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Anticipating an intermittent surge in the number of Covid cases in the months to come once lockdown protocols are lifted and schools are reopened, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has rolled out a new set of guidelines on 9th June 2021 and a revised version on 16th June 2021 dictating how to deal with covid cases in children who are below 18 years of age. 

 

While the guidelines clearly state that "Children have less severe disease than adults. In the majority, the infection is asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. It is uncommon to have moderate to severe Covid among healthy children," nevertheless you need to be prepared. We know how scary and uncertain the times are, but do not panic. Take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well being of your kid(s). We are here to break down these guidelines for you so you can equip yourself with correct information and act accordingly if the need arises. 

 

Which drugs to use and which ones to avoid?

Drugs that are prescribed to adult patients of Covid-19 like Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), Favipiravir and Antibiotics such as Doxycycline and Azithromycin should not be administered to children. This is so because these drugs have not yet been tested for their effectiveness in the prevention or cure of Covid-19 in children. The guidelines also strictly prohibit the use of the antiviral drug Remdesivir for children suffering from Covid-19. Anti-fever drugs such as Paracetamol and basic throat smoothening agents can be given to mildly symptomatic children. Antimicrobial drugs should not be administered to children unless there’s evidence or strong suspicion of superadded bacterial infection and the condition of the child is quite serious. However, do not administer antimicrobials or steroids or anti-coagulants unless it is prescribed by a doctor. 

 

How to handle asymptomatic cases?

According to the guidelines, if your child is asymptomatic then you can take care of them in your house. Keep them in isolation and make sure they follow all precautions like wearing masks and frequently washing their hands. You don’t need to give them any medication but ensure that they’re eating nutritious food and drinking lots of fluids. Take care of them and allow them to communicate with friends and relatives via video calls and chats so that they feel happy and content. 

 

How to handle symptomatic cases?

For mildly symptomatic cases, you can give basic anti fever drugs that have been prescribed by the doctor, to your kids and keep a note of their oxygen levels. Check if they feel weakness or have trouble breathing, consult a doctor if their symptoms escalate. All the while, it is very important that you keep your kid hydrated and feed them highly nutritious food. If your kid is old enough to gargle, let them do it frequently with saline water. 

 

The guidelines clearly state that HRCT is to be done only if the symptoms are worsening. In serious cases as such, please make sure that your kid has immediate  access to oxygen therapy and get them admitted to a hospital where their fluid and electrolyte balance can be maintained. Let the doctors take it from there. Under such a situation, you have to stay strong for your kid and keep motivating them. 

 

The most important thing to do in these trying times is to not lose hope. Follow these basic guidelines issued by the government and continue being a pillar of strength that your child/children can rely on. Make sure your kids are wearing masks, regularly washing their hands, eating a nutritious diet, and staying hydrated. 


 

Covid-19 June 18, 2021 |  read

New Government Issued Guidelines for Managing Kids with Covid

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Parenting & Lifestyle

Breast Cancer: Early Detection for your protection

Prevention is better than cure has been rightly acknowledged over time. Breast cancer early diagnosis can surely help you to identify the disease when it is most treatable. Therefore, having sufficient knowledge about what it is and what the signs are symptoms of Breast cancer can help you take sufficient prevention against it. 

 

Breast cancer develops in the lining cells (epithelium) of the ducts (85%) or lobules (15%) of the glandular tissue. The malignant development is initially restricted to the duct or lobule (“in situ”), where it usually causes no symptoms and has a low risk of spreading (metastasis). In situ (stage 0) tumors can grow over time and invade the surrounding breast tissue (invasive breast cancer), then spread to neighboring lymph nodes (regional metastasis) or other organs in the body (distant metastasis). It is because of widespread metastasis that death from Breast cancer takes place. 

 

The Treatment for breast cancer can be quite effective, especially if the disease is detected early. Microscopic cancer that has spread from the breast tumor through the blood is generally treated with a combination of surgical removal, radiation therapy, and medication (hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, and/or targeted biological therapy). This type of treatment has the potential to hinder cancer growth and spread and thereby save many lives. 

 

What is the scope of the disease?

Breast cancer had been diagnosed in 7.8 million women in the previous five years as of the end of 2020, making it the most common cancer in the world. Breast cancer causes more disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in women around the world than any other type of cancer. Breast cancer is not restricted to any one country type and can occur in any country across the world in women after puberty at any age and the rates of its occurrence increase in later life. The technological and treatment advancements appear as a piece of good news in our knowledge about Breast cancer as the mortality rate has been considerably changed a little after the 1980s with the help of early detection and surgical treatments. 

 

Who is at the risk?

Breast cancer is neither an infectious nor transmissible illness. Unlike other cancers that are caused by infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cervical cancer, breast cancer is not associated with any viral or bacterial infections.

 

Approximately half of all breast cancers occur in women who have no known risk factors for the disease other than their gender (female) and age (over 40 years). Age, obesity, hazardous alcohol use, family history of breast cancer, history of radiation exposure, and reproductive history (such as the age at which menstrual periods began and a family history of breast cancer) are all variables that raise the risk of breast cancer.

 

What are the signs of Early Detection?

We know that the name and the disease in itself can be highly intimidating and daunting knowledge to procure but if the signs of early detection are known and be taken care of, then with the help of proper care and medicative measures chronic risks can be avoided in time. 

The most frequent symptom of breast cancer is a painless lump or thickening in the breast. Even if there is no pain connected with an abnormal lump in the breast, it is critical that women visit a health practitioner within 1-2 months of discovering it. Seeking medical help as soon as a potential symptom appears allows for more effective therapy. Whereas, 90% of the masses in the breast are not cancerous and can be non-cancerous breast abnormalities like cysts and other infections.  

We would like you to look at the signs and symptoms of breast cancer for your informed knowledge and safety, and these are:

 
  • dimpling, redness, pitting, or other changes in the skin
  • a breast lump or thickening; a change in the size, shape, or appearance of a breast
  • a change in the appearance of the nipple or a change in the skin around the nipple (areola)
  • nipple discharge that is abnormal.
 

What can be done to reduce the risk of Breast cancer?

As much as we know that the factors like having a family history with Breast cancer cannot be changed but we sure can change the lifestyle changes to reduce the breast cancer risk. Some of the lifestyle changes to reduce the breast cancer risk are:

 

Limiting alcohol- Alcohol should be consumed in moderation. The more alcohol you consume, the more likely you are to develop breast cancer. Based on research on the influence of alcohol on breast cancer risk, the general guideline is to limit oneself to one drink per day.

 

Maintaining a healthy weight- If you're on a healthy weight, try to keep it up. If you need to reduce weight, talk to your doctor about how to do so in a healthy way. Reduce the number of calories you consume each day and gradually increase your physical activity. 

 

Adequate physical activity- Physical activity can assist you in maintaining a healthy weight, which can aid in the prevention of breast cancer. Most healthy adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of strenuous aerobic activity each week, as well as strength training at least twice a week.

 

The most important thing to live a disease-free and healthy life is to stay fit, eat well, and do good workouts in order to have optimum physical activity for our body. We know that the advent of any disease is mostly unexpected and uncertain but can definitely ensure to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep ourselves healthy, happy, and fit. 

  

June 19, 2021 |  read

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Parenting & Lifestyle

Talking to Kids About Gender and Sexual Orientation

The older a child becomes, the more questions they have. As a parent, it becomes your responsibility to ensure that the answers they receive are the right ones. Gender and sexual orientation is an important area to talk about, especially to adolescents. Here are some pointers to keep in mind while talking to kids about gender and sexual orientation. 

 

Keeping Yourselves Sensitised

Before you can talk with your child, it is important that you are aware of what you are talking about. Read as much as you can about the LGBTQIA+ community. You may not have had much exposure to it while growing up or as an adult, so it is okay to find yourself confused! Try to get clarification through authentic sources, or if it becomes necessary, from reliable persons like an LGBTQIA+ specialised psychologist. Check your own misconceptions - contrary to what many people say, being LGBTQIA+ is not “just a phase” and it’s not a disease to be “cured”. It is a major part of a person’s sense of identity and expression, and they are equally deserving of acceptance and respect. 

 

Having The Talk

Finding out that your child is LGBTQIA+ can be overwhelming - give yourself time to accept that possibility, and see it as something positive. This will enable you to have an open conversation with your child about gender and sexual orientation. Youth falling on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum often experience more mental health issues due to the stigma around it; and rejection or even anticipated rejection from family members can be an important factor contributing to this which may  lead to problems of identity formation. Talking to kids about gender and sexual orientation helps them realise that you are ready to accept them for who they are, thus helping to put these fears to rest and making them feel that they are emotionally supported. 

 

Coming Out to Friends and Extended Family 

A major worry for many parents of LGBTQIA+ children is the possible negative and unkind reactions from other people that their child may face. In fact, this fear is one of the reasons why a lot of parents fail to properly support their children. This is another reason why healthy conversations become important. Help your children open up to you about what their experiences are and what kind of support they expect from you. Some measures you can take to ensure your child’s well-being include:

  • Require that the extended family members accept your child for who they are.
  • Be welcoming towards your child and anyone they choose to bring home.
  • Encourage your child to attend LGBTQIA+ events and participate with them. 

 

Handling the Emotions

Your child’s current experiences may be in conflict with the belief system that you’ve held on to for many years - this can often create discomfort and a slew of negative emotions. But what you need to remember is that you want what is best for your child. By setting aside earlier beliefs and prejudices, and wholeheartedly accepting your child and their gender or sexual orientation for what it is, you can help to ensure your child’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.

 

There are healthy ways to help you come to terms with your child’s gender identity and sexual orientation, and become a support system for them to rely on. Finding a support group where you can talk to other parents or members of the community can help you deal with your own experience of coming to terms with your child being a part of the Queer community. Learning and educating yourself is vital to this process as well - read up extensively on your child's sexual orientation and sense of gender identity. Try to understand who they are and what they are going through. Unlearn some of the negative and wrong beliefs you may be unknowingly holding on to.

 

Work as a Team

This situation is best handled when you work with your child as a team. Don't push your child away and try to escape from having to deal with it; look at this as something you are all involved in together. Remember that this situation must be even more difficult for your child. Now is when they need you and all the support you can give. Get aid from a counselor or community organisations who have the resources you need to parent your LGBTQIA+ child the right way. Furthermore, you need to make sure that your child knows that they can talk to you - the better connected and aware you are about what is happening in the child's life, the better you can look out for them. For this, you must maintain a non-judgemental and loving approach. This is especially important to ensure that your child is forming healthy relationships.

 

Having an LGBTQIA+ child can feel challenging, especially given the Indian context where they may not be easily accepted and be discriminated against. Talking to kids about gender and sexual orientation can help you understand what they are going through, and show them that you are open-minded and ready to embrace their true selves. Learn to manage your own emotions fruitfully through educating yourself and learning about your child. It's important to make your child feel comfortable about their sexuality and gender identity. Open and honest conversations are the best way to do this. 


 

June 17, 2021 |  read

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Working Parents

Part Time Career Options for a Mom

Between taking care of the kids and home, a mother’s work truly is never done! However, for many modern moms, getting a job can be an added source of fulfilment. You’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of part time career options for a mom that you can opt for, while ensuring that your work-home balance is taken care of!

Whether you have prior work experience in a particular field or have never worked before, or whether you have a college diploma or not, there is something for you.

 

Part Time Jobs for Moms

For moms with school-age kids, a good part of the day is left relatively free - the perfect time to get out and interact with the world! 

 

Training 

Education at different levels is a field with hundreds of opportunities! Depending on your own educational background, you can join a training centre and train anyone from college students to corporate executives. Some training opportunities include English language training, training in foreign or Indian languages, soft skills training, technical training, training for competitive exams - the list is long and lucrative. And the best part is, the hours are flexible and negotiable, with good pay per class or per hour - making it one of the best part time career options for a mom!

 

Customer Service

Customer Service Representatives are key players in major companies’ success - if you have good people skills, this is the perfect part time job for you. You will mostly work in a call centre or office, and will have to field calls from customers, answer their questions, help to resolve their issues, and encourage them to stick with the company! There are flexible time-slots available with a job like this, making it ideal for a mom.

 

Part Time Work From Home Jobs

Many moms prefer jobs that allow them to work from home, so that they can stay on top of things on the home-front. Today, there are more options for work from home, than ever before!

 

Go Freelance

There are plenty of ways to turn your skill-set and background into great freelance projects. As a freelancer, you are your own boss, you get to define your earnings, working hours and everything in between - can you imagine better part time career options for a mom? Work dedicatedly on building a strong portfolio, and soon, you will be able to pick and choose your projects. Some areas where freelancing is a great option include content creation, web development, creative design, architecture, social media management and several others.

 

Consulting

 

Another lucrative freelance gig is consulting. As a consultant, you can offer your services and expertise to any number of organisations and individuals. Some of the most popular consulting jobs include business consulting, brand consulting, legal consulting, strategy consulting and creative consulting - and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

 

Home Business

Finally, the 21st century is the age for entrepreneurs, with anyone and everyone able to turn their special skill into a business! Chances are, you have a great home business idea at the back of your mind - so here are a few examples to help you figure it out. From selling homemade food, whether it be biryani, pickle or mithai to selling handmade jewellery and accessories, from tutoring school-kids to teaching yoga, music, dance or art, there are options aplenty!

 

Online Training

 

Online training is one of the best part time career options for a mom. There are thousands of companies hiring people to teach learners online. From making video modules, creating reading material to conducting live sessions, there are plenty of things one can do as an online trainer, depending on comfort level and  skills. English training is top of the list of online training options - but there are others like technical training, soft skills training etc.

 

Transcription

Transcription is heavily in-demand, which means that there are plenty of opportunities available for you. Transcription involves turning audio or audio-video into text - including writing transcripts live, writing closed captions for videos, creating subtitles for videos, and so on. This job is particularly known for its flexibility, making it perfect for a stay-at-home mom!

 

Part Time Jobs for a New Mom

 

New moms have very tight schedules, thanks to their precious babies taking up all their time and attention. But that doesn’t mean there are no part time work options for new moms who want it! As a new mom, you would prefer a job where you don’t need to leave the house, or are not tied to your computer for several hours. If your baby is a year or older, you might even like a job where you can take him or her along! Some options you could explore include: freelance writing and blogging, working at a day-care centre or other child-centric businesses, online transcription, and home tutoring.

 

So there you have it - if you are a mom looking for part time career opportunities today, there are more options than ever before! Whether you are looking for a way to occupy your time temporarily, or you are looking for some financial independence or want to explore something to take forward long-term, part time jobs are the way to go.


 

July 13, 2021 |  read

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Getting Pregnant

Getting Ready for Pregnancy: Preparing physically, mentally, and financially

Do you ever find yourself thinking about having a baby and starting a family? If you do, know that it’s completely normal. While getting ready for pregnancy and preparing for the baby’s arrival is no small task, you still have a long way to go. Take a chill pill, you do not have to get everything done today. Sit back, relax, and make a list of things that need to be done. Do one thing at a time and most importantly, have fun while doing it. 

 

Preparing mentally, physically, and especially financially is very important to go through a happy and worry-free pregnancy. Here are a few tips on how to prep yourself and your partner for the pregnancy and the baby. 

 

How to prepare physically for a pregnancy

Your body goes through numerous changes when you get pregnant. To make the pregnancy easier on your body, here are a few tips.

 

Maintain a healthy weight

We have all heard and preached the phrase “Health is wealth” at some point. It’s time we walk the talk. Let's get rid of that fried food with extra cheese, simply because they are not healthy. Bringing some changes in your food and lifestyle actually shows on your skin and hair. Staying healthy improves your chances of getting pregnant and also regulates your periods and helps you increase the chances of conceiving.

 

Avoid smoking and alcohol  

Consuming alcohol or smoking might act as added complications while conceiving or when you get pregnant. It is always better to quit in the initial stages of trying. By doing so, you not only would increase your chances but also avoid any kind of problems with the baby’s growth in the womb. Consuming alcohol and smoking reduces sperm count and sperm strength in men. 

 

Frequent visit to OBGYN 

Keeping in touch with your gyno when you are trying could be helpful. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the problems you are having while conceiving. Let your doctor know about your previous contraceptive methods, problems with your periods, complications from your previous pregnancy, if any, and your health and lifestyle choices. This could help make your doctor make better decisions and help you conceive soon. 

 

Preparing mentally to become parents!

Pregnancy is a big deal and could put a lot of pressure on you but, try and imagine how cute that little munchkin of yours would look like. What’s ought to happen will happen; it is time you focus on yourself as you are getting ready for pregnancy.  

 

Feel free to talk to close ones or doctors

Pregnancy hormones could take you on a rollercoaster every now and then, and it is essential to surround yourself with people who support you and care for you. Feel free to talk to your partner or friends if something bothers you; talking to loved ones always helps. You can always consult with a psychiatrist and get help if necessary. 

 

Bid farewell to stress and be patient

Stress is a weapon that takes away happiness and sometimes, health. The best way to beat stress and stay positive is by practicing yoga and meditation. Engage yourself in your hobbies or find things that interest you.

Know that conceiving might take a while and might stress you out at times, but it is normal. Being relaxed is the key here.  

 

Be prepared for changes

Pregnancy takes a toll on both your body and mental health. You go through several changes but know that pregnancy is a package and one must be ready to embrace it. While pregnancy glow, thick hair, and radiant skin might make you happy, etc you might also experience stretch marks and acne which can equally frustrate you. But do not worry, these things are mostly temporary and the little munchkin will make it all worth it in the end. 

 

Prepare financially for little one’s arrival

With a tiny human on the way, you might feel like it is a lot of responsibility. You might see the numbers in your bank account going down day by day. This is just the beginning, and it is essential to stay prepared financially for the baby. Let us take a look at how to save up and spend more responsibly when you are getting ready for pregnancy so that there are no compromises when it comes to the baby’s needs. 

Reduce unnecessary expenses

No, you do not need that new expensive pair of boots. Take a step back and think, the best way to save up money is to avoid buying things you do not need. Since you are required to eat healthily now, you might as well add the junk food money in your savings account. It is always better to start saving when you first think about having a baby. 

 

Get insurance and save up

It is important to get regular check-ups during the pregnancy and get tests done and take medicines. Get health insurance, this will save you loads. Hospital expenses also include ridiculously high delivery charges, natal care, routine checkups and vaccines for the baby. Make sure to get health insurance when you start trying initially.

 

Go easy on maternal and baby gears

If you have known someone who has had a baby, you will know how expensive maternity clothes can be. The best way to reduce these expenses is to borrow them from your friends or family who have had a baby recently. You could get creative with your partner's t-shirts and other baggy clothes. Buy stuff that you could reuse later, like an oversized t-shirt that could be used by your partner or kurtas that you could alter later. These are just a few ideas to get creative and save some money.

 

Buy cotton clothes and rompers that are both comfortable and inexpensive. To make better use of your maternity leave, you could stitch clothes for your baby using old t-shirts and shirts of you and your partner. This could also be like a bonding activity among the two of you. Let your creative juices flow, stitch cute dresses for the baby.

 

These are just a few guides on getting ready for pregnancy and preparing yourself for having a baby. You might find it to be expensive, tiring, or a bit too much at times, but remember once you hold that little baby in your arms, nothing else will matter. Embrace everything with an open mind and trust your instincts, you’ll be alright. 

July 20, 2021 |  read

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IVF

Best Diet for IVF Success

In-vitro Fertilization (or IVF) has become a boon to couples facing difficulties in conceiving. The IVF journey can be both emotionally and physically challenging. Women who undergo the treatment commonly feel anxious, sad, and uncertain and the regular shots of hormones that they receive can further heighten the emotions. It is important to have a healthy diet during his period to keep your body energised for the demanding period. Here are some suggestions you can include to create the best diet for IVF success.

 

What Kind of Meals Do I Eat?

Your body works as an entire system. To keep your fertility levels high, it isn't simply enough that you take care of your reproductive system but your digestive and immunity systems as well. Remember to take healthy, whole meals that give your body the nutrition it requires. Choose energy over convenience. Do not make any major dietary changes at this point. For example, if you weren't following a gluten-free diet, now is not the time to make that lifestyle shift. A Meditteranean diet has been shown to be helpful for both men and women during the IVF cycles. 

 

How Important is My Weight?

Your weight can be a contributing factor in the success or failure of your IVF treatment. Being underweight or overweight is not desired. Check your BMI to keep a track of what the ideal weight for your height is. Keep in mind that your BMI results are not the ultimatum and get expert medical opinion for more accurate advice. Trying to reach the optimal weight can also be an emotionally taxing period. Prepare yourself for it. 

 

Meditteranean Diet

You can have a diet congruent with the Meditteranean Diet even without making a complete shift. Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and eat whole grains. Lean proteins like fish and healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil are also good food inclusions. Low-fat dairy products and legumes help meet the protein requirements. An easy target that you and your partner can keep everyday is as follows:

Fresh vegetables - 5 servings

Fresh fruit - 2 servings

Protein – 15-20% of total calorie intake

Carbohydrates – 50-60 % of total calorie intake depending on the BMI

Total fat intake – 25-30 % of total calorie intake

 

Keeping Yourself Hydrated

Water is an important element to keep your body energised. Without enough water to lubricate its cells, your body cannot function at its best. Drink at least 2 litres of water everyday. Keep a bottle with you at all times and set reminders on your phone to remind you to take consistent sips if you feel you may forget to do so. 

 

What to Avoid

It is as important to keep in mind what to avoid, as it is to remember what to intake. Eating red meat was shown in a study to have negative effects on chances of clinical pregnancy and embryo development for women undergoing IVF treatment and is best avoided. While there isn't an absolute medical restriction on the intake of alcohol while preparing for or during your IVF cycle, it is important to keep it in check. A couple of drinks in a single week could hamper with the process and has definitely no place in your best diet for IVF success. There is also the added danger of emotional reaction that alcohol can bring out that you should keep in mind. It is also important that you get your regular medication list (if any) checked by your IVF specialist. There may be some drugs there that could hamper the process and so need to be checked and approved of. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), medication for mental health issues like antidepressants, steroids, and chemotherapy drugs need to be discussed with and prescribed by your doctor in relation to the IVF procedure.

 

Pointers for the Male Partner

As a male partner, your role is not complete with the sperm donation. Your partner requires your support and help in both direct and indirect ways. It is important to make this a shared journey and keep yourself an active participant in this. While reducing the intake of alcohol is a good option for the success of your sperm donation, it is also helpful when your partner is going through her other procedures as a part of the cycle to evade any temptations that she may get. Smoking should be avoided as well. Further, chalk out diet plans together to not just optimize nutrition for both, but also to make this a bonding activity and reduce the workload of cooking separate meals. 

 

Finding the best diet for IVF success is not as difficult as committing to it. At every point where you feel demotivated, remember your reasons for doing this. Take care of yourself and give your body and mind what it requires to keep going - take a break for some ‘me time’, go on a romantic date with your partner, get yourself some flowers; anything that feels good for you! While diet is an important factor in the success of your IVF procedure, remember that this is not the only one. Good sleep habits, regular exercise, and keeping your stress in check are also necessary lifestyle changes that you need to make.


 

July 22, 2021 |  read

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