Sve za Beba~All for Baby Traditions in Serbia 1

When I came to Serbia so many years ago,  I was in awe of the different traditions. Having wet hair and going out in any weather is inviting death as well as opening two windows at once that will bring the dreaded draft or promaja.

Enter the Bumbo Seat (Used worldwide…. but probably not in the Balkans) An infant seat that looks like it should be used in Bars from drunks who tend to fall off their stools.    But then, babies are like little drunks. Think about it!  They pee themselves, spill their drinks, vomit without warning, and there is no reasoning with them.

A month or so after my entrance to the Balkans I was taken by surprise. Visiting a friend who is a nurse in Serbia she fretted a bit when I sat her infant on my lap. She told me, Babies must not sit up or their hips can be damaged. I was so shocked. I had never heard this before. Not to mention, I had lots of experience in caring for infants from birth and none of them had ever had hip problems.

I questioned myself for a while wondering if I had lost my marbles and maybe this was a thing in the west and I was just unaware. But no, that wasn’t the case.  And in fact, they have seats called Bumbo made specifically for babies to sit in. !!! For real! Here is proof!

The hip problem is such a worry that mothers put a clothe wrap around the diaper that serves as a little brace to keep the babies hips secure.  That is worn til they are 6 months old.

NEW INFO!!! added 3/10/15 a day after the initial posting.

Here is the reason for the care of Serbian baby hips, and it is all in regional genetics. I had pondered this so many times.Finally answer that makes sense!

A kind reader was generous to share this info with me!

Former Yugoslavia had the second highest incidence of dysplasia of the hip in the world. It’s most probably genetic. Almost 10% of all babies in the 1970’s had hip dysplasia, mostly girls, so people are quite freaked out about it. It was not until the mandatory sonograms were introduced that this number was reduced.

Here is an online bit of research I found after having that helpful comment.

http://www.doiserbia.nb.rs/img/doi/0370-8179/2009/0370-81790908402S.pdf

That was probably my first shock concerning what is thought  to keep babies healthy here in Serbia. The next one came along not too long after.

I will write about that one soon!

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8 thoughts on “Sve za Beba~All for Baby Traditions in Serbia 1

  1. I just went through this whole discussion recently with my brother in law who had a son two weeks after my son was born. His son had hip displaysia and mine did not. He had to wear a brace for the first few months of life. Apparently, after doing some research on the subject, Serbia had a higher incidence of it. Which is why all of those babies have to get a sonogram of their hips after birth. We thought they were crazy for being so overly cautious but with a higher rate, I guess this is why they culturally adopted different rules about how to hold a baby like that. I thought the same thing. My biggest pet peeve is keeping the stomach covered at all times and keeping socks on the baby even during the summer. My kids are barefoot just like me in the summer. This also drives my in laws crazy but I am Thai and we don’t wear socks in the summer!!

    • I will write about those traditions next! I hate wearing shoes and socks if I don’t have too. I remember when I first came to Serbia, my MIL found me in the kitchen barefoot. She told me it was bad for my eggs. I think I laughed at her. and told her about the Barefoot and pregnant saying we have in the U.S. And I told her “we”don’t have the same beliefs…. I didn’t put on shoes, or socks, or slippers. Bullying doesn’t work on me very often. and Baba’s love to bully!

  2. Former Yugoslavia had the second highest incidence of dysplasia of the hip in the world. It’s most probably genetic. Almost 10% of all babies in the 1970’s had hip dysplasia, mostly girls, so people are quite freaked out about it. It was not until the mandatory sonograms were introduced that this number was reduced.

    • That is Fascinating!!! And it makes sense. Would you be interested in answering other questions I have? What was the numbedr one place in the world for hip dysplasia? How did the sonograms help? I can understand why it was more girls than boys. but did the numbers change after the 70’s and I am so curious about lots of things!! Please and thank you for your future comment. 🙂 I am going to edit my blog post. Thank again for the you info. I found medical article containing lots of facts that explain more. Finally a breakthrough!

      • Some native tribes in Canada have around 18-19% incidence, it’s also common in some countries in Middle East. Maybe I was off with that 10% number, it’s endemic to some areas. Some parts of Balkan have less then 1%, but some go high as 14%. The sonogram just enables early detection. If it’s detected early it can be fixed without surgery by the use of harnesses. Since it’s congenital numbers didn’t change, but early detection reduced the number of surgeries drastically.

        You can find a lot of data for district of Pirot here

        http://facta.junis.ni.ac.rs/mab/mab200401/mab200401-06.html

        There is a pdf in english at the bottom of the page

  3. Hello, I saw your blog featured over at Expat Blog! Just wanted a drop a note to say that I’m finding it very interesting and looking forward to reading more. I’m an American living in Australia, but married to a Serb. We’re travelling over to Belgrade with out two year old in September, so interested in reading all about the children’s issues. 🙂 Incidentally, our daughter had hip dysplasia, and no one ever knew why, as we have no family history that we knew of and she wasn’t breech, but now I know I can tell my husband his genes are to thank. 😉

    • Hello!! So exciting you are coming in Sept. I am just headed back to the U.S. for an extended time. If you have any questions about coming I am your girl! Ask away. I will tell you there is a group on FB called Belgrade foreign visitors club that is amazing for advice too. I am happy you found me! I will have to go check our your blog! I love Australia. It is a gorgeous country.

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