This is a good addition to the several books
published in India on the same subject. Each book has a different
angle and this one is aimed at the urban middle and upper social
class. While there is tremendous amount of useful information in the
book, a few points, which might need modification in a future
edition, are highlighted.
Diet in pregnancy recommends meat and fish for
lunch without making allowance for vegetarians and suggesting
alternatives. There are useful exercises for abdominal and pelvic
floor muscles and some general exercises. The ill effects of smoking
and drug abuse have been highlighted as well as the use of drugs
without a doctor’s advice. However, three pages on drugs is
unnecessary as hardly anyone would resort to these without a
gynecologist’s advice. Same applies to several pages of drugs and
their effect on lactation. The importance of exclusive breastfeeding
is stressed and there is good advice on the often held belief of not
having enough milk and ways to deal with it.
There are simpler ways to give milk formula using
the traditional spoon Paldai or an ordinary spoon rather than the
bottle (and the expense) of bottle feeding. A six months old baby can
happily drink from a cup. Solids are advised from 4-6 months, and yet
exclusive breastfeeding is advised for 6 months and weaning
(preferable term is complementary feeding) also stresses 6 months.
Feeding thrice a day would seem inadequate-4-5 times along with
breastfeeding seems better. There is confusion about introducing solid
food-at places 4-5 months, at others 6 months.
Some illustrations would have added to the
interests. Hepatitis B should be mentioned in the immunization
schedule as well as chickenpox vaccine with its pros and cons. When
there is no concept of neighborhood schools and schools are miles away
riding a bicycle to school does not seem possible. Five pages on
vitamins is unnecessary. It is enough to suggest a daily dose of
multivitamin syrup. The chapter on emergencies at the end is very
useful. On the whole a good addition to the reading material on mother
and child care.
5, Sri Aurobindo Marg,
New Delhi 110016, India.