Caring for newborns is a crucial aspect of parenting, but there are several myths and misconceptions about it in India. Unmasking them is important to ensure newborns receive the best possible care.
It is important to focus on feeding the baby healthy and nutritious food at each stage because from birth to the first year of life is a crucial time for a baby’s health and at this stage adhering to feeding schedules is very important . In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Rachna Verma, Senior Consultant – Gynecologist and Infertility Specialist at the Indian Spinal Injuries Center – debunked the following myths surrounding newborn care in India:
Myth #1: You should bathe your newborn right after birth
Fact: It is not necessary to bathe your newborn immediately after birth. In fact, delaying the first bath for a few days can help regulate your baby’s body temperature and prevent dry skin.
Myth 2: You should put kohl on your baby’s eyes
Fact: Putting kohl on your baby’s eyes is not recommended as it can lead to eye infections and other complications.
Myth 3: You should massage your baby with mustard oil
Fact: While massage can be beneficial for your baby, using mustard oil is not recommended as it can cause skin irritation and other problems.
Myth 4: You should avoid breastfeeding when you have a cold or fever
Fact: Breastfeeding is safe and is also recommended if you have a cold or fever. In fact, breast milk contains antibodies that can protect your baby from infection.
Myth 5: You should avoid going outside with your baby for the first few months
Fact: It’s safe to take your baby outside as long as you take the necessary precautions, such as B. Dress your baby appropriately and avoid crowded places.
Myth 6: You should feed your baby on a strict schedule.
Fact: Feeding on demand is recommended for newborns as it helps ensure they are getting enough nutrients and can establish a healthy breastfeeding routine.
Myth 7: You should avoid using diapers as they can cause diaper rash
Fact: Diapers are safe and comfortable for newborns, but it’s important to change them often and use diaper cream to prevent diaper rash.
dr Adding to the list of myths, Manju Kumar, Associate Consultant – Critical Care and Emergency Services at NH SRCC Hospital in Mumbai reveals:
1. Myth: Breast milk is not enough to nourish the baby and additional external milk and supplements are required.
Fact: Breast milk is the most complete form of nutrition for a newborn, providing all the necessary nutrients and antibodies to protect the baby from infection.
2. Myth: Many parents believe that putting kohl on the newborn’s eyes can protect them from the evil eye or ward off infection.
Fact: This can actually be harmful as it can lead to eye infections and even vision problems.
3. Myth: Applying oil to the baby’s head will make the hair grow faster or thicker and quickly fill in the skull bone gaps.
Fact: Applying too much oil can cause skin irritation and acne. Gaps in the skull bones of newborns are normal and will fill up as a normal developmental process. Oil plays no part in filling bone voids.
4. Myth: The practice of smearing your nose and ears with oil is also a common myth. Parents believe that it helps clear the baby’s nasal passages and prevent infection.
Fact: This practice is very unsafe and can actually lead to infection and even shortness of breath if the oil enters the lungs.
5. Myth: care of the umbilical cord stump. Some believe that applying substances like turmeric or cow dung can help dry out the stump faster.
Fact: This can lead to infection and delay the healing process. It’s important to keep the umbilical cord stump clean and dry and to see a doctor if there are signs of infection.
6. Myth: Teething causes fever and diarrhea
Fact: There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Teething can cause discomfort and restlessness, but should not cause fever or diarrhea.
7. Myth: Newborns are supposed to sleep through the night from birth.
Fact: However, newborns have small stomachs and need to eat frequently, which means they may wake up to eat every few hours. Newborns typically sleep 16 to 17 hours a day, but their sleep is often interrupted by feeding and other needs.
It is important for parents to be aware of these myths and get accurate information from healthcare professionals. By understanding newborn care best practices, parents can ensure the health and well-being of their precious little ones.
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