Shocking! Baby loses eye as Mumbai mother's traditional 'breast milk cure' backfires!
When Seema's week-old baby developed an eye infection, she did what most new Indian mothers do. Look for a desi remedy.
Let's admit, most of us Indian mothers have tried many of these traditional baby care practices that are so popular in India. But let me tell you that most of these baby care myths have no scientific evidence that validates them.
However, while every mother doesn't mind trying one of these myths once in a while, no one would have ever imagined that it could be life-threatening for their baby like what happened with this Mumbai mum.
After a week of her delivery, one fateful day Mumbai mother Seema noticed that her son had a red spot in his right eye. And, without any hesitations she did what all Indian mothers normally do, ask the elderly aunties and family members of her house for a desi remedy.
She was then asked to put a few drops of her breast milk into her newborn son's eye with an assurance that it would be fine by the end of the day. However, to her horror her son's eye swelled up and developed pus within the next 24 hours! Seema was shocked! How could it happen? She had done what every new mother does and nothing has ever happened. Then, why her?
The baby's eye was damaged!
But, the nightmare wasn't over yet for the family. On Saturday, September 24th Seema's 21-day-old infant had to go for a cornea transplant. Doctors said that the breast milk not only worsened the earlier infection, it also led to the development of ulcers on the cornea, which had perforated it.
"We never thought an age-old practice could cause such damage. One thoughtless moment has cost his eye," said Seema's brother Nandu (names have been changed on request), a hawker in Ghatkopar.
"It is a common practice to put goat's milk, madar plant's juice or urine in the eye, but it's medically incorrect.How can anything that is not sterile be put in an eye," said Dr Kavita Rao, cornea specialist at the Aditya Jyot Hospital. She also said that what the baby actually needed was some antibiotic drops to clear any infection due to conjunctivitis or any bacterial infection.
Continue reading on the next page to know about other baby care myths that are actually harmful for your baby!
The sad news is, even after the transplant the baby's vision in unlikely to be restored. The operation only helped eliminate the infected parts of the cornea to help retain the eye structure.
"This cornea may turn white too, but we should be able to do a vision correction corneal transplant within a few months," Dr Rao added.
Other common traditional baby care myths
Here are four common baby care myths that are hardly true. We insist you seek the doctor's advice before you follow any of them:
1. A newborn should be given honey right after birth to make sure that the baby has a sweet voice later on life.
2. Kajal helps ward off the evil eye and keeps the baby fit and fine.
3. Breast milk can help treat an ear infection. All you need to do is put a couple of drops in the baby's affected ear.
4. Newborns should be wrapped tightly to help straighten their legs.
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