study participants’ cognition.
Leading the research was Professor Brigitte Leeners, a psychotherapist and specialist in reproductive medicine. Dealing with many women who have the impression the menstrual cycle influences their well-being and cognitive performance, Leeners both wondered about the anecdotal evidence and questioned the methodology of many existing studies on the subject.
To gain some better insights, Leeners and her team utilised a much larger sample than in the past, and decided to follow women across two consecutive menstrual cycles.
Operating out of the Medical School of Hannover and University Hospital Zürich, 68 women were enlisted in the study and underwent detailed monitoring to investigate changes in three selected cognitive processes at different stages in two separate menstrual cycles. The research team looked for both differences in performance between individuals and changes in individuals’ performance over time. They couldn’t find any.

The hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle do not show any association with cognitive performance,” Leeners said in a news release. “Women’s cognitive performance is in general not disturbed by hormonal changes occurring with the menstrual cycle.”

The next step in the research is to enlist larger samples and more sub-samples of subjects. But for now, this is a pretty big stigma-buster. Or you would think. Giving an indication of just how loaded this topic is, witness two different approaches to covering it: ‘Why moody women can’t blame the time of the month’ is the Daily Mail’s SEO title for their story; while the International Business Times has the much more obvious (and even handed), “Myth busted: Women are just as clear and rational on their period.”

So maybe don’t expect this one to be put to bed any time soon.

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Popular Baby Care Myths and Reality

Published February 11, 2017 by teacher dahl

nappy-change

Baby Powder Use

Myth: Sprinkle baby powder on your newborn after you change him.
Reality: There’s no need to use powder on your baby’s skin.
Dr. Adesman Explains: “Diaper technology has come a long way, and diapers nowadays are very good at keeping babies dry. Baby powder, especially talc, has a great risk of inhalation and can cause respiratory problems.”

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Changing Baby’s Diaper

Myth: Never leave an infant in a wet or soiled diaper for more than 20 minutes.
Reality: It’s best to change diapers as soon as they’re wet or soiled, but there is no 20-minute rule.
Dr. Adesman Explains: “Kids are more likely to soil their diapers when they’re awake than when they’re asleep, but if your baby does wet his diaper while sleeping, you don’t need to wake him up to change his diaper. In general, if your baby is awake, for comfort reasons, rash prevention, and to minimize smell, it is best to change his diaper as soon as possible.”

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Baby’s Bowel Movements

Myth: A baby or child who doesn’t have a bowel movement (BM) every day is likely to be constipated.
Reality: A baby or child can have a BM after each meal or go for days without one and still be “normal.”
Dr. Adesman Explains: “When it comes to their baby’s bowel movements, parents might get used to a certain frequency and get concerned when that pattern changes. Mom and Dad just need to remember that regular doesn’t have to be frequent. As long as there isn’t any difficulty passing them, there generally isn’t great cause to worry.”

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Potty-Training Timing

Myth: Your child must begin toilet-training no later than 18-24 months of age.
Reality: There is no definite time for toilet-training.
Dr. Adesman Explains: “Some parents love to claim bragging rights when their child becomes toilet-trained earlier. And while there are certainly some reasons why parents might want to accelerate the process, such as economical reasons or day care requirements, toilet-training is a highly variable process. Some kids are just ready earlier than others.”

Potty-Training Pants

Myth: Don’t use disposable training pants — they’ll prolong toilet-training.
Reality: Using disposable training pants is OK.
Dr. Adesman Explains: “Of all the proclamations about toilet-training, I hear this one the most. A good number of children feel good about using training pants and, likewise, parents can feel comfortable with their children using them. They are a positive stepping stone and a nice convenience.”

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Gender Differences

Myth: Boys are harder to toilet-train than girls.
Reality: It’s no more difficult to train boys, though they might start slightly later.
Dr. Adesman Explains: “There are a few minor gender differences to take into consideration, such as bladder capacity and the fact that Mom is usually the primary caregiver to take the lead on toilet-training. But we are talking about small differences in time — weeks or months, not years. When it comes to toilet-training, little girls and boys are much more similar than different.”

About Dr. Andrew Adesman
Dr. Andrew Adesman is Chief of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Schneider Children’s Hospital in New York and an associate professor in the Pediatrics Department at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His book Baby Facts reveals more than 200 startling myths and facts about babies’ and young children’s health, growth, care, and more.

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Expose Children to Vegetables Early and Often

Published May 16, 2016 by teacher dahl

baby n veggies

Exposing infants to a new vegetable early in life encourages them to eat more of it compared to offering novel vegetables to older children, new research from the University of Leeds suggests.

expose babies to vegetables early and often to adopt healthy eating habitsThe researchers, led by Professor Marion Hetherington in the Institute of Psychological Sciences, also found that even fussy eaters are able to eat a bit more of a new vegetable each time they are offered it.

The research, involving babies and children from the UK, France and Denmark, also dispelled the popular myth that vegetable tastes need to be masked or given by stealth in order for children to eat them.

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Professor Hetherington said: “For parents who wish to encourage healthy eating in their children, our research offers some valuable guidance.

“If you want to encourage your children to eat vegetables, make sure you start early and often. Even if your child is fussy or does not like veggies, our study shows that 5-10 exposures will do the trick.”

In the study, which was funded by the EU, the research team gave artichoke puree to 332 children from three countries aged from weaning age to 38 months. During the experiment each child was given between five and 10 servings of at least 100g of the artichoke puree in one of three versions: basic; sweetened, with added sugar; or added energy, where vegetable oil was mixed into the puree.

There was also little difference in the amounts eaten over time between those who were fed basic puree and those who ate the sweetened puree, which suggests that making vegetables sweeter does not make a significant difference to the amount children eat.

Younger children consumed more artichoke than older children. This is because after 24 months children become reluctant to try new things and start to reject foods – even those they previously liked. Among the children, four distinct groups emerged. Most children (40 percent) were “learners” who increased intake over time. Of the group, 21 percent consumed more than 75 percent of what was offered each time and they were called “plate-clearers”.

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Those who ate less than 10g even by the fifth helping were classified as “non-eaters”, amounting to 16 percent of the cohort, and the remainder were classified as “others” (23 percent) since their pattern of intake varied over time. Non-eaters, who tended to be older pre-school children, were the most fussy, the research found.

Globe artichoke was chosen as the sample vegetable because, as part of the research, parents were surveyed and artichoke was one of the least-offered vegetables. NHS guidelines are to start weaning children onto solid foods at six months.

The research has been published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Source: University of Leeds

Why do we sneeze?

Published October 18, 2015 by teacher dahl

makes me sneeze

AHHH . . . CHOO!
If you just sneezed, something was probably irritating or tickling the inside of your nose. Sneezing, also called sternutation, is your body’s way of removing an irritation from your nose.

When the inside of your nose gets a tickle, a message is sent to a special part of your brain called the sneeze center. The sneeze center then sends a message to all the muscles that have to work together to create the amazingly complicated process that we call the sneeze.

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Some of the muscles involved are the abdominal (belly) muscles, the chest muscles, the diaphragm (the large muscle beneath your lungs that makes you breathe), the muscles that control your vocal cords, and muscles in the back of your throat.

Don’t forget the eyelid muscles! Did you know that you always close your eyes when you sneeze?
It is the job of the sneeze center to make all these muscles work together, in just the right order, to send that irritation flying out of your nose. And fly it does — sneezing can send tiny particles speeding out of your nose at up to 100 miles per hour!

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher Lydia Bourouiba and her colleagues are studying what really happens when a person sneezes. They’re using high-speed imaging to film the cloud of droplets that a sneeze creates. Then, the Bourouiba Research Group uses math to analyze what’s going on with all those droplets. They hope to learn more about how illnesses spread.

Most anything that can irritate the inside of your nose can start a sneeze. Common causes include dust, cold air, or pepper. When you catch a cold in your nose, a virus has made a temporary home there and is causing lots of swelling and irritation. Some people have allergies, and they sneeze when they are exposed to certain things, such as animal dander (which comes from the skin of many common pets) or pollen (which comes from some plants).

Do you know anyone who sneezes when they step outside into the sunshine? About 1 out of every 3 people sneezes when exposed to bright light. They are called photic sneezers (photic means light). If you are a photic sneezer, you got it from one of your parents because it is an inherited trait. You could say that it runs in your family. Most people have some sensitivity to light that can trigger a sneeze.

Have you ever had the feeling that you are about to sneeze, but it just gets stuck? Next time that happens, try looking toward a bright light briefly (but don’t look right into the sun) — see if that doesn’t unstick a stuck sneeze!

Credit: kidshealth.org

Five Tips for New Moms

Published June 18, 2015 by teacher dahl

new moms

Being a new mom is a transition period that may be stressful.Here are some few tips from Medical advisers to adjust to the new role:

Get Expert Advice Before Giving Medicine to Your Baby
Certain medications may not be appropriate for your baby, so you should ask your health care provider before giving your child any medication, says Snyder. If he or she has recommended a medicine for your infant, ask questions to be sure you use the right dose.
Store Medications Safely
Store any medicines that you or your baby may take out of reach. “You want to keep medications out of reach of your child,” says Snyder, who notes that babies can start to crawl as early as 5 to 6 months. “But even if babies are under the age when you’d expect them to be able to get to your medication, get into the habit of putting medication out of their reach,” she advises.
Also read all storage instructions. “For instance, some antibiotics need to be kept in the refrigerator,” Snyder says. “So you want to make sure you’re storing it according to the instructions.” If you have questions about how to safely store a medicine, contact your pharmacist or other health care provider.
Give Medications Properly

Use the appropriate dosing device—such as an oral syringe, not a regular kitchen spoon—to give the recommended amount of medicine. Some products are packaged with these devices, but devices are also available for purchase over the counter. “If your baby is prescribed a specific amount of medicine, make sure you measure and give the specific amount using a dosing device,” Snyder adds. And talk to your baby’s pharmacist or other health care provider if you have questions.
If You Take Medication, Seek Breastfeeding Advice
“If you are taking medications, it’s important to ask your health care provider whether it’s okay to breastfeed,” says Leyla Sahin, M.D., an obstetrician with FDA’s Division of Pediatric and Maternal Health. You should ask about any prescription or over-the-counter products, including supplements. Stopping a medication can be dangerous for some women with chronic health problems, Sahin notes, but some medications can pass through the breast milk and may not be safe for your baby. So check with your health care provider if you are breastfeeding, or plan to breastfeed, and you are taking any medication.

Take Care of Yourself
You may feel like you’re devoting most waking (and sleeping) hours to your baby, but try to squeeze in time for yourself. Not getting enough rest can be an issue if you have a new baby. “Sleep when the baby sleeps and take naps during the day,” Sahin recommends. “If you’re a new mom feeling constantly very sad, it could be a sign of postpartum depression,” she adds, so you should talk to your health care provider to get help if needed.
Also it’s important to schedule and keep your six-week postpartum appointment with your health care provider, Sahin says.

Take your time..celebrate being a NEW MOM.Remember, your first year of motherhood may not be perfect but you can adjust to this new stage.

Source: Consumer updates

Mumps Cases and Outbreaks

Published February 24, 2015 by teacher dahl

mumps

Mumps Outbreaks
In some years, there are more cases of mumps than usual because of outbreaks. Mumps outbreaks can occur any time of year but often occur in winter and spring. A major factor contributing to outbreaks is being in a crowded environment, such as attending the same class, playing on the same sports team, or living in a dormitory with a person who has mumps.

Although the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is very effective, protection against mumps is not complete. Two doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine are 88% effective at protecting against mumps; one dose is 78% effective. Outbreaks can still occur in highly vaccinated U.S. communities, particularly in close-contact settings. In recent years, outbreaks have occurred in schools, colleges, and camps. However, high vaccination coverage helps limit the size, duration, and spread of mumps outbreaks.

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Mumps – Vaccine Q&A
For Parents

  • Is there a vaccine to prevent mumps?
    Yes. Two doses of mumps-containing vaccine, given as combination measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, separated by at least 28 days, are routinely recommended for all children. The first dose is given on or after the first birthday; the second is given at 4 – 6 years of age. MMR is a live, weakened (attenuated) vaccine. Most adults who have not been vaccinated should also receive 1 dose of MMR vaccine, but adults who work in healthcare, a school/university setting, and persons at high risk of exposure to mumps should get 2 doses. Pregnant women and persons with an impaired immune system should not receive live attenuated vaccines (MMR vaccine).
  • Is the vaccine effective/does it work?
    One dose of mumps vaccine will ‘take’ (be effective) in approximately 80% of people vaccinated, but two doses of mumps vaccine will ‘take’ in approximately 90% of people. Therefore, two doses are better at preventing mumps than one dose.
  • Where can I get the vaccine?
    Most family and pediatric doctors keep vaccine in their clinics; and local health departments usually have vaccine.

Mumps kid

Up to half of people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and therefore do not know they were infected with mumps.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis)

Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection.

What should I do if I don’t know if I’ve been vaccinated?

Get vaccinated. The MMR vaccine is safe and there is no increased risk of side effects if a person gets another vaccination.
If I had mumps as a child, can I get it again/should I get vaccinated?
Most people who have mumps will be protected (immune) from getting mumps again. There is a small percent of people though, who could get reinfected with mumps and have a milder illness. If mumps was not diagnosed by a physician, then that person is not considered immune and vaccination is recommended.

If I was exposed to someone with mumps, what should I do?
Not everyone who is exposed to someone with mumps will get sick. If a person has been vaccinated with two doses of mumps vaccine, it is very unlikely they will get mumps. However, if a person hasn’t been vaccinated, it is possible they could get sick and they should watch for symptoms of mumps. Additionally, if a person hasn’t been vaccinated, this is a good time to get another dose of mumps vaccine, and to make sure that everyone else in the house where they live is also vaccinated.

Mumps vaccine has not been shown to be effective in preventing disease after exposure, but vaccination of exposed susceptible persons will reduce the risk of disease from possible future exposures. If symptoms develop (generally 16-18 days after exposure), the person should not go to school or work for at least 5 days and should contact their medical provider.

Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/mumps.html

Babies Understand Friendship, Meanies and Bystanders

Published February 11, 2015 by teacher dahl

babies

Babies who are just over a year old already comprehend complex social interactions — they understand what other people know and don’t know, and expect them to behave accordingly, new research shows.

In the new study, 13-month-olds who watched a puppet show in which one character witnessed another behaving badly expected the witness to shun the villain. But the babies did not expect a shunning if the villain acted badly when the witness wasn’t looking.

Even at this young age, the babies were mostly very intrigued by the drama, said Yuyan Luo a psychologist at the University of Missouri and co-author of the study.

“Almost all babies look really concerned when they see the puppet violence,” Luo told Live Science.

Social smarts

In the study, the two characters — call them A and B — interacted in a friendly manner, but then B hit a third character, C.

“Babies think A should do something about it if they see B do something bad,” Luo said

Before they can even talk and walk, babies seem to exhibit social savvy, research shows. At around 8 months old, infants like to see wrongdoers punished, and they may develop sympathy for victims of bullying by 10 months of age.

Likewise, even very young babies seem to understand others’ perspectives, a talent called “theory of mind.” Although researchers once thought that theory of mind did not develop until the preschool years, more-recent studies suggest that it begins to emerge by 7 months to 18 months of age.

from: Live Science

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