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'CHILDREN NEED GENTLE NURTURING'

Children are happiest when nurtured by instinct and natural cues,” says Dr.Sivaranjani Santosh, a renowned pediatrician, defining the child care in her own inimitable style. She certainly is not one of those doctors who restrict their lives to home and hospital. A committed social activist, Sivaranjani strives to create awareness over healthcare. This uniqueness reflects in her motivational talks and her book- Baby and Child Care. The book is a must-have at the bedside for young parents. A prolific writer, she contributes to educative columns of newspapers. Her passion for preventive paediatrics and parent education earned her wide applause and a strong patient base. Displaying her organizing acumen, she successfully organised many Continuing Medical Education (CME) sessions. The articulate doctor, in a long distance interview, talks of her noble mission and her journey.

EXCERPTS
The genesis
My mother, Mrs.Laxmi Devi, is a Carnatic music exponent and father, Dr.Ramaprasad, is a physician. My schooling was done in Vijayawada. I stood first in the state in my 10th class and state 3rd in under 15 chess championship, and represented the state at national level. I won an essay contest at national level when I was in 7th standard. The topic was “Children’s role in the family”. My unconventional ideas, advocating children’s involvement in decision making seemed to have immensely impressed the judges Inspiration My mother, who encourages me in all my activities, is inspiration.
I always wanted to become a doctor. I went to JIPMER, bagging 3rd position in the all India entrance examination it conducted. I started working as a fullfledged paediatrician in Pondicherry. Later, we moved to Chandigarh where my husband, Dr.Santosh, studied Endocrinology in PGIMER.

Motherhood
Our daughter, Aditi was born during this period. I took 2 years break. Despite being a paediatrician, I used to be confused about certain basic baby care related concerns. My motherhood has been a learning experience and it continues to be so. It also gave me an opportunity to pen my book.

Hyderabad call
Once we moved to Hyderabad, I joined Apollo Hospitals and later, The Birth Place. I have started practising the art of guiding new parents about Baby Care, First Aid and Preventive Paediatrics. I started holding classes for ‘would be parents’. I could guide 95% of mothers to exclusively breast feed their babies.

Magna Pediatrics
Now, I am in a comfortable position, practising at my clinic, Magna Pediatrics. I admit sick kids at Rainbow Hospitals. My focus now is on raising First Aid awareness. I take classes on First Aid & Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. My YouTube channel, Dr.Sivaranjani ’s Easy Health, imparts life saving skills & first aid knowledge. Celebrities like Nani, Prakash Raj, Adi, Jagapathi Babu, Ravi and Allari Naresh have endorsed my efforts and asked their followers to subscribe to this channel as first aid is a must for all of us.

Communicating with babies who cannot talk Babies do communicate. They cry when in pain. They localise the pain. Talking to parents and observing the child give me 80% of information and only 20% would come from examination.



Gratifying task
I get a sense of gratification to see a sick child get better. It is very rewarding to see a smile on the parent’s face!

Winds of change
Neonatology, Paediatric intensive care & Paediatric sub-specialities have taken big strides in recent times.

Modern day parents
They are willing to learn, well informed & take guided care of their kids. Fathers play an active role in parenting.

Parent-child relationship
With parents taking active part in the child’s overall development, the relationship has become more friendly.

Child care: India vs West
Our children get a lot of time to be with their grandparents & extended family members. In the west, children become in dependant much earlier, their sleep training starts too early, and practices like bottle feeding and discouraging parents from carrying babies often, are on the rise. Kids would grow up more secure & happier, if they are picked up when they need to be picked up! Our urban-dwellers too are adopting these traits, due to job-related pressures. Working mothers need more support. Let’s imbibe good parenting principles from all cultures, without being fixed on one.

Unforgettable case/incident
One day, I got a message from a friend “Sivaranjani, my daughter has a father today because of you.” and went on to tell how she gave CPR to her husband, who had a cardiac arrest and saved him. I was so happy that I forced her to attend one of my first aid sessions. This further motivated me to focus on first aid training.

The book
It is a simple book written in a question and answer format. I have addressed almost all common concerns of parents about the health of children. Baby and Child Care has helped many new parents to take care of their babies with great confidence. I educate parents through my media pages and Whatsapp.

Is healthcare highly commercialized?
Healthcare sector, like any other fields, is designed to make some profit. However, a few institutions may be adopting unethical methods. This is definitely not acceptable. Unfortunately, because of them, the entire sector is getting this ‘too commercial’ tag! Doctors, in general, stick to ethics. Let us not generalise.

Status of women
Women doctors are held in great esteem in the society. They are contributing immensely to healthcare.

Advice to aspirants
If you have passion for it, go for it! Focus on preventive paediatrics and parent education, and not just treating sickness.

Tips to mothers to be
It is better if both the parents-to-be know how to take care of their little one much before the baby arrives. This preparedness makes the journey with the baby much easier and more enjoyable.

 
 
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