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We are passionate about providing you with all round health solutions.
Please use this resource page as your gateway to better health. Talk to our pharmacists about ways we can collaborate to support your needs.
Your Health Fact Sheet
Click to book beauty
* Tips for Great Hair
* Mouth Ulcers
* Looking After Your Breasts
* Keeping Your Nails in Good Condition
* Hair Removal
* Great Makeup Tips
* Great Fitness Tips
* Dry & Chapped Lips
* Caring for Your Hair
* About Your Skin
* About Your Nails
* About AHAs
* 21 Ways to Look & Feel Beautiful
AHA stands for alpha-hydroxy acid. This substance has exfoliating and skin-softening properties. There are different AHAs, including glycolic acid (found in fruit or sugar can), lactic acid (in milk and molasses) and citric acid (in citrus fruits).What do they do?AHAs work by dissolving the sticky substance between cells that stop the skin’s dead surface cells from falling off naturally. They also exfoliate the dry, damaged cells that clog pores and cause unsightly blemishes and infections.
Some benefits of using AHAs are -
If you are using Retin A or hydrocortisone cream for any reason - seek out the help of a beautician or other expert before using AHA creams.Otherwise, most skincare specialists recommend that they be used only at night time after your skin has been thoroughly cleansed.
As the nail cells divide and move upwards, they become thicker and tougher with keratin and when they die, they become part of the nail.
This dead cell material which is the nail as we know it, can vary in texture, strength and flexibility depending on the condition of the original living cells, the nail bed and your general health.
If your nails are not as strong and healthy looking as you would like, this may be an indication that your overall health and nutrition needs to be examined.
If you have ridges going lengthwise along the nail, you may have an iron deficiency, if there are white spots on the nails, a zinc or vitamin A deficiency may be the cause, while white pits or grooves can indicate anaemia or a calcium imbalance may be evident. You will need to see a professional to confirm this.
There are other factors which may weaken the nails, such as strong detergents, and constant barrage of chemicals from nail preparations.
The skin is our largest organ and protects us from the elements, shields against injury, yet allows us to move, it also helps regulate our internal temperature.
The skin is made up of two important parts - the outer section - known as the epidermis and an underlying part called the dermis. The epidermis consists of several layers of cells. These cells are constantly dividing and moving up to the surface. They are made of keratin. It takes up to 3 or 4 weeks for a cell in the lower part of the epidermis to reach the top part of the skin. The dermis is made up of bundles of protein fibres called collagen and also elastic fibres. The sweat glands, hair follicles, blood vessels and nerves are embedded in the dermis. The hairs pass through the epidermis to the surface of the skin.
The colour of our skin is a result of the production of the black pigment called melanin. In light skinned people, there is less melanin produced. In darker skinned people, there is more of this substance made. There are other factors contributing to the colour of skin - blood vessels and the state of the blood within these vessels.
There are different types of skin types usually categorised according to the level of oil production in the skin layers.
Oily skin -
Is usually the result of increased activity of the sebaceous glands, producing excess oils in the skin and clogging the pores. Excess sweating and some drugs can aggravate the problem. You could also be lacking vitamin A or zinc. This type of skin is characterised by a thick shiny coating on the visible layer of the skin. You may also have blackheads, whiteheads and acne.
Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, garlic, eggs and fish, less refined, sugary foods and fatty foods. Try not to be overly stressed. Always wash your face regularly.
This is the result of a lesser amount of sebum oil being produced than normal. It could indicates a deficiency in B complex vitamins and vitamin C. Eat more nuts, beans, wholegrain breads and cereals, peas, fresh fruit and vegetables. And drink plenty of filtered water every day.
It is also a great idea to apply moisturiser more often. Do not necessarily cleanse the skin excessively and avoid salt water.
Good hair care starts with how you treat your hair, body and scalp. Most hair problems are essentially problems with the scalp which can be affected by the over-production or under-production of oils, dermatitis and infections. If your hair is over-oily, too dry, brittle, falling out, splitting or the general condition is poor - this can be an indication that your general health may need to be examined. A nutritional deficiency may be the cause of some hair problems. Some say that our hair is a reflection of our general health.
Hair tends to fall into certain categories. Some people have oily hair which means that the sebaceous glands are slightly overactive, producing more oil. This extra oil lubricates the hair and skin and gives them a more ‘greasy’ appearance. Your hair may also be dry with split ends. This is the result of an underactive sebaceous gland. You also may have dry hair as a result of excessive use of chemical products on your hair. You may be one of the lucky ones and have normal hair which is neither too oily or too dry.
Dandruff is also a problem which may be encountered either with oily or dry types. This condition is the result of a disorder in the sebaceous gland in the scalp, which produces more scales of skin than necessary.
The best way you can care for your hair nutritionally is to...
Some hair problems can also be caused by a deficiency in zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C or iron. Brewer’s yeast and vitamin B5 are also good for the hair. It is not wise to take the vitamin B’s separately - take them as a complex or group.
Note - about once per week, invest in a protein conditioner or a more intensive treatment. This is good for dry hair or hair which has been treated with chemicals. Comb through and cover with a shower cap and towel. Leave for one hour and shampoo out. (see section on aromatherapy for the hair)Remember also not to brush hair when it is wet - use a wide toothed comb to get out the tangles. This is when the hair is particularly vulnerable and can break easy.
If you wash your hair everyday, it is a good idea not to blow dry it everyday as well. This can cause damage to the hair shaft and split ends. Try to let it dry naturally every second time you wash your hair at least. Put the dryer on a low setting and do not use it too close to your hair.
You should have regular cuts - at least every 6 weeks to remove the longest ends. Speak with your hairdresser about the condition of your hair. He or she may also recommend having a conditioning treatment at the same time.
This can result from too much exposure to the sun, dehydration or low sebum oils released into the skin.You may also be lacking in folic acid and vitamins B2, B6 and B12. Eat more green, leafy vegetables, potatoes, citrus fruits, liver and kidney, yeast extract.
Regular exercise is a vital part of any weight-loss program. But not only good for losing weight, it is also necessary to keep your muscles toned and for a good feeling of well-being.
It has been reported that moderate exercise is more healthy for your heart and body than vigorous activity. Moderate exercise which is regular, such as cycling, walking and gardening can actually reduce the risk of heart attack in susceptible people. So you do not have to punish yourself with exercise. However, even with lower impact workouts, if you haven’t exercised much before introduce it gradually into your life until you are doing some form of exercise nearly every day.
You should aim for between half and hour to an hour of exercise six days per week. You may need to work up to this level but you can use this as a guide. Start out going for about 20 minutes three times per week and gradually build up to 60 minutes six times per week.
REMEMBER - if you haven’t exercised for a while, or if you have any medical conditions, you should see your doctor before starting any exercise program.
To burn fat, you need to be doing aerobic exercise. It doesn’t matter what type you do as long as you enjoy it and it does not cause you body any discomfort. You do not necessarily need to join gyms, purchase expensive equipment or buy special gear.
This is the best exercise for all types fitness levels. You just need to get yourself some good fitness shoes and start. You could even go for a drive and stop the car somewhere which appeals to you. But remember to get yourself into a routine and do it regularly. Keep your posture upright, your back straight, your head held high (but be careful not to trip over anything!) and abs should be held in tight. Take smooth even strides and swing your arms as well to tone these areas. Being a little puffed is ok, but if you are totally breathless, slow down.
This gives your lungs and heart a good workout and also tones your lower body. This is not an exercise to start with if it has been years since you have done anything physical. Jogging can also place a great deal of stress on your lower legs if you do not have a very supportive running shoe. If you are weak in these areas, do not jog. Always do a warm up by walking briskly. Increase your speed gradually.
This is great for your body and allows you to watch t.v or read while you are exercising. Be certain that the seat is adjusted for you. Warm up on the bike for five minutes, gradually building up to a faster pace. Keep your back straight. This is great for your bottom and legs.
If you love the water, swimming is a great way to get fit and your body will love you for it. The entire body is supported by the water so you will not be placing any strain on it at all. You need to do it continuously for the time you have allowed yourself and reasonably briskly. Freestyle is a good stroke for an all over body workout.
This is a great all round workout and is a good excuse for a social get together with someone. You need strong legs to move around the court at speed, and some power in your arms to hit the ball. You may need lessons if you are new to this.
Great Fitness Tips
To start off…
Always cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin as described in our section on skin care. Additionally you do need to wear a 15+ sunscreen on top of your moisturiser. You can also buy moisturisers with sunscreen already in them.
eye shadow brushes - to shadelarge make-up brush - for powdera lip brush - to blend lip colour effectivelyblusher brush - to blend colour
for any blemishesfor under the eyesto hide any slips of mascara or lipstick
to combine different colours
to give a more dramatic effect to eyelashes ora more natural look without mascara
Make sure you put your make-up on in an area with good light.The best way to get a great finish for your make-up is to use a good moisturiser. Use one which suits your skin type, this way it will act as a great base for your make-up.
When applying foundation, put some in your palm and use a sponge to apply it to your face for even coverage. Start in the middle of your face and blend outwards towards the edges. Always ensure that the make-up is blended over the jawline to avoid the dreaded ‘line’. Do not forget to apply your make-up to your eyelids. This will enable the eye shadow to stay on longer. The foundation should look smooth and well blended - not too thick, but with no patches either.Always apply a translucent powder to ‘set’ the foundation.
Once your foundation is how you want it, apply your eyebrow pencil. Do not go overboard with this as it can look quite fake. But your eyebrows should be defined as this acts as a frame for your face. The colour of the eyebrow pencil should be reasonable close to the colour of your natural hair colour.
Use eyeliner if you want a more dramatic look but be very careful, as you do not want it to look like you have lines around your eyes. If you are in doubt, see a beautician at a pharmacist for some expert advice. Be sure to have understated lips if your eyes are dramatic and vice versa.
Before you use your mascara, wipe the brush on a tissue to stop it from clumping on your lashes.Apply the mascara from the roots of the lashes to the tip. Let dry, and reapply if necessary. Don’t apply more than 2 coats as your lashes will look too thick and may clump together.
Apply blush under the contours of your cheekbones to get an angled or contoured look. Stick with more natural colours so that you don’t end up looking like a clown. A little of this does go a long way.If there are any areas that need touching up (if you slipped with your mascara for example) just apply a very small amount of concealer. Ensure that all the colours on your face match. Pinks usually do not go with reds.
Always use a lipliner to outline the lips and stops the bleeding that can sometimes happen with certain lipsticks. Also make sure you use a sharp lip pencil so the outline looks well defined. Choose a lipliner that matches your lipstick well. A very dark liner with a light lipstick does not look attractive. Also your nail polish should match these. When using a lip brush, bursh onto lipstick a few times and then onto the lips. Be sure to get an even coverage on the lips.
There are places that you just do not want to have hair - your bikini line, under your arms, your lips and other facial areas and legs.
Hot waxing is very popular. Beauticians use hot wax to remove unwanted hairs. The wax is placed on the area with a thick blunt knife and left for a few moments to harden, and then pulled off (along with the hairs). This process is relatively quick and lasts for up to a few weeks or a month depending on how quickly your hair grows.Problems can be that it is painful in sensitive areas and some people are prone to ingrown hairs.You can wax at home and there are products available at our pharmacy for this purpose. You need some patience and time to get the correct technique going. Always test the wax on your hand first as hot wax may burn you. If you don’t get all the hairs out in one go, let the skin cool for a minute before reapplying.
This is a relatively messy technique yet some believe it is less painful than waxing and cleaner. Probably best to see a qualified sugaring therapist. This technique has been used since Cleopatra’s day.
This is quick, cheap, done at home and is very commonly used by a lot of women. There can be problems however with cuts, ingrown hairs. Always use sharp razors. Apparently it is a myth that shaving makes the hairs grow back thicker and stronger. The hair will grow back exactly as it always has - shaving or no shaving.
This is relatively new on the hair removal scene. It involves light energy being beamed from a laser. The melanin absorbs the light energy in the hair follicles and is destroyed. The follicle stops producing hairs. But before you all rush out and try this technique - the hair goes through three phases - growing, intermediate and resting. The melanin is only present during the growing phase. Therefore not all the follicles can be treated at the same time. Only the visible hairs can be destroyed at any one time.
This technique is best on people with white skin and black hairs. The more colour you have in your skin, the more pain and reaction you can expect to have. See someone qualified to give you a run down on this new technique.
Keeping your nails in good condition
It is important to always look after your breast as they have to last you a lifetime and endure your monthly cycle as well as childbirth, breastfeeding and age.
A bra which fits well is imperative. It must support the breasts and not be either too large or too small. A loose bra will not support you adequately and a bra which is too small will rub against your skin and cause friction.
Always wear a well supporting bra when you are exercising or playing sports. You are able to buy special sports bras for this purpose.
To check your proper bust measurements -Measure the fullest part of your bust, then measure the area above the bust. The difference between these measurements gives the cup size. They are as follows:-
When trying on bras, check the following for a great fit -
sometimes this can occur when the breast hasn’t emptied fully, you are not nursing your child in the correct position, missing feeds or the child is not nursing for long enough periods. Your breasts may feel uncomfortable. You can try to express some milk yourself.
this can occur when your breasts are too full. This usually occurs when the mild first comes in. You can usually relieve it by having a warm shower and expressing some of the milk.Sometimes the breasts are too tight for the baby to feed properly - justexpress a little before feeding to soften them up.
if your baby is not sucking correctly on your nipples, they can become sore. They will heal quickly if the position is corrected. If your nipples are cracked or blistered, feed on the other side. Nipples tend to heal quickly, so try to keep going with your breast feeding.
See our Pharmacist for products that may help the soreness and bring you some relief. Some good products for your breasts while breastfeeding are - either honey or almond oil and calendula ointment. Homoeopathic remedies include arnica, and calendula taken internally as well as in the form of an ointment. These are available from our pharmacy.
Looking after your breasts
Mouth Ulcers are simply an area of tissue erosion on the surface of the skin. These can result from stress, the time of the month (for women), a weak immune system, being too rough with your toothbrush, jagged teeth, chewing your cheeks continuously, burning from a hot drink or a deficiency in vitamins B12, iron, folic acid, zinc and vitamin C.
Another treatment option is to gargle a mixture of sage tea with 2 drops of tea tree oil mixed in warm water. Eat more red and yellow vegetables, wholegrain breads and cereals, citrus fruits, nuts, eggs, lean meat and seafood.
Tips for Great Hair
If breastfeeding is not appropriate for you or your life, it is possible to bottle-feed. Mothers who wish to bottle-feed their babies should use a commercial infant formula. These formulas are very similar nutritionally to breast milk. Your baby should grow and become strong and healthy in a similar way to breastfed babies.
There are many different varieties available and you can choose between ones based on cow’s milk or soya bean. Read the label carefully before making up the feed and contact your family doctor about how much or how often to feed your baby.The advantages are that other people can help feed your baby which can be great for working mums.Here are a few tips for a happy, healthy bottle-fed baby:
* It is advisable to give your baby an infant formula until he is about 12 months of age or until he is eating regular meals.
* Always sterilise the bottles and teats, and boil any water used for the milk mixture.
* Check the expiry date on the formula.
* Use formula within one month of opening the can.
* Hold your baby close to you every time you give him the bottle.
* Never leave your baby alone while feeding and don’t prop up your baby’s bottle while feeding.
* Burp your baby during and after a feed.
* When your baby has finished feeding throw away any left over milk, then rinse the bottle and teat with cold water. Do this immediately after each feed.
* Your baby doesn’t need to finish all the milk in a bottle at each feed.
* If formula based on cow’s milk appears to upset your baby, try milk based on soya bean. Speak with your doctor or our Pharmacist.
Young babies will usually take about 60 to 120mL of milk at each feed. They usually feed about every 3 or 4 hours.As your baby gets older, he will gradually take more at each feed until he reaches about 180 to 250mL.
Bottle Feeding Considerations
This is one of most important things you can do for yourself and your new baby. However it is not always easy to get started, it is not necessarily instinctive.
Here are a few tips for you:
* Start early - within the first few hours.
* Make sure someone experienced (a midwife) shows you how to do it properly.
* Feed your child from both breasts
* Make yourself comfortable before you begin
* You will have plenty of mild if you eat a variety of foods each day as well as lots of filtered water
* Demand feed your baby right away
* Feed the baby for however long he or she wants to feed. However make sure your baby is actually swallowing and that the position is correct.
* If your nipples are sore, something needs readjusting - his position or attachment.
* Do not use milk from the bottle in addition to your breastmilk as this may lessen your supply. It could also encourage your child to prefer sucking on the teat and not your nipple
* Feeding at night helps your milk supply and may help you sleep better.
* Do not put any creams, lotions or ointments on your nipples. They emit a smell which attracts your baby.
Blocked milk ducts:Sometimes this can occur when the breast hasn’t emptied fully, you are not nursing your child in the correct position, missing feeds or the child is not nursing for long enough periods. Your breasts may feel uncomfortable. You can try to express some milk yourself.
Engorgement:This can occur when your breasts are too full. This usually occurs when the milk first comes in. You can usually relieve it by having a warm shower and expressing some of the milk.Sometimes the breasts are too tight for the baby to feed properly - just express a little before feeding to soften them up.
Sore nipples:If your baby is not sucking correctly on your nipples, they can become sore. They will heal quickly if the position is corrected. If your nipples are cracked or blistered, feed on the other side. Nipples tend to heal quickly, so try to keep going with your breast feeding.
Too little milk:Usually people worry about this for no reason. If your baby looks well, has clear skin and eyes, is wetting 7 - 8 nappies per day, having some bowel movements and is putting on weight you should be assured that you are feeding him or her enough. The more the breast is sucked and the more milk is withdrawn from it, the more milk there will be produced.
Please see your doctor before taking any medications, these days you are able to breastfeed while taking a variety of medications but it is best to be sure. You definitely should not be smoking or have your baby anywhere near a smoker.
This must be done properly and not rushed as you may stress yourself and your baby. Breastfeed for at least three months as it can give your child a good healthy start in life. To avoid having to wean from a bottle as well, wean your child off breastmilk when he or she is ready to drink from a cup. This is usually when they are about 6 to 9 months old. However, there are no hard rules and if you and your child are both happy breastfeeding, continue to do so.
Take your time in weaning - ideally it should be done over 3 or 4 weeks. Start to replace a feed with milk from a cup.If your child puts up a fight or looks miserable with the idea. Do not push it - just give your breast again and try again at another feed. If however this continues, you and your partner will need to be a little firmer and not give your breast as an alternative. Eventually the child will accept this. They may still wish to breastfeed morning and night however, for a while.
Breast Feeding Considerations
Acute abdominal pain probably caused by abnormal bowel functions and wind.
Colic is thought to occur when the bowel in a baby contracts more regularly than an adult’s slower peristaltic movements. It is characterised by:
* loud screaming lasting for hours, three or more days a week and the baby is usually difficult to comfort.
* crying for long periods after a baby has been fed.
* while crying, the baby draws his knees up over his stomach as if he has a stomach ache.
* bowel movement or wind at the beginning or end of crying episodes.
It is very common for children to experience colic and although uncomfortable for the child and exhausting for the parents it is a relatively harmless condition that ends after the child is 4 months old.
The cause of colic is not known. Experts attribute it to any number of things, including an infant's immature digestive system, weaning the child too early, allergies, hormones in breast milk, and overfeeding. It is worsened when the baby cries as he or she takes in extra air which can exacerbate the problem.
There is no actual cure for colic, although you can often find relief from many at-home remedies have proved helpful in soothing colicky babies. Always try to be calm and curb your anxiousness as this can inadvertently be communicated to your child and it will make the condition worse.
Do not ever punish a child with colic. If you feel you cannot cope, leave someone else with the child for a few moments while you relax calm yourself.
If you suspect your child has colic, call your paediatrician. After ruling out possible medical causes of prolonged crying, most doctors recommend simple remedies you can perform at home.
Some encourage parents to talk with other parents for support. Give the baby something safe to suck, this will distract them from the pain. Also rhythmic rocking or walking with the baby is soothing.
Herbal Remedies - Teas made with herbs containing carminative oils, which reduce inflammation in the bowels and lessen gas production, may help a colicky child. (Try teas made of chamomile, lemon balm, peppermint, or dill).
Homoeopathy - Homoeopathic medicine offers several over-the-counter colic remedies that are considered safe to use without prior consultation with a Homoeopath. Seek help from a professional if your child does not respond to a remedy within 24 hours.
Aromatherapy - Try massaging your child’s stomach with chamomile or peppermint in a clockwise direction. Never give aromatherapy oils to children younger than 2 weeks. (see our section on aromatherapy).
At-Home Remedies -
* Be consistent with the ways in which you pacify the child
* Give your baby things to distract him or her.
* Motion can relieve colic. So take them for a walk, or drive or gently rock them.
* White noise may soothe your child.
* Wrap the child snugly in a blanket to provide a sense of security and comfort.
* Use a warm water bottle to sooth the pain
* Ask a relative or friend to take over when you feel yourself getting frustrated or exhausted.
Each time a man ejaculates, he produces sperm. However, for women it is usually only once that she will be ready to conceive in the month. Usually a fortnight before the first day of your period, you will produce a single egg from your ovaries. The egg swims to the fallopian tubes and lives there for approximately 12 hours. If it is not fertilised at this time, it dies and is absorbed back into the cells of the tube and the cycle starts again.
If you have sexual intercourse around the time you ovulate there is a big chance of conception taking place. Once ejaculation has occurred, the sperm (there could be up to 1000 million of them) separate from the seminal fluid and move up towards the cervix. The strong sperm survive this journey and the weaker ones die.
The vagina is quite an acid environment for the sperm and it takes resilient ones to withstand it. By the time the sperm reach the fallopian tubes, there are only two thousand left. The sperm struggle and fight to be the one to fertilise the egg when it is released. The one that connects with the egg is the fittest and strongest and this is natures way of ensuring that unhealthy or damaged sperm are not able to fertilise an egg.
Fertilisation occurs when a sperm penetrates the outer surface of the egg. Once the egg is fertilised, the tail drops off and the rest of the sperm die. The egg and sperm each with there own genetic information now combine together and form a single nucleus.
All this genetic information will determine the sex and characteristics of your child. The nucleus divides into two and over the next 3 days will continue to divide until there are 64 cells. As this is happening, the egg travels through the fallopian tube towards the uterus. After the seventh day, the egg is able to snuggle into the lining of the uterus - now it can be nurtured and a pregnancy can start. Once this happens conception is complete. The egg can be nourished by the blood supply in the uterine lining. At this time the ovary is informed that fertilisation has occurred and it stops ovulation and the body also ceases menstruation.
Occasionally however, the egg divides into separate halves, instead of doubling the cells in a single cell. The two separate embryos will be identical twins as they started off from the same egg and sperm. Non-identical twins will occur when two egg cells are released at ovulation and are fertilised by two different sperm.
Most couples find it reasonably easy to conceive, however sometimes it may take up to two years or so before it occurs. Other couples have great difficulties in conceiving and the problem can be with either partners or both.
Your baby will be ready to start to eat solid food at about four to six months of age. You can prepare this yourself. There are good reasons for starting your child on solids at this age:
* Baby may still be hungry after a milk feed;
* It lets babies get to know different tastes and textures;
* Babies need to learn how to swallow solid food.
* Chewing also helps in the development of muscles in preparation for speech.
* The iron stored by the liver since birth will be diminishing.
* Fresh fruits - such as ripe banana, pear, pawpaw, rockmelon, peach or avocado.
* Cooked fruits - try apple and pear. Try to grate harder fruits and vegetables.
* Canned fruits - unsweetened or fruits in their own juices are the best and the easiest to use.
* Cooked Vegetables (fresh is preferable) such as potato carrots zucchini broccoli pumpkin sweet potato marrow. To cook - steam vegetables. Then mash, blend or sieve them. Don’t add salt, Vegemite, Marmite or Promite or margarine or butter to vegetables.
* Rice porridge
* If your baby is under 6 months you may start with rice porridge and later add vegetables to rice porridge.
* If your baby is over 6 months, you may add minced meat or fish as well.
* Yoghurt - Use natural yoghurt and if needed, add fruit.
Start baby with 2-4 teaspoons of solids at each meal and increase to roughly half a cup by 6 months, or according to your baby’s appetite.
Do not become worried if your child won’t eat solids or won’t eat everything you give him. All babies are different - some need more food than others and some do not need to start solids until six months. Do not force your child to eat, he will eat when he is hungry.
At this age your baby needs to begin to learn how to chew even if he does not have teeth. Solids should play an increasingly important role in nutrition from now on.
* Cereal - continue on using iron-fortified baby cereals at least until 9 months. Vita-Brits, Weet-Bix or porridge could be started after 9 months.
* Egg yolk - You may also give your baby the yolk of an egg. Only give a little at a time until your baby gets used to it. You give it to your baby mixed with vegetables, or from a finger of toast dipped into yolk, or give just the plain yolk.
* Vegetables - spinach, silver beet and green beans.
* fish, steamed - make sure there is no skin or bones
* chicken, finely chopped or pureed.
* brains, mashed.
* roast meat or steak - thin flakes scaped off the meat.
* lamb’s fry.
* Babies often enjoy chewing on a rusk.
* Fruit juice - 60 to 12mls daily.
Teething usually starts between 6 and 9 months of age. They usually like to have something in their mouth to ease the pain and discomfort - a rusk is great. They will also enjoy feeding themselves using their fingers or a safe spoon. They also love chewing on foods such as cooked carrot, celery, green beans, pumpkin; meat, fish, chicken, cheese; pieces of ripe banana, peach, pear, small pieces of orange, apple; sandwiches, toast.
Babies at this age should be eating most of the same foods as you. But your should be cutting it up in small pieces or mashing it.
* pasta dishes
* meat, fish, chicken
* whole egg
* rice dishes
Raw apple, celery or carrot should be grated. Do not add extra salt or sugar to your baby’s food. Don’t give fried foods.
* Snack foods - Babies often like to munch on something between meals. Healthy options are pieces of soft fruit, plain cracker biscuits, toast or bread.
Avoid the following - sweet biscuits, sugary foods, sweetened fruit drinks, cordials and soft drinks, salty packet chips and crisps, nuts, peanuts, hard lollies, uncooked carrot or celery and whole peas.
Between 6 and 9 months, your baby can start to learn to drink from a cup. To help him/her learn, give him/her an unbreakable cup to play with and show him how to put it to his/her mouth. Then, add a little water, juice or milk and let him/her learn to use it. It takes most babies some time to learn to drink from a cup. Don’t worry if he/she makes a mess.
Each day your baby needs these foods to continue to grow to be strong and healthy:
* Milk - either breast milk or 4 small cups
* Wholegrain cereal, bread, rice or pasta - 3 servings
* Yellow or dark green vegetables - 1 serving
* Juice - 1 small cup
* Other fruits and vegetables - 2 servings
* Meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cheese or legumes - 1 or 3 servings
* Filtered water to drink
If you are breast feeding, continue to breast feed for as long as you and your baby want to. If bottle feeding, it’s a good idea to start taking your baby off the bottle by twelve months and offer milk from a cup.
* Snacks - Most toddlers cannot eat very much at each meal and they get hungry between meals. So they like snacks. Some good ideas are: pieces of fruit, fruit juice, peanut butter on plain cracker biscuits or bread, small pieces of cheese or cold meat, small cups of milk. Avoid all sweet, refined or fatty snack foods.
It is good to offer your baby water regularly. They may not want it however. Do not add sugar or honey to the baby’s water.
Breast milk and recommended infant formulas contain all the vitamins your baby needs for the first 4 to 6 months.
When baby is 4-6 months of age, you may wish to give some diluted fruit juice, especially in hot weather.
* 30mL fresh fruit juice in 30mL of cool boiled water.
* Do not use syrup fruit juices.
Feeding Your Baby Considerations
It is normal for you and your child to come into contact with bacteria and viruses on a regular basis. Some of these microbes can cause serious problems.Immunisation protects your baby from serious diseases and illnesses. It is safe and easy to administer.
When you are vaccinated, your body responds by creating antibodies that defend it against that disease in the future. It builds up a defence system that destroys the bacteria and viruses before they cause illness.
Whooping Cough (pertussis) - this is an infectious disease spread by coughing and sneezing. Breathing becomes difficult with distinctive coughing spasms. This can be fatal for children and babies.
Diphtheria - this is a bacterial infection spread by droplets from the nose. The bacteria produces a toxin which spreads throughout the body and causes heart failure or paralysis.
Polio - a virus of the gastrointestinal area. A serious disease which is not under control however it can make another appearance if children are not vaccinated from it.
Tetanus - caused by a bacteria made toxin which is found in soil and animal manure. Serious side effects are spasms, lockjaw, breathing problems and convulsions.
Mumps - virus spread by saliva. Is serious if complications set in - such as swollen brain and infertility.
Measles - caused by a virus. Highly infectious and spread by coughing and droplets from nasal passages. Can have serious side effects and complications can cause encephalitis or pneumonia.
Rubella (German measles) - dangerous if spread to pregnant women. Therefore very important to have your child immunised against it.
Hib - a bacterial infection that can cause other more serious diseases in children and infants.
Hepatitis B - this immunisation is available for your baby. It is a virus that attacks the liver and can be the cause of liver cancer.
These diseases are very serious and can often be fatal. Your child needs protection from them from an early age.
Age and what to get immunised against…2 months diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, Hib.4 months diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, Hib6 months diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, Hib12 months measles, mumps, rubella18 months diphtheria, tetanus, Hib4 - 5 years diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio10-16 years measles, mumps, rubella, hep Bone month later hep B (2nd dose)six months later hep B15-19 diphtheria, tetanusevery 10 years diphtheria, tetanus
Not many… Always tell your doctor if your child has a fever and is quite sick, is having any form of treatment that can affect their immune system, has a disease such as AIDS/HIV, Leukaemia, cancer. Your doctor will be able to recommend the appropriate course of action.
IMPORTANT NOTE: - There are some who worry that the whooping cough immunisation may cause brain damage in children. There have been studies conducted which show that this is probably not the case. If it were true, the chances would be less than one in a million. However, it is reported that for every 300 children who are not immunised against whooping cough and are unfortunate enough to catch the disease, two will probably develop encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and one will die.
This points out that it is more important to get your child immunised.Reference: The Australian Immunisation Handbook, 6th edition.
Infertility is the inability to conceive a child after a year or more of sexual intercourse without contraception.
If after a period of unprotected intercourse, the couple cannot conceive, this is infertility. It can be because of either partner or both. This can be very distressing for many couples and is taken as a sign of inadequacy. Please keep in mind being infertile does not necessarily indicate sterility.
Infertility in men can be the result of low sperm production, no sperm or sperm which do not swim as they should do as well as a tubes blockage.
In women, infertility can be caused by a failure to ovulate due to a hormone failure. Interruption of an egg's progress through the fallopian tube from ovary to uterus may also be a cause. Women’s age is a factor: as after 35 years of age it is often more difficult to conceive. Being overweight, or underweight, can also play a role.
In both men and women, fertility can be diminished by psychological factors, such as anxietyand depression, and by environmental agents.
Your doctor will perform many tests on both partners to determine the cause of the infertility. There are not ways to increase the chances of conception. Couples are often advised to have intercourse just before ovulation. Ovulation can be induced with the use of fertility drugs or hormones. Certain disorders occurring in men can be treated with a doctors help.IVF (in vitro fertilisation) is an option for couples who are infertile. The egg is fertilised outside the woman's body, then placed in the womb or fallopian tube.
A variety of alternative treatments may enhance fertility.
These are some of the things that you can expect during your pregnancy.
Your pregnancy is divided into three sections or trimesters:
You can expect some or all of these conditions in a normal pregnancy:
Pregnancy is a time of tremendous changes both physically and emotionally. These changes may come as a surprise or shock, but if you know in advance what is going to happen to you, you will be more prepared. Now is the time for you to start seeing a qualified doctor specialising in conception and childbirth. He or she will step you through what to expect as your baby grows, the labour and how to cope with a newborn.
You must strive to keep as well as possible throughout your pregnancy. That means you need a balanced diet, appropriate exercise, plenty of rest, and a stress-free environment. Never smoke or drink alcohol while you're pregnant, and avoid all drugs except those prescribed by your doctor.
We have listed some of the common complaints that are felt during your pregnancy and the treatments that you can have to ease them. If you are concerned about anything you are experiencing, do not hesitate to call your doctor.
ABDOMINAL PAINTo relieve pains or cramps particularly, use a hot water bottle on the affected areas. You can also gently massage the areas with lavender oil. If you exercise regularly, you will strengthen and tone your abdominal muscles.
BACKACHEDo not gain too much extra weight as this can put extra pressure on your back as well as hinder the birth. Do the appropriate exercises. Try not to take medications to relieve the pains; instead, use a hot water bottle. Special exercises to strengthen abdominal muscles can also help reduce backache.Also be very particular about your posture - don’t slouch or lean too far back. Lie down or sit down wherever possible later on in the pregnancy. Wear special shoes or shoe inserts.Sleep on a firm mattress.Be careful when lifting heavy loads.Massage... Sit backward on a straight chair. Lean over the back with your head resting on your crossed arms. Have someone massage with lavender oil.
BREAST DISCOMFORTIf your breasts leak fluid, use nursing pads in your bra. Wear a bra that gives your enlarged breasts proper support.
CONSTIPATIONIncreased hormone levels can cause your digestive system to slow down and this causes constipation. To keep stools soft and bowel movements regular, get plenty of dietary fibre. Avoid using over-the-counter laxatives. Drink lots of fluids and exercise regularly.
CONTRACTIONSMild, painless uterine contractions usually start sometime after the 20th week of pregnancy. If they cause discomfort, try changing positions. If contractions start coming at regular intervals, notify your doctor.
CYSTITISSee your doctor about the appropriate treatment for any urinary infection. However either drinking cranberry juice every day or taking the supplements can prevent this from occurring. (See also Urinary Problems.)Always check with your doctor before taking any new supplements.
DIZZINESS AND FAINTNESSAlways try to work and place yourself where there is free air available such as near windows and doorways. Stand up or get out of bed slowly. If you're in a crowd and start feeling dizzy, step away and get some fresh air; if possible, lie down with your feet elevated or sit with your head between your knees.
EDEMADo not gain too much weight during your pregnancy. Try to avoid too much salt as this causes you to retain fluid. Put your feet up whenever possible. Wear support pantihose and avoid standing for long periods. Wear shoes that fit well and give good support - not high heals.
FATIGUEGet a full night's sleep and rest with your feet up for at least 15 minutes several times a day. This can also be the result of a lack of iron in your system. If you notice you have cravings for red meat, spinach and eggs, see your doctor.
HEADACHESMake sure you get enough rest - in fact these headaches are best treated by sleep, eat regularly, and drink six or more glasses of water daily. Avoid over-the-counter painkillers;Try techniques such as yoga or meditation. Drink herbal teas and gently massage your temples with lavender oil.
HEARTBURNEat smaller, less spicy meals, avoid, greasy, sugary, and acidic foods. Stick to a bland, high-fibre diet, drink lots of fluids, and exercise daily. Don't lie down right after a meal. You may wish to raise the bedhead up a little as well.After meals, drink tea made from chamomile, ginger, or fennel.
HEMORRHOIDSHaemorrhoids may develop but they usually disappear after the birth. Avoid getting constipated. Eat a high-fibre diet to keep your movements soft, drink lots of fluids, and don't strain during bowel movements. To relieve haemorrhoidal itching or pain, try a warm bath. If they persist see your doctor who may prescribe a special cream.
LEG PAINS AND CRAMPSWear support hose during the day, and elevate your feet when resting, if possible. Have your legs massaged with lavender oil. Use a hot water bottle. If painful cramps persist, ask your doctor about calcium or magnesium supplements. It is comforting to know that they won’t last long.
MORNING SICKNESSYou may feel nauseated at any time of the day during the first trimester. Eating frequent light meals rather than three large meals. Keep your diet low in sweet and fatty foods. Drink plenty of fluids, and eat fresh fruits and vegetables, which are high in water content. Do not take antacids, but try vitamin B6.Aromatherapy... Add the essential oils of lavender and mandarin to your bath. Peppermint and sandalwood are also good for nausea. Put on a handkerchief and inhale the scent.Herbal teas are also very good.
MOUTH AND GUM DISCOMFORTSee your dentist before you get pregnant if possible or at least early in your pregnancy for a checkup and cleaning. Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day, and floss regularly.Supplemental vitamin C, calcium, and coenzyme Q10 will strengthen your own teeth and ultimately your baby's. Always check with your doctor before taking supplements.
NASAL CONGESTION OR NOSEBLEEDSPetroleum jelly or vasoline inserted in each nostril may help. Otherwise see your doctor if it becomes too uncomfortable. This problem should not last too long.
SKIN CHANGESChloasma, a darkening of the pigmentation on your face can be alarming but be rest assured it will disappear after the baby is born. It is best to stay out of the sun and to wear sunblock.Lubricate dry skin around your abdomen with a moisturising cream and especially vitamin E cream; stretch marks usually fade and decrease after the birth.
TASTE CHANGESIt is normal to have cravings for strange foods during your pregnancy. Use mouthwash often; chewing gum or mints may to get rid of the strange tastes in your mouth. Iron supplements may leave a bad taste in your mouth.
VAGINAL DISORDERSA thin, mild-smelling discharge is normal in pregnancy. Use sanitary napkins, but do not douche without your doctor's approval. If your discharge is red or brown call your doctor immediately. Vaginal itching and soreness may indicate an infection, which requires treatment by your doctor. Thrush is very common in pregnancy and may disappear without treatment after the baby is born. But if it is uncomfortable there are a number of home treatments that may help you. (See also Vaginal Problems.)
VARICOSE VEINSPregnancy puts extra strain on your legs. You can get the most benefit from wearing support pantyhose or stockings.Exercise regularly, but don't stand for long periods. Raise your legs above hip level when sitting, if possible. Lie on your side in bed, or put a pillow under your feet. (See also Varicose Veins.)Ask your doctor or a nutritional specialist about taking vitamin C supplements to strengthen blood vessels.
VISION CHANGESIf your eyes swell or change shape from fluid retention and hard contact lenses become uncomfortable, switch to soft lenses or glasses.
Eczema can quite often occur in babies up to about 4 months of age. It is usually milder than the type that occurs in adults. Your baby’s cheeks become rough and scaly and this can also occur in your child’s eyebrows and hair (cradle cap).If infection sets in, the skin can become scaly, develop cracks and redness and weep. Caused by overactivity of the sweat glands. This is usually grown out of in the first 6 months. You should stop using soap in his bath, ask your pharmacist about alternatives.
If the rash is particularly bad, you should limit the bathing to 2 times per week. Do not use baby creams and lotions.Moisturise the skin with sorbolene cream. Your doctor may prescribe a very mild steroid cream which you can add to the sorbolene cream and apply to your baby’s skin. This is perfectly safe and will usually sooth the pain. A natural option is chamomile applied on babies head - do not use on children under 2 weeks old and always use one drop diluted in carrier oil. (see our section on Aromatherapy).
Is a type of eczema, a build up of natural oils. This causes a dry scaly crust on your baby’s head. Petroleum jelly (vaseline) can help soften the scales and allow their removal.
Baby’s immune system have not fully developed and can not often withstand infection of the candida albicans fungus. It most often occurs in their mouth. It will look like white milk curds stuck to the inside of the mouth. They will not be removed or scraped off however. Thrush can be painful but more than likely your child will tolerate it. Your will need to speak to your doctor or pharmacist about specific products which will remove the thrush.
Also treat your nipples if breastfeeding as it can spread to you. You must also sterilise all feeding equipment and anything else your baby puts in his or her mouth. Change your sterilisation equipment you use for your feeding equipment often when your child has thrush.
This can happen often in new babies. It occurs when your child vomits up most of the food swallowed. It is caused by a poorly formed valve between the gullet and the stomach. The valve usually rights itself as the child becomes older.
This can be a worrying time for parents as they worry if their child is putting on enough weight. The problem with reflux occurs when the vomiting becomes very regular and annoying, your baby does not put on weight. Usually the child will grow out of this problem in the first few months.
A few helpful hints are to adjust the baby’s resting position. Put the cot up at the head end about 30 degrees.
For breastfed children…Your baby may have many motions per day or only one every few days. The motion may be yellow, green, brown or a combination of these. The consistency may be pasty, fluid or seedy. It will not normally be hard in texture.If your child is passing hard stools, this is not normal. Another thing to look out for is overly fluid stools that resemble urine. See your doctor if this happens.For bottle-fed children…Bottle-fed babies will usually have more firmer stools and pass them more frequently - four times per day to once every couple of days. The colour of the stool will be more red-brown and green. They may become constipated or just simply pass harder stools.If your child is passing watery stools - check with your doctor and take a sample of the stool with you.
Some Common Baby Problems
You will know when you are about to give birth because both you and your body will display some warning signs such as -
If you have a constant flow of blood from your vagina - this is not normal and you should see your doctor immediately.
Your uterus tightens and relaxes its muscles to start your cervix opening up. At first they will be only slight. Your baby’s head moves towards the cervix, helping it to open.
Contractions may vary with each woman. In an ideal situation contractions which last 20 - 30 seconds will occur every 20 - 30 minutes. Some women do not notice the contractions until they are about 10 minutes apart.
Your cervix gradually dilates (opens). When it is about 3 cm dilated you are said to be in established labour. At this time your midwife or doctor will examine your vagina and check for any complications and other routine observations. As your cervix opens, your contractions will come more frequently and they will last longer. Your cervix will need to be 10cm wide before it is fully open.
Eventually your contractions begin to get much closer together and they can be quite painful and strong. This is the transition period. At this time you will more than likely be quite irritable, nauseous, trembling and you may feel a strong urge to push.If your waters haven’t broken yet, this could be when they do. Your baby is nearly ready to be born.
The second stage is usually a relief for many women as this is when the pushing can start.The cervix is fully dilated and you will feel an urge to push the baby out. Your baby is moving down the birth canal. Your contractions will be lasting for about 5 or 6 seconds. This part of the process may last about an hour for first time mothers.Once the baby’s head can be seen from the vagina, it is almost over. Resist the urge to keep pushing hard as you will rip the area between your vagina and anus - the perineum.
Try to breathe in short breaths to deliver your baby’s head. Once the head is out just let the rest of the body come out naturally.
Tell the doctors in advance that you want the child placed onto your stomach before the umbilical cord is cut. This helps with the bonding of the child to you. Hold the child as soon as you can.
This is the delivery of the afterbirth or placenta. This is controlled by the doctor or midwife. Your uterus will continue to contract to get rid of this, but you will not be able to feel it. Sometimes the doctors will give you an infection to hurry this up to reduce the risk of serious bleeding after birth.Most mothers will experience some mucus or bleeding from the vagina for a few weeks after childbirth.
Week by week changes you will experience... And developments in your womb.
Development of the ZygoteDay 1. During sexual intercourse Approx 300-500 millions sperm are deposited in the female genital tract... But only about 300-500 reach the area of fertilization. Fertilization occurs closest to the ovary. This is in the widest part of the fallopian tube. Once a sperm penetrates the egg, the surface of the egg changes to prevent multiple fertilization. The sperm and the egg begin to fuse together.Day 2. The sex is determined after the sperm and egg have fused. The cell eventually splits into two cells. This two-cell stage occurs about 30 hours after fertilization.Day 3. About 3 days after fertilizationThe 12- and 16- cell stages occur . This small clump of cells is referred to as the morula.Day 5. About the fifth day the morula finally enters into the uterus. Fluid begins to enter until a single cavity is formed. When this cavity is formed, the embryo is called the blastocyst.Day 7. Around day 6... Implantation into the uterine wall begins . The uterine lining is in a secretory phase at this point. The wall becomes spongy as the glands and arteries become coiled.
Approx 22 days after conception your baby will have developed a heart beat, and is on its way to developing the digestive tract, sensory organs, and neural tube.The neural tube is what eventually becomes the Central Nervous System, consisting of the spinal cord and brain.By the end of the first month of your pregnancy, your baby is smaller than a grain of rice.What You might be Experiencing...
It is highly possible that you do not know that you are pregnant during the first couple weeks. However, It is possible that you will experience some of the signs of pregnancy.
The embryo is attached to the lining of the uterus and is about 3 mm in length. You could see it with your eyes.
The amniotic sac will have been formed.
The embryo is not recognisable as a human being. But it has a spinal column, a large head and arms and legs. The sockets for its eyes have been formed. It is 1.3 cm long.You may start to experience some symptoms such as breast tenderness and morning sickness.
The embryo has all his or her major organs. The toes, fingers and features on the face are in the process of forming. The embryo is now considered a foetus. It is now more recognisable as a human. The length is about 2.5 cm.
Fingers and toes are now webbed, the head remains larger than the body part. It has blood circulating through it.
The uterus can just be felt above the pelvis. The foetus is about 7.5 cm long. It is more active. Nails and genitals are starting to appear.You probably do not suffer from morning sickness any more.
Your nipples may darken in colour and your breasts may stop feeling quite so tender. You will probably start to show from this time onwards.
The foetus is moving vigorously but you may not be able to feel it.
The uterus will have reached to level of your navel. You will now be able to feel the movements. The foetus now measures about 21 cm and is covered with fine hair. Eyelashes and eyebrows now have developed.
Your foetus eyelids separate. Its length is about 33 cm
The uterus reaches about halfway between the navel and the breastbone. If the foetus was born now, it could survive. It measures 37cm. The head is now reasonably in proportion to the body.
The foetus is still very active. Most babies will have their head in the birth position.
In most women, having babies for the first time, the head will have descended into the pelvic cavity and the uterus descends from under the rib cage as the baby’s head has moved down into the pelvis. It is about 46 cm.
Pregnancy is full term. You can now breath easier, although you still may have pressure on your bladder.
Week by Week
The first and most obvious sign that you may be pregnant is a missed period. This however may be caused by other factors or it may simply be late.
Some women continue to get their periods for a couple of months but they are lighter.
This can be a symptom in women who normally get sore breasts before their period. By six weeks, all women will experience an increase in the size of their breasts.
In the first six to twelve weeks, most women experience nausea or vomiting. It can be uncomfortable at any time of day.
You may find that you need to go to the toilet more often.
Some women may have a strange taste in their mouth and may even notice a dislike for alcohol, coffee, cigarette smoke and meat products.
The hormones may wreak havoc on you at first and you may experience moodiness and stronger emotions than normal. If you experience any anxiety that lasts longer than the first trimester - speak with your doctor who may refer you to a counsellor for additional therapy.
You will experience many physical changes during your pregnancy and many may come as a surprise to you. It is always best to be prepared for the changes so you are better able to cope with them and control them.
this may increase during pregnancy. It is normal and does not usually require medical attention. If you notice it changing in odour or it becomes irritating - speak with your doctor.
you will be experiencing an increase in the hormone progesterone which can affect the bowel and make it slower.
this can become worse as the pregnancy continues on. Try to avoid high heeled shoes. Do not lean back to counteract the extra weight in your belly - this will put added pressure on your back.
the blood flow from your legs and pelvis is blocked by pressure from the baby . If you are constipated, this can make it worse.
may appear for the first time. If you wear support stockings, they may not appear at all. Keep moving around as this can help the circulation.
commonly called stretch marks, these fine scars may also come on your buttocks, thighs and breasts. There are many natural products on the market that may be able to prevent them from forming or becoming too noticeable. Ask our pharmacist about them.
will occur throughout your pregnancy. They may be tender and the nipples may grow and become darker in colour. They may eventually become more painful as more blood flows to them. Eventually prolactin is produced and this encourages the breast to make milk.
You may notice your breasts ‘leaking’ at around 5 to 6 months. After about five months your breasts should not grow much bigger.
will increase and this can be a problem for women who have always tried hard to maintain their weight at a slim level. You will put on extra weight besides the baby as your body prepares for the pregnancy and the birth.
You should be eating a nutritious and varied diet in pregnancy as this is the best way of caring for yourself and your baby. You should not eat ferociously throughout your pregnancy in an effort to ‘eat for two’ as this will do more harm than good and make it difficult for you to give birth.
The following food groups provide you with the vitamins, minerals and protein you will need for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Some people think that having sex will hurt the baby. Normally sex is safe throughout the whole pregnancy. Sometimes you may not feel like having sex due to the discomforts and tiredness. But this usually does not last long.
Some women find that they become more sexual during this time in their lives and feel more sexy. If however, you have had complications with pregnancies in the past or are worried see your doctor about your concerns.
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