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Many birth practices have existed since ancient times regarding cleansing and rubbing a newborn following birth. Soranus of Ephesus, a first century Greek physician published a text entitled "On Midwifery and the Diseases of Women" in ad 100. In this text he recommends that the midwife sprinkle the infant with a fine or powdery salt, or natron (Natron is similar to baking soda). Salt or natron were used as mild astringents to absorb any remaining amniotic fluid, vernix, and placenta on the newborn's skin and to make the skin less prone to develop rashes. Soranus adds, however, that the salt should be mixed with honey, olive oil, or the juice of barley, fenugreek, or mallow so the granules are less likely to abrade the baby's delicate skin. His recommendation is also to wash off this mixture with water and repeat the process a second time.

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โˆ™ 2009-01-24 11:00:50
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Q: What was reason for midwives to rub baby with salt?
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