Posts Tagged ‘ Motherhood ’

Motherhood and Mental Health

Friday, May 6th, 2022

Motherhood is an enriching and fulfilling journey. Multitasking is an often necessary part of motherhood but it can be stressful at times. According to a 2019 Oxfam poll, Indian women spend 312 minutes per day performing housework and childcare. This has been accelerated by the pandemic, with women trying to multitask various responsibilities. According to a survey of working women in India, 47 percent suffered from increased stress and anxiety in the pandemic.The stigma around mental illnesses, along with maternal health issues, discourages women from seeking medical help.

Many mothers manage various responsibilities. Our culture expects mothers to raise families as if they don’t have careers and work as if they don’t have children. As working mothers strive hard to balance their day, they are often left exhausted by these conflicting expectations. Sleep deprivation is another common problem faced by mothers that contributes to sadness, anxiety, tension, panic attacks, and other illnesses. Mom guilt begins during pregnancy and intensifies as friends, family, and the media focus on perceived defects in parenting. It is time to talk about the importance of mental health in mothers, support them, and encourage them to speak up and seek professional help.

How mothers can support their mental health?

Mothers go through a massive change in their identity when they have children. Many experience significant changes in their career, hobbies, interests, social connections, and overall lifestyle. Society sets unrealistic standards of perfection for mothers which may lead to mental health concerns. It is time for mothers to take care of themselves and prioritize their mental health. Follow these health tips to support your mental health better:

  • Reset your expectations
    The influence of social media pressurizes many mothers to be best at everything. It is important to set your own standards of what a “good mother” is and work towards that each day. Don’t set unreal expectations for yourself.
  • Exercise regularly
    Even 15 minutes can do wonders in terms of how you feel about yourself and helps boost your mental health. Include a meditation routine also.
  • Don’t try to do it all
    It is essential to learn to say no and set your priorities right. One cannot please everyone and that is true for mothers too.
  • Connect with other moms
    Networking with other moms and joining social media communities is really helpful. It helps with immense emotional support and makes you realize that you are not alone.
  • Rediscover your hobbies
    Immerse yourself in creative activities. Pursue a hobby that you enjoy or learn something new.
  • Spend me-time
    Dedicate a time for yourself every day. Allow yourself to take 30 minutes to sip tea or coffee, watch a TV show you love, or read a book.
  • Start journaling
    Express yourself in a gratitude journal and acknowledge all the good things in your life. Write down about all the things that are positive and give you resilience.
    Self-care is essential for mothers for themselves and their family. Researchers suggest that emotionally strong and secure moms are more likely to raise children who are less aggressive, more self-controlled, and more likely to do well academically.

Mental health care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Women are routinely screened for postpartum depression after childbirth, but as life continues mental health matters often tend to be ignored. Timely therapy and counselling can help empower mothers to cope better with stress and manage their life. Mental health is a building block of women’s overall health. Consult our highly experienced doctors at the Department of Psychiatry for specialist care. This Mother’s Day, make a difference to your life. Discuss your mental health issues and seek medical time medical help from our experts:

World Breastfeeding Week

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

1st to 7th August 2020 is celebrated as World Breastfeeding Week. The theme for 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”. Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life. It delivers health, nutritional, and emotional benefits to both children and mothers. And it forms part of a sustainable food system. But while breastfeeding is a natural process, it is not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months for your newborn and continued breastfeeding for two years as a supplement along with other foods. Breast milk has the perfect combination of proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. There is nothing better for the health of your baby.

Nutrients in Breast Milk
The following is a brief overview of the components of breast milk and the nutrients they provide for your baby:

  • Proteins
    Human milk contains two types of proteins: whey and casein.  Approximately 60% is whey, while 40% is casein. This balance of the proteins allows for quick and easy digestion. 
  • Fats
    Human milk also contains fats that are essential for the health of your baby.  It is necessary for the brain, retina, and nervous system development.
  • Vitamins
    Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D, and pantothenic acid can be found in breast milk at levels that depend on the mother’s diet.
  • Carbohydrates
    Lactose is the primary carbohydrate found in human milk.  It accounts for approximately 40% of the total calories provided by breast milk. Lactose helps to decrease a large number of unhealthy bacteria in the stomach.

Breastfeeding – Benefits for your baby

Know why breast is best for your baby:

Breastfeeding protects your baby
Breast milk is full of live ingredients, including stem cells, white blood cells, and beneficial bacteria, antibodies, enzymes, and hormones, which all help fight infection and prevent disease. Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, colds, and flu as well as ear and chest infections.

Premature babies
Feeding your baby your milk offers the best protection against potentially fatal conditions including sepsis, chronic lung disease and necrotising enterocolitis (NEC). 

Colostrum: the superfood for your baby
Colostrum the initial thick breast milk is rich in minerals like magnesium; which supports your baby’s heart and bones; and copper and zinc, which help develop their immune system.  

Helps your Baby sleep
Research shows that breastfed and formula-fed babies are just as likely to wake for milk during the night. However, breastfed babies get back to sleep sooner due to oxytocin hormone present in breast milk.

Brain development
Research suggests that children who’d been exclusively breastfed show a much higher cognitive development than children who have not been breastfed.

Benefits for the mother

Helps contract your uterus
When you breastfeed, it causes your body to release oxytocin, a calming chemical sometimes referred to as the “love hormone,” and it helps your uterus to contract back to its regular size.

It can help reduce the risk for PPD
Postpartum depression (PPD) affects 10 to 15 percent of new moms and brings feelings of sadness, fatigue, loss of appetite, and trouble bonding with their babies. Breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of Postpartum depression.

It could reduce your cancer risk
When you’re breastfeeding, your hormones are altered and your periods are delayed. This reduces your exposure to oestrogen hormone and lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Breastfeeding can protect your heart
Women who breastfed for at least four months had 20 to 30 percent lower risks for hypertension and heart disease.

Breastfeeding Myths and Facts

There are many myths and facts associated with breastfeeding especially passed on from elders. Let us bust these myths and facts:

Myth: Many mothers can’t produce enough milk
Fact: Almost all mothers produce the right amount of milk for their babies. Breast milk production is determined by how well the baby latches and the frequency of breastfeeding.

Myth: You shouldn’t breastfeed if you’re sick
Fact: In most illnesses, the mother can continue breastfeeding. Your milk will produce antibodies to pass on to your child to build his or her defenses. 

Myth: You should eat bland food while breastfeeding
Fact: Breastfeeding has no food restrictions. Mothers must follow a healthy well-balanced diet and stay hydrated.

Myth: It’s hard to wean a baby if you breastfeed for more than a year
Fact: There’s no evidence that it is more difficult to stop breastfeeding after one year, but there is evidence that breastfeeding up to two years is beneficial for both mothers and children.

Breastfeeding in India

Only 54.9 % of children under the age of six months have been exclusively breastfed, according to the latest National Health and Family Survey (NHFS-4). For the healthy growth of a child, the child must be breastfed and consume no other solid or liquid food until the infant completes six months. The latest survey also shows that 56% of the rural children below six months were exclusively breastfed, while it was only 52.1% amongst urban children.

Are you a new mom? Are you struggling with your breastfeeding journey with little help in these difficult times? Breastfeeding needs support, care and timely guidance by an expert. Seek help from lactation consultants virtually at our Centre for Mother and Child from the safety of your home. Please find below the link to book your online appointment: