Causes of Autism

Autism is a brain disorder of unknown etiology – which means, in layman’s terms “We just don’t know what causes it.” There are various theories, and lots of controversy around the causes of autism, and some of it is involved in the debate over just how common autism is, and whether or not there’s been a sharp increase in actual cases of autism in the past ten years.

For parents, one of the most important things to know is that autism is NOT a psychological disorder. Researchers have long since put to rest the hypothesis that autism is caused by the lack of a nurturing mother, but the belief still persists in some circles. If your child has been diagnosed with autism, rest assured that it is not because you were a bad parent.

There’s a great deal of research that strongly indicates a genetic basis for autism. Case in point, the incidence of autism in the general population is approximately 1.5 in 1000 people, yet parents who have one autistic child have a 1 in 20 chance of having another autistic child. Neurobiologists are of the opinion that autism is the most heritable of all the neurobiological conditions, in fact.

Identification of Childhood Autism

Research has revealed that the earlier a child with autism begins treatment, the more effective that treatment is. Children who get at least two years of intensive intervention in the preschool years are often able to go to a mainstream school and attend regular classes. The Center for Disease Control in concert with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities have recently launched a campaign called “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” which focuses on helping parents to see the signs of common conditions for which early treatment can make all the difference. Autism and the Autism Spectrum Disorders are one of the conditions that is most responsive to early intervention and treatment.

Recognizing the signs of autism can help you alert your doctor that there is a difference about your child. One of the most pertinent signs of autism is the failure to reach certain developmental milestones – or the loss of skills once those milestones have been reached. You should talk to your doctor or health practitioner if:

In the first six months your child does not:

    Breast Pumping

    With the introduction of breast pumps, many nursing mothers have learned they can have the best of both worlds. They are not as tied to their baby as they may once have been just because they are breast feeding as they can use a breast pump to express their milk.

    Pumping breast milk is actually the easy part, it’s the storage and containers it’s kept in that can bring about problems. The last thing you want is for your baby to come down with tummy cramps and diarrhoea all because you didn’t keep your feeding tools sterile.

    The one golden rule of storing breast milk is it must be not just clean, but sterile. It’s vital to have maximum hygiene before even trying to pump your milk.

    All the parts of a breast pump must bed scrubbed after each use. This should always be done in water as hot as you can stand. Once they have been washed, then you must sterilize them, and once sterilized they should be kept in that state until the moment you are ready to actually start pumping. If you bring them out of the sterilizing solution too early, you run the risk of contamination.

    Breastfeeding Diet

    A breastfeeding mother may be advised to consume an extra 500 calories per day depending on their usual intake although studies have pointed out that this can be too much or too little for some women. In fact, the number of calories a woman requires during breastfeeding varies depending upon her volume of body fat and how active she is.

    Most women will be required to not only increase calorie consumption but also other nutrients that making up their diet. If they have a varied, balanced diet then a calorie increase will effect an automatic increase in all the other nutrients.

    Most women usually find that they have gained weight during their pregnancy. The additional weight will be deployed during the stages of breastfeeding so lack of certain nutrients should not make much difference to their milk production.

    Research has proved human milk production does not use a lot of energy, however a woman’s metabolism is more efficient with the right amount of calories and minerals. No special foods are needed to produce or increase a woman’s milk supply, rather, the quantity of milk depends upon the baby’s needs and her sucking. During lactation, the body uses a combination of the foods the mother eats normally along with the nutrients stored in her body to ensure there is an adequate supply of milk.

    Breastfeeding and Cesarean Sections

    Are you wondering whether or not it is possible to breastfeed after a cesarean section birth? It is, of course, possible, although it may be a little more difficult during the first few weeks. If your cesarean section was not expected, you may be a bit confused in terms of feeding. You had anticipated a natural delivery, and now you’re not sure about what to do.

    You can avoid anxiety by putting together a birth plan. This can help clarify your desires and expectations no matter what kind of delivery you end up having. You will want to discuss the birth plan with your doctor, and make sure they have a copy. Also you can have the hospital put a copy of your birth plan on file. Among the things to address in your birth plan is what anesthetics are available in case you have a cesarean section. If you can have an epidural, you can be alert enough to breastfeed your baby right after delivery. Keep in mind that you are going to need some help, whether from your partner or a nurse. Hospital room equipment, such as IV lines and heart monitors can be a bit restrictive, so getting an extra pair of hands is necessary. Moreover, you will have to do your first feeding lying on your back, so nursing pillows might also be very helpful for that first feeding.

    Breast Feeding and Back Pain

    As a new mother, you’re probably going to be excited about breast feeding your baby. Unfortunately what many new moms don’t realise is that they are prone to back pain whilse nursing their baby, especially if they don’t have the right posture.

    If you suffered from back pain while pregnant, its probable you will suffer from back pain when breastfeeding your new baby; however all is not lost, there are a few tips to keep in mind for keeping your back in good shape.

    A good supportive chair is indispensable. It sounds an obvious thing to say, but how comfortable and supportive the chair you are planning to use to breast feed your baby is makes a lot of difference. If it’s not supporting your posture correctly, think about putting some pillows behind your back to let you to sit straighter and improve your posture.

    Bring your baby towards your breast rather than straining your back by bending over him. When you take up this bent over type of posture, over time, the ligaments in your back will become strained, and damage can be done to them which may even become permanent.

    What Are The Best Breastfeeding Positions

    The early weeks of breastfeeding can easily the roughest you will ever experience. Between the frequent feedings and just learning how to breastfeed, you can experience painful sore nipples or even nipple infections. However, properly positioning your baby for breastfeeding is key to preventing many problems.

    The first major position is called the cradle hold. This is the most often used of all the breastfeeding positions. Start by laying your baby on his side across your lap. Rest his shoulder and his hip level with his mouth, which should, in turn, be level with your nipple. This works best if you use pillows, particularly nursing pillows, to lift your baby to nipple height. You should also be able to rest your elbows on the pillows. Prop your breast by forming a “U” or a “C” with your hand and cupping it around your breast.

    In this position, your baby’s head should be resting on your forearm. Your baby’s back will be along your inner arm and palm. As you look down toward your baby, you should see his or her side. When the baby gets ready to latch on, his or her mouth should cover about a half an inch of your areola. His ear, shoulder, and hips should be in a straight line across your lap. Both the baby’s head and bottom should be level with each other during the first several weeks of using this position. This position works well for most mothers, but it is valuable to vary your position.

    How to Breastfeed

    The first few weeks of breastfeeding are the most trying weeks in the life of your baby. You have to feed so often that you get little sleep. Moreover, the frequent feedings are tough on your body. You could experience sore nipples, nipple infections, or just a sensory overload. However, making sure your baby is properly positioned for feeding is the key to preventing some of these problems before they occur.

    With any position you choose, there are a few basic things you should do to ensure the best possible comfort and feeding for both you and your baby. Remember you aren’t the first mother to learn how to breastfeed, and that these steps are time-tested and proven. You may have to repeat them frequently as both you and your baby get the hang of things.

    First, before you start a feeding, make sure you are comfortable. You will want support for your back, arms, and feet; this is simple with pillows and a footrest. Most people will discover their best place to nurse. Some women find the recliner in their living room to be most comfortable while others favor a rocking chair in the nursery. When you find a spot that works for you, stick with it; you’ll save some hassle in the long run.