Changing Lives




“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude” -Oprah

Welcome readers to a new year… Happy New Year !!! Today’s article is a collaboration article about change.

As the year 2021 was approaching, most individuals anticipated if they would be alive to ring in the new year, what the year would bring and made new year’s resolutions. A month in the year has passed. How many of us have implemented our plans that we thought of at the beginning of the year or have we been procrastinating? You will need to decide if you want to be at the same level, in the same situation or you want to rise above challenges and make a difference. Individuals may make changes for many reasons, some reasons may include personal development, getting back at someone, tired of the same old routines and knowledge but change should only be implemented for good reasons.

For example, I have a mango seed and I envision receiving mangoes from it. The mangoes will not come about by my talking that I want mangoes but there are tasks that I will need to accomplish, and considerations made in order to make this vision come to fruition. First, I will need to decide on where I would want to plant the seed as it may grow into a large tree so it will need adequate space. The type of soil, the appropriate time and the right temperature are very important because if the conditions are unfavorable, there will not be growth. After planting the seed in the correct environment, it does not stop there, watering, pruning, fertilization will be needed to guard the plant against fungus that may retard its growth. As you continue to do this, you will start to see a little shrub above the soil and as time goes by you will see your mango seed transformed into a strong tree. Please note that this does not happen overnight and takes patience. The tree will then eventually start to blossom which is a sign that the time of reproduction is near. You feel so happy and have a sense of hope when you see more than one mangoes on the tree but the mangoes although they are on the tree do not mean that they are ready to be picked as they are immature so you will have to continue waiting until they become ripe and ready to eat. This analogy demonstrates the principles involved in the change process. There are many change theories in management that can be implemented in the workplace however, I will focus on Kurt Lewin’s change theory. This theory was developed in 1951 and has three main phases namely Unfreezing, Movement and Refreezing (Marquis & Huston,2012).

The Unfreezing phase involves the change agent (the individual who wants to implement the change) convincing his/ her members the need for a change. In order for the change to be effectively implemented, the change agent should assess the extent of, the level of motivation, the level of interest in the change and the environment in which the change is to occur. This assessment should be thorough and accurate as one should not exert undue pressure on his / her workers (Marquis & Huston,2012). The change agent should be mindful that when individuals are asked to come out of their comfort zones, they may become anxious, feel guilty or have concerns, thus the change agent should anticipate these behaviors from the staff members. In addition, the change agent should not move to the other stage (Movement) unless he/ she has disturbed the status quo (the normal practices/ what the members are used to and are counterproductive) (Petiprin, 2020).

The Movement stage involves identification, planning and implementation of appropriate strategies. Seeing that the change agent will be taking the members out of their comfort zone, he/ she must be mindful that there may be some members who resist the change or factors that may negatively affect the change (restraining forces) while there are some members who will ‘buy into’ the implementation of change/ factors which support the change to be implemented. These are called the driving forces. In order for the change to be effective, the change agent must ensure that the driving forces exceed the restraining forces by using appropriate strategies (Marquis & Huston,2012).   The change process is a complicated one that requires intense planning and timing. In addition, in recognizing, addressing and overcoming the behaviors of those members who are not in agreement of the change will take time and the reality is that some members will need more time to be convinced about the change than others. The change agent must be supportive and encourage the members throughout the process. Evaluation of the change and modification if needed are also done during this phase (Marquis & Huston,2012).  

In the Refreezing phase, the change agent assists in stabilizing the change as it is implemented in the system (status quo), offers support and reinforces the adaptive behaviors of his/ her members affected by the change. The change agent must be patient and involved in the process until the change is completed. If this phase is incomplete, the members will return to the ‘old behaviors’ that they had prior to the change (Marquis & Huston,2012). Some changes will take a longer time to implement than others but as long as it is attainable, implemented in the right environment at the right time, it can be achieved. You have the chance to reflect and have the opportunity to change or not and that decision lies within you. Do you want to improve or prefer to remain in your comfort zone? The ball is in your court

Changes come with all things as mentioned above and so does change occur once a woman conceives. She has to now get her mind prepared for the changes that will occur with her body for the duration of the pregnancy, as well as after delivery adjustments will have to be made by each family member with the new addition to the family unit. The environment will also need to be changed to accommodate the new addition, if it’s an only child the parents will now have to change their way of thinking in order to provide for the new addition, if there are other children in the family; they will need to adjust to the new member of the family as well to foster inclusion and prevent sibling rivalry. Parents will need to make adjustment to their daily routine as the family dynamics will change.

Advise on preparedness- Life can be filled with so many surprises and at times we are not prepared for what comes at us thus in order to reduce the negative effects of events in our lives, we have to learn to prepare. It is good to plan although sometimes things may not go the way you have planned them. There are many instances where we make the necessary preparations such as when there is a hurricane warning, when we have an examination or when we are planning an event such as a wedding or dinner. How prepared we are for any event will be dependent on the level of planning we invest in the process.

Preparation gives you a sense of being calm and facilitates confidence knowing that you are able to confront anything with the mindset that you will come out on top. Preparation can be dealt with on a short- term or a long-term basis. One should be cognizant that everyone is different so your level of preparation for a particular situation may differ from another. For example, next month you will be having your final examination in your area of study. You know that in order for you to be successful in that examination, you will have to start pre- reading from now. You will have to be engaged in self- directed learning, have group meetings, write questions on your study cards and respond to them. In addition, prior to the day of the examination, you will need your good night’s sleep and on the day of the examination, do not look at any material pertaining that course. If you do, you will not be able to recall all that you have studied. On the other hand, another classmate may not need to make as many preparations as you did in order to be successful. He or she may just read few times and on the night prior to the examination, study and become successful. It might seem unfair to see one putting in so much while another does not, and the outcome remains the same, but it is best to:

P- Plan & be

R- Ready

E- Eager

P- Persistent

A – Aspire

R- Regardless of

E- External factors

than not to and regret it in the future. Do you have a contribution to make about the topic above? Place it in the comment section below, Like, Share with someone who you think can benefit from the discussion, follow to receive updates when they become available. Have a topic you would like to have a discussion about share it with me in the comment section as well… Thanks to all followers and readers. Keep safe.

References

Petiprin, A. (2020). Lewin’s Change Theory. Retrieved from https://nursing-theory.org/theories-and-models/lewin-change-theory.php  

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2012). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (7th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.            

Today’s contributors: Kadene Leslie and yours truly

HIV/AIDS Awareness

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There is a need for awareness about Human Immunodeficiency Virus /Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome(HIV/AIDS) that goes beyond December 1st. HIV is a viral infection that attacks the immune system and causes AIDS, there is no cure for this disease, however, there are various medications used in the treatment modality to help manage the condition. HIV lives in an infected individual’s blood , tissues, organs, and certain body  fluids ( for example semen or vaginal fluid and anal mucus). Mother who are breastfeeding their infants who are infected also have HIV in their breast milk. HIV spreads between people through blood and body fluids. HIV/AIDS can also be spread by other means such as;

  • Having unprotected sex with someone who is infected. Globally, most new HIV infections occur through sexual intercourse
  • Mother to child transmission without anti-HIV treatment, an infected woman may pass the virus to her child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.
  • Using needles or syringes that have been used by people who are infected.
  • Pre-chewing food for infants studies were conducted by Centers for Disease Control(CDC) which revealed that HIV has been spread when caregivers who are HIV-infected chewed food and then fed the food to an infant. This practice can expose the child to HIV if the caregiver has a sore or cut in the mouth. The CDC recommends that caregivers who are infected with HIV do not pre-chew food for infants.
  • Receiving infected blood products or transplanted organs

According to UNAIDS, 2020 there were approximately 38 million people globally with HIV/AIDS in 2019. Of these, 36.2 million were adults and 1.8 million were children (<15 years old). in relation to HIV Testing approximately 81% of individuals with HIV globally were aware of their HIV status in 2019. The remaining 19% (about 7.1 million people) still need access to HIV testing services. HIV testing is an essential access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.

Mother-to-Child Transmission—In 2019, 85% of pregnant women with HIV received Anti Retroviral Therapy(ART) to prevent transmitting HIV to their babies during pregnancy and childbirth and to protect their own health. Mother to child transmission is the spread of HIV from a woman living with HIV to her child during pregnancy, childbirth , or breastfeeding. Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is also called perinatal transmission of HIV. The use of HIV medicines and other plan of action has assisted with lowering the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 1% or less in the United States and Europe. In other words approximately 1.4 million HIV infections among children were prevented between 2010 and 2018 due to the implementation of Preventing Mother To Child Transmission(PMTCT) services. Pregnant women with HIV take HIV medicines during pregnancy and childbirth to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. After delivery, babies born to women with HIV receive HIV medicine to decrease the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (UNAIDS, 2020). Without any interventions the rate of transmission would be 15-45%. HIV/AIDS is a condition which can be prevented through appropriate safety measures to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. This year the World Health Organization (WHO) is making a plea to all global leaders and citizens to reunite for “global solidarity” to maintain vital HIV services during COVID 19 and beyond – and to ensure continued provision of HIV services for children, adolescents and populations most at risk for the disease. This I believe has been greatly affected by the impact of COVID 19 on the finances of the countries worldwide as well as restrictions placed on the populace in general to try and curtail the spread of the the COVID virus.

Do you know anyone who would benefit from this information ? Share it with them, follow to receive updates when they become available. Have a comment? please place it in the comment box below. Is there something you want to discuss? let me know in the comment section.

Parent Month

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We never know the love of a parent until we become parents ourselves” Henry Ward Beecher

The month of November is being celebrated as parent month the focus is on engaging the fathers within these families. Statistics from the Census Bureau, 2017 revealed that 19.7 million children,(or greater than 1 in 4), live without a father in the home. There are several consequences of fathers’ absence in the home or family, they are as follows;

  • children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems.  The statistics also revealed that boys were more likely to become involved in crime, and girls were more likely to become pregnant adolescents.
  • Children in homes where father are absent are four times more likely to be poor and they are more likely to experience behavioral problems. The research also revealed that 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families.
  • Involved fathers improve their children’s overall emotional and social well being
  • Involved fathers reduced the mothers’ parenting stress
  • Men with absent fathers are more likely to become absent fathers themselves. As it relates to women with absent fathers they are also more likely to have children with absent fathers.
  • The other findings revealed that 92 % of imprisoned parents were fathers

It is very important for fathers to be involved as they can play a essential role, especially in the cognitive, behavioral, and overall health and well-being aspects of a child’s life; having a positive male role model helps an adolescent boy develop positive gender-role characteristics; adolescent girls are more likely to form positive opinions of men and are better able to relate to them when parented by an involved father. As we celebrate parents month I urge all parents to love their children, support them, allow them to live and enjoy their childhood, provide the guidance needed , be a good role model to them. Attend parenting sessions to gain new insight into any areas in your role which needs to be strengthened, get professional help if you are not managing. Protect the children

Do you have a comment ? want to add to the discussion please share them in the comment section below, share this post with other and follow to receive updates when they become available.

Diabetes Awareness

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The month of November is being observed as Diabetes Awareness month, as with any individual who can be affected by diabetes; so too are pregnant women affected likewise. What is diabetes mellitus ? It is sometimes called “sugar” . Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how the body utilizes blood glucose (sugar). Glucose is essential to an individual’s health as it’s an important source of energy for the cells that make up the muscles and tissues. It’s also the brain’s main source of fuel(America Diabetes Association, 2020).

Types of Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes; type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes the pancreas makes no insulin . The body breaks down the carbohydrates eaten into blood sugar that it uses for energy—and insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type with this type the pancreas makes some insulin. This means that the body doesn’t use insulin accurately. And while some people can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication or insulin to help manage it.

Gestational diabetes is diabetes diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy and it affects how the cells use glucose . Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect the pregnancy and the baby’s health. Women with gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and at delivery. These women and possibly their children are also at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the future(America Diabetes Association, 2020).

Statistics revealed that 34.2 million Americans that is 1 in 10person have diabetes, 88 million American adults that is roughly 1 in 3 have prediabetes, new diabetes cases were higher among non-Hispanic blacks and people of Hispanic origin than non-Hispanic Asians and non-Hispanic whites (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[CDC], 2020). Other results further revealed that;

  • Approximately 463 million adults (20-79 years) were living with diabetes; by 2045 this will rise to 700 million
  • The proportion of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing in most countries
  • 79% of adults with diabetes were living in low- and middle-income countries
  • 1 in 5 of the people who are above 65 years old have diabetes
  • 1 in 2 (232 million) people with diabetes were undiagnosed
  • Diabetes caused 4.2 million deaths (International Diabetes Federation, 2020).

It is important to know your blood glucose level as this will help with diagnosing and appropriate management of the blood glucose level. A1C is the name of the test to be performed. The test results gives a picture of the average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. The higher the levels, the greater the risk of developing diabetes complications. The aim for most adults with diabetes is an A1C that is less than 7%. The interpritation of the results are as follows;

  • If the A1C level is between 5.7 and less than 6.5%, the levels have been in the prediabetes range.
  • If there is an A1C level of 6.5% or higher, the levels were in the diabetes range(America Diabetes Association, 2020). There are various factors that contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. However, the major factor contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes is lifestyle and behaviour associated with urbanization which includes; consumption of unhealthy foods and inactive lifestyles with sedentary behaviour. Studies from various parts of the world have established that lifestyle modification with physical activity and/or healthy diet can delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. These factors are in our control let us keep active, eat healthy and exercise.
  • Do you know someone who is in need of this information ? share it with them to increase the awareness of diabetes, follow to receive updates when they become available. Do have more to add or a question to ask? please write it in the comment section below.

Breast Cancer Education

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The month of October was being observed as Breast Cancer awareness month. The month has ended. However, individuals need to continue the screening for early detection as this will allow for early intervention(s). Breast cancer is a group of diseases in which cells in breast tissue change and divide uncontrolled, typically resulting in a lump or mass. Most breast cancers begin in the lobules (America Cancer Society, 2019). Statistic revealed that one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, breast cancer accounts for 15% of total cancer deaths and is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, following lung cancer. Men are more likely than women (51% versus 36%) to be diagnosed with advanced regional or distant-stage) breast cancer, which likely reflects delayed detection because of decreased awareness.

Breast cancer in men is about 100 times less common among white men than among white women.  It is about 70 times less common among Black men than Black women . As in Black women, Black men with breast cancer tend to have a worse prognosis . For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 833(America Cancer Society, 2020).

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer typically does not have any symptoms when the tumor is small and can be easily detected.

The most common physical sign is a painless lump. Sometimes breast cancer
spreads to underarm lymph nodes and causes a lump or swelling, even before the original breast tumor is large enough to be felt.

Less common signs and symptoms include breast pain or heaviness; persistent changes, such as swelling, thickening, or redness of the skin; and nipple
changes, such as spontaneous discharge (especially if bloody), scaliness, or retraction.

According to America Cancer Society, 2019 more than 3.8 million women living in USA with a history of breast cancer were cancer-free, while others still had evidence
of cancer and may have been undergoing treatment. More than 150,000 breast cancer survivors are living with metastatic disease, three-fourths of whom were originally diagnosed with stage I-III. Being diagnosed with breast cancer does not always mean immediate death. The individual will need a lot of support to be able to go through the various stages.

I implore you to do your breast examination at least once per month as per recommendation from studies identified. The age which was highlighted were persons 50 and older. However, with the increased hormones present in food it would be wise to do screening earlier and have a modification in diet, spiritual connection and living your life and enjoy the blessings of being alive for another day. It can be mentally, physically and emotionally tedious for those individuals diagnosed with cancer. And it can cause a financial strain on the individual and their family as well.

Do you have anything to add to the topic? please write it in the comment section below, like, follow to receive updates when they become available and share with someone to improve their knowledge and increase awareness.

Mental Health Week

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This week is being observed as Mental Health Week what is mental health? why is it important? According to The World Health Organization(WHO), 2020 “Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” It is also important for women during the maternity period, whether they are pregnant or has delivered as well as the populace in general. Mental health does not only encompasses the absence of mental illness but seeking to ensure your well-being and happiness.

Statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 2019 revealed that approximately 11.2 million adults in the USA had a severe psychological condition. Everyone has some risk of developing a mental health disorder, no matter their age, gender, income, or ethnicity. There are several risk factors which can contribute to a breakdown in mental health and they are as follows;

  • Social and financial situation, biological factors, as well as lifestyle choices can all shape a person’s mental health
  • continuous social and economic pressure
  • an individual’s occupation (high stressed jobs)
  • a person’s level of social involvement
  • Education
  • Housing quality

Maintaining your mental health is also important during this pandemic as persons may have lost their jobs and not readily have a steady source of income to meet their daily needs. The individual may also be the sole breadwinner, individuals working from home with home schooling for one or multiple children, needing to purchase devices for online schooling, persons who do not have the expertise or patience to engage their children with online schooling are at risk for a break down if they do not incorporate appropriate coping strategies, persons may also be affected by physical and verbal abuse as well which can also affect the individual’s mental health. Persons may also be suffering in silence and affected daily by the pressures of life.

The frontline workers during this pandemic are also at an increased risk, persons who may also have underlining illness may also be at risk; as they would be advised to stay at home and be away from family members and friends for safety reasons during this pandemic.

To ensure you are experiencing good mental health resolutions will need to be made to ensure engagement in self care activities are undertaken. Possible ways to maintain positive mental health include:

  • Getting professional help if you need it
  • Connecting with others via telephone or observing relevant protocols(observed during the pandemic) if face to face meeting is needed
  • Staying positive
  • Getting physically active
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Developing coping skills
  • Develop new hobbies

Mental health is very important and I implore us all to keep our mental health intact through appropriate strategies as well as realizing your full potential, coping with the stresses of life, working productively and making meaningful contributions to your communities. Let us look out for someone who needs a listening ear, check in on someone who you haven’t spoken to in a long while to see how they are doing. Like the post, share to reach someone who needs to hear and follow to receive updates when they become available.

” Mental health is not a destination, but a process its about how you drive, not where you are going”

Miscarriage Awareness Month

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This month is being celebrated as Miscarriage awareness month ; on October 15, 2020 it will be observed as miscarriage awareness day. It can be quite sad hearing about the loss of a pregnancy and it can be extremely sad especially if the pregnancy is a precious one(couple trying to conceive after multiple attempts at a final success) . According to The Centers for Disease Control(CDC) ,2020 a miscarriage is usually described as the loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy, while a stillbirth is loss of a baby at 20 weeks of pregnancy and later. At whatever stage of the loss the pain is still the same.

Statistics reveal that approximately one pregnancy in 100 at 20 weeks of pregnancy and later is affected by stillbirth, and each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States. Other statistics related to miscarriage revealed that one in four women have a miscarriage. Before starting this post I did not realize that there was a month dedicated to celebrating this time in an individual’s life. I believe this is truly needed as persons maybe suffering in silence with the loss of a child either through miscarriages or stillbirths.

The couple may not display the grief or may not be coping well with the loss. It can be stressful emotionally, physically and mentally with having to explain to family or friends about the loss especially if the pregnancy was advance or the loss was a stillbirth. The couple will have to deal with explaining to younger sibling(s) about the absence of the new addition. The health care personnel has a responsibility to refer the couple for counselling sessions to provide an avenue for support so the individuals affected can grief appropriately with the loss of their parental role. Family members can provide support by being around to offer help either through assisting with household chores, cooking a meal, keeping other kids so the individuals affected can get some time to go through the loss. Person may remain silent and not disclose the loss as person sometimes may not attribute it as a big loss as the baby would not have been born.

This post will help to raise awareness on the need for support of individuals who suffer in silence with the loss of a pregnancy. Help me to help others and support someone this month who maybe affected by the loss of a pregnancy. Like, follow to receive updates when they become available and share to increase awareness, have something to say about this topic? place it in the comment section below.

Breastfeeding Week

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This week September 13-19 is being observed as National Breastfeeding Week. Family members, spouses, significant others please support the mothers as they try to give their babies the best start to life through breastfeeding.

It can be a tedious task for mothers who may have to deal with resistance from individuals around her. With suggestions to introduce other food to the baby before six months. As they are of the belief that the baby will not receive adequate nutrients or enough quantity of milk to meet daily requirements. I must dispel this myth and make a request for significant others, spouses, family members to be there to offer support for the mothers who want to breastfeed their babies. The baby will get all that is needed at each feeding and at the correct amount.

This breastfeeding week encourage a mother, support a mother as the breast is the best. It has benefits for mother, baby and society. Did you know that breastfeeding burns between 500-600 calories a day? That means some mothers might end up losing weight without any additional exercise.

Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, and postpartum depression. And, the longer a woman breastfeeds in her lifetime, the more protection she receives. So i implore you to support moms during the process and encourage her to feed her baby to give him the best start to life.

Do you have a question? would you like to add to the discussion? Please place it in the comment section below, like, follow to receive updates when they become available and share with others to improve their knowledge. Attached is a link to an article which provides more information. Happy reading #supportmoms

Be the one to make the difference

” we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not please ourselves”

There is much to reflect on during this pandemic with the lock downs, the working from home context. All these new occurrence are faced with the various challenges; there is a lot of time to think, engage in new activities, setting personal and professional goals towards achievement.

As with midwifery care listening and observational skills are important and it is a keen lesson which can be applied to daily living for all; as these skills are essential lessons which can be applied.

We see persons outward appearance they maybe smiling but deep down inside they maybe struggling with life issues( loss of job, loss of finances, loss of relationship, loss of the ability to have kids, loss of mental health, loss of health, loss of peace, intimate partner violence) and the list can go on and on. No one truly knows what each person is going through behind the smile, behind the “I’m ok ” but we should observe the facial expressions and we will be able to identify if they are congruent with what was expressed, listen attentively and be genuine about it. Offer to be a person to contact if there is a need for support, guidance or even to pray. If you offer to help be ready to help at any time when the need arise. To help solidify the need for early intervention and support for persons experiencing any emotional distress, evidence was reviewed to get a mental image of what persons face to bring the message home.

Statistic from the Centers for Disease Control(CDC), 2020 revealed that since the pandemic there has been an increase in mental health challenges which is associated with mitigation activities( social distancing and lockdown/quarantine orders/stay at home order). The study also revealed that symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder increased substantially in the United States during April–June of 2020, when compared with the same period in 2019.

“The percentage of participants who reported having seriously considered suicide in the 30 days before completing the survey (10.7%) was significantly higher among respondents aged 18–24 years (25.5%), minority racial/ethnic groups (Hispanic respondents [18.6%], non-Hispanic black [black] respondents [15.1%]), self-reported unpaid caregivers for adults (30.7%), and essential workers (21.7%)” (CDC, 2020). This number is quite alarming and this is for one country so it can be safely said persons are suffering in silence.

For some persons their homes are not a haven but a source of intimate partner violence(IPV) or family violence. Women/men experiencing IPV are afraid to be alone with their abusive partners and experience a high degree of social isolation because they are afraid to tell their families and friends what is happening, because of shame and fear that their abusive partner will hurt them, their children, or family members in retaliation for disclosure. External relational stressors, such as unemployment and housing instability, either caused or exacerbated by COVID-19 increase the opportunities for relational conflict (Capaldi, Knoble, Shortt, & Kim,2012). Pregnant women are also at risk for emotional turmoil during this time as well. This can be as a result of hormonal changes which also compound the situation.

I am using this medium to call on all the readers who know of someone in the scenario above; who maybe experiencing this or any emotional turmoil to reach out to these persons, send them a message, give a call, share a counsellor’s number or a place of safety number so they can call. It is important to seek help, speak to a trusted individual or a stranger if you don’t want anyone in your connection to know.

Don’t turn a blind eye… Do you have a comment ?, would you like to share how you have helped someone? Have a topic you would like to be discussed? leave it in the comment section below, share with your contacts, like if this was helpful and follow to receive updates when they become available.

Each one helps the other, saying to one another Take Courage !”

Breastfeeding

“Mothers and babies form an inseparable biological and social unit; the health and nutrition of one group cannot be divorced from the health and nutrition of the other.” World Health Organization

I have been reading a lot of interesting articles and I thought I would use this avenue to draw some attention to the content of these articles.

The month of August was dedicated to exclusive breastfeeding this means the baby should receive breast milk only for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. Information from The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that If breastfeeding were increased to near universal levels, about 820 000 infant lives would be saved annually . Worldwide, approximately 40% of infants below six months of age are exclusively breastfed.

WHO has endorsed breastfeeding as it is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children.

Facts about breastfeeding

  1. Breastfeeding is significant for the first six months of life as it provides all the necessary nutrients needed for growth and development
  2. Breastfeeding protects infants from childhood illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia (the major causes of childhood mortality) as immunity is provided through the antibodies found in breastmilk. The breastmilk is readily available and affordable
  3. Breast feeding also provides benefits for the mother it provides a form of contraceptive for the first six months of exclusive breastfeeding. It decreases the risk of ovarian cancer , type two diabetes and depression
  4. Breastfeeding has long term benefits for children as those who were breastfed are less likely to be overweight or obese are less likely to have type two diabetes and perform better in intelligence test

5. Society benefits overall when mothers breastfeed.

  • Breastfeeding saves lives. Research shows that if 90% of families breastfed exclusively for six months, nearly 1,000 deaths among infants could be prevented each year.
  • Breastfeeding saves money. Medical costs may be lower for fully breastfed infants than never-breastfed infants. Breastfed infants usually need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.
  • Breastfeeding also helps make a more productive workforce. Mothers who breastfeed may miss less work to care for sick infants than mothers who feed their infants formula. Employer medical costs may also be lower.
  • Breastfeeding is better for the environment. Formula cans and bottle supplies create more trash and plastic waste. Your milk is a renewable resource that comes packaged and warmed.

There is much benefits to gain from breastfeeding for mother, baby and society. I encourage mothers and fathers, significant others, family members to get involved in giving their baby the best start through breastfeeding exclusively for the first six month (nothing else to be given to the infant until the completed sixth month). Provide support for the mothers as it can be stressful having others around you discouraging breastfeeding or encouraging introduction of other meals before the stated time( unless there is a medical indication for not allowing breastfeeding).

Do you have questions about breastfeeding? do you have a comment please leave it in the comment section below, like, share ( to improve someone’s knowledge on the content) follow to receive updates when they become available. The article below will also provide a good read for the topic.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/health/20200805/breast-still-best-mothers-encouraged-exclusively-feed-babies

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