29 October 2016


Are massages good for newborn babies?Is it really helpful?Or we do it on hearsay?
As soon as a baby is born in the house of an Indian, parents start searching for a dai or a midwife who can bathe the baby and at the same time give the baby a good body massage.

We do not know whether a massage helps to strengthen the bones of the baby. But does it really serve this purpose? Let's check it out...

Says Dr Indira Hinduja, a well-known gynecologist, "Actually giving massages with the help of a midwife to a newborn baby is like a tradition which has been continued down the ages.

But I don't see any health benefits in the practice at all. Actually they do it because it will strengthen the baby's bones but I don't think it serves that purpose. Also there's no scientific meaning to it. Parents normally hire dais or midwives to do the job who mostly don't do it the proper way as they are not trained in it. They perhaps may have learnt it from their mothers or grandmothers," she adds. "Also the most dangerous part of the massage is that they put oil in the nose of the baby and in the ears which is very harmful," she warns.

In fact even Dr Nandita Palshetkar, also a gynecologist, echoes similar views, "The baby's skin is so delicate and through the massage spread any infection to the other parts of the body. I personally don't think it's a good idea to have a dai at home to give a massage," she says, adding, "if at all the parents are interested in giving a massage to the baby then they should do it only after the baby is three months old. Initially they should avoid it."

She also advises against putting oil in the ears of the baby as it can cause fungal infections in the ear. "Putting kajjal in the eyes is also not advisable because it has carbon. I see this practice followed only in India, nowhere else in the world do they follow such practices," she explains.

Dr B K Shah, a senior practitioner feels that this issue is still controversial as there's not much research done on the subject. But he does feel that, "its not very helpful to the baby. The massage is supposed to help the baby in the development of bones. But a child any ways does all the normal exercises and movements when he/she grows up," he reasons.

"Putting oil in the ears or even in the navel is not hygienic at all," he affirms. "In fact a mother should bother more about the food that is given to a newborn baby as it is the food that will help in the development of bones rather than the massage. Even exposing the baby to early morning sunlight is very helpful as the sun's rays carry Vitamin D which is highly beneficial for the development of bones."

A mother herself should massage the baby, say the doctors. She should apply oil gently on the dry skin of the baby rather than use a midwife for the purpose who does it with forced rough movements which can harm the skin and bones of a baby if not done in a professional way. "The touch, love and affection of a mother when she gives a soothing massage to the baby helps them both to bond well and even plays an important role in the growth of the baby," says Dr Hinduja. The doctors also suggested that a mother can take a body massage soon after delivery. Says Dr Hinduja, "A massage tones up the muscles of the mother which had all undergone a change during the nine months of pregnancy. But I still feel that exercise is a better option."
The skin of a new born child is in perfect shape and condition, needs no extra care for 3 to 4 months and much more in colder climates.In hot climate oil will block the sweat pores and the child will feel uncomfortable.Even giving bath daily is not required except cleaning the private parts.
Choice is yours. These are all out dated practice without any scientific backing.


Wrong Concept on Sleep:
                                                      There are different views about sleep. Some experts say it should be 6 hours others say 7 hours and some say 5 hours. Remember no two persons on this world are similar in health and disease. Some suffers from malaria repeatedly others suffer once and dies. Even different disease and heart attack behave differently on different persons. One may need more and some may need less sleep. If someone follows the PM of India routine, then he may die prematurely. A new born child sleeps for 18 to 20 hours a day but with increase in age the amount of sleeping hours come down. Pregnant and beautiful ladies sleep more but senior citizens need sleeping pills for sleep. Many old people sleep 3 hours in day time and would complain to the doctor about lack of sleep. Nap should be for 20 to 30 minutes, not more. There is no fixed amount of sleep for any individual, it varies. The major accidents in this world were due to deprivation of sleep. Sleep deprivation can kill a person but not too much of sleep.
                      Some students read fo18 hours a day but secure 46% where as another one reads for only 4 to 5 hours and secures 95%+ marks. The recent trend of students is to return home/ hostel at 11pm, after eating out with a girlfriend or boy friend and spending father’s hard earned? money, gossips & open internet till 2pm and then read up to 5am and sleep up to 11am.No doubt the students are securing 90 to 100% marks but we should not forget the question papers are objective and multiple choice type. Coming to sleep pattern of the modern generation, it’s really baffling. Parents think their sons or daughters are really reading hard at night but in majority of cases its mobile talks or pornographic films. For students the guide lines are written long back—concentration of pelican, bath like a crow and sleep like a dog. Morning hours are the best time for studies, not for sleep.
                                     The normal pattern of sleep for our tropical countries are totally different from other countries or places where the sun rises at 8 am and sets at 9pm and the outside temperature varies from 0 degree to – 30 degrees centigrade. We should not follow their sleeping pattern or their bathing style. There is a circadian rhythm of sleep for each human being. A sick person needs more sleep. At 10 to 10:30in the morning, many of us feel sleepy, its natural, that’s why there is a coffee break at that time. Some people doze throughout the working hours and say they sleep only few hours in a day, I call them liars. Many people sleep on the table after lunch period in office and starts working after 3pm.How many of us can remain awake and alert after taking Mahaprasad or a reception lunch at * hotels? Why a person feels sleepy after a heavy meal the reason is not exactly known but its nature’s law. Have you ever watched birds, cows and bulls in summer months, they all take a siesta. The efficiency of the officers and workers decreases after food unless it’s a working lunch—2 piece idly/slice bread, one apple and tea or coffee. That’s why a wicket falls just after lunch.
                                                                 In my opinion one should sleep as per his or her requirement not because some famous person or actress sleeps for 4 hours. It’s an individual choice which makes you fresh, relaxed, happy and healthy. An undisturbed sleep is a blessing of God. Don’t go to bed if you are not feeling sleepy.
PS: Remember these are all free advice but all of you must thank me for it. Gifts are welcome*. Do not make it a habit of taking sleeping pills, it makes you dull next day and ultimately your brain shrinks and becomes dependent on the tablets. Chances of theft are more because the thieves know it all. If you are 75+ do whatever you like. Remember alcohol does not help in sleep but gives you night mares. In case of doubt ask your family physician after depositing Rs500/- at his counter. A recently new speciality has been opened in big hospitals, called sleep specialist doctor.
Good Night.
Sanjoy Satpathy
*Conditions Apply.

26 October 2016


                                                                  The idea of women drinking is slowly gaining acceptance, due to more women entering in the organized workforce, gaining financial independence and interacting with their male counterparts in social and professional settings. It is expected that the women’s market in India will grow by 25 percent over the next five years, faster than expected. Because alcohol and cigarette advertising are banned in India, alcohol producers have to be creative, using their brands on water, soda and even music CDs. Many producers sponsor fashion shows, cricket matches and music festivals, while some have hired Bollywood stars for related promotions.

                                                  Vodka with soft drinks like sprite or 7up is very popular amongst the lady students and working ladies. The sweetness of these soft drinks masks the bitter taste of alcohol and makes it more palatable, but the alcohol gets absorbed quickly and ladies get drunk faster and fall prey to male hawks. Males prefer rum with Coke or Pepsi for quick kicks but those sophisticated person prefer scotch whiskey. India is now producing choicest whiskey for the international market. Indian females are ‘increasingly turning experimental.’   A senior doctor cross checked with his  lady patients who were mostly students from different educational institutes of Bhubaneswar, coming for pain abdomen and alcohol related problems, said “that boredom was the main reason they drink on weekends. The idea of senior roommates in hostel and work place was the instrumental behind taking alcohol. Their rising affluence, aspirations and exposure to different lifestyles appears to be driving this desire to have newer experiences and that includes experimenting with alcohol and drugs”.

Such changes have meant that the otherwise demure fair sex has now been able to keep up with life in 21st century India. The traditional kitchen setting has now paved way for corporate boardrooms. Coy dresses have been replaced by an audacious vogue sense. And milieu has been transcended beyond the family wall to keep lifestyles in accordance with modern society. Among many other things, an eye arresting trend amid all this cultural mutation is the surge in the drinking habits among Indian women. I checked with the alcohol shop counter to verify the facts. The middle aged shop owner said “Sir, earlier alcohol sale during day time was rare but in recent times it’s immaterial whether its day or night, sale has gone up by cent percent.  Now a day’s even woman purchases alcohol during day time, it’s now a big business.”

A girl who was in her final semester of her graduation from a prestigious university was asked about her alcohol consumption habits. She promptly replied: “Yeah I have. Who hasn’t? I am 20 years old; I can judge what is right for me and what is not.”It is part of corporate culture nowadays; you do not want to be labeled as a spoil sport just because you shunned a glass of wine with your colleagues during post working hours.”

Should a woman’s desires be chained to the shackles of ethos? Or should the society allow her to make her own choices; no matter if it is related to alcohol consumption? Maybe it’s high time that the moral police and cultural moderators take a back seat and let women decide what is best for them and what is not. Maybe then we can call ourselves an open and integrated society in its truest sense. Time would tell if they are in right direction by following the western culture.
Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy
Joint Director, SAIL.

Milkman's Dilemma

A Dilemma of a Milkman:
                                                                               K.M a surgeon by profession was on his way for a morning walk in sector 17, Rourkela. It was the month of December and the winter was palpable, smoggy and cold. Our surgeon was wearing a monkey cap, a full sleeve sweater and a jewel thief cap, difficult to recognize. K.M was passing near a ‘khatal’ very close to a small police outpost on the turning .It was a temporary buffalo shed. Doctor too used to get his special makhan milk from that out let.Mostly North Indians had gathered to collect the fresh milk with the foam overflowing the bucket. After the foam settled down the amount would get reduced by few milliliters, but no one complained, because it was fresh and unadulterated, worth the trouble of getting up early.  There was no Omfed culture at Rourkela during those days.                                                  
                                                                             “Ramua--Tera to bahut bada ho geyare, operation kuyun nehi karta hey?”(Your hydrocele has grown quite big, why are you not getting it operated?)Asked another milkman Laxman, who had just brought his huge buffalo and a stuffed calf.
The bulge was very much visible between his legs covered with the blue lungi, when he used to measure the milk and then pour in to the respective containers of  his customers.
“Sochta hun yesal hi saal ko cut dega” replied Ramua. (Thinking of removing that bloody thing this year)
“Lekin kahna keraga?” (But where you want to get it operated?)Laxman was curious to know because he too had a small hydroceal.
                                                                                   “Dekh, Sarkari hospital mein septic hojata hey.Private mein chota hydrocele tarbhuj jeysa ho jata hey.”(People say-In Govt Hos it gets septic, and private hospital a small hydrocele becomes a pumpkin size after operation) replied Ramua while pouring more milk to a Punjabi lady.K.M was watching all the morning drama with keen interest. He himself was a good dramatist and had a very good sense of humour.
“Are IGH mein karo lo.” Suggested Laxman. (Get it operated at IGH)
                                                                    “IGH, ka daktor to magistrate jeisa hey, neche nehi dekhta.Bolta hey agle sal date milega” (IGH doctors are like magistrate, never look at us. The operation date available was next winter)
                                                                 K.M thought to himself, this milkman had described three hospital’s reputation in one go. He was still smiling as he made a U turn for his home ward journey. Doctor narrated the ‘milkman’ story to few of his close friends the very day evening at IG club.
Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy
PS: I thank my friend Kiran Mishra for the story.