Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...


Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...


Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...


The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • 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

Baby's first few days

During your stay in hospital, the paediatrician will examine the baby every day and you will be guided in the basic care of your baby by the nursing staff.


The first couple of times that the baby’s bowels work, he will pass a thick, dark green sticky substance known as meconium. This is swallowed amniotic fluid that collected in the intestines while the baby was in the uterus. Colostrum has a laxative-like effect on the meconium and once the baby starts digesting breast milk the stools will change to a greenish brown colour, become less sticky and eventually settle at a bright yellow, curdy stool while you are breastfeeding.


The umbilical cord can be quite an alarming sight. It is made up of a jelly-like substance encapsulating 3 blood vessels. It quickly shrivels and dries within the first few days and falls off after 10 to 14 days. You will be shown how to care for the cord until it falls off.


Many babies develop jaundice in the first few days. This is a temporary staining of the skin caused by the inability of the liver to metabolise bilirubin (the by-product of red blood cell breakdown). Should jaundice develop, the baby’s bilirubin levels will be tested by taking a small blood sample from a heel prick. If the levels are high, the baby may require phototherapy; often no treatment is required. The paediatrician will monitor the jaundice. Read more: Jaundice, Phototherapy.


If you have a boy, you may wish to have him circumcised, be it for religious or personal reasons. Read more on Circumcision. You should inform the paediatrician of your decision as soon as possible as it is best to circumcise the baby while still in hospital.


Baby’s first bath


Do ask for a demonstration of bathing your newborn before you leave the hospital and watch how the nurses handle your little one. They may seem a little rough, but you can rest assured – they have been doing it for years!


It is a good idea to bath your baby in the afternoon and with the help of someone else. There are many ways to bath a newborn. Here is a suggested way in 10 easy steps.

  1. Prepare the bath; dip your elbow in the water to ensure that it is the right temperature.
  2. Undress your baby and keep him warmly wrapped in a towel.
  3. While your helper (Dad/Granny/Nanny) is holding the baby over the bath, gently wet and wash his hair.
  4. Wipe his face with a clean cloth.
  5. Dry his face and hair.
  6. Unwrap the baby and place in the water.
  7. Always keep a reassuring hand on your baby and wash gently.
  8. Pick baby up and out of the bath water and place on the ready prepared towels.
  9. Always dry baby from the legs up and put on the nappy as soon as possible.
  10. Dress baby warmly and swaddle.