Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Swollen Scrotum

Are you a little worried about your son's huge scromtum?

...well the good news is that there is nothing to be concerned about. A boy's testicles are encased in a protective pouch called the scrotum, which is filled with a bit of fluid to cushion them. Sometimes a child is born with an excessive amount of fluid in the scrotal sac, making it appear swollen. This condition is called hydrocele and gradually resolves during the first year mostly without any treatment.

Remember to point the swelling to your doctor to ensure what you see isn't a inguinal hernia (more likely if there is also tenderness, redness and discolouration), which can appear similar to hydrocele.

For more of your baby concerns answered visit http://www.babyonline.co.za/

Rare birth disorders: Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome

What is RTS?
Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS) is a genetic multi-system disorder characterised by facial abnormalities, broad thumbs and great toes, and mental retardation.
In many cases, RTS is caused by a deletion or mutation in the short arm (p) of chromosome 16. RTS is found equally in both males and females and is considered to be a rare syndrome, occurring in 1 out of every 100,000 to 300,000 live births.

Features and characteristics
There are many characteristics associated with RTS. Not every individual has all the characteristics, however, the following is a list of traits that have been reported:

Broad thumbs and/or toes (sometimes angulated)
Mental retardation (from mild to severe)
Beaked nose
Short stature (delayed bone age)
Broad nasal bridge
Malformed ears
High arched palate
Widely spaced eyes
Downward slant of eyes
Extra fold of skin on either side of the nose
Droopy eyelids
Heavy or highly arched eyebrows
Small head (microcephaly)
Small lower jaw
Flat red birthmark on forehead
Hyperextensible joints
Small tilted pelvis
Undescended testicles in males
Feeding difficulties
Respiratory infections
Eye infections
Cardiac anomalies
Vertebral abnormalities
Gastroesophageal reflux and vomiting
Kidney abnormalities
Orthopedic problems

The diagnosis of RTS can be made following a complete clinical exam (including X-rays of the hands and feet for bone malformations, a CT-scan or MRI for characteristic brain malformations, an EEG for electrical activities of the brain, and an EKG or echocardiogram for congenital heart defects). RTS may also be confirmed by FISH studies, which could possibly detect a deletion or mutation in chromosome 16p. While some children with more severe characteristics can be diagnosed at birth, others who are more mildly affected (lacking severe medical problems, extreme physical characteristics, or moderate to severe mental retardation) may not be diagnosed until adolescence.

Most children with RTS will benefit from an early intervention programme with an emphasis on speech therapy, as speech is typically an area of slower development. Additionally, some children with RTS will not be able to speak verbally and may need to learn sign language as an alternative form of communication. Some children with skeletal abnormalities may also benefit from physical and occupational therapy.

What to expect
Individuals with RTS are usually happy, social people. Children with RTS love to touch anything and enjoy manipulating objects. They typically enjoy books, water, people, and music. Children with RTS usually will learn to crawl between 1 and 2 years of age and walk between 2 to 4 years of age. Their receptive skills are typically much higher than expressive skills (they can understand most of what is said to them but may not be able to express themselves).

Most children with RTS will need to be in a special education programme and will need assistance with feeding and dressing.

For more info on common birth defects visit

Monday, January 25, 2010

Is leaking milk from breasts normal?

The first few weeks of nursing are almost always very damp ones, with milk leaking, dripping or even spraying frequently. The leaks spring anytime, anywhere, and normally without warning!

Because leaking is a physical process that has a strong mind connection, you're most likely to leak when you're thinking about baby, talking about your baby, or hearing your baby cry. A warm shower may sometimes stimulate the drip, too. But you may also find yoursefl springing leaks at very randon times, even when baby is not on your mind. Milk may also drip when you're late for a feeding.

Living with leaking breasts isn't fun nor comfortable but this is a common side-effect of breastfeeding.
Here are 6 tips to try to help deal with leaking breasts:

1. keep a stash of nursing pads on you
2. If you find you drip alot at night, line your bra with extra nursing pads before going to bed
3. Opt for prints especially dark ones, these camouflage the milk stains best
4. Don't pump to prevent leaking, it will stimulate more milk.
5. Apply pressure - you can try stem the leak when you feel it starting by pressuring your nipples or folding your arms tightly across your breasts.

For more handy tips to deal with the side-effects of breastfeeding visit http://www.babyonline.co.za/

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The most common birth disorders: Autism

What is it?
An inablity, which dates from birth or develops within the first two and half years of life, to develop normal humna relationships, even with parents.

There are great differences among children with autism. Some who are midly affected may exhibit only slight language delays and greater challenges with social interactions. Others who are more severely affected don't smile or respond to parents or anyone else in any way and dislike being picked up or touched. Often there are extreme problems with speaking, stange positions and mannerisms, erratic and inappropriate behaviour and, sometimes self destructiveness. The child may have normal intelligence but appear to be retarded or deaf.

How common is it?
There are an estimated 2 - 6 cases per 1000 babies

What causes it?
Autism has no single cause. Researches have identified a number of genes that play a role in the disorder. In some children environmental factors (including maternal smoking while pregnant) may also play a role. Autiem may also be cuased by a combination of biological factors, including exposure to a virus before birth, a problem with immune system or genetics.

At present there is no cure, but some children have been helped with behaviour modification therapy, stimulation, special training and sometimes drugs.

Visit http://www.babyonline.co.za/for more common birth disorders