Just two months back, I became a mother second time to a baby girl and again my life has gone upside down. This time, it includes my toddler too. Looking after two babies is by no means easy; and thinking of looking after them, home and hubby alone shivers up and down my spine. After delivery of my baby girl, we (me and my hubby) mutually decided that babies & I would stay back at in-laws’ and my parents’ place until our infant turns three months old, for numerous reasons.
An infant needs special care and especially, the first year requires utmost attention. Though I became a second-time mom but this time too, I wasn’t confident enough to handle my baby single-handedly. I am fortunate to have everyone’s support in the family. And when you belong to a Doctor’s family, things become quite easy – from getting VIP treatment in the hospital to getting a quick diagnosis of the health problem. And when you are with a newborn, anytime, any medical problem may arise.
Let me tell you one recent incident – when we came back home from the hospital, that very night my newborn had sudden fit despite the fact that we both were released in a good condition from the hospital. So my father-in-law rushed to the clinic of his doctor friend (who was a child specialist) and upon diagnosing, we came to know that my baby’s calcium levels were below normal. Though when she was born, her weight was 3kg & was looking hale and hearty but we didn’t know what’s wrong inside her body. It might be because I skipped my medicines for a few days during pregnancy. God knows!
As soon as I got to hear this, I started my research on the digestive system of a newborn. I like all other mums never thought that my baby will be born with any such “below normal” requirement of the body and so I prepared myself enough to check all the facts about the digestive system of the infant :
Some facts about an infant’s digestive system
– In the first six months, your baby’s digestive system will undergo enormous change as it develops the ability to produce enzymes to digest food and antibodies to protect itself.
– During the first month, an infant loses 10% of his body weight as his digestive system is immature.
– Due to the underdeveloped pancreas, the production of digestive enzymes in an infant is low in comparison to an older child.
– The esophageal valve and kidneys are also not fully developed. This is the reasons why babies do frequent spit up and are prone to dehydration.
– Breast milk helps an infant’s digestive system mature as it contains intestinal growth factors that help her to develop colonies of beneficial bacteria in her intestines. These bacteria help prevent invasion by pathogens, and they also help your child’s intestinal lining to mature.
The lesson I learned was that an infant’s body is very fragile and takes time adapting to the outer environment. In the mother’s womb, the baby fulfills his nutritional needs through the placenta. If a mother doesn’t take a proper diet, it will directly affect the baby’s health. But as soon as the child comes out of the womb, his all body organs/ parts take over and start functioning but still, these are in the underdeveloped stage. Hence, requires proper care and special nutrition until he/she turns one at least.
How did you make sure that your baby takes proper nutrition during the first year? Do let me know in the comment section below.
This article was originally published by me here.