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MOTHER AND CHILD CARE

Ayurveda has special focus on children. Ayurvedic preparations have been used to build a healthy body and sharp intellect right from the time of infancy for thousands of years. According to Ayurveda, breast milk has no substitution. It is the ideal diet for the new born child. The most important aspect of childhood is growth and development, as they are parameters of health and disease. Proper diet is the gateway to good health. The child should be given good and nutritious food in the beginning to make the base or foundation of his health strong and solid. 

Stanyapanam (Breast feeding)

Breast milk in Ayurveda is the essence of rasadhatu, which provides total nourishment and nutrition for infants during the first few months of life. The milk secreted during first few days after birth is called Colustrum, which is very essential for the immune development of the body. It is rich in protein ,salt and deficient in sugar and fat contents in comparison to normal breast milk. It is recognized that breast feeding is superior to artificial feeding, as it offers many advantages. 

Low risk of infection as it contains several anti-infective factors i.e. secretory IgA (Immunoglobulin) which protects the body from various infection. Metabolic Effects and economic factors. Breast-feeding promotes close physical and emotional bond between the mother and the baby. 

The infants needs 100cal/kg and 150ml of milk/kg/day for proper growth and development. There by the baby should be fed 6 to7 times daily, depending upon its need. Apart from the nutritional aspect the process of breast-feeding bosters a bond between the mother and child , which act as a reassuring factor for the newborn and makes him feel safe in the new surrounding. There can be no substitute of the breast milk. In order to provide total nourishment to the infants , Ayurveda advocates the nursing mother a few tips for the enchancement of milk production. 

Dietics for lactating mother

Cereals, cow’s milk, rice, barley, wheat, crushed garlic, onions and fish should be included in the daily meals. Drugs and tonics which are madhura (sweet),amla (sour) and lavan(salty) properties. To take care of different health aspects of mother and child, Sowbhagyashunti lehya or krishnajeeraka kashaya are few examples of various formulae used with regional variations and availability of herbal ingredients in different parts of India. Enough of fluids, water and herbal tea, fresh fruits and vegetable juices, soups, adequate milk, a complete balance diet which includes barley, oats, beets ,carrots and leafy vegetables. Ayurvedic preparations which includes Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) with milk, Ashwagandha choorna and Shatavari ghrita prove to enchance lactation. 

Weaning

The weaning process involves the gradual introduction of semisolid to an infant in order to habituate him to the whole solid food. This is a very important stage in infant’s life. Since the child is fed only with breast milk before this ,the digestive capacity undergoes a change to accept adjust and digest the solid feeding. Even when there is profuse milk secretion , semi-solid food should be started from the age of 4th month gradually. Breast-feeding can be stopped and the child can be given solid food from the age of one year. This is known as weaning and is described in Ayurveda texts as Annaprashana Samskara. The first food item given to the child should be semisolid paste of cooked rice with sugar and Cardamom. Initially only ½ to 1 tsp of the food can be started. Gradually over months, the quantity should be increased and by 10-12 months regular solid diet should be started. Diet should be mainly light and easily digestible rice, yogurt, buttermilk, daal and vegetables. Moong dal khichdi is also good. Khichdi is prepared by cooking together 1 part of rice and 6 part moong beans .A vegetable soup is good and also fruit juices. 

Weaning is a transition from breast milk to solid foods and is divided into the following stages: 

  • Stage-1: Infants are usually ready to start on semi-solid foods between 4-6 months.
  • Stage-2 :6-9 months
  • Stage-3: 9-12 months



The simple principle followed is that mixed tastes and flavours should be encouraged. Begin with smooth texture, mashed, minced chopped foods. 

From 4-6months

  • Child should be still having 600 ml of breast milk daily ..
  • Starchy foods like cereals can be advised..
  • Mashed vegetables e.g. potato, carrot, sweet potato..
  • Fruits (soft cooked) apple, banana mango, chickoo .

 

 

 

 

 

 


From 6-8 months

  • Gradually increase the food quantity.
  • Continue 500-600 ml of breast milk
  • Starchy foods like Khichiri(gruel of rice and pulses),Sooji halwa.
  • Cooked vegetables and soups.
  • Cooked egg.


From 9-12 months

  • 500-600ml of breast milk should be continued
  • Starchy foods 3-4 servings
  • Vegetables and fruits namely apple,pear,chickoo,banana,melon 3-4 servings


Breakfast

  • Rice kheer
  • Sooji halwa /upma
  • Boiled egg
  • Stewed apple with curd yogurt
  • Mashed banana with milk.


Lunch

  • Khichiri
  • Spinach curry or spinach and tomato soup.
  • Mashed rice with yogurt/curds
  • Mixed seasonal vegetable soup (Carrot,Spinach) tomato and potato
  • Stewed fruits with custard.


Dinner

  • Same as for lunch.
  • Several lehyas are recommended as supplements to the diet to enchance intelligence,memory strength and general health. At this point the mother is advised to discourage the child from breast-feeding to complete the weaning process.


Teething

  • Teething is not a disease, but a condition of growth. It should not be dreaded, but simply seen as an accomplishment of a healthy, growing child. Most infants begin teething between 6-8 months of age, but as in all children it may vary widly.
  • Powder of gooseberry and licorice mixed with honey can be applied over the swollen gums.
  • Clove oil is another commonly known topical pain reliever for sore gums ,but should be used in small amounts.
  • Teething infants are frequently found biting/gnawing a number of things from their fist to toys. This leads to infections.
  • Care should be taken as continued diarrhea may lead to dehydration.
  • The diet of infantile diarrhea should consist of milk with less fat or to be substituted with breast milk.

HOME REMEDIES FOR COMMON CHILDHOOD ILLNESSES

Abdominal Pain

  • Powder of Ajamoda(Carum Roxburghianum) and saunf(Foeniculum vulgare) boiled in water and given lukewarm.
  • A drink of the powder of Jeera(cumin) and Saindhav (rock salt) dissolved in water.


Common Cold

  • Juice of Tulsi leaves given two to three times with honey.
  • Sips of Ginger juice and Lime juice given with warm water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Constipation

  • Dry black currants soaked in water and given with warm water at bedtime.
  • A cup of warm milk with half teaspoon of ghee given at bedtime.


Dental Caries And Tooth Ache

  • Clove and Asafoetida(Hingu) on a cotton swab to be kept over the carious tooth.
  • Eucalyptus oil and Camphor oil put on cotton swab to be placed over the carious tooth.


Diarrhoea

  • Pulp of the Bilwa(Aegle Marmelos) fruit or its sharbat with sugar water.
  • Powder of Dadima(Pomegranate) fruit rind given with the juice of pomegranate seeds.
  • A decoction of Laja (paddy pop),Bilwa (Aegle marmelos) fruit and sugar can be administered twice a day.
  • Administer kutaja (Hollarena antidyssentrica) powdered seeds orally half tea spoon 2-3 times a day.
  • Powder of peels of Pomegranate fruit (Dadima), mix half tea spoon powder with honey for oral administration twice a day.
  • Rice water with salt serves as an alternative substitute in rehydration therapy.
  • Juice of Ginger mixed with honey can be given.


Fever

  • Musta (Cyperus rotundus),Parpat(Fumaria vaillantii),Usheer(Vetiveria zizanioidis), Guduchi(Tinospora Cardifolia), Ginger and Dhania (Coriandrum Sativum) boiled together in water and given frequently to drink.
  • Kirattikta(Swertia chirayita) and Dhania(Coriandrum Sativum) boiled in water and given 2 to 3 times a day to drink.


Loss Of Appetite

  • One Pippali(Piper Longum) seed and two pinches of ginger powder boiled in half a litre of water and given before meals.
  • Two pinches of ginger powder boiled in milk and given to drink.


Throat Infection

  • Yashtimadhu(Glycyrrhiza glabra) stick given for chewing
  • Yashtimadhu(Glycyrrhiza glabra), turmeric powder and salt boiled in water and given for gargling.


Vomiting

  • Mix Yashtimadhu(Glycyrrhiza glabra) powder with elaichi powder and give with ginger and lime water.
  • Clove, saunf(Foeniculum vulgare) and sugar given with Lajamanda (puffed rice) soaked in water.


Worms

  • Give Vidanga(Embelia ribes) seeds boiled with milk.

Palash(Butea Monosperma) beej powder to be licked along with honey.

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