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Back to School – A Battle Between Education and COVID-19

Back to School - A Battle Between Education and COVID-19

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Students are finally returning to school. But as parents, many are worried about COVID-19 safety. But while preparing to return to school, it is also essential to think about the other ways to keep your children safe and build an environment inclusive of everyone. 

Here are a few tips to help protect your children from this virus.

covid safety children school

If you have any questions regarding your child’s health or would like some medical advice you can consult a paediatrician or a general physician from the comfort of your home via the oDoc app. Click here to download oDoc now.

References:

  1. What Do Students Need This Back-to-School Season?, Raliance (2021)
  2. Be Back-to-School Ready, Weill Cornell Medicine (2021)
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Am I Just Having “Baby Blues” Or Do I Have Postpartum Depression?

Am I Just Having “Baby Blues” Or Do I Have Postpartum Depression?

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You’ve just given birth. You’ve created a new life. Your body and mind have gone through a huge transformation over the last nine months. And now you have this whole other tiny human being that you need to care for and nurture. Obviously, you cannot go back to regular scheduled programming and you shouldn’t have to!

Even if you’ve been waiting so long for your baby and it is everything you’ve ever wanted and dreamed about, you are still bound to feel overwhelmed, emotional and maybe even moody. Let us shout it from the rooftops: THIS IS COMPLETELY NORMAL AND VERY COMMON FOR NEW MOTHERS.

Postpartum “baby blues” are extremely common. You’re operating on very little sleep, your hormones are on a rollercoaster, you’re adjusting to the realities of parenting a new baby so it’s no wonder you’re experiencing mood swings!

postpartum depression

But still you might be worrying about whether it is normal to feel this way. You might be wondering if this low feeling will go away in a few days or if you have something more serious, such as postpartum depression.

Symptoms of “baby blues”

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability and grumpiness
  • Exhaustion
  • Feeling joy and happiness one minute and then sadness the next
  • Unsure of your ability to take care of your baby
  • Trouble eating and taking care of your own health

How long are “blues” expected to last?

One important distinction between the “baby blues” and postpartum depression is that the “baby blues” are temporary. You are most likely going to experience “blues” for the first few days after giving birth. Symptoms that last more than two weeks might signal that you could have potentially developed postpartum depression and it is time to have a discussion with your doctor.

Symptoms of postpartum depression

  • Anger and irritability
  • Extremely low energy and wanting to sleep all the time
  • Feeling numb and disconnected from the people around you
  • Feeling you’ve failed as a mother
  • Thoughts of self-harm and thoughts of harming your baby
  • Crying excessively
  • Trouble bonding with your newborn

Postpartum depression does share many of the same moodiness as “baby blues” but symptoms are usually more intense and disturbing.

baby blues

Treatment for “baby blues”

Just because postpartum blues are very common doesn’t mean it’s easy to go through. Here’s what you can do to cope.

  • Assure yourself that what you’re feeling is completely normal and is experienced by all new mothers
  • Sleep as much as you can, which means sleeping when the baby is sleeping, or having your partner or family member look after the baby for an hour while you nap
  • Eat healthily and regularly
  • Exercise can do wonders! Even if its just a walk outside.
  • Talk about what you’re going through with loved ones or other mums
  • Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t have the energy to do housework or other chores. You just had a baby!

Treatment for postpartum depression

If your baby “baby blues” don’t ease up after 2 weeks or if you’re experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression, don’t wait till your next check up with your doctor. Get in touch right away.

You may feel ashamed or embarrassed that you’re feeling this way, especially after this magical thing has happened in your life but you’re not alone with these feelings. 1 in 5 women experience postpartum depression after childbirth. Your doctor may recommend medication and/or therapy. You can also make healthy choices in your lifestyle such as:

  • Talk to people you trust about what you’re going through
  • Cut back on other errands. Use your energy to take care of basic needs for you and your baby
  • Build community by speaking to other mothers, joining a depression support group or just reach out to trusted friends and family. Fight isolation.
  • Rest whenever you can. Reach out to close friends and family to take the baby shift so you can sleep for a few hours. This does not mean defeat.

Causes of postpartum depression

The exact cause isn’t clear but experts say that postpartum depression may be triggered by both physical and emotional factors.

  • Hormonal changes – While you’re pregnant, your levels of estrogen and progesterone are higher than usual. After you give birth, these hormone levels drop significantly. Such a drastic change in hormones can contribute to postpartum depression.
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Not eating meals at regular hours or eating an unhealthy diet
  • Social isolation
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

Risk factors of postpartum depression

Any new mother can experience postpartum depression after childbirth, even if its not their first baby. However, your risk increases if:

  • You have a history of depression
  • You’ve had postpartum depression after a previous pregnancy
  • You’ve had family members who’ve had depression or other mood disorders
  • You’ve experienced stressful events recently
  • You have difficulty breastfeeding
  • You have a weak support system
  • The pregnancy was unplanned or unwanted

Speak to a doctor on oDoc if you think you might be having the above symptoms. This is a judgement-free zone where your doctors will NOT shame you and will only help you to feel better. Click here to download the app. 

References:

  • Is It Postpartum Depression or ‘Baby Blues’?, 2021, WebMD
  • Do I have Postpartum Blues or Postpartum Depression, 2020, VeryWell Family
  • Everything You Need To Know About Postpartum Depression, 2016, Healthline
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Hey, new mum! Is there a right way to do this?

Hey, new mum! Is there a right way to do this?

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new mom with baby

Why is my baby crying so much? Are they supposed to sleep at this time? Am I doing this right? Is it supposed to be this hard?

New mums, these are a few of the questions you may have asked yourself, your mother, mother-in-law or your paediatrician. It is extremely common for new mothers to feel confused and question everything because becoming a first-time parent is a new and complex experience. So, we at oDoc have answered six of the most commonly asked questions to help you out.

 

 1. How often should I feed my baby?

Every child is different and there is no ‘golden rule’ for how often you should feed your baby. If you are breastfeeding, you may have to feed them more often as breast milk gets digested faster than formula. It is recommended you nurse every 1.5-3 hours if you are breastfeeding and every 2-3 hours if you are giving formula. As they grow older the time between feeds will increase. 

Newborns are most likely to nurse eight to 12 times a day for the first month; when your child gets to be 4 to 8 weeks old, they’ll probably start nursing seven to nine times a day.

2. How do I know when my baby is hungry?

It’s difficult to distinguish between the sleepy-cries, carry-me-now – cries and hunger-cries. But watch out for the following cues your baby might give if they are hungry

  • Leaning toward your breast or a bottle
  • Sucking on their hands or fingers
  • Opening their mouth, sticking out their tongue, or puckering their lips
  • Fussiness and crying 

These may indicate that it is time for their next (which would feel like their 100th) meal for the day. 

3. How can I increase my milk supply?

It is common to worry about not producing enough milk. In fact, it is very common amongst new breastfeeding mothers. So you aren’t alone. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that approximately 75% of new mothers start off breastfeeding their babies, but many stop either partially or completely within the first few months. One of the most common reasons for this is the worry about insufficient milk production. Most women usually have sufficient milk production but if you are worried you could try the following: 

  • Try feeding more often – as your baby feeds, your pituitary gland releases hormones that are involved in lactation. 
  • Eat foods that are proven to increase milk production such as ginger, garlic and fenugreek.
  • Try feeding your baby from both breasts – stimulation of both breasts will increase milk production.
Mother holding her baby

 

4. Will I spoil my infant if I hold onto them too much?

No, absolutely not. Contrary to popular belief this is not true. You can’t spoil a baby by holding on to them or by giving them too much attention. In fact, giving them constant attention is crucial as it is the foundation for them to grow emotionally, physically and intellectually. So, next time someone says you are giving your baby too much attention, tell them you are just ensuring their needs are met, just like the good mom you are. 

5. Is this colour of poop normal?

This is probably a question you’ve asked yourself many times. Do you open the pamper and always examine the poop to make sure the colour is ‘normal’? But not sure what exactly the ‘normal’ baby poop colour is?  Below are what each coloured poop may actually mean (source: Healthline).  

Table comparing different colours of poop

6. How often should my baby poop?

Meconium, the newborns first poop, will pass in the first 24-48hours. After that, the bowel movement settles in, and the poop may be light brown, yellow, or yellow-green in colour. A baby should poop about 3 times a day when breastfed in the first 6 weeks. Some may even poop 4-12 times a day. After starting solids they can poop more than that. For formula-fed babies, 1-4 bowel movements per day, is expected. 

So next time these questions arise in your mind, we hope these answers will also pop up and calm you down a bit. We just wanted to say that we are sure you are doing an amazing job and there are many moms out there who are questioning the same things as you. If you have any questions regarding your baby’s health or would like some medical advice you can consult a paediatrician from the comfort of your home via the oDoc app. Click here to download oDoc now. 

Stay indoors and be proud of all you have achieved with your little one. 

 

Sources

Santos-Longhurst, A. (2018, May 7). 5 Ways to Increase Breast Milk Production. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/how-to-increase-breast-milk

Brody, B. (2015, July 23). Baby Feeding Schedule. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/baby-feeding-schedule#1

UNICEF. (n.d.). Busted: 14 myths about breastfeeding. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://www.unicef.org/parenting/food-nutrition/14-myths-about-breastfeeding

Prime, D. K., Garbin, C. P., Hartmann, P. E., & Kent, J. C. (2012). Simultaneous Breast Expression in Breastfeeding Women Is More Efficacious Than Sequential Breast Expression. Breastfeeding Medicine, 7(6), 442–447. https://doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2011.0139

Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation. (n.d.). Herbs for Increasing Milk Supply. Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation. Fondation canadienne de l’allaitement. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://www.canadianbreastfeedingfoundation.org/induced/herbs.shtml



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