Chiropractors’ Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

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To ensure the healthiest pregnancy, make sure that you are eating well enough for you and your baby. Here is a list of some of the most important eating and diet tips as advised by chiropractors which you have to know when you are expecting.

Eating and Diet Tips

First, pregnant women should make an effort to ask their care provider or personal doctor about the issue of how much weight they should gain while they are in their period of pregnancy. Also, they should make sure to talk to their health care provider first before taking any supplements so as to avoid causing unwanted, unnecessary or detrimental side effects to their baby.

Pregnant women are also advised to prepare and ingest foods which are rich in folate, iron, calcium, and protein, or get these nutrients from available and credited prenatal supplements. Aside from these foods and supplements, they are expected to eat high-fiber foods regularly, as well and drink plenty of water so as to avoid constipation.

They should similarly never neglect to eat their breakfast every day, as it is indeed the most important meal of the day. Remember that your diet is very important if you consider breasfeeding your baby.

What to Abstain

Being pregnant and wanting to deliver that healthiest baby would also entail several sacrifices; particularly for women who have fondness for drinking alcohols. Hence, pregnant should make the effort to abstain from ingesting alcoholic drinks in the meantime. Aside from alcohol, pregnant women should also avoid eating raw fish, or those fish with high mercury content and soft cheeses.

Sleep and Stress

It is important that pregnant women get all the rest they can while they are waiting for their baby. The moment the baby comes out, it would be impossible for them to enjoy a long, uninterrupted sleep. It is advised that pregnant women get at least 8 hours of sleep every night and a couple hours of nap within the day.

Moreover, soon-to-be mothers should also avoid stress as this could affect the condition of their baby. Too much worry and anxiety may also cause miscarriage during the first few months of pregnancy. Thus, it is important for them to just relax and enjoy their pregnancy.

Pregnancy and Exercise

As for physical movements, pregnant women should target to be able to do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. However, before undertaking any strenuous physical activity, they should first inquire with their health care provider if such would be advisable or otherwise.

Engage in Chiropractic Care

To minimize back pain, reduce labor pain, and shorten labor time, regular chiropractic care for pregnant women can help. It also promotes overall health and wellness which is not only beneficial to you but to your baby, too.

After delivering the baby, the responsibility and the need to continue eating well remains and it is imperative that this will facilitate the gradual return to one’s original healthy weight. Similarly, it is advisable that one should gradually get back to their usually routine of regular, moderate, physical activity. In all these, it is important that they be followed with consideration, discipline and most of all, with appreciation of the wonders and miracles of pregnancy, and its joys and inspiration.

Does Your Child Have Autism?

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Autism is one of the most common pervasive developmental disorders. It is said that one in 150 children, mostly male, suffer from this condition. Autism is a condition that causes a wide variety of symptoms, notable of which are social withdrawal and preoccupation with routine. However, autistic children are noticeably bright and had intellectual gifts that normally ruled out mental retardation.

What is Autism?

Autism is a brain defect affecting speech and one’s ability to relate with other people. People with autism are often described as having their own worlds. It is classified under the broader medical disorder called Pervasive Developmental Disorder or PDD. Among PDDs, autism is the most prevalent.

Autism is not selective as to race, ethnicity or social status. Researches are still not able to answer the question as to why there are more boys affected with this disorder than girls.

Common Causes of Autism

Studies have suggested that autism is a defect in the gene pool, thus it runs in the family. Still others maintain that certain types of vaccine cause autism in some children. What they do agree on is that for people with autism, their brains have a different shape.

This disorder is often detected in children before they turn three. Parents notice that their child still does not have regular speech patterns or may often be found playing by themselves or is isolated from other children. Sometimes, parents think that their child is deaf or suffers from some kind of ear defect because of his/her lack of response to conversations. Since the tests conducted say otherwise, parents should then turn to other sources of the problem.

Signs and Symptoms

The common symptoms of autism include making little or no eye contact with persons trying to make conversations with them; talking at people instead of to them or paying no heed to actually getting information from people they are communicating with; limited and repetitive patterns of behavior such as sucking while staring into space, rocking or unusual interest and attachment to a toy or object.

Parents should also be alert to the fact that their child has a desperate need for routines. Some children with autism crave sameness. Signs of autism may also include tantrum, distress for no apparent reason, being unresponsive to teaching, sensitivity to sound, or difficulties in sensory integrations.

Other signs for autism that could be observed in children include the following:

  • No pointing by one year
  • No babbling by one year, no utterance of single words by 16 months, no two-word phrases by two years
  • Loss of language skills
  • No pretend playing
  • Little or no interest in making friends
  • A very short attention span
  • No response when called by name; indifference to others
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Repetitive body movements
  • Intense tantrums
  • Fixations on an object
  • Uncommonly strong resistance to routine changes
  • Oversensitivity to certain sounds, smells, or textures

Treatment for Autism

Autism is a lifelong disorder although manifestations may lessen as people with autism learn to control emotions and their behaviors. Recommended treatments include occupational therapy, speech therapy and behavioral training. A specially structured educational system also helps a child with autism to adjust better to relating with people and to study and learn.

Autism, though incurable, is not a totally crippling disease. Timely psychological intervention could alleviate some of the symptoms and make an autistic child live a productive life. In fact, many autistic children have above-average intelligence, owing to their fascination with detail.

The goal to treatments and therapies for those with autism is to turn them into functional and independent adults. Early detection of autism is thus crucial for early treatments. Parents are encouraged to look for signs of autism and immediately consult a psychologist in order to arrange treatment.

Chiropractic Care for Breast Cancer

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The most common type of cancer among women is breast cancer. It also ranks second to lung cancer as the leading cause of all cancer deaths. Two-thirds of women afflicted with breast cancer are aged over 50. The rest are mostly in the 39 to 49 age group. Women of African-American descent are more likely to have breast cancer than Caucasians before menopause. Although the cancer condition is not limited to women, male breast cancer accounts for only one percent of the total breast cancer cases.

The good news with breast cancer is that if it is detected early, it is highly treatable. Localized breast tumors can be successfully treated prior to the cancer spreading. Of ten such cases, nine women will survive for at least five more years. The problem arises with late recurrences of the cancer, which is also common.

As the cancer spreads in the other parts of the body, the treatment becomes more difficult. Treatment can, nevertheless, control the disease, often, for years. A combination of effective screening and treatment options will allow 70 percent of patients with breast cancer to survive at least five years after the initial diagnosis. Half of these survivor patients will live more than ten years.

Causes of Breast Cancer

There is a clear link between breast cancer and the hormone estrogen. A woman becomes more susceptible to breast cancer the longer her exposure to estrogen is. Estrogen is responsible for cell divisions. It is when cells increase uncontrollably from continuous divisions that potentially abnormal and cancerous cells are created. The cancer that develops in the tissues in the breast is called breast cancer. It will still be described as such even if the cells travel to other parts of the body where they are not found normally. In this case, the cancer is then called metastatic.

Women who have higher risk for breast cancer are:

  • Those who are aging – Statistics show that breast cancer seem to develop among women aged 39 and above and occurrence gets higher for those over 50.
  • Those who have family history of breast cancer – The risk of developing breast cancer is two to three times higher for women whose mother, daughter or sister has had the cancer condition.
  • Those who have previously had ovarian, endometrial or colon cancer.

Chiropractic Care for Breast Cancer

There are more than 2.5 million women in the U.S. who are breast cancer survivors. Women with breast cancer who undergo traditional forms of cancer treatments are subjected to stresses from many sources. The disease itself presents the biggest source of stress in these patients. The other sources are side effects after the mainstream treatments begin – chronic pain resulting from chemotherapy and radiation fibrosis and complications arising from prolonged bed rest.

Although chiropractic care may not be a cure-all option for disease and cancer treatment, its benefits as a complementary health care in cancer therapies are being recognized. Chiropractic care, as a health care option, consistently focuses on restoring function and health to the patients’ nervous system, the body’s communication pathway. When there is a clear communication from the brain to the rest of the body, anything from health and wellness standpoint, is possible, including healing. A healthy spine and nervous system is he best foundation for overall health and wellness. With a healthy nervous system, instant health is not guaranteed, but as with most established systems, the greatest benefits can be achieved with time. Chiropractic offers an option for holistic management of the symptoms of breast cancer in the following ways:

  • It provides patients relief from pain.
  • It reduces the incidence and also the severity of headache.
  • It prevents nausea and vomiting.
  • It gives patients improved sense of their well-being despite their illness.

All of these contribute to improving the quality of life of women with breast cancer.

How to Avoid the Spread and Development of Breast Cancer

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It is hard to detect breast cancer in its early stages. However, while it is hard to detect, it is not impossible. In fact, the fact that it is hard to detect makes it more urgent for us to exert effort to detect the development of cancer in its earlier stages, lest it will be too late for the patient when it is finally discovered. The high mortality rate due to breast cancer makes can be largely attributed to the fact that most breast cancer victims are able to get a diagnosis only after the cancer has grown in to a size that is not easy to cure. To avoid this situation, vigilance is required. There are several methods to detect and screen breast cancer. Some of them are as follows, and some of them I covered in another article.

Self-Examination

When you reach the age of 20, you should start performing regular monthly self-examination of the breast. Period for breast examination usually depends on when you have you monthly period. Self-examination is composed of visual examination for irregularity on the breast such as discoloration or change in size and appearance. It will also include physical examination to feel any lump or find any discharge in the breast. It is normal for the age near 20 to have some lumps on the breast so finding one is usually not a cause for panic. As you perform the exam more regularly after some time, you will learn how your breast normally is and will then know what to look for when doing the exam.

Mammography

Mammography is the most common method of diagnosing breast cancer. It has also been proven to reduce mortality rates due to the disease. It is more preferred and more effective when compared with other imaging methods such as ultrasound, MRI and CT. It is recommended to undergo mammography regularly to be able to detect possible breast cancers while they are still eligible for breast-conservation therapy.

Preventive (Prophylactic) Mastectomy for Women with High Risk

Preventive mastectomy involves removing both breasts before being diagnosed with breast diagnosed. It is usually chosen by women who previously had breast cancer in one breast, strong family history of breast cancer, mutated genes and others. However, while the operation reduces breast cancer, the probability to develop the disease still exists because a small amount of breast tissue remains.

The first two methods enumerated are intended for early detection of any growth of cancer cells allowing the patient, with the help of a doctor, to treat them in the early stage. The third method is more extreme as it is aimed at avoiding breast cancer to develop altogether that is why it is only done by people whose breast cancer risk is very high.

Top Reasons Why You Should Breastfeed Your Baby

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The milk from mothers is the best food for babies, not because it tastes better, but because it contains vitamins, minerals, and other substances which will make your babies immune from diseases. Moreover, the system of formula-fed babies does not respond well to vaccinations.

The result of taking breast milk instead of being fed from the bottle can be seen in statistics, according to endorsers of breast milk. The charts show that babies who have higher rates of illnesses are found to be bottle fed.

Why Breastfeed Your Baby?

The list of common diseases of babies which can be decreased and/or prevented by being fed milk from their mothers includes meningitis, respiratory infections, the most common of which is the condition called respiratory syncytial virus, diarrhea, sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS, reflux, allergies, lymphoma, ear infection, diabetes, leukemia, arthritis, and other bacterial infections. Some of the diseases manifest themselves in adulthood.

It has also been put forth that breastfed babies have higher IQs than those fed from the bottle. This is because breast milk contains fatty acids vital for the baby’s brain development.

Breast milk also changes in composition as your baby grows older. This is supported by the fact that there are different types of formula milk for different ages.

Sucking from breasts as compared to sucking from the bottle also has an effect on the development of the baby’s jaw. Research has pegged the need for orthodontic correctional care and problems and speech to bottle feeding.

Are There Known Disadvantages of Not Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is nature’s way of helping a woman’s uterus regain its elasticity so that it will be back to its regular or pre-pregnancy shape in no time. Thus, women who opt not to breastfeed have a higher risk of early postpartum hemorrhage because it is breastfeeding which acts as stimulant for the hormone to start contracting. Furthermore, they also have a higher risk of breast cancer and cancer of the ovary.

On the practical side, the formula is definitely more expensive. You get breast milk for free!

How to Breastfeed while Working

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Returning to work after having a baby can be disconcerting. When you have decided to breastfeed, it can be even more traumatic. However, with some planning and foresight, returning to work doesn’t have to be the end of your breastfeeding relationship. If you work near your baby, you can go on site to feed him each day or you can have your baby brought to you during each feeding. If these options are not possible for you, just like with other working mothers, then you would have to pump at work that your baby may consume on the following day.

The first step involves determining just how much you will be pumping. If you estimate that you will be pumping a lot, i.e., working full time, five days a week, etc., you will have to select the best pump you can afford. For the part time mother or just wanting to pump to run errands, a smaller electric or manual pump should do just fine.

What you are trying to do with a pump is to fool your body to think that the baby is nursing. These pumps are designed to mimic an actual baby’s sucking to help you get a letdown and be able to acquire more milk. Letdowns are very important in pumping. It is normal to be able to get 1 to 2 ounces of milk at each pump session just as it is also normal to be able to get 11 to 12 ounces of milk at each session. Every woman is different and it all depends on the circumstances around your pump session. This includes your schedule, level of relaxation, having a letdown, day of the week and the time of day You can expect to pump more on a Monday than you can on a Friday and produce more milk in the morning than you do in the afternoon or evening.

When your output is low, there are some tricks to help increase your supply. Try pumping more often, such as every two hours at work instead of every three. You might also want to try nipple stimulation, breast compression or massage to achieve a second letdown within the current pump session. Lean over to let gravity help, squeezing the part of the breast outside of the horn. It is also important to keep a regular pumping schedule. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. There are also other ways to increase your supply such as taking the herb fenugreek or eating oatmeal. Keep in mind when you use these methods to help build your supply it’s going to take a couple of days so don’t expect it to happen on your next pump session.

You should know that when your pumping career begins, things may get a little hectic and your schedule might get messed up. Just try to relax and get extra rest. Things will get easier and before you know it you will feel like the pump is just a part of your day.

Everything You Need to Know about Breastfeeding

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Although people say that breastfeeding is best to make the mother-and-child bond stronger, there are mothers who have never breastfed their babies and still enjoy that kind of closeness. The fact is, breastfeeding is not feasible to all mothers. There are those who need to work, women whose culture does not allow such practice, and even babies who reject their mom’s milk, preferring milk formula.

If you are still confused on what method to use, breastfeeding is best in the meantime. It is easier to change from it to the bottle than feeding him from the bottle then shifting to breastfeeding. Here are other things you need to know about breastfeeding

Breastfeeding and Smoking

The fact is that nicotine passes on to your milk. If you cannot quit smoking while breastfeeding, make sure you feed your child at least an hour after smoking to minimize the nicotine content of your milk. Never smoke while you are feeding. This will lead to your child’s respiratory diseases or even death.

Breastfeeding and Work

Mothers who go back to work while still breastfeeding have two options – you either leave your baby with expressed milk or milk pumped from your breast, or you can feed the baby with bottled formula while you are away working. For those who choose to give their baby expressed milk, make sure to keep your milk supply strong by immediately nursing your baby after you get back to work and during the evening, and then the following day just before leaving. More info on breasfeeding at work you can find here.

Breastfeeding and Small Breasts

These two concepts are independent of each other. Even small breast have a complete set of glandular tissue necessary for milk production.

Breastfeeding and Sex

There is nothing to prevent a couple to engage in sexual activities while the mother is still breastfeeding. Regular menstrual cycle is interrupted while breastfeeding but this may not always be the case. Most women already have menstruation a month or two after giving birth. Thus, pregnancy is not unlikely.

Breastfeeding and Breast Reduction

The concern in this type of procedure is that the surgeon may have cut off some tissues necessary for milk production. Women who had their breasts reduced may notice that their milk does not come in large supplies and that your baby’s diet may have to be supplemented by bottled formula. Nevertheless, do not stop breastfeeding altogether because your baby still gets the necessary nutrients from your milk.

Breastfeeding and Breast Augmentation

Generally, there is no adverse effect of implants to your milk production and supply.

Breastfeeding and Caesarian Birth

Going through this type of operation may be of some discomfort when feeding your baby. To decrease discomfort, use a pillow as cushion for your baby and administer milk by lying down on your side.

Breastfeeding and Alcohol

Wine is allowed in small quantities but make sure not to feed your baby until at least an hour has elapsed. Heavy drinking affects your baby’s nervous system and motor skill development.

Things to Avoid When Pregnant

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The pregnant woman’s habits are directly proportional to the degree of healthiness of her unborn child. Hence, it is vital for a pregnant woman to avoid all that would adversely affect her unborn child’s health. The following are some of the things women should avoid during the period of pregnancy.

Cigarettes

Smoking for pregnant women is said to be one factor that leads to multiple pregnancy problems including miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and other complications for the baby. Nicotine in cigarettes causes constriction of blood vessels which essentially means that the baby is deprived of sufficient amount of oxygen and proper nourishment that it needs to be able to grow properly.

Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol while in the period of pregnancy is a potential cause of birth defects, miscarriage, and other problems. Considerable, consistent consumption of alcohol in pregnancy on the other hand, may lead to fetal alcohol syndrome which is a lifelong and permanent condition.

Medications

A lot of the over-the-counter drugs and other prescribed medications can actually harm the unborn baby, hence it is important that pregnant women should inquire first with their physicians before ingesting any drug. The physician could also be asked to give a list of the drugs that could be ingested without harm to the unborn child or the mother during the period of pregnancy.

Narcotics

For most obvious reasons, illegal drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, can similarly, deprive developing babies of essential oxygen and proper nourishment which can cause birth defects and even infantile addictions for the newborns.

Caffeine

As for coffee ingestion or any product with high caffeine content, it is important that you discuss first with your doctor how much caffeine would be healthy to be ingested during the pregnancy period. Remember that caffeine is not only found in coffee; they are also present in tea, sodas and colas, and other products.

Contact with Cat Feces

Unknown to most, a serious and dangerous disease can be acquired from simply cleaning cat litter boxes. The disease is called toxoplasmosis, which is usually spread by a microbe that causes problems affecting the lymph node and the nervous system of an individual. If contracted by pregnant women, this parasite can actually cause miscarriage, serious birth defects, and stillbirths.

Pregnant women should therefore make the necessary effort to avoid contact and ingestion of the above-mentioned products, medications or areas to ensure good health for both the unborn child and the newborn. With love, patience and discipline all these would prove to be things which could be effortlessly accomplished.

Identifying and Accepting Autism in the Family

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The first step to overcoming autism in the family is identifying and accepting the condition. Learn how to recognize if you have a special child in the family.

Five-year old Francis has been pounding his fist on the table for almost 20 minutes non-stop. In all of his five years, his parents have yet to hear him utter an audible word. There are occasions when he expresses his needs by whimpering as he points towards objects and persons.

Francis is but one in a special class of five autistic children now enrolled in a school for special children. It is his second year in school. While he hasn’t spoken a word and has shown a much delayed development in his communication skills, it took his parents three long years to finally accept and consequently address his condition.

This unnecessary delay in addressing autism in children is mostly caused by the parents’ denial of the child’s special condition and needs is a common reaction, to the jeopardy of the autistic child’s development. Accepting your child’s condition is the first crucial step otherwise, tell-tale signs of autism may easily be dismissed.

Autism is the condition characterized by an unusual fixation with fantasy or imagination and a lack of concern for and involvement with if not a total disregard of reality.

Early signs of autism in infants include an indifference to affection. Autistic infants may not show any response when being carried or embraced. While normal babies may smile, communicate and acknowledge an adult’s presence, an autistic infant usually does not relate to adults that attempt to communicate.

While there are usually no signs of any difficulty in learning to crawl, stand, and walk, autistic toddlers show little interest in learning to speak, as well as in eating. Training autistic children to use the potty may be quite difficult and will need extra attention, too.

Changes in the surroundings, including rearranging furniture in the room and the introduction of new faces and environment distract and upset children with autism. The introduction of changes should, therefore, be made as gradual as possible and in the presence of familiar comfort.

Many autistic children, while undemonstrative of emotions and normal reactions, have been known to possess extraordinary skills. Some children specialize in the arts, while others have shown a knack for math and the sciences. There are those who have proven to possess an excellent memory and an unusually high level of intelligence.

Autism is a special condition. Depending on the parents’ acceptance of the condition as well as their readiness to address it, a child may retreat further into the imagination ore learn to respond and cope in the real world. Persistent and patient attempts at communication as well constant and intense display of affections, hugging and expressions of love are a most necessary therapy.