My Mom's Best
Pregnancy, Parenting & Breastfeeding website with a heart

Oct 09

This article is prepared by Lilian with medical references provided by Dr Cheang Hon Kit, Consultant Paediatrician/Neonatalogist of a private hospital in Penang.


This topic is popular in our forum at MyMomsBest under Childcare. Questions asked includes:

What is the recommended vaccination schedule?

The below is a guideline from a private hospital. There may be slight variations depending on each hospital’s policy.

At birth BCG, Polio, Hepatitis B
1 month 2nd Hep B
2-3 mths 1st DTa P*, Polio & Hib
3-4 mths 2nd DTa P, Polio & Hib
5-6 mths 3rd DTa P, Polio & Hib
6 mths 3rd Hepatitis B
> 12 mths Chicken pox
12-15 mths MMR
18 mths DTa P, Polio & Hib – 1st booster
5 years MMR Booster
4-6 years DTa P, Polio – 2nd Booster

Is my baby going to be sick or in pain after the jab?

Not every vaccination is going to cause fever and pain. However, there are certain jabs that may make a baby feverish. Usually, the doctor will prescribed some paracetamol for your child after taking jabs like DaTP/Polio/Hib, chicken pox, MMR .

* = DTa P (Diptheria, Tetanus & Pertussis combination vaccine) a stands for acellular is a new improved version of vaccine which has been shown to cause less side effects, such as fever, painful swelling, fits, etc. But DTaP is more expensive compare to the older version. Only the private hospitals are using it.

I heard that there are two options to polio vaccine. What are those?

Polio drops are commonly given by dropping the vaccine in liquid form into the baby’s mouth. The other alternative is the injectable killed polio vaccine. Compared to the widely used oral live attenuated polio vaccine, the new generation injectable polio vaccine has less vaccine-associated complications.

What is BCG for? Why does it produce a scar?

BCG is to prevent TB, especially TB meningitis and a severe form of TB in the lungs (called miliary TB) in young children. It is just the nature of the vaccine which produce a very intense immune reaction on the injection site, hence resulting in a scar. Some may even have keloid formation. The scar is a clinical evidence to prove that the person has been given the BCG jab. Some countries health ministry gives BCG at the buttocks purely for cosmetic reasons.

I heard that if I bring my child for the Hib vaccination at an older age, he will get less jabs. Is this true?

Since May 2003, government clinics have started giving HiB vaccines to newborn babies. It is incorporated with the DTP/Polio vaccine according to the Malaysian immunisation schedule at 2,3 & 5 months. For those who has not received this vaccine, the schedule is as follow:….
Between 1-6 months, a baby will be given 3 jabs
If a baby is above 6mth and below 12 months, need 2 jabs
Once a child is above 1yr or up to 4 yrs old, need 1 jab

It is advisable to get a baby vaccinated against Hib (an infection affecting the brain) from an early age because of the severity of the illness. Otherwise, it can be too late for treatment when diagnosis is delayed. The jab given to a smaller baby is in a smaller dosage and thus, more repeats are required.

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Sep 05

Feed Early –

* Within half hour of birth, in the Labour Ward
* First feed lasts for 10-20 minutes. First day baby feeds 5-6 times a day

Feed Frequently

* Room in with baby while in Hospital
* From 2nd day, baby feeds about 1.5 to 2 hourly
* Baby feeds about 10-12 times per 24 hours
* Each feed lasts for 20 to 40 minutes or more
* No limit to duration or frequency of feeds to satisfy suckling needs
* No need to time the baby and feed whenever baby is hungry
* At night feed 2 hourly before 12 midnight, then at 2-3 am and again at 5-6am. Good to co-sleep in the same bed with baby.

Feed Properly

* Hold baby at breast level, lying on his side, chest to chest
* Stimulate the rooting reflex with nipple touching baby’s lips
* Quickly bring baby to breast when his mouth opens wide
* Baby latches on properly and prevents sore nipples, when the nipple and much of the areola are in the baby’s mouth
* Allowing suckling till baby sleeps and lets go of the nipple himself
* Do not pull the baby off the nipple when he is still latched on
* When off the nipple, and baby cries, put him back on the same breast
* Allow him to complete one feed on one breast
* Feed on the other breast at the next feed, 1-2 hours later
* Colostrum is more than enough for baby till Mature Milk comes in
* No need to give water, glucose or formula milk
* Avoid bottles and pacifiers and other artificial nipples as these cause nipple confusion, and breast rejection

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Aug 07

Foreign body in the airway

During the course, the instructor and nurses related some of their personal medical experiences on things that a young child can choke on. It is chilling to know that choking on common foods such as sausages, fish balls, grapes, rambutan seeds, peanuts and sweets had caused some children to die. I did a quick check on the Internet and found that babies had even choked to death on baby teething biscuits!

I thank God that my three boys who had gagged on apples, sweets and stringy fruits like the jackfruit at one time or other, managed to cough out the objects.

The instructor explained that there are two passageways in our throat, comprising the trachea (windpipe) which is for breathing and the esophagus (foodpipe) which is where our food goes down.

The opening of the passageways is controlled by a valve or stopper called the epiglottis which will open and close according to our actions. Choking occurs when the food intended for the esophagus ends up in the trachea.

Visible signs of choking include sudden onset of respiratory distress associated with coughing, gagging and wheezing.

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