Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pregnant? Why you still can't go to Cancun

Ten things you actually need to know about the Zika Virus today

Yep, you read that right, if you are pregnant or wanting to get pregnant you should not be traveling to Cancun. Cancun isn’t the only one being singled out, there are over 45 countries you should avoid traveling to according to the latest reports from the CDC (Center for Disease Control). For the most up to date list click here. So, what’s the reason behind it all?

The reason is a disease called the Zika Virus. Have you heard about it yet? If you have heard of it do you know how to keep yourself safe and most importantly anybody in your life who may be pregnant or wanting to become pregnant in the near future?

There are a lot of questions, rumors, and concerns out there concerning the Zika Virus. We did our homework to sift through all of that to find the ten things you actually need to know about the Zika virus today.

What is the Zika Virus? The Zika virus, which is very new to the western hemisphere, is related to dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile Virus. The Virus can cause infection and disease and is primarily transmitted through infected mosquitoes.

What are health risks of the Zika Virus? For most adults who are infected the symptoms are very mild if you notice them at all. There has been recent studies into the correlation between the Zika virus and a rare sickness of the nervous system called Guillain-Bare syndrome (GBS). This is highly uncommon, 1 in 100,000 report having this in the US. Some of the mild symptoms are a low fever, rash, headache, joint pain, red eyes, and muscle pain. Although it may not sound that bad, the Zika virus was named a World Health Emergency in 2016 by the World Health Organization. This is because the Zika virus can cause a serious birth defect during pregnancy.  

How can it affect a pregnancy? The Zika virus while for most adults may be a mild nuisance it can severely affect an unborn child during a pregnancy. During a pregnancy the Zika virus can be passed from the mother to the fetus which can develop into a disease called microcephaly. This disease causes the brain to not fully develop. This causes the baby to have a head smaller than expected and can result in further brain damage.

What are the chances of the virus affecting a pregnancy? In a report published by the New England Journal of Medicine, they estimate that the risk of the baby developing microcephaly when a pregnant mother has been infected with the Zika virus during the first trimester can be as high as 13%. The CDC does not currently know if there is a safe time to travel to areas at risk of the Zika virus during a pregnancy. The best option is of course is to avoid becoming infected.

If I do get infected with Zika will future pregnancies be at risk? There is no current evidence that a woman who has recovered from Zika will have Zika related pregnancy complications in the future. Based on similar infections, once a person has been infected with Zika and has cleared the virus from the body, they will likely be protected from future Zika infections.

How can someone become infected?The virus is primarily spread through bites from infected mosquitoes. The virus can also be spread through unprotected sex and if a pregnant mother is infected there is a chance it could spread to the fetus and cause the baby to have microcephaly.

Is the Virus spreading? The virus is spreading, it can spread from one country to another as people travel and become infected, those people may then transmit the disease through mosquitoes, without evening knowing they are carriers. There have been two areas where local mosquito-borne viruses have been reported, Brownsville, Texas and South Florida. While this may seem alarming, there is work being done to create vaccines and if you are smart in your travels and stay up to date on the areas of risk you needn’t overly worry about yourself and anyone you know who may be pregnant.

How is Zika diagnosed? Watch for the mild symptoms, especially if you or someone you know has recently traveled to an infected area. A doctor can diagnose the disease if you are worried you may have been infected. Your doctor will ask you about recent travel and symptoms you have been having, as well as collect blood or urine samples.

Is there a cure for Zika? Currently there is no cure or vaccine for Zika, if you are infected the best thing to do is get plenty of rest, drink a lot of fluid to prevent dehydration, as well as taking medicine to reduce any fever.

What can I do to prevent getting the Zika virus? The best way to prevent becoming infected is to protect yourself from mosquito bites. First and most important is to avoid traveling to places the CDC has listed to avoid. Second use insect repellent, wear long sleeved shirts and pants, try to remain indoors where there is air conditioning, and if you camp outside sleep inside a tent and use a mosquito net. In addition avoid having unprotected sex during the pregnancy as it can be sexually transmitted as well.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mothers: The Original Preppers

We love to spend Mother’s Day to celebrate all the amazing moms out there, and all the things they do for us. Because let’s face it, moms are definitely the glue that holds most of us together. As a mom I know we have some tough jobs we sometimes have to face, one of the biggest challenges I think we face daily is leaving the house with our babies/children and trying to figure out how much we have to take with us in a diaper bag. There are some days where I think I’ve packed the whole house, and I’m still not prepared.
With babies, we always have to expect the unexpected— they just love to surprise us with something new everyday. Whether that be filling up their diapers in what feels like every five minutes, or throwing up all over us at the worst possible times. But we are supermoms and we handle it with such grace because we come prepared all the time (okay, maybe not all the time but we try our best.)  
But that can bring up a big question:  How many of us moms are prepared for an emergency and could we leave the house with enough items for our kids? Most of us may have a 72 hour kit for ourselves but have you ever thought about having a 72 hour diaper bag? Something we could make for just our babies.
So then comes the question, what would we need and how much of it? Obviously all babies are different and have different needs and quantities. But I think for the most part we are all on the same page about things that are essential to have in a diaper bag. So what should we be putting in a 72 hour diaper bag?

#1: A Sturdy Bag/Diaper Bag- You don’t necessarily need a diaper bag, you are going to want to have something that is sturdy and easy to carry. So even if you end up putting it in a backpack that would be fine. An important reason you want to make the baby his or her own bag is because you don’t want to waste time unpacking your whole bag while you’re looking for the baby items.

#2: Bottles and Formula- Formula is a definite must, even if you are breastfeeding. The reasoning behind that is breast milk can dry up due to stress and an emotional state, and in an emergency there can be a lot of high stress situations and you want to be prepared if that were to happen.
So how much formula should you pack? Again I think over doing it is something I would do. I would at least pack 3-4 cans of 12 oz. formula, which means you would have to pack extra water as well. So keep in mind that with the formula you want to pack as much water as you can. And if you are still breastfeeding should you still pack formula? I would definitely say yes, breastfeeding can be a great thing. But consider when on the go there might be times where it’s difficult to breastfeed and always having a back up plan could save your life.

#3: Diapers and Wipes- Babies poop a lot, especially newborns. So packing a ton of diapers is definitely necessary. If able to travel by car I would just put a whole case in the back. If that isn’t an option then I would pack as many as I could fit maybe even fitting some in my bag. The question comes up about cloth diapers, they are reusable and you wouldn’t have to pack a ton. The reason I think this could become a problem is not having somewhere to wash them and packing more water could make the bag heavier and harder to carry. Another concern is having poor sanitation, which is the number one killer in most emergency situations.

#4: Blankets- You want to make sure you have a good blanket packed, wool is always a better choice because it’s warm whether it’s wet or dry. But other blankets are fine too. There is a chance your baby also has a favorite so it’s great to pack one just like it to make the baby as comfortable as possible.

#5: Toys- Depending on the age of the baby it’s good to include something that they are use to having around so it can bring some comfort to them as well as keep them occupied. Anything small will do, a rattle, a stuffed animal or even a book they are use to. If your baby uses a pacifier make sure and pack one and a spare one in case.

#6:Change of Clothes- Again, babies love to make messes anywhere from poop to throw up. So we want to bring more than just 3 days of clothing, as well as packing some short sleeve and long sleeve and even a jacket. You want them to be as comfortable as possible and not too hot or too cold. Make sure to pack enough socks as well.

#7: Medicines- If your baby takes something daily make sure you have some packed, and even if they don’t it’s always smart to have some packed. Something in case of fever, teething, or even for a cold.

#8 Hygiene Supplies- You want to pack things like nail clippers, thermometers, nasal aspirator for the boogers, toothbrush if baby has teeth etc.

This would be a very good place to start if you are just beginning, and you can always put different things in based on the baby’s age. But I’m sure all the mommy’s out there have this covered. I hope all of you have an amazing Mother’s Day because you definitely deserve it.