Sunday, June 9, 2019

Daily Health benefit of keeping the body clean

Nine months of pregnancy is not that easy for any woman. Being pregnant requires having that extra amount of energy, patience, and endurance for this most demanding of human female experiences. Extra care must be taken in caring for one’s self which includes following the diet and making the environment as conducive as possible for a healthy pregnancy.

Men might think that women are just burdened by the extra physical weight that comes with pregnancy. In truth, pregnancy is a very complex and delicate process. A human being is developing inside a woman’s womb and everything that a mother does, thinks, feels, and says affects her baby.

By preparing for pregnancy, the woman would be able to minimize the health risks and even enjoy the duration of her pregnancy. Needless to say, a very important aspect of pregnancy is taking care of the woman’s health. Part of taking care of a pregnant woman’s health is the use of “prenatal vitamins”. These are multivitamins that are specifically made for pregnant women. These supplements make up for any nutritional deficiencies in the pregnant mother’s diet during the course of their pregnancy. The vitamins contain more folic acid, iron, and calcium — all of which are important to ensure the proper health and development of both the mother and the baby. Folic acid reduces the risk of birth defects, specifically of the brain and the spinal cord. Calcium, on the other hand, prevents the mother from losing her bone density as her baby uses this mineral for bone growth. Lastly, iron is needed to help both the mother and her unborn child’s blood increase oxygen levels in their respective bloodstreams.

Another thing that a mother should keep in mind is that she has to gain weight during her pregnancy. It is not safe to lose weight when one is pregnant since both the baby and the mother need the right amount of nutrients in order for them to become healthy. It is a good sign if a pregnant woman gains weight since this is a sign that the baby is getting all the nutrients and is growing at a healthy rate. A pregnant woman need not eat meals for two, but she needs extra calories for the growth of the baby. About two to four pounds are gained within the first three months of pregnancy, and a pound a week for the next few weeks ahead. The extra weight goes to the baby, the mother’s placenta, breast tissue, and blood supply. The woman’s body also stores fat and other nutrients that will be needed once she enters the breastfeeding stage.

A healthy pregnant woman’s diet should include a variety of foods in order to get all the nutrients needed. A good six to eleven servings of bread and grains, two to four servings of fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and protein sources (eggs, nuts, meat, poultry) are equally important. Having a high fiber diet is always good. Meals like pasta, rice, cereals, and bread should be provided to a pregnant woman. The pregnant woman should also consume at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day. She needs at least 1000-1300 milligrams of calcium in the woman’s diet. She should also have a regular source of Vitamin C everyday, including fruits and vegetables. A good 70 milligrams of Vitamin C each day is sufficient for both the mother and her baby.

Indeed, a pregnant woman deserves all the best in terms of diet, rest, environment, and not to mention, the loving support from her husband and family. Pregnancy is a delightful human experience. But is also takes a great deal of work to ensure that both the mother and her baby will have a long, healthy life beyond the pregnancy period. Have any of you had nights when you were attempting to fall asleep but kept hearing wind whipping outside or water dripping from the faucet that kept you awake? Regardless of how hard you try to relax and calm down, the possibility of sleep does not seem promising as you continue to hear noises throughout the night. A few minutes turn into hours as you uncomplainingly stare at your alarm clock. Unfortunately, it’s not merely the insomnia that is bothering you but you angrily realize how much your loss of sleep will have an effect on how well you function on the following day.

In all honesty, falling asleep under these conditions can become a very frustrating and futile task. Surprisingly, one of the most effective and natural remedies to help insomnia caused by noise is ironically more noise. The difficulty people have in finding this to be true is based on the belief that pure silence is the only possible and effective environment for healthy sleep, which is partly true. However, there are certain noises and sounds that can actually induce sleep. This might seem difficult to consider, but it’s important to know that the noises you might need to cure your insomnia may have been expressly created for that sole purpose.

Research has shown that special sounds and noises heard by individuals can enhance the capacity to sleep. The sounds often differ from person to person but in general they fall under several distinct groups or categories. These noises are then transmitted onto a recording device and a consumer who suffers from insomnia can purchase the device. These items are frequently referred to as sound machines or noise apparatuses.

This premise is solely built on the concept that if an individual hears specific sounds that are comforting to his or her body, these sounds will assist them in falling asleep. Sounds of nature, like rushing water or birds chirping, are general sounds used to help insomnia. Certain styles of music are also useful in helping insomnia sufferers cure their insomnia. This category of music is produced to be relaxing and it’s often repetitive, which causes the insomniac to fall into a deep state of relaxation which ultimately leads to sleep.

For someone who suffers from insomnia, a sound machine can be their best cure for insomnia. It’s natural and it has no side-effects at all. The person using it will become so familiar with hearing the sounds which will eventually trigger the sufferer to fall asleep.

Buying a sound machine isn’t a difficult process at all. There are many retail outlets that now offer these sound machines. If you love to shop over the internet, you can type in the phrase “sound machine for insomnia” in any search engine and you’ll find yourself paging through a wide and diverse listing of online retailers.

In addition to sound machines, there are also other cost efficient items that use sound to help treat insomnia. If investing in a sound machine is unbefitting, due to your finances, you can still enjoy the sounds of sleep without having to pay as much. Numerous companies have prepared music CD’s that you can purchase to help treat insomnia through music or recorded sounds. These sleep CD’s can include many of the same sounds as a sound or noise machine.

Any of these sleeping devices or aids can be very useful and convenient anywhere, especially if you travel a lot. Insomnia can happen whether you are at the house, away on a business trip or enjoying a vacation. The convenience of being able to carry these sleeping aids will enable you to treat your insomnia every night from any location. In the United States it is estimated that about ten thousand girls are at risk of this practice. FGC in a variety of its forms is practiced in Middle Eastern countries (the two Yemens, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Southern Algeria). In Africa it is practiced in the majority of the continent including Kenya, Nigeria, Mali, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Mozambique, and Sudan.

Even though FGC is practiced in mostly Islamic countries, it is not an Islamic practice. FGC is a cross-cultural and cross-religious ritual. In Africa and the Middle East it is performed by Muslims, Coptic Christians, members of various indigenous groups, Protestants, and Catholics, to name a few.

Definition:

FGC is a term used to refer to any practice which includes the removal or the alteration of the female genitalia. There are three main types of FGC that are practiced through the world: Type I or Sunna circumcision, Type II or excision, and Type III or infibulation. These three operations range in intensity, from the “mildness” of Type I, to the extreme Type III. Type II is a recent addition to FGC. I will explain in the next sections what each of these practices involve, and outline some of the short-term and long-term effects that they have.

Type I — Sunna Circumcision

The first and mildest type of FGC is called “sunna circumcision” or Type I. The term “Sunna” refers to tradition as taught by the prophet Muhammad. This involves the “removal of the prepuce with or without the excision of part or all of the clitoris (See the World Health Organization definition).

Type I is practiced in a broad area all across Africa parallel to the equator. Fran Hosken enumerates the following countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Tanzania in East Africa to the West African coast, from Sierra Leone to Mauritania, and in all countries in-between including Nigeria, the most populous one. There are also reports of Type I taking place in areas of the Middle East such as in Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Type II – Clitoridectomy

The second type of FGC, Type II, involves the partial or entire removal of the clitoris, as well as the scraping off of the labia majora and labia minora. This takes place in countries where infibulation has been outlawed such as Sudan. Clitoridectomy was invented by Sudanese midwives as a compromise when British legislation forbade the most extreme operations in 1946.

Type III – Infibulation or Pharaonic Circumcision

The third and most drastic type of FGC is Type III. This most extreme form, consists of the removal of the clitoris, the adjacent labia (majora and minora), and the joining of the scraped sides of the vulva across the vagina, where they are secured with thorns or sewn with catgut or thread. A small opening is kept to allow passage of urine and menstrual blood. An infibulated woman must be cut open to allow intercourse on the wedding night and is closed again afterwards to secure fidelity to the husband. Hosken also reports that infibulation is “practiced on all females, almost without exception, in all of Somalia and wherever ethnic Somalis live (Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti). It is also performed throughout the Nile Valley, including Southern Egypt, and all along the Red Sea’s Coast.

FGC is mostly done in unsanitary conditions in which a midwife uses unclean sharp instruments such as razor blades, scissors, kitchen knives, and pieces of glass. These instruments are frequently used on several girls in succession and are rarely cleaned, causing the transmission of a variety of viruses such as the HIV virus, and other infections. Antiseptic techniques and anesthesia are generally not used, or for that matter, heard of. This is akin to a doctor who uses the same surgical instrument on a number of women at the same time without cleaning any of them.

Effects of Female Genital Cutting:

Beyond the obvious initial pains of the operations, FGC has long-term physiological, sexual, and psychological effects. The unsanitary environment under which FGC takes place results in infections of the genital and surrounding areas and often results in the transmission of the HIV virus which can cause AIDS. Some of the other health consequences of FGC include primary fatalities as a result of shock, hemorrhage or septicemia. In order to minimize the risk of the transmission of the viruses, some countries like Egypt made it illegal for FGC to be practiced by any other practitioners than trained doctors and nurses in hospitals. While this seems to be a more humane way to deal with FGC and try to reduce its health risks, more tissue is apt to be taken away due to the lack of struggle by the child if anesthesia is used.

Long-term complications include sexual frigidity, genital malformation, delayed menarche, chronic pelvic complications, recurrent urinary retention and infection, and an entire range of obstetric complications whereas the fetus is exposed to a range of infectious diseases as well as facing the risk of having his or her head crushed in the damaged birth canal. In such cases the infibulated mother must undergo another operation whereby she is “opened” further to insure the safe birthing of her child.

Girls undergo FGC when they are around three years old, though some of them are much older than that when they undergo the operation. The age varies depending on the type of the ritual and the customs of the local village or region.

Justifications:

In various cultures there are many “justifications” for these practices. A girl who is not circumcised is considered “unclean” by local villagers and therefore unmarriageable. A girl who does not have her clitoris removed is considered a great danger and ultimately fatal to a man if her clitoris touches his penis.

One of the most common explanations of FGC is local custom. Women are often heard saying that they are unwilling to change these customs since they have always done it this way and are not about to change. Oftentimes the practitioners are kept ignorant of the real implications of FGC, and the extreme health risks that it represents.

Family honor, cleanliness, protection against spells, insurance of virginity and faithfulness to the husband, or simply terrorizing women out of sex are sometimes used as excuses for the practice of FGC.

Some people believe that FGC is a barbaric practice done to girls and women in some remote villages in foreign countries of the world. However, up until a few decades ago, it was still believed that the clitoris is a very dangerous part of the female anatomy. Who can forget S. Freud who stated in one of his books entitled Sexuality and the Psychology of Love that the “elimination of clitoral sexuality is a necessary precondition for the development of femininity.”

As recently as 1979, the “Love Surgery” was performed on women in the United States. Dr. James E. Burt, the so-called Love Surgeon, introduced “clitoral relocation” (i.e. sunna circumcision) to the medical establishment. He believed and acted upon the idea that excision does not prevent sexual pleasure but enhances it. Dr. Burt practiced in Ohio for almost ten years before he was exposed after which he gave up his license.

Because of the large number of cases of FGC and some of the deaths it has caused, FGC is now outlawed in some European countries (Britain, France, Sweden, and Switzerland) and some African countries (Egypt, Kenya, Senegal).

Eradication:

It is also important to note that even though FGC is currently illegal in many countries in Africa and the Middle East, this has not reduced the number of the girls that are mutilated every year. The governments of these countries have no way of monitoring the spread and practice of FGC. The United Nations, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization have considered FGC to be a violation of Human Rights and have made recommendations to eradicate this practice. However, trying to fight FGC on legal terms is ineffective since those who practice it oftentimes do not report it. FGC is also widely practiced in villages and remote places where the government does not have an easy access.

A better and more effective approach would be a cooperation on the national level as well as the international level. The UN and the WHO have already taken the first step in abolishing these practices. Countries also need to have rigid laws that deal with FGC cases. This is also insufficient by itself. Anthropologists, educators, social scientists, and activists have to go into these villages and areas and educate the practitioners of the dangers of FGC. Female Genital Cutting can only be abolished by a grassroots approach which would take into consideration all aspects of a particular culture and try to work within that system of beliefs to eradicate this practice.

In many cultures, FGC serves as an initiation rite, and any efforts to eradicate it must take this into consideration. Some of the most successful eradication efforts have taken place in areas where FGC was replaced with “initiation without cutting” programs whereas a girl still goes through some initiation rites but this time, without any blood.

On the United States level, there are many efforts that are being made in order to abolish the practice locally and internationally. The National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC), a networking organization have brought together social scientists and medical practitioners from all over the world who are fighting FGC as well as male circumcision. NOCIRC has also founded the FGC Awareness and Education Project in August 1996. One of the goals of the project is to create an FGC Module which will provide information and training material to health care professionals. NOCIRC has also organized the International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations.

The Research, Actiona & Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women (RAINBO) has been conducting research and grass-roots programs internationally as well as in the United States on women’s reproductive sexual health as well as on female genital mutilation. On the National Level, Congresswoman Patricia Shroeder introduced H.R. 3247, a bill to outlaw FGC in the United States in the fall of 1994. The bill was then combined with The Minority Health Initiatives Act, H.R.3864. This bill was then combined with H.R. 941 on February 14, 1995 which was to be cited as the “Federal Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation of 1995.”

The bill was passed in September 1996. Some overdue effort is being made to abolish FGC, but there is still much work to be done. Educating ourselves, as well as others is a way that we can begin acting upon the convictions that human rights should not violated, and that violence against women is intolerable. Many people are still unaware that practices such as FGC are still widely practiced, and only an awareness can bring this inhumane practice to a halt.

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