The umbilical cord is the reason why you have a belly button. Once the baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut off, and it is referred to as an umbilical cord stump.
In case you might be asking yourself why umbilical cord care is essential:
A belly button is formed when the umbilical cord stump dries and withers off. This can occur in a time frame of five to fifteen days (two weeks) and is a painless process. In simple words, the umbilical cord stump is the transition phase of the in-utero umbilical cord to a belly button.
This transitory phase is sensitive and requires complete attention from the parents. If not taken care of, severe infections can occur, posing a grave threat to your baby’s health.
In this blog post, we will help you learn how to take care of your baby’s umbilical cord stump, the dos and don’ts, and some relevant information about the umbilical cord.
Umbilical Cord — An Overview:
Before discussing any further about umbilical cord care, it would be better to learn a little about umbilical cord’s anatomy and physiology.
An umbilical cord is a tube-like organ that connects the developing embryo (the medical term for baby) to the mother, specifically the placenta. It comprises the vitelline duct, connecting stalk and umbilical vessels (i.e. umbilical arteries and veins).
The umbilical cord starts forming in the 3rd week following conception and is fully matured by the 7th week.
The umbilical arteries are responsible for carrying away the toxic substances away from the baby, while the umbilical veins bring nutritious substances from the mother to the baby.
Hence it is understood that the umbilical cord is the medium through which the baby receives its nutrients. It is an essential organ in terms of maintaining homeostasis as well, as it allows the baby to get rid of waste products.
Is clamping the umbilical cord painful?
No, it’s not. As stated above, the umbilical cord only contains arteries and veins – not nerves. Nerves are responsible for causing pain. So if there wouldn’t be any nerves, neither the mother nor the baby can feel any pain.
Umbilical Cord Management
Keep in mind that the umbilical cord can be infected if proper guidelines are not followed. This can either occur immediately after the cord is clamped or a few days later.
After the baby is delivered, it is ideal to wait for about one-three minutes before clamping the cord. That is because about 80 ml of blood will be transferred from the placenta to the baby before the cord pulsations cease, reducing the chances of the baby developing iron deficiency and neonatal anaemia.
Now, after the cord has been clamped and you’re finally home after delivering the baby, how should you care for the umbilical cord stump? What are the dos and don’ts when it comes to tending the umbilical cord stump?
In case you’re wondering, the following are a few things that you must pay heed to in order to ensure a healthy umbilical cord stump before it finally falls off.
1. Keep The Stump Dry At All Times
It would be favourable to keep the umbilical cord stump dry as it allows the stump to heal faster and fall off quickly. Likewise, it is essential to regularly change the diaper so that the stump doesn’t stay wet for too long. In order to do this, it is advised to wrap the diaper underneath the cord stump because it doesn’t allow that area to get moist or wet.
2. Clean The Umbilical Stump Daily
It is advised that the parents clean the area with clean water and dry it out whenever they change their baby’s diaper. However, it would be better to use an alcohol swab for proper cleaning in areas with high infection rates. This is because the alcohol kills the bacteria and keeps the umbilical cord stump free of harmful microorganisms.
3. Don’t Dress Your Baby In Tight Clothing
Apart from keeping the stump clean, it is crucial to keep it dry as well. If you start dressing your baby in tight clothing, it will only allow the rapid build-up of moisture, possibly leading to infection sooner or later.
4. Allow The Stump To Fall Off On Its Own
As mentioned above, the stump takes its own sweet time (i.e. at least two weeks) to fall off. Therefore, be patient and don’t try to pull out the umbilical cord stump.
4. Sponge Baths Are Your Best Friend
It is easier to protect the cord stump from getting wet if you’re giving your baby a sponge bath. Therefore, it is recommended to clean your babies by giving them a sponge bath for about two weeks.
How To Find Out If The Cord Is Infected?
Now, suppose you don’t look after the umbilical cord stump keenly or reside in areas with high infection rates. In that case, there are high chances of your baby’s cord stump getting infected.
When the umbilical cord stump is close to falling off, a little blood might be seen in the area, but it’s nothing serious. However, the following signs can indicate an umbilical cord infection:
Pus oozing out of the umbilical cord stump.
Swollen umbilical area.
The belly button region takes the form of a pink bump.
The baby develops a fever.
Your baby cries when you touch the umbilical cord stump.
If you come across any two or three of these symptoms, it is advised to seek medical help immediately. Don’t try to clean it on your own; just refer to a paediatrician, and he/she will guide you through.
This in-depth guide will help you understand the functioning and importance of the umbilical cord and how you can care for the umbilical cord stump.
Be patient with the umbilical cord stump, say no to tight clothing and keep the stump dry – you and your baby will get rid of it in no time!
When harmful bacterias get into your breast, they can cause breast infection. It typically produces inflammation on the breast skin and your body’s response to it as a breast infection.
Breast infection is associated with breastfeeding women, but it can also happen to non-breastfeeding women and men as well. In recent years, the rate of breast infection cases has increased from 10 to 33 percent among women, while about 1 percent of men may suffer.
So let’s discuss the symptoms, causes, types, diagnosis, treatment options and home remedies for breast infection.
The symptoms of breast infection that you may experience are:
Red streaks around nipples
Unhealed sores or ulcer on the breast skin
While based on breastfeeding, other symptoms are divided into:
Lactational mastitis (breastfeeding) – Unusual breast tender, firmness, warm breast, palpable mass, pain or burning sensation while breastfeeding.
Non-lactational mastitis (non-breastfeeding) – Reddening of the breast skin (Erythema), focal tenderness, temperature differences on the breast.
Among all the symptoms, the flu-like condition is most of the time neglected since it’s a prevalent disease. While the other symptoms are quite prominent and painful.
The most common causes of breast infection are:
Cracked nipples – allowing harmful bacteria to enter.
Clogged milk – developing into a subareolar abscess.
Smoking cigarettes or tobacco – traps the anaerobic bacteria.
Medical history – such as breast trauma, surgery, or radiotherapy.
Medical conditions – having diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
Weak immune system – unable the body to fight against bacteria.
Breast skin infections – such as cellulitis, grow cysts on the breast.
Immunosuppressive medications – taking steroids, transplant medications, or cancer medications.
Knowing the causes and symptoms will help your doctor diagnose the breast infection type and plan its treatment.
Types Of Breast Infection
The major types of breast infection are classified into the following types:
Bacterial breast infection – Staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus, and anaerobic bacteria enter into the breast tissue and infect them.
Fungal breast infection – A rash that frequently itches and has a yeasty smell.
Idiopathic granulomatous – A painful but noncancerous mass develops in the breast.
Tuberculosis – Hard lump situated in the breast’s central or upper outer quadrant.
Bacterial breast infection is prevalent among women during pregnancy or breastfeeding. In contrast, anaerobic bacteria are specifically reported among smoking people and can reside inside the breast without oxygen while infecting breast tissues for a longer period.
All the other three infections are much more severe but occur less frequently as compared to bacterial breast infections.
How To Diagnose Breast Infection?
The doctor may diagnose the breast infection through:
Physical examination – Observation of the physical changes of the breast.
Symptoms observation – May ask about the symptoms you may have been experiencing, such as fever, body aches, etc.
Review medical history – History of breast trauma, surgery, radiotherapy, or taking immune weakening medications for other treatment purposes such as organ transplant.
Blood test – To count the white blood cell (WBC) circulating in the body.
Swab test – To examine the bacteria discharged from the breast.
Before going to the doctor, it is recommended to note down your symptoms to help your doctor to pinpoint the type of infection from which you are suffering. And also, it is essential to let them know about the family medical history if anyone in your family is suffering from the same disease.
The treatment of breast infection is highly dependent on the age, infection severity, and diagnosis report. The doctor may suggest the following treatment plan:
If you’re breastfeeding, they’ll swab the breast discharge to examine the type of bacteria growing in the breast and prescribe the medication to stop the harmful bacteria development in your breast. You may have to take a two to three weeks long course of PO or IV antibiotics.
If you are not breastfeeding, your doctor may ask for a mammogram or biopsy of your breast tissues to diagnose the infection in your breast.
Fungal breast infections are treated with either oral or intravenous medications. Additionally, you may have to apply antifungal cream or lotion to the affected area of your breast.
In case of a breast abscess or cyst, the doctor will recommend draining it. While in rare cases, the doctor may suggest breast surgery to remove the damaged ducts to cure the breast infection.
It is important to note that delaying breast infection treatment may trigger breast cancer. A few of the symptoms of breast infection are very much similar to breast cancer. And also, breast cancer occurs due to the abnormal growth of cells in the breast.
So, the doctor may ask you for additional tests if the medications are not improving your condition within 48 hours.
You can use various home remedies to minimise the pain and take preventive measures to avoid the discomfort of the infection.
If you are breastfeeding, then you may have to:
Frequently breastfeed in order to drain the breast milk.
Use a pump to ensure the proper extraction of breast milk.
Apply warm, moist compresses to the painful areas of the breast.
Adopt positions during breastfeeding that helps to empty the breast milk.
Follow a certain schedule, at least feed 2 hours a day for breastfeeding your baby.
Take rest whenever possible to recover from breastfeeding exhaustion.
Occasionally, massage the firm areas of the breasts to prevent any fluids from clogging.
Apply essential oils that have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. But rinse the breast before breastfeeding, as some oil may have toxic elements that may cause harm to your baby.
Other home remedies may include:
Wearing loose-fitting clothing and avoiding tight bras.
Stay hydrated and take saturated fats into your daily diet.
Increase the intake of vitamin C to improve your immune system.
Stop smoking to avoid the development of anaerobic bacteria on the breast skin.
Don’t use any chemical products or even soap to clean the nipple, as it has a self-cleaning ability and can lubricate on its own.
While you can take OTC pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to get relief from pain, fever, and inflammation.
Practising these measures will help to control the infection development and may be able to cure it completely. However, you must consult your doctor if the preventive measures are not working out for you.
To Sum Up
Breast infection may occur at any age. The patient must consult with the doctor if they experience the symptoms of the infection, as properly treating it and taking home remedies helps get rid of the infection quickly and without serious complications.
Adding bath time to a baby’s routine is something you can begin right after your baby is born.
But as the baby’s skin is sensitive to the environment, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends delaying a baby’s first bath for about six to twenty-four hours after the baby’s birth.
If you have a hospital delivery, the nurses clean off the amniotic fluid and blood after your baby is born while ensuring to leave excess vernix if you want. It helps keep your baby skin moisturised and well protected from environmental germs.
However, there are certain things that you should take care of while bathing the baby in each of the ways – first bath, sponge bath, and bathtub bath.
Read on to learn about how to bathe your baby, as well as other essential things you need to know about bath time.
Baby’s First Bath
If your baby is delivered in the hospital, then the healthcare workers (most of the time nurses) will take care of your baby’s first bath. In case the baby is delivered somewhere else, you’ll have to make sure that the healthcare worker cleans your baby while leaving the vernix on the baby’s skin.
Vernix is a white waxy substance. It covers the baby’s skin when the baby is delivered and is out of the mother’s stomach. The white coating helps protect the baby from environmental germs and provide their skin with natural moisturisation.
However, they should clean other fluids and blood left on the baby due to the delivery procedure. While bathing, the room should be warm enough, having 37°C as the newborns are sensitive to temperature.
How To Give Baby A Sponge Bath
After the very first bath, you may need to bathe the baby using a sponge until the umbilical cord is attached to it to keep your baby clean. Sponge baths are also the best solution for the boys who are circumcised and may continue to it until the site heals.
The newborns are sensitive to temperature, so you should get the baby bathing done as quickly as possible while being careful. Also, the temperature of the room should be around 37°C.
However, do not give a sponge bath immediately after their feed time or when they are hungry, as the baby gets uncomfortable during the bath.
You should keep following supplies within your easy reach when you are giving your baby the sponge bath:
Spare of sponges – Just in case you need more than one.
Lukewarm water bowl – Ensuring that the water is lukewarm and clean.
Thermometer – To check the temperature of the water.
Clean mid-sized basin – To be filled with water to wash the baby.
Mild baby soap – To keep the baby’s skin moisturised.
Cotton washcloth – To dry the baby’s body during bathing.
Baby towel – To cover and dry the baby’s body after the bath.
Clean diaper – Put the diaper but make sure the diaper area is properly clean and dry.
Baby blanket – To cover and keep the baby warm after the bath.
After gathering the supplies, you can begin the bathing of the baby by following steps:
1. Choose a warm room, having a temperature around 37°C.
2. Place all the essential supplies in that room.
3. Remove the outfit and diaper of the newborn.
4. Cover them in a baby towel to keep them warm.
5. Lay your baby on a flat surface near the area where you will give a bath.
6. Check the water temperature with the thermostat to ensure the water is lukewarm.
7. Remove the towel from only that part of the body you are going to clean.
8. Dip the clean sponge in warm water without soap.
9. Wipe your baby’s upper body part, their face and head – around eyes, chin, cheeks, nose, forehead, outer ear, and head hair. Then dry it with a soft cotton washcloth.
10. Again dip the sponge while adding one or two drops of mild soap into the warm water.
11. Use the soapy water on the sponge to clean around the rest of the baby’s body and simultaneously dry these areas with a washcloth.
12. Make sure to clean the skin folded areas, such as the neck, underarms, elbows, and knees.
13. Gently clean the genital area. If your baby was circumcised, avoid cleaning the penis to keep the wound dry until it completely heals.
14. Use the baby towel to dry the baby’s body.
15. Then put on a clean diaper and fresh outfit on the baby.
16. Finally, cover your baby with a hooded blanket to keep the baby warm from head to toe.
You can give your baby a sponge bath at any time. Generally, newborns should be washed thrice a week because washing them too much will make their skin dry. So, you should keep your baby clean and bathe them only when needed.
How To Bathe Baby In A Bathtub
Once the baby’s umbilical cord falls off on its own, then your baby is ready for the bath in the bathtub. As the baby gets older, you’ll require additional baby stuff to clean them. However, make sure that the bathtub in which you will clean your baby follows the current safety standards.
Some parents place the bathtub in the sink or directly use the sink to wash their baby. So, if you are using a sink to wash your baby, follow the bathtub baby bath steps.
You should follow the mentioned steps to give a bath to your baby in the bathtub safely:
1. Place the bathtub in a warm room having 37°C temperature so the baby doesn’t get cold while bathing in the bathtub.
2. Fill the tub with 2 to 3 inches of warm water, ensuring the baby’s head and neck stay above the water level.
3. Check the water temperature with a thermostat, or dip your wrist to ensure the water is warm enough for the baby.
4. Undress and remove the diaper of your baby.
5. Place them in the bathtub filled with lukewarm water from the bottom baby’s body parts.
6. Support the baby’s head with one hand all the time during the bath. At the same time, use your other hand for all the bathing procedures.
7. Gently pour the lukewarm water over your baby’s body parts to keep them comfortable and warm in the bathtub.
8. Use a wet washcloth to clean their face and head.
9. You can use a mild shampoo after placing the shampoo shield on the baby’s head to wash the scalp.
10. Wash the rest of their body from the top to down, using warm water and a wet washcloth.
11. Lift your baby out of the bathtub carefully and gently, as the baby might be a bit slippery or restless.
12. Pat them dry with a baby towel, and also be sure to dry the folded skin.
13. Dress them in a clean diaper and neat outfit.
14. Wrap them in a hooded blanket to keep the baby warm after the bath.
Generally, newborns do not need lotions for their skin as it is already moisturised. But you can apply mild baby moisturisers to their dry skin or massage your baby’s muscles to relax them after the bath.
Things To Remember:
To avoid mishaps, never leave your baby alone or unattended during bath – not even for a second. Ensure that the water is warm enough, and keep their head above the water level to avoid getting water into the baby’s mouth or nose in an uncomfortable way.
Also, use mild soap and shampoo to clean your baby. Dry and wrap them well after each bath. And apply mild baby moisturisers if your baby’s skin is dry.
Knowing the basics can help you give your baby a proper bath leading you to take care of their hygiene. Most importantly, you must make sure that your baby stays comfortable and safe during the bath.
For starters, asthma is a disease that affects the airways making it extremely difficult for a person to breathe. It makes some physical activities not only challenging but impossible to perform.
Asthma can happen to anyone at any age. Even your infant could be affected by this disease. In fact, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared it to be one of the life-threatening diseases that are common among children and may even cause them severe health conditions.
To treat asthma in your child, you must understand its function, causes, symptoms, types, triggers, diagnosis, and different treatment options. Then create a long-term action plan to prevent this disease from affecting your child’s health.
So let’s get into it!
How Asthma Affects The Body?
Lungs use the air passages from your mouth and nose to get oxygen from them and provide it to the bloodstreams circulating in the entire body.
When asthma occurs, your body’s airways narrow down as it swells and inflames while producing a sticky substance called mucous, making it difficult for the air to pass through them.
The condition gets more critical, as coughing during asthma causes the use of more oxygen than usually required by the body. But due to lack of oxygen, it reduces its supply to the blood, causing your body organs (such as brains, liver, and others) to be damaged.
The worst-case scenario might even lead to severe asthma or may even suffer hypoxia. In both cases, you must immediately go to the emergency for treatment.
What Causes Asthma?
The development of asthma in your child may develop due to the following factors:
Allergies – Increases the potential of developing asthma at a very young age, even the children in its infancy age.
Genetics – A family history of asthma can also increase the risk of asthma in your child.
Hygiene – There is a possibility that the baby’s immune system is not strong enough to fight the infectious bacteria in their early months, leading to the development of asthma or other allergic conditions.
Infections – Respiratory infections may also increase the risk of asthma in children, especially if it’s frequent among children under five years old.
Smoke – Exposure to smoke before or after the baby’s birth – the mother may have smoked during their pregnancy or when the child was very young.
It is important to note that most of the causes are related to the elements that may reside in the air and can get into your child’s airways through their mouth and nose. In contrast, others are related to the child’s weak immune system, which cannot fight the bacteria in your child’s air passage.
If your child has asthma, the most common symptoms that you may notice during your child’s daily activities include:
Shortness of breath – your child might pause their daily life activities.
Mild/Severe coughing – troubles them while sleeping and becomes worse at night.
Chest tightness or pain – a child may complain about feeling like a sore tummy.
Wheezing sound – you may hear it as a whistling sound when your child breathes.
Slow recovery – from any respiratory infections such as flu and cold.
Weakness/Fatigue – lack of energy or feel more tired than usual during any physical activity, even at their playtime.
Depending on your child’s age and activities, the symptoms may vary. However, your child may experience only a few of the mentioned symptoms. So, you must consult with your child’s doctor to provide early asthma prevention and its management.
If you are unable to notice the symptoms of asthma at the early stages, you may notice it later. The symptoms of severe asthma may also look like:
Drastic fluctuations of the heart rate
The appearance of a bluish tint on the lips
Intense or severe shortness of breath
Low blood pressure or hypotension
State of confusion or feeling agitated
If asthma gets worse, then it can lead to hypoxia causing damage to various functions of your child’s body. So you must take your child to the hospital and treat them on priority.
Intermittent level – The symptoms may last less than two days per week or month, while your child may carry on their daily life activities as usual.
Mild level – Your child may experience the symptoms more than twice a week on alternative days per month, and it gets in the way of your child’s daily activities. Your child may also have trouble sleeping as well for up to four nights.
Moderate level – Asthma symptoms may happen on a daily basis during the day and at least once at night per week while limiting some daily activities to avoid asthma triggers.
Severe level – The asthma symptoms may trigger several times a day and frequently at nights while limiting most of your child’s daily activities.
Depending on the severity level of asthma that your child is suffering, it may help you and the doctors plan your child’s daily activities to prevent the asthma symptoms.
Some of the common conditions that lead to initiate asthma symptoms in your child may include:
Infections – Any respiratory infections, like common cold or flu, making it difficult to breathe, causes shortness and slow recovery.
Physical Activity – Increased body movement during any physical activity may cause breathing difficulty.
Air Pollutions – Exposure to smoke or other air pollutants, such as bonfires, industrial air waste, tobacco irritants in the air, etc.
Allergies – Weak immune system may cause allergies to pollen, mould, fur, dust, a particular food, or other common allergens.
Extreme weather – High humidity or low temperatures, that is, dry, cold or humid weathers
Intense Emotions – Such emotions cause intense muscle movement like shouting, crying, and laughing.
Gastroesophageal Reflux – After eating heavy or spicy food, the feeling of heartburn may cause an uncomfortable feeling in the airways.
The doctors may diagnose the asthma condition of your child by the following procedures:
Full medical review – You’ll be asked about the child’s previous medical history, family medical history and currently experienced symptoms, and other conditions that cause worse breathing experiencing (if any).
Blood and skin tests – They’ll ask you to get your child’s blood or skin tests to check for allergies or other illnesses that are causing asthma symptoms to trigger.
Chest X-Ray. Your child’s doctor may ask you to get a chest X-ray of your child to determine if the symptoms are due to asthma or other chest conditions.
A spirometer test checks the airways in your lungs, and it is the most common diagnostic tool to test the lungs function. But due to the nature and risk of this test, it is not recommended to be performed on young aged children.
Up till now, there are no treatments developed for asthma. Instead, the doctors focus on preventing the symptoms and managing asthma conditions to keep them under control.
Some of the clinical treatments to control the asthma conditions of your child are:
Quick-relief –These medicines help to relax the muscles of the body’s tight airways, making the air easily pass through them. Mostly, bronchodilators and first aid asthma treatments are used.
Long-term controller – These medicines prevent asthma symptoms. Anticholinergics, anti-inflammatories, bronchodilators, and biologic therapy injectable drugs are prescribed to severe asthma patients.
Some kids with asthma only need quick-relief medicine; others need both kinds of medication to keep their asthma in check.
Prevention And Management
Following are a few of the features you can implement for your child’s health safety. It will significantly reduce the chances of an asthma attack. It may include:
Regularly make your child take prescribed medication by their doctor to manage the asthma symptoms from triggering.
Improve your child’s allergy resistance and immune system by getting allergy shots or immunotherapy.
Avoid getting your child cold, flu and other asthma triggers by not using those products that have caused breathing difficulty in the past such as, smells, chemicals, etc.
Keep your child’s environment clean to avoid getting any irritant elements in their airways.
Use ahumidifier to maintain 30% to 50% humidity in your child’s room to ensure that their room is not too dry.
Regularly make your child exercise breathing to prevent hyperventilation while keeping their airways active.
If your child is getting asthma treatment, then limit the physical activities such as playtime, sports, and other activities.
Prepare an action plan to take measures when an asthma attack occurs to your child, such as sitting upright may help their airways open. Certain use of quick-reliever or any other medications might also help control their asthma conditions quicker.
However, you should get immediate medication attention for your child if their asthma conditions are out of control and no prevention method is working out for them.
Asthma can happen at any age. Their symptoms are hard to diagnose until they get worse. But once your child gets diagnosed with it, you must monitor their health and discuss it with the doctors.
There is no cure for asthma; only prevention and management methods may help control its symptoms. Depending on the severity level, the doctors may help with the long term prevention plan for your child to reduce the asthma symptoms.
As you’re transitioning from childhood to adulthood, your body goes through several changes in order to prepare you for life ahead. This life stage involves many psychological and physical changes, which result from shifts in hormone levels.
It can be a challenging and confusing time for most people, so knowing what to expect can help you feel more in control as you go through it.
In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the body changes that you go through during puberty as a girl.
What Is Puberty?
Puberty is the stage when all your major organs and body systems mature. It begins with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which comes from a part of your brain (hypothalamus) and kicks off a hormonal chain reaction.
The gonadotropin-releasing hormone stimulates your pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating and luteinising hormones. These hormones tell your ovaries to produce sex hormones (mainly estradiol) from your ovaries. In men, the follicle-stimulating and luteinising hormones stimulate the testes to produce testosterone.
But as everyone is different, you may begin puberty earlier or later. Girls typically start puberty well before boys. On average, puberty lasts in girls from about the age of 9 to 15. On the other hand, puberty in boys lasts a bit longer, usually from the age of 10 to 17.
As puberty advances, both boys and girls encounter many emotional changes. For many, it is time to choose different ways of engaging with family and friends.
What Are The Signs Of Puberty In Girls?
You will begin to observe some changes in your body as you approach a double-figure age. These puberty symptoms are pretty similar in all teenagers, but not all follow the same pattern.
Here’s an overview of the significant body changes you can expect as you go through puberty:
1. Pubic And Axillary Hair
Female puberty usually begins with the growth of pubic hair, a.k.a. pubarche.
Pubic hair is usually curly hair that grows in the area between your hipline and vulva, also known as the pubic area. At first, it is soft and sparse, but as you go through puberty, it will grow longer and get curly and coarse.
In two or three years, it will cover your entire pubic area and may also grow on your inner thighs and toward your belly button. You will also observe hair growing under your armpits (axillary hair), around your nipples, and even a little on your upper lip (depending on your genes).
2. Breast Development
For the majority, the first sign of puberty in girls is the development of breasts.
Initially, you might feel little breast buds or swell under your nipples. After that, your breasts will gradually grow bigger and look fuller. They might also feel tender; it results from the new breast tissue growth and establishing itself.
The breasts will finish growing around age 15, although this happens at different times for different girls. You might want to wear a brassiere (bra) for support at a certain point, especially if you exercise or play sports – or just feel more comfortable with one.
3. Vaginal Discharge
Weird stains in your underwear? Don’t panic – that’s just vaginal discharge.
Discharge is a clear or non-translucent fluid that your body produces to moisten and cleanse the vagina. Usually, it shows up right after puberty starts, and you will probably see white or yellow stains inside your underwear (P.S: That’s perfectly normal).
However, your vaginal discharge may also become white, clumpy, or it might smell strange or cause itchiness. In this case, you might have a vaginal yeast infection. If you observe that, consult with your doctor as soon as possible to get to the bottom of it.
Almost two years after the start of your puberty, you might observe some blood in your underwear. This could very well be menarche – your first period.
During this stage, the follicle-stimulating and luteinising hormones are having a regular effect on your ovaries. When your ovary releases an egg, you can ovulate. And if there is no sperm to fertilise the egg, you get your period (menstruation).
Abdominal cramping or pain during periods is also common. For many people, ibuprofen or naproxen are the best medicines to help with period cramps. However, if menstrual cramps are severe, talk to your paediatrician about other options.
Getting your first period can be challenging if you don’t know what to expect. Talk to your mum or another adult you trust about what to do before and after your first period.
5. Weight Gain And Body Growth
One of the significant signs of puberty is that you are growing at a way faster rate than you did during childhood. What happens when you go through puberty is mainly centred on the growth of your sexual self. However, your entire body goes through major changes, especially your weight and height.
You might look curvier than before as the fat in your body shifts to new places. Usually, a lot of it will be deposited around your breasts, thighs, and hips. It might feel kind of awkward to be in this new, stretched-out body, but it will eventually be more proportional, and you will go back to feeling like yourself again.
6. Skin And Hair Changes
Possibly, the worst part of puberty is breakouts!
During puberty, hormones make your sweat and sebaceous glands more active. And as your pores become clogged with excess oil (sebum), your skin might break out.
The most common places for acne to appear are on your:
and sometimes, chest
Establish a good skincare routine and use an acne-fighting treatment if you happen to get breakouts. Look for ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, both of which are OGs for fighting acne.
For girls, puberty usually ends around 15, when all the secondary sex characteristics have developed. However, every person develops differently and at their own pace, so don’t get freaked out!
Remember, there is no wrong way to go through puberty. So, however it happens, you are all good and on your way to becoming an adult. 🙂
Being a new mom can be super challenging yet a joyous ride. You’ll enjoy most of the moments playing with the little being in your hands, they’ll do lots of things to make you laugh, and you’ll love all the coos and cuddles. In fact, most parents even forget about all the worries that made them go crazy all day!
Despite all the good stuff, there will be times when you’ll feel exhausted and frustrated. But that’s normal. It happens because taking care of your baby can keep you in loops. You may be sleep deprived – cleaning unexpected poops, soothing babies to make the cries stop, and feeding them every two to four hours.
You are out in a mall or a park, and all of a sudden, you hear a freaking crying voice. Everyone starts staring at you (some in an annoying way), and you get to discover that you’re the one carrying that little person in your hands. Plus, you don’t even have the stuff to feed, clean poop, change diapers, or toys to make it stop crying.
Awful, isn’t it?
So to be a good mom for your child, you must prepare yourself for such scenarios. The classic and straightforward solution to this situation is getting a bag with lots of pockets and stocking it with essentials for a baby. And, a bit for yourself too!
Now, you must be wondering which must-have stuff to keep in the bag for a baby and yourself. But don’t worry, we have prepared a perfect essentials checklist for the diaper bag just for you!
Diaper Bag Checklist
A diaper bag checklist will help you keep yourself prepared to manage the baby crisis – even if you are stuck in heavy traffic or away from home for long hours.
So, let’s unroll the checklist to check out the essentials!
Diaper Bag Essentials
Let’s look into the must-have items which you must consider putting in your child’s bag:
Changing Pads – Keep multiple changing pads just to be safe and avoid the hassle of cleaning it if your baby does something to it while changing the diapers.
Wipes – Keep a travel pack of wipes as they come in super handy for cleaning multiple stuff – wiping your hands, baby’s bum, changing pads, etc.
Baby Ointments Or Rash Cream – It’s better to keep your baby’s skin moist to keep it healthy and fresh. Plus, the newborn’s skin at times is sensitive.
Changing Clothes – To keep your baby clean while you are out, just keep two or more changing clothes. As your baby’s clothes might get dirty while changing the diapers or during their feed time.
Pacifiers – Keep a clean pacifier to soothe your baby and use it when needed.
Baby Washcloths – You never know when you might need to clean a baby’s skin with washcloths. So just to be on the safe side, keep multiple washcloths.
Baby Food – Either you are carrying the infant formula, pumped breast milk, or any other baby food. You must keep them while travelling to feed them when hungry. Also, make sure to prepare fresh food, so it doesn’t get worse while travelling. Most importantly, don’t forget to get some water in a bottle and light snacks (if your toddler is a bit older).
Band-Aids – Even a baby might end up having a scratch. So it’s better to be prepared for it and treat it on the spot to avoid skin infections and the baby’s painful cries.
Considering the summer and winter weathers, you should keep a:
Hat – To shade your baby from the sunlight. Or a woollen hat to keep the baby’s head warm and safe from the cold breeze.
Baby Sunscreen – If you are travelling in the summers, apply sunscreen cream on your baby’s skin if they are older than six months to protect them from sunlight.
Light Blanket – This can be super useful in any of the seasons to keep your baby under some shade or to protect them from the winter breeze while you are out somewhere.
Additional Stuff To Consider
As for the extra stuff, you should keep:
Toys – It’ll help to keep your baby pleasantly occupied. Attach them to your baby diaper bag’s straps- otherwise, you’ll never know where your baby lost the toy.
Nail Clippers – If you have an energetic baby who doesn’t sit still at home all day but sleeps whenever you take them out. Then it would be best if you consider keeping nail clippers, so you don’t miss the opportunity to clip their nails perfectly and with less struggle.
Wrap Or Sling – If you are on the way to a place that isn’t stroller-friendly, then a sling or wrap would come in handy for such sites.
Looking to ditch your handbag for a bit while taking care of your baby? Don’t forget to leave home without:
A magazine or book
A bottle of water, juice, or any other drink
Gum or snacks
An extra shirt – just in case your baby spills or spits up
Fully charged mobile phone
A power bank in case your mobile’s battery runs out
A hand sanitiser to keep yourself germs-free before and after you feed your baby or change their diaper
To make your life easy as a new parent, you must prepare and stock diaper bag essentials. It will help you manage the baby-related situation even if you are away from home and travelling somewhere.
The critical point is to keep all the stuff in the bag that you use when you are at home with the baby. This approach really helps you think of the items that you must-have for your baby when travelling with them.
However, it also depends on your personal preferences and the age of your toddler. But this checklist can definitely help you avoid missing the essential things to pack for your baby and yourself!