Tag Archives: neonatal care

STI Prevention And Awareness

It is becoming increasingly important to promote awareness and become educated about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) as the numbers are steadily rising around the country and will only continue to climb if we don’t take preventative measures. Simple choices like not having unprotected or intoxicated sex may mean the difference between being healthy or HIV positive. Untreated STIs can have devastating reproductive consequences if left undetected for years.

STI Statistics:

  1. Over 110 million American men and women have Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
  2. Of the 8 most common STIs only: syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis are treatable. The other 4: hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus, HIV, and human papillomavirus (HPV) are incurable (however there are medications available to help minimize symptoms).
  3. Gonorrhea is progressively developing resistance to common antibacterial treatments making it harder to treat effectively. If this continues, gonorrhea may become one of the incurable ones, therefore it is important to contain the spread of this STI.
  4. Many STIs are transferrable from mother to baby through birth including herpes and HIV. STIs can cause stillbirth, birth defects such as missing limbs, blindness, prematurity, or ailments such as pneumonia.
  5. Undetected or untreated syphilis causes more than 300,000 fetal fatalities annually, and leads to birth defects, congenital conditions and other health complications in 215,000 babies.
  6. Untreated STIs can cause infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women.
  7. Approximately 290 million women across the world have HPV.
  8. Each year HPV leads to over 520,000 cases of cervical cancer, 266,000 of which are deadly.
  9. Having certain STIs like herpes or syphilis can triple your risk of contracting HIV, so you should use extreme caution if you are already infected with an STI.
  10. Many STIs such as syphilis or gonorrhea can have few-to-no symptoms and may go undetected until they resurface to cause pregnancy complications or other issues years later. It is important to get checked for STIs when you first become pregnant so your doctor can take measures to protect your unborn baby in the presence of an STI such as to arrange a caesarian section birth.

STI Prevention

  • Avoid engaging in risky behaviors, such as: unprotected sex of any kind (unless you are in a committed monogamous relationship and were both tested); sex with multiple partners; sexual encounters with anonymous people; receiving unsterile or dangerous tattoos or injections; engaging in sexual behavior while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (your judgement may be impaired).
  • Females should be vaccinated with the HPV vaccination.
  • Use condoms properly every time you engage in sexual behaviour.
  • If you have multiple sexual partners (or one that you suspect may have an infection) get tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections.
  • If you are engaging in sexual activity with a partner who is HIV positive, ask your doctor about PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to see if it is a viable option for you.
  • Have open an discussion with your partners about if they were recently tested or have any existing STIs.
  • Talk to your doctor about your sexual habits and lifestyle to see what preventative measures he or she would suggest to help you lower your risk of contracting STIs, or prevent spreading STIs to others if you already have them.
  • Abstinence until you find a desired life partner is another preventative measure some wish to partake in.
  • It is also important to talk to your children when they are old enough about the importance of practicing abstinence or safe sex.

More Information

For more information about STIs or about how to talk to young people about STI prevention, visit the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s comprehensive database on sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases. If you already have an STI, there are resources available that can help with management and providing support, such as the American Sexual Health Association. For more information on these topics, you can talk to your doctor or one of our highly skilled DocChat physicians about STI prevention, treatment, management, or how to get tested today.

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How To Take Care of Yourself Post-Delivery

Mother In Nursery Suffering From Post Natal Depression

The postpartum period is a critical time for the mother and the baby. It is important for the mother to take good care of her own health as well as the baby’s. This phase begins immediately after delivery and lasts for about six to eight weeks. The mother goes through physical, mental, and emotional changes throughout this phase. The changes and adjustments prove to be a tough challenge for a new mother.

The best way to guarantee that you remain healthy enough to provide good care for the newborn is to learn how to take care of yourself during this important time. A mother should ensure that she rebuilds her strength, gets plenty of rest, good nutrition and asks for help from someone else if needed. A new mother needs to focus on the following aspects:

Get Adequate Rest

During the first eight weeks, a newborn does not sleep through the night; this results in an exhausting sleeping schedule for the parents. It is suggested that the mother get proper rest and should only be tasked with taking care of the baby and herself.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet will promote a speedy recovery during the postpartum stages. Adequate nutrition will help the body heal and become strong. After delivery, mothers need to eat well in order to remain active. A recommended diet consists of five major food groups that should be a part of every meal:

1. Grains–whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal

2. Vegetables–dark green, red, and orange vegetables, peas and starchy vegetables

3. Fruits–Fresh, canned, frozen, or dried

4. Dairy–fat-free or low-fat products, cheese, milk and those high in calcium

5. Protein–low-fat or lean meats and poultry, fish, nuts, seeds and beans

Low Intensity Exercise

If you have an uncomplicated delivery, it is safe to begin exercising whenever you feel up to it. Otherwise wait at least 6 weeks before starting any kind of workout. Light exercises during the postpartum period will help you stay active and alert. Drink plenty of fluids and include light activity to restore muscle tone. Join a post-natal exercise class, or swimming is an excellent option as well.

Get a Care Taker/Helper

Taking care of a baby is a challenging thing for new parents. If the pressure gets too much and you find it difficult to cope, then there are some excellent options available which will arrange a helper/caregiver.

It is often a relief to hire a professional to help out and provide guidance to the new mother. The mother should be relieved of chores such as shopping, cooking, cleaning and laundry.

Is Breast Feeding Beneficial for Both Mother and Child?


This is a personal lifestyle choice that lots of parents do not wish anyone to dictate, but if experts weigh in, they recommend that breastfeeding is an ideal option as it can be beneficial for both mother and child. Ultimately the decision to breastfeed is up to the new mother and her child. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both recommend that newborns should be breastfed.

Every new parent wants to make the best decision when it comes to an infant’s health, therefore it is necessary to listen to what the doctors are suggesting.

Benefits for the Mother

Breastfeeding can make it easier to lose those stubborn pregnancy pounds. Doctors encourage breastfeeding because it helps lower estrogen levels resulting in reduced risk of ovarian, uterine and breast cancer. It can also lessen postpartum anxiety and depression. Diseases that affect bone health in later ages, like osteoporosis, are less likely to occur in women who breastfeed their infants. Doctors recommend that the newborn should be breastfed during the first six months of its life. Some of the benefits are:

· Less chance of developing breast cancer
· The release of the hormone oxytocin, acts as a natural relaxant for the mother
· Reduced risk of ovarian and uterine cancer
· Lowers the chances of developing a debilitating bone disease, osteoporosis
· A natural means of child spacing
· Promotes mental and emotional health
· Makes postpartum weight loss easier
· Costs less to breastfeed

Benefits for the Baby

Breast milk is the ideal form of nutrition for an infant. It contains the right mix of fats, proteins, and vitamins that a newborn human requires. This natural sustenance can prove to be a much better option than the synthetic formula. Baby formula is not easily digested by infants, whereas the breast milk is easily digested and contains disease-fighting substances. Breast feeding has been shown to boost IQ scores of the child, according to some studies. The long-term benefits include decrease in diabetes risk and obesity later on in life. The mental benefits include a stronger mother-child bond, helping the baby feel more secure and safe. The connectedness make the child more stable and less prone to crying. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to develop allergies. Infants can develop healthy and natural eating patterns when their mothers breastfeed them, which can lower the chances of developing obesity later on in life.


The Benefits of Neonatal Telemedicine

The world faces immense challenges in providing quality medical services to people who live in remote locations and under-developed areas. The costs and manpower involved in setting up good hospitals in these locations is huge and unrealistic.

Doctors and experts have looked to modern communication technologies for a solution to this seemingly impossible and dire issue. Fortunately, the emerging field of telemedicine answers this call. The rapid advancement of technology has made it possible to consider telemedicine as a viable solution to the provision of neonatal care and basic healthcare services to children.

The World Health Organization defines telemedicine as, “The delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all healthcare professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information”. 1

The Paradigm Changing Benefits of Telemedicine

Removes geographical barriers

The use of communication and information technologies bridges the distance between people and the best healthcare, a goal which could hardly have been dreamed of 100 years ago.

Provides access to expert help to low-trained health workers

Hospitals in remote areas are ill-equipped in terms of neonatal care; not only are the facilities not up to par, the healthcare providers, doctors, nurses, and other staff have poor training and often practice dangerous methods that end up harming the patient. Telemedicine creates unique and low-cost learning opportunities for these workers, allowing them to improve their skills in positively changing their patients’ well-being.

Enhanced communication can be used to collaborate with experts worldwide.

Combined decision-making regarding diagnosis and condition can become a norm which will lead to better research and greater future innovations.

Remote daily rounds are possible

Doctors can monitor the neonatal patients on a daily basis and quickly detect any issue before they worsen, this is vital for neonatal patients. Newborn patients are especially at risk of a late or wrong diagnosis which worsens the problem.

Frequent consultations with experts are possible

Patients can reap the benefits of expert medical care and the doctors treating them will also learn from this experience.

Direct visual and auditory patient information can be accessed by the doctors

Direct observation reduces the chance of a mistake; doctors don’t have to rely on someone else’s descriptions or reports.

Makes patient relocation unnecessary

Newborns do not need to be relocated for treatment. If the facilities are adequate then diagnosis is possible remotely and guidance can be provided on a case-to-case basis.

1. World Health Organization,. Telemedicine – Opportunities And Developments In Member States. Global Observatory for eHealth, 2011. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. Global Observatory For Ehealth Series – Volume 2.