Pregnancy is a life-changing experience for women, as they prepare to bring a new life into the world. It is a time of great joy and anticipation, but it can also be a time of stress and anxiety.
Mental health issues are common during pregnancy, and it is essential to take care of your mental health to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Mental health issues during pregnancy can take many forms, including depression, anxiety, and stress. These issues can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal changes, relationship problems, financial stress, and physical discomfort. Whatever the cause, it is important to address mental health issues during pregnancy to ensure the best possible outcome for both the mother and the baby.
According to Shivangi Sagar, Counselling Psychologist and Co-Founder of HopeQure, a platform for counselling and therapy consultations, mood swings are normal during pregnancy but if you feel nervous or down all the time, it could be a sign of something deeper. She says, "Stress over being pregnant, changes in your body during the pregnancy, and everyday worries can take a toll. Depression and anxiety are the two most common and prevalent disorders faced during pregnancy. The prevalence ranges from 8 to 30 per cent all over the world."
"Antenatal depression i.e., depression before the birth of the child is a strong predictor of postnatal depression. Depression is sadness or feeling down or irritable for weeks or months at a time. Someone may have depression before getting pregnant. But it also can start during pregnancy for a number of reasons -- for example, if a woman isn't happy about being pregnant or is dealing with a lot of stress at work or stress at home. Whereas, anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear over things that might happen. If you worry a lot anyway, many things can stress you out during pregnancy. You might worry that you won't be a good parent or that you can't afford to raise a baby," says Shivangi.
"Perinatal and antenatal mental issues have been associated with many poor outcomes, including maternal, child, and family unit challenges. Infants and young children of depressed mothers are more likely to have a difficult temperament, as well as cognitive and emotional delays. Among mothers who have a history of depression and decide to stop taking their antidepressants during the perinatal period, the majority suffer from relapsing symptoms. If depression continues postpartum, there is an increased risk of poor mother-infant attachment, delayed cognitive and linguistic skills in the infant, impaired emotional development, and risk for behavioural problems in later life."
While there is a probability of adverse mental health concerns in mothers during pregnancy, it is of chief importance that these symptoms can be managed.
Here are seven ways Counselling Psychologist Shivangi suggests you protect your mental health while pregnant:
Seek Prenatal Care: Regular prenatal care is critical to identify mental health issues early on and providing support and resources to address them. Prenatal care can also ensure that both the mother and the baby are healthy throughout the pregnancy. Prenatal yoga is a powerful tool for managing depression. It can assist in elevating the mood during pregnancy and provide strength to the body, especially the pelvic floor, hip, and abdominal core muscles. It gives the mother a healthier pregnancy and research has confirmed that a healthy mother is more likely to have or give birth to a healthy baby.
Increase Awareness: It is important to take notice that you are facing mental health issues. It can be helpful to talk to a professional and help you deal with your specific issues.
Practice Positive Self-Talk: Sometimes writing a few positive affirmations and reading them aloud can help in uplifting the mind. It is significant that pregnant women should focus their attention on positive things.
Communicate Openly: Talking about what is causing you stress with your partner, family, friends or a professional can help you understand your stressors and how you can manage them. It will also help your loved ones support you during this period. Having a strong support system during pregnancy can provide valuable emotional support and connection. Joining a support group for pregnant women can also provide a valuable source of support.
Prioritise Self-Care: Taking care of oneself during pregnancy is essential to reduce stress and promote positive mental health. This can include getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in regular physical activity. Taking time for oneself to relax and engage in activities can also help reduce stress.
Breathing Exercises: You can try breathing exercises and help you calm yourself in times of stress and anxiety. You can also try mindfulness and meditation techniques to regulate your emotions.
Seek Professional Help: If you are experiencing severe or persistent mental health issues during pregnancy, it's essential to seek professional help. This can include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Healthcare providers can help identify the best treatment options for individual needs. (N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
Read More►Benefits of a Hot Shower?
The 6th edition of One Earth-One Health - Advantage Healthcare India 2023 was virtually inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today in New Delhi today. The Prime Minister welcomed all national and international participants and hoped that the gathering will strengthen global partnerships on the agenda of ''One Earth-One Health''.
In his address, Prime Minister said, “When it comes to holistic healthcare, India has much important strength. We have talent. We have the technology. We have a track record. We have tradition. For thousands of years, India's outlook toward health has been holistic. We have a great tradition of preventive and promotive health. Systems such as Yoga and meditation have now become global movements. They are ancient India's gifts to the modern world. Similarly, our Ayurveda system is a complete discipline of wellness. It takes care of the physical and mental aspects of health.”
Prime Minister added that the world is looking for solutions to stress and lifestyle diseases. India's traditional healthcare systems hold a lot of answers. Our traditional diet which consists of millet can also help with food security and nutrition. The global response to healthcare challenges can’t be scattered and isolated as it is time for an integrated, inclusive, and institutional response. This is one of our focus areas during our G20 presidency.
The Ministry of Ayush is actively participating in this event to showcase the strength of the Ayush sector in Medical Value Travel (MVT). Ministry is also showcasing the potential of Ayush through the exhibition highlighting Ayush's strength and contribution towards MVT. The Health Ministers of different countries, National and International policymakers, academics and subject experts, and other dignitaries participating in the event, will also visit the All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi to have firsthand knowledge of Traditional Medicines.
As per the latest data India has emerged as the main destination for MVT, which is evident from the fact that the number of foreign tourists seeking medical tourism in India in 2017 was 45,42,000, leading to total foreigners’ spending in wellness tourism at over $12.8 Billion (1 lakh crore). High-quality healthcare services including wellness, therapeutic care, rejuvenation therapies, Yoga, Meditation, affordable and holistic health care, etc., were considered to be strong enablers in this growth trajectory.
This two-day summit will witness 125 exhibitors and around 500 hosted foreign delegates from 73 countries. Delegates from countries in the region of Africa, the Middle East, the Commonwealth of Independent States, SAARC, and ASEAN will bring together and connect the Indian healthcare providers and foreign participants on one forum.
Also, Read This in Hindi►आयुर्वेद प्रणाली एक संपूर्ण अनुशासन है - प्रधानमंत्री नरेन्द्र मोदी
All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) under the Ministry of AYUSH hosted a walkthrough for the “Working Group of C20 on Integrated Holistic Health on 8th April 2023. A large group of over 400 delegates participated in the event and the institute showcased how an integrated approach to health care can be effectively implemented..
The C-20 is one of the eight official engagement groups of the G-20 forum. The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, and the US which forms the C20 group. C20 India 2023 is one of the official Engagement Groups of the G20 that provides a platform for Civil Society Organizations (CSO) around the world to voice the people’s aspirations to the world leaders of G20.
Dr. Anita Bhatia, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women (for Resource Management, Sustainability, and Partnerships & United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women); Swami Amritaswaroopananda Puri, Vice-Chairman of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math and President of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University); Dr. Manoj Nesari, Adviser (Ay.), Ministry of Ayush; Dr. Adolpho Rubinstein, Former Health Minister of Argentina, Director of the Center for Implementation and Innovation in Health Policy. The founder and Director General of the Institute of Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS) and others were the delegates who visited AIIA. The institute organized a walkthrough, where the delegates were taken to the hospital and highlighted how an integrated approach in health care can be effectively implemented for the well-being of humanity.
AIIA has also signed an MoU with the University of Amrita Vishwa Vidhyapeetham for cooperation and collaboration in the field of Research and Academics in Ayurveda. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham is a multi-campus, multi-disciplinary research academia university hereinafter referred to as Amrita. The MoU was signed by Prof. Tanuja Nesari, Director, AIIA, Ministry of Ayush, and Prem Kumar Vasudevan Nair, the Provost, of Medical Sciences at Kochi campus of Amrita Vishwa Vidhyapeetham. AIIA already has MoUs with the European Academy of Ayurveda, Bernstein, Germany; Western Sydney University, Australia; Graz Medical University, Austria; College of Medical, UK; London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK and Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
On this occasion Prof. (Dr) Tanuja Neasri, said “We are happy to co-host C20 delegates at AIIA, a tertiary care set-up under the Ministry of Ayush. We are honored to showcase the institute as a model of integration and holistic healthcare in Ayurveda. To help us realize the vision of health for all and holistic well-being, the strength of the Ayush system should be integrated into mainstream healthcare.
“It is my pleasure to join you all at AIIA. The science of Ayurveda is India’s gift to the world - it is India’s knowledge, learning, tradition, and culture. Through C20, the focus is again being driven toward holistic healing through an integration of Ayurveda with modern medicine. This is an innovative approach and will benefit everyone,” said Dr. Ms. Anita Bhatia, Assistant Secretary-General UN & Deputy Executive Director, of UN Women.
AIIA launched the millet calendar at the hands of Ms. Anita Bhatia, Assistant Secretary-General UN & Deputy Executive Director of UN Women. On the occasion AIIA received the blessings of Swamiji, Shri Amritaswaroopanand Puri. A cultural program followed by Patya Aahar was served to the guest on the occasion..
Even as the world gets into recovery mode post-pandemic, many people are still grappling with the symptoms of long Covid. According to the WHO, if you have recovered from Covid-19 but some symptoms stay stubborn, such as shortness of breath, brain fog, and fatigue, the condition is known as long Covid. Long Covid symptoms also include palpitations, insomnia, gastric problems such as bloating, acidity, irritable bowel, muscle weakness, and mobility issues.
Any microbe that enters the body causes toxicity, resulting in the imbalance of Doshas or bio-energies of one's body. Our bodies are prone to infectious diseases when we have a weak immune system, and Panchakarma along with other curative Ayurveda treatments helps to strengthen the immune system. In Ayurveda, the Panchakarma procedure is used as a prophylactic to prevent infectious diseases and incidentally can also help to prevent a relapse.
In the case of a Covid patient who has tested negative for the virus, the Vaidyas (doctors) at CGH Earth recommend the Panchakarma procedure to strengthen and fortify the body. However, such procedures cannot be administered soon after recovery, though other Ayurvedic treatments for insomnia, anxiety, stress-related disorders, and immune boosting can be done.
To do the Panchakarma cleansing procedures, it is recommended to allow the body to heal itself -- for up to say two months in order for the energy levels to get back to normal or near normal. This is the same recommendation that Ayurveda would give for a person who has undergone surgery or some serious illness; a gap of two or three months before undergoing the Panchakarma.
Meanwhile, the degree of long Covid symptoms varies from patient to patient and therefore the treatment protocols vary as well. The doctor will need to watch and assess when the patient is ready to undergo only one or multiple karmas which are part of the Panchakarma procedure.
Long Covid patients suffer from respiratory problems and also issues related to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, cardiac-related conditions, neurological conditions, and brain and kidney issues. Covid also affects the sense organs wherein some people lose their sense of smell, taste, hearing, and vision for an extended period of time. Many, post Covid suffer from insomnia, brain fog, and anxiety.
Although Panchakarma has immense health benefits, it is critical that for post-Covid patients the energy level is checked prior to putting them on any treatments, as they are tiring processes that do initially lower one's energy. Panchakarma procedures include detoxification of the body. This is a necessary stage of treatment as the disease-causing microbes bring a lot of toxins into the body and if they remain in the body, Ayurvedic treatments cannot address the conditions that have manifested internally.
For Kapha-related lung infections, chest pain, and infected pleural cavities the patient is treated with Herbal drug-induced vomiting or Vamana (one of the deep cleansing Panchakarma procedures). Likewise for gastric infection or if the liver or pancreas is affected purgation is advised. Meanwhile, the main procedure for problems related to sensory organs like loss of smell or taste is Nasya i.e.: nasal treatment.
For those affected by arthritis, degenerating muscles, or skin lesions; Vasti or medicated enemas are prescribed. It is to be noted that this is not merely Colon cleansing but the administration of special medicines into the colon and rectum where the medications in them are easily absorbed internally.
Alongside the Panchakarma procedures, secondary treatments or "Upakarmas" are also administered to the patients. "Tharpanam" which is administered for the eyes and "Karnapuranam" for the ears are treatments that Ayurveda prescribes for patients who have long Covid conditions related to these sensory organs. Treatments like "Njavarakizhi" and "Pizhichil" also aid in correcting the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha imbalances and help rejuvenate and rebuild the body from the inside out.
Herbal medications are administered to improve the immune system. In particular, those with respiratory tract issues benefit from these prescribed herbal medicines by improving their lung capacity and removal of excess accumulation of phlegm or fibroids. These medicines are beneficial for those with GI tract issues.
Regularly strengthening the body with herbal preparations after a course of Panchakarma, helps to keep Covid and other infectious diseases at bay. In Ayurveda, the course of medication can last from three to six months and in some cases where the patient is very weak, it is prescribed for a year. (Dr. Firoz Varun is an Ayurveda Doctor at CGH Earth Kalari Rasayana Ayurveda Hospital)
Read More►Is Your Skin Summer-Ready?
Have you ever had a tough time deciding between whether to take a cold shower and a hot shower? Well, you're not alone. A hot shower is just so relaxing and hard to resist after a long day. In the hot and humid climate of India, many may say that a cold shower relieves fatigue and gives a feeling of freshness. But nothing can beat those few minutes under a hot shower that relaxes your muscles, soothes your sensations, and triggers a sound and peaceful sleep.
Did you know that apart from relaxation, a hot shower has several other benefits too? And that's exactly what Vikram Raman, Marketing Head, of Ariston Group India Pvt. Ltd tells IANSlife about the benefits of a hot shower.
Improves Blood Circulation
Similar to working out, a hot shower increases blood flow to the cells and tissues by widening the blood vessels. It stimulates your body's thermoregulation, helping blood to circulate from the core to the hands and feet. As a result, the body radiates heat and becomes calm and relaxed. Your blood pressure lowers due to wider veins, and you feel better. Moreover, the heat from the water can help increase blood flow, which in turn can help soothe sore or tight muscles. For an even more relaxing experience, incorporate some aromatherapy into your shower routine with essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus to promote relaxation and alleviate stress.
Scientists believe that showering with hot water 90 minutes before bedtime cools the inner body and warms the skin. A hot shower de-stresses the body, improves blood circulation in the brain, and aids in natural thermoregulation. However, the ideal water temperature should be between 104 to 108? or 40 to 42? which an intelligent electric geyser can easily optimize.
Offers a Healthier Skin
Warm showers have several benefits for the skin, particularly if you struggle with dryness or irritation. The warmth of the water can soften and hydrate your skin, making it more receptive to lotions or moisturizers that you might apply afterward. Additionally, warm water can help to soothe any inflammation or redness, making it a great option for those suffering from conditions like eczema or rosacea. However, avoid making the water too hot, as this can strip the skin of natural oils and lead to dryness, itching, and premature aging. As with any aspect of your skincare routine, it is important to listen to your body and adjust your shower temperature accordingly.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Research suggests that regular heat exposure through a hot bath, sauna, or hot spa water immersion can reduce the likelihood of type 2 diabetes. Since hot water pumps up your blood circulation, more glucose pushes into your muscles and tissues, lowering your blood glucose levels. A 2019 study also revealed that chronic hot water immersion (HWI) reduces fasting blood glucose concentration.
Relieves Cold or Fever
As the seasons change, colds and flu are common. A hot shower has an instant therapeutic effect on a heavy head and congested nose. Hot water relaxes the constricted blood vessels near our brain, alleviating pressure and headache. The steam also loosens up the phlegm, clearing your nose and throat of congestion. Bathing in lukewarm water also radiates body heat and lowers fever, so you feel better
"So, a hot shower provides more health benefits than a cold bath when it comes to dealing with stress and fatigue. Choose an innovative water heater that can regulate your water temperature, maintain an optimum level, reduce energy consumption, and save the planet with renewability and efficiency," concludes Vikram Raman.
Read More►Women Above 30 Must Consider These Health Tests
We have all heard that "age doesn't matter if your heart is full of life," while it may be true in some sense, one needs to be attentive to their age and address the complexities it brings into life. As women move to their 30s, the body instantly starts experiencing the turbulence of hormonal changes. They become more susceptible to a multitude of diseases waiting at this stretch of the age group.
In order to stay healthy and avoid the varied form of diseases, women above 30 years of age must undergo the following tests:
Heart Screening Through Blood Tests: Your heart can skip a beat and you might not even get to know it. Many times women tend to experience racing heartbeats, chronic fatigue, and high levels of anxiety but ignore all the symptoms of cardiovascular problems very easily. Most of the time they assume that a heavy workload is causing this trouble. Little do they know that these can be the warning signs about their heart condition.
What to do then? Simple. Start with the basics. Book your blood tests either via online diagnostic platforms or simply from the one near you. These tests must include a hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) test along with blood pressure, cholesterol tests, blood glucose tests, and BMI measurements to check obesity. The hs-CRP tests indicate the risk of heart attack by measuring C-reactive protein which is a marker of inflammation or infection associated with heart issues.
Regular Diabetes Screening: Diabetes is a major concern for populations worldwide. Since diabetes can cause major health complications among women such as kidney issues, cardiovascular problems, and other diseases, it is important that women above 30 keep a thorough and regular check on their blood glucose levels.
Diabetes can be screened through a variety of tests such as fasting plasma glucose test (FPG), HA1C test (determine average blood glucose), random plasma glucose test, and oral glucose tolerance test. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, then it can impact your present as well as the future relationship with diabetes. Women above 30 with a family history of diabetes must ensure diabetes screening at regular intervals of time.
Thyroid Function Test: Regular thyroid testing is very essential for women above 30 as with age, the risk of developing thyroid disorders increases. Doing the thyroid function test can help women take control of their health and ensure they receive the care they need to maintain optimal thyroid function. Many bodily functions including temperature regulation, metabolism, and energy production are regulated by hormones produced by the thyroid gland. And, when the thyroid gland stops functioning normally, a wide range of symptoms can start occurring in the body including sudden weight gain or loss, mood swings, fatigue, and many more.
To counteract this, women above the age of 30 must get their thyroid levels checked on a regular basis. A simple thyroid profile test through blood samples can measure the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood and determine whether the thyroid gland is functioning normally. If the levels are abnormal, further testing and treatment may be needed to help manage the thyroid disorder and improve overall health and well-being. It's also important to note that women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should also have their thyroid levels checked, as thyroid disorders can affect both the mother and the developing fetus.
Check your Breasts via Mammography: As you reach your 30s don't shy away from knowing your breasts in and out. Having an in-depth evaluation of your breasts via mammography tests can ease your life. Doing so will not only minimize the chances of complexities ahead but also will uncover your 'might-have fear. Mammography is one of the most crucial aspects that women above 30 should highly consider. This test comprises screening of your breasts through an X-ray image to investigate symptoms or unusual findings like lumps in them.
It is an important tool to rule out whether a woman suffers from breast cancer or not. In India, clinical examination is suggested to women of age 30-40 years every 6 months by an oncologist as per the general guidelines followed in the country. For women of age between 41-55 years, clinicians advise annual mammography tests along with examinations by the oncologist. And women who have crossed the age of 55 are suggested to go for a mammogram once in 2 years. Present times are very vulnerable for women to develop breast cancer. However, critical issues can be avoided with attentive and preventive measures.
Cervical Cancer Evaluation via Pap Smear Test: As the incidence of cervical cancer in women is increasing rapidly, it has become all the more important for women above 30 to take significant measures about it. One of the vital tools that helps in evaluating cervical cancer in women is a Pap smear test, which detects abnormal cells in the cervix before they turn cancerous. The rule of thumb says that women above 30 should undergo a Pap smear test minimum of once every 3 years. However, it may vary from individual to individual basis their risk factors.
The bottom line is that women shouldn't neglect the warning signs and adopt more preventive care in their lifestyle. With continuous monitoring and evaluation by specialized doctors, many critical illnesses can be detected early, treated, and even prevented. Nowadays, it is very simple to book any type of diagnostic test. All you need is a mobile phone and all the quality healthcare services are available right at your fingertips. One credible diagnostic service-providing App on your phone is enough to keep your health in check. Remember women, age can actually be just a number if you are taking up routine essential tests. (Dr. Jasmin Rath, Obstetrician, and Gynaecologist, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad & Apollo 24/7)
Read More►Effective Tips to Manage Obesity
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