Challenges of Breastfeeding Moms

While bottle feeding is becoming more popular these days especially among working women, I am still convinced that breastfeeding is still the best way to give infants and babies the right nutrition that they need. I myself breastfed my children while they were still infants. And now, I really appreciate mothers who are able to breastfeed their children despite their busy schedules.

While breastfeeding is generally healthy for babies and while moms could do it for as long as they can, there are instances when breastfeeding should be stopped because continuing to do so will be hazardous to the health of the baby. They include:

1. When the nursing mom takes medications for certain diseases

If you are regularly taking in medication for your health condition, it is best to consult your doctor if it is advisable for you to breastfeed while taking these medications. Most medicines can pass through the milk and affect nursing infants. That is why if you are breastfeeding, seek advice from your doctor first before taking in any medications including over-the counter drugs, prescription drugs as well and dietary supplements. For some women who are suffering from chronic health problems, stopping breastfeeding would be the best option if stopping the medication will endanger the life of the mother. In this case, the mother should be able to learn how to stop breastfeeding and slowly shift to bottle feeding.

2. When the mother is sick

When you are experiencing common illnesses such as a flu or cold, breastfeeding is still okay. However, if a mother is sick with HIV or AIDS, has active tuberculosis, or is infected with the T-cell lymphotropic virus, it is best for her to stop breastfeeding immediately. The same is true if the mother has cancer and is planning to undergo chemotherapy, or if she has a certain disease that requires taking antiretroviral medications. If you are having a period while breastfeeding, it does not necessarily mean you are sick. It could just be your normal period coming back and breastfeeding your baby is still okay.

3. When the mother is vaccinated for certain diseases

Breastfeeding should also be stopped when a mother is about to receive a vaccine for certain diseases where the vaccine contains live viruses which could be passed on to the nursing infant. There is one particular case in Canada, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) where a nursing boy became infected with a strain of yellow fever via his mother milk who just received a vaccine for such disease. And there are also similar reported cases in other countries.

4. When the mother smokes or drinks alcohol in large amounts

Don’t smoke or drink heavily when you are breastfeeding your baby. You should try your best to quit it, otherwise you will have to compromise your infant’s health by stopping breastfeeding.

They say that breast milk is still the best for babies. However, under certain circumstances listed above, it could also mean that stopping breastfeeding is the best option rather than to put the health of your child at risk if you continue on breastfeeding.

Is Low Carb Diet Okay for Children

kids eating healthyI have recently read an article about more than ten million Americans who are currently on a low-carbohydrate diet. This kind of diet involves consuming low carb vegetables and fruits to promote weight loss. But one of the things that caught my attention is that the article mentioned that while it may be okay for adults to be on this kind of diet, children shouldn’t be even if they are overweight. Low carb diet can be unhealthy for growing children and it can take a toll in their overall physical and mental development.

As a parent, I am very conscious about what I feed my children. In as much as I don’t like them to become overweight or obese, I also don’t like to sacrifice their normal growth by not giving them enough nutrition that they need. According to Joan Carter, RD, who is one of the researchers at Children’s Nutrition Research Center, a growing child needs calcium, vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and development. And these can only be sourced in grains, fruits and vegetables. Any shortage on these things can badly affect their overall health.

One of the negative impacts of low carb diet on adults and children is in their mental ability. According to Bruce Rengers, Ph.D. who works as an assistant professor at the Saint Louis University under nutrition and dietetics department, when normal intake of carbohydrate is reduced, the body gets its energy from ketones which are a by-product of fat breakdown. And ketones are known to cause dullness on the brain, affecting alertness, focus and concentration.

If parents subject their overweight children to a low carb diet just to lose weight, it is certainly not a good idea. The negative effects of this kind of diet outweigh the weight loss benefits especially that there are other ways on how children can lose weight. And parents should focus more on these alternative ways rather than sacrificing the overall health of a child for the sake of achieving the ideal weight.

One effective way of letting your child lose weight without cutting on healthy carbohydrate is to avoid processed foods or drinks that are high in bad carbohydrates and low in nutritional value. These include chips, soda or soft drinks, French fries, white bread, white sugar, candies, and other foods that are high in calories, fats and trans-fats. Additionally, you should encourage your children to play outdoors rather than to watch TV all day or play on their tablet. Physical activities such as playing outdoors and exercising can help your child become physical and mentally active. And it could help him lose weight faster.

As parents, we should be more cautious about the health of our children. Just because something is okay for adults does not automatically mean that it is also fine for children. This includes low carb dieting which may be okay for adult people but can significantly impact the health of children. And even if you are already an adult, it is still important to seek your doctor’s advice first before starting on a special diet plan.

Bichon Poodle as Pet for Children

My children are really eager to have a dog. And just like many parents, My husband and I are hesitant at first on their request because we were aware of some cases wherein pet dogs attack children. But we also heard from some of our friends that having a dog is such a joy in the family especially with children. Dogs can be their playmates and source of entertainment.

In our desire to grant our children’s request, we researched about a particular breed of dog that is more suitable for families with children (most likely not a big dog). One of the particularly interesting breeds is the Bichon Poodle or more popularly known as Bichon Poo. It is a designer dog with some of the best temperaments and traits.

Bichoon Poos are a small dog, reaching up to about one foot high and weighing up to 16 pounds. They also have a lifespan of up to 15 years, depending on how they are handled or cared for. These dogs are naturally active and intelligent. They also have a lot of energy for playing and exercise. If you have young children as I have, these dogs make a good playmate for them. This is an added benefit of having this kind of dog because they can add physical stimulation with the children through playing.

One of the major concerns of pet lovers when it comes to raising pets is house training. The good news is that you will not experience this kind of problem with Bichon Poos. According to many reviews online, Bichon Poos are among the dogs that are easy to house train. They can also easily adjust to new environments, whether you live in a closed apartment or in a county with a yard. With proper training, a Bichon Poo can grow as a good-natured and well-behaved house dog you would be proud of. Additionally, they have an accommodating and sociable nature which lets them easily fit in with most households. They could easily blend in with a family of small children and with other existing pets like cats.

On the negative side, cute as they are, Bichon Poos do not have the resiliency of cats. Some children get too excited when playing with these dogs such that they tend to be accidentally dropped. Even when dropped from a moderate height, Bichon Poos are prone to bone fractures. They are also susceptible to certain diseases such as Addisons’ disease, liver shunts, and gastric dilatation volvulus which are common health problems of their parents.

If you like to own a Bichon Poo, you must be willing to shell out between $350 and $1,000, depending on your state and the seller. I have learned that it is cheaper to get them from a reputable breeder than from a pet store. Be sure to get them from a trusted source to ensure that they are bred from healthy parents. Moreover, do not expect them to be perfect dogs. They have both positive and negative traits. But when you properly train them, you could develop in themselves most of their positive traits.

Simple Tips to Prevent Hip Flexor Pain

My husband and I normally spend several hours a week to exercise. It helps us stay fit and physically active. However, lately, I notice that my stamina is no longer as good as before. My husband immediately jokingly concluded that it is maybe a sign that I am already getting older.

I am aware that as we get older, we become easily tired and more prone to various diseases, pains and bone problems. And one problem that I know in particular is the hip flexor pain which can be caused by osteoporosis or osteoarthritis or hip fractures. But this problem is also common among younger athletes as a result of falling, heavy impact, or too much strain in the hip area. Both men and women can be affected by this condition.

hip painThe hip flexor muscles are a group of muscles responsible for bending your trunk and legs. Any strain or pain in these muscles may cause difficulty in movement especially walking. Personally, I will do my best to really avoid experiencing this problem. I have a neighbor in his late fifties who underwent an anterior hip replacement several years ago as a result of a severe pain in in hip muscles. He strictly observed anterior hip precautions for several months and his movements were very limited. I cannot imagine myself being into that situation.

So how do you avoid straining your hip flexor muscles?

There is this book that I read that recommends several tips to avoid pain in the hip flexors. One of its recommendations is to avoid doing activities that can overwork the hip flexors. For instance, doing crunches while your legs are raised or when you are performing hanging leg raises can strain the hip flexors without you knowing it. If you already feel a burning sensation in your upper legs, you should stop immediately what you are doing.

Before walking, running or sprinting, it is also important to stretch your hip flexors first before your formal exercise. And while doing these exercises, if you already feel that your upper front legs are already tightening up or feel like burning, rest for a while first before proceeding again. Sometimes we tend to neglect the importance of warm up exercises especially if we are just going for a walk or short run. But they will prove beneficial to avoid a strain in the hip flexors.

It is also worth noting that another cause of pain in the hip flexor is hip fractures which are commonly caused by accidents like falling. So avoid doing activities that can compromise your safety. Or just be careful if you have to do something which involves climbing up a ladder or a chair.

Also, if you have existing condition like osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, you may ask your doctor how you could lower your risk of getting painful hip flexors.

Whether you are young or old, there are certain factors that can put us at risk of hip flexor strain or pain. But we can also avoid them if we observe some of the tips I mentioned here.

 

Cuts, Bruises and Skin Tear in Children and their Remedies

If you have young children, you may not yet experience having to deal with tattoo scabbing if your teen decided to have a tattoo which has led to certain complications. But you may have to deal with other skin problems which need immediate first aid or treatment to avoid infections and complications. I cannot recount anymore the number of bruises or wounds that my children have had as a result of playing indoors or outdoors. No matter how I tell them to be more careful, it is really unavoidable for them to have bruises, cuts or skin tear.

cutsCuts

Just like scrapes, cuts are also common among young children. This skin condition can easily be treated at home. The first step when dealing with a cut is to wash it thoroughly with a mild soap and running water to remove any debris or dirt which might have entered it. If it is still bleeding, be sure to stop the pain by covering the wound with a gauze or towel and applying pressure on it using your palm. Keep the pressure until the bleeding stops. When the bleeding stops, apply a topical antibacterial ointment then apply a bandage and let it heal.

However, if the cut is in the face or when it is bigger than half an inch or it is jagged, it is best to bring your child to a doctor rather than treating the wound yourself.

Bruises

It is very common for active children to have bruises. They normally get bruises when they accidentally bump onto hard objects. A bruise results when the capillaries of the skin burst and the blood becomes trapped under the skin surface.

Bruises may occur in any part of the body. Some bruises are not so obvious and can easily go unnoticed. While bruises are not something you should be worried about because they usually come and go, there are instances when you have to bring your child to a doctor for checkup. This is true for unexplained bruises that do not heal after two or more weeks. In this case, the bruises may be caused by a more serious health problem which would require a doctor’s attention.

Skin Tear

Although tearing of the skin is more common among older people, some children could also have it. This may occur among children who have dry skin, are malnourished, or are suffering from dehydration. Parents can help prevent skin tear by monitoring the nutritional intake of their children and applying moisturizer on the skin. But if your child does get a skin tear, you should wrap it with gauze to promote healing. Change the gauze regularly before it dries on the skin making it more difficult to remove the gauze.

As parents, we should be able to know how to deal with these common skin conditions with our children. There is no cause for panic when children have them. They are treatable and can easily heal if treated properly.

 

Pros and Cons of Raising Boxer Pitbull as a Family Pet

My family is considering raising a dog but we are not in agreement on what breed to choose. The children definitely like smaller and pure breeds like a Maltese or Pomeranian. My husband and I are more practical. We want more than just a lap dog. We want a guard dog that is also good with children.

It is really hard to decide which type of dog to have if you have a family. One of the most important considerations is if the dog and the children will blend together. I have heard or read of children being attacked by their pet dog when no one is looking. And as a parent, that is something I want to avoid.

When we were actively searching for a suitable pet dog, someone recommended to us the boxer pitbull mix, also know as Bullboxer Pit.  When I researched about it online, I have read both positive and negative reviews about this dog breed. If you are considering a Bullboxer Pit as a family pet, here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros

  • Bullboxers Pits are intelligent dogs and quick learners. They can easily learn tricks if regularly trained.
  • They are powerful dogs and can be an ideal watchdog and protector of your home and family.
  • They are generally obedient dogs and will follow your command if trained by a human pack leader.
  • They like to be around people including children. They make a good family companion.
  • They are high-spirited and like to play.
  • They like to please their masters.
  • They can be easily trained with solid and gentle training practices.
  • They can live in apartment houses as long as they are regularly taken for a walk and have regular exercise.
  • They are easy to care for and groom. You don’t have to spend on regular professional grooming.
  • They also have no known serious health problems inherent to their breed.

 

Cons

  • Pitbulls are known for their aggressive behavior. Even when mixed, this trait may still come out in the offspring. But with proper training, you may be able to control this aggressive attitude.
  • When not properly trained, Bullboxer Pits may display behavioral problems like excessive barking and climbing.
  • They have the natural habit of chasing fleeing animals especially cats. So if you have cats at home, train your dog to socialize with other pets and to control this habit.
  • If not trained to socialize, Bullboxer Pits may be harmful to other pets, strangers, and even to your children. However, even if trained to socialize, you should never leave your dog with strangers especially children.

This list of pros and cons will point out to Bullboxer Pits being a suitable family watchdog and pet. They are ideal for families with yards and even those living in apartment houses. They generally have many positive traits such as being intelligent, powerful, and affectionate to their owners. However, if not properly trained, these dogs could also manifest behavioral problems.