Welcoming baby

Welcoming baby

Baby Steps

Monday, August 10, 2020

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BABIES are a blessing, and from the very first news that they will become parents, the mother and father will have to make certain preparations to welcome their bundle of joy. Here are some tips from the Registrar General's Department, contained in the baby book distributed to new moms.

Tips for new mothers and mothers-to-be

1. Get prenatal care early. As soon as you think you may be pregnant, see a health care professional for prenatal care and continue going for prenatal care during your pregnancy. Immediate and consistent prenatal care can prevent preterm delivery, and improve pregnancy and childbirth.

2. Eat regularly, depending on your appetite, and choose from a range of foods to ensure you get all the necessary nutrients.

3. Do not drink alcohol while you are pregnant. If you drink alcohol this can cause permanent brain and developmental damage in the foetus.

4. Do not smoke and do not let anyone smoke around your baby. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to your baby, affecting his growth and making him vulnerable to infection. It also puts your baby at higher risk of still-birth or being born premature.

5. Exercise. Research has shown that a little exercise is good for both mother and baby during pregnancy. Exercise boosts your immune system and provides the circulation and energy levels needed to prepare your body for labour. Walking is a good form of exercise.

6. Breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding for at least six months has significant health benefits. Breast milk has the right combination of protein, fat, sugar and water needed for your baby's growth and development. Breast milk also contains antibodies to protect infants from bacteria and viruses.

7. Fully immunise your baby. Be sure to get all vaccinations on time as this will help to prevent diseases and death.

8. Never leave your baby unattended.

9. Always use a safety car seat. Remember, the best child safety seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, and fits in your vehicle correctly.

10. Never, ever shake your baby. Shaking a baby, even a little, may lead to severe brain damage and death.

Tips for new fathers and fathers-to-be

1. Participate in the naming of your child. Choosing a name for your child with the mother can be fun.

2. Help your partner stay healthy during pregnancy. If you eat right, she will find it easier to eat right. Stay away from smoking, drugs and alcohol.

3. Talk with your partner about what you both want for your baby.

4. Learn how to feed, bathe, comfort and change your baby's diaper.

5. Talk to your partner and try to understand the changes that you are both going through on becoming parents.

6. Become the most significant male figure in your child's life.

7. Spend time with your baby. The more time you spend with them, the more you will understand their needs and feel competent caring for them.

8. Get up with the baby if you can and let your partner rest.

9. If you are feeling left out, talk to your partner. Chances are it is unintentional.

10. Assist your partner with emotional stress by providing as much support as possible. Men face post partum depression too; it is important to realise this and get help if you need it.

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