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What should I know about parenting?

Q: I am a 30 years old 6 months pregnant, mother of a 3 year old son. For my first delivery (C-section as the baby was breech), I was at my native place and was well taken care of. Tthis time I am on my own I would like to know important things that a mother should know. Also is it important to have the baby and the mother massaged daily? Is it important to tie a cloth belt to support the sagging belly?

A:I hope you are under regular antenatal checkups. Your obstetrician shall give you timely advice and necessary guidance to help alleviate your anxiety. You dont have to feel nervous at the prospects of impending motherhood. You already have a child and when the time comes I am sure you shall recall all the practices that were followed when your first child wes born. Parenting to a large extent is also intuitive and remember you are not going to be alone. Your husband is going to be as concerned as you are and together you shall manage very well. A few important things to be kept in the mind are: -Exclusively breast feed your child, from birth till completion of first 6 months. The baby does not need anything, not even water, juices etc during this period. Top milk is also not required and is best avoided. -Keep you baby warm during the neonatal period. Since your baby is going to be born during winter, this is important specially if you are living in a place where winters are severe. -Keep the baby clean. When a bath is being given, the room/bathroom should be warm and free from air currents to avoid baby getting cold. The water should be comfortably warm. -Massage, while of doubtful benefit medically, often is enjoyed by both the baby and the mother. As long as the baby does not get exposed to cold, you can massasge your baby. -Make sure the baby gets all the routine immunisations. -There is no benefit of abdominal support. What helps reduce the tummy is, a regulated diet: Eat as much as you want but avoid too much fatty food during pregnancy & lactation. You should also do some abdominal exercises after the baby is born to regain the abdominal muscle tone. -Enjoy your parenthood!

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