Pregnancy

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Adding Folic Acid to Bread Flour May Prevent Birth Defects

Published January 9, 2017 by teacher dahl

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If you’re a Filipina who’s expecting a baby, your diet may be missing a key ingredient believed to help prevent certain kinds of birth defects.
That ingredient? Folic acid, which has long been used to fortify, or strengthen, certain enriched grains.

However, as Jonca Bull, M.D., director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Minority Health notes, “Many Hispanic women don’t benefit from the folic acid in cereal grain products because those products are not a mainstay of their regular diets—which often are bread flour-based.”

This could be a reason why Filipinas represent the highest percentage of U.S. women giving birth to children with neural tube defects (NTDs), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NTDs are birth defects of the brain, spine and spinal cord, such as anen¬cephaly and spina bifida.

The FDA has moved to help protect these women and their children by approving the addition of folic acid to corn masa flour, an ingredient in foods including tortillas, tacos, tortilla chips and tamales. Foods made from this flour are staple foods of Mexican and some Central and South American diets.

When consumed by pregnant women before and during pregnancy, folic acid—a B vitamin—may help to prevent neural tube defects.

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An Important Preventive Step
In 1998, in response to a recommendation by CDC and the U.S. Public Health Service, FDA made it easier for many expectant mothers to consume folic acid. The agency required the addition of folic acid to standardized enriched cereal grains, such as enriched rice and flour, and standardized enriched cereal grain products, such as enriched bread and macaroni.

Refined grains are enriched when certain B vitamins are added back after processing. Standardized foods contain ingredients required by FDA and are produced in a specified way.

“The reasoning was that enough people—including expectant mothers—eat enriched grains as a matter of course. And that could make a difference in the number of neural tube defects,” says Dennis M. Keefe, Ph.D., director of FDA’s Office of Food Additive Safety. In fact, the number of NTDs in the U.S. for all populations has since declined.
However, the incidence of neural tube defects in some Hispanic American populations has not declined to the same extent as in the general population.

So, FDA reviewed and approved a food additive petition from five organizations—the March of Dimes Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Spina Bifida Association, the National Council of La Raza, and Gruma Corporation—requesting that folic acid be added to corn masa flour. Manufacturers may now voluntarily add the amount of folic acid (up to 0.7 milligrams) per pound of corn masa flour that is consistent with the levels in the enriched cereal grains mandated in 1998.

“With this approval, FDA is taking a powerful, preventive public health action,” Bull says. “By adding folic acid to corn masa flour, we have the opportunity to impact a large segment of the U.S. population and protect parents and their children from the devastating birth defects that are linked to insufficient folic acid consumed by the mother before and during pregnancy.”

If You’re Pregnant or Thinking of Becoming Pregnant
CDC recommends that for folic acid to help prevent some major birth defects, a woman should start consuming 400 mcg a day at least one month before she becomes pregnant and the entire time while she is pregnant. For masa, cereals and grain products, read the ingredient statement to see if the food has been enriched with folic acid.

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Some easy ways to make sure to get enough folic acid are to:
• Eat a bowl of an enriched breakfast cereal that has 100% of the Daily Value of folic acid.
• Eat other enriched cereal grain products mandated to contain folic acid.
• Take a vitamin or multivitamin supplement that contains folic acid each day.
Talk to your health care provider about what’s best for you.

Real labor Pains : How will I know when I am in labor?

Published March 24, 2014 by teacher dahl

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Worrying leads you to more false pains. An expectant mother and a follower of Feminine touch has these questions.
Please follow advises of OB Gyne. The nearer your expectant date, the more that you should consult.

How will I know when the pains are real?

Labour is different for every woman, and pinpointing when it begins is often not really possible. It’s more of a process than a single event. A number of changes in your body work together to help deliver your baby.

If you’re really in labour, one or more of the following things will happen:
You may have persistent lower back or thigh pain, often accompanied by a crampy premenstrual feeling.
You will have contractions at regular and increasingly shorter intervals, and they will become longer and stronger in intensity.
You may find yourself using the toilet a lot. Some women have a need to empty their bladder, others an urge to pass stools!
You may have a bloody show (a brownish or blood-tinged mucus discharge). If you pass the mucus plug that blocks the cervix, labour could be imminent. It could also still be several days away, but this is a sign that things are moving along.
Your waters may break with a gush, or they may leak.
Your cervix will become progressively thinner and softer (also called effacement) and may dilate (up to 10cm).

When should I call my doctor?

You will already have talked to your doctor about what to do when you think you’re in labour. If you think the time has come, don’t be embarrassed to call your doctor to be sure. Most doctors give their phone numbers for exactly this kind of a situation. Doctors are used to getting calls from women who are uncertain whether they’re in labour and who need guidance.

Your doctor can tell a lot by the tone and tenor of your voice, so just talking to her can help. She will want to know how close together your contractions are, whether you can talk through a contraction, and any other symptoms you may have.

You should also contact your doctor if:
Your waters break, or if you suspect you’re leaking amniotic fluid.
Your baby is moving less than usual.
You have any vaginal bleeding (unless it’s just a small amount of blood-tinged mucus).
You have fever, severe headaches, changes in your vision, or abdominal pain.

What should I do early on in labor?

If your hospital bags are ready and arrangements are made for your trip to the hospital, then just try to get some rest to prepare yourself for the work ahead. When your labour sets in, it is very important to drink plenty of fluids. Alternate between walking and resting, or try taking a warm or cold bath or shower to ease any aches and pains.

Keeping calm and relaxed will help your labour to progress and help you cope with the contractions.

Can I have contractions and not be in labour?

Yes. You’re in false labour if your cervix doesn’t dilate (your doctor can confirm this during an examination), contractions are erratic and don’t feel increasingly intense, and any pain you may feel in your abdomen or back is easily relieved by a warm bath or massage.

Can I tell if labor is about to happen?

Maybe. Although you’re probably blissfully unaware of all that’s going on, your body starts preparing for labour up to a month before delivery. By the time true labour begins, your cervix may already have started to dilate and thin.

Other signs that your labour may start soon include:
Lightening (when your baby’s head begins to drop into position in your pelvis).
An increase in vaginal discharge.
Increased frequency of passing urine.
The appearance of a bloody show (a brownish or blood-tinged mucus discharge).
More frequent and noticeably more intense practice ( Braxton Hicks) contractions.
What can I do while I am waiting for the pains to begin?

When you are close to your due date, you may get a lot of advice from elders about what to do to make your delivery easier. This may include squatting to help the baby come down, drinking ghee with milk to help the baby ‘slip out’ easier or eating ‘hot’ foods to initiate labour.

Many women swear by these age-old techniques but try not to put yourself to any strain or discomfort in an attempt to speed up labour. If you are really impatient for your little one to arrive, there are some scientifically proven natural ways to bring on labour.

In the meantime, try to be as prepared as possible for your delivery. Discuss what you plan to do with your husband and family and make sure you are organised well in advance. Arrange for safe transport for the trip to the hospital and decide whether your husband or a friend or relative, will drive you there. It helps to have a backup plan as well. Work out how long it will take you to get to the hospital, so you can set off in good time. Make allowances for traffic and road conditions, as well as weather conditions like monsoon downpours. Check if there are any local festivals or occasions of public gathering close to your due date and plan accordingly.

It might help to visualise the whole sequence of activities and play them through in your mind. Ask your husband to arrange his work related travel so that he can be available, if you want him to be around. If you want your mother or someone else to be there to support you, talk to them well in advance.

Once all that is sorted you can rest, relax and enjoy the last few days of peace before your baby comes.

source : baby center

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