What Can Be Done To Prevent Teenage Pregnancy

Teenage pregnancy is not a new phenomenon. For thousands of years, people were married off in their teens and it was not uncommon for a girl to give birth to her first child while still a teenager. What has changed is societal family structures, and now, teenage pregnancy developed countries is synonymous with unwed teen pregnancy. This in turn is associated with social issues like lower educational levels, higher poverty rates, and less success for teen mothers in their life.

Developing nations have the highest rate of teen pregnancy, over 90%. Of the developed world, continental European countries have low rates and this has been attributed to good sex education, use of contraceptives, and social pressures. Of developed countries, the United States has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and what's surprising is that an important factor contributing to the situation is the age difference between the man and woman in the sexual relationship. Teenagers are more likely to get pregnant if they are in a relationship with an older man, not when they date another teenager around their own age. Factors of abuse are also tied in with a higher teen pregnancy rates.

Maternal health is of concern for teen pregnancies, as the younger mothers are less likely to receive prenatal care and are more likely to have premature births and babies with low birth weights. The development of the child after birth can also be affected by having a teenage mother. They are more likely to suffer from health problems in childhood or be hospitalized than other children. Developmental disabilities and behavioural issues are also more prevalent in the children. They tend to perform worse in school and if their parents were teen parents, girls are more likely to become teen mothers themselves and boys have a higher chance of spending time incarcerated.

Sexual education is a divisive issue, especially in the States. The argument against it is that it will encourage sexual activity in teens. Opponents to sexual education prefer teaching abstinence and encouraging "virginity pledges". Sexual education varies in its success rates, working in some regions and not so well in others. Incorporating the teaching of values, attitudes, and communication along with the biological information on reproduction has shown to be more successful as an educational system. Increasing literacy rates and educational opportunities for girls in developing countries has also helped to raise the average age of mothers when they first give birth.

Doing nothing does not change the reality of teenage pregnancy and it is something that impacts not only the teen mother and her child, but also future generations. Combating the issue from different societal aspects will work better than targeting one piece of the puzzle. Educating teens and addressing the different conditions that promote teen pregnancy are the first steps.

Get to know more on the consequences of teenage pregnancy by visiting our site. As a parent, you can also learn how to prevent teenage pregnancy by giving the "talk".

Maternal Health in India

'God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers' - A Jewish proverb summarizes the relevance of a mother. That should place mothers in a highly privileged position. But the irony is that every minute a woman dies in childbirth. 536,000 women continue to die needlessly each year at a time which should be joyous - just when they are bringing life into the world. A further 300 million suffer from avoidable illness and disability.

About 14 years have passed since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) formulated a reproductive health agenda for the world, and about seven years remain for the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to be achieved

The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) (Table 1) which aims to 'improve maternal health' - is desperately off-track.

Table 1 MDG 5-Improve maternal health


Target 5A: reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015,the maternal mortality ratio

1. Maternal mortality ratio
2. Proportion of birth attended by skilled Health personnel

Target5B:Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health

1. Contraceptive prevalence rate
2. Adolescent birth rate
3. Antenatal care coverage
4. Unmet need of family Planning

Maternal mortality is an important indicator of the status of women in a society - a maternal death often represents the endpoint of a life of gender discrimination and deprivation 'inside' the household, and failure of the 'outside' (e.g., health system) to provide timely and effective care. Chronic conditions such as under nutrition, anaemia, diabetes and hypertension make women more susceptible to maternal death, but even healthy women can succumb to an unexpected complication during pregnancy or childbirth.

Only use of good health care can make maternal death a rarity, as it has in the developed world. Indeed, a striking feature of maternal health in the world today is the vast difference in maternal mortality in developed and developing countries, the latter still alarmingly high. In 2000, 13 developing countries accounted for 70 percent of maternal deaths worldwide and South Asia for one-third. The country with the single largest number of deaths was India, where an estimated 136,000 women died.

A number of individual and household factors put women at high risk of death during pregnancy and delivery. These include age (too young or too old), high parity, poor nutritional status, low access to health services, low social status, illiteracy and poverty. As with other indicators of reproductive health, maternal mortality is higher in rural areas, among the economically worse-off, and those with little or no education. Women who have received no antenatal care appear to be at greater risk of death (a cause or correlate), and those with unmet need for contraception are clearly at higher risk than they would be if they could avoid pregnancy.

A maternal death is a death like no other. The impact of a maternal death on families and communities is devastating - but is especially so for surviving children. A newborn baby is three to ten times more likely to die within its first two years without its mother. The health of women is critical to a country's social, economic and political development. The survival of women in childbirth reflects the overall development of a country and whether or not the health services are functioning. In reality, the survival of women reflects whether or not women matter.

As per NFHS-3 and SRS 2001-2003, various health indicators reflective of the current situation of Woman's health in India are

o Women in the reproductive age group constitute nearly 19% of the total population with 16% of women in the age group of 15-19 yrs. are already child bearing.The median age of child bearing in India is 19.8 years. (Urban area -20.9 yrs., Rural area - 19.3 yrs).

o 77% of the total pregnant mother received some form of Antenatal Care.( Urban area 91% , rural area 72%)

o Among women who received ANC, less than two-thirds had weight, blood, or urine taken or blood pressure measured, Three-fourths had their abdomen examined and 36% were told about pregnancy complications. 56% of married and 59% of pregnant women are anemic. 65% of the pregnant mother received or purchased Iron and folic Acid but only 23% consumed IFA for 90 days. In urban Area the 76% pregnant women received or purchased IFA and only 35% consumed IFA for 90 days and in the rural area 61% received or purchased IFA and 19% consumed the same for 90 days.

o 49% of all deliveries are institutional .Only about 1 in 7 home deliveries are assisted by a skilled provider.(urban-68%,rural-29%)

o 13% of the lowest indexed women delivered in an institution in contrast to 84% of women in highest indexed group.33% of pregnancies belonging to SC caste delivered in the institution against 18% among Scheduled tribe.

o Only 42% of the postnatal mothers are receiving any forms of postnatal care. Maternal Mortality Rate has been gradually improving from 437 in 1992-1993 to 301/100000 live births .Maternal Mortality in India is not uniform. High maternal mortality is clustered among the EAG states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, UP, Uttaranchal, Assam & Orissa.

The overall average rate of MMR decline during the period 1997-2003 has been, of 16 points per year. At this rate of decline, MDG of 109 by 2015 may be difficult to achieve Under the prevailing conditions, the MMR would be around 231 by 2012.

They give us the impression that though we are moving in the right direction, the progress is slow and to prevent mothers from dying and living with problems related to child birth, a lot still needs to be done and at a much faster pace

The major causes of maternal mortality are excessive bleeding during childbirth (generally among home deliveries),(38%) obstructed and prolonged labour,(5%) infection/ sepsis (11%), unsafe abortion,(8%) disorders related to high blood pressure(5%) and other condition including anaemia.(34%).Forty seven per cent of maternal deaths in rural India are attributed to excessive bleeding and anaemia resulting from poor nutritional practices. Intermediate causes, which are the first and second delays in care-seeking, include the low social status of women, lack of awareness and knowledge at the household level, inadequate resources to seek care, and poor access to quality health care. Causes of third delay are untimely diagnosis and treatment, poor skills and training of care providers, and prolonged waiting time at the facility due to lack of trained personnel, equipment and blood. There are insufficient facilities for antenatal care and more than half of all deliveries are still conducted at home, very often by untrained helpers. The link between pregnancy-related care and maternal mortality is well established.

National programmes and plans have stressed the need for universal screening of pregnant women and operationalising essential and emergency obstetric care. Focused antenatal care, birth preparedness and complication readiness, skilled attendance at birth, care within the first seven days, and access to emergency obstetric care are factors that can help reduce maternal mortality. One of the major goals of Government of India's Department of Health and Family Welfare is to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. The focus has shifted from individualized interventions to attention to the reproductive health care, which includes skilled attendance at birth, operationalising Referral Units and 24 hours delivery services at Primary Health Centres. and initiation of Janani Suraksha Yojna (National Maternity Benefit Scheme). The program to attend the same is Rural Health Mission in EAG states and RCH II in the other states.

If India is to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG 5) by 2015, besides providing universal emergency obstetrical care to each of the pregnant mother in need it will have to tackle critical social and economic factors, such as the low status of women, the poor understanding of many families about health care, the cost of such care, and also the low standard

Strategies which need to be adopted are

o Enhance inclusion. Two important groups - poor women and adolescents -need to be brought squarely into the fold of reproductive health services through geographic and household targeting and clearly-directed outreach. Social and gender sensitivity among providers, managers and policymakers is essential to achieve this inclusion, as well as the supply and demand improvements noted below.

o Improve supply. Enhancing the supply of services for all stages of the reproductive life cycle, for which integrating the essential package and providing a client-centred continuum of care are good approaches. Four services have been particularly neglected and require additional attention in this context: combating unsafe abortion, nutrition counselling and care, postnatal care, and RTI/ STI diagnosis and treatment. Improving the availability and quality of frontline female health workers through recruitment and/or contracting in, training, field support and performance-based incentives would help to fulfil many needs, while contracting out of services and other client/provider payment systems could increase the availability of care for poor women.

o Increase demand. Increase demand for several services that are provided but underutilized, such as ANC, IFA, institutional deliveries and family planning (although supply may be a constraint in some areas). In addition to 'behaviour change communication,' demand-side financing is important to achieve this.

o Reform the health sector for reproductive health. As reforms take place in the health sector, the delivery and financing of reproductive health services merit special attention. Reforms are especially necessary in three areas to support the above approaches to improving reproductive health. Decentralized planning and resource allocations, human resource development, and financing improvements are important to implement targeting, integration of services, supply improvements, a client focus, demand creation, and effective outreach.

The author is a private practioner in the field of obstetrics and gynecology and has a inherent social bent of mind.She is associated with many NGO and not for profit organisations and is involved in capacity building and quality assurance of various health care programme

Consumer Guide To Buying Breast Pumps For Nursing Mothers

Breast pumps for nursing mothers do more than just help women harvest milk after they've given birth. They provide a means for them to secure nourishment for their kids even when they are away. On top of that, they also provide that needed pressure to stimulate lactation when the suckling and latching reflex of the child is not strong enough. Furthermore it also prevents health problems because of or related to duct engorgement.

It's no secret that breast milk is one of the primary sources of immunity for babies. They contain maternal antibodies that help combat illness and infection which children's new bodies are unfamiliar with. It also promotes brain and vision development as well as a healthy digestive tract. As such, the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages breastfeeding for a minimum of six months to guarantee custom-made nutrition for the children. It doesn't hurt that breastfeeding also saves parents some money since they do not have to buy expensive formula replacements.

Now, there are currently a number of breast pump models being sold today to cater to the differing preferences of new mothers. There are those small, lightweight and portable, while on the other end are large, hospital-grade pumps. And then, there are also those that are automatic and manual; electric and battery operated. Some models allow hands-free use while others demand one breast application at a time. The best options are often featured in breast pump reviews. But regardless of what is being recommended, you have to match the product you buy with your abilities and availabilities.

See, if you are a working mom or had undergone a Caesarean section or perhaps suffering from complications due to pregnancy and child birth, you probably can't exert that much effort into pumping breast milk for your kid after delivery. As such, you may find it more useful to get a breast pump that works on its own, with minimal human interventions. Pumping can be time-consuming and painful. But the right product can make a huge difference in your experience. A hospital-grade pump operates close to a baby's natural sucking rhythm (40 to 60 per cycles per minute) at 30 to 50 cycles per minute. And it's programmable. Other pumps are not as efficient.

But then again, they are not convenient for those who have professional commitments. If you're planning on going to work shortly after giving birth, your best option would be to buy a personal, high quality, mid-weight, automatic breast pump that you can use in the office. Now, if you are only thinking about using the tool intermittently as you have no breastfeeding problems or hindrances to worry about, you could get a small manual, electric or battery operated model to help fill in the blanks. Different products will have different assembly instructions so make sure to refer the manufacturer manual before you start experimenting. And never relinquish the opportunity to get warranties because you never know if the product you obtained has a few glitches. You could take a look at breast pump reviews for price information as well as user feedbacks.

Visit this site and http://momsbreastpumps.com/ for more information on breast pumps

Massacres in Westernized Societies

As America reels from the latest massacre, everyone tries to make sense of an action that seems senseless. Everyone has a heated opinion, and the issue of gun ownership raises its ugly head again, and politicians, especially the two presidential candidates, are noticeably silent about what to do about the second amendment - the right to bear arms. Officials engage in rhetoric to further their own cause (to own guns or not) and argue as to whether the absence of guns would prevent individuals massacres. It may, however, be more pertinent to focus not on the macro aspects of such events, but the mirco aspects - the psychology of the individual who commits such gross atrocities.

This article seeks to show how a seemingly "normal" people who live in our communities, could either "snap" or deliberately plot over months to massacre as many people as possible. It uses Transactional Analysis to offer a meaningful profile of an individual living in a peaceful westernized society who could contemplate doing such a thing, and it asks the question that politicians should be asking, "What is going wrong in westernized societies that generate such individuals?"

Transactional Analysis (TA) theorists postulate that personality is a combination of genes and socialization, (the way we're raised - the nature versus nurture argument) and so researchers have sought to understand the impact of the family and parenting styles on personality development. TA offers a theory that shows the basic fundamental aspects of personality are present by the age of six years old, and are moderated and refined during childhood and adolescence. Neonatal research shows that newborn infants attempt to engage eye contact with their mothers, thus beginning the attachment/bonding process. When mother and baby are attuned to each other the baby thrives, feels secure and his personality develops in a positive way.

Human beings are not born with a conscience and only develop one through a "conditioned response". For example, if a child is securely attached to its mother and does something "wrong" and incurs his mother's anger, the anxiety is such that he will do anything to regain his mother's love and reduce his anxiety. The repetition of this conditioned response means that the child will assimilate an "internal code of conduct", a conscience, and be accountable for his actions as he matures. If a child is not securely attached to his caregiver, when he does something "wrong" he is less likely to feel the same anxiety as he has "nothing to lose", and so does not learn to develop a conscience. The importance of attachment to a mother figure in the emergent personality cannot be overstated.

In order for a child to receive the attention (Strokes) he needs, those who are securely attached don't have to try to get their mother's attention - she will anticipate his needs, teach him to tolerate frustration and he'll develop in a healthy way. The child who is not attached to his mother, (either through maternal depression, drugs or alcohol misuse, or merely due to intergenerational poor parenting skills) subconsciously adapts his behavior, and subsequently his beliefs about himself and the world around him, in order to get the attention (Strokes) he needs and must have. These beliefs are assimilated into his sense of self and TA theory postulates that the child develops "conditional worth." For example, "I'm only okay if I'm perfect, if I try hard, be strong and please others. So the four "life stances" are, Be Perfect, Try Hard, Be Strong and Please Others. The child will typically, subconsciously adopt one of these stances on life. As there is no rule book on parenting, most of us adapt to the life stances to some degree and that is not necessarily a negative thing. A Be Perfect stance can be the motivation to achieve in school or in our careers, pleasing others helps us connect to other people, and to cope with life's adversities we all have to try hard and be strong at times. These stances on life only become pathological when the individual sees himself as falling short of that ideal and suffers psychological distress as a result.

The socialization of children begins from the moment of birth, and as babies don't have language they learn what's acceptable behaviors in their family through non-verbal communication. When others smile and clap at a child's behavior, he will repeat that behavior, likewise when others frown or shout, the child knows that particular behavior is not acceptable, provided the child is securely attached to the parent. If not, the child doesn't care that its parents are displeased and will learn that acting out will get him attention. (This is known as Operant Conditioning or behavior shaping.)

The non-verbal communication is referred to as psychological "permissions" or "injunctions," positive and negative respectively. Psychological permissions allow a child to thrive and grow and injunctions prohibit growth. For example, if a parent is uncomfortable touching and holding, a child could assimilate a Don't Be Close injunction. If a child is shouted at or ridiculed when he falls over and cries, his subconscious may discern that showing his feelings is an unsafe thing to do, so could develop a Don't Feel injunction. There are 12 such injunctions with which a child may perceive the world around him. They are: Don't Exist; Don't Be You; Don't Be A Child; Don't Grow Up; Don't Succeed; Don't Be Anything; Don't Be Important; Don't Belong; Don't Be Well/ or Sane; Don't Think; Don't Feel; Don't Be Close. These injunctions elicit opinions and beliefs that a child carries into adulthood, where they inhibit the ability to become an autonomic, mature, self-actualizing person. Unresolved injunctions ruin relationships, foster low self-esteem, and leaves individuals believing that they are "not okay" and others are "not okay" either, and they become stroke deprived. This is known as "the despairing position" and is usually the precursor to suicide.

So it can be seen that the emergent personality has many facets originating from the early interaction between infant/child and his caregivers. As we all assimilate some injunctions during socialization, and the majorities of individuals are "well balanced" and function positively in society, it seems that there are "buffers" that reduce the impact of injunctions upon the self. For example, if parents have no motivation to succeed, another role model with drive and determination could prevent the child from assimilating a Don't Succeed injunction. It is only when a child has limited access to "balanced" care-givers that the likelihood of assimilating injunctions may occur.

TA postulates that there are three "ego states" and to be "whole" one should have accessible amount of energy in all three ego states. The Parent ego state consists of overseeing the self, dictating to the self, being judgmental or permitting towards to self, and it also houses the conscience and empathy for others. The Adult ego state consists of the ability to think objectively, appraise situations and recognize that each behavior has a consequence. The Child ego state consists of feelings and the early decisions an individual makes about the self based on the assimilation of life stances, permissions and injunctions.

While the vast majority of citizens of westernized societies would never contemplate murder, some individuals do, and psychologists seek to offer a profile of such individuals to explain what has gone wrong with their socialization process and thus their personalities. TA offers a profile of such individuals to explain the internal processes they contend with on a daily basis.

Typically individuals who commit atrocities in peaceful westernized societies would lack a functioning Parent ego state and have a flawed Adult ego state, which suggest sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies. They would live their lives through the "despairing position" of "I'm not okay and others are not okay either," which would leave them stroke deprived and emotionally isolated. They would have "conditional worth", subconsciously believing that their sense of self could only be positive if they adhered strictly to the life stances of Be Perfect, Be Strong, Try Hard and Please Others. One cannot generalize which life stance those who commit atrocities would adopt as these positions are a direct reflection of differing family dynamics, however, it would be the failure to live up to these dictates that would trigger the inception of such atrocities. Likewise, the injunctions assimilated into the personality will reflect differing family dynamic and will be examined below.

The rationale for a lack of a functioning Parent ego state are obvious: any "normal" person who may having fleeting thoughts of committing any antisocial act would exercise self-control and be mindful of the impact of such acts upon other people. Although TA theory postulates that everyone has the ability to think, with the possible exception of those with severe brain damage, those who commit atrocities exhibit a flawed Adult ego state, as they fail to process the consequences of their actions. They may show the ability to plan and scheme, but such thought processes would be evidence of "magical thinking" and therefore distorted. They may be grandiose or have delusions believing that an outside entity directs their thoughts and behaviors.

It is entirely possible that those who commit massacres in westernized societies may have assimilated a Don't Exist injunction (the most damaging of all injunctions) for many commit suicide after the completion of their act, or are killed by the police in ensuing gunfire. Those who willingly give themselves up to the police would seem unlikely to have a Don't Exist injunction, as the drive to stay alive is obviously present, but exhibit many other injunctions that prevent them from becoming an autonomous, self-actualizing person. As history shows, most offenders of mass murder in westernized societies tend to be isolated and self-defeating individuals. That would suggest that they have assimilated the following injunctions: Don't Think, Don't Succeed, Don't Be Important, Don't Be Close, Don't Belong, Don't Feel, Don't Be Well/Sane and Don't Grow Up. Having such a flawed personality would produce a very real fear that others would "find them out" and so they would be very reluctant to interact with others, and would try to blend in so that their flaws would not be discovered. They may present a brittle façade of normality but would spend a great deal of energy maintaining that façade, thus furthering the conflict inside them.

It is impossible to speculate what the "trigger" might be that initiates an individual to act out his fantasies resulting in mass murder without a detailed social history as triggers may differ, but there's little doubt that there must be some psychological gain that they believe they can't satisfy through alternative safe activities. Planning a massacre would provide "stimulation, a purpose and temporary release from Don't Succeed and Don't Be Important dictates," but as the planning becomes a reality, and the individual loses the ability to think rationally (to use his Adult ego state), the internal conflict becomes so pathological and the sense of self so fragmented that the only outcome will involve suicide or outside intervention. Having a flawed Adult ego state (a Don't Think Injunction) means that an individual would be "acting out" beyond awareness, subconsciously, what TA theorists call, a "Life Script." It means that he formulates opinions about himself in infancy and early childhood, tests his theory during adolescence, and then followed his Life Script as an adult without giving it any thought. It's like being on "automatic pilot" - no thought needed.

If the sense of self, the personality, is so fragmented that the individual cannot place boundaries around the self, if suicide is not an option, he will seek someone else to put boundaries around him, which would then reduce his internal conflict somewhat. Spending his life in prison would enable him to "play out" his assimilated injunctions of Don't Think, Don't Succeed, Don't Be Important, Don't Be Close, Don't Belong, Don't Feel, Don't Be Well/Sane and Don't Grow Up.

Institutionalization fosters and reinforces all these aspects of the self, and although the notion of life imprisonment may be noxious to most people, the boundaries, rules and regime may serve to reduce some of the mass murderer's internal psychological conflict.

This article sought to ask and examine, "What is going wrong in westernized societies that generate such individuals who could commit massacres?" It has shown how the personality develops using Transactional Analysis theory, and how inadvertently through the assimilation of injunctions, personalities may become pathological and cause individuals such psychological distress that they would do almost anything to reduce the internal conflict raging within them. This article does not seek to "blame" parents for the quirks in their children's personality. Most parents do the best they can while they are young and prior to processing through their own injunctions. What it does seek to highlight is the absolute importance of bonding with a newborn infant so that the child becomes securely attached, develops a positive self-image and high self-esteem, and most importantly, develops a conscience. All the time that women give birth without the rudiments of parenting skills, these deficits in personality development will continue, causing at the very least psychological misery and failed relationships. At the very worst, inadequate parenting skills can produce individuals who are so internally conflicted, without empathy, who are sociopathic and psychopathic, and who are capable of carrying out the atrocities that occur in every westernized society. Basic parenting skills should be taught in schools, and attitudes towards "mental illness" need to change. Personal growth, where individuals explore their sense of self, and resolve their own assimilated injunctions, elicits "mental health", and personal growth classes should be available in schools also. It is only then that mothers will be able to parent from a healthy position and produce stable, secure children who go on to become stable and secure adults.

That these individuals exist in every westernized society and live among us without detection, and the atrocities that they may go on to perform, is a tragedy at every level.

I wish I'd known everything I know now prior to having my five children because then I would have done some things differently, not all, but some. When I see some "flaws" in my grown up children I can relate them directly back to decisions I made as an inexperienced mother, and wish that their own "personal journey" didn't include resolving any issues initiated by my actions. Of course this is an idle wish as no one can be a perfect parent. Despite having no academic knowledge about parenting at the age of 20, I was lucky to be driven by my adoration of babies, so although I didn't know about attachment theory then, all five of my babies were securely attached to me, thrived and developed a conscience.
What concerns me so much, especially working with troubled teenagers, is the obvious lack of attachment between themselves and their families, and the absence of a conscience. These teenagers go on to have babies themselves and repeat the cycle of maternal deprivation. Authorities are aware of these unfortunate individuals and their impact on society, but it is those individuals who have slipped through the net, kept their heads down, appear okay on the outside but suffer horribly on the inside that worry me the most. Attitude towards mental illness has to change so that individuals who hurt can get the help they need without being labeled or stigmatized.
I am working on a new book, "How to Be Your Own Supervisor" that will help anyone who can read, so they can heal themselves and understand their parents' beliefs, actions and parenting styles. Of course my series of therapeutic novels, I Only Said, can help too. I have a favorite saying, "There's no blame, only understanding." Sincerely, Dr. Celia Banting.

Amazing Pregnancy Miracles

Every woman has pregnancy on her mind at some point. It is in our nature, our makeup, in the fabric of our very being. If you want to achieve a healthy pregnancy and you have had difficulty, don't be discouraged. Amazing pregnancy Miracles exist with those wanting to walk, breathe, and eat foods specifically to increase their health and the health of the next generation. Envision every child is born unrestricted by medical problems. Imagine a place where doctors and midwives teach every pregnant mom how to breathe better, eat super foods for their babies, and swap a few toxic cleaners for green ones. Imagine homes, buildings, and neighborhoods designed exactly to minimize environmental disturbances that affect the unborn child. Imagine a place where pregnant mothers feel a lifelong glow from knowing that they made healthy changes to give their children a happier start in life. Imagine what would happen around the world.

Eating the right foods will dramatically alter your conception, pregnancy and birthing experiences as a whole. For instance, women who have eaten a totally raw food diet during the course of their pregnancy, have been known to have extremely easy and/or totally painless child-births. Stay away from eating too much processed and/or junk food. The most obvious effect of eating junk food before or during pregnancy is infertility or excessive maternal weight gain. Overweight and obese women have a significantly higher risk of serious complications such as high blood pressure, pregnancy induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, miscarriage, pre-term labor, stillbirth and an increase in birth defects. Eating high amounts of raw fruits and vegetables will insure you and your baby will get adequate amounts of nutrients and vitamins.

Taking synthetic vitamins can work harmfully against your body. Synthetic vitamins can cause extreme constipation, nausea, and fatigue. Synthetic vitamins are chemical compounds that have been manufactured in laboratories to copy or mimic the molecular structure of real plants. Unfortunately, the body cannot properly utilize synthetic vitamins because they are missing cofactors such as enzymes and other vitamins in order to work properly. Therefore, synthetic vitamins cannot be expected to do the job real vitamins are intended to do. Worse, synthetic vitamins can actually cause problems. Without the cofactors needed to metabolize these vitamins, the body locates the needed cofactors in body tissues, organs, bones and muscles. This can deplete the body of other important vitamins and nutrients in a big hurry.

In addition to eating a high raw fruit and vegetable diet, you should supplement your health plan with organic herbs and tinctures such as saw palmetto, dong quai, wild yam root, red raspberry leaf, motherwort, etc. These can help you increase fertility, alleviate morning sickness, ease the discomfort of pregnancy, increase your iron deficiency and much more. Some of these remedies when in conjunction with each other haven been known to assist in the aid of conception and help labor progress quickly and efficiently.

There is a way for healthy men and women achieve the pregnancy and childbirth by systematically changing their diet and lifestyle. Healthy couples can achieve the pregnancy and family of their dreams and soon give birth to their very own little miracle.

Safiyyah Christian: Amazing Pregnancy Miracles: If you truly wish to achieve healthy conception and pregnancy then check out the worlds best resource. Amazing Pregnancy Miracles.

The Link Between Poverty and Child Abuse

Several studies have established the link between poverty and child abuse; however there are many poor families in which child abuse does not take place. Such poor families love their children and see them as their assets in life. The following are the reasons why the incidence of physical abuse is high in poor families:

1. Unmet needs of poor parents. These unmet needs can lead to frustration that could result in child physical abuse at the slightest provocation.

2. Unmet needs in a child. A child that is hungry or ill that needs to be taken to a doctor but is denied access can cry persistently and provoke the wrath of the parent.

3. Maternal depression. Incidence of maternal depression is higher in poor women than in the general population. Because access to mental health care is difficult for this class of persons, child care would be a burden to a depressed woman who might resort to violence in correcting an erring child. Depression is associated with poor social skills and makes the mother unable to give positive and responsive parenting.

4. Poor parenting strategies. Poverty and the associated social exclusion means poor parents would not have access to resources that will make them bring up their children through teaching instead of resorting to extreme violence in effecting behavioral change in their children.

5. Poor nutrition. First three years of life are critical in the development of the brain. During this time, the number of neurons in the brain increase dramatically and poor nutrition hinders this development. Malnourished children respond poorly to instructions and this can provoke the parent.

6. Poor access to care. Mothers who are sick and cannot access care will be irritable in relating with their children. Sick children who drain the resources of the family would be seen as unnecessary burden to the family and could be at the receiving end of the anger of parents.

7. Large family size. A large family size having two children under the age of two will be a huge drain on the patience and resources of the family. In many cultures, poor people give birth to many children because of high infant mortality rate and uncertainty about which child will survive. People also believe, one of their children might be a success who will deliver them from the grips of poverty.

8. Social exclusion and poor social network. Poor persons living in poor neighborhoods might not have access to resources that will enable them cope better with parenting.

9. Low cognitive ability of children. This could arise from poor nutrition or a home environment that is non-stimulatory educationally. A child that performs poorly at school may be accused of playing at school and punished severely.

10. Increase conflict among couples. Fighting couples live under stress and anger can be transferred to hapless children.

11. Housing in violent neighborhood. Witnessing violent acts all the time has a way of desensitizing a person in to accepting violence as a way of life.

12. Poor Housing. Poor housing produces stress that makes family members edgy and ready to explode at the slightest provocation.

Dr Francis Edo Olotu is the Medical Director of Christ Hospital, Ondo. He is also a family counselor who regularly counsels married persons and administers pre-marriage counseling to couples about to marry in his home church of St John Bosco Catholic Church Ondo. He is a frequently featured speaker in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. He is married to Catherine and their marriage is blessed with four children in the age bracket of twelve to twenty two. Dr Olotu is the author of the following books: The Amazing Power in Fatherhood; Releasing the Power in Fatherhood as well as Your Guide to Cancer Prevention.

The Importance of Iodine in Pregnancy and Fertility

Recently, GP's have started prescribing iodine, along with folic acid, as a routine prescription to pregnant women. Iodine is just one of several nutrients that are essential for a healthy growing baby, so what is it about iodine that makes it an absolute essential for foetal development?

It has been estimated that globally, 2 billion individuals have insufficient iodine intake. The people of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are particularly affected, with 50% of Europe remaining iodine deficient and statistics show that iodine levels have fallen greatly in United States, Australia and New Zealand too. Iodine is a trace element mineral and is easily excreted from the body so regular small amounts are essential to maintain health.

Iodine plays a major role in the normal functioning of the thyroid gland and in the development of the organs and brain of the foetus during pregnancy, as well as the first three years of the child's life. If the supply of iodine during pregnancy is too low the result can be mental retardation in the child, brain damage, perinatal death, infant mortality, as well as several thyroid function abnormalities including hypothyroidism, goitre and cretinism. The risk of miscarriage is increased, along with various autoimmune conditions and several maternal thyroid abnormalities.

The World Health Organisation considers iodine deficiency as the most common cause of preventable brain damage in the world. Thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) have many physiological actions and are essential for normal behavioural, intellectual and neurological development during gestation and in the essential early years of a baby's life.

There are three stages of thyroid hormone dependent neurological development. The first stage occurs before the foetus is able to produce thyroid hormones itself (16-20 weeks) and thyroid hormone exposure comes from the mother's supply only. Stage two runs over the remainder of the pregnancy after the baby starts to produce thyroid hormone also. During this stage the baby's brain is supplied with thyroid hormones from both the mother and the baby itself. The third stage is during the post-natal period when the supply of thyroid hormones to the brain is produced entirely from the child itself. The need for iodine-rich foods (and supplements) for the mother during all three of these stages is critical - not just during the gestational stages but also post-natal, as the baby depends on iodine excretion through breast milk in order to make the thyroid hormones necessary for healthy brain development.

So how much is needed? The WHO (World Health Organisation) recommends 250-300mcg of daily iodine for pregnant women and 250-350mcg iodine daily for lactating women. It is estimated that approximately 50-75mcg of iodine daily is transferred from mother to baby during pregnancy, and that 75-200mcg iodine is excreted daily in human milk from breastfeeding mothers. It is also important to note that iodized table salt as a dietary source of iodine is not effective and a poor source of iodine supplementation. This is because there is a much greater amount of chloride in food grade salt which competes with the iodine for absorption in the body. Eating a diet rich in fresh seawater fish, shellfish and organic seaweeds will also help to increase the levels of iodine in your diet.

For more information on how your diet can influence your everyday health, fertility, pregnancy and children, contact Wellington Natural Fertility Nutrition specialist, Kimberly Taylor on 04 4991439.

Kimberly Taylor is a successful Naturopath, Nutritionist and Medical Herbalist in Wellington, New Zealand. She has a passion for women's health care from puberty to menopause including natural fertility and preconception care. She loves supporting women and couples to restore hormonal balance and fertility, especially when a beautiful healthy baby is the happy outcome! With a life-long interest in nutrition, food and cooking, Kimberly has qualifications in naturopathy, herbal medicine and clinical nutrition. She holds a post-graduate certificate in fertility and reproductive health as well as a BA and BCom from Otago University. You can contact Kimberly by visiting http://www.zestnaturalhealth.co.nz

Ten Steps to a Happy Childhood and Able Adulthood

This list of important steps starts at the beginning, but you can jump in at whatever stage you find yourself, whether planning a child, guiding a toddler, or negotiating with a teen.

1) Be healthy. Before you conceive a child, eat nutritious food, mostly organic, lots of vegetables. And drink your water. Use unprocessed salt. Keep in mind that a majority of people seem to be allergic to wheat and processed/pasteurized dairy. Do your homework and decide who to trust. (Hint: Probably not those who stand to profit from your addiction to sugar, caffeine, and fast foods.) Maternal health leads to a child's good health. Healthy children are happier and easier to have around.

2) Want your child. Of course if you are planning to conceive a child, you have a good start on this one. But even those who are pregnant by surprise can decide to want the child. Look at it from the kid's point of view. How would you like to arrive in the family only to find out you were an inconvenience, a bother, or an embarrassment? Give your child the kind of welcome you would want. Revisit this step from time to time during your years with your son or daughter and renew the covenant. Inviting a child into your life is a sacred pledge, no matter by what adventure or well-laid plan.

3) Give birth among friends and practitioners you trust. There is a strong spiritual component to birth. Babies come out better if Mom is relaxed and knows she is in good hands. The baby's father may be one such friend. Grass roots midwives who have a good record of safe births are worth a look. Or use a birthing center that feels like home. Of course, if there are complications, you'll feel most comfortable in the hospital with doctors and nurses who are prepared to help with the situation.

4) After the birth, while you are holding your little one, take time to admire yourself and the hard work you have just completed. Mom, you are awesome. You, too, Dad, for all your support. The best thing a man can do to benefit his children is to make sure their mother feels loved and cared for. Dads, read this line again. And Moms, teach your children to admire their father and give him a hand at the work he does to care for the family.

5) Begin right away to tell your daughter she is precious and everything you want in a daughter. Don't wait for her to understand English. She'll understand the love in your voice. Tell your son, "You are just right. You make me very happy." You can even introduce yourselves. Say, "Hi, Buddy. We're your mom and dad and we are going to take good care of you until you are big enough to care for yourself." Whatever you say, be respectful. Children are people, just temporarily small. Repeat love messages often during the years, making sure to use a form the child appreciates.

6) Guide your child with gentle firmness. Don't try to train him like a puppy. Rather, guide and listen. Let the child help you even when she's too young to be of much help. She'll be tickled. A toddler can sweep (with a short-handled broom for the safety of others!). Children love to carry things, to deliver bowls to the kitchen and clothes to the bedroom. Be neither permissive nor authoritarian, as these are extreme positions, poles that give the child the message that he is not loved, one through a neglect that would let the child get lost, she thinks, and the other through hurtful words, threats, or physical hurt. It is possible to be both loving and firm. Don't get spooked. You are bigger. Insist when you must, but do it with love.

7) Whatever guidance you give a toddler, begin at once to loosen your grip just a bit each day. Let the child stretch a little further, and step in only when frustration is great or harm is likely. Teenagers do not suddenly become responsible. They need to practice during childhood.

8) Talk with your child and teen. If your daughter doesn't want to talk, tell her that communication is the basis for all social contact. Tell her you will listen to her concerns without judgment and that you will listen in order to understand. About now would be the time to admit you don't know everything, that you make mistakes, and that the world was quite the mess when you got here, too! Suggest putting your heads together to solve problems. Be patient. If you are concerned about her, you can gently ask, "Are you keeping yourself safe?" Remind her of the pleasure you take in her, how much she matters to you.

9) The teen years are about negotiating the steps into an independent adulthood. Tell your son, "I want you to have as much freedom as you can use-as long as it doesn't wipe out my beloved son or my bank account." You can explain your own need for a portion of control where your house, your car, his mother and the other children, and your love for him is concerned.

10) Above all, keep your anger and tears to yourself. Express them in private, with grown friends, or with a counselor you trust. Children can be very disconcerted by seeing you out of control on either the bullying or the folding side of things. And, frankly, they won't have much respect for a parent who shouts or cries or gets sarcastic. They deserve to admire you.

Revisit these steps from time to time and see how they apply to each stage of childhood. And if you have already missed some of the early steps, don't worry. Just begin where you are.

This is a broad stroke list. It touches on the basics of a successful and pleasant family life. If you have a good attitude, lots of love to give, some resources, and a willingness to occasionally say you are wrong or don't know all, you'll do fine.

Article by Patricia Lapidus, author of the memoir SWEET POTATO SUPPERS: A Yankee Woman Finds Salvation in a Hippie Village. Patricia is a writer, editor, teacher, and an encourager. Books include SWAMP WALKING WOMAN, a mythic fairy tale about women's strength, and GIDEON'S RIVER, a novel dedicated to all who live with a temper, their own or someone else's. Note: SWEET POTATO SUPPERS is due out soon in a second edition. This memoir is for those interested in communities, in spiritual hippies, and in the personal journey of discovery.

See http://patricialapidus.com/gideonsriver

Achieving Weight Loss After Giving Birth

Weight loss after childbirth is every woman's dream as it avails numerous health benefits for the postnatal woman. Losing weight after giving birth ensures the lady gains back her gorgeous look that tends to disappear during pregnancy. Even though, the weight loss process starts immediately during delivery when the mother gives birth to the baby and the placenta is expelled out.

The core weight loss strategy for postnatal women involves healthy eating and safe physical workouts. Both the two weight loss program for post natal ladies requires extra caution since it is vital for the mother to eat well for enhanced lactation. Also, the mother is fragile due to unhealed wounds and back pain that normally arises after child birth.

Healthy Eating Habits that Supports Loss of Weight for Post Maternal Mothers

Health eating habits that would ensure the lactating mother lose weight as she remains in viable health status are:

1) Consumption of greens, higher fiber food, fruit and whole grains: These foods provide a low calorie diet that is essential for workout exercises. The nutrient from these foods also enriches the breast milk to ensure the child remains healthy during pursuit to get the healthy and gorgeous look.

2) Avoid high calories foods and junk food. Most women crave for junk foods which is detrimental to the health. Junk foods are the top contributor to weight gain. Therefore, keep this kind of foodstuff far from your reach.

3) The secret to healthy eating is spreading your meals throughout the day, this will enable you to eat healthy food in small portions as you maintain the right calories to keep up with your workout exercises and at the same time achieve healthy lactation for your baby.

4) Consume plenty of fluids; this is advisable to avoid dehydration during weight loss after giving birth exercises. However, avoid processed juices, sodas, caffeinated, and alcoholic drinks.

Healthy Weight Loss Work Outs

Physical exercises are widely recognized as the best slimming strategy for post-natal mothers.

1) Slow and mild aerobic activity: Start by taking a walk round the neighborhood, then progress to swimming or cycling on a stationery bike in the gym.

2) Be consistent: If you want to make headway in losing the fats you must be consistent, if it is necessary go for group workouts since it is motivating.

3) Put in the right gym gear: If you have to go for workouts in the gym get the right attire and footwear. The gear will enhance your comfort and guarantee your safety. Work out requires sufficient blood circulation and nerve coordination; these physiological processes can be deterred by tight wears such as bras and bikers.

4) Plan for your exercises: Ensure you plan well and reward yourself for any weight loss achievement. You can plan to lose abdominal fat first then progress to the next target; this is to ensure your weight loss program is in control and excessive weight loss prevented.

After the exercise, ensure you get enough rest so that your body can build enough energy to sustain for other post exercise activities.

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Push and Pull Toys For Toddlers

Toddlers undergo a wide array of changes in their developmental tasks. At this time your kids learn to walk, starts to utter words and will develop a sense of autonomy. They can also have ritualistic behaviors at this stage and not to mention potty training. Toddlers need certain activities to promote developmental task for their age.

Play is one of their daily activities and according to one of the maternal and child health books I've read, toddlers play with children next to them. At this stage toddlers are engaged in parallel play. And we always incorporate toddler toys to their play. As parents we would end up asking ourselves, what toys do they need?

Toddlers will definitely enjoy toys that they can play with themselves. They will enjoy push and pull toys like trucks or anything with wheels and strings. There are several types of these toys so make sure you buy the right one because convenience for your kids is one we need to look into. You can even choose blocks for them. They could stack up the blocks and this could also develop their imagination. It will allow them to make their own designs and explore their creative minds without adult interruption. This blocks can also be placed on small wagon with strings because toddlers who can walk love to drag almost absolutely anything.

I know you would definitely ask why push and pull along toys are ideal toddler toys. Certain benefits could be derived from this choice. Among them are:

oSince toddlers want to achieve autonomy, then they can achieve independence in learning to stand on their own. If not walking, still they can use these toys everyday to aid them to stand until they become stable. They can even do this unknowingly and they can make their legs stronger.

oAfter learning to stand, toddlers can start to make steps. Small steps are preliminary to walking. Push-along toys can be used as walker. Your kids can practice walking, at the same time boost their confidence. Imagine your child learning to walk on their own.

oPull along toys can greatly encourage toddlers to walk because great balance and a sturdy gait upon walking are needed to work with these toys. Toddlers will be greatly amused with pull along toys.

oPush and pull toys can be used to develop the kid's creative mind and motor skills. Some of the push toys like lawn mowers or toys cars can be used by the kids to perform imitative play. At this stage they love to imitate the adults and incorporate with their play.

oThey can be very affordable and versatile. These toys can be very economical and multi-purpose. So before they have outgrown these toys, you can make sure toddlers will make the most of it.

For the parents, just make sure the toys you buy for the toddlers are safe. Toddlers can be very active so when they are playing safety is to be ensured. There are tons of toddler toys you can check out on stores and definitely push and pull toys are one of the best choice.

For more tips and information about toddler toys, check out http://www.thekidstoystore.com/toddler.html.

Maternal Health in Africa

Maternal health is a huge problem in Africa, with 50 percent of maternal deaths happening on the continent. African woman are a staggering 100 times more likely to die during childbirth than elsewhere, with around one and a half thousand of such cases every day.

One of the main causes for these tragic statistics is the lack of adequate facilities. Hospitals can be few and far between in some areas, and the hospitals there are often do not have enough trained midwives, meaning the care is not of the same standard expected elsewhere in the world. This is compounded by some of the best doctors moving to other countries where salaries are better. There is also a lack of up-to-date equipment and drugs. Many pregnant women are forced to walk many miles to a hospital, which contributes towards only 20 per cent of births taking place in hospitals.

Around 50 percent of births happen at home, and unlike elsewhere these usually do not include the help of fully qualified midwives. As well as those outlined above, one reason for this is the cost. A hospital birth usually costs around $6, which goes up to $15 if a cesarean is required. Traditional birth attendants often help with home birth but they are not qualified. They do though only cost around $2. Many more maternal health problems arise at home births in comparison with those at hospitals. Local clinics account for 30 per cent of births in Africa. The mortality rate here is also much higher than hospitals, partly because they are insufficiently equipped to deal with complications such as cesareans.

There are significantly more births in Africa than on any other continent. With women typically having more children, it multiplies the risk of maternal health problems. Part of the reason for more births is the child mortality rate, due to epidemics such as aids, malaria and starvation, and the lack of contraception. Because so many children die, people tend to have more children to increase the chances of some reaching adulthood.

Aids is another massive problem. The lack of availability of education about contraception is one of the reasons for this. Even where there is availability it is not affordable for all. If a mother has Aids or HIV during pregnancy this will get passed onto her children. Many Mothers die from Aids leaving their children Motherless, and if their Fathers have also succumbed to the decease, as often happens, then Brothers and Sisters can be left to look after themselves. This causes all sorts of social issues, and further increases the changes of starvation.

Lack of education around the whole subject of family planning means there are more pregnancies not just for adults, but also for young girls. This results in many becoming pregnant young before their bodies are able to fully cope with giving birth, meaning yet more maternal health issues.

Maternal Health

Injuries During Birth and Medical Malpractice

The birth of your child is meant to be a time of celebration and joy, but sometimes unexpected events during birth can lead to more pain and anxiety surrounding the birth of your child than expected.

Usually, medical teams in the United States are competent and do their best to provide a safe birth for you and your baby. Injuries during birth do happen, though, and can leave lasting trauma for baby and parents.

Many birth injuries, such as facial paralysis, broken collar bones, and bruising go away fairly quickly. The most worrisome birth injury is probably traumatic brain injury, which can be caused by a prolonged lack of oxygen to the baby. This prolonged oxygen deprivation can cause long-term mental impairment or seizure disorders.

If your baby has suffered from a birth injury such as brain injury, the long-term effects can be a lot to deal with. Hopefully your doctor did everything possible to prevent harm to your baby, but there are some cases where doctors are at fault for birth injuries. When a doctor does not provide a patient with a reasonable standard of care or was negligent in their professional duties, the case can be considered for medical malpractice.

Some behaviors that might be considered medical malpractice include:

• Not responding or a delayed response to fetal distress

• Untimely ordering of a c-section

• Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors

There can also be cases of negligence involving the maternal health, including:

• Delayed or lack of response to excessive bleeding

• Unwatched infections after surgery or birth

• Improper administration of epidurals or Pitocin

If you think that you or your baby has suffered injuries because of a negligent medical team, you should contact an attorney specializing in medical malpractice cases who can review your case to determine if you have legitimate grounds to file a claim. Most doctors do all that they can to ensure both maternal and baby health and malpractice cases should not be taken lightly.

If your medical malpractice claim seems solid, your attorney may request compensation for your injuries, including related medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, and, in the case of long-term injuries, compensation to provide for your child throughout his or her lifetime. A medical malpractice attorney will know how to properly file a claim, how to work with insurance companies, and, if necessary, how to file a lawsuit against the responsible doctor or hospital.

Again, medical teams usually do their best to protect maternal and baby health, but medical malpractice cases do happen. If you think your child is the victim of medical malpractice, contact an attorney as soon as possible to review your options.

Parents Are Responsible For Helping Keep Their Children From Becoming Obese

There was a recent article that just came out from the Health Day News that suggested parents play a major role in whether or not their young kids are thin or are overweight. The article had to do with the way mothers fed their babies in the first few months of their life. The study indicated that many women would overfeed their babies in an attempt to keep them from crying.

Additionally, the study suggested that many women simply were not picking up the queues that their babies were providing to indicate they were satiated from being fed. Some of the indications that women were missing these cues came from the fact that they often fed their baby while watching television and not during a one-on-one concentrated effort with their child.

The article hypothesized that women would become distracted because they were paying more attention to the TV show than they were to the cues from their child that he or she had had enough to eat. They found that children who were overweight early in their childhood development often went on to become overweight as teens and obese as adults.

In addition, the article suggested that women who gained more than 25-30 pounds during their pregnancy had a much higher risk for their child being overweight by the age of three. This information was gleaned from reports in the respected Maternal And Child Health Journal. It is been reported that in the United States today infants from birth to six months of age have a 59% higher likelihood of being overweight than babies who were born 20 years ago.

In totality these findings suggest that the home environment is critically important in whether or not a child grows up to become an obese adult. Parents must become educated that they have a direct role in feeding their children in healthy ways so that they can remain thin and not have to deal with the extreme problems that come later in life with the body that is overweight or obese.

Doug has been writing articles online for nearly 4 years now. Not only does this author specialize in diet, fitness and weight loss, you can also check out his latest website named Loan Modification Hardship Letter which provides the best information on Mortgage After Foreclosure for homeowners.

Free Universal Healthcare - Possible or Distant Dream?

Recently, a meeting was called by the prime minister's office to take steps to help the government offer free universal healthcare along with union health ministry and planning commission. This scheme was proposed to the prime minister by a high-level expert group last year.

The PMO meeting asked the commission to allocate adequate funds to enable the government's health spending to increase from the current level of 1.4 percent of the GDP to 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2017.

John Bryant in his book, "Health and The Developing World" says that large numbers of the world's people perhaps more than half, have no access to health care at all, and for many of the rest the care they receive does not answer the problems they have. India has the same story as the world has as half of our population has no access to healthcare at all.

Now, the question is whether free universal healthcare is the answer to this problem?

Up until now, India had two national health policies, one in 1983 and then another in 2002. Primary healthcare was their prime focus. The goals and objectives of both these policies have not yet been fully achieved, though we had some success like eradicating diseases like small pox. The national health policy, 1983 stressed the need for providing primary health care with special emphasis on prevention, promotion and rehabilitation. The policy suggested planned time bound attention to few points like nutrition, water supply and sanitation, immunization programs, and most important maternal and child health services. We have failed in dealing with all these and that should be the focus area of our spending.

Today in India, 42% of our children below the age of three are malnourished that is twice than the sub Saharan African region. Only 25% of the population has drinking water in their premises and over 50% of the population needs to defecate in the open and has no access to latrines. Immunization programs have so far covered only 55% of our children. There is also a pressing need to add more vaccines to the EPI (expanded program of immunization), which are costly and may need more funds than anticipated.

Free universal healthcare is a very good idea, but may be very hard to implement due to lack of infrastructure and basic facilities and could encourage large-scale corruption since health is a state subject. We have seen that in case of NRHM. Our focus should be primary health, safe drinking water and sanitation, major thrust on immunization, and child health services. Our focus should be each malnourished child. There should be a system to monitor its growth until it completes a certain age. The child should get all round care for it to grow in a healthy way.

Instead of having a free universal healthcare plan, we can introduce a scheme that will guarantee any patient who has spent Rs 25,000 (including hospital bills or medicine) and still requires treatment, will automatically get free treatment thereafter, whatsoever may be his/her cost of treatment. Government of India should pay the bills after that threshold. Today cost of healthcare has gone up tremendously and average household cannot spend more than 25,000 in hospital bills. This will also eliminate the possibility of chaos that might occur with the free universal healthcare. The Rs 25,000 cost can also be brought down by encouraging affordable health insurance schemes.

Free universal healthcare sounds very nice, but there are certain negative aspects to it as well. We are a huge developing nation of more than 1 billion people with different medical needs than say any other developed country that have universal healthcare. UPA's image is already tarnished because of corruption, and they cannot afford another scam by way of universal healthcare. Let us hope this is not the case this time.

Hello, my name is Rajendra Kulkarni. I like to write about politics and current affairs. I write on any interesting, serious or controversial issues that deserves to be written and analyzed. Being apolitical, I try to be unbiased and honest about what I write. Please pay visit to my website: rajendrak-hottopic.blogspot

Childhood ADHD Causes Can Be Due to Maternal Health Status

There are many environmental risk factors for childhood ADHD. If you've seen our article archive, the onset of ADHD involves a complex combination of genetics, diet, lifestyle, and the physical environment. A new study suggests another factor that can predict ADHD in a child - the health status of the mother.

The study, which was published in the journal Medical Care, looked at records from a database of Northern California residences. The researchers divided the mothers into three groups - mothers of children diagnosed with ADHD, mothers of children who do not have ADHD, and mothers of asthmatic children. The researchers then compared the medical history, use of health care, and costs of health care across the three groups.

The data showed that mothers with children who have ADHD are more likely to have health conditions like anxiety disorder and depression, and were more likely to make use of health services a year before or after giving birth than mothers whose children have no ADHD or have asthma. The mothers of ADHD children also spent more money on health care the year before or after giving birth compared to those whose children do not have ADHD or have asthma.

This was not the first study to confirm the link between maternal health and the risk of childhood ADHD. A study published in a 1985 issue of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry discovered that risk factors for ADHD included poor maternal health during pregnancy, previous miscarriage, first pregnancy, premature birth, long labor, and young maternal age.

Of course, the state of the mother's health is no guarantee that her child will suffer from ADHD or its related disorders. As mentioned earlier, a host of environmental factors contribute to the symptoms, which leads to the ADHD diagnosis. What's useful about studies like this one is that it allows you to take preventive measures if you recognize these risk factors fear that your child is a candidate for ADHD.

What are these preventive measures? For starters, there is evidence that breastfeeding an infant will reduce the risk of ADHD, as compared to using infant formula. Human breast milk is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are needed to form the physical structure of the brain. Of course, this is assuming that the mother has enough omega-3 fats in the body to meet the infant's dietary requirements. If you are breastfeeding, make sure to take around 2,000mg of fish oil supplements rich in the omega-3 fat DHA.

Diet is especially important in the prevention and management of ADHD. Most children with the disorder have a preference for fatty, salty food with zero nutritional value. As a result, they end up being deficient in key nutrients required for proper brain functioning. The great thing about young children is that their food preferences are easily influenced; teach your children to eat vegetables, fish, and cooked food and minimize the availability of junk food and fast food.

Finally, try to buy organic food when possible. Recent studies confirm that children are vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of pesticide residue in fruits and vegetables, and that kids with ADHD have higher pesticide levels in the body than those who do not. Simply buying organic versions of the twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables is enough to reduce your children's exposure to these harmful chemicals.

Dr. Yannick Pauli is an expert on natural approaches to ADHD and the author of the popular self-help home-program The Unritalin Solution. He is Director of the Centre Neurofit in Lausanne, Switzerland and has a passion taking care of children with ADHD. Click on the link for more great information about what is ADHD.

How Can I Become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner?

An advanced nurse practitioner is a nurse that has received specialized training in a certain area. One type of specialized nurses is those that work in the neonatal department, the neonatal nurse practitioner.

Aspiring nurses study a wide variety of subjects in school, from human anatomy to pharmacology, from maternal and child health to psychology. After their four-year education in the classroom, they are required to take and pass an examination to be a registered nurse. It is after this point that you may decide to take additional steps to become an advanced nurse practitioner in a specific area.

If you feel that you want to become a neonatal nurse practitioner, there are certain prerequisites that you need to meet. Firstly, you should be a registered nurse, meaning you should have finished your bachelor's degree in nursing and have received your nursing certification. In the United States, you need to have passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). In Canada, you need to have written and passed the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination. Secondly, you need to have experience working in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Some neonatal nurse practitioner programs require you to have 2 years of clinical experience in the neonatal intensive care unit, while some post-graduate programs require 1 year of experience. It is also required that you pursue a masters in nursing, specifically a degree in master of science in nursing, or a doctoral degree to become a doctor of nursing practice.

A neonatal nurse practitioner may work in a level 1 nursery or a neonatal intensive care unit. A nursery is where healthy newborn babies are taken care of. On the other hand, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is where newborn babies that are born with need for special care are given the extra amount of attention that they need, using specialized equipment. Patients inside the neonatal intensive care unit include babies that are born prematurely, newborns that are in respiratory distress and need intensive supervision, etc. Other examples are babies that have compromised immune and circulatory functions, who require the use of advanced medical equipment and care from highly skilled nurses to pull through. Also, babies born with congenital anomalies have different needs than healthy babies and are therefore also placed in the neonatal intensive care unit.

A neonatal nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has undergone 2 years of post-graduate education and training and supervised clinical experience in the clinical setting. With the right assessment and judgment, a neonatal nurse practitioner may function independently in certain procedures.

A neonatal nurse practitioner's functions include inserting and securing intravenous lines, taking care of babies in incubators, performing lumbar punctures, resuscitating newborns, giving additional education to the members of the neonatal team, being a part of a medical research and involving in consultations with doctors and parents. As a neonatal nurse practitioner, you do not just care for the newborn, but also need to communicate with the babies' families by informing them of their babies' conditions as well as provide them with encouragement and support to allow them to better cope and understand what is going on with their newborn. This kind of work can be physically and emotionally draining, as taking care of delicate newborns with physical problems can be hard work, and not all of them will live. However, seeing babies that improve and grow strong enough to go home with their parents can be hugely satisfying, and make all the effort worth it.

Due to the high education requirements and the great demand placed on their shoulders when they work, neonatal nurse practitioners are compensated well and receive higher salaries compared to those in other nursing fields. Their annual salary may range from $39,078 to $113,714. Although a dollar sign can be attached to their salary, the work that they do is priceless.

The College of Nursing at the University of Florida offers online neonatal nurse practitioner programs. They offer online training materials and lessons for post-master study. This program will enable you to study online from your own home. However, you will still be required to attend examinations in person, and acquire your clinical experience in their hospitals to get hands on experience as a neonatal nurse practitioner. What's good about being enrolled in this school is that they have highly experienced faculty to teach the learning materials, and modern facilities and resources where you can get practical work experience. With this experience, you will acquire the knowledge and skills you need to provide adequate care to newborns that are acutely ill.

In the upcoming decade, the demands for nurses are predicted to increase by 22 percent. The job outlook for neonatal nurse practitioner is also good. An NNP may work in clinics, hospitals, nurseries or neonatal intensive care units. They can also work outside the clinical settings as an instructor, a researcher or a consultant.

To find out how you can become a neonatal nurse practitioner please visit Neonatal-Nurse-Practitioner.net.

Maternal Health in Bangladesh

Poor maternal health and poverty are directly interrelated. Bangladesh being one of the poor countries in the world has worse maternal mortality rate in South Asia. It has been estimated that every year 21,000 women die during pregnancy or while giving birth to a child. Most of these deaths occur due to hemorrhage, anemia, hypertension and obstructed labor. Absence of medication for pregnant woman and delay in receiving the appropriate mode of transportation is also a major contributing factor to poor maternal health.

One of the major reasons for poor maternal health is the lack of skilled birth attendants which accounts for just 13% of all deliveries in Bangladesh. Another major reason for the poor is the fact that female children are not adequately nourished since their birth and generally conceive early in life. The resultant poor health and low birth weight has been carrying on for centuries.

The biggest challenge for the government and nongovernmental organizations is how to improve maternal health condition of women in Bangladesh. The high levels of illiteracy among women acts as a major roadblock in all developmental projects. Some of the required steps needed in to improve this issue in Bangladesh are:

1. Educating women folk in all stages of pregnancy right from early days of conceiving to proper delivery of the child. They need to be educated on the basic precautions to be taken during pregnancy.

2. Most of the pregnant women in Bangladesh are under nourished which severely affects the child and contributes to the high mortality rate. Pregnant woman and her family need to be aware about the necessary levels of nutrition.

3. Improve the body mass index of the women who are expecting by making them aware of it. The body mass index of majority of the pregnant woman in Bangladesh are lower than the minimum required which leads to complications in pregnancy.

4. Poor maternal health is also a result of socioeconomic condition of the women in the country. Making people aware of the harm of teenage pregnancy which can prove to be fatal both for the child as well as the mother.

5.Encouraging people to maintain gap between their children. Frequent pregnancy among women in Bangladesh has been one of the primary reasons for the poor state health of the mother.

By creating a support system within various communities be it in villages or certain pockets of the urban areas can improve the maternal health. This could be aimed at making the entire community take steps towards the improvement of maternal health.

These campaigns run by certain organizations has yielded substantial results in the places where the campaign has been carried out. Encouraged by this recent success it is now looking to spread the campaign to other parts of the country in the near future.