Baby Health

The Mistake I Made Circumcising My Son Late

As a mom of two boys, one would think I should know better and I still ask myself up till now how it happened but the most important thing was that I learned a big lesson from it. I learned that I should circumcise my son a week after birth.  I look back at it and I now know what I should have done better and how much everyone blamed me that as an experienced mom, I should have known better.

When I had my first baby, I had him through a caesarean section and I stayed at the hospital for almost a week. It was during that period that we were at the hospital that he was circumcised. I didn’t even know baby boys should be circumcised within a week or two. We were discharged after our 5 days at the hospital. At the birth of my second baby boy, I had him through a vaginal birth and we were discharged a day after.

I was happy for the change because it reminded me of when I had his brother and we had to stay for a long time. Two days after the naming ceremony, my mom had to travel urgently out of the country and she was supposed to be back within a week. I promised her that I will cope with the baby without her and moreover, my mother-in-law will be coming to do omugwo as well but she won’t be coming not until in 5 days time. My baby was two weeks old already by then and I just told myself I will circumcise him on our 6 weeks first postpartum visit to the hospital.  On the day my mother-in-law was supposed to arrive, she called that the king in their village died, so there is a curfew for villagers not to travel so she has to stay back until the burial rites are completed and these things take time.

My mom’s visit to had to be extended because my elder brother’s wife will be due in a week, this is their first pregnancy and  in a foreign land, they lack that kind of support we get here, so it was understandable for her to stay back for them to assist her. I had totally given up on calling my MIL for when she will be coming because it seems their village rites is not ending soon. A few days after my baby 5 weeks old, my brother put to bed and they had a bouncing baby boy.

We were all happy, my mom was telling me about how even the developed countries now embrace circumcising babies because they’ve already given them an appointment to come for it in a few days, it was while we were discussing this that I realized that have not done my baby’s own. I mentioned it to my mom and she screamed  soo loud.I was scared! She told me to take the baby to the hospital first thing tomorrow morning, she kept on saying she hope they can still do for him because he’s grown already and he will feel the pain the more.

I took him to the hospital as advised by my mom. On getting there, I told the nurses what brought me to the hospital and when they ask me how old he his, they start abusing me and calling me a wicked mother. When it was my turn to see the doctor,  told the same thing I had told the nurses and he reprimanded me a lot. He asked me if I was a first-time mom and he abused me the more when I told him I’ve had a boy before.  They agreed to do it but the doctor said he doubt if he will find the right size of ring for him and he was really worried about the pain the boy will go through because he can’t be sedated.  

When he was taken from me to be circumcised, I could hear his loud cry, he was screaming his lungs out, I felt really bad. At the end of it, the doctor told me how my babies penis was bigger than most of the rings they because his penis has grown bigger from the size it was from birth and he had to be fitting in different sizes which was an extremely painful experience for the baby.

 He told me of how much he bleed, he advised that I should be careful around the ring when I’m bathing him so it won’t come off, if that should happen, my baby will continue to bleed because the ring he used for him was not his perfect size. He said the only was the ring should come off his after 3 to 4 days after the circumcision and it should slip off itself but not forcefully. I was extra careful when bathing him and even when I told my MIL about it, she could not believe it.  I was really grateful that nothing happened to my baby and I learned my lesson not to take things for granted and ask questions from professionals.

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Signs That Your Child May Have Pneumonia

Do you know that Pneumonia accounts for one in four under-five deaths that is 1.5 million children die from pneumonia every year even though pneumonia is one of the solvable problems in global health? Nigeria ranks among countries that contribute 70 percent of the global burden of pneumonia.

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, specifically in one or both air sacs. The sacs may become filled with pus which causes the following signs of pneumonia in children: fever, labored breathing and chills.

Some of the signs and symptoms of Pneumonia in children are:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Low fever of 38.5 C or lower
  • General feeling of discomfort
  • Cold-like symptoms such as a sore throat, chills, headache
  • Coughing that is dry and frequent
  • Rapid breathing with wheezing sounds
  • Stomach pain
  • Chest pain
  • Shaking and chills
  • Vomiting
  • Mucus tinged with blood or has a green or rust color
  • Poor feeding (in infants) and decreased appetite (in older children)

If you notice any of these symptoms make sure you take your child to the hospital immediately. Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, a fungus, viruses or parasites. For bacteria, the organisms that antibiotics are responsible for pneumonia are Streptococcus and mycoplasma. For those with compromised immune systems, pneumonia can be caused by organisms such as Pneumocystis jiroveci. This is responsible for frequent pneumonia bouts in those who have HIV. Hence, a doctor may recommend an HIV test.

A child may develop pneumonia by:

  • Breathing pneumonia-infected air or certain bacteria
  • Having a viral upper respiratory infection such as the cold or flu
  • Experiencing complications with other diseases such as chicken pox or measles
  • Breathing gastric juices from the stomach and large amounts of food into the lungs, or vomiting into the lungs. This usually occurs in a seizure or stroke

Pneumonia can either be community-associated pneumonia (spread at school or work, for example) or healthcare-associated pneumonia (spread through hospitals).

Once on antibiotics, a child with pneumonia has a smaller chance of passing on the bacteria to anyone else at home. Nevertheless, be sure that everyone at home:

  • Washes hands frequently and correctly
  • Must avoid using the same cups, plates or utensils with the sick child
  • Must have up to date immunizations to prevent other infections
  • Boost a child’s immune system by allowing him to get enough sleep, adequate exercise and have a healthy diet
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue and wash your hands’ thereafter

Young children are more susceptible to contracting pneumonia and this can be a potentially life-threatening illness if left untreated. Pneumonia should not be taken lightly, and parents should ensure that they look out for signs of pneumonia in children especially when they have been unwell for a persistent period.

Make sure your child gets the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, PCV to protect him/ her against the disease and make sure every member of your family is also vaccinated

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