International Week For Breast Feeding

courtsey image WBW

courtsey image WBW

Breast feeding

The world breast feeding week (WBW) was in the first week of august.

Yes my blog did not commemorate the event, simply because I realize that ground reality varies.

Most women today are aware of the need to nurse their child. But challenges are many. The woman could be working in the formal, or non-formal or home setting but she should be empowered to claim her and her baby’s right to be breast fed.

In 1993 WBW had a campaign on Mother-Friendly workplace initiative.  There has been viable improvement achieved over the past 22 yrs. There are laws in place and there are women who are not satisfied with the law. There are also women who abuse the law.

The 1990 Innocenti Declaration recognized that breast feeding provides ideal nutrition for the infants and contributes to their health, growth and development. There is much that remains to be done despite 25yrs of hard work and the progress achieved.

image courtesy WBW

image courtesy WBW

What WABA called for this year was

  • Organized global action to support such that they combine breast feeding and work is it in the formal sector or non-formal sector at home.
  • Maternity protection laws along the ILO Maternity protection convention.
  • Inclusion of breastfeeding target indicators in the sustainable development goals.

What I would like to share is what some women did achieve and this is what was shared on the platform of SHEROES.IN, when women came up with their job challenges.

Let me start with Dr.Lathika (name changed to maintain her privacy) she was heading the department of Periodontology  and was a nursing mother, first week after she returned to work post partum she would drive home nurse the kid and return. After which she just shifted the crib to her cabin. The child would there and she would excuse herself when she had to nurse him. When a staff nurse was in the similar situation she suggested that the nurse use either uses the nurses room, she then ensured that there was a duty staff room, like the students lounge where duty doctors could relax and many of the lady staff started leaving their kids in that room along with the baby sitter.

Mrs.Shashi Deshpande (name changed to ensure her privacy) taught in an engineering college. Post maternity leave, she would express milk into a feeding bottle and refrigerate it, and her mother would feed the child while she was away. Of course when she was at home she nursed the child herself.

Image courtesy internet

Image courtesy internet

But the most interesting share came from the CEO of facebook, when she had to travel  leaving a month old child was definitely  not done, definitely for two months period. Colleagues suggested using fed-ex to transport expressed milk, various other suggestion each seemed more unviable than the other. She then came up with the simplest solution. She requested for a place within her workspace where she could leave the child with a sitter and take a break to feed. To her surprise the other person on her team was a single father with three months old kid, things worked fine.

At the end the end of the day generations of women have coped with work and nursing. We just need to tap that memory and rewrite it in contemporary context.

“Breastfeeding does not have to be hard. Breastfeeding is natural. With rare exceptions, it becomes hard only because of all the interference caused by the medicalization of birth and unsupportive culture. Animal’s breastfeed instinctively with no need for supplementation, classes, or support. We as humans also have these instincts. We have become so disconnected. Breastfeeding my children has been one of my greatest joys in life, and I am filled with sorrow when I imagine how many mothers and infants haven’t been able to experience this because of misinformation.”
― Adrienne CarmackReclaiming My Birth Rights



tresamme-2Right as a teenager, I had this issue of feeling things crawl on my skin; this would be followed by terrible itching and rashes. My back and forehead were particularly susceptible. After the burns it has turned worse.

I remember visiting the skin department at KMC Manipal and the doctor diagnosing Trichoptilosis

Trichoptilosis   has its origin in Greek.

Tricho= hair

Ptilosis== arrangement of feathers.

Together it describes fraying or splitting of the hair shaft due stress.

Hair splits when it becomes dry or damaged and the only way to get rid of this is to get the hair trimmed. But preventive care can be done.

One needs to find out if the hair is split only in the end or has multiple splits on the length of the same strand. Trimming the split ends is a good idea

  • The trimming should be done at least an inch above the split.
  • Catching the split early is crucial else the split could increase in length right up to the scalp.

Periodic trimming of the hair will rid it off the split end and promote growth and as well as giving a healthy look to the hair. Once the split end is trimmed out, it products should be used to prevent its split.

Products that claim to seal the split end do not really reverse the damage; they only make the hair appear healthier. But these products do prevent future split ends.

Uses of deep conditioning once a week, oil, and hair masks are all great ways to maintain hair health.

Like grandma said don’t brush wet hair, as the hair is more fragile?

Constant brushing and styling, frequent washing and using hot tools could all damages the hair making it brittle and more prone to splits.

Before drying or straightening the hair it’s a great idea to use heat protection serum, it protects the hair from getting damaged due to heat.

About a fortnight ago I received my trail pack from Tresammè, for the Tresammè experience with my knowledge of Trichoptilosis I was really sceptic. With the first wash there was kind of bounce it took two days for the hair to become brittle enough to irritate the skin.

Before the second wash I had ,had a hot oil head massage, so the hair after the wash was very limp.

post tresamme  hair style

post tresamme hair style

After the third wash I followed it with a leave on hair mask. Believe me for nearly four days I was free of the teasing from the hair tip. I did not have to cut my hair, or tie it up like I do every summer to prevent skin irritation.

The Tresammè split remedy system  I realized gently cleanses and moisturizer the hair, so it becomes manageable and looks healthy. The unique reconstruction complex binds the split ends with continued use it fixes the damage as soon as it occurs. As for reducing the split ends up to 80% I could not get it graded by my hair stylist.  But of course my hair is returning to its fresh soft smooth appearance and is much easier to style.

Tresammè, of course had sent the shampoo with the conditioner but the split end sealing serum that really got me hooked.

I’m glad I tried it out.

The Sanskaar

mother and childI have been attending a workshop by Ustaad Bah’uddin Dagar, where Ustaad, made an observation about sanskaar. When we say sanskaar we tend to think of values or upbringing with an underlying infliction of conservative outlook. But sanskaar, is more than that, it something that gives an individual his outlook to himself, world and his relation to the world, this includes the physiologic, and psychological aspects. The sanskaar start from before birth, according to ayurveda one needs to take care before pregnancy that is basically talking about planning a baby that would involve create the mother, and the environment in which the child is to be nurtured. Then there are sanskaar during pregnancy. This is something I will vouch for with my personal experience. The emotion, the thought the sadhana that the mother imbibes during pregnancy is definitely the child’s legacy. Abhimanyu is not a figment of Vyasa’s imagination but a physio-psychological fact. Have you seen a dancer depicting a baby the first thing they show is a baby being carried, then placed in a cradle the more innovative one’s will show you a baby massage. This is a practise done away in many houses, but believe me it is necessary. Why is a massage necessary?

  1. It helps to prevent dryness and easy transition of skin texture from the womb to the external environment.
  2. Gives suppleness to the skin.
  3. The muscles are toned
  4. Bone is strengthened,
  5. Touch creates a sense of security in a child.

dabur lal tailIn children over 3mnts, the massage helps to release trapped gas and even constipation. What is the massage done with, in the coast of course coconut oil; the best oil to use is the oil that is locally produced and used is everyday cooking. The most important aspect of the massage is the bath should be only after about 45mnts of the massage. This allows the oil to be absorbed by the skin, if the child is left uncovered in an area mildly exposed to sun; it activates the natural production of vitamin D3. Traditionally massages need to carry on everyday at least until the age of 5. And at regular intervals after that. Remember the Sunday tail-abhyanjana before we became, civilized global citizens and Sunday came to mean sleeping late, and bingeing on food? Coming to the oil used, in the west coast traditionally coconut oil is used. This is fortified with Shah Jeera and turmeric. Actual massage techniques – in the next blog.


History of hypnosis.

shammi-hypnosisHistory of hypnosis.

1734-1815 an Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer believed that there was a fluid in the nerves. The blockage of the flow this flow would result in disease. He used techniques initially with magnets and then with his hands to unblock the pathway of these fluids. Mesmer became the acknowledged father of this therapy and his technique was called mesmerism.

Jean Martin Charcot (1825-93) uses hypnosis to deal with hysterics.

Hypolyte Bernheim (1837-1919) regarded hypnosis as a sleep mode where the subject focuses on a suggestion made by the hypnotist there by focusing on the psychological nature of hypnosis.

1840 John esdail a surgeon form UK used hypnosis to anaesthetise his patients prior to surgery. He called it mesmeric sleep.

1841: James braid used the term hypnotism to make it subject cantered instead of the prevailing operator centred therapy called as Mesmerism. James braid refers to the healing methods of the Egyptians, Hindu’s and Greeks.

By 1920 experimental and investigation by psychiatrists like Clark. L. Hull (1884-1957) demystified hypnosis saying that it was essentially a normal part of human nature, where the subject’s imagination played an important role. Some subjects being more susceptible than others.

Ishammi-hypnotherapyn 1955 British medical association accepted the teaching of hypnosis in medical colleges. In 1958 American medical association followed suit.

Hypnosis is a useful tool both in medical practise and dentistry. Particularly in treating addictions. But should be conducted in professional controlled setting.

Misuse of hypnosis can lead to dire consequences.


Warning signs….of another kind.


When we say dentistry every one thinks of filling decayed teeth, replacing the missing one and re-arranging the ones not aligned.

Well there is more to it.

If tackled properly many psychosomatic disorders manifest in the oral cavity as the first signals, or manifest as disturbances in the mouth physiology causing symptoms elsewhere which no amount of treatment or medication can solve. Migraines being a major one.

Face is the identity of a person so it is attended to. The muscles of the mouth and around it help in suckling as a baby, transient thumb-sucking, pencil biting in many adolescents and as erotic zones in adults, these therefore become zones of sensuous satisfaction and the target or platform for symptoms when not satisfactory.

Sunithi presented as a patient in the ENT as pain behind the ear, she was referred to dental section as the ENT did find anything wrong. By the time she appeared at the dental clinic her symptoms were classic, —

  • pain behind the ear;
  • clicking sound and tenderness when opening the mouth or eating

She was suffering from Myofacial Pain Dysfunction Syndrome. Studies by Dr.Bailoor and Dr.Kumaraswamy show that this predominantly in women in a ratio of 1:6, and associated with low back ache, mouth ulcers, irritable bowels, and asthma.

Adithi came to our clinic with burning tongue and mouth, but there were no lesions, interestingly she referred from the allergy dept. As she had been there assuming that it was an allergic condition. On taking detain history we found that this was the classic burning mouth syndrome that manifests predominantly in premenopausal and menopausal women. It was associated with depression and hot flushes.

With the over advertising of Diabetes, many executives and PR personals take a self prescribed diabetes test assuming that dryness of mouth is indicative of diabetes. It could be, but there is more to it. Dry mouth or Xerostomia could be due to anything starting from normal fear, physical exertion, medication, pathologic disorders like disturbance of the salivary gland. Dehydration, depression just to name a few.

The most popular presentation is the patient who has visited the physician, ENT, ophthalmologist   homeopath, Ayurveda and has not found relief these patients talk of pain in the lower third or middle third of the face. The pain does not follow a logical anatomic path, or trigger. Each sitting the patient will talk of a new location. These patients suffer from Atypical Migrating Facial Pain seen in menopausal women, Geriatric cases, sometimes young individuals who are single and socially challenged. It is in reality a call for attention.

All these disorders are Psychosomatic and call for help. The patients have to be treated with corrections of bite, or minor physiological obstructions that are present, and counselling sometimes medications are required. Hypnotherapy goes a long way in treating these disorders.

Tobacco control activities and dentistry.

smokerrsDental practitioners are in a unique position to educate patients about the negative impact of tobacco on oral health.

Simple brief clinical intervention can help in the patient quitting tobacco.

1997 USA conducted a survey by mailing out questionnaires’ to 4000 dentists and dental health professionals.

The following results emerged.

  • Specific quitting tactics were discussed by 49% of the practitioners with smokers and 48% clinician smoke to smokeless users.
  • When it came to quitting 26$ clinicians spoke to smokers and 35% to smokeless tobacco users.
  • Self help and educatory materials were handed by 32% clinicians to smokers and 35% to smokeless tobacco users.
  • Nicotine gums were prescribed by 1 practitioner to smokers, and 3 practitioners to smokeless tobacco users.
  • Nicotine patches were prescribed by 16 to smokers and 9 to smokeless tobacco user.
  • Referring to cessation clinics  or programmes was done by 14% to smokers and 11% to non smokeless tobacco users.

The barriers cited were

  • Lack of insurance reimbursement
  • Time investment and revenue was not profitable
  • Level of confidence to guide the patient
  • Time constrain of a normal practise.

Essentially tobacco o control does not seem a routine part of practise of many hygienists despite the pathologic effect of tobacco abuse d being noted in the oral cavity.

Mama No Soak


No more soaking,Image

The image this conjures?  A woman with a toddler and a bucket of dirty diapers, a toddler in a puddle,

But believe me we have only changed one soak to the other, when I see the fall out of diapers and sanitary towels, I feel like shouting no more soaking pad, and diapers, use cloth,  give it a hot water treatment after wards.

When we say diapers,

The crappy advts. That come with

  • “kid sleeps through the night so he grows.”
  • Wet diapers lead to serious chest infections.
  • Wet cotton diapers lead to rashes.

The great brand of diapers come and the child is free of “unhygienic factors ” so the child is closer to achieving super person status.!!!

Well young parents, before you buy that huggies, biggies and poko-pads, just look around we are second only to china when it comes to population, so obviously we are not hitting the mortality scale.

Some unpleasant truth is

  • Diapers are made of sodium polyacrylate –SAP–a chemical so that it absorbs up 100 times its weight in water,
    •  this can stick to the children’s genitals and cause allergic reactions.
    • SAP  was proved to be responsible for Toxic Shock Syndrome
    • The skin irritation caused by SAP lead Staphylococcus infection.
    • In 1985 tests on rats showed hemorrhaging, cardiovascular failure and ultimately death.
    • Many diapers use VOC – volatile organic compounds like ethylbenzene, toluene and xylene. According to the EPA some VOC’s carcinogenic, some cause neurological problems, eye irritation and decreased immunity.
    • Dioxin is a by product of paper bleaching used in disposable diapers and training pants, in the laboratory animals, this showed to be the most toxic, and causing liver disease.
    • 8 billion disposable diapers end in Landfills, in the US alone, this adds the human waste to the landfill.
    • Of course in India we have not yet come up with law against human fecal matter in the household garbage.
    • It takes 500 yrs for these diapers to decompose in a landfill. The non biodegradable products like absorbent vinyl layers, Velcro, absorbent gelling material and plastic packing which makes up 30% of each diaper does not ever breakdown!!
    • About 100 viruses can survive in disposable diaper, or training pant for months. This includes polio virus, hepatitis specially if the child is just vaccinated. It is a biohazard.
    • Dioxins are also persistent environmental pollutants.

I know parents who want to ensure their good sleep, reduction in laundry cycle use absorbent disposable diapers at night. Ladies and gentleman, your child maybe will have to pay a heavy price for your comfortable sleep.

By the way bed wetting is not some life endangering problem most kids outgrow it. The emotional contribution is not yet known but logically nocturnal urination is normal in all young creatures.

If you have a girl child from diaper to sanitary towels her risk persists.

For Dioxin is a great component of the sanitary pad.  So is Asbestos. The Asbestos guys get away as it is not”ingested.”

Dioxin is also linked to immune and reproductive disorders and endometriosis.

Before you feel very smug about the  NO MORE SOAKING just take a check if you are willing to pay the price.