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Superstition
Superstitions are deep rooted and irrational
beliefs which have no profanity. Superstitions
are the legacy of...
Origin and history of Superstitions :
• Superstitions originated perhaps, when man was at the mercy of the natural
element...
Superstition in
Paediatrics
Pregnancy Superstition
• Don’t eat papayas: This seems to be the most
popular one, including with some doctors.
Apparently, papayas cause contrac...
• Don’t talk too much about feeling good or praise
the baby, etc: Apparently it will jinx your stroke of
good luck.
• List...
• Don’t cut your hair:
• Don’t cross your legs when you sit: I got
this gem yesterday – apparently, if you do
it really fa...
• Don’t make a baby wardrobe or other baby
preparations before it is born: Apparently it jinxes
the baby or something.
• L...
• Heartbeats: If it’s a girl, then the fetal heart rate will be above 140.
A boy will have a heart rate below 140.
• -
• 2...
• There are several methods of warding of an
"evil eye". Lemon-and-chilli totems are a
common method.[7] Mothers put kohl ...
Menstruating women are considered
impure.[101] In many places, they are not
allowed to cook or enter temples during their
...
• Article 51 A (h), Constitution of India[edit]
• The Article 51 A (h) of the Constitution of India, lists "to develop the...
• Fertility Practices
• A common practice of traditional Indian culture that has also influenced the health of the women i...
• Breast Feeding
• Generally, breast-feeding by Indian women is practiced and encouraged. It is usually continued anywhere...
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Superstition in paediatrics

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Superstition in paediatrics

  1. 1. Superstition Superstitions are deep rooted and irrational beliefs which have no profanity. Superstitions are the legacy of every civilizations and are inherited by the following generations. It was once believed that superstition could be rooted out with the spread of education. But these have continued to linger with the generations
  2. 2. Origin and history of Superstitions : • Superstitions originated perhaps, when man was at the mercy of the natural elements. He respected and worshiped the forces of nature like the sun, the moon, water etc. He worshiped fire because of its destructive ability. When man started falling prey to diseases he started appeasing the gods with offerings, penances and sacrifices to ward off evil spirits. • All civilizations have their respective superstitions. But some like beliefs in ghosts, sorcery, witchcraft and spirits are universal. The western civilizations although very progressive have their own superstitions. • In India too, people are confronted by a number of superstitions. • A cat crossing one's path, • The sight of a Brahmin or a sneeze means the purpose of the journey which was being undertaken would remain unaccomplished. • Hooting of an owl • howling of a dog augurs an impending death or a doom • . Contracting chicken pox is considered to be wrath of a goddess 'Durga'. So the goddess is appeased with offerings.
  3. 3. Superstition in Paediatrics
  4. 4. Pregnancy Superstition
  5. 5. • Don’t eat papayas: This seems to be the most popular one, including with some doctors. Apparently, papayas cause contractions. This is based on the fact that raw papayas contain a latex (or something) that can cause contractions. However, there is nothing to say that these contractions are strong enough to cause an abortion in a woman unready to deliver. • Don’t eat mangoes, pinapples, etc: • Don’t cut a whole watermelon: Apparently, it looks too much like a ripe belly to some women and they think its a bad omen. • Don’t go out during an eclipse: That’s an old one from when eclipses scared people enough to be thought evil.
  6. 6. • Don’t talk too much about feeling good or praise the baby, etc: Apparently it will jinx your stroke of good luck. • Listen to this music or that and don’t listen to this or that: Babies are well insulated in their comfortable cocoons, and really, loud music is probably the only stuff that reaches them. • Pay attention to the words of the song/read religious texts: Probably a way to get you to remember God once in a while.
  7. 7. • Don’t cut your hair: • Don’t cross your legs when you sit: I got this gem yesterday – apparently, if you do it really fast, you could loop the umbilical cord around the baby’s neck like a lasso. • Eating a strawberry can make your baby get ugly birthmarks • Don’t knit:
  8. 8. • Don’t make a baby wardrobe or other baby preparations before it is born: Apparently it jinxes the baby or something. • Look at pictures of beautiful babies to produce beautiful babies: People are trying to give me random pictures of beautiful babies – some with lovely golden hair. • Death and crippled people or otherwise abnormal people/children can infect the spirit of the child: This one is plain ridiculous. I can understand that illness carries infection, or death/injuries can cause stress.seeing a Down’s child (for example) can cause Downs in a healthy foetus.
  9. 9. • Heartbeats: If it’s a girl, then the fetal heart rate will be above 140. A boy will have a heart rate below 140. • - • 2) Weight Gain: This is funny! If your husband puts on weight during your pregnancy, then you will be having a girl. If he doesn’t put on a pound, then you’re carrying a boy. • 3) Acne: If you have acne while pregnant, it’s a girl. - not much.. Myth I guess. • 4) Cravings: If you crave for savoury (chatpatta) stuff then it’s a girl. If you like sweets during the pregnancy than it’s a boy. • 5) Formula: Compare your age at conception with the year of conception. If both are even or odd, it will be a girl; if one is even and one is odd, it will be a boy • 6) Morning Sickness: If you have morning sickness early in pregnancy, it’s sure to be a girl. • 7) Hair Color: If you get red highlights in your hair, you’ll have a girl.
  10. 10. • There are several methods of warding of an "evil eye". Lemon-and-chilli totems are a common method.[7] Mothers put kohl on their babies' face, to ward off evil eye, by making it imperfect.[8]
  11. 11. Menstruating women are considered impure.[101] In many places, they are not allowed to cook or enter temples during their periods.
  12. 12. • Article 51 A (h), Constitution of India[edit] • The Article 51 A (h) of the Constitution of India, lists "to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform" as a fundamental duty for every Indian citizen.[120] Rationalist Narendra Nayak has argued the Article 51 A (h) is contrary to IPC 295A and the constitution should be held over to IPC 295A.[121] There has been calls to implement this article more widely (e.g., 2011 Janhit Manch vs Union of India, Bombay High Court).[122] • Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954[edit] • This act prohibits advertisements of magical remedies, like amulets or spells, for certain diseases. The law lists 56 of these diseases. The law also curbs sales and promotion of so-called miracle drugs and cures.[123][124] But, the law is rarely enforced and several such products are freely available to the public.[125] The law is considered severely outdated as 14 of the diseases in the list are now curable, and newer diseases like AIDS are not on the list.[126] Some advertisements of these categories are also known to appear on cable television channels without much repurcussions.[127] Proposed amendments to this law has also raised questions regarding the status of traditional medicine systems like Yogaand Ayurveda with respect to modern medicine.[128] • Indian Penal Code, Section 295A[edit] • Main article: Hate speech laws in India • The Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code criminalises "deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs", it includes "words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations". The offence holds a maximum penalty of three years of prison.[129] It has been argued that this law is unconstitutional under Article 19 (freedom of expression) in the past (e.g., 1957 Ramji Lal Modi vs State of Uttar Pradesh, Supreme Court).[130] It has also been stated by rationalist Narendra Nayak and T. V. Venkateswaran of the Vigyan Prasar that IPC 295A is being used with a very wide definition to prosecute critics of religion, anti-superstition activists and rationalists.[121][131] • Regional laws[edit] • The Prevention of Witch (Daain) Practices Act of 1999 outlaws witch-hunting in Bihar. It has also been adopted by the state of Jharkhand. It carries a sentence of 3 months for accusing a woman of being a witch and 6 months for causing any physical or mental harm.[132] In 2005, Chhattisgarh passed the Tonahi Pratadna Nivaran Act. It holds a sentence of 3 years for accusing a women of being a witch and 5 years for causing her physical harm.[133] The upcoming Women (Prevention of Atrocities) Bill of 2012 in Rajasthan also covers witch-hunting.[134][135] In December 2013, Odisha passed the Odisha Prevention of Witch-Hunting Bill which has a maximum penalty of seven years.[136] Also in the same month, the Anti- Superstition and Black Magic Act was passed in Maharashtra.[137]
  13. 13. • Fertility Practices • A common practice of traditional Indian culture that has also influenced the health of the women in this population is the young age at which many girls are married. In the 1991 census report from India, the percentage of married women age 15-19 years is > 35%. Childbearing during the adolescent years poses significant health risks to both the mother and the infant, especially if the mother is poorly nourished. • Closely spaced multiple pregnancies are a major problem among Indian women from rural backgrounds. These place the mother and children at risk because the mother becomes exhausted from child-care demands and stress on her body. Family planning, then is about spacing and limiting pregnancies. • Many Indians do not believe in taking western or modern medications, hence there may be a low acceptance rate of such contraceptive agents as birth control pills and depo-provera among this population. As a result, the teaching may need to focus on intrauterine devices, condoms and the rhythm and withdrawal methods. Sterilization may also be an option. It should be noted that in general, it is considered to be more appropriate and often more comfortable for a client to receive teaching regarding this topic from someone of the same sex, although both husband and wife may want to be present during the teaching session. • Pregnancy • Many Indian women view pregnancy to be a "hot state," or a time of increased body heat. As a result, many feel that one should not become "overheated" because it is believed that this may induce miscarriage. Women who have this belief avoid "hot foods" such as meat, eggs, nuts, herbs and spices; and instead, take foods that have a cooling effect, such as milk products, fruits and vegetables. Overeating is not recommended, as it is believed to result in a very large baby and a subsequently difficult delivery. • Throughout the pregnancy, it is believed that the developing child is vulnerable to evil spirits. It is therefore the tradition of many Hindu families to perform rituals to protect the mother and the unborn baby. During the fifth month of pregnancy, some of the ceremonies preformed include Valakappu, Puchutal and Saddha. These vary according to different regions in India, but they are each performed in the woman’s house. During the eighth month of pregnancy, another ritual, called Simantam, takes place in the husband’s house. An additional way that many Indian women protect themselves from evil spirits is by wearing a type of amulet called a valai or valayal, which means, "to surround." It is believed to create an invisible barrier that keeps the pregnant woman safe from the influence of evil spirits. • Some of the physical characteristics that are traditionally attributed to being pregnant are also related to the hot and cold theory of disease. Morning sickness is thought to be caused by an increase in body heat or pitta, an ayurvedic term meaning bile. This term is associated with nausea, dizziness and overheating of the body. Minor swelling of the feet and hands are also seen as increased heat, but are not considered to be of much concern. • Labor and Delivery • The role of the Asian Indian woman in labor is passive. She follows instructions from health care providers or family members. A stoic approach by the mother to the labor and delivery process is desirable, and receives praise. Although there is not a cultural standard that prohibits the father from being present during the delivery, men are usually not in the delivery room at the time of birth. Many times, an older female family member or traditional birth attendant (dais) assists the mother in the birth process. Pain medications are usually not used, as they are believed to complicate the delivery. Staff should be prepared to assist the mother with alternative relaxation or breathing techniques if needed. • After the baby is born, the sex of the child is not told to the mother until after the placenta has been delivered. Because of the high preference for having boys, it is thought that the birth of the girl may cause the mother to become so emotionally upset that the uterine contractions may become inhibited and delay the delivery of the placenta. Once the placenta has been delivered, however, the baby is first shown to the mother, and then to the father and other accompanying family members. • Breast Feeding • Generally, breast-feeding by Indian women is practiced and encouraged. It is usually continued anywhere from six months to three years. It is common for breast milk to be supplemented with cow’s milk and diluted with sugar water. The child is given diluted milk because the infant’s stomach is believed to be weak initially. Additionally, the working mother may also combine breast-feeding with formula for convenience. • If an Indian woman is having difficulty breast feeding her infant, she may choose to use a traditional feeding cup called a paladai to assist her. The paladai was originally used to burn oil during religious ceremonies in South India. However, because of its long, grooved spout, a baby is able to lick the milk from the groove, thereby mimicking the tongue action that is needed to feed effectively from the breast. Health care providers need to be aware of this practice, as it is beginning to gain popularity in the Western medical community. • Recuperation after Birth • The recuperation time for the mother and baby usually lasts for forty days after birth. During that time, the mother is encouraged to remain at home, where she is to obtain adequate rest and is offered special food along with regular meals. One of the traditional foods is called katlu or panjiri. This dish is prepared by frying whole wheat flour in butter and adding sugar, almonds, pistachios, and a powder made from different herbs. Because this food has a "hot effect," it is believed to restore energy that the mother lost during the birth process. Other hot foods commonly consumed by the postpartum woman include dried fish, brinjals, dhal, drumsticks, and greens. These are all considered to be good for lactation. • Cold foods are believed to produce diarrhea, indigestion and gas and are therefore avoided. External heat as well as internal heat is encouraged for the recuperating mother. The mother should keep herself warm during this time. She will often have back massages with warm oil. She is discouraged from taking more than one bath a week, although she should wash her perineal area with warm water every time she eliminates. • Religious Ceremonies Related to Birth • In many Hindu families, a ritual called "The Sixth" is performed on the sixth day after delivery. It involves placing a religious blanket under the newborn, applying holy red powder that has been mixed with water on to the palms and soles of the infant, and reciting prayers over the child. Afterwards, the baby is to be untouched for a period of time in which it is believed that a Holy Spirit descends onto the child and blesses his or her life. The baby is officially named on the eleventh day after delivery during the "cradle ceremony," and further rituals are performed to protect the baby from evil spirits. • In Muslim families, it is common for the father or the grandfather of the child to recite the Azan in the child’s right ear and the Iqama in the child’s left ear just after birth to confirm that the child is Muslim. Muslim families may also perform the ceremony of Aqiqah at a party to celebrate the birth. This ceremony involves the shaving of the newborn’s head, the sacrifice of one or two goats and the distribution of alms to the poor. • Christian families may wish to pray over the infant for blessings and health. In addition, they may choose to apply holy water or anointing oil to the child's head, hands and/or feet as a symbolic dedication of the child’s life to Christ.
  14. 14. • Breast Feeding • Generally, breast-feeding by Indian women is practiced and encouraged. It is usually continued anywhere from six months to three years. It is common for breast milk to be supplemented with cow’s milk and diluted with sugar water. The child is given diluted milk because the infant’s stomach is believed to be weak initially. Additionally, the working mother may also combine breast-feeding with formula for convenience. • If an Indian woman is having difficulty breast feeding her infant, she may choose to use a traditional feeding cup called a paladai to assist her. The paladai was originally used to burn oil during religious ceremonies in South India. However, because of its long, grooved spout, a baby is able to lick the milk from the groove, thereby mimicking the tongue action that is needed to feed effectively from the breast. Health care providers need to be aware of this practice, as it is beginning to gain popularity in the Western medical community. • Recuperation after Birth • The recuperation time for the mother and baby usually lasts for forty days after birth. During that time, the mother is encouraged to remain at home, where she is to obtain adequate rest and is offered special food along with regular meals. One of the traditional foods is called katlu or panjiri. This dish is prepared by frying whole wheat flour in butter and adding sugar, almonds, pistachios, and a powder made from different herbs. Because this food has a "hot effect," it is believed to restore energy that the mother lost during the birth process. Other hot foods commonly consumed by the postpartum woman include dried fish, brinjals, dhal, drumsticks, and greens. These are all considered to be good for lactation. • Cold foods are believed to produce diarrhea, indigestion and gas and are therefore avoided. External heat as well as internal heat is encouraged for the recuperating mother. The mother should keep herself warm during this time. She will often have back massages with warm oil. She is discouraged from taking more than one bath a week, although she should wash her perineal area with warm water every time she eliminates. • Religious Ceremonies Related to Birth • In many Hindu families, a ritual called "The Sixth" is performed on the sixth day after delivery. It involves placing a religious blanket under the newborn, applying holy red powder that has been mixed with water on to the palms and soles of the infant, and reciting prayers over the child. Afterwards, the baby is to be untouched for a period of time in which it is believed that a Holy Spirit descends onto the child and blesses his or her life. The baby is officially named on the eleventh day after delivery during the "cradle ceremony," and further rituals are performed to protect the baby from evil spirits. • In Muslim families, it is common for the father or the grandfather of the child to recite the Azan in the child’s right ear and the Iqama in the child’s left ear just after birth to confirm that the child is Muslim. Muslim families may also perform the ceremony of Aqiqah at a party to celebrate the birth. This ceremony involves the shaving of the newborn’s head, the sacrifice of one or two goats and the distribution of alms to the poor. • Christian families may wish to pray over the infant for blessings and health. In addition, they may choose to apply holy water or anointing oil to the child's head, hands and/or feet as a symbolic dedication of the child’s life to Christ.

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