Winter is the time to bask in the sun, stroll around the lanes and devour all the great delicacies. While indulging in all these activities, parents should remember that their little ones need more protection during this season. Winter days come with a lot of smog, and when temperatures are really chilly outside. A mask is something that can protect a baby from various environmental hazards and also protect the little nose and mouth from the harsh winds during the winter season.
A mask specially designed for kids: A mask has become a clothing accessory over the last couple of years, and people tend to wear them for longer hours. When buying masks for children, the first thing for parents to understand is that the masks made for adults are not suitable for children. There are masks available on the market which are specifically designed for kids in the age group of 3-6 and for kids in the age group of 7-12 years.
Choose suitable mask material: Always look for a material that is soft enough to not irritate your child's sensitive skin. The ideal mask should have six layers of filtration, and the innermost layer is recommended to be made of soft fabric that is breathable for kids. The ear loops and noseband should be flexible and adjustable in order to fit the child's face properly and provide protection from dust, pollution, and germs.
Breathable factor: The breathable factor of a mask is important for every individual, considering the longer usage span. Children's daily routines are more active when compared to adults; they run, they play, they fight, and they enjoy being outdoors, which increases their breathing level. Thus, it becomes more important for a child to wear masks under which they can breathe properly, encouraging them to wear them for a longer period of time.
Filtration Efficiency: While considering the entire comfort factor, parents must not ignore the filtration capacity of a mask. The pandemic has added to the ongoing pollution hazard, seasonal viruses, dust, pollen, and other harmful particles in the environment, making parents more cautious while selecting the right mask for their babies. It is always important to choose a mask with at least 95 percent filtering efficiency of > 0.3 microns when releasing the child into the outdoors.While you may find many masks on the market mentioning various layers, it's important to check that the mask has layers of melt-blown filters inside to give your child effective protection against germs and pollution.
Colourful masks: The biggest challenge for parents these days is to make sure that their kids are wearing masks all the time. To make this easier, choose a mask with cheerful designs and decorations that the kids can relate to and will encourage them to wear it.
Re-usable masks: Another factor that people consider while choosing a mask is the price. The market has a range of masks that are expensive and can be used only once. The expenses are always on the higher side with a child at home, as a parent always wants the best for their baby. To balance out the budget, it is advisable to choose a re-usable mask that is re-usable at least up to 25 washes without affecting the 95 percent filtration efficiency.
With the spread of smog, parents have become more cautious when it comes to protecting their babies. Every parent knows what is best for their babies, and with a little research and effort, they can never go wrong with their choices. Rajesh Vohra, CEO, Artsana India (Chicco)
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COPD also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders is a group of lung diseases that blocks airflow and makes it difficult to breathe. The most common of these diseases are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Many people with COPD have both of these conditions. Emphysema slowly destroys air sacs in your lungs, which interferes with outward airflow. Bronchitis causes inflammation of the bronchi. COPD is a condition in which the disease worsens over time and it makes it difficult even to breathe. Asthma or Bronchitis is a very dangerous condition during pregnancy which causes fatigue, resulting in energy being diverted from the growing foetus.
Asthma can be hard to diagnose. To find out if you have asthma, your doctor takes your health history, does a physical exam and listens to your breathing.. You also may get a lung function test called spirometry. This is a test that checks how well your lungs work. During the test, you take a deep breath and exhale (blow) into a machine called a spirometer. This machine measures the amount of air you breathe in and out. It also measures how fast you can breathe. When you're pregnant, normal changes in your body can make you short of breath. This test can help your doctor know if shortness of breath is a common complication of pregnancy or if it's caused by asthma.
Treatment: Breathing Exercises with COPD
Pursed lip breathing
Pursed Lip Breathing
Pursed lip breathing has a range of benefits:
It's been shown to reduce how hard you have to work to breathe.
It helps release the air trapped in the lungs.
It promotes relaxation.
It reduces shortness of breath.
Practising this technique 4 to 5 times daily can help. Here's how to practice pursed-lip breathing:
While keeping your mouth closed, take a deep breath in through your nose, count to 2. Follow this pattern by repeating in your head "inhale, 1, 2." The breath doesn't have to be deep. A typical inhale will do. Put your lips together as if you're starting to whistle or blow out candles on a birthday cake. This is known as "pursing" your lips. While continuing to keep your lips pursed, slowly breathe out by counting to 4. Don't try to force the air out, but instead breathe out slowly through your mouth.
Tip: Pursed lip breathing is best for performing strenuous activities, such as climbing stairs.
Feeling short of breath can cause anxiety that makes you hold your breath. To prevent this from occurring, you can practice coordinated breathing using these two steps:
Inhale through your nose before beginning an exercise.
While pursuing your lips, breathe out through your mouth during the most strenuous part of the exercise. An example could be when curling upward on a bicep curl.
Tip: Coordinated breathing can be performed when you're exercising or feeling anxious.
Deep breathing prevents air from getting trapped in your lungs, which can cause you to feel short of breath. As a result, you can breathe in the more fresh air.
Here's how to practice deep breathing:
Sit or stand with your elbows slightly back. This allows your chest to expand more fully.
Inhale deeply through your nose.
Hold your breath as you count to 5.
Release the air via a slow, deep exhale, through your nose, until you feel your inhaled air has been released.
Exercise tip: It's best to do this exercise with other daily breathing exercises that can be performed for 10 minutes at a time, 3 to 4 times per day.
When you have COPD, mucus can build up more easily in your lungs. The huffing is a breathing exercise designed to help you cough up mucus effectively without making you feel too tired.
Here's how to practice the huffing:
Place yourself in a comfortable seated position. Inhale through your mouth, slightly deeper than you would when taking a normal breath.
Activate your stomach muscles to blow the air out in three even breaths while making the sounds "ha, ha, ha." Imagine you're blowing onto a mirror to cause it to steam.
Exercise tip: A huff should be less tiring than a traditional cough, and it can keep you from feeling worn out when coughing up mucus.
The diaphragm is an important muscle involved in the work of breathing.
People with COPD tend to rely more on the accessory muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back to breathe, rather than on the diaphragm. Diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing helps to retrain this muscle to work more effectively. Here's how to do it:
While sitting or lying down with your shoulders relaxed, put a hand on your chest and place the other hand on your stomach.
Take a breath in through your nose for 2 seconds, feeling your stomach move outward. You're doing the activity correctly if your stomach moves more than your chest.
Purse your lips and breathe out slowly through your mouth, pressing lightly on your stomach. This will enhance your diaphragm's ability to release air.
Repeat the exercise as you are able to.
Protect Your Lungs during Pregnancy
Since you're essentially breathing for two, take these steps to protect your lung health and your infant's health:
Tell Your Doctor About Any Shortness of Breath- There can be many reasons for shortness of breath in pregnancy. Pregnant women are no strangers to shortness of breath. Early pregnancy hormone surges and, later, the weight and bulk of your expanding womb restrict your breathing. If you're feeling short of breath, and you're worried about it for any reason, let your doctor know.
Ask for A Lung Function Test- While the parameters for the test might change as your pregnancy progresses, the simple, noninvasive lung test called spirometry can help your doctor check on your breathing.
Manage Asthma- Uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy puts both babies and you at risk. If you've been lax about your asthma medications, it's time to update your routine for pregnancy and then stick to it.
Avoid Cigarette Smoke- Don't smoke, ban smoking at home, and avoid all environments where you are exposed to cigarette smoke.(Suryalakshmi Paleri, Executive Physiotherapist, Cloudnine Group Of Hospitals, Bengaluru (Malleshwaram))
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Low back pain effects approximately 50 to 80 per cent of pregnant women. There are numerous etiologies for pregnancy-related back pain, such as mechanical effects of gravid uterus, positional stressors, and hormonal effects resulting in pain at pubic symphysis and sacroiliac joint.
Lumbar radiculopathy or true sciatica is rare and accounts only for 1 per cent of low back pain in pregnancy.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is also known as lumbo-sacral radicular syndrome defined as a radiating pain along the course of the sciatic nerve. The pain travels from the lower back, buttocks, posterior of the thigh, leg and the foot. It can be a deep, dull pain or a shooting, sharp pain. Sciatic pain can range from mild to severe. It often resolves with treatment.
Causes of Sciatica During Pregnancy
Sciatic pain is typically caused by lumbar spine problems, such as:
A bulging or herniated disc
Spinal narrowing or stenosis,
Osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease
These situations can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing symptoms. Sciatica due to a herniated disc during pregnancy isn't common. But, sciatic-like symptoms are common with low back pain in pregnancy.
Sciatic like symptoms can also be caused by
Muscle tension and unstable joints
Pelvic bone pain
Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction
Pelvic Girdle Pain (pelvic bone pain)
Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) describes pain in the joints that make up your pelvic girdle; this includes the symphysis pubis joint (SPJ) at the front and the sacroiliac joints (SIJ) at the back. Majority of pregnancy-related low back pain is PGP and is often misdiagnosed as sciatica.
PGP discomfort is often felt over the pubic bone at the front, below your tummy, or across one side of your lower back, or both sides. At the front, below your tummy, or across one side of your lower back, or both sides. A diagnosis of PGP can be reached based on certain signs and symptoms that you may experience during the pregnancy or afterwards. Having one or more of them may indicate the need for a physiotherapy assessment followed by advice on appropriate management.
You may experience pain in all or some of the areas shaded in the diagrams above. You may also experience the following:
Pain when standing on one leg (e.g. Climbing stairs, dressing, or getting in or out of the bath)
Pain or difficulty moving your legs apart (e.g. Getting in or out of the car)
Clicking or grinding in the pelvic area you may hear or feel this
Limited or painful hip movements (e.g. turning over in bed)
Difficulty lying in some positions (e.g. On your back or side)
Pain during normal activities of daily life
Pain and difficulty during sexual intercourse
With PGP, the degree of discomfort you are feeling may vary from being intermittent and irritating, to being very upsetting.
This is a problem with one of the main stabilizing muscles in the buttocks. This is a common cause of sciatic pain during pregnancy and can present with PGP. This is due to the tightness of the muscle and change in posture in pregnancy.
Piriformis syndrome can be due to both muscle pain from the baby's weight that can also add stress to SI joint because it puts extra pressure on your pelvis and hip joints. Occasionally, the position of your baby can add pressure to your sciatic nerve.
Obesity or weight gain (including weight gained during pregnancy)
Prolonged sitting can also increase risk of developing sciatic pain
Muscle tension and stress to the pelvic joints, sacroiliac joint problem
Symptoms of Sciatic Pain During Pregnancy
Occasional or constant pain in one side of your buttocks or leg
Pain along the sciatic nerve path, from the buttocks down the back of your thigh and to the foot
Sharp, shooting, or burning pain
Numbness, pins and needles, or weakness in the affected leg or foot
Difficulty walking, standing, or sitting
Activities to Avoid
Avoid sitting for long periods
Avoid doing pain exaggerating activity
Do not lift heavy weights often and beyond your ability
Warm packs or cold packs depending on the comfort
Rest from the pain exaggerating activity
Managing weight gain during pregnancy
Sleeping on the side that is not affected
Use a pillow for comfort and support
Stretches (as per recommend by your physiotherapist)
If the symptoms persist it is recommended to consult your Obstetrician and get referred to see a physiotherapist. These sign and symptoms should not be dismissed as normal aches and pain. (Shazia Shadab, Senior Physiotherapist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals (Jayanagar))(By Shazia Shadab)
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Pregnancy is a beautiful experience during which a woman nurtures and grows a baby for a period of 9 months. During this time, the body experiences many changes both internally and externally as it turns into a space of nourishment and protection for the growing foetus.
Hormonal fluctuations, stretching of the skin, greater storage of fats, etc can also lead to significant and apparent changes in the skin. While many women often feel self-conscious and mourn the loss of their pre-pregnancy skin, it is important to know that these changes are completely normal and that many women feel the way you do! These issues can be managed during pregnancy and also minimised post-pregnancy.
Avoid comparing how your body reacts to pregnancy as it largely depends on factors beyond your control such as your genetics. Having said that, below are some of the most common skin issues that women face during and post-pregnancy with some simple steps that one can take to manage them-
Often known as "the mask of pregnancy," is a pigmentation disorder that is caused by a combination of hereditary, hormonal factors, as well as due to sun exposure. It shows up as mottled dark spots on the cheekbones, forehead, nasal bridge, upper lips and rarely, over the jawline.
How to Tackle It:
a) Sun protection is the most important step to avoid and prevent the worsening of melasma. Physical protection like opaque umbrellas, wide-rimmed hats, the scarf should be used while stepping out in the sun
b) Use liberal amounts of sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30, in the morning, at least 15 minutes before stepping out and repeat it in the afternoon after 3-4 hours. Sunscreen use should not be restricted to only while stepping outdoors or when it's sunny but also while indoors. Remember to use only physical sunscreen during your pregnancy and breastfeeding period.
c) Using skin lightening products that contain kojic acid, glycolic acid and vitamins C, E, and A in lower concentrations can assist to brighten and rejuvenate your complexion.
Stretch marks affect around 90 percent of women at some point in their life, with pregnancy being one of the most prevalent times when this occurs. These marks, reddish-purple scars become white over time and are produced by the damage to its elastic fibres when it is stretched due to weight increase. These are particularly noticeable on the abdomen after delivery.
How to Tackle It:
a) Prevention is better than cure. Start using moisturising lotions containing cocoa butter and Shea Butter during pregnancy itself and continue to post your delivery.
b) Massages will also enhance the elasticity of the skin, however, do take care to do it gently.
c) In the initial stages, the stretch marks are red in colour (striae rubra) and these respond best to treatment, so do visit your dermatologist early.
d) Various cosmetic procedures like lasers, PRP, micro-needling with a derma roller can be done to lighten the scars.
Acne or pimples is caused by an inflammation of the sebaceous glands of the face. While a few women report clearing of their pre-existing acne during pregnancy, others may experience a severe flare. This is due to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
How to Tackle It:
a) Always use cosmetics that are non-comedogenic.
b) Increased fluid intake and staying hydrated may help your acne naturally.
c) Remember to remove makeup before bedtime and avoid frequently touching your face.
d) Products containing benzoyl peroxide may be used to penetrate clogged pores and remove pollutants; it is also safe to use during and after breastfeeding.
e) Although products containing retinol are great for acne treatment, they are contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common yet non-infectious skin condition that will not transmit to the infant. It's usually the result of an underlying sensitive skin disease that's been there for a while. Hand eczema has become quite common of late due to frequent hand washing with harsh soaps and hand sanitisers.
How to Tackle It:
a) Use a mild soap with a skin-friendly pH.
b) Gently pat dry the skin after each wash and apply a moisturising cream immediately which helps to lock in the moisture content of the skin.
c) Topical steroid creams are used to treat severe eczemas, however, they should always be prescribed by a dermatologist after careful evaluation and never be taken OTC from pharmacies. They are safe during pregnancy and lactation.
d) Do not wear anything too tight or shape-fitting. Tight clothes may trap the heat and make the skin irritable. Better to pick natural fabrics, like cotton.
The most common pregnancy rash is PUPPPs, or pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. These itchy, red spots appear around stretch marks and can spread to the arms, legs, and buttocks. They generally appear at the end of pregnancy, when the tummy is stretched the most.
How to Tackle It:
a) Try applying something cold to your rash to receive some relief. Apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes or cover the rash with a cold, damp cloth.
b) Have lukewarm water baths as very hot water dries the skin and aggravates the itching
c) Keep the skin moisturised with a good moisturiser or coconut oil.
d) Visit your dermatologist who will further guide you on use of safe treatment options during pregnancy and lactation.(Dr. Swathi Shivakumar, Consultant Dermatologist, Aster RV Hospital, JP Nagar, Bengaluru)
Read More► Skincare Tips for New Mothers and Their Babies
When you become a mother, you tend to forget about your own needs because you are so focused on your child. With the baby keeping you busy all day and night, your skincare takes a backseat. It's not always changing in skin texture and looks post-pregnancy are a bad thing, but not taking care of your skin may lead to acne, melasma, stretch marks, puffy eyes, and even dark circles.
Here we are sharing simple and easy tips for you to follow, to get a glowing post-pregnancy.
As you sleep, your skin goes through a renewal cycle, by dispensing toxins and debris. So you only need a light-textured cleanser to wash your face with a face wash that is suitable for your skin type.
Take steam for 2-3 days a week, it will help you to open up your clogged pores.
Scrub & Face Pack
Use a face scrub, to remove the dead skin cells, scrub your face for like 5 minutes and wash it with normal tap water. It will help you to make your skin softer and radiant, leave the mask until it dries off.
Toner & Moisturizer
Apply toner to your face, look for clarifying toners that rebalance your pH to maintain the pH value of your skin. In the end, you only have to moisturize your face, to give hydration.
Steal Baby Products
Baby products are always mild in nature so that the baby's sensitive skin doesn't have to compromise. They are created to lock moisture in babies skin. So, you can also use them. Whether it's a body oil, lotion or cream, apply some on your skin every time you're applying them on your baby. If you do this, you can flaunt your skin, this way, you don't have to dedicate a specific time every day for your skincare.
Keep All Skincare Needs in One Place
Organize all your skincare products in one place, this organization will help you way much better than anything. Make use of your "me time" and devote it properly to pamper yourself.
Streaming Your Routine
Make a proper timetable, for your week how many days you are going to deep cleanse your skin in a week. If we talk about the baby skincare routine this is important too. As the baby's skin is too sensitive and they are interacting with such a harsh environment pollution, high temperature etc. Don't worry there are some simple and easy enough tips. Here, what you should know, with regards to bath, diapering, selecting items and that's just the beginning.
Babies need two to three baths a week in warm, not hot water to stay clean. The initial step to an extraordinary child shower is to track down the ideal temperature. Tip: Fill the bath without any more than 2 to 3 creeps of water. To keep your child from getting cold while you wash them, routinely pour cupfuls of water over their shoulders.
There are a lot of things you'll have to do for your little one when they're an infant, like changing your baby's diaper regularly, cleaning tenderly however completely each time with child wipes. Make the surface saturated yet dry simultaneously as well. There are countless myths around diaper rashes that it is caused because of the usage of diapers. But no, it is due to a lack of attention and knowledge about the correct time to change the diaper. Else it will get worse for your child.
Awareness of Products
Always read the product label before purchasing products for your infant. It's ideal to avoid chemical and alcohol-based products. Use products that are made explicitly for infants.
Newborn babies are so delicate, requiring a lot of care and attention. A single mistake or slip of mind can make things worse. Keep your infant's skin saturated, as well, so consistently have a stockpile of moisturizers around. But excessive oil can cause cradle caps, and dryness can create painful scenarios. If your child is facing such issues you need to consult a certified dermatologist.
Read More► Turn to The Humble Coconut for Skin Care
When it comes to skin and hair care, products find it hard to compete with multitasking coconut-based products. While coconut-based hair and skin oil is known to have pre-grooming and conditioning effects on hair, its varied components such as Vitamin E make it an ideal agent for skin-care benefits.
From the earliest of times, plant-based oils have been used in skin care. There is a renewed interest in coconut-based skin oil in recent times, both to restore skin surface and in skin ailments.
Coconut-based skin oil is a very able moisturizer, with studies concluding it's at par and in some cases superior to mineral oil as an emollient. Regular application of coconut-based skin oil has been found to improve skin hydration and strengthen the barrier lipids in the skin.
Its small particle size allows for easy absorption in the skin, penetrating to deeper layers easily, providing thorough moisturizing. By reducing water loss from the skin, coconut-based skin oil also helps moisturize the skin for longer.
Environmental pollution, over-sanitizing in Covid-times and climatic changes, have a drastic downside of drying out the skin surface. Coconut-based skin oil is a simple, easily attainable and cost-effective product to tackle these side effects.
Interestingly, the absorption of coconut-based skin oil into the skin and subsequent breakdown into Monolaurin and Lauric acid -- which are known antimicrobial agents, has been observed to improve skin-barrier function in low birth-weight babies. The skin barrier function improvement leads to improved weight gain by better thermo-regulation. Thus, regular massaging with coconut-based skin oil will help fight infections in premature infants and help keep them safe.
Touted as an anti-bacterial agent, coconut-based skin oil reduces bacterial colonization in people with extremely dry skin, prone to itching and rash. Regular use of coconut-based skin oil, an inexpensive and widely available agent, on skin keeps it healthy, moisturized and supple.
In cellular studies, coconut-based skin oil has also exhibited anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
What adds to the glorious properties of coconut-based skin oil is its remarkable safety, low irritancy, non-toxic and non-sensitizing nature.
With the method of double-cleansing totally in trend, coconut-based skin oil has been successfully used as the first step in the removal of make-up or sunscreen before cleaning the face with a regular cleanser. It is especially gentle to eyes when removing eye makeup, hydrating the delicate area around the eye instead of stripping the natural oils like with make-up removers.
Caution is advised while using coconut-based skin oil on the face for acne-prone skin since it is a comedogenic substance.
The ultra-hydrating properties of coconut-based skin oil make it an easy option as a body moisturizer, lip balm and to hydrate the cuticles around the nails.
In conclusion, it has properties that protect and repair your skin barrier. It is an easily available, economical, safe and effective moisturizer for the body skin. (By Jushya Bhatia Sarin)
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