The Indian grand mom has always played a pivotal role in caring for the new born. Once the exclusive preserve of the maternal grandmother, the paternal ones are also pitching in these days to lend their support upon the arrival of the new baby.
They will brush aside all old wives tales about ill-luck, etc., and gamely cross the seven seas in order to take charge of the household and make their presence felt. Once there, she effortlessly transitions between her roles as a doting grandmother (GM) and general manager (GM).
From the diet and well-being of the lactating mother to the daily routines and care of the infant, there’s a wealth of knowledge accrued from the orient as well as the accident, and opinions vary about the approaches to be taken under different circumstances. Your pediatrician will of course bring another perspective to the steps you must take to ensure your baby’s growth and general health.
Here are some aspects of concern that most people experience while raising a new born.
Diet of the new mother: Oriental wisdom says that she should have a diet rich in garlic, drumstick juice and fenugreek seeds in order to encourage lactation.
Western thought suggests that improper latching position is a reason why many newborn babies are unable to get the feed properly, especially with first-time moms. Having a comfortable posture when feeding, with the support of a pillow or cushion would be a great help. Most importantly, simple as this may sound, the more you breastfeed, the more milk be generated.
Stress is definitely bad for both the mother and the baby. It’s important to sit in a soothing and calm environment with your baby, play with her for a while and then start to feed. Completely avoid getting into a huge fuss or arguments over silly things.
Colicky babies: Some babies are more colicky than others. This is owing to a form of flatulence that makes the baby uncomfortable. After every feed, the baby must be held upright and her back patted to release the colic. The mother is advised to avoid spicy food, mangoes and other foods that induce heat.
Colds: Care must be taken to protect the newborn against chest colds. It is not advisable to take her o places where there are crowds, or to a hospital where she might catch an infection. Also avoid taking her to a different city where the climate is completely different from her birth place. Change of water and climate can affect babies who are less than robust. Pediatricians sometimes suggest that ripe banana be included in the diet in infants as early as three months. But the Indian grand mom will caution against the green banana as it is likely to cause chest congestion and cold.
Fevers: The importance of stemming the rise of a fever in the young babies up to three years of age cannot be overemphasized. In many instances, very young babies have suffered cerebral damage owing to very high temperature that was allowed to go unchecked.
Hygiene: It’s vital to maintain your infant under good standards of hygiene, including the baby feeding bottle and feeding bowls and spoon. Clothing should be washed with mild soap and dried out in the sun to kill the bacteria. Any neglect in this regard can lead to nappy rash, skin rash etc., which will again require medication.
Try to keep yourself and your baby healthy by taking simple precautions, as you don’t want to start her on any kind of medication unless it is absolutely unavoidable.
Regular check-ups & immunisation: Take your baby for regular check-ups and strictly follow the immunisation schedule. When going for polio drops or triple antigen, make sure to read the label before the drops or shots are administered. Always choose a reliable doctor, clinic or hospital for all such immunisation visits.
Milestones: Keep a track of the baby’s growth milestones without getting overly stressed if there’s a delay by a few weeks or a month. Remember that each baby is different, and yours will be just as healthy and strong as any other.