Breastfeeding a prerequisite ritual in the life of a newborn and the mother for the healthy growth of the baby for it is the first and the best nutritious food for a newborn.
The primary stage of nurturing the baby
The first three months of a child’s life is the most delicate period for both the mother and the child. Mothers have to go through a lot of unexpected experiences in the first few months of their motherhood – from a range of health issues to lactation and breastfeeding. In this turbulent period, a lot of suggestions and instructions are launched on the new mother regarding the care of her child.
Worldwide, the first week of August is celebrated as the ‘breastfeeding’ awareness week. Many of us are aware of its essentiality and strive to care for our children in the best possible way; however, there is still a lack of awareness regarding exclusive breastfeeding, the duration for which a baby needs to be breastfed, and the diet of the mother during this period.
Advantage mammals, including us the humans
Breastfeeding is a unique and the best way of providing the right nutrition for a baby for healthy growth. It is unique to mammals in the animal world, including us, the humans. Several researchers have shown that exclusive breastfeeding of an infant for six months is the perfect way to feed the infant. If the baby is fed only and exclusively on breastmilk, no other additional food or water during these six months is required for the baby.
Exclusive breastfeeding has a set of advantages for the baby as well as the mother, and the advantages prove that exclusive breastfeeding is the best kickstarter for the baby’s growth.
The benefits of breastfeeding for the infants include,
1.the best supply of all the nutrients an infant needs the first six months of life, thereby reducing infant mortality,
2. Helps in better development of sensory and cognitive abilities, leading to better intelligence quotient (IQ)
3. Rich in antibiotics, breast milk helps the baby in fighting infectious and chronic diseases
4. Reduces incidences of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and obesity
The second best for your baby
There may be reasons when the mother is unable to lactate or breastfeed the baby due to medical reasons or some unforeseen situations, the human milk from the other lactating lady is the second best option. Dai maa or the nursing mother was a common practice in the Indian culture. The ‘human milk bank' may seem like a novel concept today, but it is the modern-world reincarnation of the age-old system.One should know that the milk-substitutes may provide the required nutrients, but the useful pro-health and anti-disease properties of human breast milk cannot be replaced. This is where the human milk banks play a critical role; a human milk bank provides milk to the premature or low weight infants, the babies who separated from their mothers due to some medical complications, or to the orphaned infants.
The breast milk is collected from healthy mothers, who are lactating for six months or less and who produce excess milk than required by their infant. The breast milk is extracted by mothers using ‘breast pumps' offering a safe method to extract the milk, and deposited with the milk bank. The milk is then screened, processed, pasteurised and stored under prescribed conditions before giving it to the babies who need it. It can be stored in tightly sealed containers at home, and it is to be given to the babies within 96 hours of collection to ensure that it delivers the best nutritional value.
Points to remember
In the sweet chaos of taking the best care of your child, few things are bound to slip away from your mind. Let me share a few tips to breastfeed and create a strong bond with your child successfully
1. Breastfeeding the baby within the first hour of life is essential.
2. While breastfeeding, the position is crucial; tummy to tummy is the best position.
3. Don’t use artificial teats or pacifiers to avoid confusion with the nipple.
4. Feed the baby on his/her demand, not by yours.
5. Skin to skin touch promotes milk production.
Nutrition for young mother
Mother is the sun of the family, thus, she gives energy and life to the whole universe. The role of mother is most important amongst all the roles played by a woman.
The gratitude and appreciation cannot end till we all die because as we all know the first process of motherhood is named well as labour pains. As all mothers always only worry and focus on the health and system of whole family but a healthy mother can only take care and bring up a healthy family, Therefore all the women should give important to their health to the same level as to family members, we should specially focus on young mothers more as the whole body and life gets a turn of 360 degree in terms of:
Body and lifestyle.
Like pregnancy, adequate nutrition of mother during lactation is of vital importance, as for almost next 6 months the infant is going get all his nutrition from mother's milk, thus, a young lactating mother needs extra nutrients to meet the baby's needs in addition to her own requirements. If the mother is malnourished, the secretions of milk are maintained at the cost of her own body reserves.
Thus, a complete well-balanced diet is important for a successful lactation ,where the breastfeed infant is growing well and maintaining appropriate biochemical indexes of nutritional status of mother and baby both.
Changes in terms of nutritional needs and hormones are very high in young mothers
Fresh, juicy cantaloupe with slices ready to eat
The cantaloupe is a melon that belongs to the same family as the cucumber, squash, pumpkin and gourd, and like many of its relatives, it grows on the ground on a trailing vine. It is round or oval in shape and usually has a ribless rind. Having a distinctive netted skin, it is also referred to as netted melon. Many of the cantaloupes available today are hybrids of muskmelons and true cantaloupes and have qualities that reflect both.
Cantaloupes range in color from orange-yellow to salmon and have a soft and juicy texture with a sweet, musky aroma that emanates through the melon when it is ripe. Cantaloupes feature a hollow cavity that contains their seeds encased in a web of netting.
Health Benefits of Cantaloupe
Beneficial in the Following Illnesses
It is often stated by doctors that a child's brain and body develop through good nutrition, and this starts even before they have been conceived. If you are planning for a baby, then it is a must to tune your body for infant nutrition, as healthy growth of the brain in a child begins much before conception. An example to support this is that, folic acid intake should be started 14 weeks before conception. Folic acid is considered to be helpful in the early functioning of the brain.
By the time a baby is born, already three quarters of the cells of the brain are formed and the quarter which is left is formed by the first birthday. As soon as children reach 3 years, they have a brain which is as big as an adult's, and when children are growing, the neurons of the brain grow and develop with them. Thus a poor diet can hamper the growth of children, and also affect their ability to process information and learn. This becomes worse if the iron levels in the body dip below the required levels.
Iodine shortage also leads to irreversible motor and cognitive developments in the child. Similarly, DHA which is considered to be an essential fatty acid in the child development, if compromised, can lead to learning problems. It is known that DHA is the key component for the intensive production of the synapse which is important in the initial years of life for development and learning. Other nutrients like zinc, folic acid and choline all pay a role in the initial functioning of the brain.
Feeding a variety of food to the baby is important as they help in the development, but certain foods are a must. These are:
- Breast Milk: As per dieticians, a baby can only digest breast milk or formula milk in the initial months. Babies should be breastfed for the first six months as it has the basic nutrients required by a baby, and also gives protection against allergies, digestive diseases and infections. Breast milk also has iron which is crucial for the development of the baby.
- Iron rich cereals: Babies can be fed solid food by 4-6 months. If a baby can sit without support and shows tongue thrust reflex, then he or she is ready for solids. Starting solids with the introduction of cereals or rice cereals is good, as they can be easily digested. It can also be diluted with the breast milk or formula. As these cereals are rich in iron, they are good for the development of the baby. A diet deficient in iron leads to delayed talking and walking of a child.
- Fruit and vegetable: A good time to introduce vegetables and fruits is when the baby is 6-7 months. These foods are loaded with minerals and vitamins which provide different textures and tastes to the baby. Carrots mashed and strained, along with beans, apples, bananas, peaches and peas and pears can be given to the baby. These can be boiled or pureed or mashed for the baby for easy consumption.
- Pureed Food: These foods are generally the meats which can be given from 8-9 months. Meats like lamb, chicken and liver contain iron. The iron of the meats is easily absorbed, as compared to the iron in plants. For the maximum absorption of the iron in the meat, it should be served with vitamin C, some fruits, cantaloupe or broccoli. It is believed that vitamin C boosts the absorption of iron.
Though there are a number of environmental and genetic factors which effect the development of a child, food is one of the most important factors. Thus it should be kept in mind that good food leads to a happy, healthy and a well developing baby. Start from the beginning and focus on the right portions to ensure the health of your baby.
6 dietary dos and don'ts for pregnancy
Pregnancy is an important time in a woman's life. During this period, you need to be most conscious of what to eat, do and how to change everyday habits. Following these dos and don'ts will ensure a smooth pregnancy experience for you.
1. Take your prenatal vitamin
If you have not yet started taking a prenatal vitamin, now is the time to start. It's particularly critical to get enough folic acid while trying to conceive importantly during the first trimester. It greatly reduces your baby's risk of developing neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida.
2. If you smoke, quit
Smoking increases your risk of developing several problems including miscarriages, placental and preterm birth problems. It slows the fetal growth and increases the risk of stillbirth and infant death. It's never too late to quit or cut back smoking. Every cigarette you don't light gives your baby a much better chance of being healthy.
3. Do eat seafood
Seafood is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Consume a variety of seafood so you don't have a concentration of minerals from only one type of fish. But remember to not eat more than 12 ounces of fish per 7 days.
Platelet and Nutrition
Platelet are the thinest cells in the blood stream.
I t look like plates in their non-active state but in active state the tentacles that seems to the shape of spider or an octopus. Like other blood cells it is also made in blood marrow.
Role of platelet is to protect the body against excessive loss of blood, during injury, in the presence of wound or injury these cells migrate to site and bind the damaged blood vessels and forms the clot
In human body normally the platelet count range is 1,50000 - 4,50000 / microlitter
When the count is above the 4,50000 / microliter it is called thrombocythemia or thrombocythemia. The term thrombocythemia is used when the cause of higher platelet count is not known i.e. Primary or essential thrombocythemia. this condition occurs when the faulty cells in the bone marrow make too many platelets. While the higher platelet count due to any disease it is called secondary or reactive Thrombocytosis which more common than the thrombocythemia.
When the count is below 1,50000/microlitter the condition is called thrombocythemia. Low platelet count may result bleeding from nose, gums, under the skin (Purpura) in the forearm and pinpoint bleeds (Petechiae) on the legs. In womens long and heavy periods. Treatment should be initiated before the bleeding occurs because some time a huge drop of platelet count is sudden which may result uncontrolled bleeding resulting life threatening condition i.e Shock or Organ failure.
Treatment for Low Platelet: When the platelet count comes down comes down 10,000-20,000 then transfusion of Platelets is required or some sort of bleeding present in nose, gum & skin is present. Otherwise take Natural food which increases the low platelet count.
10 Foods That Increase Low Platelet Count:
1. Anar (Pomegranate): It is rich in iron and also contains vitamins. This fruit help to combact increasing platelet reduction with regular consumption & vitamins keep your energy levels steady.
2. Milk : It it has high calcium which helps to regenerate the platelet. Calcium content with vitamin K and milk protein “Fibrinogen” increases the Platelet count and improves the blood;s ability to form the clot. Calcium Deficiency can lead to your body much longer time in forming clot .
3. Folate Rich Food : Folate or B9 is essential for healthy cell division in the body. Sever deficiency of folate in body can result reduction in Blood Platelet. Daily intake of Folate is 400mg is required. When platelet count is low it’s consumption increases the platelet count. Food rich in Folate are Asparagus, Orange juice,Spinach and fortified cereals.
4. Lean Proteins: Lean proteins food are excellent source of Zinc and Vitamin 12 which are essential to reverse the effects of thrombocytopenia. In case of reduced platelet count take food like soyabean, spinach (Palak), blackbeans, cow’s milk, white of egg, Oatmeal, Fish and white meat chicken.
5. Papaya: Extract of leaf of papaya is excellent for overall blood production and increases the platelet count (Prepare extract of leaves by boiling leaves in medium heat for 15 minutes with water and wait till the water simms down to half ). Take leaf extract 2tsf twice daily.
6. Cod Liver Oil and Flax Seed Oil: These oils strengthen the Immune system many autoimmune disorders are cause of thrombocytopenia or low platelet count. These oils reduce the inflammation of in the body and improve the blood circulation throughout the body.
7. Vitamin A Rich Food: Vitamin A is essential for healthy platelet production, it also plays role in formation of Protein in body which helps in the process of cell division and growth. Carrot, Pumpkin, Kale and Sweet Potatoes (Sakarkandi).
8. Chlorophyll from Wheat grass: Wheat grass juice contains 70% of chlorophyll (The Plant Haemoglobin) have strong effect in overall blood production and increases the platelet count. Take ½ cup per day.
9. Vitamin K Rich Food: Vitamin K keeps cell growth at optimum level in the body. Life of platelets is only 10 days which is to be compensated continually to maintain te lost amount in the body, hence high calorie food for ideal production of blood platelets and vitamin K is one of the ingredient available in Eggs, Green leafy vegetables, Kale, Frozen Spinach, Mustard Greens Broccoli & Liver.
10. Macrobiotic Diet: To combat Thrombocytopenia in patients an vital anti inflammatory diet is recommended by Platelet Disorder Association which help in optimum blood production e.g. Whole grains, vegetables and organic beans is recommended while animal protein is to be avoided except Fish Yogurt & cheese.
What breakfast should be given to your kids before exams?
When you are studying for your finals, good nutrition slides down on the priority list. Eat smart during morning. The idea is to get some protein, calcium, fibre etc. A bowl of cereal with milk and a piece of fruit would do the trick. The best food is banana, blueberries etc for your brain as they are the powerful antioxidants and contain natural sugar which offers clear energy.
You can add scrambled eggs, spinach, bell peppers, brocolli to your meal. The darker the color, the higher the concentration of nutrients.
How much is tea or coffee adivised?
Coffee/tea contains caffeine which is a stimulant. Too much caffeine can interfere in calcium absorption and affects the proper growth. In addition adding cream or sugar can leads to weight gain and cavities. Few sips is no big deal. In children who consume caffein may have some negative cardiovascular and neurological effects like anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, hyperactivity, poor appetite. As caffein is an addictive and addiction in any age is bad especially in childhood. Still if you want to take tea or coffee then I say not more than 150 mg (2 cups) to avoid negative side effects.
What should kids eat during the preparation to avoid sleep and laziness?
They shouls eat smaller 5-6 meals in a day rather than going for heavy breakfast, lunch, dinner to avoid sleep and laziness. They should eat smarter to maintain physical and mental energy necessary to study well. Eg iron rich food - meat, cereal, spinach.
Vitamin rich food like whole grain, wheat germ, eggs, nuts etc
Fish and soya are tge brain boosters
Smart snacking can enhance studying. It not only balance the nutrient levels but also keep blood sugar level stable. Eg a small baked potato or sweet potato, a banana etc
Last but not the least, you have to stay hydrated, as discussed caffein should be kept to a minimum. Better choices include water, fruit juices, milk, antioxidant rich green tea etc.
Good luck for the exams.