Daily Health Tips: Am I At Risk Of Breast Cancer If I Don’t Breastfeed My Baby?

Q: Doc, good evening ma’am. Please, I have some questions for you. I am a 1st time mom and my baby is 2months old. She sucks from one breast and this has made 1 breast to be bigger than the other and my mom said it will make me have breast cancer when I stop breastfeeding. Please, ma’am, how true is this? Secondly, I gave birth through CS. Is it possible to tie my tummy because I heard that if I don’t tie it after breastfeeding, my tummy will become bigger than it is now. Thanks and God bless you ma’am

A: Congratulations on your new baby :D

Given our discussion on breast feeding a few days back, I decided to answer this question to add to our breast feeding discussion…at least for now.

Is there any particular reason why you are breastfeeding from one breast only? Or is it that you breastfeed more from one side? This could actually lay you open to developing blocked milk ducts. You should be breast feeding with both breasts. When baby has fed on breast A, during the next feed, switch to breast B to ensure that both are being ‘emptied’ and ‘filled’ up equally. Some people switch from one breast to the other during one feed, but the problem with that is that the baby may fill up on the watery fore milk and this means he will get hungry pretty soon as he didn’t get any hind milk.

Will one have breast cancer if one is not breast feeding with one breast? Studies suggest that breastfeeding may help protect against breast cancer. This means that not breastfeeding is a risk factor for breast cancer. Now, you have to remember that having a risk factor does not necessarily mean that one will come down with the disease. It just means that, all things being equal, the person with a high risk factor, has a higher chance of getting the disease in question. I would not focus on this…really. Instead, let’s get you to start breastfeeding with the other breast so that your baby eats sufficient amounts of food. Remember that your baby should spend about 20-45 minutes on the breast during each feed.

There are people who swear by tying the tummy after having a baby. Well, if it works for you, why not?! However, remember that if you have had a Caesarian Section, tying your tummy or wearing girdles, especially early after having your baby may interfere with the healing of the wound. Generally though, the solution for losing the tummy bulge after having a baby is diet, exercise and yes, breastfeeding :D

For more on this subject, please click on:

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/09/10/daily-health-tips-how-do-i-lose-my-tummy-bulge-after-having-a-c-section-girdle-vs-healthy-lifestyle/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/09/12/daily-health-tips-im-a-breastfeeding-mother-who-just-developed-a-painful-lump-in-my-breast-could-it-be-cancer/

Have a fabulous weekend, y’all :D

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Daily Health Tips: What Can Help Me Have More Frequent Bowel Movement?

Q: Ma’am, what can I do to make me go to toilet regularly? I can stay for one week without going to the toilet and I eat fruits at least 3 times a week and I drink water well but still I need your advice. Thanks

A: There’s really no hard and fast rule about the number of bowel movements to have per day. Some go daily and some go on alternate days. It depends on what’s normal for you. If there’s a deviation from normal, then there’s a problem. Having said that, bowel movement (stooling) less than 3 times in a week is generally considered constipation.

Eating fruits is a great way to help you have more regular bowel movements. Three times a week is a good start but you really should be getting 5 servings a day! Try buying fruits in season…they are cheaper and regularly available. Veggies like green leafy vegetables, garden egg (egg plant) etc are also helpful in adding bulk to your stool and making you more regular.

Other fibre-rich foods like brown rice, oatmeal, beans, whole grain breads etc should be included in your daily diet to encourage regular bowel movement.

Drinking water also helps move things along and ensures that waste products get to their required destination within the required time.

Other things to do include:
• Exercise: Include physical activities in your daily schedule. At least 30 minutes of exercise on at least 5 days of the week, is a great way to encourage bowel movement.
• Move your bowel (stool) when you feel the urge.
• Checking medications you’re on. Some drugs like iron supplements can cause constipation and so if you’re taking these, it just may be the cause.
• Excluding diseases like Diabetes Mellitus which can also lead to constipation. So, these have to be ruled out.

If you try the lifestyle recommendations (diet, exercise, drinking water) and they don’t work, then you may have to see your doctor to rule out other medical problems.

I hope this helps.

Have a great night, y’all :D
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Daily Health Tips: My New Baby Has Low Blood Sugar!

Q: Hello Dr Ketch, I am writing you all the way from South Africa, a new dad to a 3-day old baby boy. Well I have a concern…baby mama’s breasts seem to be secreting small doses of milk. In fact, yesterday she squeezed them and watery liquid came out, and I got worried that my son drinks water. And this morning baby mama messaged me from hospital (not yet discharged) and told me that baby’s glucose or sugar level is low. My first thought was that he is sucking water and becomes hungry quickly. Is there any way we can improve the situation because we really want him to breastfeed. Thanks.

A: Thanks for writing in and congratulations on your new bundle of joy!

Is your baby sucking water? Well, the first part of breast milk is mainly water with a little fat and is supposed to quench your baby’s thirst (this is why exclusively breastfed babies do not need water to be given to them. Breast milk has sufficient). Thereafter, the richer and creamier hind milk contains the tummy-filling fats and calories. In the first few days of birth, the milk produced, colostrum, is filled with a lot of important nutrients and antibodies that help fight disease. So, if your baby is getting enough breast milk, he is certainly getting more than water. Try and ensure baby spends at least 20 to 45 minutes nursing so as to get the fore and the hind milk. The only problem would be if the feeds are farther than 3 hours apart. In that case, there would be a lot of fore milk and baby may fill up on that before getting to the more filling hind milk. This means he gets hungry more often.

Low sugar level in new born babies does not necessarily suggest there is a problem. When babies are in the womb, they get their glucose (sugar) from their mothers through the umbilical cord and placenta. Some of this glucose is used as an immediate source of energy and the rest is stored in preparation for birth. At birth, with the first couple of hours, baby’s blood sugar level may be low as baby gets used to the idea of being on the ‘outside’. Thereafter, babies can access glucose from their stores until they are feeding well…usually about the 3rd day of life.

So, at about the third day, if baby’s mum is not making enough breast milk, then this may become a cause for concern and your wife’s doctors will determine an appropriate course of action which may include giving some formula in the meantime. They would know baby’s mum’s history and know if baby has any other medical condition that could pre-dispose to low blood sugar.

Babies who are more at risk of low blood sugar at birth include:
• Babies of diabetic mothers
• Babies born with low birth weight (less than 2.5kg)
• Babies who were distressed at birth
• Family history of children with low blood sugar
• Twin or (higher multiple) birth
• Babies with mothers taking medications that can put baby at risk of low blood sugar

How can we get mum to make more milk? First, she needs to keep putting baby to the breast…this is the most important and critical step. If the baby starts suckling on the breast, then the milk ejection reflex is stimulated and milk is let down. So, it is important that baby is put to the breast and indeed feed every 3 hours. If she is still in hospital, there will be lactation consultants at hand to help her and ensure that baby is latching on to the breast properly. She should drink sufficient water, rest and get as much help as possible. Some mothers would swear by different foods which increase their milk supply. In Nigeria, a lot of mothers would swear by pap with a lot of milk; others would swear by oatmeal. There’s no proof that these foods increase milk supply, but if you say it works for you, why not?! :D

For more on this subject, please click on the following links:

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/05/06/daily-health-tips-please-help-my-wifes-breast-milk-is-not-enough-for-our-baby/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/05/27/daily-health-tips-what-should-i-do-after-having-my-baby-if-my-breast-milk-doesnt-come-in-immediately/

Please give mum and baby a huge hug from me :)

Have a great night, people :D

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Daily Health Tips: I’m Trying To Stop Smoking Pot.

Q: Good evening ma’am, how’s work and the family? Ma’am, please I have an issue which I think I would want to talk to you about and seek for help. I was once into drugs, and decided to stop after some few months. During that period, I experienced withdrawal symptoms. By the grace of God, I went through that stage. Few months later, I went into smoking pot, and for over a year now, I have smoked on constant basis (every single day). Eleven days ago, I decided to quit and face life, because everything seemed to be going wrong. I spent so much money trying to smoke. So I decided to call it quits. I once tried this, but went back after a week, but I am determined to quit this time around. My problem now is, I have vivid nightmares whenever I sleep at night. I hardly eat (though that has stopped a little). I seem to be getting over those symptoms now ma’am, but I am scared, I have little pains in my chest once in a while. Though from forums which I have been to, I haven’t seen tightness of chest as a symptom but it really bothers me. I did watch you on TV and decided to follow you and seek for help. I am really determined to quit it ma’am. I want to know whether the tightness of chest is caused from the pot or something else (though it has reduced a lot, compared to when I decided to quit). I will be really grateful if you do respond to my message ma’am. Thanks and God bless

A: Thanks a lot for writing in and for sharing. You’re almost there…the most important decision has already been taken. And that is the decision to quit. People may decide to quit by gradually reducing the amount of pot smoked per day or they may just decide to go cold turkey.

Pot, by the way, for those who don’t now is Marijuana. It’s also known as weed, grass, dope, hash etc. People take to pot for a variety of reasons. Some feel it makes them relax, others feel it’s a nice escape from whatever problems they are dealing with at the time, in some, it enhances social interaction, colours appear more vivid and time appears to slow down…in a nice way. However, it also can make people feel faint, forgetful, paranoid and experience anxiety/panic attacks, hallucinations etc and for those who use it as an escape, they find that the problems are still there when they come ‘down’ from their high! Long term use may lead to cancer, respiratory diseases like bronchitis and worsening of symptoms of heart disease, asthma etc.

Chest pain must always be checked out in the hospital. Better safe than sorry. I don’t know whether you had any previous heart disease or respiratory problems. Whatever be the case, you need to get checked out in the hospital.

Remember to keep reminding yourself about why you started smoking pot in the first instance. Write them down and then remind yourself why you want to quit…whether it’s for health reasons, realizing that your problems don’t disappear after smoking or even the hole in your pocket from having to fund this habit.

Try and identify the situations and people that trigger the drug use. If you can avoid those places or people, do. Find new hobbies and activities to take the time previously used for drug use. Continually remind yourself why you’re doing this. Find other ways of dealing with stress and angry situations. You can avoid the stress, alter it, adapt to it or accept it. Just deal with it already!

If you do have an occasional lapse, don’t beat yourself up. Forgive yourself and move on…reminding yourself again, why you must never go back to smoking pot.

With encouraging friends and family around you, you will be fine. Be sure to get that chest pain checked out in the hospital, as soon as possible. And Congratulations for starting out on this new journey. You shall not return to Egypt :D

For a related post, please click on this link

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2013/12/16/daily-health-tips-substance-abuse/

Have a great night, people :D

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Daily Health Tips: Permanent Cure For Allergy?

Q: Please Doctor, is there any complete treatment for a child of 2years having allergy in his eyes? He has been taken to specialists and he has used prescribed eye drops like Spersallerg, Allerex, Zaditen and Efemoline but there has not been much improvement.

A: Eye allergies occur when an object/substance which ordinarily would not cause any problem is seen by the eye as a threat. This causes the eyes to produce antibodies to fight this threat such that when you’re exposed to this threat again, there is resultant itching, production of tears and sometimes associated nasal allergy (running nose) as the body (eye) attempts to fight off the invader.

This allergy can happen year round or it could happen at some specific times like dry season. Allergies usually tend to run in families and there would be history of other family members with asthma or other allergies.

An important part of managing allergy is finding out what your baby is allergic to. If this is known, it is easier to avoid exposure to those allergens (substances that cause allergic reactions). Try and control the environment that your baby is exposed to…which may trigger allergies:
• Use oiled or dampened dusters to clean/dust in the house
• Limit going out in dusty or pollen-filled environments
• Clean bathrooms and toilets regularly with bleach to prevent the growth of mold.
• Use mattress and piloow covers to deter dust mites.
• Encourage your baby not to rub their eyes as this makes the irritation worse. Instead use cold compresses or rinse out the eye with a saline (saline irrigation). Your doctor would have taught you to do this.
• Follow your doctor’s instructions as to the use of the eye drops and let him know if you discover allergy source.
• You could keep the eye drops in the fridge so that it’s soothing when dropped on the eyes.
For more tips to help in preventing allergic reactions, please click on the following:

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/11/19/daily-health-tips-why-do-i-have-running-nose-all-year-round/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2013/12/05/daily-health-tip-asthma/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/05/11/daily-health-tips-what-has-dust-mite-got-to-do-with-asthma/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/05/12/daily-health-tips-all-about-asthma/

Let the doctor know if the eye drops are not producing desired effect. There may be a need to review the prescription.

So, is there a permanent cure? Not really. Identifying allergens and avoiding them is a huge part of avoiding attacks and limiting episodes of this.

Have a good night, y’all :D

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Daily Health Tips: Can I Re-Establish Breast Feeding After Stopping?

Q: Good ma’am. Thanks for being there for us. Please help me out, this is my first child. I planned to breast feed him for 6 months but sickness did not allow me for one month. I am ok now and I want to feed my baby with breast milk but it is not coming out. Please, what will I do? Can I still feed him with breast milk? If I see him sucking his finger, it makes me shed tears. Please, help me.

A: Hello dear, thanks for writing in. Being a first time mother can be overwhelming especially when we cannot fulfill all the dreams we had dreamed for our babies. I’m sorry you could not breastfeed your baby earlier. But all hope is not lost. Re-lactation (re-establishing the process of breastfeeding after it had been stopped) may not be the easiest process but can still happen.

First, you have to let go of all feelings of guilt. Breast milk is the best food for baby, but if you couldn’t breastfeed because you were ill, then there’s really nothing that could have been done. Trust me, you’re better off to your baby alive than incapacitated in any way! So, chin up :D Smile…

Now, you will need loads of support from your medical team (be that the nurses that provide support for lactation or the doctor who does same). This support can range from teaching you how to latch baby on properly to your doctor prescribing a medication that encourages milk production.

This process requires loads of patience. You have to put baby to the breast as often as possible (at least every 3 hours) or failing that, use a breast pump to extract as much milk as possible. Remember that the sucking process/nipple stimulation encourages milk let-down. Being relaxed and thinking about you and your baby in a nice cozy environment, breastfeeding and bonding may also help this process along.

You may want to assume the regular position you used to adopt when baby was breastfeeding and ensure that baby gets skin to skin time with you. It may be easy for baby to immediately go back to breastfeeding, other times, it may take a while. You need to know when the baby is sucking and indeed whether he’s getting enough. Your baby should make at least 6 wet nappies per day. If baby is not getting enough breast milk at the beginning of this process, you may have to supplement with formula. Use a cup and spoon to avoid nipple confusion.

Be sure that you are getting enough fluids yourself and eating nourishing foods.

For more on breastfeeding, please click on the links:

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/07/13/daily-health-tips-can-my-breast-milk-get-sour-if-i-dont-express-it-and-my-baby-refuses-to-feed/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/09/12/daily-health-tips-im-a-breastfeeding-mother-who-just-developed-a-painful-lump-in-my-breast-could-it-be-cancer/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/09/01/daily-health-tips-breastfeeding-challenges/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/04/22/daily-health-tips-please-help-my-breasts-still-feel-engorged-though-i-stopped-breastfeeding-some-days-ago/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/05/27/daily-health-tips-what-should-i-do-after-having-my-baby-if-my-breast-milk-doesnt-come-in-immediately/

Have a great night y’all and an awesome week ahead :D

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Grand Finale Power Oil Saturday Challenge

All winners of the Power Oil Challenges from the 4th of December till the 21st of February, should send in pictures of themselves wearing the Power Oil T-shirt and apron and cooking with Power Oil to our facebook page, if they have not already done so. Pictures already received, have been entered into the contest.

Deadline for submission of pictures is Friday, 27th February, 2015.

The grand prize winner will be announced on the 28th of February, 2015.

Mouth-watering prizes to be won. Hurry and send in your entries :D

May the best picture win!

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