HealthPhone™ Tamil தமிழ் – In Tamil. Utmost care should be taken during pregnancy for mother and child to be healthy. It is a very crucial time for mental and physical development of the child.

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Some important tips to follow:

» Pregnancy
Precautions should be taken from the beginning of pregnancy.
1. At the start of your pregnancy register with an Anganwadi or ASHA worker.
2. Get a Mother and Child Protection Card (MCPC) which has all the guidance you need.
3. Get yourself examined by a doctor at least four times during your pregnancy period.
– Your blood pressure and weight should be monitored;
– vaccines of tetanus oxide should be taken;
– take at least 180 iron and folic acid tablets during your pregnancy;
– use only iodised salt in your cooking.
4. The baby gets all nutrition from mother’s milk so it is important that mother gets a nutritious and balanced diet from all four categories of food: whole grains and lentils; fresh fruits and vegetables; milk, dairy, edible oils, nuts; jaggery and sugar. Eat 25% more than you normally eat and you should gain at least 10 to 12 kg weight during the entire pregnancy.
5. Rest at least two hours during the day.
6. Teenage pregnancy can be life threatening and risky for both the mother and child. It is illegal for a woman to be married before she turns 18.

» Child Healthcare
1. An unhealthy mother has grave effects on the child.
2. For physical and mental development, the first two years are very crucial in child’s life.
3. A woman must deliver in a hospital where she and the child get proper care and rest.

» Nutrition and Growth Chart
1. Be aware of the normal weight gain of a child by maintaining their growth chart.
2. A child born 3 kg should grow up by 6 kg by its 6th month.
3. A low birth-weight child, below 2.5 kg, requires special care and nutritious diet.

» Immunisation
Immunise you child from seven deadly diseases.
1. Immediately after birth, vitamin K injection must be given followed by BCG shot and polio drops.
2. During week 6, 10 and 14 hepatitis B (or Pentavalent), DPT, whooping cough, tetanus and measles vaccines should be administered. HIV, pneumonia and meningitis shots should be taken at right times.
3. At 9 months a vitamin A shot, booster and second dose of measles should be given.

» Breastfeeding
1. Start breastfeeding within an hour of birth. The first milk, colostrum, will be thick and yellowish and is very nutritious and rich in protein.
2. No water, honey or herbal tonic should be given for 6 months. Breast milk alone is complete food for an infant.
3. Lactating mothers must take care of hygiene, keep their breasts clean and wash their hands before feeding.
4. A child should be fed 8 to 10 times daily – every two to three hours.
5. A working mother should express her milk in a clean container and keep it covered in a cool place to be fed later.
6. Home environment should be pleasant and stress free. Members of the family should help in chores giving her enough time for rest.

» Initial Care of the Newborn
1. A newborn should not be bathed for at least one week after the birth; only cleaned by warm soft moist cloth and dried by a dry soft cloth.
2. Keep the child close to the breasts and covered in a blanket.

» Cleanliness and Hygiene
A clean child is a healthy child.
1. A baby’s diaper should be washed in clean running water and then dried on a line.
2. Children of 2 to 3 years should be bathed every two or three days using warm water. Use chemical free soap and avoid using oils, creams, lotions and powder.

» Nutrition During the Early Age
1. After six months of age give your child clean boiled water, and then cooled, to drink. Lentils, soft rice, porridge and green leafy vegetables should also be given.
2. Children between six to nine months should be fed two to three times a day; nine to twelve months four to five times; after one year five to six times.
3. A child should be given mothers milk along with the food until two years or more.

» Important Points For Child’s Good Health
1. No one should smoke in the house.
2. Do not put your finger in your child’s mouth; it can make a child sick.
3. If a child gets diarrhoea, give more of mother’s milk. Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) and zinc tablets, rice water, buttermilk and lemon water may also be given to children above six months.
Produced by the Food & Nutrition Board (FNB), Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD), Government of India – [ ]

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