Daily Health Tips: What Foods Can I Give My Baby From 6 Months?

Q: Hi Dr Ketch. I watched you on DSTV and I have a question. Please, give me a food time table to start with when my baby is 6 months. And timings, if possible. It’s a baby boy.

A: Hi dear. Congratulations on your new baby.

Your question is a favouirite for new mums. I reproduce below a post I had made on this.

Weaning can be a trying period for a mum…when should I start? What should I give? For how long? What if he doesn’t like it? Just like adults, a good number of babies are resistant to change. They are comfortable eating what they had been eating? Life was good…why do you want to change it???? :D Okay, that’s some babies. Others are more than happy to move on to the next stage!

When to start? At 6 months. From birth to 6 months, please focus on exclusive breastfeeding with not even a drop of water. From six months, baby is ready to be introduced to some other food.
For a long time, the standard teaching had been to go for rice cereal as the first add-on meal because it is bland and babies tolerate this well. Other studies question this wisdom now and suggest that foods like meats with lots of essential nutrients like iron may be a good place to start. What should you do? You can boil beef/chicken very soft and blend it up for baby. If baby tolerates this, then by the next week, you could try adding some rice cereal. Try not to introduce more than one food per week so that you have time to study how your baby adapts to it and of course, look out for/isolate food allergy. And, to start off, only one meal of the complementary feed should be given daily. The rest should be the usual…breast milk :D This will, of course, as baby tolerates.

Generally, foods to start off weaning should be just slightly thicker than milk and so, if it retains its shape on a spoon, it may be too thick.

From 9 months, baby can be allowed to start experimenting with regular family meals…minus the spices, of course :D
From one year of age, you can add the cereals mentioned in the question and it’s also okay to introduce cow milk at this time. Full cream cow milk is advocated at this time for proper brain development. Thereafter, please switch to skimmed/1%/2% milk as full cream milk has a lot of saturated fat which may contribute to poor heart health. Grains, green leafy vegetables, cow milk, honey, whole eggs can generally be introduced after the baby turns 1 year old.

 

Generally, other weaning foods that can be introduced include:
Boiled egg yolk (egg whites contain substances that baby may react to), sweet potatoes, fish, chicken, beef, fruits like banana, avocados, boiled beans (with skin removed if possible etc
Simple recipes include, blend some chicken or beef with the stock or mash a banana and add to baby’s cereal.

Our local cereals can also be used and fortified with some breast milk or formula.

As baby tolerates these meals, you can get a little more adventurous.

Boiled carrots mashed with some coconut oil or a little yoghurt with mashed banana may not go amiss too.

An example of a recipe I make for my children is boil potatoes in a pot and place a stainless plate on top of the pot. Add your egg yolk and a drop Olive oil and when the yolk is cooked and potatoes soft, mash all together and feed baby.

Now I know we are all very busy, but weaning is no easy task and so we must commit to trying as much as to prepare these meals ourselves. Packaged meals usually contain additives that may trigger problems/allergies etc in the baby. Hygiene is also critical!

I hope y’all had a great day?

Good night :D

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Daily Health Tips: Zika Virus!

Hello, everyone. It’s Wednesday already!
 
You’ve all probably heard about the Zika virus causing problems in the Americas. This virus is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito (Aedes mosquito). People with the infection usually have symptoms like fever, rashes and conjunctivtits (red eyes). These symptoms can last up to a week and currently have no treatment or vaccine. So, the best form of prevention is really ensuring that the environment is free from mosquitoes.
 
Just before you begin to think it’s an American proble :D please note that it was first identified in Uganda (I don’t know if there’s a conspiracy there involved for those of you who want to take me to task already over this) and is known to circulate in Asia, Africa and the pacific also.
 
How do we prevent mosquitoes from breeding?
First the battle starts from the environment. Mosquitoes need a place to lay eggs so they can muster the right army to wreck havoc. So deprive them of a breeding camp. Who would know the conditions necessary for a terrorist camp to be set up and make their homes or environment, the right one for that? Nobody…in their right minds at least :D
 
So, if you love flowers…indulge. But you know the big flower pots with live plants that you’ve got to water everyday? Go easy on the watering. I had a daily once who tried to do a week’s work in one day and so would fill the flower pot almost up to the brim…just so she didn’t have to do it the next day! Well, before too long, my house became a cesspot of mosquitoes of all shades, shapes and sizes. They could not believe their luck that such a conducive home could be prepared for them in such a lovely (even if I say so myself :)) environment! So, as practicable as possible, leave the flower pots that have to be watered outside and try not to do a week’s worth of watering in a day :D
 
Old (or new) tyres left lying around are also great homes for mosqitoes.
 
If you have to store water inside your house, in buckets and basins, be sure to get covers for them. They are fantastic breeding places for the mosquitoes.
 
If you’ve got a bathroom with a blocked drain, please sort it out. The water that accumulates there is a good home for these undesirables. As you approach the water, you would see them rise as a swarm…Disgusting!!!
 
Outside, clear out gutters, mow the lawn or failing that just cut the grasses. Get a fumigator to do the needful every once in a while, within and outside the house. Put nets on the windows and ensure that this is re-enforced with insecticide sprays as needed. Get the children especially those under 5 and pregnant women to sleep under mosquito nets. These nets should be re-treated with insecticides every 6 months or 5 years depending on the type. If you’ve got girly girls, you can actually design a four poster bed and use the net as a canopy! That will make it seem more fun and get them to readily want to use it. For the boys….weeellll, let’s hear your bright ideas on that one:D
 
If you have to go out in the evenings, depending on whether you will be out in mosquito infested areas, wear protective clothing that cover arms and legs, preferably in light colours. Mosquitoes love dark colours and the dark….no wonder their deeds are evil :D. Insect repellent creams used on exposed areas are also not a bad idea.
 
The good news is that the virus requires no specific treatment as symptoms are mild. However, there are very strong indications that pregnant mothers who are infected by the virus give birth to babies with abnormally small heads associated with incomplete brain development.
For more on Zika virus, please read http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/
 
So, stay safe people and let’s all kick mosquitoes out of…the world! Lassa fever is also still very much in the news. Remember your hygiene and stay clrea of rats.
 
For more details:
 
 
Have a good night, y’all :D
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Daily Health Tips: Boosting Low Sperm Count

Q: Dr how can you boost low sperm please???

A: Here are 5 things you wish you knew about low sperm count
• The causes of low sperm count could be medical, environmental or due to lifestyle issues
• Medical causes include infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia, certain drugs used for cancer and fungal infections, , undescended testes and cancer.
• Environmental causes include over-exposure to industrial chemicals, heavy metals and X-rays; over-heating the testicles by frequently using the sauna and hot tubs; prolonged bicycling
• Lifestyle causes include alcohol use, tobacco smoking, illegal drug use, obesity and emotional stress.
• To get a woman pregnant, a man has to have at least 40 million sperm per ejaculate. People with low sperm count usually have less than this.

If you have been diagnosed with low sperm count, then do something about it. Here are some tips that could help to improve your sperm count
• Stress has been found to contribute to infertility problems such as hormonal issues. So, prevent excessive stress and perform relaxation exercises. Remember that infertility and life in general can be stressful, learn to relax.
• Stop smoking because smoking significantly reduces both sperm count and the movement of sperm-cells.
• Prevent overheating of the scrotum: When scrotal temperature rises (caused by tight underwear, long stays in a sauna or Jacuzzi, for example) sperm production can be impaired.
• Maintain a healthy weight: Not too under or overweight since weight influences estrogen and testosterone levels.
• Stop using drugs: Prolonged use of recreational drugs (for example, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine)

For related posts, please click on the following:

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/12/09/daily-health-tips-belching-low-sperm-count-size-concerns/

Daily Health Tips: Sexual Weakness And Low Sperm Count

Have a fabulous week ahead :D

 

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Daily Health Tips: We Can. I Can.

It was World Cancer Day on the 4th of February. The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘We Can. I Can’. This theme explores what we can do, collectively as a group and individually as persons to halt cancer.

We Can:

  • Inspire action and take action in your community and wherever your sphere of influence can reach
  • Prevent Cancer
  • Challenge perceptions by getting the right information on cancer and preventing the spread of myths about the disease
  • Create healthy environments. Leaving environments smoke-free will be helpful here
  • Shape policy change through advocacy…speaking out about what we believe that can help reduce cancer burden etc

I Can:

  • Make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Understand that early detection saves lives
  • Ask for support if I have cancer and/or support others who are also suffering from this
  • Love and be loved
  • Speak out about cancer etc

 

For more of what you can do to fight cancer, please click on these:

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2013/12/05/daily-health-tips-cancer/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/02/04/daily-health-tips-debunk-the-cancer-myths/

http://chatwithdrketch.com/2013/12/12/daily-health-tips-your-food-and-cancer/

Have a great day, y’all :D

 

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Grief: The Soul-Cry Of A Grieving Mother (Part 3)

Dear all, again I wish to thank you all for your messages to Mrs M. I pray she is getting better by the day with your messages which I pass. Truth is, some days are good for her and others are not so good.
 
Grief is that natural response to the loss of something or someone very dear to us. There are different stages in the process of grieving and you would observe Mrs M. going through some of them.
 
Denial: This is an outright refusal to believe the sad event has occurred and and could be the first reaction. At this time, the person may just move through the motions, almost in a robot-like manner…almost not feeling anything. Numb! I pause to think of how many African women have been given ‘more’ grief and accused of killing their husbands because they were at this stage, numb and unable to cry…..
 
Anger: This comes from a feeling of helplessness. Anger with God for not helping resolve the situation positively; anger with oneself for taking the ‘wrong’ decision(s) or even anger with the person that ‘left’ for abandoning them.
 
Bargaining:At this time, the person tries to go back in time to negotiate with God. ‘I will stop smoking if only you will make him or her live.’ ‘I will devote my life to serving you if only I wake up and find this was all a horrible dream’ etc
 
Depression: At this time, the person has begun to comprehend the full impact of the event that has occurred. Waves and waves of darkness, emptiness wash over this person.
 
Acceptance:This is the point where one makes peace with this new normal. This does not mean the pain goes away or they never think of that person anymore. No. However, one begins to re-adjust and re-organize ones life to live this ‘new’ life. It may be just like for Mrs M, just having more good days than bad and making the effort to begin to live again.
 
All these stages are normal and natural parts of the grieving process. It is important that one experiences the ability to grieve the way they want and within their own timelines. Ultimately, they are able to move on knowing the departed one lives on in their hearts.
Talking openly about the pain (as opposed to bottling it up) or even writing about it help. That’s why I have encouraged Mrs M. to write as much as she can about what she feels.
 
Here’s part 3 of Mrs M’s story:

I still have his thought. I still hear his voice. I still miss him like crazy. I have his pictures secretly pinned up in my closet. Don’t want to forget his beautiful face. My angel. My gift  from God.

We have been at it like rug rats. I so desperately want to make another him. To bring him back. I am still holding on to any sort of hope I can find.
I think of him in the grave. How the earth would be treating his body now. You should have seen him. Everyone could not stop admiring him. He was just too beautiful. With hair like a girl. So thick and full. I would weave it every evening. Now, I guess the worms have his body but his spirit rests with my Lord God Almighty.
My daughter comes over to me and says ‘shhhhh, baby is sleeping.’ I don’t know what to  answer to that.
Yes, he sleeps but a never-ending one. Never to wake up to me again. Or to the noise of my voice. Never trying to get me to wake up when he wakes up before me. He won’t play with my phone again. I would always drag the phone away from him so he does not fill it up with his saliva. Oh, how I long for him to pour bucket full of it now. How I long for him to rest his hairy head on me. Someone tell me how to switch this pain off. It’s eating deep into me. I smile, I laugh, I try to keep busy. But when all is calm again I return to that place of great pain. It is well with my soul.
I still have questions for Him. But I don’t hate Him anymore. He must have a good reason for this. A damn good reason. I have started praying again. Believing again.
This has brought my husband and I closer. Closer than before. Hmmm.
Bottom line, it’s still like a dream. I wait to wake up from it.
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Daily Health Tips: Can I Breastfeed My Baby While Lying Down?

Q: Ma,am I Have a 4-month Old Baby And I Want To Know If There Is Any Side Effect In Laying Down To Breastfeed Her, Thanks And God Bless.
 
A: Hi dear, congratulations on your new baby. If you can nurse the baby sitting up, by all means do. But the truth is most new mums are TIRED and oftentimes, nursing while lying down is a life-saver. Be sure to elevate your head with pillows and elevate baby’s head on your arms.
 
For more information on breastfeeding, please click on these links:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Have goodnight, people :D
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Daily Health Tips: Causes Of Haemophilia

Q: Good morning Doc; what are causes of haemophilia?
 
A: Hallos. Thanks for writing in.
 
You take for granted the fact that when you have an injury, you may bleed but your body quickly acts to stop the bleeding by forming clots. Have you ever wondered how all that stuff that forms in front of wounds (the wound scabs) get there? I’m sure you’ve not. These are all things we take for granted…like breathing, until there comes a time when one can’t breathe! Okay, let’s not get too morbid :D
 
There are, however, those people who do not take for granted the fact that when they bleed, the bleeding will stop because their bodies will release clotting factors that ensure they don’t bleed to death. For this group of people, their bodies lack clotting factors and thus, when they bleed, this could go on for a long time. There is no known cure for this yet and so, the emphasis is on self-care so that these people can live long, normal and productive lives.
 
This ailment is called Haemophilia (pronounced himofilia). It is passed on from parent to child. There are three types Haemophilia A, B and C. Haemophilia A and B are can only be passed on from mothers to their sons but Haemophilia C can be passed on from either parent to their children, boy or girl.
Depending on the level of deficiency (shortage) of the clotting factors, the bleeding could be spontaneous (severe shortage of clotting factors) or it could happen after injuries or surgery.
Spontaneous bleeding includes bleeding after immunizations, nose bleeds, urine in blood, unexplained bruising and bleeding etc. This could also manifest as internal bleeding, bleeding into joints, adverse (unwanted) reactions to blood transfusions as these people are likely to get a lot of blood transfusions in their life time.
 
Depending on the type of Haemophilia and the severity of bleeding, treatment could involve transfusion of lacking clotting factors or injection of the hormone (Desmopressin) that stimulates the production of clotting factors. Mild injuries may require only pressure and cold packs to stop bleeding. Physiotherapy has been found useful for people with joint complications.
 
For people with this ailment, focus is on ensuring that they limit injuries as much as possible. So, I know we all love football and would love to have children who play like pros! :D These children should limit the contact sports as much as possible. However, exercise is a great way of also ensuring joint mobility and so activities like swimming etc may be better fits. Drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen which can worsen bleeding should be avoided etc.
 
Ensure that the children with this ailment understand their condition and in cases of accidents or emergencies can inform the adults around about this. Ensure that class teachers, PE instructors and all other relevant authorities know and understand this.
 
And that’s it :D
 
Have a great evening, fabulous people.
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