Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits for both the mother and the infant, because breast milk is healthy for the well-being of the body and the mind. It’s also a great method for mothers to maintain a healthy weight and even for preventing another pregnancy.

If this is your first experience with breastfeeding, however, you meet a lot of challenges such as keeping a healthy diet to produce enough milk for the baby. Here is an overview of the diet that a lactating mom should follow.

No Need for Special Diet

Some women wonder if they need to go on a special diet when breastfeeding, but the answer is that there is no need to follow any diet fad to produce better milk. You can still continue to enjoy the same food you enjoyed before you got pregnant, but there are some food you need to stay away from if they cause allergies or an upset stomach. You will know if the baby is allergic or intolerant to the food you eat if he/she exhibits the following: diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, hives, dry skin, eczema, wheezing, coughing, and production of green-colored stools with blood or mucus.

Stay Hydrated Always

Although the amount of water you take in will not affect your breast milk production, getting dehydrated will be bad for you. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty before replenishing your fluids. You should also limit your intake of alcoholic drinks, artificially-sweetened beverages with added sugars, and caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee. Alcohol and caffeine when taken in moderation will not be bad for your baby, so limit your coffee or tea to two cups a day and your alcohol to one glass or less.

You Might Need Supplements

If you stick to a vegan diet, your baby might not get enough vitamin B12, which can lead to a lot of developmental problems. While vitamin B12 supplements might be an option, you might want to switch to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for the duration of your breastfeeding experience, because you will be feeding not just yourself but your baby as well.

Medications, Alcohol, and Smoking

If you are taking medications or will be required to take medications, don’t forget to inform your doctor in Singapore if you are breastfeeding. Some medications are safe for the baby, but others can have nasty side-effects. Mothers are also advised to stay away from alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, tobacco, and dangerous drugs when having a baby. If you have problems with any of these, ask for advise from your doctor on how to minimize or to quit your addiction.

Watch Your Diet and Calorie Intake

Ideally, a breastfeeding mom should have a recommended daily intake of 1,800 to 2,400 calories. It’s also okay to eat once every four hours to keep a normal blood sugar level, consuming one or two of the following food groups: vegetables: four to seven servings daily; fruits: three to five servings daily; dairy: two to three servings daily; whole grains: four to seven servings daily; and lean protein: two to three servings daily. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite treats, however, as long as you eat in moderation.

Ever wondered what those wart-like protuberances are on your skin, especially on the neck and armpits? They are known by many names, but most dermatologists in Singapore refer to them collectively as skin tags.

Causes of Skin Tags

Some of the names for skin tags include soft fibromas, filiform, acrochordons, papillomas, fibroepithelial polyps, and pedunculated. These names also describe the distinct features of some of the skin tags. They may look like warts but are not, and are made from blood vessels and collagen fibers covered by either a thin or thick layer of epidermis.

Generally, they have the same color as the person’s skin and can be as small as 1 mm in diameter, while the largest can grow as much as 5 cm in diameter. It is not yet clear what causes skin tags, but they are generally harmless.

Some factors, however, might increase a person’s chances of getting them; such as, irritation and chafing, that is why most skin tags are found where skin rubs against skin (groin, neck, and armpits); insulin resistance or the disease known as syndrome X; human papillomavirus (HPV); and elevated levels of growth factors during hormonal change or if the person suffers from gigantism. They are also more common among people who are overweight or obese or those who have type 2 diabetes.

Treatment and Removal

Other skin diseases might look like skin tags, such as viral warts, molluscum contagiosum, and seborrheic keratoses, that is why you need to consult a doctor if you want to have them removed. Skin tags are not signs of a deadly disease nor will it cause any harm to your body, but they appear nasty and disgusting to some people.

Skin tags can sometimes form clusters, making the appearance even more horrifying. Besides the aesthetic concerns, skin tags can get irritated or infected and must be removed before it can lead to a more serious medical concern. Before a skin tag can be removed, the doctor needs to examine them to determine if they are skin tags or not. Some might recommend a biopsy to rule out the possibility of cancer if the skin tag is unusually large in size.

There are various ways to remove skin tags safely; such as, surgical excision using scissors, electrosurgery or diathermy, cryotherapy or freezing, and ligation or tying a suture on the skin tag. Some people, however, prefer over-the-counter solutions to skin tags because they are more affordable, but this is generally frowned upon by medical practitioners because you need to rule out the possibility of other diseases.

Some remove the skin tags by tying them off to cut off the blood flow using a string or a dental floss. The skin tag will fall off eventually after a day when you leave the string on. There are also some approved skin tag removal devices sold at pharmacies for removing more than one skin tag at a time.

Cellulite can be frustrating. Not only do they look like stretch marks, they are also very difficult to get rid of. Unfortunately, most women will get them at some point of their lives regardless of the body type. But even if it is so common, there are so many misconceptions about how you’re supposed to get rid of it.

What Causes It?

Cellulite isn’t like stretch marks, because it’s a buildup of fat deposits that push through the collagen fibers in the skin. However, just like stretch marks, they often appear on the arms, stomach, buttocks and thighs. The collagen fibers, also called connective tissues, become weak because of poor circulation, excess fat, lack of exercise, and hormonal changes. If you see a product in Singapore that will get rid of toxins to reduce cellulite, then you know now that it’s lying.

Who Can Get It?

Anyone can get it regardless of the body type, but women are more prone than men because anatomically, women have more fat around the thighs and hips. It also gets worse as the individual ages, because the body will produce less estrogen, which is responsible for good circulation. This in turn will weaken the connective tissues and lower the production of collagen. Some people are also more prone to getting cellulite because it’s in their genes, but if you’re active and fit, the chances will be reduced.

How to Prevent It?

So, what can you do to avoid it if even slim people still get cellulite? Regular exercise cannot get rid of cellulite if you already have it, but it will prevent the appearance of more cellulite because regular stretching will tone and tighten the skin. Wearing clothing that will compress some of the fat will not help and might actually contribute to the appearance of cellulite because they can cause poor circulation. Unfortunately, creams that claim it can make the skin firm and reduce the cellulite do not work at all. There are temporary solutions like dermal fillers that will plump up sagging skin for a while, but procedures like liposuction will just distribute the fat unevenly.

How to Get Rid of It?

Thankfully, some non-invasive procedures such as massage, radio-frequency, and laser are effective against cellulite for short-term relief. Changing your diet and keeping your body hydrated can also help if you choose a plant-heavy diet that will reduce the inflammation in your body. A healthy diet can also help you lose excess weight, especially if you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables that have a high-water content. Next time you buy a product for cellulite, remember that there is no permanent solution for cellulite as of today and that all the procedures listed above provide only temporary solutions.

It’s legal to keep birds as pets in Singapore as long as the species is not listed under CITES. If you need to import birds listed under CITES, you will need permits and to comply with the health requirements, although adopting endangered animals is usually discouraged.

Most of the species listed below are ideal for beginners, but they are not recommended for families with children, because they could easily injure these creatures unless they know how to handle birds properly. Most of these birds can live over the age of 10 years, but they often have shorter lives because of improper handling.

Dove

The diamond dove (Geopelia cuneate) and the ring-necked dove (Streptopelia capicola) are the most popular species of doves kept as pets. Older children can keep doves as pets because they are mild creatures and do not make a lot of noise. Their temperament will differ based on how you raise them, but they need companions all the time, whether it’s another dove or the owner.

Zebra Finch

This species of finch (Taeniopygia guttate) is a hardy bird that’s perfect for beginners. They are usually kept in pairs, however, and will not need a lot of companionship from humans. They also do not like being handled all the time, so they are perfect for people who do not want to train their pet to perch on them.

Canary

For owners who love to listen to bird songs, the canary (Serinus canaria) has a unique birdsong, but they are generally quiet unless they are trying to attract mates. However, they are not ideal for companionship and should not be handled all the time.

Ring-Necked Parakeet

This affectionate and chatty bird is the perfect companion for individuals who want a devoted pet. This means that this species of parakeet (Psittacula krameri) will need a lot of playtime outside its cage. However, it’s not an ideal pet for families with children because they are sensitive to noises.

Cockatiel

Another smart companion bird, the cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) is a sociable pet that will not hesitate to show its love and affection for its owner. They love playing and being touched and talked to by their owners, but are less hyperactive than lovebirds and other species of parrots.

Peach-Faced Lovebird

Another ideal companion pet, the peach-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis) will want your attention and loyalty. Part of their attraction as pets is their ability to develop monogamous bonds even with humans. They need a lot of playtime because they are also curious, but they can have behavioral problems like territoriality, if the owner does not look after them properly.

Budgerigar

These birds (Melopsittacus undulatus) are curious and smart and need constant stimulation through playing. If you want to keep just one bird, make sure that they get enough socialization and companionship from the others members of the family.

A bullet journal is basically a combination of a planner and a journal. But really, it’s not all limited to just those two. You can doodle on it or put some to-do lists, and many, many more! Aside from those, there are really a lot more benefits to having a bullet journal.

Bullet journal vs. planner

Firstly, let’s clear up the difference between these two since a lot of people think they’re similar. Bullet journals have blank or lined pages and don’t really have any specific format. That means you can just write and put whatever you want, however you want. Planners, on the other hand, are basically more organized.

It’s really easy

One reason why people don’t get into journaling is because they think it’s too much of a hassle. But bullet journaling is actually very easy. As said earlier, there’s no specific format as to how you should do your bullet journal. You can doodle all you want, design the pages all you want, write whatever, etc. You don’t even have to go all out with it as well! You can just put simple writings, lists, ideas, and whatever.

It helps with productivity

Another advantage of having a bullet journal is that you can organize your tasks for each day. Sometimes, when you don’t put your plans in paper, you’ll end up doing too much or not wanting to do anything at all. Naturally, this will hurt your productivity both in the short and the long-term. Having a bullet journal helps you put your tasks on paper and allows you to see your progress.

You’ll know what to prioritize

It’s obviously easy to write down your tasks for the day. But sometimes you might forget which ones are more important than others. As mentioned earlier, a bullet journal is still quite similar to a planner. You can be systematic with it and organize everything neatly. Then, you’ll see how much help this provides with getting your priorities done.

It can help you track your moods and habits

Your bullet journal can also help you with daily mindfulness and self-reflection. If you know the things that affect your mood, you’ll have an easier time getting over negative emotions. If you’re one of those Singaporeans who’s lacking sleep, you can also use your bullet journal to track your sleeping habits, for example. It can definitely help if you’re trying to get enough sleep every night.

It makes your life a lot simpler

Overall, you can see that bullet journals can make many things easier for yourself. Again, it increases your productivity because it keeps you organized. You’ll know what to prioritize hence you can finish a lot of work whether they’re important or not. And you can also use it for daily reflection and stress relief.

Schools in Singapore promote mathematics and problem-solving a lot. There are Olympiads for solving puzzles and etc. and a lot of kids from different schools take part as well. Solving puzzles isn’t only for kids as well. Solving puzzles can have a lot of positive benefits to the mind. Here are only some of them.

1.  Help us sharpen our problem-solving skills.

Doing puzzles help develop our ability to think creatively and critically to come up with solutions to the problem. There are also many ways to solve a puzzle and usually, trial and error is unavoidable and should be used. This can teach us to constantly change perspectives and use different angles when we make mistakes and also form more theories and strategies to approach the given problem.

2.  Improve focus and concentration

Solving a puzzle, crossword, jigsaw, or even a Rubik’s cube, takes a lot of concentration. When we constantly play practice and play puzzles, our minds can get used to focusing on the task at hand. We could get used to putting our mind into one thing and focusing on the task at hand. Our brain also boosts the production of dopamine while we work on puzzles. This helps improve our ability to concentrate on understanding the puzzles.

3.  Improve memory

Jigsaw puzzles, particularly, can help improve our memory. It trains our short-term memory because we try to recall what the complete image would look like if the puzzle is completed. We also use our memory to recollect the shapes and colors that would go together and form even just a part of the image. Improved memory also comes as a result of the growth of new nerve cells and the reestablished connections between our brain cells.

4.  Reduces the risk of degenerative disease

By regularly doing puzzles, we keep our brains active which means it’s kept healthy and will not likely be affected by diseases early. Again, this is because puzzles strengthen the connection of our brain cells. Doing puzzles have also been seen to be beneficial as we age. It has even been found that doing puzzles can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, as both come as a result of old age.

5.  Success and relaxation

The feeling of success that you get after solving a really hard puzzle can be awesome. Even before finishing, puzzles can help clear your mind and relax. While you’re working on puzzles, most of the time you’ll be very immersed in it that you’ll end up ignoring your worries and all the stress. Puzzles promote relaxation because unlike a lot of games these days which are all fast-paced, a puzzle can always wait.