All posts by Monica


Protect Your Child from Burns

Parenting is a lot more fun when you are aware and responsible. Protecting your children from the harm and ensuring their safety is the sole concern for us too, and that is why we want to share how to keep your child safe from burn and injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US, over 300 burn cases are reported daily where the patients belong to the age group of 0 to 19. The cases of scald burns and electrical injuries are not uncommon. In order to prevent the risks of burn, as a responsible parent, you can follow these simple steps:

Set the Water Heater Temperature
The infants and children are sensitive to temperature because their skin is tender. The baby soft skin can burn instantly when comes in contact with slightly hot water. So you need to set the temperature of the water heater below the risk level.
Preferably, the temperature should be set below 1200 F. In order to set the temperature you can use the temperature control panel in the water heater or fix a thermostat.
Even though you have lowered the temperature, avoid pouring hot directly from the water heater when bathing your child without checking. Dip your fingers in the hot water bucket or tub and see if the water is mildly warm. Remember, a baby does not need the water super hot or will burn the skin.

Keep the electrical Appliances Out of Reach
The HVAC appliances for home heating and cooling should be installed at a safe distance that is out of reach for your children. Be extra cautious if you have a tankless gas-fired water heater because the combustion chamber near the burner is hot when in use.
If the heated surface comes in contact with skin, it may cause severe damage. Ideally, you should not leave your child anywhere near the water heater machine.
Also, keep the microwave at a comfortable height and see the wires are beyond reach.
Similarly, you should also install the electric fireplace at a safe corner of the house. If you have a real fireplace, make sure the furnace is protected.
Always unplug the iron after use and never leave your baby near the hot iron. It is extremely risky and can cause fatal injuries.

Ensure Fire Safety
Are the fire alarms working? Keep an eye on the fire alarms to ensure safety. Routinely run tests and make sure the smoke detecting devices and the fire alarms are running fine.
Buy good quality fire extinguishers and keep them in the house so you can use in the case of an emergency. And always keep them out of reach.

Never Leave your Child Alone
Supervise the activities of your children and never leave them alone. Children are always curious and in your absence, they may unknowingly do harm to themselves.
Experts say that children below six years should not be left alone in the bathroom with hot water running. Accompanying your children and guiding them will easily eliminate the risk of burn.
The experts from the Stanford Children’s Health department have outlined a number of instances of burn and instructions to avoid them. Summarizing the points we advise you to be constantly watchful for your baby. Even sun damages can burn your baby’s skin, so protect your kids from sunburn. Finally, never delay in seeking medical help to save your child when you notice injuries. If you follow these small tips you can easily protect your child from a burn.


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How Air Pollution Impacts Pregnancy

Human beings can’t live without air, water and nutrients which are essential to maintain a healthy living and above all, to survive. For the past few daces eyebrows are raised over the concerns of deteriorating health conditions owing to polluted environment. With the expansion of various factories and industrial sites the idea of ‘fresh’ air has become oblivious. The industrial waste has successfully contaminated the water and soil, moreover the harmful gas and smoke emitted by the factories has been polluting the air. Deforestation, continuous smoke and chemicals emitted by the vehicles, secondhand smoke.

The results of air pollution are far reached causing severe health problems including asthma, allergy, congestion, irritation of the sinus, eye related problems, major respiratory diseases and even cancer. The health problems caused by air pollution not only affect the adults but also the children. Poor health conditions among the children and infants are often initiated by inferior quality of air and the problem starts right from the pregnancy.

According to studies, air pollution has severe impact during pregnancy. As and when one gets pregnant, the embryo draws all necessary nutrients vital for its growth directly from the mother’s body. The health condition of the mother impacts the growth and well-being of the baby inside. Depending on the data, the researchers have revealed that poor quality of air can cause low birth weight among the newborn. Pre-mature delivery is another issue. Additionally, the newborn may already have developed respiratory problems.

Ideally, the newborn must weigh between 6-9 pounds after birth but studies have proved the air pollution can cause low birth weight. In the US 1 in every 12 children suffer from a low birth weight. Similarly, pre-mature birth is also a concern. The researchers from the University of York have claimed that the US alone witnesses approximately 3 million premature birth cases each year. Breathing problems such as asthma is also noted among the newborn due to air pollution. Additionally, miscarriage among the pregnant women is also noted which is believed to be due to poor air quality.

We care for the well-being of the pregnant mothers and children and therefore, we have suggested some points that can help reduce the complications contributed by air pollution.

Light exercises recommended by physical trainers should be practiced regularly to keep you fit during pregnancy. Exercising will regulate blood circulation in all parts of your body including embryo. Additionally, yoga also helps in certain respiratory problems.

Eat Healthy
Get used to eating more organic and naturally grown vegetables and fruits. Depending on your diet you can add milk and non-vegetarian sources of protein.

Outdoor Activities
The quality of air in the early morning is better compared to later in the day. Go for a walk early morning. If you live near the beaches, it is an added advantage. You may also plan your vacations with your partner away from the noise and pollution, preferably where you see lush green valleys or thickly wooded forests. The reason for doing so is to grab fresh air that you are devoid of in the crowded cities.

Avoid Air Conditioners
Air conditioner is no more a luxury, and almost every household has at least one AC unit installed. Living in a centrally air conditioned house may sound nice but it also cases health problems. Dry nose, allergy, dry and irritated sinus are common problems for staying in the AC. Rather, you can let the windows open, and switch on a ceiling fan or a tower fan when you are indoors. This way you can also build the capacity to withstand natural climatic conditioners, rather than living in a controlled atmosphere.

Air Purifiers
When you are indoors, you can use air purifiers to improve the air quality inside. While doing so, it is important to remember that not letting fresh wind or sunlight in is also harmful for health. You can keep the windows open for good air circulation in the morning.

Plant Trees
It goes without saying that trees give you clean and fresh air. Plant more trees if you have a garden. Apartment gardening is also becoming popular among people. Talk to an expert on setting up a small garden on the roof or the balcony.

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How to Deal With Acne During Pregnancy?

Hormonal shifts are one of the major reasons for pimples. Pregnancy can often lead to pimples due to this reason. When you are pregnant, your body produces an excessive amount of androgens. Androgens are responsible for acne breakouts.

What is Pregnancy Acne?

During pregnancy our body naturally produces androgen. Androgens are the influencing factors for producing more oil in our sebaceous glands. When oil combined with dead skin cells and dirt clog the pores of our skin and hair follicles. The situation becomes worse when bacterial outgrowth causes infection and aggravates acne breakouts. Whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, bumps, pimples are commonly noticed on forehead and chin.

Pregnancy acne can come and go or even stay during the entire duration. In most cases, pregnancy acne is unavoidable but it can remain under control and get rid of pimples if we care for our skin little more.

How to Avoid Pregnancy Acne?

If you want to get rid of pregnancy acne then you need to pay more attention to your schedule, food habits and proper rest.

  • Our body already produces more oil, therefore, it is advisable to eat less oily food. Oil control is necessary if you want to avoid pimples.
  • Wash your face with mild face wash. Avoid harsh soaps and chemical infused face wash because they can dry out your skin or irritate the pimples.
  • Avoid picking as it will only result in a more serious infection and spread all over your skin.
  • Every time you wash your face, avoid rubbing it hard. If you already have pimples, rubbing may break the skin and spread infection.
  • Wear cotton clothes because cotton is made of breathable and soft fibers. It will not irritate your skin.
  • It is better if you can leave your skin without applying makeup. If it is completely unavoidable then get something that does not burn or irritate your skin, preferably herbal products.
  • Sleep and rest in proper timing. Maintain your schedule because indigestion, acidity and other stomach disorders can lead to pimples.
  • Do yoga and light exercises to keep your body fit. You need not try difficult exercises. Exercising and yoga will regulate hormones and increase blood flow n your cells.
  • Buy Dead Sea salt and gently exfoliate to remove blackheads, dead skin cells. Regular exfoliation will keep your skin smooth and trouble free.
  • Eat more vegetables. Vegetables will supply the nutrients and the fibers will keep your intestine healthy. Constipation is one of the major issues during pregnancy and it is also an indication of poor digestive system.

What to Avoid During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy, unlike any other normal situations, is a crucial time of life that requires more patience and judicious steps. Do not buy any product that claims to cure pimples without consulting with your dermatologist or a gynecologist. Avoid anything that needs you to consume because it may harm you and your baby.

It will be wise if you discuss your problems with your doctor and buy only prescribed medicine, both for application on skin and for consumption. While you may try the steps I have mentioned above throughout your pregnancy to maintain a healthy skin, you may also seek expert advice if you are suffering from serious breakouts.

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Let’s Take Women Seriously

I never took my health seriously. I ate unhealthy and never worked out, because I thought that I could get by. I was a curvy girl, with extra pounds, but I thought I could do anything just like anyone else.

Then, one day, my minivan got a flat tire as I was driving to work. I expected that changing a tire would be easy, but as I lugged the best aluminum car jack out of the trunk and tried removing the bolts off the tire, I was out of breath. I wasn’t strong enough to do any of it, and it took long enough that eventually someone had to pull over and help me.

It was so embarrassing.

Since that incident, I realized that health was more about looking good. Health means being capable of taking care of myself and not being able to do simple tasks, like changing a flat tire. After that, I’ve committed myself to making a change.

This started with small steps, aiming to introduce healthier foods and trying a simple walk during my lunch break. I didn’t want to rush myself into a strict routine, simply because it would prevent me from losing hope and motivation. The smaller steps worked amazing!

I found support from family and friends who were interested with improving their own lifestyles. We built a support system and created small stepping stones to work towards our ultimate goals. The overwhelming support made it so much easier to stay on track together, especially in a non-competitive but helpful way.

When smaller steps became too easy, I decided to join a fun Zumba class. I wanted to enjoy my exercise, and just through the constant practice, I could feel my strength constantly growing. My endurance increased, and I could go for longer walks, lift heavier items, and more!

My healthy eating made a huge difference in my energy. Suddenly, I was able to get out of bed faster in the morning, I needed less caffeine, and I felt an increase in my positive attitude. I’ve started to eat more veggies and fruits as well as drinking more water. The change in diet really has made a different, and I have felt between the exercise and the healthy food that my body has become more muscular and leaner.

The most important thing that I have learned in improving my health is taking it one day at a time. Sometimes, I have set backs where I may not exercise for a few days or eat unhealthy on a vacation. Enjoying the little things in life is alright, and accepting that you won’t work out or eat healthy 10% of the time is party of that. I’ve still made a huge impact on myself and now, I have rapidly improved myself.

Taking a positive approach to improving my health made me start to accomplish more things that I never thought about. I have more energy for my kids and job. I still haven’t had to change a flat tire since that day, but I am positive that I can accomplish it now.

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Should Pregnant Women Avoid Taking Hot Baths?

What could be better than soaking in a nice, hot bath after a long hard day? For many women this is a great way to unwind and relax in the evening. Hot baths have been known to calm stress, relieve tension and quiet our minds. For many women, taking a hot bath may even be a part of their evening routine before getting into bed.

However, pregnant women may want to think twice before stepping into a hot bath. Some doctors say that, for pregnant women, hot water can be a concern for your baby. Elevated body temperatures can be bad for maturing babies, so it is important to be careful.

Because of this, many pregnant women avoid taking baths at all, but this doesn’t have to be the case. If pregnant women do decide to take baths, they need to be conscious of how hot the water is getting. In many homes, tankless water heaters can be a great way to regulate water temperature. A best tankless water heater for whole house can be adjusted to so that it doesn’t overheat past a certain temperature, which is ideal for taking baths. Even if you don’t have a tankless water heater at home, tank water heaters can still be adjusted to avoid overheating the water. Before you heat the water for your bath, make sure to check your water heater and ensure that the maximum temperature is set low enough.

It has been shown that a body temperature over 101 degrees Fahrenheit can have harmful effects on developing babies. Make sure that your tankless water heater is set to only heat up to a temperature that is below this. Also, be cognizant of the amount of time spent in the bath. Even if the water temperature is not very hot, soaking in the warm water for a long period of time can gradually raise the body temperature. Staying in the warm water for more than 10 minutes is usually not advised. Soaking in the warm water for longer than this may raise your temperature above the recommended temperature.

If you are pregnant, putting your baby at risk is the last thing that you want to do. And although soaking in a bath may sound peaceful and calming, especially when you are pregnant and your body is working constantly to take care of your baby, be aware of the risks that soaking in hot water can impose upon your growing child. Take into account how warm your water is getting and if you have a tankless water heater or a tank water heater, be sure to adjust the maximum temperature before you heat the water for your bath. This will ensure that your water heater doesn’t heat up too much, which will in turn keep you and your baby safe. Being aware of these factors will give you a greater sense of security. So if you are pregnant and thinking about jumping into a steaming hot bath tub, consider these risks and take the necessary actions to keep your baby safe.

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What to Expect When You and Your Spouse Opt for In Vitro Fertilization

In vitro fertilization can be extremely helpful to couples who are struggling with infertility. The IVF procedure involves multiple steps that utilize specific fertility enhancements to encourage fertilization and help the embryo implant properly into the uterus. The process of in vitro fertilization for a viable pregnancy typically includes:

Inducing Ovulation

Many women’s infertility issues stem from ovulation problems caused by age or other conditions that suppress the normal release of a viable egg. Several medications exist that can help induce a woman’s ovulation and increase egg production. Timing is extremely important when trying to conceive. If a woman ovulates early, it can be difficult to know when to attempt conception or egg retrieval. Medications that prevent premature ovulation may be used in these cases.

Retrieving the Egg and Sperm

The eggs are retrieved before ovulation occurs, generally after the medication is injected to stimulate the production of eggs. This procedure is typically done in a fertility doctor’s office under mild sedation and pain medication.

Sperm retrieval can typically be done at any time and is not an overly complex process. When both the eggs and sperm are harvested, fertilization is attempted with intracytoplasmic sperm injection or a similar procedure in a laboratory setting.

Transferring the Embryo

After fertilization, the embryo is usually implanted into the uterus using an embryo transfer catheter. Your fertility doctor may introduce several embryos to increase the chances of establishing a viable pregnancy, though this can also increase the likelihood of multiple births. Fluid is injected and pushed into the uterus for implantation. Mild bloating may occur after the procedure. Testing is later performed to determine if the procedure was successful.

Fertility specialist Laurence A. Jacobs, M.D. specializes in providing fertility treatment that will increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. We offer many fertility procedures, including IVF fertility treatments, in our Chicago clinic.

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A Guide to Your Vitrification and Cryopreservation Options

Cryopreservation is an aspect of fertility treatment that accounts for family planning later in the future, as it offers preservation of fertility along with an opportunity to maximize IVF treatment success. There are several procedures included in cryopreservation that may benefit you and your partner, and these are discussed in further detail here:

  • Embryo Cryopreservation: In IVF treatment, several eggs are used to make as many embryos as possible, but only a few are actually used for implantation. Because the unused embryos may still meet the criteria for use in treatment, they can be saved for future use with cryopreservation. Unlike simple freezing, cryopreservation has a high rate of pregnancy success. The reason for this improvement in successful implantation is that the embryos are frozen through vitrification, which eliminates ice crystals by fast-freezing them.
  • Oocyte Vitrification: Egg freezing is a procedure that can preserve female fertility, as it is used when eggs are most healthy. This means that women desiring to get pregnant after the age of 35 will have a better chance of doing so. Recent techniques for egg vitrification have significantly increased the reliability of this procedure, which used to be highly problematic in future IVF procedures using previously frozen eggs.
  • Sperm Cryopreservation: Sperm cryopreservation is an established procedure that has been in use for decades to preserve healthy sperm for later use in IVF treatment. Sperm is quickly frozen through storage in liquid nitrogen, and it can be safely thawed for later use. Men who are opting for vasectomy or who are about to undergo cancer treatment will often choose sperm cryopreservation to keep family planning options available in the future.

For more details about these procedures and a look at how they can play into your goals to have children, schedule an appointment with Dr. Laurence A. Jacobs by calling (877) 672-4234. With a background in endocrinology and infertility training through the Mayo Clinic and a practice featuring the latest technology in fertility care, Dr. Jacobs can create a personalized approach that will help you start your family.

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What’s IUI

IUI stands for intrauterine insemination, or an artificial insemination method designed to bypass the cervix and cervical mucus in order to deliver healthy, motile sperm directly into the uterus. IUI is a great treatment method for couples who are struggling with infertility due to inhospitable cervical mucus, the presence of sperm-antibodies, and poor sperm quality or movement.

Just before the ovulation process begins, healthy sperm is collected from the male partner or donor and processed before being deposited into the uterus using a small catheter placed through the cervix. However, the treatment must coincide with the female partner’s ovulatory cycle, and will therefore require blood test monitoring, ultrasound examinations, or the use of a special kit to detect LH hormones within the urine.

You can find out if intrauterine insemination is right for you by contacting your Chicago fertility clinic. With extensive experience, infertility doctor Dr. Laurence A. Jacobs, M.D. is devoted to helping patients determine and treat the underlying causes of infertility.

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How Acupuncture Can Improve Fertility

Acupuncture works by improving circulation. When you are infertile, you often have low circulation in your ovaries and uterus.

Acupuncture improves blood flow to the ovaries, it is also used to regulate the fallopian tubes. When you improve blood flow and circulation in your uterus and fallopian tubes, they can function in a normal way.

The uterus point is often used to treat fertility. It regulates the uterus and fallopian tubes.

There are other points below the belly button that treat infertility. The Ren meridian goes in the middle of your torso and is very effective to improve blood flow in your uterus also.

Acupuncture points such as Spleen 6 are used to balance hormones and relieve liver stagnation and kidney energy weakness.

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Dang Gui and Fertility

Dang gui is a very commonly used herb in Chinese medicine. It is used to nourish or “supplement” the blood. If you are blood deficient, which sometimes corresponds to anemia in Western diagnosis, Dang Gui is used to nourish the blood and improve not only the quantity, the the ability of the blood to flow.

It improves the circulation of blood at the same time as it nourishes the blood, so it can be very helpful for infertility and many menstrual issues.

Dang gui is sometimes called “Tang Kuei” in the west. The Chinese name is “Dang Gui”.

Dang gui is typically not taken alone. It is combine with other herbs in a formula. Chinese herbs are typically 4-15 single herbs combined in a specific way to achieve a certain effect. For example, if you have stress there are several formulas you can pick from.

If you have insomnia, you can be prescribed a variety of formulas, depending on your symptoms. Sometimes, you will need to try several formulas to see what works best for you. Also, your herbal formula can be changed as needed. You do not take Chinese herbs forever. You take them until your health issue is resolved. Some people like to take Chinese herbs on a regular basis as a tonic to continue improving health and to prevent further problems.

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