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Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

IVF is a useful process for people who want to become parents but have exhausted all other means of being so. However, the in-vitro fertilization method is definitely not suitable for everyone. Here are some facts you need to know about the procedure and they will help you determine whether you are suited for the program or not.

1. IVF Takes Time
Even though most clinics may not tell you this, but the IVF procedure takes a bit of time to deliver the desired results. On an average, the treatment can take anywhere between four weeks to a couple of months to produce results, depending on the patient’s ability to respond to the medicines used. The procedure involves artificially stopping the menstrual cycle of the woman. Next, the ovulation process is stimulated so that the healthy egg can be extracted from the womb. The eggs chosen are then fertilized and left to undergo embryo culture for another six days. After this, the eggs are implanted back into the mother’s body.

2. The process Can Be Stressful
IVF treatment and pregnancy can be quite a stressful period of time for the parents in question. The mother needs to be constantly monitored to check for any abnormal response to the pregnancy. Regular checkups by the doctor along with blood tests may also be suggested. However, this stress has very little chance of affecting the quality of the pregnancy. So, do not worry that overstressing yourself will lead to complications for the embryo.

3. More Than One Cycle Needed For Pregnancy
IVF treatment occurs in cycles. Each cycle involves transplanting a fertilized egg into the womb. However, pregnancy, right after completion of the first cycle, is quite rare. In fact, almost all patients need to undergo several similar cycles in order to get pregnant. So, do not be disheartened if you do not get pregnant after undergoing the very first cycle of IVF treatment.

4. IVF Is Costly
Not everyone is able to afford the high cost of IVF. Others may be able to afford the cost of undergoing a couple of cycles of the same, after which the high costs can become a burden. Only a select few can bear to carry on with the treatment until the pregnancy arises. So, consider your financial condition prior to signing on for such a treatment option.

At any rate, consult with an expert to get an even better idea about the IVF procedure and the consequent pregnancy.

Parenting concerns put mothers with advanced cancer at higher risk of psychological distress while decreasing their quality of life as well as day-to-day physical functioning, a study says.

The study, published in the journal Cancer, also suggested that mothers with metastatic cancer (those that spread to other sites in the body) had, on average, higher depression and anxiety scores than did the general population.

“Among women with metastatic cancer, their health-related quality of life is powerfully interlinked with their parenting concerns about the impact of their illness on their minor children,” said co-author Eliza Park, Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill in the US.

“It appears to equally contribute to someone’s assessment of their quality of life as some of the clinical variables we routinely ask about,” Park added.

For the study, the researchers conducted an online survey of 224 women who had stage IV solid tumour cancer — cancer that had metastasised or spread elsewhere in the body — and at least one child under the age of 18 years.

The researchers found that their emotional well-being scores were also lower than for all adults with cancer.

The researchers also determined a mother’s emotional well-being was significantly linked with whether she had communicated with her children about her illness and her concerns about how her illness will financially impact her children.

“Parenting-related factors contributed to the amount of variation you see in quality of life almost equally as something like your functional status,” Park said.

The findings point to a need for greater support for mothers with metastatic cancer, the researchers noted.

On a recent flight back to Mumbai, the kids had their noses buried in books, waiting for the flight to land as it did its usual circling above the over-congested airport. A lady sitting across the aisle leaned over and asked me how I managed to get my children to read in this era of smartphones and tablets. She told me that she was an avid reader but somehow, she hadn’t been able to get her child interested in reading. I thought about it and realised that over the years, there have been small but significant pushes in the right direction.

1. Start young
It’s never too early to introduce your child to books. There is a plethora of books available that a baby or a toddler will enjoy looking at, cloth books, textured books, peek-a-boo books, board books or water-proof books to play with while they are having a bath. Each of these books provides a stimulating experience for your child and introduces her to a world of books in a fun and engaging way. As she gets older, introduce her to picture books or funny stories with repetitive punch lines and rhyming patterns.

2. Read aloud to her
Set aside 10 minutes of your daily schedule for reading. A bedtime story usually works to get her into bed on time as well as introducing her to a world of imagination. Let her pick the story each night. Don’t be surprised if she chooses the same story over and over again. Children love repetition. Be silly and funny when you read to her. Change your voice to be a roaring lion or a high pitched squeaky mouse. Have fun and enjoy yourself. If you read aloud because you have to and not because you want to, your child will sense it in your tone and body language. Some of my favourite authors for read-aloud stories are Eric Carle, Julia Donaldson and Dr Seuss.

3. Surround your child with books
Don’t buy books and keep them on a high shelf that she can’t reach. Your child should be able to look at and touch a book whenever she chooses. Keep the books at eye level. If you have space, create a reading nook for her. A cosy and comfortable spot with a couple of cushions and a tray of books is all you need.

4. Be a role model. Your child must see you reading
It doesn’t matter if you are reading the latest Chetan Bhagat or if you are reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez, there are no judgements here. As long as you have a book in your hand, your child will feel encouraged to pick up a book herself. Find an author or genre you like and make the time to read for yourself too.

5. Increase her vocabulary
Play word games with her. Use descriptive words in your everyday parlance. Don’t say, “I’m very hungry.” Say “I’m starving”. The more vocabulary you use while conversing with her, the greater the bank of words that she will have for when she eventually starts to read. Then, when she comes across a word, she will know what it means as she has heard it before.

6. Teach your child to recognise high-frequency words
These are words that your child will encounter regularly while reading. For example, good, and, because, this, that, etc. As children get older, they learn to read and recognise alphabets. They learn to read words using tools like phonetics. But, what makes them a reader is their fluency. Their ability to read and comprehend what they are reading whilst still reading it. By recognising high-frequency words, they learn to make sense of the whole sentence very quickly and are able to read faster. This allows them to actually enjoy the story rather than struggle to decode the words.

7. Don’t stop reading to your child as she grows older
Once a child learns to read, we tend to stop reading aloud to them. Change the books you read to her instead. Pick an age-appropriate book and use your bedtime story ritual to read out a chapter to her. Encourage her to read the next chapter and tell you what happens. My older son’s first big book was The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. It started as a read-aloud storybook but he couldn’t wait for bedtime for the next chapter and started to read it on his own. He struggled to read initially, but the more he read, the easier it got.

8. Encourage her to read but don’t force her
Refrain from making it a chore or a task. Reading has to be an enjoyable process. Your role is to inculcate a love of reading. Discuss the books she is reading with her. Maybe even read a couple yourself. Ask her leading questions about the book. “Which part did you like best?” “Do you know what’s going to happen next?”

9. Join a lending library
A weekly expedition to the library will introduce her to new books and keep her interest engaged. It also provides you with an opportunity for some one-on-one time. Allow her to lend books to her friends. Make reading a social activity.

10. Use your child’s interests as a hook to cultivate a reading habit
If she likes listening to music, occasionally switch from Taylor Swift to an audio book. Listening to an audio book on a long car ride is a great way to spend time. If she likes watching movies, encourage her to read the book before she watches the movie. Discuss which version she liked better and why. Allow her to pick whichever genre she likes. Whether it’s science fiction, a mystery or a biography, there is something for everyone. Even magazines or comic books work. Subscribe to a weekly magazine or comic. Whatever it takes to get her started.

11. Encourage friends and family to gift books on birthdays
Provide them with options that you know will interest your child. A child who has obsessively watched Star Wars will love a book on the making of the movie.

However old your child is, it’s never too late to develop a love for reading. Make those small but significant steps in the right direction and watch your child discover a world that will stimulate her curiosity, expand her knowledge base and broaden her world view.

First-time dads in their early 20s may have the energy and agility to keep up with their young children, but a new study shows early fatherhood can pose perils later in life. Research by Finnish researchers showed that becoming a father before the age of 25 is linked to a higher chance of dying in middle age.

"Men who have a child before the age of 22 have a very clear higher midlife mortality than men who have children later, at an average age of 25 to 26," said Dr. Elina Einio of the University of Helsinki.

Although the study did not look into the possible causes of the higher risk of death for young fathers, Einio suggests that unplanned pregnancy, early marriage and the psychological and economic stress of fatherhood could play a part.

"The findings of our study provide evidence of a need to support young fathers struggling with the demands of family life in order to promote good health behaviors and future health," said Einio, who reported the findings in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. While other studies have focused of the impact of young parenthood on women, Einio and her team analyzed data on more than 30,500 men born in Finland between 1940 and 1950.

About 15 percent had their first child by age 22, nearly 30 percent became dads by 24, and less than 20 percent in each of the 25-through-26, 27-through-29 and 30-through-44 age groups. About one in 20 of the men died during a 10-year monitoring period, mainly from heart disease and illnesses related to excessive drinking.
The researchers found that men who were fathers by the age of 22 had a 26 percent higher risk of dying in middle age than first-time dads who were 25 or 26 years old. Young fathers also had a 14 percent higher risk of dying in middle age than older first-time dads. Men who became fathers between 30 and 44 had a 25 percent reduced risk of an earlier death than young dads at 25 or 26. In a smaller study of 1,124 siblings, the researchers found similar results. Men who were fathers by 22 were 73 percent more likely to die early than their brothers who became dads at 25 or 26.

आजकल रोजच्या धकाधकीच्या जीवनात सर्वच जण शर्यतीत धावत असतात. या स्पर्धेच्या युगात त्यांना स्वत:साठीही वेळ देणं कठीण झाले आहे. त्यातच लहान मुले असतील आणि आई-वडील दोघेही नोकरीला जाणारे असतील तर मुलांसाठी वेळ काढणं मुश्किल होतंय. प्रत्येक पालकांना आपल्या मुलांसह क्वालिटी टाईम व्यतीत करायचा असतो. परंतु, नोकरी आणि घर अशा दोन्ही गोष्टी सांभाळताना अनेकांना तारेवरची कसरत करावी लागते. परंतु या सगळ्यामधून वेळ काढून काही सोप्या पद्धतीने तुम्ही मुलांना वेळ नक्की देऊ शकता.

मोबाईलपासून दूर राहा

घरी असताना पालकांनी मोबाईल, लॅपटॉप यांसारख्या गोष्टी बाजूला सारून तो वेळ आपल्या मुलांसह व्यतीत करा. त्यामुळे मुलं दिवसभरातील त्यांनी केलेल्या गोष्टी तुम्हाला सांगू शकतील.

शॉपिंगसाठी शक्यतो बाहेर पडू नका

जर तुम्ही घरी असाल तर शॉपिंगसाठी शक्यतो घराबाहेर पडू नका. अतिशय गरज असेल तिथेच बाहेर पडा. शॉपिंगच्या वेळेत तुमच्या लहान मुलांसोबत खेळा. त्यांच्याशी गप्पा मारा.

नियमित व्यायाम करा

जर तुम्ही नियमित व्यायाम करत असाल तर तुमच्यासोबत तुमच्या मुलांनाही त्यात सामिल करा. त्यांनाही तुमच्यासोबत मॉर्निग वॉकसाठी बाहेर घेऊन जा. त्यामुळे त्यांनाही चांगल्या सवयी लागून आरोग्यही उत्तम राखण्यास मदत होईल. त्यासोबतच तुम्ही एकमेकांसोबत अधिक वेळ घालवू शकाल.

सोशल साइट्सवर कमी वेळ द्या

आजकल सर्वच पालक फेसबुक, इन्स्टाग्राम, व्हॉट्सअॅपसारख्या सोशल साइट्सवर अॅक्टिव्ह असतात. त्यामुळे मुलांना कमी वेळ दिला जातो. सोशल साइट्सपेक्षा मुलांसोबत खेळा, त्यांच्यासोबत फिरायला जा, त्यामुळे तुम्हाला अधिकाधिक वेळ मुलांसोबत मिळू शकतो.

मुलांसोबत तुम्हीही 'लहान' व्हा

पालकांनो, मुलांसोबत असताना तुम्हीही लहान मुलांसारखं वागा. त्यांच्याबरोबर त्यांना आवडत असणाऱ्या गोष्टी करा. काही वेळासाठी तुमच्यातील मॅच्युरिटी बाजूला ठेऊन लहान होऊन मुलांसोबत खेळा. त्यामुळे मुलं खुश राहून तुमच्याशी अधिक खुलेपणाने राहू शकतील.

Dr. Rajesh Jagdale
Dr. Rajesh Jagdale
BAMS, Pune
Dr. Sairandhri Shinde
Dr. Sairandhri Shinde
MBBS, Gynaecologist Infertility Specialist, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Vrushali Garde
Dr. Vrushali Garde
MBBS, Psychiatrist, 11 yrs, Pune
Dr. Vishakha  Bhalerao
Dr. Vishakha Bhalerao
BHMS, Homeopath Family Physician, 17 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sushant Bagule
Dr. Sushant Bagule
BAMS, Pune