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Consuming multivitamins daily may be of no use: Study

For those who are used to taking multivitamins every morning, a new study has revealed that consuming them may actually be of no use. While multivitamins aren't helpful, at least they're not harmful. But the money people spend on them could be better spent on purchasing healthy foods, according to Dr. Pieter Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Researchers analysed 84 studies involving nearly 700,000 people. Their review, published in JAMA, found little or no evidence that taking vitamin and mineral supplements helps prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease that can lead to heart attacks and stroke, nor do they help prevent an early death. "Most people would be better off just drinking a full glass of water and skipping the vitamin," said Cohen, an expert in dietary supplement research and regulation. "We have good evidence that for the vast majority of people, taking multivitamins won't help you," he added. There are some exceptions, however. Highly restrictive diets and gastrointestinal conditions, or certain weight-loss surgeries that cause poor nutrient absorption, are examples of reasons why a multivitamin or individual vitamins might be recommended. A daily vitamin D supplement may be necessary when a person gets insufficient sun exposure. Your doctor may recommend an iron supplement if you have a low red blood cell count (anaemia). Surveys suggest people take vitamins to stay healthy, feel more energetic, or gain peace of mind. These beliefs stem from a powerful narrative about vitamins being healthy and natural that dates back nearly a century. "This narrative appeals to many groups in our population, including people who are progressive vegetarians and also to conservatives who are suspicious about science and think that doctors are up to no good," Cohen said. Vitamins are very inexpensive to make, so the companies can sink lots of money into advertising, he noted. But because the FDA regulates dietary supplements as food and not as prescription or over-the-counter drugs, the agency only monitors claims regarding the treatment of disease. For example, supplement makers cannot say that their product "lowers heart disease risk". But their labels are allowed to include phrases such as "promotes a healthy heart" or "supports immunity", as well as vague promises about improving fatigue and low motivation. "Supplement manufacturers are allowed to market their products as if they have benefits when no benefit actually exists. It's enshrined into the law," Cohen said. It's wise to note the legally required disclaimer on each product: "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease," he advised. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

11 August,2022 07:02 PM IST | New York | IANS
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Rise in temperatures at night may up risk of death by six times: Study

The various effects of climate change are slowly being learned as scientists around the world work on its impact in the future. A new global study has now warned that the rising night-time temperatures will actually affect our health in the future. It states that the changing temperature will actually increase the risk of death by nearly six-fold in the future because of heat that disrupts normal sleeping patterns. Excessively hot nights caused by climate change are predicted to increase the mortality rate around the world by up to 60 per cent by the end of the century, according to researchers from China, South Korea, Japan, Germany and the US.Ambient heat during the night may interrupt the normal physiology of sleep, and less sleep can lead to immune system damage and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic illnesses, inflammation and mental health conditions, said the study published in The Lancet Planetary Health."The risks of increasing temperature at night were frequently neglected," said study co-author Yuqiang Zhang, a climate scientist from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the US."The frequency and mean intensity of hot nights would increase more than 30 per cent and 60 per cent by the 2100s, respectively, compared with less than 20 per cent increase for the daily mean temperature," said Zhang from the department of environmental sciences and Engineering at the Gillings School.Results show that the average intensity of hot night events will nearly double by 2090, from 20.4 degree Celsius to 39.7 degree Celsius across 28 cities from east Asia, increasing the burden of disease due to excessive heat that disrupts normal sleeping patternsThis is the first study to estimate the impact of hotter nights on climate change-related mortality risk.The findings showed that the burden of mortality could be significantly higher than estimated by average daily temperature increase, suggesting that warming from climate change could have a troubling impact, even under restrictions from the Paris Climate Agreement.The team estimated the mortality due to excess heat in 28 cities in China, South Korea and Japan between 1980 and 2015 and applied it to two climate change modelling scenarios that aligned with carbon-reduction scenarios adapted by the respective national governments.Through this model, the team was able to estimate that between 2016 and 2100, the risk of death from excessively hot nights would increase nearly six-fold.This prediction is much higher than the mortality risk from daily average warming suggested by climate change models."From our study, we highlight that, in assessing the disease burden due to non-optimum temperature, governments and local policymakers should consider the extra health impacts of the disproportional intra-day temperature variations," said Haidong Kan, a professor at Fudan University in China.Since the study only included 28 cities from three countries, Zhang said that "extrapolation of these results to the whole East Asia region or other regions should be cautious".Also Read: Climate change has an impact on over 200 human pathogenic diseases: Study This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

10 August,2022 04:46 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Covid-19 lockdown led to suicidal thoughts among people: Study

The lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic had a significant effect on levels of suicidal ideation, says a new study published in the journal Open Medicine. The study indicated suicidal ideation, which involves someone thinking about or wishing for their own death, significantly increased in the 2020 post-lockdown patients compared with the 2018 and 2019 patients. "Suicide prevention in the Covid-19 era is an important and difficult issue," the authors, including lead author Suzana Tosic Golubovic of the University of Nis in Serbia, stated. "Further research studies are needed to find out how mental health consequences can be mitigated during and after the Covid-19 pandemic," they added. During the lockdown, loss of social contacts and employment, economic worries, fear of illness, feelings of isolation and reduced access to psychiatric treatment acted as stressors that could exacerbate a mental illness or even prompt such illness in previously healthy individuals. For the study, published in the journal Open Medicine, the team examined patient records in a psychiatric clinic in Serbia and asked patients about their experience of the pandemic. The researchers investigated patients who were admitted to the clinic between May and August 2020, which was just after Serbia had come out of a lockdown. They then compared these patients with patients admitted during the same months in 2018 and 2019. Suicide attempts also increased in the 2020 patients, although this trend was not statistically significant. The 2020 patients also showed higher levels of adjustment disorder, in which patients have difficulty adjusting to a stressful situation or event in their life. Patients who had attempted suicide in 2020 were more likely to be exposed to information about the pandemic on social media and were more likely to present with adjustment disorder and major depressive disorder. Strikingly, 60 per cent of the patients who had attempted suicide in 2020 had never received psychiatric treatment before, which was a significantly higher proportion than in the patients who attempted suicide in 2019. Also read: Why exclusive breastfeeding is still difficult for many mothers This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

10 August,2022 12:07 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Fatigue, headache among top symptoms of long Covid-19: Study

Fatigue and headache are the most common symptoms reported by individuals on an average of over four months out from Covid-19 infection, finds a study published in the journal 'ScienceDirect'. The study reported preliminary findings from 200 patients enrolled on an average about 125 days after testing positive for coronavirus. Eighty per cent of all the participants reported neurological symptoms with fatigue, the most common symptom, reported by 68.5 per cent, and headache close behind at 66.5 per cent. A reason fatigue appears to be such a major factor among those who had Covid-19 is potentially because levels of inflammation, the body's natural response to an infection, remain elevated in some individuals, explained researchers from the Medical College of Georgia in the US. The findings indicate that even though the antibodies to the virus itself may wane, persistent inflammation is contributing to some of the symptoms like fatigue, said Elizabeth Rutkowski, neurologist from the College. She noted that patients with conditions like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, both considered autoimmune conditions that consequently also have high levels of inflammation, also include fatigue as a top symptom. "They have body fatigue where they feel short of breath, they go to get the dishes done and they are feeling palpitations, they immediately have to sit down and they feel muscle soreness like they just ran a mile or more," Rutkowski said. "There is probably some degree of neurologic fatigue as well because patients also have brain fog, they say it hurts to think, to read even a single email and that their brain is just wiped out," she added. The study also found muscle aches, cough, changes in smell and taste, fever, chills and nasal congestion in the long list of lingering symptoms. Just over half reported changes in smell (54.5 per cent) and taste (54 per cent) and nearly half the participants (47 per cent) met the criteria for mild cognitive impairment, with 30 per cent demonstrating impaired vocabulary and 32 per cent having impaired working memory. Twenty-one per cent reported confusion, and hypertension was the most common medical condition reported by participants in addition to their bout with Covid. "Our results support the growing evidence that there are chronic neuropsychiatric symptoms following Covid-19 infections," Rutkowski said. Problems like these as well as mild cognitive impairment and even impaired vocabulary may also reflect the long-term isolation Covid-19 produced for many individuals, Rutkowski said. Neuropsychiatric symptoms are observed in the acute phase of infection, but there is a need for accurate characterisation of how symptoms evolve over time, the researchers said. Also read: Ring vaccination method may not be effective in containing monkeypox infections: Study This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

09 August,2022 12:17 PM IST | New York | IANS
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Pedal for a healthy lifestyle: Benefits of cycling you did not know of

In recent years, the culture of cycling has gained tremendous momentum in our country. Cycling is fun, healthy and a low-impact form of workout for all ages. It's a wonderful workout that keeps you activated both mentally and physically and help boosts immunity. The adrenaline rush that one receives while pedalling through different terrains also makes cycling an adventure. For anyone who still needs a reason to take the bicycle for a spin, Sriram Sundresan, CEO, of Firefox Bikes shares some of the benefits of cycling: Weight loss: Weight gain due to a sedentary lifestyle is a common problem these days. Riding short distances to the neighbourhood shop, school, or work are mini-workouts you can sneak into your routine and an effective strategy for weight loss. Not only would this ensure that you are physically active, but these pedalling sessions would also help in torching fat. Approximately 45-60 minutes of cycling can help burn up to 300 calories. Prevention of lifestyle diseases: Cycling regularly helps keep various health issues like diabetes, obesity, cardiac problems, or other lifestyle disorders at bay. Regular cycling has in fact proved to keep blood sugar levels in check. Cycling works as an effective stress buster, in essence, it definitely helps in mental well-being. Reduces depression and anxiety: The benefits of riding a bicycle extend beyond physical fitness. Cycling gets you outdoor, among nature, leaving you to feel revitalised, energetic and optimistic. Depression, anxiety and stress are all positively affected by exercise, but the combination of exercise and exposure to the outdoors is a bit of a magic combination for emotional and mental well-being. So, hop onto your saddle and soak up some sunshine and positive vibes. After all, a happy soul is a healthy soul. Builds muscle: The resistance element of cycling means that it just doesn't burn fat, but it also builds your hamstrings, quads and calves and can also tone your calves, preserve muscle mass and strengthen your core. Keeps your heart healthy: Cycling and cardiovascular fitness go hand in hand. Cycling on a regular basis keeps your heart healthy and is considered a great cardiovascular activity. Regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases and also slowing down ageing. Boosts immunity: One of the rising concerns in the present times is keeping ourselves safe, ensuring that we have the immunity we need. Cycling daily helps with keeping your physical health in check, increases your stamina, and helps keep the immune system young. In general, the fitter you are, the stronger is your immune system. Also read: New study warns how rising global temperatures may affect children's fitness levels This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

09 August,2022 11:54 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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New study warns how rising global temperatures may affect children's fitness

Poor physical fitness has a lot of disadvantages and a new comprehensive review of studies has now warned that because of record levels of obesity and physical activity among children, they are set to bear the brunt amid rising global temperatures. While physical fitness is key to tolerating higher temperatures, children are more obese and less fit than ever before, argues Dr Shawnda Morrison, an environmental exercise physiologist, from Slovenia's University of Ljubljana. This could put them at greater risk of suffering heat-related health problems, such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. She noted that current climate change policies fail to adequately address child health needs and that encouraging children to make exercise part of their everyday lives must be prioritised if they are to cope with living in a hotter world. In the peer-reviewed journal Temperature, her team assessed a comprehensive review of over 150 medical and scientific studies into how children maintain physical activity, exercise, cope with heat, and how this might change as global temperatures rise. The research, she highlights includes a study of 457 primary school 5-12 year old boys in Thailand, which found that overweight youngsters were more than twice as likely to have difficulty regulating their body temperature as those of normal weight when exercising outdoors. In another study, data from emergency departments at children's hospitals in the US, found attendance was higher during hotter days. Younger children were particularly likely to need emergency care. The research also found children's aerobic fitness is 30 per cent lower than that of their parents at the same age. There are rapid declines in children's physical activity globally, especially over the last 30 years. Most children are not meeting the World Health Organization's guideline of performing an average of at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Physical inactivity was accelerated, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when schools and other societal infrastructures were closed. Higher temperatures and changes in weather patterns are projected to also lead to outbreaks of new diseases entering the human population. If there are more movement restrictions put in place to contain the novel diseases, this will have potentially devastating consequences to children's physical fitness, mental and physical health. "Yet, as the world warms, children are the least fit they have ever been. It is imperative that children are encouraged to do daily physical activity to build up, and maintain, their fitness, so that they enjoy moving their bodies and it doesn't feel like 'work' or 'a chore' to them," Morrison said.Also Read: Why exclusive breastfeeding is still difficult for many mothers This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

08 August,2022 07:45 PM IST | London | IANS
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Ring vaccination may not be effective in containing monkeypox infections: Study

Even as the health experts from around the globe have been stressing on the need to implement ring vaccination among the people at risk with monkeypox, a new study, not peer-reviewed yet, has claimed that the strategy may not be completely effective in curbing the current outbreak.Ring vaccination, which has been used successfully to contain smallpox and Ebola outbreaks, means to vaccinate a "ring" of people around the infected rather than vaccinating an entire population, ideally within four days of exposure.The study led by a team, including from Universite Paris Cite in France, showed that ring vaccination may not completely protect against infections.The findings were based on a third-generation smallpox vaccine recommended in France for individuals who had a high-risk contact with a PCR-confirmed Monkeypox patient.The study aimed to describe the outcomes of high-risk contacts receiving third-generation smallpox vaccine as an early post-exposure ring vaccination (EPRV) especially tolerance and potential breakthrough infections after the first dose.The team performed an observational analysis of all consecutive individuals vaccinated with the IMVANEX smallpox vaccine after a high-risk contact.It was defined as close skin-to-skin or mucosal contact and/or indirect contact on textile or surface and/or droplets exposure defined by a contact at less than 2 meters during at least 3 hours with a PCR-confirmed Monkeypox patient.Between May 27 and July 13, 276 individuals received one dose of IMVANEX with a median delay of 11 days after exposure with a confirmed Monkeypox patient.Mode of exposure was droplets for 240 patients (91 per cent), indirect contact for 189 (71 per cent) and unprotected sexual intercourse for 146 (54 per cent).Most of the patients were men (91 per cent) and men who have sex with men (88 per cent).The vaccine was well tolerated with no severe adverse event.Among the 276 vaccinated individuals, 12 (4 per cent) had a confirmed Monkeypox breakthrough infection with no severe infection.Ten out of 12 patients developed a Monkeypox infection in the five days following vaccination and two had a breakthrough infection at 22 and 25 days."EPRV with a third-generation smallpox vaccine was well tolerated and effective against Monkeypox but did not completely prevent breakthrough infections," the researchers wrote in the paper posted online. Also read: Infected semen can host monkeypox virus DNA for weeks after recovery: Lancet This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

07 August,2022 04:49 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Experts evaluate the health risks of electromagnetic radiation from 5G spectrum

Even as India is set to become the first country to deliver indigenous 5G, experts have argued over concerns that link the 5G technology with potential health hazards.5G, or fifth generation, is the latest wireless mobile phone technology that was first widely deployed in 2019. It improves on the capabilities of 4G.Besides faster connectivity speeds, it also opens new use-cases in gaming, entertainment due to its high bandwidth and low latency. It is also expected to increase performance and a wide range of new applications, including strengthening e-Health (telemedicine, remote surveillance, telesurgery).5G works by producing a type of energy called electromagnetic radiation. It uses higher frequencies than previous wireless networks, making it faster and more efficient.Electromagnetic frequencies, like those produced by 5G, create an area called an electromagnetic field (EMF), which according to some have negative effects on human health.While research on the frequencies used in 5G is limited, studies show health effects of electromagnetic fields across the spectrum. However, the results are inconsistent."Though there is no documentation of risk associated with 4G, 5G, theoretically exposure to radio magnetic waves may increase the incidence of cancer in different parts of the body. People, while talking, keep smartphones closer to their brains, so there are higher chances of brain cancer among the population that is exposed," Dr. Col. Vijay Dutta Sr. Consultant - Internal Medicine & Pulmonology, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, told IANS."The radio magnetic waves can also potentially disturb the rhythm of the heart and those who are on pacemakers are at higher risk. The closer one stays to the towers, the greater is the risk. The technology is a boon for communication, but harmful for human health," he added.However, according to the World Health Organization, "to date, and after much research, no adverse health effect has been casually linked with exposure to wireless technologies".The WHO said that tissue heating is the main mechanism of interaction between radio frequency fields and the human body. Radio frequency exposure levels from current technologies result in negligible temperature rise in the human body.As the frequency increases, there is less penetration into the body tissues and absorption of the energy becomes more confined to the surface of the body (skin and eye). Provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated, the global health body said."India is not the first country to roll out 5G. About 50 countries have rolled out the technology before us. Moreover, a majority of these countries like the US, Korea, Japan, UK launched 5G years back. If at all there were certain concerns or some actual health hazards happening to people, we would have seen those cases coming up by now," Charu Paliwal, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, told IANS."I do not think at this stage we need to be concerned about any health hazards. There are also no studies that can verify these claims," she added.With India on a digitisation spree, 5G will drive growth in sectors like agriculture, education, healthcare, robots, amongst others, according to the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI).The industry body, earlier this year, also asserted that any concern around the adverse impact of 5G on health is "totally misplaced". It said available evidence supports that the next-generation technology is safe.The mega 5G spectrum auction, which ended on August 1, received record bids worth over Rs 1.5 lakh crore in 40 rounds spanning across seven days.The Mukesh Ambani-led Jio emerged as the top bidder in India's 5G spectrum auction, acquiring 24,740 MHz spectrum worth Rs 88,078 crore. Jio was followed by Sunil Mittal's Bharti Airtel with 19,867 MHz spectrum in various bands worth Rs 43,084 crore.Vodafone Idea, at third place, received 2,668 MHz worth Rs 18,784 crore while a unit of the Adani Group acquired 400 MHz spectrum in 26 GHz band worth Rs 212 crore. Also read: Jio top bidder as government nets Rs 1.5L cr from 5G sale This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

07 August,2022 12:42 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
Exclusive breastfeeding for first six months of the infant is crucial for nutrition and early development of the baby. Image for representation: iStock

Breastfeeding Week: Why exclusive breastfeeding is challenging for many women


“The first one month post childbirth was the toughest phase for me. Doctors and women from my family suggested me many things about breastfeeding practices, but, there was no one to teach me practically,” says city-based yoga-therapist Dwee Chintan Pathak, whose child was diagnosed with mild jaundice at the time of birth, which disallowed the mother from breastfeeding in the first crucial hours after childbirth. Diya Deepak Mathal, a 33-year-old domestic worker from Mumbai, had to resort to bottle-feeding her children in less than six months in order to resume work to stabilise the financial situation at home. While she could manage breastfeeding the baby, it was difficult to ensure exclusive breastfeeding for six months.The first breastmilk of a mother contains colostrum, which is highly nutritious and has antibodies that protect the newborn from diseases. According to the fifth National Health and Family Survey (NFHS), breastmilk contains all of the nutrients needed by children in the first six months of life and is an uncontaminated nutritional source, which is why it is recommended that children be exclusively breastfed in the first six months of their life; that is, they are given nothing but breastmilk. However, similar to Pathak’s and Mathal’s case, a number of factors such as household chores, employment conditions of women and a lack of inclusive and supportive environment encouraging breastfeeding practices often discourage a new mother from practicing exclusive breastfeeding.  In India, the median duration of exclusive breastfeeding is 3.9 months.Challenges faced by women in the informal sector While women in the formal sector are eligible to apply for paid maternity leaves, those engaged in informal work are not covered under such maternity benefits, thus, making it difficult for them to ensure optimum care of their newborns and themselves. In such situations, women are forced to resume work in less than six months or leave the job. Those who cannot afford to take a break due to their socio-economic conditions end up juggling between their work, household chores and taking care of their baby at the cost of their own physical and mental health. Mathal, who stays with her husband and two children, had to resume work two months after the delivery of her second child in 2018. After working at one house for two to three hours early in the morning, she would return home to feed the baby and then continue completing her chores for the day. “Though I could breastfeed the baby a couple of times in a day, there were days when I had to depend on outside milk. So, it was never possible to practice exclusive breastfeeding,” she adds. Anil Parmar, vice President, community investment, United Way Mumbai, an organisation focusing on health, education and other development concerns of communities, says, for women working as a daily wager in cramped conditions with limited or no sanitation infrastructure, it is nearly impossible to find a safe space for breastfeeding. According to Dr. Kavita Puranik, assistant manager - community investment, United Way Mumbai, the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, provides women in the informal sector with a direct cash transfer of Rs. 5,000 to compensate for loss of wages and encourage her to seek better healthcare. While this supports to some extent, it does not cater to need of breastfeeding support at workplace. Not just woman’s responsibility “The baby was not given to me post-childbirth and was taken away for hours, thus, cutting off the first interaction of the infant with the mother. Further, bottle-feeding the baby for the first 21 days completely transitioned the breastfeeding process. The child was later unable to adapt to suckling milk from the mother’s breast,” says Pathak. According to Parmar, many medical and paramedical personnel do not allow mothers to feed the child within the first hour of the birth, which is crucial for early initiation of breastfeeding.  According to the NFHS-5, in Mumbai, only 51 percent of the children less than three years were breastfed within the first hour. A considerable delay in adopting regular breastfeeding practices greatly impacted Pathak’s health leading to engorged breasts and sometimes, lower production of milk. According to NFHS, early initiation of breastfeeding enhances the bond between the mother and infant leading to regular production of milk. In Mathal’s case too, packaged milk became an alternative when the breast milk was not sufficient to feed the baby through the day. Project Poshan of UWM aims at educating and providing nutrition to women during pregnancy and post-pregnancy period. A baby shower ceremony is one of the community programmes organised by UWM to group counsel expectant mothers. Photo Courtesy: United Way Mumbai While Pathak could learn to tackle such dire situations with the guidance of her mother and mother-in-law in her house, there are many women who lack such support and may not always reach out for help due to stigma or lack of security. “I feel women should get a support system, who can guide them about breastfeeding during their delivery. This is very crucial, but I feel it’s lacking,” says Pathak. Pathak and Mathal stress on the need for support from immediate family members, including men, after this period. This not only includes helping with household chores or ensuring enough rest for the mother, but also, providing adequate emotional support to help the mother deal with hormonal changes affecting her mental health. In the UWM community level programmes in Mumbai, health facilitators work to tackle such gaps in healthcare and provide early counselling to expectant couples on proper birth control methods, early nutrition, timely checkups, usage of Iron Folic tablets and the importance of exclusive breastfeeding practices. Unaddressed concerns Lack of designated breastfeeding spaces in public places and in workplace areas is one of the major underserved needs of child-bearing women in India. In Mumbai, one can find a baby-feeding room at Bandra, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Mumbai Central railway stations. While this is encouraging, there is also a need to develop more such centres in other easily accessible public spaces and institutions. Workplaces, government, private or those employing daily wage earners, must dedicate adequate breastfeeding spaces with basic amenities. Such facilities, as Parmar notes, will go a long way in supporting lactating mothers with flexible work schedules to accommodate breastfeeding requirements. A lot also depends on the workplace policy and the management’s efforts to sensitising employees to tackle stigma related to breastfeeding employees and create a supportive, healthy and safe work environment. When it comes to accessibility to healthcare services and guidance during childbirth, Parmar suggests, “Measures needed are ensuring dedicated breastfeeding counsellors at the hospital or training of the Accredited Social Health Activists and Auxiliary Nursing Mid-wives to provide counselling to new mothers well beyond delivery up to 3-4 months.” As many mothers switch to bottle-feeding and wean off the baby from breastmilk due to multiple reasons, it is important to educate the parents about exclusive breastfeeding from birth, complementary feeding strategies, provision of food supplements and micronutrients for lactating mothers, the importance of first milk and time of natural weaning. Parmar also highlights that promotion of brands providing infant milk substitutes have also caused a decline in exclusive breastfeeding practices. “There has been a decline in exclusive breastfeeding due to various factors, including unethical advertising and aggressive promotion of infant milk substitutes by commercial industries. The government should review such activities and take remedial action wherever necessary.”Also Read: Monkeypox: Causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment

07 August,2022 10:12 AM IST | Mumbai | Sarasvati T
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Breastfeeding Week: Experts explain why formula foods cannot replace breastmilk

For the first six months, every infant must be breastfed exclusively with mother's milk and nothing else, as this will ensure proper growth of the child and help build immunity against various ailments, say doctors. The practice known as exclusive breastfeeding is crucial for the infant's nutrition and early development. While earlier generations were fed on mother's milk alone, many alternatives for complimentary feeding have captured the market these days. For various reasons, instead of giving mother's milk, parents tend to feed formula foods available in the market to their infants. This is a regressive sign, and our society must not encourage this in any form, say doctors while stressing the importance of mother's milk during the ongoing World Breastfeeding Week. "A newborn baby can be equated to the most delicate thing on the earth, and this newborn baby needs utmost care and nourishment to survive and emerge into a greater individual in the years ahead. Only breastfed mother's milk has the purity combined with necessary nutrients in proper proportions to ensure infant gets required nutrition, and there cannot be an alternate to that in the first six months of an infant's life," Dr. Suvarna Rai, Consultant Gynecologist, SLG Hospitals said. "The best aspect about mother's milk is that it changes in volume and composition according to the time of the day, infant's age, nursing frequency, etc., to ensure healthy growth of the baby," he added. According to Dr Chandra Sekhar Manchala, Chief Paediatrician and Neonatologist, Amor Hospital, mother's milk is also important because it is the only one which can protect an infant against all forms of allergies, sickness, and even does not cause obesity, which is a major risk caused by formula foods. "Mother's milk is not just easy to digest, it even helps build immunity against future ailments like diabetes, cancers, ear infections, etc. Babies fed with mother's milk are seen to have healthier weights growing up, compared to those who depend on formula foods," he said. Highlighting risks associated with formula foods, Dr. G. Santhoshini, Gynecologist, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital said that formula foods are not natural. "This must be the reason enough to discourage parents from opting these foods available at marketplaces. These formula foods can cause complications like gastrointestinal diseases or cause respiratory tract infections among infants. It has been noticed that formula foods even have adverse effects on the intellectual development of a child," the doctor said. According to the doctor, mothers who do not breastfeed their infants are at an increased risk of suffering from breast cancer than those who do breastfeed. "Formula feed is the leading cause of obesity in kids these days as most mothers are working and they are in a hurry to join back their offices. As a result, these mothers start the formula feed early so that it is for the caretaker." Dr K. Rama Devi, Senior Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Century Hospital, pointed out that some new mothers opt in for formula foods because they are not able to generate milk naturally. "Every woman who conceives must follow certain basic guidelines during pregnancy, which will ensure every mother produces sufficient milk to feed her child. On conceiving, women must ensure they take proper rest and avoid mental and physical exertion. Taking nutritious foods like a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, etc., will ensure women do not have any complications in producing milk sufficient for the child," she said "Mothers who breastfeed their babies have less bleeding during labour, no postpartum depression, and a better bond with the babies. It also reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, uterine and breast cancers. Maternal deaths are also significantly reduced by breastfeeding children. Breastfeeding children reduces family expenses. As the babies can be saved from major infections with mother's milk, their hospital visits reduce and financial burden gets reduced. Since the natural resources do not disappear, it is also very conducive to the environment," said Dr Aparna C., Director Neonatology & Senior Consultant Neonatology and Paediatrics, KIMS Hospitals. Initiated in 1992, World Breastfeeding Week is an annual celebration organised by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), in association with the World Health Organisation (WHO), and UNICEF. This week is conceived to promote breastfeeding of every infant in the first six months of life, which is considered as the steppingstone for a healthy individual and an accomplished society. Also read: World Breastfeeding Week: Mumbai expert debunks myths existing among new mothers This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

05 August,2022 11:21 AM IST | Hyderabad | IANS
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World Breastfeeding Week: Five tips to naturally boost milk for a nursing mother

A woman's life takes a complete new turn post childbirth. With additional responsibilities, it is imperative to for the family to take care of the mother and the infant equally. The first six months post-delivery is one of the most toughest phases of post-natal care. From nutrition to mental health, a nursing mother must be provided with space and enough support to produce breastmilk and engage with the infant. Nursing mothers who are breastfeeding their children are always on the lookout to provide the best nutrition to their babies. Since breast milk is the only source of food and nutrition for babies, it is important to have sufficient milk production. However, some women might go through an insufficient amount of milk to feed their babies. Stress, lifestyle disorders, and some other mistakes may lead to less milk production. But there are some natural ways shared Dietitian Garima Goyal to boost milk for a nursing mother to keep the baby happy and healthy. Five natural tips to boost milk for a nursing mother: 1. Stay hydrated Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is the key to having ample milk production for your baby. Breast milk contains a high amount of water and hence a dehydrated body can never make enough milk. A minimum of 3 liters of water is recommended for nursing mothers. Apart from that include other fluids like juice, herbal teas, and coconut waters to add more water to your body. 2. Frequent breastfeeding Breastfeed your baby quite often and use both sides of your breasts. Also, if your baby only latches to you for a short period, try making it long. The longer your baby latches, the more milk production you will have. 3. Give yourself a massage Breast massages are effective as they increase blood flow and help to release any blocked milk ducts. Gently massage your breasts in between feeding as it will help naturally the milk to come out and will be easier for your baby to latch on. 4. Add herbs and spices to your diet Include garlic, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, and cumin seeds in your daily diet to see improved milk production. Garlic's lactogenic properties naturally boost milk production. Fenugreek and fennel seeds contain galactagogue properties which are effective in milk supply. Add garlic pastes to your daily food to consume it naturally. You can add fenugreek seeds to your milk or chew some fennel seeds to see positive results. 5. Eat green vegetables Leafy green vegetables are great sources of milk for your breasts. Broccoli, lettuce, drumsticks, and spinach are infused with the goodness of phytoestrogens which is one of the main properties of increased milk production. Apart from green vegetables, add carrots and beets as salads or make vegetable juice out of it. These two are also helpful in increasing breast milk. As a mother you would be juggling a ton of things, however, neglecting your health will have a direct impact on your baby. So, avoid taking stress as much as possible, get plenty of sleep and have a calm mind. Incorporate these natural tips and witness the good results yourself. Also read: World Breastfeeding Week: Mumbai expert debunks myths existing among new mothers This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

05 August,2022 10:57 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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