By Dr Rita Bakshi
The biggest happiness in the life of a married couple is truly their own baby. When the parents hold their baby for the first time in their hand, it is definitely a priceless feeling and certainly the most exhilarating ones. Being a parent is a lot of responsibility and is to be experienced at every step of life. It begins with introducing their baby to the world while it is also accompanied by dealing with several germs that come along the guests who come to meet the brand new member.
Newborns are generally the first to get infected with a virus or germs as their immune systems haven’t been developed yet. Therefore, it is very important to protect the little ones as they are most prone to getting caught with diseases, which makes immunisation necessary.
Here are some pointers on how to protect your little one from infections by strengthening their immunity:
Wipes and sanitisers are essential
There are times when it’s not possible for the mother to use soap and water while changing the baby’s nappies or even before taking the baby in her arms. In such a case, baby wipes and alcohol-based hand sanitisers come handy and work the best for the mother and baby. Also, you can always ask some guests or even family members to take a dab of it in their hands before they come in contact with the baby as this is the easiest and most convenient thing to do to prevent the spread of germs and infections.
Breastfeed your baby
It is very essential that the mother breastfeeds her baby for at least the first six months and this should be the only source of nutrition for the infant. Mother’s milk is rich in several antibodies that are transported from the mother’s body to that of the baby’s. These antibodies help in protecting the baby from various germs and infections. Breastmilk often has several benefits that are often beyond one’s imagination and a well breastfed child generally has a stronger immune system.
Don’t miss vaccinations
Never deviate from the vaccine schedule of your baby; it’s recommended that you follow it religiously. Vaccines are made up of weakened disease organisms which fight infections by producing antibodies. Vaccinations definitely boost the immune system of the newborn and help in fighting germs that invade the body. Also, it is essential to maintain a record sheet of the vaccines to keep track. This is one very effective method of fighting off diseases from a newborn’s body.
It’s absolutely okay to say no to outings during the initial months when the baby is born. Just in case, if you have to take your baby out, avoid places that are overcrowded. Also, make sure that your baby is well covered and comes in less contact with strangers. Our surroundings are abundant in germs and our little ones are the most prone to diseases so less daytrips shall prevent the transmission of germs.
(The writer is Senior Gynaecologist and IVF Expert, International Fertility Centre.)