Breastfeeding is a healthy and convenient way to nourish your baby. There are so many health benefits for both you and your beautiful new baby, but some women may have difficulty producing enough milk. Here’s a closer look at what might affect your milk production and some foods you can try to boost lactation, including a few yummy recipes.
NewGel+ for Scars
Recently it was Valentine's day, and maybe you have a permanent reminder of an ex that you wish you could get rid of. Getting your tattoo may have seemed like a good idea at the time, and maybe it represents something that was once meaningful to you. Now you’re at a point in your life where you no longer wish to see this reminder and regret getting it in the first place. If this sounds like you, don’t worry, you aren’t alone: according to a 2015 Harris Poll, 23% of Americans ages 18 to 29 regret getting their tattoo. Fortunately, advances in removal procedures have made it possible to remove once permanent tattoos.
Congratulations on your new baby! Now that he or she is here, you’re probably wondering what to do next. You’ve spent the last 9 months tackling pregnancy but knowing what to do after giving birth is a whole new challenge. We want to make things easier for you by giving you a quick rundown on what you should do after giving birth; from what to pack in your diaper bag to getting your pre-baby body back!
Rhinoplasty is often referred to as a "nose job" by patients. This procedure enhances facial harmony and the proportions of the nose. It can also correct impaired breathing caused by structural defects in the nose. Rhinoplasty is often used to correct nose width at the bridge, the size and position of the nostrils, nose profile with visible humps or depressions on the bridge, nasal tip that is enlarged or bulbous, drooping, upturned or hooked, nostrils that are large, wide or upturned, and nasal asymmetry.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder where the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows elsewhere in the abdominal cavity. Endometriosis most commonly involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining the pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that manifests itself in many different ways and with varying symptoms. Known as a ‘woman’s disease’, over 90% of Lupus cases occur in females aged 15-44. Lupus is a disorder of the immune system, where antibodies literally attack the major organs in the body, including the heart, kidneys, brain, lungs, joints, and skin. It is a disease that is notoriously difficult to diagnose, due to the fact that its symptoms often mimic those of other diseases. 66% of those with lupus develop a skin condition.
A cleft palate is a birth defect that occurs when a baby’s lip or mouth does not form properly during pregnancy. The roof of the mouth (palate) is formed between the sixth and ninth weeks of pregnancy, and a cleft palate happens if the tissue that makes up the roof of the mouth does not join together completely while the baby is in utero. For some babies, both the front and back parts of the palate are open, for others only part of the palate is open. This type of birth defect is commonly referred to as “orofacial clefts” by medical professionals. According to the CDC each year in the United States, about 2,650 babies are born with a cleft palate and 4,440 babies are born with a cleft lip with or without a cleft palate. Isolated orofacial clefts, or clefts that occur with no other major birth defects, are one of the most common types of birth defects in the United States. Depending on the cleft type, the rate of isolated orofacial clefts can vary from 50% to 80% of all clefts.
What Causes a Cleft Palate
The causes of a cleft palate are mostly still unknown by researchers and medical professionals. However there are theories that cleft palates are caused by a combination of genes and other factors like what the mother came into contact with, what she eats or drinks or certain medications she uses while pregnant. Recently, the CDC reported about some factors that can increase the chance of having a baby with a cleft palate:
- Smoking―Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with a cleft palate than women who do not smoke.
- Diabetes―Women with diabetes diagnosed before pregnancy have an increased risk of having a child with a cleft palate, compared to women who did not have diabetes.
- Use of certain medicines―Women who used certain medicines to treat epilepsy, such as topiramate or valproic acid, during the first trimester (the first 3 months) of pregnancy have an increased risk of having a baby with a cleft palate, compared to women who didn’t take these medicines.
Cleft Palate Surgery
Reconstructive surgery for a cleft palate is done when the child is between 9 months and 1 year old. The surgery is put off until this age because it allows the palate to change as the baby grows and will help prevent further speech problems as the child develops. The goal of cleft lip surgery is to close the separation in the lip and restore normal function, structure and appearance to the upper lip. During surgery incisions are made on either side of the cleft to create ﬂaps of tissue that are then drawn together and stitched to close the cleft.
The repair of a cleft palate requires repositioning of tissue and muscles to close the cleft and rebuild the roof of the mouth. Incisions are made on either side of the cleft and specialized ﬂap techniques are used to reposition muscle and the hard and soft components of the palate. The repair is then stitched closed, generally at the midline of the roof of the mouth, providing enough length of the palate to allow for normal feeding, speech development and continued growth throughout life. Cleft palate incisions can be closed with removable or absorbable sutures.
The resulting external scars of a cleft repair are generally positioned in the normal contours of the upper lip and nose. Over time, these scars will fade and the child's ability to grow and function normally will continue to improve.
After a child has had reconstructive cleft palate surgery it is important to keep the stitches clean and without crusting. Parents will be shown how to clean the suture line and apply ointment while in the hospital. It is important to keep the child from hurting the incision or putting hands or toys in their mouth during recovery. Children will typically wear arm restraints for up to 10 days after surgery to keep them from bending their elbows, gaining access to their mouth and disrupting the healing process. Children spend one night in the hospital and are discharged once they begin to drink an adequate amount of fluids.
NewGel+ offers a silicone gel for scars that has a soft and silky feel to it. This gel dries quickly which is a great bonus when using it on a child. The gel is not sticky and also has no odor. All of these qualities create a great combination product for children. There will be no provoking smell that makes the child want to wipe away the product and the smooth application of the gel will not make the child uncomfortable. This product is safe to use on children ages 2 and up. Over time, the gel will flatten, fade and reduce the appearance of the scar. It can be used on both old and new scars. If your child still has a scar from cleft palate surgery, you do not have to be worried about starting this process too late. This gel can be used at any time. If your child is under the age of 2, consult your physician or surgeon and use any scar product under their direction.
Every year, there are more discoveries being made concerning the science of skin and how to better heal wounds and reduce scarring. One of the currently popular techniques to reduce scarring is dermabrasion. This is a procedure that is often used in conjunction with topical or sheeting scar treatment options. In this article, we will outline and explain the way dermabrasion works.
What is dermabrasion?
Currently, dermabrasion is successfully being used to reduce pitted acne scars. Although several parts of the body are suitable for dermabrasion treatment, it is most ideally used for scars on the face. The results of the treatment on areas of the body other than the face are considered to be positive but not ideal. However, the results of dermabrasion on the face have been successful for many patients. Dermabrasion does not remove scars altogether, but significantly reduces the noticeability of them. Dermabrasion is considered a cosmetic procedure and is usually done on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia.
Dermabrasion is used on specific areas of the face. It is said to be used more often than other scar treatment — such as chemical peels and laser resurfacing — because it is less likely to cause any changes in pigment. When laser resurfacing and chemical peels are applied to parts of the face (as dermabrasion is) they tend to leave visible inconsistencies in texture and pigment of the skin. These inconsistencies can range from slight pigmentation changes to readily apparent lines between treated and untreated areas. Dermabrasion avoids such problems. The technique is such that imperfections are softened, and the result is a blended, integrated look.
Dermabrasion can also be much less costly than a chemical peel or laser resurfacing, especially because it can easily be used on only one area of the face rather than the entire face, as is the case with chemical peels. Chemical peels are usually performed on the entire face for a more uniform look and outcome.
How dermabrasion is performed
Dermabrasion is performed using a tool called a dermabrader. The tool consists of an electric handpiece with a high speed rotating brush. The brush rotates at varying speeds, removing the damaged area of the epidermis. It is a form of controlled injury which encourages the skin to heal with better texture and increased collagen production. The speed and depth of the treatment are controlled by the physician. Slight bleeding may occur during the dermabrasion, but it is unlikely, due to lack of blood vessels in the epidermis layer of the skin. If the dermabrader penetrates to the dermis layer, the patient will experience some bleeding.
For a full face procedure, the physician begins along the chin and works toward the center of the face. WIth this approach, the upper lip, mid-forehead and nose are the last areas to be abraded.
Cautions regarding dermabrasion
You may be unable to receive dermabrasion treatments if you have recently taken skin-thinning medications. Receiving this treatment while on such medications could cause excess bleeding and poor results. If you are considering the procedure, be sure to talk to your doctor about every medication that you take to ensure a safe treatment process.
There is a major disadvantage to the dermabrasion technique. Unlike chemical peels and laser resurfacing, which have predetermined strengths when applied to the face, dermabrasion treatments rely heavily on the skill of the physician performing the procedure. The results are very much operator dependent. The penetration is not pre-programmed, so if the physician giving the treatment uses a more forceful hand, the results will be very different than otherwise. Successful treatment relies on the physician's knowledge, skills and execution. Be sure to do thorough research before receiving dermabrasion. Going to a treatment center that is well-known and has positive reviews showing successful results (often in the form of before and after photos) is in your best interest as a patient.
What to use in conjunction with dermabrasion
Dermabrasion works well when paired with another scar reduction treatment, such as silicone gels or sheets. Newgel+ is a leading provider in scar reduction silicone products. They have a proven track record with their patients and offer medical grade products that work effectively. Their sheets and gels are all quite versatile and easily fit into the lives and routines of patients.
Silicone has been used for more than 30 years in the treatment of scars. In fact, an article published in the scholarly journal Aesthetic Plastic Surgery states that in the treatment arsenal at the disposal of the plastic surgeon, topical silicone therapy usually is considered the first line of treatment. Fortunately, silicone scar treatment products aren’t limited to use by plastic surgeons and other healthcare professionals; various silicone products are available to soften, flatten, and fade your scars from the comfort of your own home. But why does silicone work to heal scars? Keep reading to find out answers to these questions and more!
What Is Silicone
A common misconception is that silicone is an ingredient on its own, when in fact the term silicone refers to a combination of ingredients. Silicones are synthetic polymers made up of repeating units of siloxane (elemental silicon and oxygen) combined with other elements, most typically carbon and hydrogen. Thus, silicones can also be called polysiloxanes. Silicones are extensively used in the cosmetic and medical fields.
Over 50 percent of all new cosmetics introduced globally in the last 10 years contain at least one silicone. Silicones improve the feel, appearance, and performance of cosmetic products. These ingredients act as silky moisturizers, conditioners, solvents, and delivery agents for other skin care ingredients. For example, silicone waxes can prevent water loss from skin while various silicone and gum blends provide a smooth, long-lasting feel. Silicone polyethers enhance moisturization by attracting water to the skin and elastomer silicones can minimize the appearance of enlarged pores as well as diminish small lines and wrinkles.
Effects of Topically Applied Silicone
A myth that has been asserted concerning silicones is that they can cause skin irritation and redness when applied topically. Quite the opposite is true. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests cosmetic grade silicone can reduce skin redness, stinging or irritation for cystic acne and rosacea patients.
Silicones are able to help with skin redness and irritation due to their low surface tension, which enables them to spread easily across the surface of skin and form a protective covering. This covering consists of both water-binding and water-resistant properties. The water-binding portion of the molecule is the highly flexible and mobile siloxane backbone, which binds to moisture in the air and holds it to the skin. This backbone also allows the water-repelling methyl groups to orient themselves toward the surface, creating a waterproof "umbrella” that prevents excess water evaporation from the skin, known as trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL).
Silicones also have wide spaces between each molecule, which form a molecular lattice. The lattice enables the skin to “breathe” by allowing oxygen, nitrogen, and water vapors to pass between them on the way to, or out of, the skin. However, most silicones do not allow liquid water to pass through, which is an ideal quality for preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL) - a leading cause of skin dryness and dehydration. The molecules are also too large to penetrate into the skin, so you don’t have to worry about it getting into your bloodstream or affecting you internally.
Silicone and Scar Healing
Silicone gel exerts several actions that disrupt the scar formation process, thus helping to prevent as well as heal scars. Below are mechanisms reported by the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery which explain how silicone gel heals scars. Note that a certain amount of new collagen is essential to healing a break in the skin, but an excessive amount produces a raised, stiff or thickened scar.
- Silicone gel improves scars by increasing hydration of the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of the skin). This facilitates regulation of fibroblast production and also reduces collagen production. Essentially, this allows skin to “breathe”, thus resulting in a softer and flatter scar.
- Silicone gel assists the body by balancing the expression of growth factors. Certain growth factors stimulate fibroblasts to synthesize more collagen and other growth factors increase the level of collagenases which break down excessive collagen. Silicone gel regulates these growth factors to normalize collagen synthesis.
- Silicone gel guards scars by protecting the injured tissue from bacterial invasion. This is important because bacterial infection causes inflammation which has the ability to induce excessive collagen production in the scar tissue.
The study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery examined 30 patients to determine the efficacy of silicone gel for the treatment of hypertrophic scars and keloids. Hypertrophic scars are raised and red but do not spread whereas keloid scars continue growing past the original scar boundaries with a raised and often lumpy appearance. In this study, the patients applied a silicone gel as a thin film to the scar area twice a day. After 6 months, researchers found that the silicone gel produced an 86% reduction in texture, 84% in color, and 68% in height of scars.
NewGel+ offers the widest variety of silicone scar treatment products available. Products include sheets, strips, specific shapes, and two tube sizes of topical silicone gel. These products can be used for a variety of scar types, including keloids, burns, hypertrophic scars, and scars from trauma, cosmetic procedures, C-sections, and abdominoplasty.
Going through pregnancy is both exciting and nerve wracking. There are so many questions you have to answer and choices to make. One of these decisions being your birth plan. You may have a lot of questions about whether to have a natural birth (vaginal without pain meds) or use an epidural to reduce pain sensations during vaginal delivery. You might be nervous about the pain of labor which would cause you to elect to use an epidural, or you may have heard from a friend of a friend that the birthing process goes faster without an epidural and you will be more alert after the baby is born. Here we will try to answer some of your questions and help provide you with the information you need to choose between a natural birth or using an epidural.
Epidural Pain Relief
An analgesic delivered by epidural injection is used to decrease pain in the lower part of the body. Women often choose this option for pain relief, but sometimes it becomes a medical necessity if there are complications, such as those resulting in a cesarean delivery (C-section). According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an epidural takes 10 to 20 minutes to work. It’s delivered through a thin tube via the spine. The obvious benefit of an epidural is the potential for a nearly pain free delivery while the mother will still feel contractions. Additionally, with pain reliever given during a vaginal delivery you’re still aware of the details of the birth and are able to move around.
When epidural anaesthesia has been used for pain relief in labor, this can usually be topped up to provide the anaesthesia required for an emergency caesarean. The UK National Institutes of Health report a 72 percent increase in the number of cesarean deliveries from 1997 to 2008, which might also explain the enduring popularity of epidurals. While some cesarean deliveries are elective, most are required when vaginal delivery can’t be accomplished.
As with all surgical procedures there is some risk of complications from an epidural, including: back pain and soreness, headache, persistent bleeding (from puncture site), fever, breathing difficulties or a drop in blood pressure, which can slow the baby’s heart rate. It’s important to note that these side effects are extremely rare but can occur.
The term “natural birth” is often used to describe a vaginal delivery performed without the use of any pain relieving medication (IV or oral pain drugs or epidural). But, the term can also be used to distinguish between a vaginal delivery and a C-section (surgical) delivery. Natural births have increased in popularity over recent years because of concerns that epidural anesthesia will interfere with natural body responses to labor and delivery.
Ashley Shea, a birth doula, yoga teacher and student midwife has witnessed this trend first hand. “Women want to be able to move around untethered to machines, they want to stay home as long as possible before heading to the hospital, they don’t want to be disturbed or excessively monitored or have too many cervical checks (if at all), and they want to have immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with their newborn and wait until the cord stops pulsating to clamp and cut the cord,” said Shea. She also adds, “If you found out you could have a baby in a warm, deep pool of water compared to flat on your back with people yelling at you to push, what would you choose?”
You don’t need a doula or a midwife to have a natural (unmedicated vaginal) delivery. You have the right to elect natural births at hospitals! There are a few serious risks associated with natural births. Risks often arise if there is an underlying medical problem with the mother, or if there is an issue that prevents the baby from naturally moving through the birth canal. Some of these risks include; tears in the perineum (area behind the vaginal wall), increased pain, hemorrhoids, bowel issues and urinary incontinence.
It is important to prepare for the risks of a natural birth. A mother should have a midwife come to the home, or give birth in a hospital. It is better to be prepared should any complications arise during labor. You should also look into ways to ease pain through non-medicated methods. These methods include; massage, acupressure, taking a warm bath or using a hot pack, breathing techniques, and frequent changes in position to compensate for changes in the pelvis.
Is Natural or Epidural Better?
So which is better? The best type of delivery is the one that’s right for you. Do your research and come prepared with questions for your doctor to determine which is the right birth plan for you. Also keep in mind that no matter how much planning you do, unpredictable complications could arise. In the end, you should choose the plan that ensures both you and your baby are happy and healthy at the end of delivery.