Newborn care is an important aspect of parenting but there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding it in India. They need to be removed to ensure newborns receive the best possible care.
It is important to focus on feeding the baby healthy and nutritious food at every stage because from birth to one year is an important period for the health of the baby and at this stage, following the feeding stages is very important. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Rachna Verma, senior consultant-gynecologist and infertility specialist at Spinal Injuries Center of India, debunks the following myths related to newborn care in India.
Myth #1: You should bathe your newborn immediately after birth
Actually: 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 have to put mascara on your baby’s eyes
Actually: Applying kajal to 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
Actually: 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 if you have a cold or fever
Actually: Breastfeeding is safe and recommended even if you have a cold or fever. In fact, breast milk contains antibodies that help protect your baby from infections.
Myth 5: You shouldn’t take your baby outside for the first few months
Actually: It is safe to take your child outside if you take necessary precautions like dressing your child appropriately and avoiding crowded places.
Myth 6: You have to feed your baby on a strict schedule.
Actually: On-demand feeding is recommended for newborns because it helps them get enough nutrients and helps establish a healthy breastfeeding routine.
Myth 7: You should avoid using diapers because it can cause diaper rash
Actually: Diapers are safe and convenient for newborns, but it’s important to change them frequently and use diaper cream to prevent diaper rash.
Adding to the list of myths, Dr Manju Kumar, Associate Consultant – Critical Care and Emergency Services at NH SRCC Hospital in Mumbai, revealed:
1. Myth: Mother’s milk is not enough to nourish the baby and extra milk and supplements are needed.
Actually: 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 applying kajal to a newborn’s eyes can protect them from the evil eye or prevent infections.
Fact: It can actually be harmful as it can cause eye infections and even vision problems.
3. Myth: Applying oil to a baby’s scalp will make their hair grow faster or thicker and fill in the gaps in the skull bones faster.
Actually: Applying too much oil can cause skin irritation and acne. It is normal for newborns to have gaps in their skull bones and this fills as a normal developmental process. Oil plays no role in filling bone voids.
4. Myth: The practice of applying oil to the nose and ears is also a common myth. Parents believe that it helps to clear the baby’s nasal passages and prevent infections.
Actually: This practice is extremely unsafe and can actually cause infection and respiratory problems if the oil gets into the lungs.
5. Myth: Taking care of the umbilical cord. Some believe that applying substances like turmeric or cow dung will help the stump dry out faster.
Actually: This can lead to infection and delay the healing process. It is important to keep the cord stump clean and dry and to seek medical attention if any signs of infection appear.
6. Myth: Teething causes fever and diarrhea
Actually: There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Teething may cause some discomfort and discomfort, but should not cause fever or diarrhea.
7. Myth: Newborns need to sleep through the night from birth.
Actually: However, newborns have small stomachs and need to eat frequently, which means they may wake up every few hours to eat. Newborns typically sleep 16-17 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 seek accurate information from healthcare professionals. By understanding the best practices for newborn care, parents can ensure the health and well-being of their precious little ones.