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Baby Samourai made-in-India - 1. Choosing the right Gynec

And now, a little more about my own experience of having a baby in India...


india,birth,water birth,pregnancy,baby,infant,newborn,delivery,midwife,swaddling,swaddle,diaper,breastfeeding,hospital,fertility,contraception,sterilizationLet's start when the pregnancy got confirmed. The Gynecologist I had for my Indian debut, who belonged to the Stone Age, told me my life as I knew it was over: no more eating outside, no more travelling and if possible no more sex (she couldn’t really why, but in case eh...) until the end of the first trimester. So I did not cancel my coming business trip and... set to find a new doctor! If possible one that had some with the Western patients. I know very well that pregnancy is the same process for all the women in the world, but you know...


Fortunately with the all the social media 'groups', we quickly found the right doc: the kind of Gynec that let you ride on the bike until the very last day of pregnancy! Joke apart, the choice of the Gynec is not trivial because in India, there is a real tendency to promote (or ' force') C-sections (cf Babies made-in-India – 6).


(To be continued...)


Babies made-in-India - 8. Massage, bath & Breastfeeding

india,birth,water birth,pregnancy,baby,infant,newborn,delivery,midwife,swaddling,swaddle,diaper,breastfeeding,hospital,fertility,contraception,sterilizationOnce back home, almost everywhere in India, professionals called maalishwali come home to give massage and bath to mothers and infants. 

And this technique is somehow spreading in the West, with an interesting twist: the parents massage the baby themselves. It is a good to create a bond, while developing the motor skills of the child. The problem with this ‘twist’ is that the mother rarely gets her massage, unless the father is really available (and talented)! Be careful in cold western environment though ;)


For the mother, the idea is that massaging helps the inside organs to get back in place and shape. Paradoxically the re-education of the perineum is not even addressed by the Gynec! Finally, when I asked her,she told me to do some Kegel exercises at home. (I must add that my British midwife has also never heard of the type of perineum re-education prescribed by doctors and performed by physiotherapists in France.)


For the baby's bath, the masseuse sits on the floor with her leg stretched on which the infant lies. Less water wastage, less dangerous than a bucket which can fall of the table and from which the infant can swallow water (especially when he is slippery after a good massage!) but also less fun than a bathtub where he can turn and splash!


As for breastfeeding, beware! You shouldn’t say you are thinking it over! Indians can not understand, for example, that only 56% of French mothers or 69% of British ones breastfeed.

So even if the World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend to “initiate breastfeeding within one hour following birth; practice exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months; and continue breastfeeding for two years and beyond, while starting from the age of six months a supplementary feeding [...]”, it always sound weird to hear a woman say that she is breastfeeding her 4 year old...And it is not uncommon here...

And now, I am done! Be happy that I have spoken only about the most widespread traditions! And not of the custom of eating the placenta for its hormones (which would be better assimilated if the placenta was consumed raw) and to reduce stress. Or of mothers giving girls “joyous genital tickling” and boys “full-on fellatio” (which for these people is not a sexual practice whereas kissing, even the cheek is…). I must say that these traditions are actually mostly Chinese but still present in some parts of India!


Sources: ;;


(The End)


Babies made-in-India - 7. The swaddle and the diaper

india,birth,water birth,pregnancy,baby,infant,newborn,delivery,midwife,swaddling,swaddle,diaper,breastfeeding,hospital,fertility,contraception,sterilizationAnother tradition going on strong is swaddling infants. The benefits are the creation of a sense of security for the baby (it reminds him the uterus), and comfort as it helps him control the reflex-movements that can bother him. For the mother, it's more convenient to carry the kid, a small quiet package. As a result, in India, infants are swaddled most of the time up to three months. On top of above mentioned advantages, it is also believed that it will enable the legs to grow straight. And the hip problems that can be created are royally ignored.


Since swaddling can indeed be reassuring and appeasing for some infants, you can choose an intermediate solution, like swaddling the baby only during sleep time – it is also interesting to know that this practice after being out-of-fashion in the past decades in the West is now doing its come-back (6).


If you decide to leave the baby legs free when he is not sleeping, then you must be ready, when you enter a hotel carrying your newborn 'monkey-style' to face the outraged looks of doormen, or even their comments: "you should not wear him like that! Poor thing! His legs!!”. Or to bear with the salesguy of Benetton who is likely to get offended and say so out loud, repeatedly, because you should not use a carrier during the first six months... 

india,birth,water birth,pregnancy,baby,infant,newborn,delivery,midwife,swaddling,swaddle,diaper,breastfeeding,hospital,fertility,contraception,sterilizationTo get back to the topic of swaddling, I imagine that this practice goes hand in hand with the use of the Indian cotton nappy. Which is like a piece of cloth with a thread that you fill with other pieces of cloth. The advantages of this diaper is that it is softer for the india,birth,water birth,pregnancy,baby,infant,newborn,delivery,midwife,swaddling,swaddle,diaper,breastfeeding,hospital,fertility,contraception,sterilizationbutt of the child, cheaper and more eco-friendly (but I am not so sure because you need to do a lot of washing), and the child gets potty-trained faster since he quickly gets tired of having his ass wet all the time. Well, I tried several times at the hospital but I can’t help it, I don’t understand how poop and pee don’t spread everywhere on the child and about everywhere else! Maybe it works better if the baby is kept tightly wrapped (hence moving less)?

Anyway, the only cheap and eco-friendly solution is to leave the baby barebutt... A solution still preferred in the countryside where kids are left very early to deal with themselves or at the signal where babies make people feel bad and more inclined to depart with a coin (hence some business of baby trafficking, cf this post)... 

(6) “Nine out of 10 infants in north America are now swaddled in the first six months of life. Sales of swaddling clothes increased in the UK by 61% between 2010 and 2011.” (Source:


(To be continued...)