pneumonia in babies

Pneumonia in Babies: A Dangerous Killer

 

pneumonia in babies

Pneumonia is a type of infection that occurs in the lungs. It causes the lungs to fill with pus, mucus and other fluids. Due to this, your baby can find it hard to breathe. Pneumonia in babies can occur due to weak immunity. It can also occur in infants who have recently suffered from a cold or flu.

Different types of pneumonia in babies

Pneumonia is a general term. It refers to different types of lung infections. There are two types of pneumonia in children. These are:

Bacterial pneumonia

As the name suggests, this is caused by bacteria. The symptoms of pneumonia in babies include:

  • High fever
  • Rapid breathing
  • Coughing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Bluish nails and lips
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fast pulse rate

This is because infants do not have a strong immune system. As a result, they may not be able to fight off the infection.

Viral pneumonia

Typically, viral pneumonia occurs due to cold and flu viruses. The onset is not as sudden as bacterial pneumonia. In this case, some of the signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Listlessness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion

 

How to detect pneumonia in babies?

The symptoms of pneumonia in babies are slightly different from older children. Therefore, if you are wondering how to detect pneumonia in babies, watch out for the following signs:

  • Wheezing
  • The baby’s fluid intake drops by half in a period of 24 hours
  • The infant uses its muscles to help with breathing. This will be a clearly visible sign. You will be able to spot muscles between the ribs and collarbone sucking in with each inhalation. In fact, this is one of the danger signs of pneumonia in infants. You must take the baby to the hospital immediately if this is happening.
  • The baby coughs and spits out yellow, bloodstained, or green mucus.
  • Fever and chills
  • Blue fingernails and lips

Similar breathing difficulties in premature babies also indicate pneumonia.

How to diagnose pneumonia in infants?

Doctors use different tests to check for a chest infection in infants. To begin with, the doctor will examine the chest with a stethoscope. This is because listening to the breath can help the doctor identify if there are any lung problems.

Following this, an X-ray is the most common diagnostic test for pneumonia. The chest x-ray results for pneumonia are often definitive. However, a mucus or blood test may also be used. This helps doctors determine whether pneumonia in the newborn is bacterial or viral.

The treatment depends on this test. MediBuddy’s Lab Tests can help you get quick results so that you can show them to your doctor during the first visit. This can help you save time and treat the baby quickly.

Are there any home remedies for pneumonia in babies?

There are certain things you can do at home to treat your baby. Of course, nothing replaces the care and expertise of a doctor. However, you can use the following home remedies –

  • Ensure your baby gets enough rest.
  • Breastfeed your baby often, even though he/she may not have any appetite. This is to ensure that the baby stays hydrated at all times.
  • Do not give the baby any random cough medicines. They have no effect on pneumonia.
  • Do not smoke around your baby.
  • If the baby has bacterial pneumonia, then use a cool mist humidifier.

These are things you can do to make the baby comfortable. However, do watch for the danger signs of pneumonia in infants, as mentioned above. If you spot any of those signs, take your baby to a doctor.

Treatment for pneumonia in infants

If the baby has bacterial pneumonia, then the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. These show signs of improvement within 48 hours. Of course, the cough will take longer to go.

Viral pneumonia is also treated with medications. If the infant fails to feel better within 48 hours, doctors recommend hospitalization. More often than not, when it comes to pneumonia in infants, babies under 6 months are admitted as a precaution. This means that the baby will be admitted without the customary 48-hour wait.

Child care can be quite daunting. It is natural for parents to start pulling their hair over small symptoms or irregularities. The first few days after having a baby are often the scariest for new parents. Watch your baby carefully for any signs of pneumonia, and make sure you inform your doctor quickly if you think your baby has a lung infection!

You should always seek help from a Specialist no matter how small
the problem. After all, it’s your baby’s health. 

postpartum depression

Postpartum Depression: What You Need to Know About It

postpartum depression

Giving birth is an experience that changes you. Holding your baby in your arms for the first time can bring overwhelming joy. However, it can also welcome postpartum depression. Even though this problem accompanies 15% of births, very few people talk about it. As a result, new mothers can end up feeling inadequate and miserable.

Read on to know what the postpartum blues are!

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is essentially a mood disorder. It occurs in women who have just given birth. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. They can make it hard for mothers to perform daily tasks.

What is the difference between postpartum blues and baby blues?

Baby blues occur in almost 80% of births. They develop a day or two after giving birth and generally last up to 2 weeks.

Having a child can be hard. It takes time to learn how to take care of one. This period of trial and error can make new moms feel sad or worried. Baby blues disappear on their own, as the new mom finds her feet.

Postpartum blues, on the other hand, do not go away on their own. They make new moms feel severely depressed. They may even make a mother question her ability to be a good mother. They find it hard to connect with their baby, and often feel listless. This can be bad for both the mother and the baby, therefore it’s best to consult a health expert on MediBuddy if you suspect that you are suffering from postpartum blues.

Postpartum depression symptoms to watch out for

Postpartum depression symptoms align with the symptoms of clinical depression. You may experience:

  • Excessive crying.
  • An inability to bond with the baby.
  • Fluctuations in appetite – either a total loss of appetite or a huge increase in appetite.
  • Fluctuations in sleep patterns – insomnia or excessive sleeping.
  • Fatigue.
  • Feeling as though you are a bad mother.
  • Hopelessness.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Depression.
  • Anger or anxiety.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death and suicide.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Restlessness.
  • Engaging in activities that harm yourself.
  • Inability to focus or concentrate.
  • An Inability to make decisions.
  • Worthlessness or ashamed of yourself.

If you identify with any of these signs of postpartum depression, you should speak to a healthcare professional immediately.

While it is rare, some new mothers can develop psychotic depression. The signs of psychotic depression typically appear within a week of giving birth. They include the following:

  • Hallucinations and/or delusions.
  • Disorientation and confusion.
  • Obsessive thoughts about the baby.
  • Paranoia.
  • Attempts to harm the baby or yourself.
  • Problems sleeping.
  • High levels of energy.
  • High levels of agitation.

Psychotic depression can lead to catastrophic outcomes such as harming the baby. This condition must be treated immediately.

Can fathers experience postpartum blues?

Yes! Fathers can also experience postpartum blues. They may also feel hopeless, tired, and depressed. Many feel unable to take care of their families. Postpartum blues in fathers requires the same level of attention as it does in mothers.

How is postpartum depression treated?

You must see a postpartum depression therapist in order to receive treatment for the same. The treatment type will vary with your needs. However, the types of treatment can be broadly classified as:

Talk therapy

Postpartum counselling can help new mothers come to terms with their condition. By speaking with a therapist, new mothers can either undergo cognitive behaviour therapy or interpersonal therapy. The former helps patients combat negative thoughts and emotions. The latter helps them work through negative relationships.

Medication

Anti-depressants are also used for postpartum depression treatment. These pills are safe for breastfeeding mothers. Sometimes, the postpartum depression treatment may also include anti-anxiety pills.

Natural treatments for depression

You may be worried about taking medications while breastfeeding. If so, seek natural treatments for depression. The following are a few natural treatments for depression:

 

Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet through foods like salmon and tuna can help you ease depression. Similarly, foods rich in folic acids, such as avocado and spinach, can have the same effect.

  • Sleep more

As a new mother, sleep is probably hard to come by. Ask your friends and family to watch your baby while you sleep for an hour or two. Balancing your sleep cycle can have profound effects on depression.

  • Supplements for depression

You can consider taking supplements for depression. Fish oil, SAMe (or S-adenosyl-L-methionine) and folic acid can be effective supplements for depression.

How to battle depression?

The first step in fighting depression is admitting that you are depressed. This will allow you to seek help. Another crucial step in fighting depression is to stop comparing yourself with other moms! It is natural for you to feel overwhelmed. Give yourself time to learn what’s best for the baby.

Do not let postpartum blues mar your relationship!

Anxiety and stress can affect day-to-day life if left unchecked. Check with a
doctor for personalised coping strategies which will help you lead a confi-
dent life.

A Guide To Skin Care During Pregnancy

Skin Care Pregnancy

Pregnancy plays havoc with your hormones, which means your skin is in for a tough time. The hormonal changes in your body can cause skin cracks, acne and blemishes. The skin on your face will feel drier than usual. The skin around your eyes, nose, cheeks, navel, armpits and inner thighs will darken, especially during the second trimester; but fortunately these should disappear in a few months after you’ve delivered. During the second and third semesters, the hormonal imbalance causes brownish or greyish patches on the cheeks and forehead in about 70% of the women.  This is called the ‘mask of pregnancy.’ Exposure to sun increases the risk of developing the mask of pregnancy, and it is more noticeable in the areas exposed to sun. Luckily, this too fades away after delivery for most women.

Due to fat cells piling up in your abdominal region along with your hips, thighs and breast, your skin over stretches. This leads to stretch marks and these will remain your pregnancy souvenir for life.

Acne is another skin problem you might have to deal with when you become pregnant. As expected, this is a result of overproduction of oil due to an increased level of hormones. Your back, chest and shoulders might end up being affected in addition to your face but fortunately, all this will disappear once your pregnancy advances.

One irritating issue you might notice is itching, that too in places that is extremely hard to scratch like your soles and palms.  There is usually no rash or lesions with this itching.

Papilloma or skin tags appear in the skin folds of the neck, underarm, groin region and just below the breasts.  These are fleshy outgrowths and are usually painless and harmless, but could turn out to be an aesthetic problem.

You might also notice a dark line that runs from your navel to your pubic bone.  This is called the ‘Linea Nigra’ (or black line) and its intensity will vary based on your skin tone.  It is not related to sun exposure, and there is no way to avoid it even if you don’t go out in the sun. You generally will see it in the second trimester and as time passes, it will darken in colour.

Caring for your Skin

Stretch marks sadly cannot prevented; but you could wear garments that provide good support for the breasts and abdomen during the pregnancy months.

Cover up while out in the sun to protect from excess pigmentation and use a sun-screen with SPF 30 on sunny days to reduce melanin production. Since the body doesn’t absorb the sunscreen, it is safe to use while pregnant. Vitamin C also helps with excess melanin production, and many skin products now are fortified with vitamin C, which are safe to use. Unfortunately, none of these will treat the pigmentation issues.

Skin tags that usually appear with pregnancy disappear after your baby arrives but those that do not will need to be surgically removed. In the meantime, wear loose clothes so as to not irritate the skin tags.  Also, keep the area of skin tags dry as possible. After delivery, if you plan to get them removed, make sure it is done by an expert to prevent regrowth.

Linea Nigra is harmless, except from an aesthetic viewpoint. For some women, this line will darken as their pregnancy progresses while for others it will remain white or invisible. You may not see it during all your pregnancies either. Be reassured it will disappear gradually after you deliver.

For women who have acne during their pregnancy, a good cleansing regimen should be enough. Take care to avoid harsh products that act as an abrasive and are not advised for blocked pores. Acne medications are not advised during pregnancy because of safety issues. Never step out into the sun without your sunscreen if you have acne. Please consult your doctor for topical antibiotics that are safe during pregnancy if you have severe acne.

If you have no other accompanying problem like fever or a secondary rash with your itching, then simply bathing daily in lukewarm water followed by skin massage with a body lotion and/or natural oils should help you manage through your pregnancy. When the itching sensation cannot be managed with this routine, make an appointment with your doctor to rule out more serious possibilities.