Care of Babies

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

Published July 24, 2017 by teacher dahl

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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

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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

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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

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