Shaken Baby Syndrome

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  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

Birthing Options

One will need to make plenty of decisions during pregnancy and choosing where to give birth – whether in a hospital or in a birth centre setting – is one of the most important. Sometimes the decision is made easier if you have a really good relationship with your gynaecologist and want him or her to deliver your baby. Your choice is limited to where the gynaecologist practices. Conversely, if your gynaecologist is pushing you in the direction of a C-section and you would prefer a vaginal birth and there is no reason why a vaginal birth is not advisable, then by all means, opt for a birth centre.


Moms who have certain medical conditions like gestational diabetes or who suffer from high blood pressure should seek the advice of their gynaecologist before deciding where to give birth. Safety for both mom and baby should be the primary concern. Generally speaking, women who are expecting multiples, or whose babies are presenting in a breech position are advised to have C-sections.



A hospital setting can accommodate a variety of birth experiences and need not be cold and clinical.


Traditional hospital births (in which the mother-to-be moves from the ward to a labour room and then, after the birth, back into a ward) are still the most common. Women in labour are generally not allowed to eat or drink (in case of possible anaesthesia or for other medical reasons), and one is usually required to deliver in a certain position, normally flat on one’s back.


Pain medications are available during labour and delivery. The foetus is usually electronically monitored throughout the labour and an emergency C-section is easy to arrange should the baby become distressed.


A few South African hospitals offer more modern options for low-risk births. These may include private rooms with baths (birthing suites) where women can labour, deliver and recover in one place without having to be moved. Rooming in – when the baby stays with the mother most of the time instead of in the infant nursery – is available in most hospitals.


If you decide to give birth in a hospital, you will encounter a variety of health professionals:

  • Obstetricians/gynaecologist (OBs/GYNs) are doctors with at least 4 additional years of training after medical school in women’s health and reproduction, including both surgical and medical care. They can handle complicated pregnancies and also perform C-sections.
  • If you choose or if it’s necessary for you to receive anaesthesia, it will be administered by a trained anaesthesiologist. A variety of pain control measures, including pain medication and local, epidural, spinal block and general anaesthesia, are available in the hospital setting.
  • After the baby has been born, a paediatrician is on hand to examine the baby.


Birth centres

Giving birth in a birth centre is a viable option if the pregnancy is a low-risk one. Women must be in good health.


At most birth centres women are free to move around while in labour and they are able to get into positions most comfortable for them. Soothing techniques are often used, such as hydrotherapy, massage, warm and cold compresses, and visualisation. Eating and drinking is encouraged during labour.


A birth centre normally employs midwives, registered nurses and doulas (professionally trained providers of labour support and/or postpartum care). Although a doctor is seldom present and medical interventions are rare, birth centres may work with a variety of obstetric and paediatric consultants.


Birth centres do have medical equipment available, including intravenous (IV) lines and fluids, oxygen for the mother and infant, infant resuscitators, infant warmers, local anaesthesia to repair tears and episiotomies (although these are seldom performed) and oxytocin to control postpartum bleeding.


Before making a decision, book a tour of the hospital and/or birth centre so you can determine for yourself if the staff is friendly and the atmosphere one in which you’ll feel relaxed. This will give you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the facilities, ask as many questions as you can think of, and mentally prepare yourself for the birth of your baby.


Here is a list of some birthing centres in South Africa.




  • Genesis Clinic

Tel. 011 646 3923

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  • Linkwood Clinic

Tel. 011 485 3250

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  • Park Lane Maternity and Active Birth Unit

Tel. 011 480 4000



  • Netcare Femina Hospital

Tel. 012 304 1700

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  • Bella Rose Birthing Centre

Tel. 083 445 0376

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  • Mowbray Maternity Active Birth Uniy

Tel. 021 685 3026



Should you wish to inform Tum2Mom of more birthing centres please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .