The news of becoming a parent indeed brings a lot of joy, as the arrival of a baby is a delightful event. Parents shop for cute clothes and fancy cribs while relatives are off to the gift shops to get their hands on the latest toys for newborns.
But what if you get to know, you are up for double trouble?
The news of having a twin pregnancy is equally joyous but undoubtedly brings the hassle of having to manage two babies with it. The only thing that makes it easier is that, unlike identical twins, fraternal twins are non-identical, and the parents don’t have to search for ways to differentiate between their twins.
However, due to non-identical frames of physical traits, the parents themselves would have to spend a lifetime explaining how the different-looking siblings in almost all aspects are twins for real.
Let’s have a look at some of the common facts and characteristics that fraternal twins possess.
How Are Fraternal Twins Formed Embryonically?
In rare cases, two unfertilised eggs can be released in the ovaries simultaneously. If these two different eggs get fertilised by two different sperms simultaneously upon intercourse, both fertilised eggs individually implant in the uterus and grow.
This means that the fraternal twins only share about 50 percent DNA, unlike the monozygotic or identical twins, who share an absolute 100 percent. Hence, fraternal twins are not genetically or physically identical.
While the reason for fraternal twin birth is not precisely known, most often, it runs in the family, and a mother is likely to have fraternal twins if she or someone in the family has had a similar pregnancy before.
Unpopular Facts About Fraternal Twins
While we have scratched the surface of fraternal twin pregnancy, let’s dive into some of the lesser-known facts about double newborns.
1. They Are The More Common Type Of Twins
When we hear the word twins, most people would imagine two identical humans with identical physical traits. However, that’s not usually the case. As per statistics, a twin pregnancy is more likely to result in fraternal twins. Around 75 percent of all twin pregnancies are fraternal twins.
2. The Fraternal Twins Can Have Different Sexes, Unlike The Identical Twins
A baby’s gender is determined by the chromosome brought by the father’s sperm to the egg for fertilisation. Since two separate sperms fertilise the eggs for fraternal twins, the gender of the babies can be distinct as well. It means that either baby can be a boy or a girl, unlike identical twins who tend to have the same gender.
This usually serves as a fun factor when someone asks the siblings their dates of birth, and the revelation that they are twins is made on people.
3. Fraternal Twins May Have Two Different Fathers
A phenomenon usually seen in movies is pretty accurate in real life too.
Commonly known as superfecundation or bi-paternal twins, fraternal twins may have two fathers and are generally seen in women with hyper-sexual activity.
The woman’s cycle will be interrupted by the release of eggs multiple times (a phenomenon known as hyper-ovulation), and she will be having sex with more than one partner. Hence, leading to the two different eggs being fertilised by sperms coming from two different fathers, making bi-paternal twins a possibility.
4. They May Not Be Born On The Same Day
Yes, you read it right!
Fraternal twins are not necessarily supposed to be born on the same day. They can have a week or even a month gap in their ages. This happens when a woman releases one egg during her cycle, and it gets fertilised, then her cycle gets interrupted.
Now when she experiences another cycle, she releases another egg while already being pregnant. The second egg gets fertilised upon having sex now, as per a phenomenon known as superfetation.
This leads to the birth of fraternal twins with a week or even a month’s difference. This phenomenon can take place up to 24 days after the first egg’s release.
5. They Have Separate Supporting Structures
When looked upon in-utero, fraternal twins have completely separate in-utero growth and supporting structures. In addition, since fertilisation and implantation are different, twins develop separate amniotic sacs, placentas, and other in-utero supporting structures.
6. They Might Be Polar Opposites
Fraternal twins only share 50 percent of the genetic makeup. This leads to them being sometimes polar opposites in their characteristics and preferences.
While this individuality will undoubtedly be adorable, simultaneously mastering the routines and preferences of two different babies will definitely be a nightmare for the parents. This is because you will be looking after two completely different individuals who are not close to each other, unlike identical twins who have a stronger bond. After all, they share 100 percent of their DNA.
7. Fun Part: They Are Difficult To Differentiate
Fraternal twins tend to look dissimilar enough not to be labelled twins by the general public, who would often be found taken aback by shock when they learn the pair of siblings are twins.
However, often fraternal twins can look identical to a high level as well. For example, they may look like a pair of siblings with 100 percent shared genetic makeup. On the contrary, sometimes, identical twins may not resemble each other so much because of the environmental factors that may lead to slight physical differences.
The only sure-fire way to confirm if a pair of siblings are twins is the DNA zygosity genetic test. Besides demonstrating the twin status, this test is also responsible and essential for determining the baby’s health.
Twins may be double trouble for the parents, but they are a joyful bliss as they fill the home with positive vibes and laughter. Their dissimilarities make them unique but quite similar at the same time as well.
Have you been struggling with your baby’s behaviour lately? Do you think your baby is often grumpy and moody? Though such behaviours can happen occasionally, a baby constantly feeling uncomfortable will make you worry and keep you on your toes all the time.
But what if your baby is like this because of gas issues? Even though it is a bit challenging to dig the exact point of contention in babies in the early months, some signs can help you figure out the specific problem for sure.
As for this article, we’ll be going through some tips and tricks that can aid you in giving your baby the relief that he should have.
Causes That Lead To Gas In Babies
Before we jump into the tips to help a gassy baby, it is essential to know that such problems are common in occurrence. Since the baby’s digestive system has just begun developing, having gas issues is 100% normal.
The passing of gas is a normal human phenomenon; hence a gassy baby isn’t much worry. However, when the gas in the body is unable to pass, it gets collected in the digestive tract, thus causing bloating and irritation in a baby.
Anyhow, it will probably be more fitting if we go through the signs first. That can let you know whether your baby has a gas problem or not.
Some typical signs of babies with gas problems are:
Crying for elongated periods.
Sulky and sad mood.
Improper sleep and food cycle.
Bloating and Farting.
The signs mentioned above can happen due to various reasons. For example, one of the reasons why babies produce more gas than adults is because of constipation. Other reasons could be the incorrect way you are making your baby burp, the baby’s position, and the sucking of your baby through a pacifier.
Quick Tips To Help A Gassy Baby
Once you have made sure that your baby indeed has gas issues, the tips mentioned are going to prove quite helpful.
You’ll realise that most of these tips are common, and it could be that you indeed do them. But from now on, it will be better if you pay more attention to these and carry them out properly.
1. Check The Position Of Your Baby
During feeding sessions, ensure that your baby’s head is kept higher than its stomach. That way, the milk shall go down your baby’s stomach and the air upwards.
You can also use a pillow while feeding. Please don’t make your baby lie down as that will cause more gas. If your baby is bottle-fed, go for bottles with nipples that help regulate air and liquid.
For those who breastfeed their babies, you must consult your doctor about your diet, as peculiar foods might be causing that painful gas in your baby. Some food items that can cause gas are caffeine, dairy products, vegetables such as broccoli, etc.
2. Make Your Baby Burp
One of the easiest ways to alleviate trapped gas or relief gas, in general, is to make your baby burp during the feeding session and after it.
You can also gently pat your baby on the back after the feeding, or you can make them lie down on their backs, too, if they don’t burp right away. If your little one lets go of the nipple only a few minutes after you start feeding, then that could be a sign to make your baby burp instead of thinking it’s full.
Frequent massages can also be effective for babies to easily digest their food and have a happy and energetic mood overall.
3. Make Your Baby Ride A Bicycle
No, this does not mean that you get your baby to bicycle and neither does it require any hardcore effort from your side.
All you have to do is lie your little one down on its back and slowly move the legs back and forth in a bicycle motion. This can aid in the release and push that gas out. You can also push your baby’s knees to his tummy and hold it for a good 10 seconds.
Repeat these minor but productive exercises to relieve gas quickly!
4. Do The “I Love You” Massage
Most of you must be thinking that we are making this up, but no. Usually, the nurses teach the technique of the “I love you” massage to new moms before leaving the hospital.
The steps included are as stated. Lie down your baby on its back and start rubbing the tummy in circular motions with a gentle hand. Start stroking the words “I”, “L”, and “Y” with three fingers on the baby’s belly. Next, spell the words around the entire belly smoothly.
By doing this, you are helping the gas in your baby’s digestive tract to pass out without any discomfort – Isn’t that a fun yet easy exercise to do with your baby?
5. Don’t Skip Feeding Sessions
If there is one thing that you should never do, you must never skip your baby’s feeding time or wait for a specific time to roll around.
Purposefully waiting for a temper tantrum or meltdowns is like adding fuel to the fire. Babies, especially newborns, are hungry all the time. Moreover, while crying, they are simply chugging air down their throats. This can highly contribute to that terrifying gas episode.
Since crying is unpredictable primarily in infants, it is better to keep them well fed to avoid unexpected waterworks.
6. Experiment And Encourage Baby Drops
Though it might not be ideal for dabbling around and experimenting, trying formulas that tone down that gassiness can be a good thing.
Apart from testing new formulas for your baby, you can also try baby drops. They are not helpful for all babies, but they don’t cause harm either.
Note: Talk to your doctor before you try or give anything to your baby. The last thing you would want for your baby is to be in pain and discomfort.
Here are all the tips and techniques that you’ll need to help a gassy baby. Remember, newborns are pretty sensitive, and almost anything can trigger them. Therefore you must be aware of the signs, causes and remedies related to gassy babies. Not only will that keep you prepared but also you’ll be able to solve the issue yourself!
There’s one problem most of the new moms face, low milk supply. It could be a false alarm, but sometimes it isn’t one. There are times when your milk supply could be running low, that’ll reflect in your baby’s behaviour.
Is your baby crying too much these days, or seems agitated? If everything else checks in OK, you should probably pay attention to your milk supply. There are numerous reasons behind the low milk supply, which we will discuss in this post.
So let’s get into it!
Signs: Knowing If The Milk-Supply Is Low Or Not
It’s vital to determine if you’re producing less milk or not. Not only is it harmful to the baby, but it’s not suitable for the mother either. Therefore, it’s essential to assess this problem as soon as possible and seek professional care.
Here are the three signs that’ll help you in knowing if the milk supply is low or not:
1. Poor Weight Gain
Weight loss after birth is quite normal. Newborn babies lose about 5 to 7% of their weight in the early postpartum period. But afterwards, they regain at least 4-7 ounces per week as well. If this is not happening, and your baby is not gaining the usual weight, it’s time you seek professional help.
Another alarming sign that you will come across is dehydration. If your baby is not producing tears while crying, hasn’t passed urine in several hours, looks lethargic, and has a soft sinking spot on his head – your baby is dehydrated. Moreover, he is probably dehydrated because he has been experiencing milk shortages.
3. Insufficient Wet or Dirty Nappies
Insufficient wet nappies are the last sign that may help you figure out if your milk supply is low or not. Babies should be damp, smelly, and should have a record of 6-8 wholly soaked nappies in 24 hours. Anything, otherwise, would probably indicate a problem that needs medical attention.
Reasons Behind Low Breast Milk Supply
Now that you’re familiar with the signs of low breast milk supply, it’s time to learn about the reasons behind this issue. In addition, learning about the problem can help you reverse it with healthy habits and lifestyles.
1. Mom’s Poor Diet
Since you’re the mom, it’s apparent that you’re in charge of producing breast milk. Consuming unhealthy foods or having an unbalanced diet can directly affect the supply. Therefore, it is vital to eat healthy in order to keep producing milk during breastfeeding.
Adding garlic, chickpeas, almonds, fenugreek, dark leafy vegetables, and oatmeal can help boost the production.
2. Mom Under Stress
Taking care of a baby is not an easy task. There are a million things to manage that usually contribute to stress and anxiety. This leads to the production of cortisol and adrenaline. Both inhibit the release of oxytocin which is responsible for milk “let-down.” Therefore, cutting down stress and loving the process can help increase the milk supply.
3. Incomplete Latch
An incomplete or poor latch can also cause a significant decrease in breast milk production and supply. It is so because if the baby doesn’t latch properly, the breasts don’t empty as they should. Instead, it’s the emptying of breasts that stimulates the production of more milk. Thus, to ensure that your breasts don’t run out of milk, ensure that your baby is positioned ideally.
3. Cutting Down Feeding Time
It’s essential to give adequate time for your breasts to empty. If you don’t, your milk supply will inevitably suffer. Try breastfeeding your baby for at least 8-10 minutes on both sides to avoid this problem once and for all.
4. Unhealthy Lifestyle
Everything a mother does affects her baby. For example, if she is smoking, skipping meals, or not massaging her breasts from time to time – it will cause a drastic decrease in the breast milk supply. To avoid these issues, make sure that the moms take care of themselves and pursue a healthy lifestyle.
5. Alternating/Supplementing with Formula Milk
The arch-enemy of your breast milk’s supply is formula milk.
So if, in the very beginning too, you start to alternate breast milk with formula milk, there will surely be a decrease in your breast milk production. That is because your breasts work on supply and demand – the more you breastfeed, the more milk they produce.
So, alternating with formula milk can decrease that supply and demand process, creating trouble for your baby.
6. Taking Hormonal Oral Contraceptives
While contraceptives don’t affect the milk supply of many others, some may experience this issue. It’s due to estrogen in the pills or patches that causes the decrease in breast milk, especially if taken before your baby is four months old.
7. Scheduling Feedings
Scheduling when to feed your baby and when to not can also disrupt the demand and supply chain. Once disturbed, this can lead to low breast milk production. So, to make sure that you don’t go through this, please don’t schedule feedings.
Feed your baby whenever they are hungry, and you’re good to go.
8. Skipping Feeds at Night
It’s natural to want to skip breastfeeding at night. But it’s essential to not give in to the desire and feed your baby if he wakes up at night.
The interval during the night can be quite a lengthy one. In addition, it can potentially trick your body into believing that it’s OK not to produce milk anymore. This can eventually lead to a decreased breast milk supply, and in turn, affect your baby’s health.
Improve Your Breast Milk Supply
Having a decreased breast milk supply is not something unfixable. Here are some of the easiest ways to improve your milk supply:
Use a breast pump to maintain good flow
Massage your breasts from time to time
Switch between both the breasts
Aim for the perfect position of your baby so that he latches properly
It’s incredibly essential to look out for fake signs as well. Sometimes, it might feel like your milk supply is low, but it isn’t. Therefore, it’s always better to consult with a healthcare professional. In addition, try to improve your lifestyle, improve breastfeeding positions, and never schedule feeding periods for the baby.
Stress – quite a familiar word these days, isn’t it?
Whether it’s work, kids, or your partner – everything contributes to stress. And undoubtedly, it can be tiring and mentally exhausting. It sucks out your energy to finish the rest of your day or commence with a new one.
All of us have a different coping mechanism when it comes to stress. It could be gaming, gardening, painting, or talking to your friends.
However, the ideal way to beat stress is – that’s right – EXERCISE!
Let’s look into the ten best activities that you can regularly do to relieve stress.
How Can Exercise Relieve My Stress?
Exercise can help you put stress aside in numerous ways. But, in order to understand how it does, it’s essential to know what’s happening in your body when you’re under pressure.
The neurochemical basis of this phenomenon is quite simple. Stress stimulates the release of cortisol (the stress-causing hormone) and adrenaline (the fight-or-flight hormone). These hormones are the ones driving your stress and are the main culprits behind your anxious behaviour and inability to perform well.
Moreover, exercising also causes the release of endorphins that are known as happy neurotransmitters. Therefore, when you exercise, there’s a significant decrease in the levels of these hormones. Conversely, as their levels increase, you feel better about yourself and in control of the situation you’re stuck in.
Beat The Stress With These 10 Exercises!
Now that you are fully aware of stress – it’s about time you took back the charge. Stress does not only ruin your ability to get done with the tasks, but it also makes you doubt yourself and your capabilities.
To avoid problems, it’s best to knock the stress with the following exercises:
1. Brisk Walking
Let’s begin with the easiest one of them all – walking. But we walk every day, right? So why are we still stressed then? Well, brisk walking and just moving from one corner to get a task done is different.
Brisk walking allows you to use your muscles better but prevents you from tiring out. It’s known that people with a proper walking regimen can cope with their stress better and are healthier as well, both mentally and physically.
Brisk walking is the ideal way to get started on this mission of beating stress.
2. Tai Chi
Tai chi is a series of self-paced fluid body movements and heavily promotes serenity through various moves. Originally tai chi was an ancient internal Chinese form of martial arts used for meditation, health purposes, and more. However, it is also known to increase flexibility and calm those stress levels down.
Tai chi puts minimal pressure on the muscles and joints, making it accessible to all ages. So if you are looking for something refreshing, then tai chi might be for you!
Pilates is also a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century. It aids in the treatment of depression and anxiety. However, it is not solely designed just to strengthen the muscles and improve body balance.
If you wish to build a self-care routine, you expect a noticeable change after reinforcing this in your life. You’ll feel your mental state sharpening and experience better performance.
Concentrating on your breathing and good thinking will definitely switch the stressed mode into a better one.
Yoga is an activity that we hear most fitness gurus talk about. The main reason is that yoga consists mainly of postures and can gradually increase your joints’ flexibility.
Yoga focuses on meditation and breathing techniques which can help one distress. Studies have shown that people who consistently perform yoga have a higher chance of lowering stress levels.
Not only that, but you’ll also be able to lose some of those pounds as yoga is an effective tool for weight loss.
Suppose there is one thing that almost everybody enjoys doing is; dancing. Dance often has categorised movements, and specific choreographies help us detect the mood of each form.
For many people, dancing serves as a perfect way to relieve their stress. This is because dancing helps the brain release endorphins- chemicals that act as natural painkillers. It also improves our ability to sleep, meaning reduced stress levels.
So the next time you feel stressed, hit your jam and dance the stress away!
6. HIIT Workout
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a combination of high-intensity bursts of cardio exercise followed by long or equal rests.
An example of a HIIT workout would be 50 to 90 seconds of squats after warming up, followed by slow jogging. Along with lower risks of heart diseases, it reduces signs of stress, anxiety, and various other problems associated with stress.
Swimming is the best form of exercise on this list. Since you need to move your body against the water’s resistance, it proves to be an all-rounder activity.
Furthermore, it keeps your heart rate in check, lowers the chances of stress, and keeps you active throughout. Swimming is definitely the perfect stress relief exercise if you love water in general.
Kickboxing is about combat that mainly includes kicking and punching. It also helps you release endorphins and reduce anxiety and stress levels.
On top of that, you’ll notice your waistline shrinking!
9. Outdoor Activities
Outdoor activities such as biking and walking may seem insignificant, but they largely contribute to one’s stable mental health.
Being in the fresh air is most likely to result in increased blood circulation to the brain, release of good hormones such as serotonin – which are responsible for making you feel happy, and just an overall sense of well-being.
Qigong is also an ancient Chinese healing exercise that includes proper breathing and meditation. Mainly referred to as Asian yoga that has been around for thousands of years.
It involves slow movements that the Chinese and Asia recognise as a healing and rhythmic practice that cultivates balance and brings energy.
Trails have indicated that qigong is effective when it comes to dealing with pressure and stress. It enhances your health all over and maintains blood pressure.
It’s OK to stress because – let’s get real for a while – it gets a lot of our tasks done. But stressing about everything, even the minor problems, is not healthy at all.
You can either pick one exercise and start with that or try a combination of these exercises. Making a plan, and dedicating a particular slot to these exercises, can help you curb the stress.
Moreover, if you’re starting a fitness program to beat stress, it’d be best to consult a professional and get their opinion as well.
The universal truth about sleeping is that we all love it.
However, sleeping on time and making the most of it is different from sleeping whenever you want to. In order to have a healthy lifestyle, it’s incredibly vital to sleep well.
A lot of things fall into their proper places if you’re sleeping well. But unfortunately, the concept of good/healthy sleep isn’t too popular these days.
So allow us to change your mind by giving ten reasons why good sleep is essential – let’s get into it!
How Does Sleep Work?
Sleep is divided into multiple sleep cycles, with each cycle lasting from 70 to 120 minutes. Specifically, sleep consists of four integral stages:
Stage 01 (1-5 minutes): Beginning of your sleep; it eventually transitions into stage 2
Stage 02 (10-60 mins): Further decrease in the brain’s activity
Stage 03 (20-40 mins): A marked reduction in the brain’s activity accompanied by the relaxation of the body’s muscles. This stage allows your body to recover from the tiredness of the day.
Stage 04 (10-60 mins): Also known as REM sleep – this stage is the most critical part of your sleep, as it focuses on improving your memory and learning capabilities.
Good Sleep: A Superhero That’ll Turn Your Life Around
Well, now that you know how sleep works, let’s take a look at how it can turn your life around.
1. Improves Concentration & Productivity
It’s natural to feel in sync with your body after a good sleep. This is so because sleeping well allows your body to recover from the previous day’s tiredness. Once this is achieved, you are bound to concentrate well the next day and boost your productivity.
On the other hand, a poor sleep of 4-5 hours doesn’t let the REM cycle do its job. Thus, feeling sluggish and tired is inevitable.
2. Keeps You From Getting Depressed
One of the reasons behind the fast-paced progression of depression is the lack of good sleep. While we cannot establish a direct link, it’s understood that feeling exhausted and not exercising due to poor sleep can lead to mood-related symptoms.
Furthermore, not sleeping well disrupts the function of serotonin. It’s the hormone that stabilises our mood and promotes a feeling of well-being. Therefore, fluctuating levels of serotonin can disturb the circadian rhythms leaving you vulnerable to depression.
3. Greater Athletic Performance
Athletes love a good sleep as much as they love sports. It is because a goodnight’s sleep leads to enhanced athletic performance.
According to a study, poor sleep can lead to problems, inaccuracy, and strength. Therefore, athletes need to ensure that they have a proper sleeping schedule and sleep for adequate hours to improve their competitiveness and endurance.
4. Makes Your Immune System Function Better
Giving your body a chance to recover fully is incredibly essential. Not doing it might leave you susceptible to various infections, and rightfully so.
According to experts, good sleep leads to the production of cytokines. These proteins are required by the body to fight off the attacks of microorganisms and keep you healthy.
In addition, if you’re not letting sleep work its restorative magic, then you’re inviting harmful foreign bodies to invade your body.
5. Good Sleep Ensures Lower Weight Gain Risk
Sleeping well at night keeps multiple things in check. One such is a group of hormones known as leptin and ghrelin that regulate appetite. If these hormones work in a balanced environment, you don’t have a chance of gaining unwanted weight.
However, disturbed sleep patterns can cause weight gain due to the disruption in these hormones.
6. Decreases Risk Of Heart Disease
Our hearts never stop beating and pumping blood. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t slow down to take a rest. During sleep, the heart slows down and recovers from the day’s job to ensure that its performance, the following day, is up to the mark.
If you don’t sleep well and deprive the heart of this crucial recovery period, you’d be welcoming heart diseases with open arms. To back up this claim, research has proven that individuals who don’t sleep well have a 20% higher risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
7. Maintains Healthy Levels Of Blood Sugar
You’d be surprised to know that there is a pretty solid connection between sleep and type 2 diabetes.
When you don’t sleep well and deprive yourself of the regular hours invested in sleeping, it causes insulin resistance. Because of this, the blood sugar doesn’t get taken up by the cells – hence causing an increase in its levels!
Apart from maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, sleeping well is also a vital factor that can help you stay fit.
8. Sleep Reduces Stress
This doesn’t need much explanation because it’s pretty self-explanatory.
Many experts have discussed this in detail and have declared that good sleep means good brain function. And when your brain is functioning correctly, you’re most likely not to get stressed.
According to various studies, poor sleep has made people more sensitive to negative stimuli and thus more prone to develop stress and anxiety.
So, when you feel like your brain is melting – please, go to sleep.
9. Sleep Improves Your Memory
Who knew that the way to memorise your course better was to sleep? And literally, all of the undergraduates or even postgraduates do not get a goodnight sleep.
The link between sleep and memory is quite simple. If your brain is tired, it will get incredibly challenging to focus. This could lead to inadequate attention to a topic and thus impaired memory.
How To Sleep Better?
Now that you know the importance of sleeping well, you should try your best to improve it. Here are some of the things you can do to sleep better:
Find the ideal pillow for yourselves
Fix a specific time to go to bed
Don’t consume any caffeinated drinks at least 2 hours before bed
Quit using your laptop/cellphone/tablet before sleeping
Make sure you have a comfortable mattress
Improve the bedroom environment to optimise your sleep
In order to benefit from sleeping, it’s vital to prioritise healthy sleeping habits. For this, you can try to dedicate a particular time to sleep. Furthermore, stretching and putting away your cell phone before going to bed can also improve your overall sleep.
To be healthy, it’s not only essential to eat and exercise – but sleeping is quite vital too. So work on your sleep starting today for a healthier future!