Articles on babycare

5 Tips to Make Your Transition to Work Easier After Having a Baby

Dr. Sulata Shenoy, Psychiatrist
Having a baby is an important milestone for a woman.   Just as you're getting used to being home with your baby and your work life feels like a distant memory, you realize that your maternity leave is coming to an end. The thought of waking up early and racing off to a job after being up all night with a crying baby seems daunting. Most moms have additionally to deal with the guilt of spending time away from the infant. Your goal should be to find a healthy balance that works for you, your baby, your career and your family.  1. Practice Your New Routine. It's bound to take a while to learn to balance your new roles and you'll do so more quickly if your daily routine is efficient and well organized. Do a couple of practice runs the week before you're due back at the office. If possible, arrange for your child care to start a week or so early so that you can try out your routine - and get used to parting with baby [harder on the mom than the baby!]. Make sure you set your alarm a little early in your first week to give yourself time to work out any kinks in your schedule. Don't forget to come up with a good backup plan for days when you, your baby or your babysitter is sick. 2. Be well equipped.  There is no need for you to give up breastfeeding as this is essential for your baby.  You have every right to ask for this facility when you get back to work.  You  need to carry a  breast pump, nursing pads and an extra dress.  After being exclusively with the infant for months, surely you will miss your little one a lot at office.  Some moms find that it eases being away from their babies to have a photograph on their desk.  If you have installed a video cam for the baby at home you might want to position the screen so it is not intrusive on your work, at the same time you can periodically check on your baby.   Don’t forget your diet –take along with you to work some healthy snacks and drink plenty of water because when you get back into the daily grind, it’s easy to skip regular meals and be dehydrated. But what you don’t want is to be nutritionally deprived at this important phase of your life. That won’t help you feel good about yourself and there’s not enough fuel for your body to release the required energy. You can also cook a couple meals and freeze them before you go back to work so you have a quick dinner option if ever you need it.3. Look Good and Feel Good. Invest in some good fitting, attractive and comfortable work clothes. Don’t go trying to stuff yourself into your pre-pregnancy clothes because they probably won’t fit nor will wearing outsized clothes do. Instead of trying to balance on heels you might want some sensible walking shoes especially if you are in a rush [as most often happens to young moms]. Pamper yourself by having a beauty session at a parlour or home before starting to work as this will work great for your image and confidence. 4. Get as Much Rest as You Can: One of the biggest complaints of working moms is sheer exhaustion -- and when you're overtired it's much easier to fall to pieces. Your own sleep needs should take priority over doing another load of laundry or cleaning up the kitchen. Have your husband, older kids and other family members pitch in whenever possible. Because you'll be getting up so early, you should aim to get to bed earlier too. 5. Don’t try to be a supermom –  ask for help when needed. Do not hesitate to ask for assistance from your colleagues, friends and family. You've also probably made a handful of new "mom friends" while on leave. Aim for regular weekend get-togethers and stay in touch during the week and you can have a fantastic support group you can lean on as well as you can receive valuable advice as and when needed.

Hot Bath Tubs Can Kill Male Fertility

Dr. Bhavatej Enganti, Urologist
Are you a man madly in love with hot bath tubs or hot and relaxing Jacuzzi baths? It’s time to fall out of your love if you are planning a family. According to the researchers of the University of California, the constant exposure to the ‘wet heat’ can kill your fertility.Though this theory initiated as a speculation, a study conducted by a group of Urologists in the University of California helped it gain more factual ground. The study was conducted on a group of men who were used to hot bath tubs or hot water bath on a regular basis. They were exposed to water with higher temperature for at least 30 minutes in a week. When their semen samples were examined, it showed low sperm production and poor sperm motility rate compared to those who were less exposed to this type of heat.Men who have already been diagnosed with fertility disorders, over exposure to heated water can worsen the matter for them. However, the silver lining in this cloud is that the effect can be reversed. If you discontinue taking hot water baths for a considerable time; things tend to change for good. Men who kept away from hot bath tubs or hot water baths could see an increase in the production of healthy sperm having good motility rate in their semen. Their sperm count increased up to 49 percent.However, in some men this reversed infertility was not seen even after they reverted from the wet heat. This was basically due the effect of tobacco or the “gonadotoxic habit”. Most of them were found to be chain smokers.To conclude, constant exposure to wet heat can affect male fertility adversely. So, if you are eager to become a father, stop spending hours in hot bath tubs. It might be relaxing your mind and freshening up your tired body, but it is killing your fatherhood hopes silently.

6 Home Remedies to Get Glowing and Healthy Skin

Mr. Mahesh Krishnamurthy, Ayurveda
Skin is one of the last expressions of your body’s condition. When you have ignored to address the body’s alarms, the skin will finally reveal to you what is happening inside your body. It is your largest sense organ and it reveals quite a bit about your personality too.Emotions can change your skin. Love (not lust) makes your skin smooth, soft and tender, while anger makes your skin shiny and dry. Sorrow, grief and unhappiness make your skin lose its lustre, making it rubbery and aged as if its lost its elasticity.Your indulgence in unhealthy foods also causes your skin to change. Having said this, it is important to note that your mental and emotional state can cause you to indulge in eating certain kinds of foods which again affect or have a unwanted effect on your skin. Smoking and drinking also cause your skin to get affected.Air and water pollution do have an effect on the skin but these can only be addressed as aggravating factors. An aggravating factor can impact your skin when your skin is already damaged from within and can now get affected by the external influences. For example; When you are angry and frustrated, your skin becomes dry from anger. Your skin temperature rises. In this condition, smoke, dust, harsh sunlight can act as aggravating factors to bring about further changes in your skin which may include, rashes, peeling skin and tanning.Beautifying your skin must happen from within. Sitting for hours in the parlour and closing your sweat pores by applying various creams and lotions will not stop your skin from being the way it is. Money does not bring the cure. Your skin needs you to care for it. Your skin breathes. It is alive. Be gentle with your skin. You need to begin working with yourself inside first and then on the outside.How can I make my skin look and feel better?Water: It is one of the best resources to maintain a healthy body and a healthy skin. How much water to drink is in itself a science. Avoid putting a hose in your mouth gulping gallons of water through the day.This is what you can do - Cup your hands together and fill your cupped hands with water and pour it in a vessel. Repeat this 8 times. Then, measure the quantity of water by pouring them into empty glasses. Drink this quantity of water every morning after brushing your teeth. This practice is called Ushapana in Ayurveda.And through the day, drink only that much quantity of water which gets you to urinate 6 times. This is the adequate quantity of water for you. Your skin’s health will become much better.What does Ushapana do?This practice helps you evacuate your bowels in the morning and hydrates your skin. A healthy intestine is extremely necessary to maintain a healthy skin.Soap: Never apply soap directly on your skin. Soap contains caustic soda. Applying soap directly on your skin will remove essential oils from your skin making it dry and will make your skin vulnerable to external contaminants.This is what you can do - Rub soap between your hands to work up lather and apply the lather on your body. Wash the lather off your body with water.Bathing in water: The temperature of water you bathe in adds equal importance to your skin quality. Water at room temperature to lukewarm water in summer and lukewarm to moderately hot water temperatures in winter are best suited for your skin. Your skin contains essential oils which protect it from various external threats and to maintain your skin health. Bathing in hot to very hot water temperatures can remove this precious defensive coat on your body.After evacuating your bowels, the next best task you can indulge is in bathing your body. Bathing is followed with eating your breakfast. The action of scrubbing your body while bathing causes the capillaries to pump blood to every part of the body. This action sets the metabolic activity off and hunger sets in. You would have noticed that the quality of your hunger is much better after bathing. And so is digestion. Never bathe after consuming food.Food: The kinds of food and the times at which you eat can change, not only the texture of your skin, but it can also cause your skin quality to change from good to worrisome.a. Home food is best food. Whether you are at home or outside, eat the kinds of foods your mother cooked for you. These foods are best suited for you.b. Some minor dietary changes such as avoiding too much green chillies, too much sweets, and using appropriate cooking oils can help. When in Southern India use coconut, til or double filtered groundnut oil and ghee and when in Northern India, use ghee, or mustard oil.c. There are a few vegetables and fruits that contain pesticides. Avoid them. You can also avoid certain food types and food combinations that may harm your body and also show on your skin such as; cabbage, cauliflower, too much garlic, raw groundnuts, heavy to digest foods such as rajma, sprouted green gram, and fruits such as apples and grapes.d. Avoid snacking in between two meals - your body requires enough energy to take care of itself.e. Avoid eating sweets during and after foods - too many sweets cause acidic indigestion which make your skin oily an dull.f. Avoid drinking water immediately after foods - span it by half hour.g. Drink water when you are thirsty.Finally, having followed clean dietary and mental habits, here is a home remedy: Wash your face with cleansing milk. Then, apply a mixture of green gram flour or besan flour with Cream of milk (use cow’s milk instead of packed milk) and apply on your skin and leave it to dry for 5-6 minutes. wash your skin and watch it glow.To summarise, your skin is just an indicator of your habits. Have clean habits and you will have a clear skin.-- Mahesh Krishnamurthy

A Beginner's Guide to Effective Breastfeeding Techniques

Dr. Noela Andrew David, Homeopath
Its such a joy to enter and experience Motherhood.  I am sure every woman enjoys this transition from a girl to becoming a Mother.  Though the thought of a baby is euphoric, it is not easy task.  The Mother has a lot to be careful about and learn about to enjoy being with the newborn,  and attending to his needs.  The most immediate concern post delivery is feeding the baby.  The neonate has to be feed every 2 hrs and so will his nappy changes be too.  Breast feeding is a tough task for a mother as she is so week herself to spend so much time and attention to breastfeeding.  However, it is the best way to bond with your child and if breastfeeding is done in right manner the Mother will be able to do it with ease.Following as practical advises to cherish effective breastfeeding:Never feed the baby in lying position.  Especially post cesarean section, the mother finds it difficult to sit and feed due to the fear of stiches getting torn.  In such cases the mother can elevate the bed to a position at 45degrees and then hold the baby resting on your hand and feed.  Latter on always sit on chair with erect posture and feed.Never feed the baby bending forward, but always sit erect and lift the baby upwards towards your chest.  This is done to prevent backache to mothers as this can make it difficult to sit for long hrs and feed.New born's are easily prone to stomach infection.  Therefore, it is advised to always wipe your hands, nipples, and area surrounding the nipples with clean water every time to take the child to feed.  This is done to prevent the child from any infection.Once you have lactated the child always make it habit to immediately hold the child straight on your chest and pat the back to ensure the child has burped or else the child may vomit the milk it has taken.whenever you feed the child use one finger to push the breast away from the nose of child while its taking its feed to prevent breathing difficulty.

How Should I Manage Diaper Rash in My Baby?

Dr. Rahul Varma, Pediatrician
I think virtually every parent must have faced this problem once in their babies at some point of time. Diaper rash basically develops due to direct contact of skin with moist surface or soiled diaper. It develops mostly in genital area, perianal area, thigh folds and buttocks.Causes of Diaper Rash:If potty soiled diaper is left for too long.If wet diaper is kept for too long a period.Allergic reaction to diaper material, soaps or baby wipesToo much moistureToo much rubbing of skin while cleaning or too much friction from diaper if put very tightly on baby.Bacterial infection, yeast infectionsOnce the rash has started developing and skin is damaged, there are more chances of developing infections like bacterial, fungal or yeast.Babies who are breast fed have less chance of diaper rashes.More common when baby is having diarrhea, baby on antibiotics, recent change in dietary habits like starting with solid foods. If babies are not kept clean or dry for long periods.Steps to manage/ prevent Diaper rash:Keep area as clean and as dry as possible.Pat dry; the area rather than rubbing. Allow it dry fully before putting on diaper.Use oil based barrier like Vaseline petroleum jelly, coconut oil etc.Keep diaper area dry for as long as possible. Best is to avoid use of diaper during day keep it open to dry air.If temperature of room is ambient, try to keep baby in open without nappies, so that rashes can air dry.Change diaper more frequentlyAvoid wiping with alcohol based wipes, use soft cotton washcloth.Apply thick layer of any Zinc based ointment like Siloderm etc. Or any napirash cream available. Important is to put a thick layer and it is not necessary to completely remove the whole cream on next diaper change.Most important thing to remember is that heavy rubbing or scrubbing is only going to damage it more.Wrap the diaper as loose as possible (too tight diaper can prevent proper air circulation is there and wet or soiled parts do not rub against the skin too much).Avoid use of Steroid based creams as far as possible (unless until recommended by your child doctor, as they can harm your baby).When Consult your child doctor (Pediatrician) ifPus filled blister or sores appear near rashesRashes are not improvingThey are getting worse even after taking all the precautions.Baby has fever along with rashesRashes all over the body

Holiday Packing Checklist for Your Baby

Dr. Rushabh Mehta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
A family holiday, whether at a domestic location or abroad is a great chance to get away from it all and enjoy some quality time in different surroundings. With luck, your baby may be the ideal traveller and sleep for a good deal of the time. That said, it's surprising how much gear she'll need to keep her comfortable and happy. Here's a checklist of items you and your baby shouldn't go on holiday without.Baby travel accessoriesTravel bag Pack everything you want easy access to on the way separately so you won't have to dig around in a suitcase. For example, keep medicines, wipes, sunscreen, diapers, mosquito repellent, jackets and hats in their own bag within easy reach.Car seat A securely-fitted seat for safe travel by car. It can also double as a handy baby seat for when you arrive at your destination. If you are travelling by plane, check with the airline in advance if you can take the car seat on board.Stroller An all-terrain pram is ideal for off-road and bumpy walks, while a lightweight collapsible stroller is better suited to town and city locations. You can consider borrowing from friends and family if you don't have one.Blanket Not only will a blanket be useful on the journey for comfort, shade and warmth, but if it smells of home it may also help to comfort your baby.Baby sling A good sling or baby carrier can be invaluable for getting about with your baby easily, especially in a busy airport, train station or city. Food and drink suppliesBreastfeeding Take a dupatta or stole if you are breastfeeding your baby. This can be useful when there are lots of people about, such as on a flight. If you want to express milk while on holiday, pack a breast pump too.Bottled milkIf you want to bring expressed breast milk or formula, take enough for the journey. You may want to bring enough formula for your entire holiday. If you're worried about it being available at your destination. In this case, pack formula powder, plus bottles, teats, sterilising equipment and a bottle warmer. Ready-made formula is another option, though may not be easily available everywhere.Meals Pack some jars or tubs of food, either homemade or ready-prepared. Bring more than you think you'll need for the trip, just in case. If you're flying, the usual restrictions on liquids don't apply to your baby's food and drink. But do check the airline policy in advance.Snacks If your child is on solids, bring plenty of snack options in case of any delays. Biscuits, fruits and breadsticks are quite popular.You can also pack paranthas, khichdi or stuffed rotis if the travel time is short.Feeding equipment Pack bibs, a sipper, a steel or plastic glass or cup, spoons and wipes and disposable plates. Also carry a plastic bag for dirty items.ClothingCool clothes Choose light-weight, long-sleeved tops, and long trousers or dresses to keep the sun off your baby.Warm clothesIf you are going somewhere cool, take warm clothes that are easy to layer so that your baby will always be comfortable.Even hot countries can suddenly lose heat at the end of the day.Hats To keep the sun off, pack a hat with a wide brim that covers your baby's face and neck. If it will be chilly, pack a woollen or fleece hat for warmth.Plenty of outfits If possible, find out whether there are laundry facilities available where you're staying. If so, you'll only need to bring a few outfits, but otherwise try to pack two complete sets for each day.Diapers and nappy supplies Pack lots of disposable diapers for the journey. If you're worried about being able to buy them at your destination, you may want to take enough for the whole trip. Also pack nappy rash cream, nappy bags and wipes. You may like to take a travel mat for on-the-go changes.Bed and bath suppliesToiletries Pack your usual baby wash, shampoo, lotion and wet wipes.Blankets  Take a few baby blankets, including her usual sleeping bag if she uses one.Body suits  Pack a few body suits, onesies and comfortable sleep suits so your little one will always be snug at night.Travel cot Depending on your destination, you could take your own travel cot, if you have one.Other baby essentialsPassports Everyone travelling abroad will need a valid passport, including your baby. If possible, make sure all passports are valid for six months after your return date. You should also check whether you need a visa to enter the country you are visiting. You may also need some extra documents, such as your baby’s birth certificate or Adhaar card.First-aid kit Be sure to take all the important first-aid supplies for you and your baby. You should also pack any medication your child needs. Include useful phone numbers in the kit, such as emergency contacts, insurance helplines and the number for your accommodation.Mosquito repellent and sunscreen Pack a repellent recommended for your baby's age and use as per the instructions. Also carry a sunscreen of at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 and make sure it is effective against UVA and UVB. Use a generous amount on your baby. If your baby is younger than six months, try to keep her out of the direct sun.Swim nappies If you're heading to the beach or pool, take your own swim nappies, as they can be hard to find where you go. Many resorts insist babies wear swim nappies when playing in baby pools or water parks.Wet wipes Carry several packets and keep some in your hand baggage and some in your general luggage. Wet wipes can use very useful during nappy changes, before and after meal and for cleaning up after playtime.Plug adapter If you're going abroad, you'll need at least one of these so you can use your baby monitor or night-light, and charge your phone.A toy or book  Carry a small toy and a much loved book. These can come handy when you want to distract her or help her wind down after a busy day.Camera  Finally, don't forget to capture those wonderful memories of your family holiday!Remember to take your charger and an extra memory card too.

3 Lesser Known Facts About Breastfeeding

Dr. Jyotsna Gupta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Breastfeeding is advocated to be the only best thing for a newborn. But while it is the most natural thing to do, it isn't an easy process. It is challenging and full of surprises. Researches throw up facts that surprise all. For example: breastfeeding is like a shield against breast cancer. Here are 3 such lesser known facts:The milk contents - ever wondered what your baby thinks of the taste of your breast milk. Well, the fact is that your breast milk is tailor-made for your baby. From the taste to its benefits, it is a full course meal. When the feeding begins, the milk is watery. This is to quench the baby's thirst. Then the consistency thickens and the milk becomes higher in fat content. This meets your baby's electrolyte needs as well as energy requirement. Want to know something more amazing? Through the day, your breasts milk's properties keep changing. By evening, it has higher sedating properties and helps the baby's body meet nutritional demands. This should explain that satisfied smile babies have when they sleep right after their feeds.Variation in milk production - it is okay and natural if you feel you are lopsided. Many breastfeeding mothers feel that one breast is heavier than the other since it produces more milk. This is possible and happens a lot. Our body is not perfectly symmetrical between left and right. This applies to breasts as well and shouldn't be worried about. Because of this, milk production can also vary between both the breasts.It causes weight loss - some women are known to lose their pregnancy weight by breastfeeding. Yes, this is also a lesser known fact. Breast milk happens to be a high calorie food which the baby literally sucks off the mother's body. This leads to shrinking of the mother's body.

Care of Your Bundle of Joy

Dr. K.Santosh Kumar, Pediatrician
Most of us including many doctors are caught unaware when it comes to managing a newborn baby, creating a lot of confusion and dilemmas to the nursing mother .I would like to focus on major dos and don'ts of handling your bundle of joy .Breastfeeds or Artificial feeds Breastfeeds are the best to the baby a fact which has been proven beyond doubt. And there is nothing like milk secretion is less and so on. Whatever secretion you get is sufficient for your kid and sucking only improves milk secretion so be sure that you give the best to your baby  and don't forget to feed him exclusively till 6 months with breastfeeds and continue it till 2 years for the best growth of your little one Bathing your kid Ideally sponging with lukewarm water is advised in the initial two weeks of life beyond which your kid is  ready for regular bathing. Its better to avoid head bathing till your kid is around a month old and be sure that you don't attempt blowing the nose which is harmful to your kid. A word of caution is that for low birth weight newborns you better consult your doctor regarding bathing.Massaging Massaging with oil is a health practice and little ones love them ,but be sure that you dont use mustard oil or mineral oil.Soaps and powder It's ideal to use mild soap so that it doesn't affect the acid mantle covering the skin. Ideally soaps would be Dove, Daffy, Dermadew, Teddy bar etc. As far as it goes its better to avoid powders. 

Weaning-Breast Feed to Proper Feed

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
The process of replacing mother's breast milk with Baby diet Is called Weaning.It has to be done gradually.It is one of the most crucial period in the child's growth because if not properly done the child could get malnourished from the faulty practices.It has two stages,First the mother's breast milk is replace with other milk and the second where the other milk is replaced by thick feed or easy to digest food.The breast feeding should be prompted up-to six months after that weaning is induced.Cow milk, goat milk or infant milk formula available in the market should be started.The milk should be pasteurized.Dilute the milk, for the first month equal quantity of water should be added to dilute the milk.As the months pass,the amount of water should be decreased.Cow milk could be given with dilution.Milk powder should not be added.After eight months other milk should be replaced with thick easy to digest food.Food should be given in small quantity and increased gradually.Fruits and vegetables should be soft and diluted.Child's eating capacity is limited so the feed must be given six to eight times a day in small amount.Everyday seasonal fruits should be given.If the child is sick ,small multiple feed should be given,the feed should be nutritious.The food should be clean and fresh,special care should be taken while preparing the meal for the weaning child.After one year the child should consume dal,rice, mashed vegetables and other light food items.Too much Candies and Chocolates should not be given to the child.Child should be encouraged to eat with his own spoon or use his own small utensils.Khichdi made from rice ,pulses and vegetables should be given .Oil should be used in minimum quantity.Breads,puddings and cakes could be given.

Simple and Effective Tips to Potty Train Your Baby

Dr. Sangeeta Subudhi, Pediatrician
Before starting to potty train your baby, assess her readiness for this. Assessing this is probably the easiest part of the whole potty training process. However, once the process begins you may face a few difficulties. Following some simple tips makes this easier. Introduce potty as a fun thing.  First of all, introduce the very idea of getting potty trained as a fun activity for your baby. Do not bring it in as a routine. Rather introduce it as a happy change from getting cleaned on the bed to getting cleaned in the potty. Familiarize your baby with the place. You can do so by familiarizing her with the potty seat as a place that is used by you as well as the other members of the family. Let her know and understand that this activity is part of the family’s daily life and needs to be incorporated in her schedule as well. Do not show any aversion. The sight or smell of your baby’s potty may be a little uncomfortable for you. This may convey negative vibes to your baby. She may not want to upset you and as a result the whole process of potty training can become slightly difficult.Set up a potty routine. Set a routine for potty as soon as your baby accepts to sit on the potty for her bowel and bladder discharges. You can take her to the toilet as soon as she gets up in the morning.  You can do the same before the shower and before bedtime. Avoiding wet beds. If you are prepared to take off her night time diaper, you can also take her to the toilet once in the night to prevent bedwetting. Setting a routine also helps you a great deal in avoiding dirty diapers and wet beds. Take books or toys in the toilet. One smart idea to potty train your baby is to get some interesting picture books for her and stack them next to the potty seat in the toilet. Make these books accessible to her whenever she is in the potty. Rewards and surprises. Rewards can encourage your baby to get potty trained. For instance, you can start with simple rewards like star stickers on the board for every successful attempt. Praise your baby whenever the task of potty discharge is accomplished. Talk to others in the family about the baby’s success in her presence. This really encourages her to be better at it. Appreciate your baby whenever she succeeds at the potty. For instance, you can clap for your baby’s performance,sing to her and even ask the others to do the same.Let your baby take charge. Allow your baby to use the potty whenever she wants to and for as long as she wants. Let her watch you using the toilet. She also gradually understands that her mother not only takes her to the potty, but also uses it for herself. Use the right clothes.While you are potty training you baby, try to make your baby wear clothes that can be easily and quickly opened whenever it is needed. These general tips can help you in potty training your baby. However, since each baby is different from the other, you can find out other simple ways by yourself to get the thing done.