White Bumps In Baby’s Mouth: What Do They Indicate?

White Bumps In Baby’s Mouth: What Do They Indicate?


Let’s say that you’ve noticed these white-coloured bumps on your baby’s gums or their mouth’s roof. You’ll probably think of the first thing that comes to your mind, which is: “Are my baby’s teeth showing up earlier than usual?” Well, the answer is no.


While there are a few exceptions, most babies start teething around six months. If you notice some nodules/bumps/cysts/pimples before six months, they are not teeth. These are cysts of oral cavities. 


Let’s take a look at them and understand the process behind their appearance, when they disappear, and what you can do to treat them.


Types Of White Bumps In Baby’s Mouth


These whitish bumps in your baby’s mouth are not harmful and are usually of five types – with Epstein pearls being the most common of them.


Here are the following cysts that you should know about:


1. Epstein Pearls


Usually, 60-85% of oral cysts are Epstein pearls. It’s a kind of gingival cyst that occurs in babies born to mothers above 40 years, babies who are heavier and born after the due date. However, they do not interfere with the usual teething process of your child.


Among the different racial groups, Japanese newborns are most commonly affected by Epstein pearls, followed by Caucasians and African-Americans.


Causes


Certain factors do influence the development of Epstein pearls, but there are no specific causes.


The appearance of Epstein pearls is primarily a developmental defect in newborns. During the 10th–11th week, when the nasal process and palate are about to assume their full form, multiple layers of the skin can sometimes get trapped between them.


As the mouth continues to develop, keratin (the protein found in your hair and nails) starts to deposit in the trapped layers of the skin. This leads to the formation of keratin-filled cysts known as Epstein pearls.


Symptoms


Usually, Epstein pearls form in groups of 2-6 and appear as whitish-yellowish bumps. You can confuse them with teeth, but Epstein pearls don’t cause any discomfort or irritation, unlike teething.


You’ll most likely notice these during feeding or when your baby yawns. They are benign, asymptomatic cysts that do not interfere with feeding or teething.


Diagnosis and Treatment


There are no particular tests to diagnose Epstein pearls. Instead, they are diagnosed clinically upon examination, and no further investigations are required.


As far as the treatment is concerned – there’s no treatment plan for Epstein pearls. They will usually regress or rupture within a few weeks to three months. Once they do, all the built-up keratin is released and eventually flushed out of your baby’s system.  


Friction from feeding or sucking on a pacifier can also contribute to the rupture of Epstein pearls.


2. Bohn’s Nodules


Bohn’s Nodules can be confused with Epstein pearls, but they are not the same. Like Epstein bumps, these are keratin-filled cysts as well. However, they are the remnants of salivary glands.


These types of cysts are located on the lingual and buccal aspects of alveolar ridges. On the other hand, Bohn’s nodules are true epithelial cysts, with mucous glands of the mouth being their favourite site for making an appearance.


3. Congenital Epulis


Congenital epulis is a rare condition characterised by a reddish mass ranging from a few millimetres to a few centimetres. It is a benign tumour that can cause respiratory or feeding problems.


It’s soft, located on the gingival margin, and attaches to the tissue via a stem-like appendage. The only treatment option for congenital epulis is surgical resection making it unlikely to make a comeback.


4. Dental Lamina Cysts


Dental lamina cysts are unstable, solitary lesions that are incredibly transparent. They are more significant in size than Epstein pearls and often go away after a short period.


Their site of development is the crest of the alveolar mucosa in the oral cavities of babies.


5. Natal Teeth


As the name suggests, natal teeth are teeth that are present when the baby is born. They usually represent some developmental anomaly and require immediate medical attention.


Since natal teeth are loose at the root, they can be easily knocked off during feeding – allowing the baby to swallow them. Therefore, they need to be extracted as soon as possible.


Your Approach As A Parent

 

a mother taking care of her baby with cysts

 

For starters – don’t panic. Panicking is not going to help with your baby’s problem. Epstein pearls don’t pose any threat and regress after a few weeks. So, it’s more likely that the paediatrician would ask you to stay put and watch the bumps wither away.


However, it would help if you didn’t try to pop these bumps. It is so because popping these cysts can expose them to opportunistic microorganisms that can cause serious infections. Thus, leading to more problems and complications for the baby that may actually harm your baby.


So please, don’t do that


When Should You Seek Professional Help?


If your baby develops any of the following symptoms, seek help from a paediatrician as soon as possible:


  • Bumps start bleeding
  • The baby looks pretty irritated and agitated
  • Bumps don’t appear to disappear after a month
  • Baby looks like they are in a lot of pain/discomfort

It’s best to get professional help as soon as you can. Since these pearls do not intend to cause any discomfort to your baby – if they do, it means there’s something wrong.


It’s fairly easy to confuse Epstein pearls with other conditions as well. For example, cysts like dental lamina cysts, congenital epulis and Bohn’s nodules can be mistaken for Epstein pearls. Along with infections like oral thrush, which is a yeast infection primarily involving the mouth.


Therefore, it’s always better to have your queries answered by a doctor.


Conclusion


We understand how concerning any issue regarding your baby can be. In this case, the appearance of the Epstein pearls is indeed worrying for many parents. However, please know that your baby is not in pain and that these bumps usually resolve independently.


However, if there’s any pain or discomfort – we’d advise you to get your baby checked by a professional healthcare provider.

 

Infant Congestion: Why Do Newborns Sneeze So Much?

Infant Congestion: Why Do Newborns Sneeze So Much?


Have you noticed your newborn sneezing quite frequently? And is it troubling you these days? Let us tell you that you have nothing to worry about because this is a common occurrence in many babies.


One of the most common reasons for your newborn sneezing could be infant congestion. However, it is not the only reason, as allergies, narrow nasal passageways, and dry air are other reasons for your infant sneezing so much.


In this article, we’ll explore the causes behind excessive sneezing and the home remedies you can use to help your newborn baby.


What Causes Babies To Sneeze A Lot?


We mean, there’s got to be a reason behind the sneezing. What actually makes the babies sneeze so much?


Well, there is a list of reasons that can help you in answering this question:


1. Sneeze Reflex


If you have heard about the cough reflex, then the sneeze reflex would be a piece of cake for you.


Babies sneeze whenever something foreign enters their nasal cavity. It could be breast milk during feeding, dust or mucus. A baby sneezes to expel them out of the nasal cavity to ensure that all these don’t enter the airways.


Intelligent, isn’t it?


2. Narrow Nasal Passages


Have you looked at the size of a newborn baby? It’s so tiny!


Then you can try to (at least) imagine how small and narrow the nasal passages would be. In infants, the nasal passageways can get clogged very easily, and in order to open them, babies sneeze.


It’s not like they want to – but they have to.


3. Dry Seasons & Dry Air


You would definitely come across your newborn sneezing more during autumn than in summer.


It is because of the dry air that irritates the nasal lining, causing it to release more mucus in order to keep the nasal cavity moist. And this eventually leads to a build-up of mucus, which makes your baby sneeze. 


4. Amniotic Fluid – Are You Still There?


Well, sometimes, the amniotic fluid isn’t really ready to leave – so it stays.

And when this happens, then it accumulates in your baby’s nose. Because of its accumulation, it can trigger the sneeze reflex, causing your baby to sneeze more than they usually do.


It’s not something to worry about as the amniotic fluid clears up in a few days.


5. Allergic Reactions


Newborns are incredibly delicate, and almost everything can cause an allergic reaction.


Your baby would likely be allergic to dust, pollen, the fragrance of your shampoo, or the material of the pillowcase – like we said before, almost everything.


The only thing you can do is figure out if it’s an allergy or not. And once you have determined the cause, then you can try your best to eliminate the agent.


6. Small Noses


While small noses are adorable and wanted by everyone, they can be a bit of a problem for newborns.


Because of the small size, the dust particles find it easy to lodge themselves and cause irritation in the nasal passageways. And inevitably, irritation is followed by sneezing.


Infant Congestion

 

chest congestion in babies

 

Let’s take a look at one of the most common problems in newborn babies – congestion.


Infants are newborns who fall in the age bracket of 0 till 2 months. Yes, this is when you label a newborn as an infant. And it is also a fact that the immune system is not fully developed by this time, allowing them to fall victim to diseases like – common cold.


Once your baby has contracted the common cold, the sneeze reflex would come into play, trying to expel the viruses out of the nasal cavity and the respiratory tract. It does this by making excessive mucus. The excess mucus can accumulate in the nose and the airways, which is referred to as congestion.


Now infant congestion can be of two types; nasal and chest congestion. Let’s dive into each one of them separately and understand the difference between them.


1. Nasal Congestion


Nasal congestion can occur as a result of allergies, deviated nasal septum or dry air.


Following are the symptoms that can help you figure out if your baby is suffering from a congested nose:


  • Coughing
  • Sniffling
  • Thick nasal mucus
  • Difficulty in eating

2. Chest Congestion


On the other hand, babies suffer from chest congestion due to pneumonia, premature childbirth or asthma. So if your baby is continuously coughing, wheezing, and grunting, then it could mean that your baby has a congested chest.


What Are The Treatment Options?

 

a smiling baby

 

Your baby having a congested chest, nose or sneezing a lot is not a grave problem. It happens to all the babies once in a while and only requires extra care. With proper attention, love and a few home remedies, there’s nothing you cannot fix.


1. Nasal Drops


Your doctor will help you with this. They’ll recommend the nasal saline drops that you should use, and only two or three drops are enough to break down the thick mucus.


2. Don’t Stop Feeding Your Baby


If your baby is unwell or is sneezing quite a lot, it doesn’t mean that you should stop feeding your baby. On the contrary, it is crucial to keep them hydrated and well-fed at all times. This will boost the immune system and help fight against the virus.


3. Care & Affection


It goes without saying that you need to take extra care of your baby while they are unwell. Hot baths and ensuring that they are comfortable at all times will help boost the recovery.


4. Humidifier


Humidifiers are easily available online and can prove to be quite effective against dry air. Cool mist is the best option when it comes to humidifiers, and it can help to loosen the excessive mucus causing congestion.


5. Massage


Even babies love massages!


You can try massaging the temples, forehead, bridge of the nose, and cheekbones as well. Having a congested nose or chest could be pretty annoying for your baby, and the best you can try is to give them comfort.


Conclusion


So, sneezing is okay; it’s normal. Infants tend to sneeze more than adults, and it’s not a problem. However, it isn’t always right to ignore a sneezing infant. If you notice a slight increase in the frequency of the sneezes – there’s no harm in getting a consultation.

 

5 Exercises To Reconnect With Your Body After Vaginal Delivery

5 Exercises To Reconnect With Your Body After Vaginal Delivery


It’s nothing new that after childbirth, everything changes for a woman. And one of the most significant and prominent changes comes in her body. So while it is an incredibly enchanting time for everyone, the mother goes through many significant changes all on her own.


Whether it is postpartum depression or the inability to feel connected to her body – it is enough for a woman to feel quite restless and depressed. However, if you follow a few tips and tricks, try out some new exercises and communicate your problems with your partner, everything will eventually fall into place.


In this article, we will focus on the exercises that will help you reconnect with your body and allow you to feel good about yourself once again.


What Happens to Your Vagina After Childbirth?


It’s a fact that your vagina has been designed to support childbirth and push out a human being, but it doesn’t mean that it’s easy. After delivery, you can expect your vagina to be swollen, bruised, tender and out of shape.


However, it’s normal and happens with every woman who has gone through vaginal delivery. So if you’re feeling bad about your body’s condition – you should stop doing that and celebrate your body.

You have done something incredible, and your body deserves all the praise.


How Can I Take Care of My Vagina After Delivery?


Apart from exercises, there are other ways for you to take care of your vagina after a vaginal delivery. Here’s what you can do:


  • Take warm baths to clean your premium.
  • Go for Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor.
  • Wrap ice in a towel and use it as a compress on your vagina.
  • Don’t go for tampons and only use pads.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Try sitting on cushions.

If you follow these tips, you will definitely feel better about yourself. Ensure to follow the ones that help you feel delighted and avoid the ones you find exhausting.


What Are The Benefits And Targets Of Exercising?


You wouldn’t be astonished to learn the many benefits of exercising after a vaginal delivery. 


Getting back in shape and reclaiming your body requires you to get your muscles working, and exercise is the only healthy and absolute way to achieve it. Some of the advantages of exercising are:


  • Promotes weight loss
  • Helps relieve stress
  • Reboots your body
  • Restores your energy levels
  • Strengthens your pelvic floor muscles and abdominal muscles
  • Improve cardiac function

Through exercise, you strengthen your Transverse abdominis (TrA). Consider it a core muscle of your abdominal region whose primary function is to support your lumbar and pelvic area simultaneously.

So if you want to reestablish the lost connection with your body – pay attention to your transverse abdominis, please!


5 Exercises To Follow After Vaginal Delivery

 

a woman exercising after having vaginal delivery

 

Now that you have delivered a baby and have shared your body with someone for the better part of the year – how can you reconnect with your body?


Well, exercises seem a pretty good way to help you do that! However, it’s ideal to wait at least six to eight months before starting an exercise regimen. For some women, the time frame can be shorter if they had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, but to be on the safe side – give your body at least six months.


1. Pelvic Tilt – For The Initial Magic


The safest exercise, to begin with, is the pelvic tilt. Pelvic tilts help in toning your stomach, relieves your back pain and strengthens your abdominal muscles as well. Here’s how you can do it:


  • Lie down on your back and bend your knees.
  • Try to pull your belly button towards the spine.
  • Lift your pelvis off the floor and tilt it a little.
  • Make sure to involve your core to make this exercise more effective.
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat it for at least ten sets and complete 20 sets.

2. Brisk Walking – Easy & Light


Brisk walking is the answer if you’re looking for an ideal way to ease into the after-childbirth exercises. Since it’s just walking, there are no specific ways as to how to perform this activity. However, it would help if you begin with a light stroll and then take it up a notch when you feel ready.


3. Deep Breathing & Abdominal Muscle Contraction – Work that Stomach!


A straightforward and safe exercise to do in order to reconnect with your body after vaginal delivery is deep belly breathing paired with the contraction of your abdominal muscles. You can perform this exercise while lying, sitting or standing – but initially, you should go for the lying position. In order to do this exercise:


  • Lie down on the mat and make yourself comfortable.
  • Pull your belly button towards the spinal column as you inhale.
  • All your abdominal muscles will contract as well.
  • Now slowly release the tensed muscles as you exhale.
  • Allow your belly to contract again.
  • Repeat this at least ten times with proper intervals.

While you’re doing this exercise, try to focus on yourself and ignore your surroundings. It is vital to allow your body to heal, and only focus can accelerate this process.


4. Kegel Exercises – Pump Up the Pelvic Floor!


You must have heard a lot about Kegel exercises and how helpful they can be. 


Kegel exercises help in strengthening your pelvic floor after childbirth. Once you have delivered a baby, it’s understood that your pelvic muscles are not the same as they were before. Because of this, you can experience urinary incontinence, which is a source of embarrassment for many women. If you want to avoid this situation, pump up that pelvic floor with the help of Kegel! 


Here’s how you can do that:


  • Think of holding or urine or stopping yourself from passing gas.
  • As you do this, you contract a few of your pelvic muscles.
  • Pay attention to those muscles, and try to hold the contraction for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat three sets with a 5-second break.
  • Aim for ten sets.
  • Your target is to repeat these ten sets at least three times a day.

5. Side Planks – Your Best Friend


It’s “side planks”, not the regular planks. If you go for the regular planks, you can further damage the rectus abdominis that gets stretched and separated during the pregnancy. Therefore, to work your sides and to avoid a direct attack on your belly, side planks are indeed your best friend!


To do side planks:


  • Lie on your right side.
  • Stack your legs on top of each other.
  • Balance your weight and lift off your hips from the ground.
  • Hold the position for 10-15 seconds and repeat it at least three times.
  • Your target should be to achieve a hold of 60 seconds.

Summing Up


Exercises can surely help you in reconnecting with your body and regaining your body autonomy. However, your doctor should know that you’re going for these exercises after a vaginal delivery so that they can assess your situation and give you a green signal. So always keep your doctor in the loop, and don’t try to be too hard on yourself. You’ll get there eventually! 

 

Baby Food for 11-Month-Olds: Menus, Recipes and Ideas

Baby Food for 11-Month-Olds: Menus, Recipes and Ideas


As your baby enters the 8–12 month age bracket, as a mother, you only think of one question: “How to put him in the habit of consuming proper meals?”.


It is imperative to stir up new versions of your existing dishes or cook a brand-new dish in order to work up your baby’s appetite. So in this article,  we’ll share some menus, recipes and ideas with all the mothers out there.


Let’s dive in and discover the world of baby food!


What Can My 11-Month-Old Baby Eat?


By the age of 11 months, your baby can consume various types of solids. It can be vegetables, fruits, poultry and dairy products, and meat. So basically, whatever you cook at home – you can feed that to your child to ensure that he receives maximum nourishment.


However, there are certain things you must look out for. You should avoid unpasteurized dairy products, citrus fruits, undercooked eggs, raw fish, honey or cow’s milk for your baby. And here’s why:


  • Citrus fruits – some of them can cause allergic reactions.
  • Undercooked eggs can cause salmonella infection, i.e. diarrhoea, fever and muscular cramps.
  • Honey contains clostridium botulinum that can cause botulism.

And the list goes on. Therefore, you should be very cautious when selecting food items for your baby.


What Should Be My Baby’s Eating Routine?

 

Well, that’s a tricky question for all the mothers.


How much should my baby eat? How many snacks should he eat in a day? Should I continue breastfeeding him or not? These are some of the most common questions mums come across, and many cannot find a correct answer. However, we have tried to provide you with a food plan that you should be following every day to make sure that your baby is receiving the required amount of nutrition:


  • Morning Formula or Breast Milk
  • Breakfast
  • Snack
  • Lunch
  • Evening Snack
  • Dinner
  • Night Formula or Breast Milk

If you follow this pattern, your baby will eventually fall into this habit, and his hunger centres will activate as the time approaches. Therefore, it is vital to get your baby in a routine so that you don’t complain about him not eating food.


What Measurements Should I Follow for My Baby?


When you’re starting with solids, it is better to know the accurate measurements beforehand. Because that way, you wouldn’t have to worry about how much your baby should eat every day. Some of the measurements are:


  • Vegetables: ½ to ¼ cup
  • Proteins: Up to 4 tablespoons
  • Cereals: ½ to ¼ cup
  • Fruits: ½ to ¼ cup
  • Dairy: Up to 3 tablespoons

What’s On the Menu?

 

homemade food for 11-month-old babies

 

Another trick to get your baby to like solids is to make sure you’re alternating the dishes. For example, you could give him the fruit porridge for Monday’s breakfast and not repeat it until the following week.


If you bring variety to the table, not only will you be developing your baby’s taste buds, but he will also be willing to try out the dishes. On the other hand, keeping everything monotonous would eventually make your baby reluctant to eat.


Breakfast


Breakfast is indeed the most critical part of the day, and you should make sure to load up your baby with maximum energy. Now, it doesn’t mean that you have to stuff him with a lot of food – no. If you do this, your baby will not develop a liking for food. Instead, you should try your best to include nutritious and delicious foods in the breakfast.


Following are some of the foods that can prove to be a good breakfast for your baby:


  • Baby cereal
  • Pureed fruit
  • Berry porridge
  • Pancakes with berry fruit yoghurt
  • Fresh fruit segments
  • Fruit salad

Snacks


When it comes to snacks, you should be aware that it is divided into two divisions, afternoon and evening snacks. The afternoon snack should be refreshing, light, yet energising on the whole. Whereas the evening snack should not be too stimulating or too fulfilling – it should just hold your child’s hunger for a while before dinner.


1. Afternoon Snacks


For the afternoon snacks, you can go for:


  • Any vegetable snacks
  • Diluted fruit juices
  • Fruit yoghurt
  • Cottage cheese for berries

2. Evening Snacks


For evening snacks, you can go for:


  • Crackers
  • Teething biscuit
  • Diced fruits
  • Vegetable soup

Dinner


While dinner should not be too heavy or be labelled as the most important meal of the day, it eventually becomes the most important meal.


Why? Because, in most families, dinner time is the bonding period for everyone. Everyone seems to chit chat and linger around a bit longer to catch up on everyone’s details of the day. And just like them, your baby would also be there, learning about quality family time. Therefore, you need to be well-prepared for your 11-month-old baby’s dinner. 


Here are some of the food items that you should ideally go for:


  • Vegetable soup with chicken
  • Potato wedges
  • Homemade breadsticks
  • Baked apple with raisins
  • Canned salmon fishcakes

What To Do If Your Baby Refuses Solid Foods?

 

11-month-old baby refusing food

 

There could be times where your baby just wouldn’t eat their meal. You know it’s their favourite meal, and they are hungry too – but they just wouldn’t touch their food. What’s wrong, and how can you fix it?


While there are numerous reasons as to why your baby refuses to eat their food, the following are the most common reasons:


  • Your baby is done with baby food.
  • You are repeating the same dishes over and over again.
  • Your baby doesn’t have a proper eating routine.
  • Your baby might be going through a phase, i.e. not feeling well.

If you want to overcome this problem, you should encourage your baby to eat solids. Don’t force food on them – do it lightly and smartly, and we assure you that your baby will be eating solids in no time!


Conclusion


Tackling babies when it comes to food can be challenging. But, as a mother, you should be on the top of your game to find the right food items for your baby. With the ideal food, good habits and a smart mother – an 11-month-old is bound to be healthier!


				
					
Umbilical Cord Care: An In-Depth Guide

Umbilical Cord Care: An In-Depth Guide


Quick Answer: What is an umbilical cord?


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.


Anatomy


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.


Physiology


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

 

Treatment of newborn baby navel with a cotton swab

 

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.


Immediate Management


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.


Long-Term Management


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?

 

a newborn baby

 

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:


  1. Pus oozing out of the umbilical cord stump.
  2. Swollen umbilical area.
  3. The belly button region takes the form of a pink bump.
  4. The baby develops a fever.
  5. 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.


Conclusion


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!

 

Breast Infection: Symptoms, Causes, Types, & Treatment

Breast Infection: Symptoms, Causes, Types, & Treatment


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.


Symptoms


The symptoms of breast infection that you may experience are: 


  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Breast pain
  • Breast lumps
  • Cracked nipples
  • 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.


Causes


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?

 

woman with itchy nipples

 

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.


Treatment 


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.


Home Remedies


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.