Ogos 24, 2009

Your baby’s temperature and fever

A true fever is particularly worrying in the first few months of a baby’s life. That’s because the infant's immune system is immature and not as effective in fighting off infections as it will be after three or four months of living outside the womb.

So it’s important to learn how to correctly take your baby’s temperature and understand what signifies a true fever.

What is considered a fever for my baby?
Doctors usually say a baby has a fever if the temperature rises to 38C (100.4F), or above. Learn what your baby’s normal temperature is by taking it a few times when he or she is well.

What causes a fever in babies?
There can be many causes for a baby’s fever. Dehydration is one. Or the infant might be over-bundled with clothes in a relatively warm environment­ - the rule of thumb is to dress your baby in just one more layer of clothing than you are comfortable in.

Most commonly, fever is caused by an infection. The body’s immune system senses the “foreign invader” - such as bacteria or a virus - and sends a chemical message to the brain’s temperature centre instructing it to crank up the heat inside the body. This has many advantages:

Some bacteria and viruses don’t like the higher temperature and are then more easily destroyed by the immune system.
The higher body temperature helps the body to ward off the infection.
In this way, fever is actually our friend: it lets us know that an infection may be brewing and it helps to fight off the infection.

When to worry about your baby’s fever?
Any fever in the first months could indicate a significant infection requiring immediate attention. All children under two months old with a true fever need a medical evaluation. Call your doctor to check up on fevers for at least the first four to six months of your baby’s life.

But fever is only part of the story. An even more important question is: does your newborn look unwell? If your baby appears to be sick in any way - irritability, listlessness, lethargy, poor feeding, respiratory distress, rash, vomiting, diarrhoea, etc - contact your doctor, even if the temperature is not high enough to be called a fever.

Source : www.webmd.com/parenting/

12 Foods for New Moms (Breastfeeding)

As a new mom, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby is to eat a healthy diet.

Even though you may be in a hurry to lose those pregnancy pounds, regularly eating foods that boost energy for new moms will give you the stamina you need to be the best mom you can be. That's because eating nutrient rich foods at regular intervals throughout the day can maximize your energy levels.

And for nursing moms, it's important to know that the quality of your breast milk stays pretty much the same no matter what you choose to eat. That's because if you aren't getting the needed nutrients from your diet, your body will provide them from your own stores. But for your own well-being, it's best to make sure you're obtaining the nutrients your baby needs by incorporating a variety of healthy breastfeeding foods in your nursing mom food plan.

If you make sure the following 12 foods for new moms are a regular part of your diet, your body -- and your baby -- will thank you.

No. 1 : Salmon
There's no such thing as a perfect food. But salmon is pretty close when it comes to a nutritional powerhouse for new moms. One of the best breastfeeding foods out there, salmon, like other fatty fish, is loaded with a type of fat called DHA. DHA is crucial to the development of your baby's nervous system. All breast milk contains DHA, but levels of this essential nutrient are higher in the milk of women who get more DHA from their diets.

The DHA in salmon may also help your mood. Studies suggest it may play a role in preventing postpartum depression.

One caution: FDA guidelines say breastfeeding women should limit consumption of fish lower in mercury to 12 ounces per week because of potential exposure to mercury. Salmon is considered to have a low mercury content when compared to other types of fish, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish.

No. 2 : Low-Fat Dairy Products
Whether you prefer yogurt, milk, or cheese, dairy products are an important part of most nursing- mom food plans. In addition to providing protein, B vitamins, and vitamin D, dairy products are one of the best sources of calcium. If you're breastfeeding, your milk is loaded with calcium to help your baby's bones develop, so it's important for you to eat enough calcium to meet your own needs. One way to do that is to include at least three servings of dairy each day as part of your nursing-mom food plan.

No. 3 : Lean Beef
When you're looking for foods to boost your energy as a new mom, seek out iron-rich foods like lean beef. A deficiency of iron can drain your energy levels, making it hard for you to keep up with the demands of a newborn baby.

Also, when you're nursing, you need to eat extra protein and vitamin B-12. Lean beef is an excellent source for both of these nutrients.

No. 4 : Legumes
Beans, especially dark-colored ones like black beans and kidney beans, are a great breastfeeding food, especially for vegetarians. Not only are they rich in iron, they're a budget-friendly source of high quality, non-animal protein.

No. 5 : Blueberries
Breastfeeding moms should be sure to get two or more servings of fruit or juice each day. Antioxidant-rich blueberries are an excellent choice to help you meet your needs. These satisfying and yummy berries are filled with good-for-you vitamins and minerals and will give you a healthy dose of carbohydrate to keep your energy levels high.

No. 6 : Brown Rice
If you're attempting to lose the baby weight, you might be tempted to drastically cut back on your carbs. But losing weight too quickly may cause you to produce less milk for the baby and leave you feeling lethargic and sluggish. It's better to incorporate healthy, whole-grain carbs like brown rice in your diet to keep your energy levels up. And foods like brown rice provide your body with the calories it needs to produce the best quality milk for your baby.

No. 7 : Oranges
Portable and nutritious, oranges are a great food to boost energy for new moms. Since nursing moms need even more vitamin C than pregnant women, oranges and other citrus fruits are an excellent breastfeeding food, too. Can't find time to sit down to a snack? Sip on some orange juice as you go about your day -- you'll get the vitamin C benefit and can even opt for calcium-fortified varieties to get even more benefit from your beverage.

No. 8 : Eggs
Egg yolk is one of the few natural sources of vitamin D -- an essential nutrient to keep your bones strong and help your baby's bones grow. Beyond that, eggs are a versatile way to meet your daily protein needs. Try scrambling up a couple for breakfast, tossing a hard-boiled egg or two on your lunchtime salad, or having an omelet and salad for dinner. As part of your nursing-mom food plan, you might even opt for DHA-fortified eggs to increase the level of this essential fatty acid in your milk

No. 9 : Whole-Wheat Bread
Folic acid is crucial to your baby's development in the early stages of pregnancy. But its importance doesn't end there. Folic acid is an important nutrient in your breast milk that your baby needs for good health. And it's crucial you eat enough for your own well-being, too. Enriched whole-grain breads and pastas are fortified with this vital nutrient. They also give you a healthy dose of fiber and iron.

No. 10 : Leafy Greens
The list of benefits you get from eating leafy green vegetables such as spinach, Swiss chard, and broccoli goes on and on. They're filled with vitamin A, which your baby needs to get from your breast milk. They're a non-dairy source of dietary calcium. They've got vitamin C and iron. On top of that, green veggies are filled with heart-healthy antioxidants, they're low calorie, and they're tasty to boot.

No. 11 : Whole-Grain Cereal
After yet another sleepless night, one of the best foods to boost energy for new moms in the morning is a healthy breakfast of whole-grain cereal. Many cold cereals are available that are fortified with essential vitamins and nutrients to help you meet your daily needs. Or, whip up a healthy hot breakfast by stirring blueberries and skim milk into a delicious serving of oatmeal.

No. 12 : Water
Dehydration is one of the biggest energy drains there is. And new moms who are breastfeeding are especially at risk. To keep your energy levels and milk production up, make sure you drink at least eight cups of liquid every day. You can vary your options and meet some of your fluid requirements by drinking juice and milk, but be careful when it comes to caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea. Keep your intake low or switch to decaffeinated varieties. That's because caffeine enters your breast milk and can become concentrated in your baby's body.

Source : www.webmd.com/parenting

Prenatal Ultrasound

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A prenatal ultrasound test uses high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, that are transmitted through the abdomen via a device called a transducer to look at the inside of the stomach. With prenatal ultrasound, the echoes are recorded and transformed into video or photographic images of your baby.

The ultrasound can be used during pregnancy to show images of the baby, amniotic sac, placenta and ovaries. Major anatomical abnormalities or birth defects can show up on an ultrasound.

Most prenatal ultrasound procedures are performed topically, or on the surface of the skin, using a gel as a conductive medium to aid the quality of the image. However, a transvaginal ultrasound is an alternative procedure performed using a tubular probe that is inserted into the vaginal canal. This method of ultrasound produces an image quality that is greatly enhanced, but it is not a common prenatal procedure. However, it may be used early in pregnancy to get a clearer view of the uterus or ovaries if a problem is suspected. It may also be used early in pregnancy to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy (gestational age).

Is Prenatal Ultrasound Safe?

Studies have shown ultrasound is not hazardous. There are no harmful side effects to you or your baby. In addition, ultrasound does not use radiation, as X-ray tests do.

When Is an Ultrasound Performed During Pregnancy?

An ultrasound is generally performed for all pregnant women at 20 weeks gestation. During this ultrasound, the doctor will confirm that the placenta is healthy and attached normally and that your baby is growing properly in the uterus. The baby's heartbeat and movement of its body, arms and legs can also be seen on the ultrasound.

If you wish to know the gender of your baby, it can usually be determined at 20 weeks. Be sure to tell the health care provider performing the ultrasound whether or not you want to know the gender of your baby. Please note that ultrasound is not a foolproof method to determine your baby's gender; there is a chance that the ultrasound images can be misinterpreted.

An ultrasound may be performed earlier in your pregnancy to determine:

Presence of more than one fetus
Your due date or gestational age (the age of the fetus)

Later in pregnancy, ultrasound may be used to determine:

Health of the baby
Placenta location
Amount of amniotic fluid around the baby
Position of the baby
Baby's expected weight

How Should I Prepare for the Test?

There is no special preparation for the ultrasound test. Some doctors require you to drink 4 to 6 glasses of water before the test, so your bladder is full. This will help the doctor view the baby better on the ultrasound. You will be asked to refrain from urinating until after the test.

Some doctors allow you to videotape the ultrasound so that you can take it home. Ask your doctor if this is an option. If it is, you will need to bring a blank videotape to your appointment.

What Happens During the Test?

You may be asked to change into a hospital gown.

You will lie on a padded examining table during the test.

A small amount of water-soluble gel is applied to the skin over your abdomen. The gel does not harm your skin or stain your clothes.

A small device, called a transducer, is gently applied against the skin on your abdomen. The transducer sends high-frequency sound waves into the body, which reflect off internal structures, including your baby. The sound waves or echoes that reflect back are received by the transducer and transformed into a picture on a screen. These pictures can be printed out or sometimes recorded on a videotape.

There is virtually no discomfort during the test. If a full bladder is required for the test, you may feel some discomfort when the probe is applied.

You may be asked to hold your breath briefly several times.

The ultrasound test takes about 30 minutes to complete.

What Happens After the Test?

The gel will be wiped off your skin and your health care provider will discuss the test results with you.

Will Insurance Pay For the Ultrasound?

Insurance will pay for the ultrasound if it is deemed medically necessary. If you have an ultrasound that is not medically necessary (for example, to simply see the baby or find out the baby's sex), your insurance company may not pay for the ultrasound.

Source : www.medicinenet.com/prenatal_ultrasound/