To From

Husband Wife




Issued in Public Interest by

Written and Compiled by
Swagata Yadavar

Copy Edited By
Priyanka Parab Pooja Biraia Geetai Nivangune

Book and Design Conception
Mahavir Chopra

K S Sankar

Contributing Doctors
Dr. Geetanjali Shah, M D (Pediatrician) Dr. Sudhir Sane, M D DCH (Pediatrician, Neonatologist) Dr. Sangeeta Pikale , (Gynecologist)

Copyright © 2010 Medimanage Health Services Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved under Indian Copyright Act.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. Coping with Motherhood How to prepare your Home for your newborn How to select a Doctor for your Baby? Caring for your Premature Baby Feeding the Baby Baby Hygiene Friends, Family and the Baby Thumb Sucking Keep your Baby smiling in all weathers! Diapering your Baby Why is my Baby crying!? Baby massage- A Gift for both Parents and Babies Danger signs in Babies Bonding tips for the New Father Baby, Sleep like a Baby… Teething Issues at Hand Foods for your Baby Travelling with your Baby Solving the Vaccination Woes Dealing with Common Illnesses of the Baby Stimulating the Baby Traditional vs. Modern approach to Baby care Baby’s Development Milestones Mommy’s Health 6 9 12 15 18 27 31 35 37 41 47 50 54 56 60 64 66 71 75 79 85 88 93 100


The best foreword for this book probably is verily what it brought rolling down
my cheeks as I read it – a drop of tear. Like the parenthood is the most natural human instinct, the tear drop is the most natural expression of any human instinct. I was wondering what brought about this drop of tear – only to realize this tiny tear drop contained in it an ocean of emotions. Sublime love and compassion that is typical of parenthood; Care so supreme that one would offer one’s own self at the altar for the wellbeing of the one that is cared for. Empathy tempered with insights – the mother instinctively understands what pains and troubles the child – The book provides the insights to temper the empathy with – so that the anxious mother does not go overboard. Awe at the almost superhuman ability to multitask during the period of rearing the newborn – I have come across many a mother wondering aloud, looking back at those demanding days of rearing their infant – Honest to God I do not know where I got the ability to manage those days. This book offers valuable wisdom to make those arduous days a little less arduous. Gratitude – Some worthy has said ‘every child born is a proof that God has still not lost faith in humanity’. The emotion of gratitude that I find in my tear drop is that sense of gratitude to all the mothers and motherhood at large that indeed holds humanity together and makes togetherness human. As I was getting tossed around these and several other similar waves of emotion, the tear drop suddenly chose to demonstrate another innate character it possesses – of being a natural prism. And made my reflections move from me the receiver to the givers of this book –


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care


This reflection led to the realization that it is these very values that drive Medimanage. I see it manifest in the very effort of bringing out this book. I see unwritten but clearly visible in between every two lines of this book – We care, that we help you care for the one you care for the most in this entire universe – your newborn. Empathy in all that Medimanage does ‐ in understanding the pain areas ‐ tempered with invaluable insights they provide. And the integrated process driven approach that make arduous situations that much less arduous for all those concerned. My heartfelt congratulations to the entire content team of, lead ably from the front by Mahavir Chopra, and to the entire Medimanage leadership on crossing this new milestone. I have been observing with pride the steady enhancement of the quality and relevance in the contributions of the entire content team of Swagata Yadavar, verily the compiler/composer/author of this compendium deserves special mention here for her demonstrated dedication and devotion, and for her steadfast adherence to timelines. She is one person who is always willing to walk the extra mile in pursuit of perfection, and what you have in the following pages is the outcome of such pursuit. So, the blessed lot of parents‐to‐be and brand‐new‐parents, parents and brothers and sisters and other relatives and friends of such blessed lot – each of you have some take away in this compendium. I am sure you will find the authentic content of this compendium to be of immense use to you. I am equally sure will continue to come up with more such authentic India relevant compendiums. ‐K S Sankar Editor‐in‐Chief


Coping with motherhood

Along with the euphoria after the announcement
that you are expecting, you find that your heart flutters whenever you think about the baby. Don’t worry! It’s just your apprehension about becoming a mother. This being your first time you are not really sure of how well you can deal with the pregnancy, about how you will be reacting to the labor pains and the biggest question of all, will you be a good mother or not! As you face these fears, you are given nothing but guidelines and more guidelines! Everybody talks about what you should eat, what you should avoid along with what to do and what not to when pregnant! There are solutions for everything from backaches to swollen legs that come with pregnancy but none for soothing the nerves of a soon‐ to ‐be mother. We understand what you are going through, and here is our sincere effort at trying to make you feel better. There is no right way or wrong way You mother can tell you of a thousand ways to do things in the right way, when it comes to the baby as they worked for her! But don’t think that those are the only ways to do it! Each baby is different, as every mother is. For some mothers the crying part of caring for babies is the difficult one, while it

is the sleep for others and so on. There is no manufacturer’s manual that comes with the baby, you just have to take things the way they come and do whatever seems right to you, with due consultation of the doctor. Don’t let the disproving remarks of others dampen your confidence; as in the end you are the mother and no one knows your baby the way you do! Do what comes to you naturally and what works well for your baby.

Sense of humor
If there were an eligibility requirement for being a mother, having a sense of humor would be placed at the top. The reason being, having a baby and caring for the baby is no mean task! It is a road full of ups and downs and having a sense of humor


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

will be of a great help if you are to make it through the first year without any breakdowns! Imagine this scenario, it is 3 am at night and the third time your baby cries for a feed or you are ready to go out and have finished dressing him in a very cute outfit, when he decides to spit up milk on it. Just like these incidents, there will be several more moments that will leave you as a mother completely exhausted, frustrated and on the verge of tears! This is where you will require a sense of humor to laugh about such incidences with the baby, as there is nothing you can do about them!

come and assist you in some of chores. When they are at home, relax, catch on some sleep and do something for yourself. This time alone will rejuvenate you and energize you enough to handle motherhood once again!

Be Open and Patient
There will be times when you are unsure of what you are doing. There will also be countless other times when you think, whatever you are doing is wrong! But don’t you worry, like most others you will learn on the job. Experience is what teaches you the best, along with the maternal instinct that everyone talks about. After all, even the best of us fail sometimes; we just learn from the mistakes and do it again properly the next time round!

Ask for help
‘When in doubt ask for help’. This saying can be modified for mothers, into, ‘whenever

overwhelmed‐ ask for help!’ Women in general have their hands full with household as well as the workplace chores, plus they are better at multi‐ tasking than men, but still there is a limit as to how much they can handle. Whenever you find it difficult to take any more strain, call for help. The reason you need to do that is an overstressed and unhappy mom is not in the best shape to care for the baby. You can ask either your spouse, mom, in laws or your friends to

Let go….
When your baby is young, most of the time will be spent in caring for the baby. By the end of the day you will be exhausted with no energy left to do anything else but to fall on your bed and slip into an exhausted sleep! So, you may find that the dishes will lie unwashed, the house will be filled with diapers and toys etc. in short the house won’t be exactly visitor friendly.


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

If the sight of your house is making you sigh. Don’t! It is, but natural that taking care of the baby will take over as your number one priority leading you to overlook your household duties. Accept that the house will be messy for few months! Let go and

don’t fret over it as after a few months you will be able to manage both your baby and the household duties wonderfully! Motherhood is a journey to be enjoyed with a heart open, a mind full of enthusiasm and a smiling face….Bon Voyage!


How to prepare your home for your newborn

The news of pregnancy brings joy, fear, excitem‐
ent and nervousness for the ‘would be parents’. While some of us are nervous because we know that our life won’t be same after the arrival of the baby, others are excited by the very thought of the imminent arrival of tiny feet. Whatever the feeling maybe, it is accompanied by the acceptance of a responsibility that rests on our shoulders, the responsibility of taking care of a little human being! There is an awful lot to learn and know about pregnancy and we often find ourselves feeling overwhelmed by the myriad information on Parental Dos and Don’ts. With so much to think and fret about, the practical issue of how to prepare your home for the newborn is forgotten. Here are our tips on how to prepare your home for your newborn.

• With a source for the sunlight to seep in • Clean with no paint peeling off and no leakages • Generally warm Dr. Geetanjali Shah, Pediatrician, stresses the importance of sunlight “Sunlight is important for babies, we keep all babies in sunlight after delivery to prevent occurrence of physiological jaundice. Later when the chances of jaundice are less, we still keep them in for the benefit of vitamin D. From whichever rooms are available, you have to select the right one.” If the room where the baby is kept is not sunny, you can keep him in a spot at home where he receives sunlight to benefit from it. Dr. Geetanjali also advices the parents to carry out pest control at least 3 months before the

Most women in India spend their last stages of pregnancy, in their parent’s home. It is also this home, which the baby is most likely to arrive from the hospital room. The room that baby should stay in, should be‐ • Well ventilated


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

arrival of the baby, if they are considering doing it.

hinges, springs and routinely maintain the furniture. Cribs‐ Generally popularized by the west, they offer space, comfort and keep the babies safe. They have adjustable bed height and some can be converted to a toddler bed after the baby grows up. Cradles‐ The traditional Indian choice to keep the baby, these come in handy to sway and help the baby fall asleep. You can hang various toys from the cradle that produce music which can help to soothe the baby when he is crying or cranky.

Decorating it
Decorating a room for the baby brings in all sorts of ideas from rainbows to fairies and cartoon characters. You can let your imagination run free in this room, but think about these things too, as you go about decorating your baby’s room‐ Color‐ Select a color that is neutral and bright. The color should suit both a boy and a girl‐ like hues of yellow, peach etc. Make sure that the paint used is lead free. Dr. Geetanjali Shah however says that, “though we color the walls of the baby’s room in pastel colors and keep colorful soft toys in their room, these colors don’t work much! The colors that babies can see are white, black and red. If you keep toys of these colors and have formations of these colors painted on the wall, these help stimulate the baby’s brain.”

Mosquito net‐ The last thing you want is for your baby to be bitten by ruthless mosquitoes and to have their skin covered in mosquito bites. A mosquito net is thus an essential that you must invest in.

Your home which seems perfectly safe might be filled with sharp edges, exposed sockets and other unknown hazards for the baby. The first few months will be worry free as your baby cannot crawl and thus will be safe from any accidents, however it would be a wise move to

All furniture that you buy must be splinter free, with smooth edges and of a solid construction. You should also need to check for exposed


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

start baby proofing your home early on. The trick lies in looking at your home furniture and appliances from your baby’s perspective. Take a tour of the house crawling and look at things that may interest you like open sockets, tiny objects lying on the floor and so on. Here are the common things you can do to baby proof your home. • Cover electrical sockets with plastic and rubber outlet covers • Lock all your cabinets and drawers that are within the baby’s reach • Pad all the sharp edges in your furniture or smoothen it to avoid injury to the baby • Doorknobs can be fixed with doorknob covers

that prevent your baby from opening the door and going out • Stairs inside the house, need to be fixed with mesh gates • The buttons on TVs and other electrical devices should be covered by plastic shields • Windows need to be fixed with grills and locks. You must have by now realized; parenting does not start from the moment when you bring the baby home but long before it, since the time you plan your baby. It is about changing your priorities or rather choosing the right things as priorities. Hope you have started doing that, and Happy Parenting!


How to select a doctor for your baby?

The first step in choosing the right doctor for
your baby is starting early! You should start looking for the doctor from the time you are pregnant and make a decision as you near the end of your pregnancy which should ideally be around the 8 month mark. The next question that pops up is what to look for in your baby’s doctor? Here are some tips to give you a head start in choosing the right doctor for your baby.

university may suggest proper validation. • The range of charges the doctor levies per visit. Sometimes your friends may suggest very good doctors, who charge really high fees which might not suit your pockets! So look for other equally good but less expensive options. • You should select a doctor that practices near your home. You cannot take a sick child and travel for 2 hours just to see the doctor! • How experienced is the doctor? If he is experienced, is he also in touch with latest research and treatments? If the doctor is quite new to the profession, he must have a

Where to start
You need to start by asking your close friends and relatives for any good pediatrician that they can refer. You can also take suggestions from your Family doctor and your gynecologist; doctors are known to suggest the name of their own friends and sometimes relatives too, so it won’t necessa ri l y be an u nbi a sed

recommendation. Once you get a few names in, you can start your research.

What to look for
• You can start from the very basics, like which university has the doctor completed the specialties form. A well known


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

good reference for you to choose him.

schedules, co‐ sleeping, vaccinations, single parenting, day care system and alternative medicines?

The Doctors Clinic
In the Western countries, there is a concept of interviewing the doctor before you select him to as pediatrician for your baby. You can follow a similar routine for your baby by visiting the doctor’s clinic regularly or by just paying a visit to his clinic with your friend. Once at the doctor’s clinic, keep an eye for certain things such as. • Notice the waiting area of the clinic‐ Is it well furnished? is it child proofed? are there things to entertain the child with? Is there room large enough for many babies or is it cramped? • Observe how the staff reacts to your visit; are they friendly with other parents? Do they take questions on phone, does the doctor himself speak or does the staff answer on his part? • Ask other parents in the waiting room about their experience with the doctor, whether they are happy with him. • • • •

Check if the opinions of the doctor match up with your own views of parenting. It is always better to have a doctor who feels like you do on most topics rather than have arguments during the visits. Some doctors tend to overmedicate the kid which has a negative impact on the child’s health‐ so ask the doctor whether he believes in herbal or any other form of remedy or does he depend on antibiotics only. Ask him if you can call on his personal phone number and does he always entertain the call. You can also ask if he responds to e‐mails. After your talk with him, make a list of certain things such as during the talk did he listen intently to what you were saying? Did he seem to rush through it or was he patient? From his demeanor, you will get an

The Doctor himself
When you get an opportunity to meet the doctor himself, do consider these points. • What are his opinions on breastfeeding, baby

idea of how he is with kids and how receptive he is when it comes to the baby’s parents. After a careful analysis of all these factors, make


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

a well thought of decision. After the selection, inform him about your decision and contact him after the delivery for the first checkup. In the first year, there will be at least 6 periodic checkups wherein the doctor will gauge your baby’s growth. If, you find that in spite of your careful considerations you and your doctor don’t

seem to gel well, talk to him about it. See if you can resolve the issue before you change doctors, as having the same doctor helps in diagnosis and better treatment of baby’s illness. To ensure that your child’s health is in safe hands, choose your doctor carefully.


Caring for your Premature Baby

Generally parents of a

new born baby do not

medicines. This will be especially useful at times, when there would be someone else

spend more time in the hospital than required – which is the approximately the first few days after the baby is born but parents with premature babies have to spend not only days but weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit! Seeing their extremely tiny babies attached to needles and tubes till the babies gain enough weight ‐ 1.8 Kg or 4 lbs and are strong enough to breathe on their own properly. Only when the doctors are certain of the baby’s development will they give their consent for the baby to be taken home. Along with the happiness associated with their baby coming home, the parents are also bound to be anxious about the health of the baby when he is at home. Here are some tips to help parents of premature babies to care for them. • Always keep the baby in your room so that you can keep an eye on him. • Listen to the baby’s breathing to check for any irregularities. • Premature babies cannot warm themselves as compared to other normal babies; these babies need to be kept warm at all times. • Make a list of all the medications that are needed to be administered to the baby, along with the timings for the administration of the •

taking care of your baby. • When you are buying diapers, look out for special diapers that are made for premature babies. Do the same for their clothes too however do not buy too many clothes as your baby will soon outgrow them. • Remember to wash your hands before you touch your premature baby. • Sterilize the baby’s bottles by keeping them in boiling water, as premature babies are more susceptible to infections as compared to normal babies. Your baby’s diet sometimes needs to be supplemented with vitamins, so ask your doctor if your baby needs them.


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

• Though full term babies start solid foods at 4 months of age, a premature baby needs to start solids later. Generally doctors

Premature babies need more nourishment and the best way to ensure this is to feed them with breast milk. Premature babies, who are breast fed, develop better and faster than those premature babies who were bottle fed.

recommend starting solids after the baby’s weight comes to 5.9 to 6.8 Kg.

Development milestones
If you find that your premature baby is not reaching the developmental milestones

Premature babies have little tummies so they need to be fed frequently‐every 2 hours. These babies tire easily too, and sleep through their feedings so you need to wake them at night to feed them. Mothers should select a comfortable position for breastfeeding the baby like holding him close to the chest while keeping the neck supported. It is found that premature babies are most

prescribed for his age, don’t worry. A Premature baby’s age, though he is born early, should be calculated from his gestational age which is called the corrected age. For example, a 5 month old premature baby, who is born two months preterm, is actually only 3 months old as per as the corrected age. And if you want to gauge his growth, remember to use the corrected age.

comfortable in the Football hold (see Football hold in the chapter ‘Feeding your baby’ page no.20). Since a premature baby doesn’t have the rooting reflex mastered yet, you have to help him by placing him on the nipple with the areola into the mouth. Compress your breast lightly with your fingers to make it easier for him to latch on to. You will observe that your baby does not start feeding right from the start and that he is just suckling in a motion. You should allow the baby

Premature babies are vaccinated in line with a full term baby’s schedule when their weight (1.5 Kg) is suitable for vaccinations. The only difference is that these babies do not receive the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth as other babies do. Instead the premature babies receive the vaccine only after they start weighing in at least 1.95 Kg.


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

to do that, as suckling stimulates the breasts to produce more milk and makes it easier for the baby to get it. Premature babies take more time to feed as they are not good at sucking. So even if your baby stops feeding for a while, wait for a few minutes to see whether he has really finished feeding or not. Be patient with breast feedings as sometimes it takes about an hour or so for a premature baby to fill up his tummy.

term peers in sleeping through the night. Normal babies take about 6 months time to start sleeping through the night; premature babies, however take more than 6 months to start sleeping through the night, which means that the parents of these babies have to remain awake in the night for longer periods of time. Also do not allow the baby sleep on his back as premature babies are more likely to suffer from SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as compared to normally born babies. There are differences between a premature baby and term baby but only for a while. After their second birthday, you will find that his growth and development is normal after a while. So relax!

Premature babies spend the early few weeks of their life in the NICU so they have more problems in understanding the difference between Day and Night and tend to take more time than their full


Feeding the baby


the baby be it through breast •

infections and urinary tract infection etc. away from the baby. Convenience food: Breast milk is

feeding or through a bottle is a rich emotional experience for the mother. It is heartening to watch the baby and the mother bond in this special way. This article will tell you the right technique and method for feeding to make it easy for both you and the baby.

available to the baby, be it night or day, as it does not have to be heated or prepared! If the mother is going to be away for a while, breast milk can be pumped into a bottle and preserved for later feeds. • Baby ‐ Mother bonding: Breastfeeding is an amazing way of boosting the bond between a mother and her child. This is the time when the child maintains an eye ‐contact with the mother; he cozies up with the mother and shares a strong bonding which lasts for a lifetime. • Quicker recovery releases for a mother: range of

Why Breast feed?
• It is custom made: Breast milk has at least 100 compounds that cow’s milk does not have. The composition of the breast milk changes according to the needs of the baby. It is different in the first month as compared to the third; also it is different in the morning than the afternoon and different even at the beginning of the session. • Easy to digest: A newborn’s tummy is not equipped to handle the kind of fat and protein, which is present in the cow’s milk. Thus, breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from gas and bowel problems. • Boosts immunity: Breast milk has a healthy dose of antibodies that boost the infant’s immunity and keeps the general illnesses like cold, fever, ear


hormones within the mother’s body that help her get back in shape. It not only


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

heals the uterus but also helps in burning up to 300 calories per session.

estrogen and progesterone go down and prolactin levels go up, which stimulates the mother’s mammary glands to produce milk. However, the baby is the one who actually, regulates the milk flow. As the baby suckles the

Understanding Breastfeeding
Mechanism Understanding the mechanism of how lactation works, will help you understand the right way to breast feed your baby.

breast, prolactin ups the milk production in the mother. Need based

Colostrum, the first feed: Mothers are advised to breastfeed their babies as soon as possible, preferably just after the delivery ‐ generally within an hour. Even though this may seem tough for the mother who has just overcome her labor pain, she should do it as immediate breastfeeding is essential for good health of both the mother and the child. During the first feed, you will observe a yellowish colored thick liquid is all that comes out, that too in a very small amount about a teaspoonful. This is the precious Colostrum, that has antibodies which protect your baby from infections and this small quantity filled with protein, vitamins and minerals proves to be just enough to for the newborn’s immature digestive system. Colostrum is Breast milk as mentioned earlier, changes its properties according to the need of the baby. The breast milk at the start of the feeding session is the foremilk or the ‘thirst quencher’ which is diluted and low in fat. And as the session progress, the breast begins to produce hind milk that is high in protein, calories and fat. Note: When the feeding session is a shorter one or if you change breasts too soon while feeding the baby, he will only get the foremilk and miss out on the more nutritious hind milk. Hind Milk helps the baby gain weight and shorter feeding sessions in which he is deprived of hind milk can result in him being underweight. To know when to change your breast, press your breast and if it is softer than it was before the feed, then you can offer the second breast to your baby.

produced in mother’s body for few days after delivery. The Production As the baby is pushed out of the body, the body quickly starts producing milk. The levels of

Position, position, position


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Breast feeding is as much an emotional experience as it is a physical one for you, so make sure you and your baby are comfortable. Choose a quiet corner to maintain focus, which is required at least at the start. For mothers who are ready, but clueless, as to how to place the baby, here are the options: • Crossover hold: Rest the baby, on the pillow placed on your lap so that he is at your breast height. Now support his head and neck by holding him just below the neck, with the arm that is opposite to the breast you are nursing from. Use the other hand to support your breast. • Cradle hold: In the classic breast feeding position, the baby’s head lies in the bend of the elbow of the arm of the same side of the body as the breast you are using. This is a favorite position because the mother can support the baby when the baby is too little to support his neck. • Football hold: The football position is great for heavy chested mothers and for mothers who have undergone a Caesarian section and want to avoid having the baby rest on their abdomen. It is also a good position to place an underweight and premature baby. • •

Position your baby in a semi‐sitting position facing you, with the legs of the baby under your arm. Remember to use a pillow to bring your baby to the height of the breast, cup your breast with the opposite arm and hold the baby’s neck with the arm on the same side of the breast that is nursing. Side lying position: This is a good position when you are nursing in the middle of the night or if you are resting. Lie on your side with your head on a pillow and position your baby on his side facing you. Make sure that his mouth is in line with the nipple. You can use a pillow to hold the baby close.

A Proper Latch
Many problems that are associated with breast feeding can be solved if mothers use the correct way to latch and position the baby for breast feeding. • Not just the nipple‐ the correct latch includes the nipple as well as the areola or the dark area surrounding the nipple. Breast milk will only flow once the baby’s gum squeeze the areola. Make sure the baby sucks the right part, sometimes in his eagerness to get to the


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

milk your baby may end up sucking on another part of the breast which leads to sore breast tissue. Here is the right way: 1. Tickle the baby’s lips with the nipple, so that the baby opens his mouth really wide. Another way is to direct the nipple towards the nose and then down to his upper lip. This also prevents the baby’s lower lip from getting pressed. 2. Once the baby opens his mouth wide enough, get him close to your breast. Do not push your breast in the baby’s mouth, let him take the initiative. Keep a hold on your breast until the baby gets a firm grasp. 3. Once the baby’s chin and the tip of the nose are touching your breast, the latch is proper. Check that the lips of the baby are turned outwards and not tucked in. If you feel that your breast is blocking his breathing, press your breast and elevate him a little. 4. Once the feeding is done and your baby still seems to hold onto your breast, unlatch with care. Break the suction by putting your finger into the corner of his mouth and gently pushing his gums till the suction is released.

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to breastfeeding. As long as the positioning of the baby is right, there is no need to limit the baby’s feed; you however need to ensure that your baby feeds from both the breasts and that he is satiated. • Your baby will have his own pattern for feeding – some babies like to feed for as long as 45 minutes while others like to be fed for only 15 minutes. The average nursing time for babies is 20‐30 minutes. • Ideally one breast should empty at each feeding, so that your baby gets the hind milk at least from one breast. • Sometimes babies drift off to sleep while still being nursed and wake up to be nursed with your second breast. In order to remember which of your breasts were nursed, tuck a nursing pad or fasten a pin on that bra cup. How many times? As a newborn, your baby will feed eight to ten times a day, which means you are nursing every two hours. This does not mean that your baby feeds as per the clock as some babies feed little by little all the time, while other babies like their meals long. As the baby grows older, he will



The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

have to be fed less frequently. How to know if your baby is getting enough milk? Though babies generally make sure that they get enough milk, here are some signs that tell if he is not being fed enough. You’re baby is not getting enough milk if he is, • Having less than 5 large, mustardy bowel movements a day • • Urinating less than 8‐10 times a day Having yellow smelly urine, with urate

Breast feeding in Public
Though there seems to be nothing embarrassing about feeding, the very thought of breastfeeding in public does not go down with some women. Here are tips if you feel the same • Dress ‘feed friendly’ ‐Saris and Punjabi suits with front buttons are good outfit choices for women who are breastfeeding. • Choose a quite spot‐ When it is time for the feed, sit in a quiet place away from much attention and feed your baby. • Cover it up‐Carry along a cloth that you can drape over when you are breast feeding. • Don’t wait‐ When you are outside and know that it’s your baby’s feeding time; do not wait for your baby to wail in order to feed him. Feeding beforehand, will avoid the panic and the loud wails that may garner more attention.

crystals of red color in it which give the diaper a reddish tinge • • hardly gulping when he nurses very cranky and fussy most of the time

Not all of these behaviors are caused due to less milk supply, but if you find you baby is showing all these signs and is cranky and underweight, then he is not getting enough milk.


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

Why Formula milk?
• If you are uncomfortable: Even mothers who seem averse to breast feeding are advised to give it a try for a period of at least 6 weeks, if they still feel

How to choose a Formula? There are different types of Formula that you can choose from. Though nothing can match up to the properties of breast milk, there are different formulas that add protein,

uncomfortable then formula milk is a good alternative. Do not breastfeed if you are not comfortable as babies can detect the mother’s uneasiness. A bottle given

carbohydrates, fats and vitamins almost like those found in breast milk. The options are: Cow based formula: Cow based formula is considered to be the best formula for babies; hence a majority of formulas are made of these. Cow’s milk is made suitable for the baby when

lovingly to your baby is better than a grudging breast offered! • Fills the tummy for long: Formula milk prepared from a cow’s milk takes longer to digest than breast milk, hence the feeding sessions are extended for a long time. Thus, giving more free time to the mom. • Dad’s help: When the baby has to be

lactose is added to protein and butter fat is replaced by vegetable oil. Soy based formula: This is usually considered if the baby has an allergy to cow’s milk or if the parents are vegan and only want vegetarian options for the baby. Soy formula does not make for such a good formula as it is quite different from breast milk. Special formulas: These are designed for

bottle fed, dad can play an active role in feeding and take the burden off the mother for some time. This also presents the father with a good opportunity to bond with his baby. • Fewer restrictions: When the mother is not breast feeding she is free to take any kind of medication, use birth control and eat anything she wants. • Easier to measure: Because the mother gives the bottle to the baby she knows how much milk her baby has taken and if whether he is getting enough.

special needs of some babies. Some are lactose free for lactose intolerant babies while some are designed for babies suffering from metabolic disorders where the babies cannot metabolize a kind of amino acid found in proteins. These are generally recommended by the doctor for special babies. There are other formulas that are organic for the babies of health conscious parents.


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Your doctor is the best person to tell you what kind of formula comes close to the real thing and which one is advisable for your baby. The special formulas should only be given when recommended by a doctor. Different forms Ready to eat: These formulas are already mixed with water and packed in bottles of different sizes. These are very easy to use but heavy on the wallet. Ready to pour: These need to be poured into the bottle of your choice. These formulas are less expensive than the ready to eat versions but the remaining liquid after use, needs to be preserved properly. Powder: The least expensive option is powder. It requires more time and work from the parent’s side. You need to mix the powder with the right amount of water as specified. The Correct Way Keeping it safe: • Wash your hands before you start the process of preparing the formula. • Boil the water needed to be mixed with the formula. Let it cool before you mix it with the Formula.

You don’t need to sterilize the bottle and it’s nipple as simple washing is enough. Some doctors recommend submerging the bottle and the nipple in boiled water.

Check the instructions given by the manufacturer before you start and do exactly as mentioned. Too strong and not strong enough Formula can affect the baby’s health.

You don’t necessarily need to warm the bottle before the feed; the baby will like it at room temperature too. To give your baby warm milk; keep the bottle in a bowl of water. Check the temperature of the bottle repeatedly before you feed it to the baby.

After you are done with the feeding, throw away the formula that is left, because improper preserving it can lead to the growth of bacteria.

For storing the liquid Formula, do as per the instructions given, but don’t use the Formula that has been frozen but shows white streaks.

You can store prepared bottles of Formula in the refrigerator. When travelling, you can take the Formula in an insulated box.


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Bottle feeding your Baby
• Emotional bonding: For parents who have decided to feed their baby only Formula, you need to remember that feeding is not all about the physical need but it is also an emotional need, so you need to have an alternate skin to skin and eye to eye contact like the one you would have developed naturally while breastfeeding your baby. • Signal‐ milk is coming: Stroke the baby’s cheek with the finger or the nipple of the bottle so that the baby opens his mouth. Then place the nipple between the lips so that he starts sucking. • Start slow: Your baby won’t be that keen on the milk for the first few days after birth, he will just have a little. • Don’t just leave it there: Do not leave the bottle in the baby’s mouth unattended. It can cause choking and also does not fulfill the emotional needs of the baby. Be there with your baby when you are bottle feeding. • Don’t let air in: Tilt the bottle so that the nipple is always filled with the Formula. If the • • • • •

baby swallows air it will lead to bloating. Check the flow: if the Formula is flowing out of the baby’s mouth all the time, then the flow is too fast for the baby to swallow properly and if the baby seems frustrated with the nipple, then it is too slow. Tighten the cap or change the nipple accordingly. Skin to skin: Babies like physical contact and when they are fed with skin to skin contact it has a positive impact on the baby. So even if you are bottle feeding, you can do so with the baby laid on your chest. Change arms: Holding the baby on one arm for a long time leads to sore arms, so change the arm often. Let him decide: Stop when the baby has had enough and begins rejecting the bottle; do not force him to complete the bottle as your baby can tell know when it is full. Sucking pleasure: A breast fed baby is likely to remain on the breasts for long sucking, bottle fed baby will miss out on this part and feel dissatisfied. You can give him


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a pacifier for a while after feeding to avoid the dissatisfaction. Burping Your work is not over just with feeding your baby, burping him is also important. The purpose of burping your baby is to remove the air that your baby sucks in along with the milk. This is an important part of the feeding process because air in the tummy causes discomfort to the baby. Here is the way to do it‐

Just hold the baby on the shoulder with his bottom supported with one hand and rub his back with your free hand.

You can also place your baby face down on your lap with his head on one leg and his tummy on another leg; you can then pat or rub his back to burp him.

Another way of doing this is by placing your baby on your lap and rubbing his back with his face leaning forwards supported at the back. Take care to see that his head does not flop backwards.


Baby hygiene

“How difficult can it be to bathe a baby?” you had thought but when you come to actually doing it is when you realize that it is no easy task; the baby doesn’t like to be undressed and is wary of the water at first. You also realize that supporting the baby’s neck while cleaning his body in not as simple as it seems. Relax; we give you tips that will make bath times easier for you. We also give you guidelines on the other slippery topics like cleaning the baby’s umbilical stump, trimming his nails and taking care of this oral hygiene, so read on….

with him. Doing this will calm your baby. Temperature: When you are bathing the baby, make sure that the temperature is comfortable for him. The temperature of the room should be between 240 C to 270 C that is considered comfortable for the baby. Heat water at a

normal range and check it by dipping your elbow in it, let the water be warm yet comfortable for the baby. You will need, • • • Baby Soap and Shampoo 2 soft clean clothes for a sponge bath Sterile cotton wool balls for cleaning the eyes • Towel preferably with a hood

Time: Any time of the day can be the right time to give a bathe a baby! But the time before he sleeps seems to work the best as it soothes the baby and is more practical as the baby is more likely to stay clean after that. Do not bathe the baby just after a meal as he is likely to spit the food out. Mood: The worst thing you can do during bath times is be flustered and inattentive. Your baby can sense whether you are confident or nervous through your touch and will react accordingly during bath times. So it becomes imperative that you show, that you know what you are doing and by confidently holding him and singing or talking


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• • • •

Clean nappy and clothing Ointment or cream for nappy rash Warm water A baby tub for a bubble bath •

on his head and gently pour water and rub with the cloth. Do not forget to dry his head with the towel before proceeding further. Face: There is no need to use soap for the baby’s face, just move your wet hands over his face. For his eyes, use a sterile, cotton

Sponge bath
Until the umbilical cord (and Circumcision wound if present) is healed, water baths will be a no‐ no for the baby, a sponge bath is all that your baby will have to contend with! Keep all the apparatus ready before you start. Get the baby ready, remove all his clothing except the diaper and cover him in a loose towel. Since babies can easily catch cold and feel uncomfortable being completely bare always cover him in a towel and just expose the part you want to clean. Do not remove his diaper until it is the time to wash his bottom. You need to start from the cleanest part of the body to the dirtiest, i.e. from the head to the diaper area. • Head: You don’t need to wash the baby’s head everyday with shampoo , shampooing it once or twice in a week and a daily rinsing with water is generally enough. While washing the head, maintain a careful hold • • • •

wool ball and moist it in warm water and gently clean the eyes in an outwards motion. For the ears, just wipe the external side of the ear, do not use ear buds. Neck and Chest: Clean this area carefully, especially the folds of skin where sweat and dirt can accumulate. Arms: Extend the baby’s arms so that you can get to the creases of the elbows. To clean his hands, press his fists gently so that he opens his fist. Use soap for this area as it is most exposed to dust and germs. After cleaning it, wipe it dry before the baby puts his fingers back into his mouth. Back: Place the baby on his back and begin cleaning his back especially his neck folds. There is no need to apply soap as the baby’s back isn’t exposed much. Dry it and cover the upper body if the temperature is cold. Legs: Extend the legs and wipe carefully,


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get to the area at the back of his knees and dry. • Diaper area: There is no special care that needs to be taken for circumcised penis, just soap and water applied externally after the wound heals is enough. Otherwise it is important to clean all the creases without retracting the foreskin. For girls, wash from front to the back with soap and water and pour water over all the parts. After washing the bottom, dry it and apply cream or ointment if needed.

With your free hand, wash the baby from the cleanest to the dirtiest area in the same way as in the sponge bath.

Oral hygiene
You need to start taking care of the baby’s oral hygiene even before his first tooth appears. After feedings, wipe your baby’s gum with your finger wrapped in gauze to remove any food residue and to prevent plaque buildup. After the first teeth come in, use a baby toothbrush and with pea sized toothpaste on it clean his teeth and tongue.

Baby bath
Once the umbilical cord stump falls off, you can give your baby a full fledged bath. All kids have a different reaction to being in water, some consider it to be similar to the womb and enjoy it and others are tearful and wary of the water. The things required are the same as a sponge bath. Once you have everything ready, undress the baby and gently slip him into the bath tub, talking to the baby in soothing words, hold him firmly as he is expected to be startled at first. Hold the baby in a semi reclining position with the neck supported with your hands until he is old enough to support his neck.

Nail trimmings
For their size, newborns have an amazing nail growth, their finger nails need to be trimmed every week and toe nails every 2 weeks. The best time to trim these is after a bath when they are asleep. You need a baby‐sized nail clippers or blunt‐nosed scissors to trim his nails. Remember not to cut too close to his finger.

Ear care
Clean the entrance to the baby’s ear but don’t touch the insides of his ear canal. Clean the external part of the baby with a cotton wool ball. Don’t try the swab or with a finger.


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Nose care
Generally, the nose cleans itself through the mucus but if you find that your baby has a cold you can use an infant nasal aspirator. It has a

push the matter deep inside the nose or worse scratch the membrane.

Umbilical cord care
Keep the stump of the umbilical cord clean and dry until it falls off. The cord usually falls off in a few weeks time. Clean the cord at each diaper change to help it dry out and to prevent infection. Wipe the area around the cord with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol and then squeeze. Make sure you fold the diaper below the navel area to keep the cord from being soaked with urine. If you notice pus or redness at the base of the cord, or if baby cries when you touch it, call your pediatrician.

special rubber suction bulb to remove the
excess mucus from the baby’s nose, all you have to do is squeeze the bulb at the end of the syringe first, then insert the pointed tip gently into baby’s nose and slowly release the bulb. If the secretions are thick, your doctor may recommend that you liquefy them with saline nose drops meant for babies. Do not use cotton swabs, tissues or your fingers to remove any material from inside his nose as you may just


Friends, Family and the Baby

Your little one‐ The focus of all attention

Do you remember the time, when you announced
the news of your pregnancy to your family and friends? Do you remember them being almost more elated than you? Giddily happy at the prospect of a little baby that will soon enter the world! Their fussing over you, pampering you along with the gradual changes in your body such as the belly growing bigger and your face glowing, certainly made you feel special and above all happy. But now that the baby is born, this elated bunch of well wishers simply refuses to leave your baby alone and you are worried about germs passing from then onto the baby… But there’s no need to worry as we give you ways to keep the baby safe and yet not hurt friends and family’s feelings too, • It’s temporary: Your child is very sensitive to all possible kinds of germs and infections for the first few months of his life, a safe bet would be to say till around the first 2 months. After this period, he must be allowed in normal environment to boost his immunity. • Make them wash their hands: You can politely ask the visitors to wash their hands and legs before they touch the baby.

Watch his hands: Babies usually put their fingers in their mouths, so you have to be careful of visitors or strangers coming in and touching his hands. If they do, discreetly and almost immediately wash the baby’s hands or wipe them with soft tissues which won’t harm his skin.

Blame the doctor‐ When you can’t be honest, blame the doctor! Tell the visitors that the doctor has asked you to restrict the handling of the baby.

Away from rashes: If any one of the visitors or relatives are suffering from skin

infection, rashes or open sores, ask them to avoid direct skin contact with the baby. • No smokers: If any of your close relatives are smokers politely tell them not to kiss or touch the baby after they have smoked.


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Even though the smoker does not smoke in the presence of the baby, the tobacco particles remain on his body which can be harmful for the baby. • Flu blues: Ensure that visitors with flu avoid close contact with the baby; they must not sneeze around the baby and if they do, they must use a handkerchief. When it is the mother who is suffering from a cold and has to breast feed her child, she must remember to wash her hands before touching her baby. Remember, a good social circle where the baby is loved and cared for is more important for the baby’s development; the risk of catching the germs is real only for the first few months. Later the contact with germs will only boost the immunity and keep the baby healthy in future.

play, sing and laugh with the baby, as you do the cleaning and changing. Most of the time, you are grateful for their presence for their experience and help with chores, lightens the burden over your head. The only problem is the clash of ideas, as you find that your mother‐in‐law does not trust the modern nappies, your mother frowns upon the very idea of baby food being given to her grandchild and sometimes they even disagree with your very instincts! How to tell them what you feel? • Talk to them about the differences of opinion, if needed take the help of your spouse. Discuss how parenting today is different from that of your childhood. Tell them how advanced research has brought forth different techniques today. • Take the help of the Pediatrician in case of unsafe practices like –dhuri, kajal etc( Read

Grandparents and Babies
Grandparents love to dote on their






grandchildren. As the first time round, with their own kids all they got to do was the difficult part‐ changing the diapers, feeding and soothing the baby. And now the second time round when they aren’t really needed to do the changing and cleaning, they have all the time in the world to •

Parenting page no.89) and make them realize that for the safety of the baby these practices need to change. When their advice becomes more like interference, you need to handle it more tactfully. If you tell them your basic


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parenting rules such as‐ what time the baby needs to sleep, what is the correct time to massage the baby, what foods to offer to the baby etc. and let them do the execution, you will find that they are more than happy to oblige! •

spend more time with the first born and let them know that they are still loved and nothing will change that. Give them time: Mothers will be totally engrossed with the newborn in the early days after the delivery, leaving the older sibling on the sidelines. Mothers need to consciously spend time alone with the older sibling perhaps when the baby is sleeping or when the spouse is looking after the baby, to make sure that the older sibling get his/ her share of attention too. • Involve them: When older siblings are involved in the baby’s chores they will not feel left out. Ask them to do simple things such as getting you the diaper when you want to change the baby’s diaper, making the bed and reading stories to the baby. Remember not to let them do more than they should at their age, remember they are kids too. Also Remember‐ • Never leave your baby alone with a kid less than 5 years of age • Do not let the older child, hold the baby on their own. • Explain to the older child early on, how

Older sibling and the Baby
When the second one’s coming the first one is bound to feel left out, less loved and jealous, too! The pregnancy part they can handle but having to share their parents with another might prove difficult for them. The parent’s lap has to be shared and so are the hugs and kisses along with the toys and sometimes the room. Suddenly they are the older one and are expected to behave responsibly! Some measures taken by the parents can help the older kid deal with their siblings in a positive way, • Be Honest and open‐ You must start preparing your older child for the arrival of a sibling, right from the time you are about to show the signs of your pregnancy. You must tell them that a new member of the family is coming and is growing inside mummy. • More Daddy time‐Anticipating that the mother won’t be able participate as actively as before, daddies can take over! Fathers must


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delicate small babies are. Make sure they understand that babies are not toys and they cannot pull and push the baby around. When your firstborns are secure about your love and affection, they are less likely to feel threatened and will be more like the bhaiya or the didi you want them to be!

Get him used to babies by inviting friends over who have babies. Let your pet smell and see the baby from a distance and observe their reaction.

Take a baby doll and pretend that it is the baby for some days, talk to it, nurse it and treat the dog as you would if the real baby was home‐ no loud barking, no coming too close or licking the baby and no fussing.

Dealing with Pet’s Jealousy
Pets have been your babies before you had human ones! The arrival of the baby may bring feelings of jealousy among your pets (dogs and cats). You need to prepare your pet for the baby before the actual delivery, only then can you expect cooperation from them. • Get your dog used to obedience training. Get him to stay at your orders. Don’t worry; you won’t be curbing his personality in the process! By obedience training, you are just channelizing his energy in a better way. •

If the pet has a habit of sleeping with you and if you intend on keeping the baby in your room, the dog has to sleep elsewhere! Make the change at least a month before, so that the pet does not hold it against the baby.

With time your pet is likely to adjust to the new born and treat it with their trademark style; with love and lots of affection!


Thumb Sucking

Your little angel is sleeping soundlessly on the
bed, quite cozy in the blankets! Surely, a priceless image, when suddenly the baby’s thumb appears out of nowhere and he begins sucking on his thumb; you have a powerful urge to remove the thumb that instant. But, stop and relax! Thumb sucking is a very common habit found in almost all babies. Sometimes

How to deal with it?
• Allow the baby to stay at the breast after the feeding is over. The last 5‐6 minutes of the feeding are when the baby is just sucking for comfort. If the baby still sucks on the thumb after breastfeeding, then allow him to feed at one breast and use the other one for sucking. • Older babies who are bottle fed will find the sucking experience of the bottle

sonography images show that the baby is sucking his thumb even in the womb. Here is why babies take up thumb sucking and how you can deal with it.

unsatisfactory and may take up the habit of thumb sucking. To deal with this situation,

Babies have an instinct to suck, when they realize that the thumb provides for an excellent sucking option, they gladly indulge in it! Thus thumb sucking soothes and comforts the baby. Sometimes thumb sucking may just be a sign that the baby is hungry and it also stops after the baby is fed. If this is the cause, increase the frequency of the feeding. It is also seen that breastfed babies are less likely to thumb suck as compared to the bottle fed babies, since their need to suck is being fulfilled at the mother’s breast itself!


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the parents can reduce the flow of milk from the bottle, so that the baby can be satisfied by the feeding as well as the sucking part. • You may find that giving the baby a pacifier will be a better option than allowing it to thumb suck, because the habit of sucking the pacifier is easy to break and the baby is likely to discontinue it himself as compared to the habit of thumb sucking. • The right time to break the habit of a pacifier is when the baby is around the three month mark. At this age, babies have a small attention span and quickly forget the habit. • When thumb sucking as a habit is carried over the first few months, it begins to become a way of dealing with stress, for the baby. So when you find your baby thumb sucking, especially if he’s starting again after having stopped for a few days, it may be due to stress. • Try to distract the baby whenever he tries to thumb suck. You should do it without actually •

pulling out the thumb from his mouth, which will make him more stressed than he already is. Most kids stop thumb sucking on their own by the first or the second year when they spend time with their peer group.

Buck teeth?
Most parents are worried that their thumb sucking baby will end up having buck teeth and is destined to be laughed at for life. But these are just baseless fears of worried parents; thumb sucking in the first few years will not result in buck teeth for life. The reason being, teeth before 6 years of age are milk teeth and will fall off to make way for a completely new set of teeth. But if the habit stays beyond 6 years of age then you need to take some steps to stop your baby from thumb sucking. Now that you know the truth behind thumb sucking, go back and enjoy seeing your little angel sleep!


Keep your baby smiling in all weathers!

A change of season and you have plenty of
people with running noses, headaches, fevers and colds. The common cause we hear is the weather. We find our immunity so weak that any change in the weather reflects badly on our health. Imagine if we as adults struggle to adjust to different weather conditions! How will our little, delicate babies fare? Your only solution to ensure the health and safety of your baby in changing weather conditions is to keep him covered as much as possible. In fact it is observed that parents pile on layers upon layers of clothes on their baby in attempts to ‘protect him’ even when it is not cold. Learn more about the effect of changing climatic conditions on the health of your baby and keep him safe and healthy.

In summers, let your baby wear loose fitting, light colored clothing when he is indoors.

When outside of the home, the baby should be wearing light weight caps and hats that protect his head without overheating it.

The summer clothes of your baby must be absorbent, and should let the air circulate.

On hot sweaty nights, your baby can sleep in diapers alone.

Damp clothes must be changed at once and prickly heat powder must be applied onto your baby’s skin

Fans and air conditioners: When indoors, keep the temperature cool with ACs and fans. Just make sure that your baby is

Your baby is crying. He is fed, clothed, his diaper changed. Why can he be crying? ‐ It is hot and sunny outside, the temperature soaring as the day goes on and you are wearing light cotton clothes while the baby is sweating it out in two layers of clothes! Babies do not need to be kept covered all the time. When the temperature is hot; they need to be dressed accordingly.


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not directly under the flow of the fan or the AC and that the temperature of the AC does not go below 220 C. If the hands and legs of your baby seem cold then he is not chilly, he is just perspiring. His head, neck and underarms will tell you if they are really warm or cold. Fluids When you find the temperature soaring, • •

minutes before an exposure to sunlight. Protect the nose, lips and ears by making the baby wear hats with rims, as these parts are most susceptible to the sun. In the hot weather, take the baby out only in the mornings or late afternoons as the temperature at other hours of the day will be extremely hot for the baby. Heatstroke Babies are not only sensitive to cold

remember to hydrate your baby. Since babies loose so much of water through their urine, they constantly require replacement of the fluids. Babies less than 6 months who are breastfed generally get all the fluids through breast milk and hence do not need additional water unless it is recommended by the doctor. Formula fed babies can also be given water between the feedings if the doctor suggests. You can give older babies fruit juices and water in cups but extra sweetened and fizzy drinks must be avoided. Being in the Sun • Babies are prone to sunburn as they have a relatively thin and delicate skin. You need to apply sunscreen with adequate SPF

temperature but also to excessive heat. Excessive heat can be very dangerous for babies as their body’s temperature regulation systems aren’t functional and they find it difficult to cool themselves effectively. Symptoms to look out for: • • • • • Skin that is hot and dry Very high fever Diarrhea Lethargy Loss of consciousness

Rainy season
After the heat of the summer, lashing monsoons follow bringing along, humidity and waterborne diseases like Jaundice, Diphtheria, Cholera and

protection (of at least 15). Apply sunscreen to a patch of his skin first, to make sure that there is no allergic reaction to the sunscreen. Apply sunscreen every two hours and 15


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Gastroenteritis. Here is what you can do to protect your baby in monsoons: • Due to the humidity during monsoons, babies wet the diapers repeatedly; you will have to check for these more regularly to prevent infections and fevers. • Because the baby urinates frequently in the rainy season, make up for the fluid lost with frequent feedings. • Humidity can lead to many fungal and skin infections on the baby’s skin; one thing that you may need to do is to keep your baby warm and dry. • Extra precaution must be taken by those parents whose babies suffer from asthmatic attacks. • If the baby is suffering from loose motions you might need to give Oral Rehydration Solution to provide the glucose and electrolytes that are lost by the baby as per the doctor’s advice. Another way to provide fluids is through juices and coconut water. • All the vegetables and fruits need to be washed well before being offered to the baby.

All the baby foods that are given to the baby need to be prepared fresh.

There is an increased risk of mosquitoes causing malaria and dengue in monsoon so make sure that your baby sleeps under a mosquito net.

Winter Control
Winters brings cold winds, chilly mornings and are the perfect time for you to cover your baby with woolens, mittens, coats, socks and monkey caps. It is very important to cover the baby adequately in winters because infants under 6 months have a greater ratio of body surface to body weight and also because they can’t shiver to generate heat yet. • Even in a slightly cool weather, babies need to wear a hat to prevent the loss of precious body heat through the head. • You need to cover your baby’s neck with scarves but do not cover the nose of the baby. • The baby should have had a meal or a snack before venturing out, as the chilly weather can lead to rapid burning of calories. • To check if the baby is too cold, touch his neck, head and the underarms; if these seem cold it indicates that the baby needs


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more layers of clothes. • If the weather is chilly and dry, apply a moisturizing cream on the baby’s skin before venturing out with him. • When indoors, make sure that the baby is not too wrapped up in clothes and if he is hot inside, reduce some layers to make him comfortable. Skin care The cold dry air in winters is sure to dry out the baby’s soft and smooth skin. You need to take • • •

care of his skin. Here is how you can, A well hydrated baby will have supple skin, so make sure that the baby gets adequate water. A good moisturizing cream meant for babies, needs to be applied over his skin. Bath time should be cut down as water and soap dry up your baby’s skin. With these precautions you can be sure that your baby will be smiling be it the summer, winter or the rain.


Diapering your Baby

It was the right time; he was engrossed in his
newest favorite toy when you decided to do it! As discreetly as possible, but just as you were lifting his legs, he gauged your movements and showed his disapproval through his cries and kicks. Yes, we are talking about changing the diaper ‐ the one chore that nobody really enjoys; the baby does not like being in contact with the cool air outside and you don’t like your baby’s discomfort along with the fact that you will get your hands and sometimes even your face dirty, in the process. Whatever the case is, you need to do it; here is every‐

thing you need to know about your baby’s dia‐ pers. There are two options available to parents when it comes to choosing a diaper for their baby ‐ the traditional cloth diaper or the disposable one. There are also pros and cons that come with each variety of the diaper and the things to con‐ sider when choosing a diaper for your baby are ‐ affordability, convenience and whether it suits your baby’s skin. We give you a comparison between the two to help you decide better.


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Disposable Diapers
Benefits • • They are convenient Drawbacks They stay dry for a longer time and are changed less frequently, both of which can lead to a diaper rash on your • baby’s bottom. They save time • The super absorbency makes it diffi‐ cult to calculate the amount urinated • They are easier to change and dispose by the baby. This in turn makes it diffi‐ cult to know if the quantity of milk • They are more absorbent and less likely to leak. • consumed by the baby is sufficient. Babies get used to disposable diapers which lead to a difficulty in potty train‐ ing them as they grow older.

Cloth Diapers
• • Benefits Less expensive Frequent diaper changes which means a very less chance of your baby develop‐ ing a diaper rash • These make it easier to know the amount of urine passed by your baby, which in turn helps you to know whether the feed was enough or not, for the baby. • • Drawbacks • They are not adequately sanitized which increases the chances of a nappy rash for the baby. Require a lot of work, as they need to be washed and cleaned regularly. Cause frequent leaks.


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Types of cloth diapers:
Cloth diapers have undergone a lot of change since the days of the langoti. Today there are various styles of the cloth diapers to match those of the disposable variety. The types available are: • All‐In‐Ones – These are the most convenient types of cloth diapers which require no folding, no fastening and no diaper cover. These have a built‐in waterproof shell and are fitted with Velcro or snaps. • Covers and wraps with flats and pre‐folds: These provide a waterproof outer layer and are used with most types of cloth diapers. These are generally fastened over the absorbent cloth layer with snaps or hook‐and‐ loop tabs. Pre‐folds are simple pieces of cloth, typically cotton that act as the absorbent when you fold it to fit your baby. They’re used with a cover and include squares and pre‐fold diapers, with a center strip that is several layers thick.

frequently than facing the diaper rash. The Diaper size: You need to choose a diaper taking into consideration the size of your baby. A size too small, can cause discomfort for the baby, while a bigger size will lead to leaks. Even for the disposable diapers you need to check the actual size of the diaper along with the size mentioned on the pack, to judge if it will fit your baby or not. The place: Select a place which is clean, has a smooth surface and is at a suitable height for you. Spread a waterproof cloth over the surface where you change the baby’s diapers, to prevent stains on the surface.

What will you need?
A fresh diaper, a change of clothes if the diaper has leaked; ointment or cream for the diaper rash, cotton balls and warm water to clean babies less than a month old and a dry cloth, towel or baby wipes to clean older babies. Make sure you have some toy that distracts the baby while you are changing the diaper, or you

How to change Diapers?
In the early days diapers needed to be changed almost every hour when the baby is awake. Though the process of changing the diaper is a tedious one, it is better to change the diaper

can even sing and talk to him while you are at it. Remember: Make sure you have everything at hand when you start diapering your baby, so that you do not have to leave him unattended even for an instant, while his diapers are being


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legs, slide the diaper half way in, then bring the front side up, put out the tabs and then bring the tabs together .

Process of Changing the Diaper:
• • Wash your hands before you begin. Keep one hand on the baby to prevent him from rolling off the surface. • Unfasten the diaper but don’t remove it yet. First check if it is soiled by stool, then clean the area as much as you can with the diaper itself and then slide the clean diaper below the baby. Hold a cloth over the front side of your baby boy, as boys tend to spray urine as soon as the diaper is removed. • Use baby wipes or a cloth to clean the bottom of the baby. Pay more attention to skin folds and genitals as these areas are more prone to bacterial growth which leads to a diaper rash. • For baby girls, wipe from the front to back so that there is a less chance of infection. For baby boys, clean from back to front as there may be some dirt under the foreskin, but do not pull on the foreskin. • After cleaning the area, make sure that the area is dry before you apply an ointment for a rash or before putting a new diaper on. • For Disposable Diapers: Now, lift the baby’s • • • • •

For Cloth Diapers:

For those with a

separate cover, the pre fold diaper needs to be folded to fit the size of the baby, for small sized babies fold along the longer side of the cloth to increase the absorbency and decrease the size. For older babies, fold along the smaller side of the cloth, to have sufficient front and back cover. First slide the cover in, then put in the pre‐ fold diaper and close the Velcro tabs. Remember to clean your hands with a sanitizer after diapering your baby.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when using diapers:
If you are using safety pins to hold the diaper, use over sized ones and keep your finger between the pin and the baby’s skin as you are attaching it. Remember to empty the contents in the toilet before tossing the diaper in a diaper


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bag or a diaper pail which is a plastic dust bin specially designed for keeping soiled diapers. • For cloth diapers, you can spray the diaper with water and sprinkle some baking soda on it to get rid of the odor before washing. Also remember to keep the diaper away from other laundry items. • Wash the diapers with a mild detergent in hot water and give a double rinse each time you wash. •

clean it as baby’s have a delicate skin; similarly don’t use soap every time you clean. Using mild baby soap once a day is enough. Use a cloth diaper, only after you sanitize it completely by soaking it in boiling water with 120 ml of vinegar. Ways to treat diaper rash: • If the baby has developed a diaper rash, change his diapers more frequently. You will have to change the diapers also at night to prevent the rash aggravating. • Reduce the baby’s intake of liquid, so he urinates less frequently. • Keep your baby’s bottom open and let him remain on cotton blankets for some time. Babies can also be allowed to sleep with bare bottoms. • Change the type of diaper if you find that the baby’s skin reacts badly to the diaper you use. • For the Diaper rash apply an ointment that contains zinc oxide on his dry bottoms • Don’t use powder on the diaper rash but sprinkling a little corn flour helps. If the baby’s rash shows no sign of improvement within 3 days, consult your pediatrician.

The Devil called as Diaper Rash
It is common to find red rashes around the diaper area of the baby; these are nothing but‐ ‘Diaper rashes’. A Diaper rash affects more than 35% of babies. It occurs when the nappy area is exposed to high moisture, various chemicals, frequent rubbing and low air flow and when that the area develops openings; they are attacked by germs found in stool and urine. Here is what you can do to prevent Diaper rashes: • Check the Diaper and change it regularly, especially if it is soiled by stool. • Let the diaper area dry completely before putting a new clean diaper on it. • Don’t scrub the area with too much force to


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What does the poop tell you?
Any pediatrician will tell you that to know if the baby is okay, look not only at his face but also at his poop. Sounds weird? It is true. The color and texture of the baby’s stool can tell you about how he is doing and feeling. Here is what the poop tells you, • Sticky, tar‐like, black or dark green Stool‐ Parents are alarmed that their newborn is excreting this frightening looking stool. But there is no reason to panic, as this is nothing but meconium‐ this stuff consists of the many materials that the baby ingested when it was inside the womb like bile, mucus, epithelial cells. • Grainy, greenish yellow or brown Stool‐ This type of stool appears after few days of birth as the meconium makes way for a normal stool. • Seedy, curdy, creamy or lumpy; light yellow • • • • • •

to mustard green Stool‐ These are the stools that a breastfeeding baby will pass on a day to day basis. Slightly formed; light brownish to bright yellow to dark green Stool‐ The formula fed babies pass these kind of stools. Frequent, watery, greener than usual Stool‐ This stool signals diarrhea. Hard, pellet‐ like; mucous or blood streaked Stool‐ The painful arrival of this stool signals constipation. Black stool‐ It is the result of iron supplementation. Red streaked Stool‐ It means rectal fissure or milk allergy. Mucousy; green or light brown Stool‐ It can be a result of a viral infection or a stomach infection.


Why is my Baby crying!?


you hear is that noise, your baby’s smile

others. Shower as much love and attention on your baby as you can, don’t worry it

suddenly contorts to a frown, the brow creases, the lip quivers and gradually the cry gets loud enough to wake up the entire building. So, just what is it with your baby’s cries, which make you so nervous and restless? His cry urges you to hug him at that very instant, and sometimes this works, but, many times, even after holding, feeding and distracting, the cry continues. At such times, most first time parents are stumped as to just what are the various reasons that make their baby cry… We give you possible reasons why your baby may be going full vocal: • Hunger‐ The most common reason why babies cry is hunger. The cries for hunger are generally short and sharp. Hunger cries are preceded by cues like lip smacking and finger sucking. • Boredom‐ Sometimes your baby may cry just because he is bored. This cry starts as a “coo” then turns into a “fuss” and finally loud bursts of crying alternate with soft whimpers. • Craving affection‐ Babies like the feeling of being held, cuddled, and being spoken to. Some babies need more affection than • •

won’t spoil him ‐instead it will make your baby feel safe and will also make him less cranky. Tired‐ Babies generally seem to become cranky towards the evening. It is simply because they are tired. Even when your baby is highly stimulated due to more than usual activity at home i.e. too many people holding him and talking to him, he will cry, to show that he has had enough. A cry that is whiny, nasal and that continues for a long time shows that your baby is tired. Cold or hot‐ Babies hate it when they have to change their nappies and lie uncovered or when they are taking a bath. Babies like to remain warm and snuggled in a blanket,


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but if you wrap them in way too many layers, your baby will let you know by crying. Ensure that you add only one more layer of clothing than the number of layers you are wearing. • Diaper’s wet: Babies feel uncomfortable with soiled diapers, and will keep on crying until they are cleaned and dried properly. While checking for the wet diaper, also look out for diaper rash. • Illness: If your baby is really not feeling well, he will give a weak nasal cry. Others signs for illness are refusal to feed and lethargy. • Colic: Attention all parents! If your baby seems to cry often, even though he is fed, has your complete attention and even after his diaper has been changed, then he might be a colic baby.

What you can do‐ • Swaddling or keeping the baby wrapped in a blanket or cloth seems to help • Colicky babies tend to have gastronomical problems so burp them frequently • Sometimes modification in the breast feeding mother’s diet (elimination of milk, beans, cabbage, spices and coffee) also helps • Try soothing a colicky baby by singing him a lullaby and creating a soothing atmosphere • Relax, sometimes anxiety and tension in parents can also cause colic in babies Tips for mothers For mothers whose babies suffer from colic, ‘stress’ seems to be an understatement. The incessant crying that can go up to 3 hours a day is enough to drive anyone mad;

More about Colic Babies‐
• Colic condition starts in babies from the 3rd week and continues till 3 months. Colicky babies are known to cry for no apparent reason for a longer period of time than normal babies. About 1 in 4 babies has colic. Dealing with colicky babies is very difficult since no amount of soothing can get them to stop crying.

Here are some tips for you: • Take a break‐ When you have done everything to soothe your baby and nothing works, then it’s advisable to take deep breaths and just keep your calm. Try to distract yourself by doing something else other than just watching your baby cry.


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Ask for help‐ For you to keep your wits about you; you need to have a few moments of peace. You must ask your spouse or friend to mind your baby for some time, so that you can relax.

your fault. Similarly you should also not blame your baby for crying too, as he is merely expressing himself. Crying is only a way in which your baby can communicate with you. If the reason your baby cries, baffles you in the start, don’t worry! As

Don’t blame yourself or the baby‐ If you think it is your inexperience or bad parenting that is causing colic in your baby, relax, it’s not

with experience you will be able to tell what your baby requires and you will also be able to soothe him better and faster.


Baby massage- A Gift for both Parents and Babies

Baby massages have become a tricky subject to
deal with in many households! What with the older generation believing that massages are vital for the baby’s development, as opposed to the baby’s parents who may not be entirely convinced of its benefits. To top this confusion within the household, are some doctors who themselves are against the very practice of massaging the baby! The reason for their opposition is not the practice itself but the other practices around it like applying kajal, instilling oil in the baby’s ears and nose along with the fear of the masseuse applying too much pressure on the baby. Baby massage if done in the right way will not only foster baby’s growth and development but also give the mother and baby an incredible bonding experience. Even though in India, we have older women who specialize in giving these massages, you can massage your baby yourself at least once a day to get all the benefits that it can give.

smell of the oil and her soothing voice speaking to the baby. Furthermore, touch is a very important mode of communication between the mother and child in the first few months of the baby’s growth as it communicates the mother’s love to the child. Plus touch has such remarkable effect that it is even known as touch therapy! For the Baby‐ Research by The Touch Research institute at Miami University has proven what our

grandmothers have been saying since ages! Massaging improves circulation, boosts

immunity, stimulates digestion, aids sleep, improves growth, reduces stress and helps during diarrhea and constipation in babies. It

Why are massages great for the Baby and you?
Multi sensory experience‐ During the development of the fetus, the senses of sound, touch and smell are amongst the quickest to develop. These senses are well stimulated during a massage, as there is the mother’s touch,


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also shows that babies who are massaged have more chances of gaining normal weight than others. For Mothers‐ According to Dr. Geetanjali Shah, pediatrician and co‐author of Garbhasanskar (a book on pre natal and post natal care) massaging a baby enhances the mother’s maternal instinct which in turn causes an increase in her milk secretion. For Fathers‐ Massaging your baby in the evening when your baby is cranky and restless gives you an opportunity to bond with the baby and gives the mother a much needed break. The massage in the evening needs to be light is known to soothe the cranky mood, that babies are known to be in‐ usually at the end of the day! It also helps the parents gain confidence in their parenting skills, as their touch and baby’s response gives them instant feedback about their skills.

are said to be more beneficial for the babies than the commercially available baby oils, even babies are known to react well to natural oils. Another consideration, when choosing an oil to massage your baby is whether your baby is allergic to the oil. To check, apply a few drops of oil on your baby’s wrist for a period of 24 hours; if there is no reaction, then you can opt for that oil. When to start: You can start 10‐15 days after birth. The duration of massage should be 10 minutes when the baby is very young and can gradually extend to 20 minutes as he grows older. Preparation: Babies don’t like to stay

uncovered for long so make sure you keep everything ready like the massage oil, extra towels, fresh clothes etc. Pour oil in an open vessel to save time. Soften your hand texture by using a moisturizer, remove jewelry from your finger so that it does not irritate the baby. You can also heat the oil a bit, especially in winters to increase the benefits. Uncover your baby only after you are ready with all this. Time: Choose such a time for the massage, when your baby is not too tired but is active and receptive or has just had his nap. Also make sure that the baby is not massaged immediately

How to do it?
Oils: The oils that are generally used for massage are edible or plant extract oils like coconut, sesame or til, mustard, almond and olive. The choice of the oil depends on the season, as til and mustard oils are preferred during the winter while coconut oil is preferred in summers. Natural oils


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after being fed. Generally we, in India, massage the baby just before giving them a bath, so that the excess oil is drained off their bodies. But do leave a gap of time between massage and the bath so that the baby isn’t too stimulated! If the baby is cranky in the evening, a massage will help calm him down and also put him to sleep. Pressure: Even though your baby looks very tiny and fragile, you cannot be way too gentle, as a massage done with less pressure will serve very little purpose. To know how much pressure to apply, close your eyes and press your fingers on your eyelids until you experience discomfort, this is the pressure that you need to use. Even if it is difficult at first to know how much pressure to apply while massaging, with time and your baby’s response you will become better at it. The traditional way of giving the massage is sitting with legs stretched in front of you and the baby lying on your legs with his head away from you. You can also spread a mat on the floor, keep the baby on its back and start massaging him. Generally you start from the feet and then proceed towards the stomach, the torso followed by the arms, hands and finally his face. After this you turn the baby over and gently massage the back and finish by exercising his arms and legs. Maintain eye contact with the baby while

massaging him. Hum a lullaby and call out its name, it will reassure and soothe the baby. ‐Feet: According to Reflexology, all organs have pressure points represented in the sole of the foot. Thus a massage of the baby’s foot is important. Start by massaging the baby’s sole in circular motions and gently stretch each toe. Use your thumb to rub from the baby’s heel towards his toe. ‐Legs: Start from the ankle and calves and continue to stroke upwards towards knees and thighs. ‐Stomach: Stomach massage is good for getting rid of gas and helps in improving movement in babies. Massage the stomach in circular motions, proceeding in a clockwise direction as you go. Another movement is to keep the palm below the navel and sweep your fingers in an arc on the stomach from right to left. To get rid of gas, stroke the baby with your thumbs. Start from the right side of the groin move your thumb upwards and then move them across towards the left side of the groin. This movement is in line with the movement of the bowel and hence is effective in expelling gas. ‐Chest: Use gentle force from the middle of the


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chest and move your palms outwards as you go. ‐Arms, hands: Starting from the armpits of the baby, squeeze and gently twist the arms moving towards the hands. Be careful near the elbows, massage the top of the hands and roll each finger between the baby’s thumb and the fingers. ‐Head: The baby’s skull is soft for the first few months; so you need to be careful while massaging it. Place your hand on the forehead and work gently towards the base of the cranium. Pour some oil on the top of the baby’s head and gently move your hand in circular motions. While massaging the face, stroke the eyebrows, the eyelids, the cheeks and the baby’s nose. Gently massage his ear lobe too. ‐Back: Turn the baby on his back gently and start massaging slowly in a circular motion, massage his head first followed by the neck, arms and legs. Do not massage the spinal cord; just place your hand over it for the baby to feel the warmth. When you want to end the massage, do so by gently rubbing oil on your hands while talking to

the baby and maintaining the contact. If you end it suddenly, the baby may start crying. Massages have long been a part of baby rearing routine in India. Scientific research has just confirmed what we always knew! There are innumerable reasons why you must massage your baby, so do not miss out on this wonderful tool. Massage provides an opportunity for the baby and the one who is massaging to communicate and bond. Hence parents and grandparents should make full use of it. Some precautions to take‐ • Do not massage immediately after feeding or if the baby is not keeping well. • Exercise caution whilst massaging, around areas on the baby’s body where there are rashes, bites or where the baby has been vaccinated. • Stop massaging when the baby shows signs of discomfort. • Be gentle when massaging his spine and near the neck.


Danger signs in Babies

As a first‐time parent, you make sure that your
baby is under your constant observation at all times, and every small you tend to get alarmed by something as small as the sound of your baby’s burp. We worry incessantly that there might be something wrong with the baby. To this, Dr. Geetanjali Shah, Pediatrician and co‐ author of the bestselling book on pregnancy, Garbhasanskar says, “Mothers and fathers have a natural instinct which tells them if something is wrong with their baby. It is just that, we don’t recognize it and hence we are scared often even when there is nothing wrong. Danger signs for Newborns: ! Vomiting: All babies tend to throw up a little milk after feeding which is normal, but if your child is vomiting excessively and if there is blood in his vomit, you should consult a pediatrician. ! Jaundice: All babies have a yellow tinge and mild jaundice during the initial week after birth due to the liver having not developed fully. But it is rarely from the first day itself so notify the doctor if it is present. To check if your baby is suffering from jaundice, press the sole of the feet gently and release. Then observe whether the color that returns, is pink or yellow. ! Delayed passage of Urine: If your baby has passed urine less than 6 times in day, it is a danger sign.

! Lethargy: One sure sign that your baby is unwell is when his behavior is totally different from everyday. If he is listless, cries weakly and refuses his feed, he might be suffering from an infection. ! Breathing difficultly: If you notice that your child has a fast rapid breathing movement for more than a minute and has a bluish coloration of his lips, your baby might be ill. ! High Fever: Fever generally means that the body is fighting infection. Fever, itself should not be a cause for worry, but you should look for a possible cause for the infection. For babies running a temperature above 100.50 F medical attention is needed. Dr. Geetanjali says, “Most newborn babies have fevers because of dehydration due to taking less feed. In this case, Crocin does not help so we tell parents to increase the fluids. If the fever does not subside


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then they have to get the baby for examination.” ! Excessive Weight loss: Newborns lose 8‐10% of their weight in the initial week of their birth. Most of this weight is gained back in another week. If the weight loss is more than 10% then it is a danger sign. •

advises parents to try massaging the tummy and keeping the baby on her/his tummy. Consult your doctor if the problem persists. If your baby’s tummy is bloated: Gas problems in babies especially breastfed babies are common because they suck lot

! Blood or mucus in the stool: Blood or mucus in the stool is a sign of danger. Please consult your pediatrician immediately in such cases.

of air along with milk. Another reason can be the diet of the breastfeeding mother which produces gas. Generally, burping the baby after feeding them prevents this problem.

Don’t worry if‐ • Your child hasn’t passed stool for a day‐ Dr. Geetanjali says “Not passing stool is very common in babies. A baby can pass stools 10 times in a day or once in 5 days. So there is a wide spectrum and hence parents need not worry if babies don’t pass stools every day.” She says that if the baby is gaining weight and urinating every day then he is normal. If the baby is very restless then Dr. Geetanjali

If the stools seem loose: You might be hassled if the baby has loose stool but Dr. Geetanjali says that “there is no reason to worry if the stool is watery but wrangled up.” She says that breast fed babies generally have loose stools. But if there is a bad odor to the stool accompanied by fever and abdominal pain, then you should seek medical attention for your baby.


Bonding tips for the New Father

The news of your partner’s pregnancy has bought
insurmountable joy not only to you, but also to your family and friends. Everyone is gushing over the soon‐to‐be mother, pampering her and so on. Even the written material found on pregnancies usually talks about the almost sacred bond between the mother and the baby, about breast feeding, impending motherhood and so on. With so much attention being concentrated on the mother, the poor father’s are bound to feel left out. While some fathers feel left out, others are uncomfortable about holding their fragile, new born children in their hands and thus end up showing very little inclination to help when the little one cries or is distressed! The first few months after the baby is born are the most difficult, and occasionally the mother is found at the end of her wits, it is in such situations that a father can step in and take care of the baby, letting the mother catch her breath. First, some change of attitude, please! Don’t say ‐ • ‘I work the whole day, I am tired’‐ When you feel that your day has been busy and tiring •

and that you need your rest now, think about the mother. Think how she has a 24/7 job with, no lunch or even tea breaks for that matter plus she hardly gets a day off from her job i.e caring for your baby. So, don’t give those excuses of being tired and help your wife. ‘Why is he crying at night?’‐ Again, you have worked hard all day and require a good night’s sleep to refill your energy reserves for the next day and ‘waaah’ goes the baby! Now, rather than cribbing about the noise, accept that a newborn will cry at anytime in the night. Take turns with your


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wife in soothing him, if he is found to be crying in the night. • ‘It can’t be that hard’‐ When your wife tells you that it has been a long day, all you need to do is listen to her and empathize. If you take this opportunity to criticize her parenting techniques, all you will be doing is •

after a day’s play, you are bound to feel that you have missed spending time with your baby. But all is not lost; when you volunteer to massage the baby all by yourself in the evening you will not only spend quality time bonding with your baby but also reduce the baby’s irritability and help him fall sleep. Burping: Dr. Geetanjali Shah, Pediatrician says “Fathers can’t help much with feeding part but they can definitely help with burping.” For burping you need to hold the baby upright and pat his back gently for about 10 minutes after feeding. Plus, the mother is often exhausted after the feeding session which takes about 20‐30 minutes; help coming from the father’s quarter is quite valuable in such situations. • Bathing: As much as you can help out

demoralizing her all the more. Try shouldering some of her burden. • ‘I am bad at this’‐ That’s not a nice attitude to start with! You must embrace parenthood with openness and loads of patience. If you seem to struggle at start, just relax as with time you will learn what works and what doesn’t. Here are some ways to help Daddy make his mark: • Feeding through the bottle: When it comes to feeding the baby through a bottle, you know that both you and your wife stand equal ! All you need to do is, hold the baby in your arms comfortably and feed him through the bottle or use a spoon and bowl to feed the milk in his mouth gently. • Baby Massage: When you return from office and see that your baby is cranky and tired

during baby massages, you can also volunteer to give a daily bath to your baby. New‐born babies needn’t be bathed every day, as a sponge bath is considered enough. An older baby however needs a proper bath everyday, which gives another chance for the two of you to bond and have fun together. Remember to collect all the accessories, check the water temperature


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and use tear less soap and shampoo for the bath. • Going for walks: You come home from work and instead of seeing your wife’s smiling face you see an exhausted face staring back at you, the reason being she’s had a difficult day with your baby! To help her out you can take the baby outside (don’t forget the diaper) for some time and give your spouse some much needed moments of peace and quiet. Babies too will like it as they love to look at the surroundings and imbibe things around them, remember not to take him to very noisy areas; a stroll in the park or a round or two in the locality works just fine. • Playing: Mommies like to cuddle and hold the babies while daddies like to be more playful. They like to throw the babies up in the air, give their limbs gentle exercise and support the child on their shoulders and generally be involved in a more physical play with the baby, plus babies love this kind of interaction. Don’t worry, this will not hurt the child unless you are too rough. • Changing Diapers: All fathers cringe at the thought of changing the diaper. Spending time with the baby sounds fine but once the • •

bottom’s wet, dads start looking for an exit strategy, but the process of changing diapers doesn’t have to be so difficult. You must maintain eye contact, talk to them, make silly faces and see this as any other time to bond with your baby. Changing diapers will also earn you brownie points from the spouse! Helping out at night: When you find your baby wailing out loud in the middle of the night, don’t crib but take hold of the situation! You and your wife can work up a system in which you both take turns at soothing the baby. It provides for a golden opportunity to be with the baby alone. In such times, just rocking the baby along with gentle talking and singing will help calm your baby down. What’s more, you will also be able to see the serene face of the baby as he falls asleep! And the sight of your baby falling asleep in your arms is something that no father in the entire world would want to miss. Go skin‐to‐skin: Newborn babies are comforted by the touch, voice and smell of the parent. Studies show that just holding your baby skin to skin against you is enough


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to stimulate him. When you are trying to get the baby to sleep try doing it on your bare chest, this will not only help the baby fall asleep quickly but experience, too. Daddies, you are parents too… • Studies have shown that babies and toddlers, whose fathers were involved in caring for them in an active way by playing, talking and spending time with them have better you will love the

interpersonal relations with others and have lesser issues trusting others as they grow up. Research also shows that daddy’s interaction with the baby is as important as a mother’s interaction with the baby. For the First time anxious father, worried about whether he will be able to do anything right; here is tip‐ go with the flow, be open, and be spontaneous. Help out your wife and trust us and your very own parental instincts, you will do fine!


Baby, Sleep like a Baby…

Remember those very first days in the hospital
after the delivery‐ Where you would constantly wish that your little one would wake up from his deep sleep, so you could spend more time with him? But now just a few days after being bought back home, you find that he is altering your sleeping schedule with his own erratic sleeping schedule! He sleeps all day long when you are feeling fresh and energetic, and prefers to wail out aloud for his feed in the middle of the night, when all you want to do is sleep. Before you turn into a zombie due to your lack of sleep, here are some tips to understand your baby’s sleeping pattern and help him to sleep better. No magic number Though an average baby is supposed to sleep for 16 hours a day in the first month, there are a few babies who only sleep for 12 hours a day, with a lot of naps during the daytime, while some other babies sleep for 22 hours a day! This shows that there is a huge spectrum with no standard for the number of hours that a baby must sleep. The baby instinctively sleeps when he should and wakes when he feels like he’s had enough sleep or for other reasons like he is hungry or wet.

Night snacks, wet diapers After an exhausting day, everyone deserves a good night’s sleep. But parents of newborn babies do not get it (though they deserve it more) as babies wake up many times at night ‐ either because they are hungry or their diapers are wet. And both of these are good reasons for a baby to cry. Metabolically, breast fed babies need to feed every 2 ‐3 hours, until they are at least 3 months of age, while bottle fed babies need to feed less often ‐ every 4 hours. A wet diaper can cause discomfort to the child and could even lead to a diaper rash. A diaper change just before sleeping and a diaper with a thicker soft pad may help prevent the discomfort experienced by the baby.


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Day‐ night mix up Babies cannot grasp the concept of days and nights in the early months after their birth; this is the reason why we find them wide awake at 2 am in the night and sleepy in the afternoons. Babies learn to adjust their body’s internal clock in time, but you can help them to do it‐ • When your baby is napping in the afternoon, do not make efforts to darken the lights in the room or keep his surroundings extra quite. Exposure to the natural day will help your baby develop ability to discern day and night early on. If your baby is not in deep sleep, you can wake your baby by holding him upright, burping him and even just gently touching his chin. When he is awake you can stimulate him by either talking or playing with him. • However take care not to overdo this as a baby should not be deprived of his required sleep quota and a tired baby will sleep less soundly than a well rested baby. • At nights, make the atmosphere more sleep friendly by putting the baby to sleep in a much quieter atmosphere. You can help him fall asleep by either singing him a lullaby or by just rocking him to sleep and keeping the room dark. Even when the baby wakes up at night, the interaction should be less and more

efforts should be made to put him off back to sleep. Always a light sleeper If you have observed your baby at night, you will see that he tends to toss and turn and make sounds and even smile. This is because your baby spends most of his sleeping time in the REM or Rapid Eye Movement Sleep when the brain is active and the baby is actually dreaming. So don’t worry if your baby just cries softly and moves around while sleeping. Danger of SIDS Babies naturally prefer to be sleeping on their tummy as it supports their arms and legs and gives a comfortable feeling like that of being in the womb, even their tummy feels better when they lie this way. But research has shown that babies who sleep on their tummy stand the risk of becoming prone to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS which is responsible for the death of many babies without any explainable medical condition. To make sleeping on the back easier for the baby, train the baby since the very beginning. Swaddling – wrapping the baby in soft material ‐ also contributes towards his comfort while he is sleeping on his back. Shh! baby is sleeping…


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

Some parents can go to great lengths to prevent their baby from waking up from his sleep; they switch off their mobiles, talk in whispers and create a ‘no sound zone’ around the baby, only to find the noise of a honking car waking up their baby. Keeping the environment around the baby very quiet is not recommended, as the baby gets molded to sleep only in perfect silence which is difficult to achieve regularly in normal daily life. Also babies are capable of sleeping in normal surroundings when the phone rings, people talk and vehicles move around, so do not over sensitize them early on. Sleep routine Once your baby is older (about six to seven months) and does not need to be fed during the nights, you can start a nightly routine that encourages more sleep and fewer occasions of waking up at night. Start a nightly routine with a massage, a bath, changing into nightwear, a night time book reading session, saying ‘good night’ followed by lights out. If the baby awakens at night, you should soothe him without feeding. This job can be easily done by the father and your baby is also not likely to demand feed from him. Put baby to bed awake Another concept that helps the baby to sleep better is when the baby is put in the crib or the cradle while he is still awake. This way the baby is

drowsy but not sleepy yet, and can fall asleep all by himself. Remember you need to condition your baby in such a way that he learns to fall asleep on his own, so that he can fall asleep by himself. Letting them cry for a while You cannot always rush to soothe your baby whenever he cries at night; your baby has to learn to soothe himself back to sleep, at some point of time. After the baby is 6 months old or older, you can start weaning him away from all midnight feedings and gradually make the baby fall back asleep on his own. Here are the different approaches – • One method is to gradually reduce the number of times you go to soothe the baby back to sleep whenever he starts crying. Start by reducing the number of times you rush to soothe the baby immediately and in case you do go to soothe him, remember to go at least a few minutes after the baby has started crying. After a few days, stop going to the baby altogether. • You can feed the baby before he sleeps and then put him to bed awake, yet drowsy. Your baby will soothe himself and fall asleep. Even when the baby wakes up at night you should soothe him without


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picking him up just by rubbing his back, patting him and talking to him. There is no ‘one’ way or method that works for all, you choose whichever method suits you and your baby to sleep. Another thing to remember is that you have to be consistent with whichever

approach you select and stick to it for so that the method works. All the parents of infants have to live through sleepless nights early on and as time passes by, babies and parents can get into a routine and say ‘Yes’ to a good night’ sleep.


Teething Issues at Hand
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Now that your baby has grown up (read‐about
five to six months old), caring for him is now easier. He now seems to sleep peacefully through the night, feeds regularly and has an active social life (read – wherein he interacts with doting grandparents and excited relatives while being passed on from one set of arms to another). But when this peace is interrupted with his crankiness, loud cries in the night, avoidance of feeds and random chewing (on anything he can get his hands on), it is time to know that your baby has begun teething. Teething generally begins around the fifth or the sixth month and brings along with it, issues of its own. The ‘Tooth Fairy’ often brings along with it, loose motions, fever, irritability and pain for a baby. But some babies are lucky enough, to not have any problems with teething at all. Mentioned below, are the symptoms associated with teething in babies ‐ Drooling: Teething stimulates drooling, so there is also saliva dripping out of your baby’s mouth. Face rash: Due to constant contact with saliva, the skin near the mouth becomes dry, thereby leading to the appearance of rashes on the face. Pain: There is inflammation seen over the gums,

as the body treats the first tooth as a foreign object and reacts accordingly. Irritability: Babies appear to be irritable and cranky as the process of teething brings with it, low intensity but constant pain for the baby. Biting: Teething brings with it, an urge in babies, to keep chewing onto something. This is because the counter pressure that chewing brings, helps in relieving the pain under the gums. Refusal to feed: When babies are teething, they usually refuse feed, as feeding creates a suction that worsens the pain associated with teething. This is the reason your baby will want to feed one instant and refuse feed, the other instant. Diarrhea: Though there is no scientific backing


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to teething causing diarrhea, there are instances of babies suffering from loose motions during this period. Low fever: Though fever is not directly linked with teething, some babies are seen suffering from fever during their teething days. At such times, parents must treat it as they would treat a low grade fever unless the fever lasts for more than three days. Here is what parents can do to help their baby get over the teething phase smoothly, Chew this: Babies try to get their gums on anything and everything they can that includes remotes, table edges and even your finger as the counter pressure such chewing brings relieves their discomfort. But, most of these places the baby bites on aren’t amongst the most hygienic and safe places for your baby as they harbor plenty of germs. Instead, you can give your baby a teething ring that is commonly available, or a carrot with its narrow end chopped off, so that the narrowsharp end does not hurt the insides of the baby’s mouth or an ice cube or pieces of fruits wrapped inside a clean soft cloth. Rub their gums: Your baby will be cranky and

under pain when he undergoes the process of teething. To relieve his pain, run your fingers over his gums. This gentle rubbing would create a counter pressure and would relieve some of his pain. Offer a Cold drink: Here we mean something cold to drink and not a soft drink! The cool sensation of a liquid will help in soothing your baby’s gums. Also, it will take care of his fluid intake. Cool options: Once you have introduced your baby to solid foods, you can offer him cold foods that will soothe his gums like cool apple puree, cold yoghurt or cool soft fruit pieces. Take care of other symptoms: Loose stools and mild fever often occur during the process teething in babies and can be ignored for a while. But if loose motions last for 2 bowel movements and if the fever is higher than 101.50 F, then there may be reason for concern. Teething remains a problem, only till the time of the arrival of your baby’s first tooth. After that the baby’s body gets accustomed to the sensation. So if the teething process seems difficult to you, have patience, soon it will be over and your baby will give you a sparkling tooth smile!


Foods for your Baby

Breast milk provides all the nutrition required by
your baby and Formula milk provides almost all the nutrition needed until your baby turns 4‐6 months old. After this, you may begin to

your Pediatrician. Here are the early foods to offer your baby: 4‐6 months 6 months 7‐8 months 9 months Rice cereal, (oat cereal if rice doesn’t suit the baby) Apple puree, Bananas, Pears, Peas, Carrots, Squash and Other cereals Chicken, Egg, Fish (only if parents are non vegetarian) Yogurt, Beans, cheese

introduce him to solid foods. The strategy is ‘be prepared and be slow’. Be prepared for the spills and meltdowns on the table and be slow, so that he can digest all that you feed him. Now that he has started with the intake of solid foods, don’t go overboard by introducing him to a buffet! Though, in India it is believed that starting foods when the baby reaches the age of 4 months is okay, there is a strong opinion against it by WHO, as well as by UNICEF, both of which say that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months to be able to reach optimal growth and development. After six months, an infant is physiologically and developmentally ready for new foods, textures and modes of feeding. If you are thinking of starting solids before your baby turns six months old, it is advisable to consult

‘First Food’ Options Rice: In the past, rice had always been considered as the ideal first food option for babies because it is gluten free, easy to digest, comes in a fine consistency, has fewer chances of allergic reactions, keeps the baby with a


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feeling of fullness and aids sleep. Today however, there are different opinions as to whether rice should or should not be concerned as a baby’s first food option with increasing cases of babies reacting unfavorably to rice, as a result there are other options that are being considered now‐ Fruits: Solid foods for many babies start with mashed sweet fruits, like, finely mashed bananas or apple puree. However many experts are of the opinion that starting a baby’s intake of solid foods with sweet options, makes him reject non sweetened foods like vegetables and cereals. Here are some guidelines you must keep in mind, before you feed your baby: • Always consult a doctor before introducing new food items to your baby. • Check if your baby is ready for solid foods, if he is able to sit upright, if he shows interest in food, and if the tongue thrust reflex (when solid food put into the mouth is thrown back by the tongue) has gone? • Once you offer a new food to your baby wait for at least 3 days before introducing new food item. This way you can check for possible food allergies. • Remember to offer foods that are • • • • •

thinning. Offer foods at room temperature or slightly warmer. When feeding your baby, make sure he is awake and hungry but not starving. You can feed him a little formula or breast milk before starting other foods. When you are feeding solids to your baby for the first time, make the texture of the food very smooth and try feeding only a few teaspoons till your baby gets the hang of eating solids. Foods to avoid for the first Year: • Honey‐ Honey is known to contain spores of a particular breed of bacteria that are known to cause health problems in babies less than a year old. Citrus foods‐ These are highly acidic and can cause diaper rash in babies in their first year. Egg white– Egg whites are known to cause allergic reactions in babies if given early on. Cow’s milk (For some babies) ‐ Some babies cannot digest cow’s milk well. If you find your baby having diarrhea and an upset stomach, keep him off cow’s milk for some time and consult your doctor, who may suggest alternatives. Here are some recipes you can use to prepare

smoothened in texture by pureeing or


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Baby Foods: (For 6‐8 month old babies) Mashed banana Mash a banana and soften it by mixing it with breast milk or formula milk to tender it. You can also later offer your baby mashed banana without mixing it with milk. Other seasonal fruits like chickoos, papayas, and mangoes can also be simply be mashed and offered to baby. Papaya is known to help relieve constipation in babies. Apple puree Cut an apple into pieces, remove the seeds and the bark and boil in adequate water. Let the liquid cool and mash the apple with a blender or with hands. Initially start with half an apple and then try the entire piece. Strained water In order to provide your baby with the vitamins and nutrients that are lost during the process of preparation of food, care must be taken to not discard the excess water that remains after boiling vegetables and fruits and after cooking dal. It is advisable to feed this water to your baby or to use it for thinning the consistency of the vegetables and cereals that you feed your baby. Puree of veggies Puree of vegetables including, broccoli, green peas, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot and

After removing the skin and seeds, boil the vegetables in just little water (to preserve the vitamins), then push the boiled food through a sieve or a tea filter or blend it in a blender. When your baby has just started solids, make a paste having a smooth consistency by adding a little water or breast milk or formula milk and as he becomes more accustomed to solids, make the consistency thicker. Pumpkin Pumpkin is high in nutrients like Vitamin A, beta carotene, iron and potassium. Pumpkin is also a good source of fiber and is low on fats. All of this makes Pumpkin nutritious for babies. Remember: Never over boil pumpkin, lest it loses all its nutrients.

Some Indian recipes for your baby:
(Remember‐ Do not unnecessarily add salt and sugar to your baby’s foods. Jaggery is preferred than sugar to be added in kheer and sheera but adding salt should be avoided. Your baby gets enough sodium from vegetables.) Nachni Kheer Finger Millet or Nachni cereal is easily available in Indian market and is a well‐known baby food. Nachni is a great source of protein and is also rich in calcium and iron as compared to other cereals. Also, because of its high nutritional

cauliflower can be given as early foods to babies.


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value, nachni kheer is the first food which is given to a baby after 6 months. Both Nachni cereal and nachni flour are easily available in any Indian kitchen. Take a few nachni cereals and roast them on low flame, then grind them in a grinder to make fine flour. You can keep this flour in stock, as it has a very long shelf life. For one bowl of kheer: Take 2 to 3 tablespoons of nachni flour. Boil water for 5 minutes and then add this flour to the water and stir continuously. Stirring continuously is very important so that clots don’t get formed. Once the mixture turns semi solid, add little milk, 1 teaspoon of ghee, a pinch of salt and little jaggery to give it a sweet taste. Cool it for 5 minutes and your healthy nachni kheer is ready for your baby’s

and use it whenever needed. For one bowl: Boil water and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of moong dal and rice powder to it. Stir well, and then remove from the flame, let it cool down to room temperature and serve. Rice is a great source of carbohydrates and moong dal is very nutritious and easy to digest. This makes Moong dal and Rice Phej, the best food for growing babies. Suji Kheer Suji kheer is an excellent combination of fats, carbohydrates and protein – all of which are necessary for your baby’s growth. Suji Kheer is quick to prepare and at the same time, it is healthy for your baby. To make one bowl of suji kheer, take 2 to 3 tablespoons of suji and roast it in ghee. Soon the colour of the roasted suji will change to brownish red. Then add milk and sugar to it, to make it into a thick paste. Dalia Dalia or broken wheat is a healthy food option for babies as it is made from whole wheat. Also, as it is easy to digest and quick to prepare, Dalia can be a regular part of your baby’s diet. Start with equal quantities of wheat Dalia and lentil. Add Dalia to boiling water and cook it for some time until it is half‐cooked. Then add

consumption. It is advisable to start with a small quantity. Don’t expect your kid to finish it in one go. Nachni kheer is filling and hence keeps the baby satiated for a very long time. Moong Dal and Rice Phej Both, Moong dal and rice are also very easy to find in the Indian kitchen. To make Moong Dal and Rice Phej, you need to roast moong dal and rice on a pan and then grind them together to make a fine powder. The ratio for preparing the mixture is, half cup of moong dal to one cup of rice. You can prepare this flour and keep it for days together


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lentil to it, until both are well‐cooked. You can add a pinch of salt and ghee to taste. You can also cook it with vegetables like potatoes, onions, peas and any other green vegetables. Non vegetarian options A month after your baby has started the intake of solids; you can introduce him to non vegetarian food. You can start with soups and stews of chicken. You can also blend boiled chicken with other vegetables and spices, to add taste. When offering an egg to your baby, remember to give only the yolk and not the egg white for at least a year. •

thus, the quantity wasted is less. The strained variety of packaged baby foods has a smooth texture which suits a baby who has newly been introduced to packaged baby foods. The Problem: Your baby gets so used to packaged foods that he no longer accepts the homemade variety which, in comparison to packaged food, is not perfectly textured. Here is what parents can do, • When buying packaged baby food, check the pack for the specified age of babies who can consume the contents. • Many parents start their baby’s initiation into solids, through packaged foods

Packaged Baby Food
In the early days of weaning, when you remain busy dishing out a variety of food options for your baby and he in turn remains busy rejecting your offers, there is every chance that you might feel like giving up on your efforts and buying packaged foods to feed him. Here is all you need to know about packaged baby foods, • Packaged foods are convenient, time saving options compared to homemade foods. • Now‐a‐days packaged foods do not contain any added salt, sugar or fillers. (Please check the cover of the packet to confirm) • Packaged foods can be stored at home and •

supplemented by homemade foods. And when babies get used to eating thick textured foods, parents offer them only homemade food gradually tapering off packaged food. You can keep packaged baby food as an option to homemade food, only when you and your baby are travelling or when you both are away from home or when there is a sense of emergency and you do not have time to prepare your baby’s food at home.


Travelling with your Baby

You realize that parenting is a full time job quite
literally when you find it impossible to do the things you did earlier without a second thought. These things include, having lunch in a restaurant, catching up for a movie with friends in a nearby theatre, talking on the phone without a thousand thoughts running in your head et al. But now, even something as mundane as going to the bathroom, needs to be coordinated with your baby’s nap timings. Even with your life turned upside down, you have to do the things you always did, like travelling. This article makes sure that your travel with the baby remains smooth and safe. If you are to travel with your baby, make sure you plan the trip well as your baby’s comfort and happiness take a priority over everything else, right?

becomes difficult to carry. Also look for a bag made of moisture resistant material like nylon or vinyl with compartments to keep dirty diapers away from the bottle and the food. Remember to keep the bag well stocked with fresh stuff in case of last minute travels. These are the things that you need to carry: Diapers: A baby with a soiled nappy tends to get cranky and irritable, which in turn spoils your outing. So, always keep a bunch of extra diapers handy with you. Never underestimate the number of diapers your baby will need and always carry extra. Diaper changing mat‐ You must carry a cloth, a

For a short trip‐
Changing bag: Now what should a changing bag contain? If your baby is bottle feeding, you need a separate insulated bottle holding area. You will also need to consider the size and carrying comfort. The size should be big enough to carry more than one nappy and a bottle, but not too big that it


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towel or a waterproof pad to provide for a clean, safe surface to change your baby’s diapers. Baby wipes: These are tissues which you can use to wipe your baby’s bottom when changing his diapers and to wipe your hand after you have changed his diaper. Plastic bags or Zip lock bags: Carry plastic bags or zip locks, which can serve as dumping bags for dirty diapers and soiled clothes. Formula: If you are going to be away till your baby’s next feed, carry along a bottle of water in which you mix the powdered formula. And remember, Formula prepared at home should be kept in an insulated container. Baby’s shoulder cloth ‐ Babies like to feed but also tend to spit out the last meal. Hence, it is always better to carry along a cloth to be draped on to prevent smelly shoulders and messy dresses. Change of Clothes‐ You would need to keep changing your baby’s clothes in case your baby’s brand new clothes get spoilt due to baby poop, baby spit or even due to the solid foods he has been newly introduced to. Snack for your baby‐ If your baby has been introduced to solids, you can carry a snack along for him. Carry something that needs neither refrigeration nor heating. Remember to also carry along a spoon, a bib to tie around the baby’s neck

and tissues to clean up the mess! Also keep the finger foods like fruits and biscuits ready, to keep your baby occupied and fed during the journey. Snack for you‐ While you take care of your baby’s needs, remember to take care of your own health too. If you are a breast feeding mother, you need to carry something nutritious to keep up your energy levels. Fruits, whole wheat biscuits, cakes and nuts work well in such cases. Now you know why mothers carrying their little ones, have big bags!

For a longer trip
Along with the things mentioned above, you also need to carry the ones mentioned below, Extra layer of clothing‐ Carry an extra layer of clothing for your baby, when away from home. This helps in preventing your baby from cold and fever. Toys‐ When there is a long journey involved, you should have entertainment planned

because you don’t want a cranky baby while travelling. So take along his favorite toys, favorite blanket, maybe a favorite audio – video CD he loves as well as the book he loves being read to. Sunscreen‐ Not only does your child need


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protection from cold, but also from the sun. Do carry along light cotton clothing and hats to cover him from sun, and apply sunscreen to his body, to prevent him from sunburns. Medical kit‐ Travelling involves the chances of sickness and accidents. Keep the baby’s medical kit ready with medicines for cold, fever, loose motions etc. Learn about the basic first aid kit meant for kids, before you start your journey. Pacifier‐ Keeping your baby happy means keeping his pacifier close to him; even though you think it is high time he learns to sleep without the pacifier. In a place and surroundings that are alien, the familiar pacifier can reassure the baby, so let him have it.

baby’s health. If he okays the trip, ask for some medicines for common cold and cough that are recommended for babies. You must also be aware of the temperature at the place you are heading to, as you would need to pack your baby’s bag accordingly. Follow the routine Do not change your baby’s routine much before you start your journey. This includes, not shifting from breastfeeding to bottles or weaning the child before the journey begins. Let your baby continue with his normal routine so as to feel secure when in unfamiliar surroundings .

Modes of travel
Be it the car, plane or train travel; look for

Baby care products ‐ Carry along, the oils, baby creams, diapers, soaps, shampoos and diaper rash cream along with many sets of clothes.

options to keep your baby happy. Here are some tips‐ Car travel: Before you decide to go on a trip in a

Some tips‐ Time it well In order to have a smooth journey with your baby onboard, time your journey as per your baby’s schedule. And take into account various factors like, modes of transport, the time taken for the journey etc. If it will be a long journey, time it according to your baby’s nap timings. Take medical precautions Before planning to go on a long journey with your baby, talk to a doctor and let him examine your

car with your baby, invest in an infant seat in your car. The infant seat makes sure that the baby remains safe and secure during the journey. This way the mother is less hassled. Remember to adjust the belts according to the size of your baby and make sure he is comfortable. If your baby is soothed by a particular song, bring the CD along to help him calm down when he cries. Take frequent breaks (about every 2 hours) and let your baby out, so that he gets fresh air. Drive


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slower than the usual speed and take care around bad roads and avoid sudden jerks, as these can startle the baby, leading him into a crying fit. Air travel: Babies below 2 years of age do not require a separate ticket but you can still opt for one, if having your baby constantly on your lap proves to be uncomfortable. Moreover, a separate seat for your baby will give you enough space to be able to change his diapers, feed him and allow him to move around. If opting for a single seat, opt for one near the engine so that the noise of your baby’s cries, does not disturb the other passengers and the aisle seat so that you can move easily if you need to, without disturbing your neighboring passenger. Cover your baby’s ears with soft cotton when the plane takes off as the pressure change can affect his ear drums. Bus Travel: Not a comfortable ride for you and your baby. Your baby may not like to be held in one position for long and may soon get bored. Also, the seats in a bus are positioned closer, allowing very little leg space and room for movement for your baby. Unless you have a

means a hot and sweaty journey. So dress your baby in loose cottons and use a wet cloth to keep his temperature down. It is advisable to take the baby by bus only if it is a night journey. Train Travel: Travelling in the train is better than travelling in the car or in the bus, given the benefits of a smooth ride and space available in the train. But the chances of your baby taking in dirt and grime is more in the train, especially if he touches the window grill or the seat covers etc. So make sure you frequently clean his hands and keep an eye on what goes into his mouth. If you are travelling in sleeper class, the upper berth should be ruled out due to the chance of the baby falling down, when he turns or moves. Opt for a lower berth and spread a clean sheet on the seat on which you are seated. Let your baby lie on the sheet. Create a barrier with pillows, so that he does not fall. Keep him covered, so that he remains protected from the cold wind outside. Keep the windows shut and swaddle your baby. Travelling with a baby may not seem to be an easy task, but it is not an impossible task either. All you need to do is to plan ahead and keep your cool.

window seat, the journey in the bus may be a long, arduous one, for both, you as well as your baby. A bus journey, unless taken at night, generally


Solving the Vaccination Woes

The very idea of someone jabbing a needle in
your baby’s delicate arm, is enough to give many parents nightmares! Now add to this idea, your baby’s inconsolable crying and subsequent fever and suddenly you’ll realize why many parents don’t look forward to vaccinations for their babies. While vaccinations are vital for protecting your baby against harmful diseases and for keeping him healthy and fit, many parents lose their keenness on getting their baby vaccinated after hearing stories of serious illnesses following vaccinations! This is why it is very important for you to be aware of the correct precautions to be taken before and after the vaccination of your baby. Why Vaccinations? Vaccination functions on a basic, general premise that, if a person suffers from a particular disease his body produces antibodies which fight that disease, thereby making his system immune to that particular disease for his entire life. During vaccination, a person’s body is injected with weakened or dead disease spreading microorganisms which are harmless to his body. His body then reacts to the injection by producing antibodies that fight the disease and strengthen his immunity against that disease. This way, in his entire life, the person never suffers from that particular disease for which he has received the vaccine.

Vaccines for your baby Certain vaccines, which can prevent your baby from falling prey to serious ailments later on in life, are mandatory. These vaccines must be administered when your baby reaches a certain age, so that the vaccine is most effective. Government of India has made it mandatory for parents to get their babies vaccinated against various serious ailments including Diphtheria, Polio , Tuberculosis etc. The names of essential vaccinations and the diseases, for which they are administered to babies, are given below: Government of India has made it mandatory for parents to give vaccinations like DPT for Diphtheria, Pertussis (whooping cough)

mentally for dealing with your baby’s cries and


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Vaccination Schedule Age of the child At Birth Government Schedule BCG(Against Tuberculosis) OPV (Against Polio) This dose of vaccine at birth is called the zero dose. IAP Schedule BCG, OPV HB (Against hepatitis B)

6 weeks

OPV (first dose) DPT (Triple vaccine against Diphtheria, Pertussis and Teta‐ nus)

OPV (first dose) DPT (first dose) HB (2nd dose)

10 weeks

OPV ( second dose) OPV (second dose) DPT (second dose) DPT(second Dose)

14 weeks

OPV (third dose) DPT (third does)

OPV (third dose) DPT (third dose) HB ( third dose) Measles OPV (fourth dose) DPT (fourth dose) MMR (vaccine against Measles, Mumps and German Measles (rubella)

6‐9 months 9 months 15‐18 months

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Measles OPV (fourth dose) DPT (fourth dose)

5 years

DT (fifth dose) (only for diphthe‐ ria and tetanus) TT (against tetanus)

OPV (fifth dose) DPT (fifth dose)

10 years


16 years




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Tetanus, BCG for Tuberculosis, OPV for Polio. Along with these vaccines, Indian Academy of Pediatricians has updated the list by including HBV vaccine for Hepatitis B and MMR vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella or German measles. As a new mother of an infant, you will be provided with a vaccine schedule after being discharged from the hospital post delivery. You may also refer to the chart given below indicating the schedule to be followed for vaccination of your baby. Some tips for your Vaccination trip: • Prepare yourself mentally for dealing with your baby’s cries and also take along his favorite toy for distracting his attention from the jab of a needle. • You will have to hold your baby in your arms to get the vaccine administered onto him. If you aren’t comfortable seeing your baby cry, ask your spouse or relative to accompany you so that either of them can hold your baby while the vaccine gets administered. • Vaccinations are generally given by a registered Pediatrician, but you can also take your baby to a government hospital for vaccinating him. • Inform the medical professional who is to administer the vaccine, about any fever or illness baby may have at that time because • • • • • •

sometimes vaccines are not administered if the baby is unwell. Inform your Pediatrician about any sort of allergy your baby may have especially egg allergy. Also, inform the medical professional if your baby suffers from fits and seizures.

Check the expiry date of the vaccine before it is administered, as expired vaccines can be harmful for your baby

Side effects of Vaccination: Generally children develop slight fever after vaccinations and pediatricians prescribe half a teaspoon Paracetemol to treat the fever. After a measles injection there are chances of rashes appearing on your baby’s skin, but this is normal. If your baby experiences allergic reactions, high fever and loss of consciousness after getting vaccinated you should consult a doctor. Some common myths about Vaccines: Vaccines themselves cause many ailments All vaccines are thoroughly tested before being introduced for administration. There are very few known side effects of vaccines and these are


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easily overshadowed by the kind of protection vaccines offer against serious ailments like meningitis, diphtheria and whooping cough, all of which can be fatal for kids. My baby is well protected, and so he doesn’t need to be vaccinated Germs are present everywhere ‐ water, air, soil ‐ and many children as well as adults are known to carry them. You may feel that you can protect your child against germs but unless he is vaccinated, there is no guarantee that he will not fall prey to serious ailments. One vaccine in a series gives the baby enough protection Researchers have found that skipping vaccines puts your child under a risk of contracting diseases. Hence, if a series of injections have been recommended for your baby, make sure he

receives the complete course. If your baby misses even one shot of a particular vaccine, it’s pointless vaccinating the next time This is not true. Even though it is recommended, that you follow the given schedule, your baby can be vaccinated, even though he has missed one shot. It is important that your baby gets the shot, albeit late, than not get it at all. Go to your doctor at the earliest and inform him about the vaccine your baby missed. When you compare the pain vaccination brings to your baby, as against the benefits it provides, you will realize the importance of that jab in your baby’s arm. So the next time when you hear rumors pertaining to vaccination, you know what to do with those‐ Ignore the rumors and get your child vaccinated for sure!


Dealing with Common Illnesses of the Baby

Every time your precious little angel has a cold or
a nasal congestion, you don’t have to switch to panic mode and rush him to the doctor! You can easily reduce the number of medications

80‐90% of the time, fever in newborns gets cured without the help of medications, hence don’t rush your baby to the doctor each time he has fever. Also, doctors don’t recommend applying cold pads to the baby unless the fever is higher than 1020 F. What you can do: Keep baby cool‐ When your baby has fever rather than bundling him up in blankets, it is advisable to remove the extra layers of cloth to cool down his body temperature. Unless his body loses his body heat it can lead to overheating and heatstroke. To ensure that the

prescribed to your baby by replacing them with some equally effective home remedies. Dr. Sudhir Sane, Pediatrician, however, says “A baby less than 3 months old should not normally suffer from any disease, but if you find that he is not well, do not try the home remedies as he is still too young to be fed anything other than breast milk.” Mentioned below are some of the possible health problems your baby may suffer from and the ways in which you can provide treatment

Whenever your mother would touch your forehead and find it hot, she would get worried and would ask you to strictly lie on the bed, eat nothing but boring soups and curd rice. Similar feelings occupy your mind when you find your baby suffering from fever. Contrary to popular perception, the occurrence of fever in your baby is in fact, a sign showing that his body is fighting against infections, rather than being a victim to the bad viruses


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baby loses body heat, switch on the fan or the AC in the room your baby sleeps, but it is advisable to keep your baby out of the direct air flow. Increase fluid intakes– Older babies that are weaned must be given juices along with oral dehydration fluids, clear soups etc, while younger babies, must be breast fed regularly so that they get their daily quota of fluids. Medication to reduce Fever‐ For babies less than 2‐6 months of age, having fever of 100.20 or more (102.60 for babies older than 6 months) you can give paracetamol drops or medications as prescribed by your doctor. If the temperature still does not drop, contact your pediatrician. Sponging‐ Sponge your baby only if the • • • • •

age is having fever of more than 102.60F. The baby is having difficulty breathing The baby is crying inconsolably and for long. The baby is having fever after being in the sun (this can point to sunstroke) The baby exhibits signs of dehydration The baby is cranky, lethargic, sleepy and sensitive to light unlike his normal happy‐go ‐lucky self

Common cold
Common cold is one of the most common ailment babies suffer from. The main reason for this is that their bodies are still in the developing stage and the immunities are not completely formed. Symptoms: Runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion and sometime dry cough, fever, itchy throat, fatigue and loss of appetite. Duration: Common cold Generally lasts for 3‐10 days but may last longer in babies. What you can do: • For nasal congestion, instill saline drops that are available as OTC drugs into the baby’s nostrils so that the hard mucus softens, and it can drip out of the nose or

temperature does not drop even after an hour of administering the medication. Use lukewarm water for sponging the baby. Take 3 cloths for sponging and spread out a waterproof material on the ground. Cover your baby with a towel and then alternately dip two cloths into water and place them on his forehead and keep the third cloth for rubbing over the baby’s neck, face, stomach, under arms and groin. Continue to do this for 20 minutes to 1 hour until the temperature drops. Call the doctor if, • A baby less than 2 months old has fever over 100.20 and if a baby more than 2 months of


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can be swallowed by the baby which later comes out with stool. • You need to moisten the air in the room to help your baby who is suffering from cold, breathe easier. Keep a steam vaporizer open in the room or keep a hot bowl of water open in the room, but keep it out of the baby’s reach. • Make the baby sleep with an elevation provided by a pillow kept under the mattress as it helps to make breathing easy for the baby. • Applying Vaseline under the nose can help in reducing the redness caused due to your constant wiping of your baby’s nose but make sure that the baby does not inhale the vaseline. • Do not give cough drops or any antibiotics to your baby unless the doctor recommends. • Increase your baby’s intake of fluids, so as to compensate for the fluids that are lost because of a runny nose and breathing through the mouth. • Colds generally pass on through the hands hence parents should take proper care to wash hands properly before they touch the baby.

Call the doctor if, The cold is accompanied with a fever of more than 101.40 F and if the fever lasts for more than 2 days. Also, if dry cough interferes with the baby’s sleep. The general rule is, as Dr. Sane explains, “if the baby seems lethargic and weak or, if he seems more cranky than usual and if the baby is unlike his normal self then call the doctor, otherwise if the baby is playful, you can treat him at home.”

The problem of constipation is mostly seen in bottle fed babies than breast fed babies. The reason being, movements of formula milk are generally hard and difficult to expel. Symptoms: Infrequent bowel movements with stools that are hard to pass, blood in the stool, irritability and gastric distress. Causes: Illness, lack of fiber in the diet, a slow digestive system, insufficient activity in the anal fissure. Duration: Can be chronic or can be an occasional occurrence. What you can do: • Exercise the baby by moving his legs and hands in a cyclic manner.


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For babies who have started the intake of solids, increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, while that of dairy products, should be reduced. •

before switching your options. Increase fluid intake to compensate for the lost fluids and give your baby 60 ml of fluids every hour. • Continue feeding older babies solid foods like mashed bananas, rice porridge and potatoes. • If the baby is vomiting, stop all solids until vomiting stops. Till that time, give clear fluids including oral rehydration fluids or juices. • Reduce the intake of dairy products, other than bottle fed milk and breast milk, until diarrhea is controlled.

Call the doctor if: There are frequent constipation bouts or if there is a presence of blood in the stool.

Diarrhea is another problem seen mostly in bottle fed babies and to a lesser extent in breast fed babies. This is because breast milk has a substance that kills the organisms that cause diarrhea. Symptoms: Liquidy stools, runny stools, mucus in stool, blood in the stool, vomiting, increased volume and frequency of the stools. Causes: Infection, teething, consumption of too many fruits, sensitivity to a particular food item in the diet, antibiotics. Duration: From few hours to some days. What you can do: • Continue with either breast milk or formula milk as before but if the problem persists, then it may be due to temporary intolerance of milk, hence a better option would be to switch to soy milk. Do consult the doctor

Babies often fall prey to infections of the ear. Here are a few ways in which parents can deal with the problem. Symptoms: Pain in the ear that worsens at night, baby pulling and rubbing his ears, crying when sucking on breasts, slight fever, fatigue, runny nose and congestion, sometimes nausea and vomiting. Cause: Infection and even allergy.


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Duration: Few days. Usually regular ear infection cases get cured within a week’s time. What you can do: • Consult the doctor as ear infections need antibiotics and treating ear infections at home is not recommended. • You need to watch your baby and look for symptoms of ear‐ache. • When it becomes necessary to administer antibiotics to your baby, complete the full prescribed dose for 5 ‐10 days so that the infection does not occur again. • To give the baby temporary relief from pain, hold a warm compress or a heating pad or a bottle filled with warm water close to his ears.

or the food pipe in the throat. In babies the muscles that close the opening which keeps the food from entering in the esophagus, do not work well. The food then reaches the esophagus where its acidic content irritates the lining of the esophagus, prompting the ‘spitting up’ of food. When could GER occur: From the time the baby is 2 weeks old and stays till the baby becomes one or two years old. What can you do: • GER generally does not require treatments through medication, there are alternate ways to reduce the impact. • Breastfeed the baby in small quantities at regular intervals and don’t overfeed. • Avoid feeding acidic and fatty foods to the baby, as these are difficult to digest.

Gastro esophageal Reflux (GER)
GER is a common problem occurring in more than half of the babies when they are less than 3 months of age. GER is also the cause behind the ‘spit ups’ that occurs in babies less than a year old. Symptoms: Excessive spitting or vomiting,

Once the baby is in a position to consume solid foods, feed him with foods that have a thicker consistency as these are less likely to be thrown up.

extremely forceful vomiting, erratic feeding pattern, slow weight gain, poor sleep habits, excessive drooling, choking and frequent burping. Cause: GER occurs in babies, when partially digested food is thrown back into the esophagus

Medications that neutralize the stomach’s acidic content can be helpful to the baby. Give only if prescribed by the doctor.

Ways to prevent GER: • Breast milk helps to prevent GER as it is easy to digest, and keeps the acid level in


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the stomach low. • When you are breastfeeding, avoid the intake of caffeine in your diet. • • Burp your baby frequently. Keep the baby in an upright position for 2‐3 hours, after he has been fed. • Pacifier helps in preventing GER, so let the baby have it, after he has been fed. • Don’t jostle the baby and don’t bathe him immediately after he has been fed.

UTI cannot be completely cured by home remedies. It does require doctor’s

consultation especially, when the baby suffers from an unexplained fever. • The doctor will prescribe antibiotics for treating the infection. Increasing the baby’s fluid intake will also help in treating the infection. • The best way to treat the UTI infection is to prevent it from occurring in the first place! Here are some ways to prevent UTI from attacking your baby, • When changing a nappy, clean your baby from front to back. • Make sure the baby consumes enough fluids to wash out unwanted bacteria. • Avoid bubble baths and perfumed soaps that irritate the genitals, especially in baby girls. You can try these home remedies when the symptoms are minor and the baby otherwise seems well; however if the condition prolongs or worsens then consult your doctor immediately.

Urinary Tract infection
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are caused by an infection that occurs in the urinary tract of kidneys, ureters, bladders and urethra of the baby. Generally, an unexplained fever is the only symptom of UTI. UTI can cause serious damage in children less than 2 years of age, hence proper diagnosis and treatment are essential. Symptoms: Unexplained fever, crying, irritability, stomach or back pain, cloudy urine, frequent urination, vomiting and diarrhea. Cause: UTI happens when bacteria begin to grow in the baby’s urinary tract. What you can do:


Stimulating the Baby

As a parent, wouldn’t you want your child to be
gifted with many talents and qualities? Who doesn’t want a kid as smart as Einstein, who can speak 5 languages, is mathematically gifted and who can sing? If you want your kid to as be as talented use the early months to stimulate his mind‐ show him pictures, talk to him, play with him; babies can understand more than we give them credit for. Your baby is constantly in the process of learning. Even at times when he may seem to be simply staring at the ceiling, his mind remains active and stores information in order to be able to retrieve it later for his understanding. It is found that 55% of your baby’s learning ability is developed within the first 4 years of his life. Your baby is born with a fully developed neuron system. After birth, the process of making connections between the different neurons start and it is this potential that you should tap into.





differentiate between colors either. Babies can identify with a human face more easily, than they can relate to cartoons and colors. About 15 days after his birth your baby will be able to identify the outline of your face. Even just‐born babies love to see any design that is similar to a human face. Hence, it is advisable to stimulate your baby’s senses by sticking pictures of human faces near his crib or cradle. Since red, white and black are the only colors that babies are able to identify in their early months, parents must prepare charts with contrasting images in these three colors and stick the charts on to your baby’s crib. There are also books available which are specially

Visual stimulation
You must have decorated your baby’s room with various cartoon characters, colorful patterns and expensive furnishings. But if you thought your baby would be able to notice your efforts and appreciate them with a smile, think again! Because a baby can barely see beyond his


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designed to stimulate babies’ brains.

language or play CDS or cassettes in many languages, he will be able to grasp these languages fast and easy. Also, if your little one is

Auditory stimulation
A baby’s auditory senses develop inside the mother’s uterus as he keeps listening to his mother’s voice and to the many sounds that form a part of the mother’s immediate environment. This means that when a baby is born, he is already able to identify his parents’ voice, from the rest of the family.. In order to be able to stimulate your baby through auditory senses, it is important that you keep talking to him constantly. A research shows that those babies, whose parents talk to them regularly, are able to speak 300 words more than their peers by the age of 2. And if you are wondering as to what you should talk to your baby about, here are some tips: Talk to your baby about what you are doing, point out at the various things around him and name them, call him by his name, sing songs to him and so on. This kind of active stimulation is very important than the passive stimulation offered by DVDs and CDs. The latter can be used to supplement active stimulation in the baby. Overall, it is the participation of the parents in baby’s development and their constant involvement in their lives that stimulates the baby most. When you speak to your baby in more than one

being exposed to different genres of music‐ from Classical and Jazz, to Indian folk and Bollywood, ‐ he will develop a discerning ear for good music that will remain with him as he grows up.

A soothing touch, a gentle pat, a loving caress‐ all work towards the emotional and mental development of your baby. Research has shown that skin‐to‐skin contact between the parent and the baby helps in strengthening the bond between them in the early days after the baby’s birth. Activities like massages, rocking, cuddling and tickling the baby, help in stimulating the vestibular centre in the baby’s brain which in turn helps in maintaining balance and ability to move. Touch also breeds familiarity in the baby’s mind and helps in preventing childhood phobias. For stimulating your baby’s sense of touch, provide him with objects of different textures including soft, hard, smooth, rough and granular. As he touches each object, name it aloud for him to be able to hear. Make sure that all objects are clean and safe for your baby and make sure he doesn’t put them into his mouth.


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Smell: Your baby’s sense of smell can best develop naturally, without any need of a conscious effort from your side. As your baby comes in contact with different smells at home, for instance the smell of milk – which he seems to like, while the smell of his own poop – which he does not like, he will keep learning. Other than stimulating your baby’s senses you also need to respond to his needs so that he feels loved and cared for. You need to respond to his cries indicating hunger and irritation, you need to cuddle him and play with him, entertain him and distract him. Through these gestures of love and care, you are actually laying the foundation of trust and love in the mind of your child. This way your baby gets enough confidence to express himself without inhibitions and to venture and learn new things.

him. Hold a ball and let him reach towards it. Remember, you need to be gentle with him and challenge him within the limits of his capacities. Read to him‐ Reading stories to your baby will help in teaching him many things and will also help in keeping his mind calm and occupied. Name things‐ Whenever you see new objects, point those to your baby and name them. He will remember some of these words later when he starts talking and this will leave you amazed. Peek‐a‐boo‐ This age‐old method of

entertaining a child, also serves as an educational purpose for your baby. By way of peek‐a‐boo, babies learn that, object

permanence that is ‘if the object is not seen doesn’t mean that it is gone’ phenomenon. If you notice, most of the ways of stimulating babies mentioned in this article can

These are other things you can do:
Take him out‐ When your child remains at home for a long time, he gets acquainted with all the objects present around him and there remains nothing new that can stimulate his mind and body. If you take him to a park, his mind will be stimulated by the newness of the place and by the many other things which would attract his little mind. Challenge him‐To help your baby grow, challenge

be easily done at home There is a lot of stimulation that happens in a baby’s mind, when he interacts with you and with the environment around him; the trick lies in identifying and channelizing the stimulation further.

Stimulations should be fun for both, you as well as your baby. You must constantly encourage him and applaud when he does well, but never push him into doing something; he is not in the mood of doing at that time.


Traditional vs. Modern approach to Baby care


the baby cry for a while, a little crying

benefits of swaddling the baby. Swaddling, as per science, makes the baby feel secured and reminds him of the cocoon like environment of his mother’s womb. The warmth that results by way of swaddling helps the baby, until his own temperature regulation

doesn’t hurt anyone” this is what you find your mother‐ in‐ law telling you, each time you think of soothing your crying baby. There are times when you have placed your baby lying on his back and come back to see that your mother has placed him on the belly which is now considered a taboo due to the risk of SIDS (see baby sleep like a baby page no.61) With new research coming in, the way we care for the baby is undergoing a lot of change. These changes don’t easily go well with the older generation as they are staunch believers in the “this is how it was done since ages” argument and as a result there seems to be a struggle to come up with a method that is acceptable to you both. This article is just about that, about the traditional practices that are being followed since ages and why some of them should be stopped while some need to be followed even today.

mechanism matures. Moreover, swaddling as a method also prevents the baby waking up due to his own movements in his sleep. It also ensures that the baby lies on his back reducing the risk for SIDS. In India, swaddling helps in protecting the baby from mosquito bites, as the entire body except the face, remains covered. You can swaddle your baby until he is 3 months old after which your baby finds it to be too

Swaddling, Verdict: Good
Our mothers and grandmothers believed that tying the baby in a cloth in the initial days post birth soothes the baby and he tends to cry less. And modern science too, concurs with this traditional) belief and also confirms the various


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restrictive and learns to roll over. Remember to swaddle your baby only if your baby likes it.

Remember: Do not wear your slings when you are cooking, exercising, jogging or driving.

Carrying babies through slings and carriers, Verdict: Good
‘If you cannot carry your work to where your baby is, carry your baby to where your work is’ – this was the golden rule which many women in the ancient times followed. The age‐old trend of the mother carrying the baby with slings has come back and everyone is raving about its benefits. The slings keep the baby close to the mother and due to this continuous contact with the mother, the baby develops a sense of security which he finds soothing. The slings also allow the mother to have both her hands free as the baby is tied to her front body, thereby enabling her to do her work and keep a watch on the baby at the same time. Slings are highly beneficial for those babies who need to be constantly cuddled and carried. But, along with the advantages, slings also have certain drawbacks: First, overuse of slings, can be restrictive for the baby. Second if you are carrying you baby in a sling, in hot climate, your baby would feel very hot and uncomfortable. Third, if you become even a bit careless when bending down, your baby can slide down onto the ground, which can be very dangerous.

Applying Kajal, Verdict: Bad
If you are an Indian, most of your own baby pictures had your eyes covered with Kajal. It is time that you prevent your child from having similar pictures! A popular notion behind the application of kajal to babies is, to keep the baby away from those with evil intentions. Besides, there are still many who believe in the medicinal property of the black kohl. Since ancient times the application of kajal to babies has been considered as a remedy against some common eye ailments like corneal ulcer, conjunctivitis, and trachoma. This is because compounds like copper sulphate and zinc, present in kajal were considered to be beneficial for treating eye problems. But, since there are better treatments available today, the ritual of application of kajal to babies has become obsolete. In fact, application of kajal to babies can cause them harm as there is no way to ascertain if the finger of the person applying it is clean or if the sterility of the kajal is maintained. Further, doctors say that applying kajal can lead to eye


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allergies, glaucoma, conjunctivitis and other eye infections. If it is difficult to give up the practice in its entirety, the best way out is to apply the kajal mark anywhere on your baby’s body, anywhere except around his eyes.

off evil spirits, while there is alternate reason that piercing the ear stimulates point for vision according to acupuncture. Ear piercing is generally done within days of the birth, sometimes during the namkaran

ceremony. Parents think that when the skin is very young there is no pain and therefore piercing should be done as soon as possible.

Baby Massage, Verdict: Very good
Massage is one among the many practices that India has given to the world. Every mother and grandmother will tell you the kind of joy that massaging a baby brings, along with its associated health benefits for the baby. Research conducted by The Touch Research Institute of Miami University proves that massages are good for baby’s immunity, digestion, growth, stress

Doctors on the other hand think that it should only be done around the 6 month mark, when the tetanus (DPT) vaccinations are administered to avoid infection. Also as the baby is older he is in a better shape to tolerate the pain. Parents must also take care of the place from where they pierce the ears. Parents should avoid going to any other jeweler or ‘massagewalli’ to pierce their baby’s ears. It is advisable that parents opt for a clean and hygienic place. Even

reduction and sleep and also help in fighting diarrhea and constipation in babies. Moreover, the loving touch of the mother’s hands along with the songs she sings to her baby during the massage helps in soothing the baby to a good sleep. It also helps to create a bond between the mother and her baby. Remember: Parents must ensure that the massage is done gently and without causing too much stress to the baby. Ear Piercing, Verdict: Must be done with Care In India, all babies, be they girls or boys, get their ears pierced. It is believed that pierced ear wards

the instrument that will be used to do the piercing has to be selected with care. The gun shot is a popular choice but there are several parts of the gun that cannot be sterilized. A sterilized needle can be used for this purpose. Things to remember: • Ensure that only a doctor or an experienced piercer does the job. • Choose a time when it is less crowded and carry a toy to distract the baby.


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Make sure that the piercer washes his hands with antiseptic solution and wears gloves while doing it.

around the 4 month mark. The new hair that comes may be thicker or curlier or even a new color! But whether you shave, trim, or brush his hair a hundred strokes a day won't affect how it grows in. For some babies there is a delay in hair growth but shaving their head isn’t anyway going to help. Here are some tips when you decide to shave your baby’s head • Shave the baby’s head only after 6‐9 months of birth. • Make sure that the barber’s equipment is sterilized. • Wash the head before you shave it with lukewarm water.

Ensure that the practitioner pierces at the centre of the lobe avoiding the nerve and the cartilage.

Don’t let the practitioner mark on the ear lobe before piercing as there are chances of infection due to the dye in the ink.

Choose studs with a screw on the back and thin gold wire for your baby.

Look out for signs of infection like swelling, redness and pain and consult a doctor if any occurs.

Shaving off the hair, Verdict: Must be done with Care
‘Shaving the hair while they are babies will lead to great texture and thickness of hair in children’‐ this is what we say when we shave the baby’s hair. Though there is no evidence to prove it, the parents still firmly believe in it. The only change that shaving brings is that all of the hair grow uniformly which gives it an appearance of being thick. Also it is common for babies to lose some or even all of the hair that they were born with, usually

After the shaving, apply ointment or Aloe Vera gel on the nicks and cuts on his head. You can also apply turmeric and

sandalwood paste on the head to fight infection and keep the shaved area cool.

Tying a Black thread, Verdict: Bad
Tying a black thread around the neck, hand and the waist is an old tradition among us to ward off evil spirits. But it ends up doing more harm to the baby than good! Sometimes the baby might just pull on the thread, which may lead to


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strangulation. Also if he puts the thread in the mouth which has been dyed, it can be toxic to the baby. If you tie the thread too tight around the baby’s neck, it may hamper the blood circulation. The thread remains wet for a long time after taking bath and remains in close contact with the baby’s body, which increases the chances of fungal infection. If you still want to tie the thread, tie it loosely around the ankle not the wrist or the waist.

then try to remove it with an ear bud, you may end up scratching and hurting the baby’s ear drums which will affect his hearing. Sometimes the oils themselves cause infections! If it is the dirt in the ear that you are worried about, ask your pediatrician about it. You shouldn’t pour oil in the baby’s navel especially when the umbilical stump is still linked to the navel as dirt particles containing germs stick to the oil which may cause infections. You must take care of the stump and

Putting oil in the ear and navel, Verdict: Bad
Earlier, putting oil in the ear was believed to soften the ear wax so that it can be cleaned easily. It was believed that the ear wax hindered hearing.

observe it carefully for any signs of pus or blood and consult the doctor if you find any. If the stump seems to be partially separated do not pull it apart. Be patient and let it fall off on its own. With these scientific reasons behind following or

Doctors today believe that ear wax, in fact helps to protect the ear against air, moisture, bacteria and water. If you try to soften the wax with oil and

discarding a ritual made clear, you easily convince your elders about them, after all they also want the best for the baby!


Baby’s Development Milestones

Each baby is unique and develops at his own pace. Some may start walking early while some are early talkers. So parents remember, do not compare your baby with other babies as each of them develop differently. Here is the development chart indicating the development milestones for your baby. Unless your baby is off track on most counts you have no reason to worry.

Lift the head by 900while lying on the belly

• • •

Hold the head steady when upright. Bring the hands together. Smile spontaneously.

2nd Month
As time passes by, you find yourself getting increasingly better at baby care and now you have learnt all the tricks that can help in soothing your baby’s cries in no time. And by the second month, the bond between you two, has become so strong that he recognizes you and even smiles and coos in your presence. Most babies will be able to,

1st Month
Even after one month, your baby still feels like a newcomer in the house amongst all of you. He has just mastered the art of breastfeeding and the art of sleeping in his cradle. Here are the other things he is expected to accomplish by this time… Most babies will be able to‐ • Lift the head for a few seconds while lying on the belly. • See and focus on the faces of people who greet them. Some babies will be able to, • Lift the head by 450 while lying on the belly. • Make other sounds like ‘cooing’.

Very few babies will be able to,


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Express startle, cry or stop crying in response to a bell

Some babies will be able to, • • Laugh out aloud Lift the head up to 900 while lying on the belly Very few babies will be able to, • Squeak when delighted Bring both the hands together Smile spontaneously Roll over to either side Bear some weight on the legs when held upright • Reach for an object kept at a short distance

Respond with a smile

Some babies will be able to, • Make sounds other than crying, like cooing • Lift the head to 45 while lying on the belly Very few babies will be able to, • • Hold the head steady when upright Stay on the stomach, with chest raised and supported by arms • • Roll over to one or the other way Pay attention to objects as small as a raisin. Babies must be kept away from small objects as much as possible. • • Reach for an object at a distance Laugh out loud, or squeal

• • • •

4th Month
Your baby seems to be like an angel this month. He seems to be all smiles when you are close to him, he cries less and even sleeps peacefully through the night. He seems cheerful and

happy, and both of you seem to have a gala time in each other’s company. Most babies will be able to, • Lift their head up to 900 while lying on their tummy • • Laugh out aloud Follow the movement of an object in an arc, i.e. above the head at 15 cm for 1800

3rd Month
A thorough medical checkup for your baby ‐ scheduled during the third month ‐ should help in clearing all your doubts pertaining to his upbringing , care and his development milestones. Most babies will be able to, • Lift the head up to 45 while lying on the belly


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Some babies will be able to, • Stay on the belly with the chest raised, supported by their arms • Pay attention to objects as small as a raisin. Babies must be kept away from small objects as much as possible. • Reach for an object kept at a short distance • • •

as much as possible. Reach for an object kept at a short distance Smile spontaneously Respond with a smile

Some babies will be able to, • • Roll over to either side one way Bear some weight on the legs when are held upright • Turn in the direction of the voice of a person calling out to them • Sit without support

Very few babies will be able to, • • Object, if the toy is taken away Turn in the direction of the voice of a person calling out to them • Sit without support

Very few babies will be able to, • Pull themselves up to the standing position from the ‘sitting’ position • • • Stand, holding onto someone or something Object, if the toy is taken away Make an effort to get hold of a toy that seems to them to be out of reach

5th Month
By the 5 month, your baby seems to be much stronger and active. He is now able to go and get his toy from a distance, he even tries to crawl and is able to notice small things that seem interesting to him, including fallen food pieces, tiny insects etc. Your baby’s increased activity also means that you need to be more careful and alert. Most babies will be able to, • • Hold the head steady when upright Stay on the belly with the chest raised, supported by their arms • Pay attention to objects as small as a raisin. Babies must be kept away from small objects

6th Month
It’s the sixth month, and there are already some signs of teeth in your little one, and he has now begun with his mischieves too. He has started to pull and push in order to be able to get his toys, and has even begun surprising you by making different sounds.


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Most babies will be able to, • • • Say ‘ah‐goo ‘or similar sounding notes Some babies will be able to, Bear some weight on their legs when they are held upright • • Sit without support Turn in the direction of the voice of a person calling out to them • Make an effort to get hold of a toy that seems to them to be out of reach • Babble, by combining vowels and consonants such as ga‐ga‐ga, ba‐ba‐ba, ma‐ma‐ma and da‐da‐da. Very few babies will be able to, • • Creep or crawl Pull themselves up to the standing position from the ‘sitting’ position • Pick up tiny objects

Most babies will be able to, • Try to feed themselves with the help of a spoon • • • Make a razzing sound Coo or babble when they are happy Smile often while interacting with people

Some babies will be able to, • • • Sit without support Object, if their toy is taken away from them Make an effort to get hold of a toy that seems to them to be out of reach • • Look for an object dropped in front of them Turn in the direction of the voice of a person calling out to them Very few babies will be able to, • • Play peek‐a‐boo Babble by combining vowels and

consonants such as ga‐ga‐ga, ba‐ba‐ba, ma ‐ma‐ma and da‐da‐da. • • Creep or crawl Stand, even after holding onto someone or something • Walk, taking the support of the furniture at home

7 Month
By the seventh month, you see your baby becoming independent; he wants to feed himself now, ‐ doesn’t matter, that the table cloth and his own clothes are also being fed in the process, ‐ and he is also getting better at expressing himself by cooing and smiling at the world!



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Pull up to standing position from the ‘sitting’ position •

‘sitting position’ Say “mama” or “dada” discriminately Stand alone momentarily Understand a ‘No’

8 Month
The eighth month has brought about a lot of changes in your baby ‐ the once quiet and meek infant has turned into a mischief making and a never tiring tot who can now crawl and get his tiny fingers onto almost anything he comes across. With so much of novelty around him, your baby sure is making the most of now. Most babies will be able to, • Bear some of theibody’s weight on their legs when they are held upright • Try feeding themselves with the help of a spoon • Turn in the direction of the voice of a person calling out to them • Look for an object dropped in front of them


• •

9th Month
By now, your baby has gained some useful social skills. He is entertaining everyone around him by mimicking the sounds he hears and doing things that get him attention. Most babies will be able to, • Make an effort to get hold of a toy that seems to them to be out of reach • Look for an object dropped in front of them

Some babies will be able to, • • Creep or crawl Get into a ‘sitting’ position while lying on their stomach • • • • Object, if their toy is taken away from them Stand, holding onto someone or something Say “mama” or “dada” discriminately Play peek‐a‐boo

Some babies will be able to, • • • Stand holding onto someone or something Play peek‐a‐boo Get into a ‘sitting position’ while lying on the belly Very few babies will be able to, • • Creep or crawl Pull up to the standing position from the

Very few babies will be able to, • • Say “mama” or “dada” discriminately Play with a ball


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Pick up a tiny object with the help of the tips of the their thumb and forefinger

Understand a ‘No’

Very few babies will be able to, • • • • • • Say “mama” or “dada” discriminately Play ball Stand alone well without support Drink from a cup independently Talk in gibberish Respond to a one step command with gestures (“Give that to me” said, with hand shown)

• •

Stand well, without support Respond to a one step command with gestures (“Give that to me” said with hand out)

10th Month
Your baby is getting smarter by the 10th month, but he is also getting thinner and losing his rate of growth. He continues to leave no stone unturned in exploring your house. When you tell him something, he listens and understands but has no intention of obeying. No wonder, they say, ‘Parenting is difficult’. Most babies will be able to, • • Stand by holding onto someone or something Pull up to the standing position from the ‘sitting’ position • • • Object, if their toy is taken away from them Play peek‐a‐boo Say “mama” or “dada” discriminately

11th Month
Your baby has now turned into a rebel; he resists the diaper change, the rice cereal and the afternoon nap. At this point, he hates to be confined and makes sure that you know it. His latest, favorite activity is to keep pointing at different things and he keeps doing this all the time. Most babies will be able to, • Get into a ‘sitting position’ while lying on their from stomach • Understand a ‘No’

Some babies will be able to, • Get into a ‘sitting position’ while lying on their stomach • Pick up a tiny object with the help of the tips of the their thumb and forefinger •

Some babies will be able to, • Walk by taking the support of the home furniture Point or gesture to ensure that their needs


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are met with. Very few babies will be able to, • • • • • • Say “mama” or “dada” discriminately Play ball Stand alone well without support Drink from a cup independently Talk in gibberish Respond to a one step command with gestures (“Give that to me” said with hand out)

Some babies will be able to, • • Drink from a cup independently Pick up a tiny object with the help of the tips of the their thumb and forefinger • (Many babies don’t reach this stage till 15 months) • Stand alone momentarily (many don’t reach this stage till 13 months) • Say “mama” or “dada” discriminately (most babies say at least one of these words before 14 months)

12 Month
Your baby completes one year this month and he also embarks on another milestone, which is ‘Walking’. He starts with a few unsteady steps ‐ holding on to someone or something for support ‐ but is sure on his way to walking independently. Celebrate the year by taking a note of the many things you learnt and all that you had to deal with. Oh! What a year it has been! It seems just yesterday that you brought your baby into the house from the hospital…. Most babies will be able to, • • Walk holding on to the furniture Point or gesture to be able to get their needs fulfilled


Say anyone word other than mama or dada (many babies won’t say their first word till 14 months or later)

Very few babies will be able to, • Play ball ( roll back ball to you) (many won’t do this till 16 months) • Stand alone well ( many don’t get to this point till 14 months) • Use gibberish ( some don’t talk like this till 15 months) • Walk well ( most babies won’t walk well till 13 months) • Respond to a one step command with gestures (some take up to 16 months to reach this stage).


Mommy’s Health

This is an article that is dedicated only to you the
first‐time mother. Are you surprised that a baby care book has an entire chapter about the mother? You shouldn’t be, because a mother’s health is most affected by the physical and emotional upheavals that accompany pregnancy and child birth. But after a few days of fussing over the mother, everybody else focuses on the baby and no one more than the mother herself! We would like to remind all the mothers out there, that their health is as important as the baby’s. Think about this: if the mother is unwell, has diet and sleep issues, can she take care of the baby? If she is on medication, can she breastfeed her child? A big No. And now that you are convinced, read on to know how you can take care of your health and how your husband too can help you remain fit and fine!

tenderness and pain near your breast area. Relax! These problems are a part of the process of engorgement of breasts – which happens during breastfeeding. In simple words,

engorgement of breasts means that your breasts get filled with milk and there is more blood rushing to the area. In some women, engorgement may be seen to a greater extent and it is more during the first pregnancy than others. Engorgement is often a temporary

phenomenon, and it diminishes gradually as the milk production and supply gets regulated. The swelling and pain in the breasts, does not last for more than 2 days. Here are some tips that can help you deal with

Problems Feeding




As a first‐time mother, there are a number of problems you face after child birth which can keep you off the joy of breast feeding your baby. For instance, you often notice that your breasts enlarge in size and sometimes the increase is almost twice the normal size, and you also sense


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the discomfort: • Feed your baby regularly – The more you breast feed your baby, the less are the chances for your breasts to swell. Regular breast feeding is necessary to make sure that the increase in the supply of milk is met with adequate outflow of the same. This in turn is essential for your breasts to return to their normal size. • Warm up– If the milk does not flow out smoothly, then try to soften the areola by way of heat. This can start the flow. Another option for a smooth flow of milk, is to massage the breast that you are nursing your baby with. • Cool it – The other ways of reducing breast engorgements are – to use ice packs, to keep chilled cabbage leaves on the breasts, or to use specially designed cooling bra inserts when you are not feeding the baby. • Position – It is important to keep changing the position from Cradle to Football hold (see breast feeding positions page no.20) in order to ensure that the milk is being taken by the baby in a uniform manner. • Leaking breasts‐ One of your most common routines as a new mother would be to keep changing clothes ‐ yours as well as your baby’s – most of the times in a day . This is because during the early days of nursing, milk leaks, • • • this •

drips and even sprays out from the breasts, thereby spoiling your clothes. But, don’t worry. This process of leakage of milk from the breasts – known as ‘Let Down’ ‐ is a physical process that takes place even when you think about your baby. ‘Let Down’ is more frequent in the early days after childbirth, it gradually decreases with time, once the rhythm in demand and supply of milk is established. Here are tips to help you deal with deal with uncomfortable and embarrassing

problem, • Nursing pads placed in the bras help in absorbing the leaks. Do not opt for nursing pads which are lined with plastic, opt instead, for those, that are made from 100% cotton. These maintain the airflow and which are easy on your nipples. Both washable and disposable varieties are available. To keep your bed sheet from stains of wet milk, place extra nursing pads and place a large towel on the bed when you sleep. Wear dark clothes with big prints so that the stains remain hidden. Do not pump milk as doing so will only increase the leaking. Sore Nipples


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Some mothers are known to suffer from the problem of ‘sore nipples’ ‐ which occurs if the position of the baby during breastfeeding is not correct or if the baby has a vigorous suck. If you suffer from ‘sore nipples’, breastfeeding may seem difficult to you, but you will find that as time passes, the breast tissue toughens up to the challenge of breast feeding, and you no longer face any problem. Here are some beneficial tips that can help, • Check the position of the baby and check if the latch is right (for proper latching technique, read Feeding your baby page no.20 ) • After you are done with feeding, expose your nipple to air. Another option is to wear breast shells. • Do not keep the wet nursing pads for long, as these can cause irritation to the nipples • The cracks on the nipple can be healed by applying lanolin cream. Products that contain petroleum jelly, like Vaseline, must not be used. • Placing wet tea bags on the sore nipples helps in healing. • It is advisable to relax for about 15 minutes before you start feeding, as this will ease the flow of milk and the baby will not have to suck vigorously.

Make sure you wash your nipple with water only and not with any type of soap, alcohol or tincture as your baby will be in direct contact with your nipple and consume what is applied on it.

Diet for the Mother
After delivery you feel like getting back in shape and eating what you want to, without any restrictions. Though there is nothing wrong in feeling this way, remember that you are still breastfeeding at this point and whatever you eat in turn becomes your baby’s food too. Hence, the more balanced and nutritious food you eat, the healthier will be the milk that becomes your baby’s food. Right diet is also important for those mothers who aren’t breast feeding, because taking care of your baby and looking after him for his every small need, is physically exhausting. So, it is not time yet, to go binging or to opt for extreme diets, you still need to watch not only what goes in your baby’s mouth but also what goes into your mouth. Here is a list of essential nutrients that make up the diet of a feeding mother: Protein • • Eggs, meat, fish and chicken Milk, curd and Indian cottage cheese


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(paneer). • Nuts and seeds ‐ almonds, cashew nuts, peanuts, etc. • Pulses and legumes ‐ green gram, soybean, red gram, Bengal gram, etc. Calcium • Dairy products ‐ milk, paneer and curd, which are the major sources of calcium. • • Sesame seeds, Soya beans, Pulses and Ragi. Vegetables like okra and cabbage and green leafy vegetables like spinach and methi (fenugreek). Vitamin C • Oranges, strawberries, mangoes, guavas, tomatoes. • Green leafy vegetables.

khus kheer (good for milk production) etc. Vitamins and Iron supplements The doctor may recommend vitamin and iron supplements to a new mother, if her diet is insufficient in essential nutrients, even after she has had nutrient‐rich foods listed above.

Sex after Pregnancy
In the life of a couple, the birth of a baby means abundant joy and happiness on the one hand and tiredness, exhaustion and no‐time‐for‐sex on the other. This is more in case of mothers, as the female hormones incline the new mother more towards baby care than towards sex. And if you too have been giving all your love and attention to your baby, your partner may feel ignored and the intimacy and love between you too may suffer in the process. Hence, it is advisable and safe for both of you to resume your sex life after six weeks of delivery.

Iron rich food • • • • • Green leafy vegetables.

Here are tips by which you can safely get ‘sex’ Ragi and other cereals . Meat, chicken and fish. Legumes (beans). Nuts and dry fruits . back into your lives: Matters of the Mind • Take it as it goes: Your body has undergone a complete change since the time you have been pregnant, and it will take some time for your sex life to get back in shape. So, have patience and keep trying. • Its’ Okay: Some women find it odd to have sex in the same room as the one in which

Traditional foods All new mothers are advised to have a variety of traditional homemade foods. These include, Methi Ladoo (rich in iron), Dink Ladoo (rich in collagen), rotis made of jowar and bajra (rich in iron), khus


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their baby sleeps or even in the next room. But this feeling of awkwardness must change and women must look at themselves not just as mothers, but also as loving partners. There are also women who get uncomfortable with the idea of having sex after childbirth, yet, do not gather enough courage to refuse their partners. This kind of approach leads to feelings of resentment between the partners. • Intimacy not sex: Sometimes, a loving touch, a cuddle, a candle light dinner or even something as simple as, volunteering to soothe the baby’s cries if you are a husband, can bring back the spark in a couple’s life. Love and intimacy need not always have sexual connotations. Matters of the body: • Lubricate : Pregnancy foll owed by • •

relax. Forget about all your worries and chores and simply shut your mind and relax. Exercise: Many mothers notice the change in their bodies post childbirth. Kegel exercises help in toning the pelvic muscles while other exercises help get the body back in shape (See Postpartum exercises later in this chapter) Try different positions: The standard sexual position may not be too feasible for a mother post child birth, and for such times, ‘woman‐on‐ positions. top’ and ‘side‐to–side’

Birth Control
Before you look at each other with love, we would like to introduce this topic upfront. Yes, we are asking you to start thinking about birth control unless you don’t mind having another baby this early. If you think that you don’t need to take birth control measures until you have weaned your baby, you are wrong. Though it is true that most women don’t get their menstrual periods until at

breastfeeding and hormonal changes make the vagina dry. This in turn makes sex painful for mothers. As a mother, it is advisable that you use lubricating products until the secretions start. • Indulge in foreplay: Only when you give yourself time to warm up, will you be able to give the kind of sexual performance in bed that meet you and your partner’s

least 6 months after the delivery there are exceptions. Chances of conception without periods cannot be ruled out. So it is better not to take chances and to talk to your gynecologist about the various birth control options available. after 6 weeks of childbirth.

expectations. Don’t rush, take it slow. • Massage: Take a massage or a shower to


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Baby Blues t has set in and you can’t seem to stop it. All the happiness that you imagined you will experience after childbirth just evaporated in thin air and all that you are left with, is a feeling of a loss of control and of dismay. These may be the kind of thoughts that go about in the mind of a mother who suffers from baby blues. Baby Blues set in after pregnancy in about 60 percent of women, but if the symptoms don’t go away in sometime then it may be a case of Postnatal Depression or PND. Some symptoms of Baby Blues‐Excessive crying, lack of sleep, eating problems, persistent sadness, lack of concern for the baby and memory loss. Many women are seen to suffer from Post natal depression however they are not comfortable discussing it as they feel having such feelings is wrong and inappropriate. It is important for mothers to understand that PND is not the mother’s fault and does not reflect a mother’s parenting skills. Also family members should look out for these symptoms and consult a doctor as PND is easily curable. But it is important to bring the problem into light, else, it can hurt the mother as well as the baby.

eyes indicating a lack of sleep, disheveled hair for effect, and a creased forehead that is brought about by bouts of bad temper, you definitely aren’t painting a happy picture of motherhood. As a new mother, you have been sleeping so little, that you feel drowsy throughout the day. Here are some tips that will keep you on your feet, even with your meager hours of sleep ‐ • Take turns: Which one do you think is better, one groggy sleep deprived parent or two groggy sleep deprived parents? After a few months when your baby does not need to be fed at night both of you can choose to do the night duty on alternate days. This way, at least one of you can get some decent sleep and can be a better parent during the day. • Shift the burden: if taking turns doesn’t suit you, you can take shifts in one night itself. It can work this way‐ The mother sleeps for few hours, say from 10 – 2 am, while the father takes care of the baby and then after 2am, the mother takes charge, and the father sleeps from 2 – 6am. • Sleep with your baby: This option works for those parents who have their baby sleep with them so that whenever the baby cries, the mother can nurse him on the bed itself, after which both the parents can drift off to

Sleep and You
It’s just a month into motherhood, and you already resemble a zombie! With dark circles under your


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straining any part of your body 8 times. Abdominal muscles: These are the muscles that stretched as they sheltered your baby for nine months but now even as the baby is out of your womb these muscles seem to be sagging and bloated. Exercise for abdominal muscles: • Sit on a chair with the spine erect, now take a deep breath and extend the stomach muscles as much as you can, slowly take your stomach in to the maximum. Do this 5 times. • For this exercise, sit on a chair as mentioned above, this time while you extend your stomach, do not take in the abdomen fully, bring it halfway, hold it for a second and then bring it fully in. • Lie on the stomach and take in the muscles and hold as much as you can. Pelvic muscles: Childbirth is a life‐altering event

that leaves an impression on the mother’s mind forever; but also leaves an indelible mark on the mother’s pelvic muscles. They become loose and can lead to incontinence in some women. Kegel exercises are recommended for relief. You can do these exercises whilst sitting, lying down or standing.‐All you have to do is, tighten your pelvic muscles as if you are stopping your stream of urine. You have to tighten them for five seconds a time, four to five times in a row. Start by doing 2‐3 contractions at first and then stay longer and try more contractions each time. General: You can also try other low intensity workouts like walking, swimming and yoga to help regain the physique as well as the muscle strength as before. Now that you know how to take care of your baby and your own health, have a happy parenting experience!


The Great Indian GUIDE for Postnatal Care

sleep. Most babies also get calmer when they are in close contact with their parents. • Sleep again after feed: Many babies have the tendency to wake up early in the morning to feed and sleep right back after the feeding; leaving the mother tired and sleepless. If you feed your baby in your bed, you might as well catch on some sleep after feeding, as the baby drifts off to sleep, so that you feel rejuvenated once you are up. • Take naps: Sleep when the baby sleeps, this way you can catch up with your lost zzz’s. Though this may not always be possible, try as much as you can, to opt for a good nap during the day, in between housecleaning and other chores. • Beware of Sleep Deniers: Avoid Caffeine, alcohol and high starchy foods as they can interfere with your sleep and leave you feeling even more sleep‐deprived. • Fake it: Even after you have tried your best if nothing works, understand that you need to accept ‘less sleep’ as a part of motherhood. To feel good and fresh, take showers, wear new sets of clothes, exercise in the morning and have a positive attitude. Soon your body will adjust to the routine of motherhood and you will be in a better position to deal with lesser hours of sleep.

Postpartum Exercises
Many mothers find themselves looking

pregnant even after their delivery due to their bloated tummies, fat thighs and still larger breasts! This is bound to make any woman unhappy. So now to get back in shape, you have dutifully cut down on your diet. But unless you re‐strengthen the areas which were affected by pregnancy, you can never truly go back to the shape you were in before getting pregnant. Before you set out to work on your body, remember, exercises are to be resumed only after 6 weeks of delivery as the muscles are too weak to undergo any vigorous form of exercise before that time. Also if yours was a complicated delivery, consult your doctor before you start any kind of exercise.

Yoga for you
Back under control: Backaches become a part of life during pregnancy but sometimes the ache remains even after delivery and gets worse as you keep bending down to pick up your baby. Here is an exercise for your spine: Begin on all fours with the neck at ease. Inhale and lift your neck keeping the back straight or arching slightly. Now, exhale and bend your neck, tighten the abdominal muscles and tuck in the neck and head. Do this exercise without


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Baby Song
At first you didn't lift your head; You didn't know to smile. The time before you knew my voice Seemed such a long, long while. I couldn't wait for you to roll, And then to sit and clap. And now you're off and crawling, Not helpless in my lap. Why didn't someone tell me How fast a baby grows, That every little baby stage Soon comes, but sooner goes. So I'll enjoy the fleeting time Before you learn to walk. and treasure every tiny noise Before you learn to talk. For soon you'll learn to walk, Then run, And talk and sing a song, And never be my babe again. The babe's forever gone. Little baby, take your time, For while you are tiny, you are mine.

- Diane Woolley


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References: Books•

What to Expect: the first year by Heidi Murkoff & Sandee Hathaway Garbhasanskar in Pregnancy by Dr. Geetanjali Shah and Dr. Vikram Shah