Dr Bi­jal Shri­vas­tava an­swers all your child­care queries

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS - Dr Bi­jal Shri­vas­tava, MBBS and MD (Pae­di­atrics), is a neotol­o­gist at Dr LH Hi­ranan­dani Hos­pi­tal. She works full-time as a pe­di­atric con­sul­tant and has been a pe­di­atric prac­ti­tioner for the last 12 years. Send in your yo queries to mbe­d­i­to­rial@gmail.com wi

There’s no hap­pi­ness greater than the birth of a child, that too a healthy baby. How­ever, there are cer­tain tra­di­tons when it comes to baby­care that In­dian fam­i­lies can’t seem to let go of, the re­sult of which sees a grow­ing num­ber of in­fants com­ing to us with var­i­ous med­i­cal is­sues. In­ci­den­tally, the most com­mon rea­son be­hind an in­jury, is the ap­par­ently-in­dis­pen­si­ble ‘ maal­ish bai’.

Re­cently, a 25-day old healthy baby came into the clinic with breast swelling, red­ness and fever. The di­ag­no­sis was a breast ab­scess – the re­sult of an ex­tremly rouch mas­sage by the bai. Upon fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, we learned that the bai was press­ing the hard­ened breast of that baby to re­move milk, lead­ing to the in­fec­tion. In­cor­rect in­for­ma­tion can lead to in­hury. The fact re­mains that the hard­en­ing of the breast is nor­mal and is the re­sult of ma­ter­nal hor­mones. Cases like this, and much more is­sues, can be com­pletely avoided sim­ply by be­ing well in­formed.

Some other in­juries caused by a maal­ish bai are seen by way of a frac­tured col­lar­bone of the baby be­cause of pres­sure used dur­ing a mas­sage, pe­nile skin wounds as they push the fore­skin back to put oil into it, pour­ing oil into the ears caus­ing ear in­fec­tions, putting oil in the nose of these ba­bies caus­ing oil in­stil­la­tion pneu­mo­nia. Some more in­juries are a re­sult of ap­ply­ing ka­jal in the baby’s eyes lead­ing, to in­fec­tions as well as us­ing flour and bread­crumbs to mas­sage the baby to re­move hair. Hair will shed nat­u­rally once a baby turns five or six months old, as the growth rate is ge­net­i­cally de­ter­mined. The use of flour only re­sults in dry­ness and abra­sions.

The fact re­mains that an oil mas­sage and skin care of a new­born is sup­posed to be just like go­ing to a spa for adults. It’s meant to re­lax the new­born and aid in help­ing the par­ents con­nect and bond with their child. A mas­sage can­not make the ba­bies’ bones strong, or change their phys­i­cal fea­tures. A gen­tle mas­sage with any oil or lo­tion in a com­fort­able room tem­per­a­ture with­out ex­tra pres­sure, fol­lowed by bath with a gen­tle top-to-toe cleanser, and a mois­tu­rig­ing lo­tion, is all that your baby needs.

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