When you and your husband are drawing up your list of life’s miracles, at the top would be the first sight of your baby. But this feeling of pure ecstasy is preceded by nine months of waiting and preparation, climaxed by many hours of hard labor.
At no other time is the link between your health and the health of your child more important than during and the first year of your baby’s life.
Thanks to the remarkable stride in obstetrics and gynecology and prenatal care, having a baby is a natural, joyous experience for most women.
Regular check-ups by the doctor during pregnancy can pick up risk factors, foresee and prevent complications, if any, and play a large role in health of the mother to-be and her unborn.
However, as a mother, yours is the main responsibility to care, nourish and protect your baby by maintaining a healthy diet, controlling your weight and getting the right amount of exercise and rest. Avoid smoking, alcohol, harmful drugs and prepare yourself physically and mentally for the birth of your child.
The best food for your baby
There is no known food better for human babies other than breast milk. It is the ideal mix of water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins for baby’s optimum growth, especially its fast brain development.
It is easy to digest, and a breast fed baby is never constipated.
There is a bonus in breast feeding for the mother too. Nursing contracts the muscles of the uterus hastening its return to normal size and helps you shed the extra fat you put on during pregnancy.
Your baby might vomit just after a feed. In case the baby is bottle fed, check if the milk flow from the bottle is very fast or if it is overfull, use a bottle with a nipple that has a small hole. There is no cause for worry if he looks healthy and is gaining weight. Hold him against your shoulder and pat him gently until he burps.
Coughs and colds
Babies are easy targets of viral attacks like coughs and colds. Give the child plenty of rest and keep him warm. If you are nursing, continue breast-feeding. Give him plenty of fluids to soothe his throat and relieve the congestion in his nose, clear the child’s nose. Do not give him any antibiotics or any other medication without consulting a doctor.