A Review of the Role and Importance of Swaddling in Persian Medicine

Authors

1 MSc. Student in the History of Medical Sciences, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.

2 Traditional and Complementary Medicine Research Center (TCMRC), Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.

3 Department of the History of Medical Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences. Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Background
There are controversial views on the advantages and disadvantages of swaddling. Perhaps an explaination on how to swaddle according to the teachings of traditional Persian Medicine will make it easier to have a better judgment of this kind of treatment.
Materials and Methods
This study was based on the books of famous Persian Traditional Medical scholars as well as modern medical literature, published or in databases.
Results
The study showed that nowadays, the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and hip joint dislocation were considered as the disadvantages of swaddling while baby's' better sleep was believed to be its advantage. However, in Persian traditional medicine, swaddling was known as a treatment for joint dislocation during labor or a means of preventing the dislocations which might occur while carrying the infant. Based on this aim, a careful method for swaddling was proposed which not only diminished the above mentioned disadvantages but also, provided positive side effects like better sleep and preserved body temperature for the newborn baby.
Conclusion
There is a big difference between the ideas of traditional medical scholars and those of people on swaddling. Therefore, by reviewing the works of Iranian scholars and combining modern medical findings and Iranian experience, we can provide a different definition of swaddling. By teaching it to physicians, nurses and mothers, it can be considered as a treatment in the neonatal complications of childbirth. It is used during childbirth, and taking advantage of other benefits of this practice, also prevents its harm.

Keywords