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Health Tips for January 12

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:22pm
Health Tip: What's Involved in a Sneeze

Sneezing, also called sternutation, is your body's way of getting something irritating out of your nose.

When the inside of your nose gets a tickle, a message is sent to the part of your brain called the sneeze center. The sneeze center sends a message to all the muscles that have to work together to create the sneeze. Those include the abdominal muscles, chest muscles, diaphragm, the muscles that control your vocal cords, muscles in the back of your throat, and your eyelid muscles. It's impossible to keep your eyes open when you sneeze.

The sneeze center makes all these muscles work in just the right order, to send that irritating particle out of your nose -- at speeds up to 100 mph, according to the Nemours Center for Children's Health Media.

About one of every three people sneezes when exposed to bright light; they are called photic sneezers. If you are a photic sneezer, you got it from one of your parents, since it is an inherited trait.

Health Tip: Working and Breast-feeding

It's often a challenge when breast-feeding moms must return to their jobs.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers these suggestions to help make the transition easier:

* If you know you'll be heading back to work eventually, start offering your baby a bottle for some feedings when the infant is about 3-4 weeks old.
* Buy a breast pump and start pumping and freezing a supply of milk about two weeks before you go back to work. It's OK to supplement your breast milk with formula if you can't build up enough of a supply.
* Try to pump every two or three hours during the day. Or do so once a day and supplement with a bottle of formula.
* Nurse your baby right before you leave in the morning, and as soon as you get home at night. If possible, also try to work in a lunchtime nursing.
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