Why breast feeding is important?

Importance of breast feedingBreast Feeding

The best and most appropriate food for the new born baby is mother’s milk.

Why breast feeding is important?

Nutrition: Breast milk supplies all the nutrients necessary for the baby during the early days. Breast milk supplies the correct amount of nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, Vitamins, Calcium, minerals and electrolytes in the correct proportion to the baby.

Easy to digest: Breast milk is the best food that is easily digested by the baby.

Prevent infections: Breast milk is sterile (infection free) and the chance of infection is minimal and it protects the baby from infection by the antibodies of the mother present in the milk.

Milk at correct temperature: Baby receives milk at the correct temperature.

Mental growth: Breast milk fed children have higher IQ than bottle fed children. Breast milk fed children feels more confident and secure.

Prevent Obesity: In breast milk fed children, the incidence of getting obesity are less.

Prevent sudden infant death syndrome: Among children on breast feeding the sudden infant death syndrome (cot death) is less.

Prevent infantile diarrhoea: Breast feeding prevents infant diarrhoea (inflammatory bowel disease), Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Breast milk also prevents constipation.

Prevent diabetes: Diabetes is less in breast fed children than bottle fed children.

Prevent Osteoporosis: In breast milk fed children the incidence of osteoporosis is less.

Advantages of breast feeding for the mothers

satisfy the maternal instinct.

Promote involution of uterus.

Sucking by the child at breast helps to shrink the uterus back to the pre pregnancy state and the contraction of the uterus reduce bleeding after delivery.

Economical:  Breast milk comes free of cost, not necessary to boil or add sugar.

Not necessary to prepare or sterilize the bottle for each feed.

Prevent weight gain after delivery.

Prevent breast cancer, endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer.

Breast feeding reduces stress and helps to prevent postpartum depression.

Postpone the next pregnancy by suppressing ovulation (lactation amenorrhea).

Advantages for mother and baby

Produces a strong bond between the mother and infant. This bond may continue throughout their life.

What is colostrum?

The milk produced first (first few days) is called colostrum and it is full of nutrients and immunoglobulin’s which helps the baby to survive, develop and grow properly. Baby’s  immunity is strengthened by colostrum.

When to start breast feeding?

It is better to start breast feeding soon after delivery (within 1 hour).

For how long to continue breast feeding?

Breast feeding is to be continued for at least six months. It can be continued even after 1 year. Breast feeding should be weaned gradually (replacement of breast milk with other foods).

How often the baby should be fed?

New borne babies should be fed every 2 to 3 hours as the amount of milk ingested is less. Gradually the number of feeds can be reduced and fed according to the need of the baby.

Breast feeding week

August 1st week (1 to 7) every year is considered as breast feeding week to increase the awareness and importance of breast feeding.

How to get rid of Hiccups

How to Get Rid of Hiccups Hiccup (Hiccough)

What is hiccup?

Hiccup is the sound produced during the sudden involuntary contraction (spasm) of the respiratory muscles (The diaphragm and the intercostals muscles) and closure of the glottis.

The contraction of the respiratory muscles makes the person take a quick gulp of air. The sudden rush of air is cut off by the closure of glottis producing the characteristic sound of hiccup.

What are the other names for hiccup?

Hiccup can be otherwise called as hiccough or singultus or diaphragmatic spasm.

Who will get hiccup?

Anybody can get hiccup. Occasional hiccup is normal and self limiting.

What are the types of hiccup?

Acute Hiccup – lasts up to 48 hours.

Persistent Hiccup – lasts for more than 48 hours (2 days).

Intractable Hiccup – lasts for more than 2 months.

What are the causes of hiccup?

Hiccups can be caused by the irritation of the nerve supply to the diaphragm (the vagus nerve or the phrenic nerve).

The following can irritate the diaphragm and produce hiccups.

Drinking carbonated beverages, drinking excess alcohol, over eating, blotted belly, hot spicy food, and swallowing air while drinking or eating etc can induce hiccups.

Intractable hiccup may be due to the conditions shown below:

Metabolic causes: Kidney problems, uncontrolled diabetes and uremia.

Cardiac causes: Heart Attack, aortic aneurism,

Thoracic causes:  substernal thyroid gland, mediastinal lymph nodes, pleural infections and infection of lungs like pneumonia.

Abdominal causes: Enlarged liver, liver abscess, peritoneal infection, hiatus hernia and gastro oesophagial reflux disease and acute gastritis.

Neurological causes: Brain Tumor, Meningitis, encephalitis and damage to nerves.

Toxemia: High Fever, septicemia etc,

Psychological causes: Mental Stress, Anxiety, Neurosis and Hysteria can produce Hiccups.

When to consult a physician for hiccup?

When hiccups becomes persistent and intractable physician has to be consulted to find out the cause of hiccups and treat it.

What are the investigations to be done?

No tests are necessary for occasional acute hiccups.

For persistent or intractable hiccups all the routine investigations are to be done.

ECG (Electrocardiogram) and Echocardiogram to rule out heart attack and other heart problems.

Ultrasound scans of abdomen and chest to rule out chest and abdominal problems.

X-Ray chest can be taken.

Blood tests like kidney function tests ( blood urea and serum creatinine) and Liver function tests are done.

CT scan or MRI scan of brain are done to rule out cerebral problems.

What is the treatment for hiccups?

When the Hiccup is mild the following natural therapy can be tried:

Drinking ice cold water or gargling with ice cold water.

Biting or chewing lemon.

Closing the nostril and holding breath as long as possible.

Pulling out the tongue (Forcible traction of the tongue).

Breathing in and out into a paper bag.

Giving mild pressure to the eye balls.

Swallowing granulated sugar.

Inducing sneeze or irritating the throat.

Giving pressure to diaphragm by pulling up the knee to chest and holding it tight to the chest for some time.

Treatment for persistent and intractable hiccups

When the hiccup persists it better to consult physician and follow his advice.

Numerous medicines are available and the physicians prefer Chlorpromazine.

Diaphragmatic irritation can be treated with Beclofan, haloperidol and Sodium valproate.

For gastro oesophageal reflux and flatulence proton pump inhibitors,H2 receptor antagonists prokinetcis like metaclopramide, and semithicone can be used.

Nebulization with 0.9% normal saline can be tried.

If there is a treatable cause, treat it.