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

An Introduction to Parenting

The first few days after the delivery of your baby can be wondrous and sometimes overwhelming. You have been waiting nine months for this moment but suddenly you are at home and even the seemingly simple task of changing a nappy can fill you with immense anxiety. You may think to yourself – now what?


First and foremost, trust your instincts. As you spend time with your baby, you will become more in tune with each other. Your baby will give you the most important information – how he likes to be treated, talked to, held and comforted. He will bring out your parental instincts that will guide you automatically to the right responses almost as soon as he is born. Put your trust in those instincts, if it feels right for you it will in all likelihood be right for the baby and that is what is important. Looking after babies is essentially a mixture of common sense and personal inclination; there are no fixed rules. Babies need to be fed, cuddled, played with; they need to be kept clean, warm and comfortable; to be allowed to sleep when they wish and to feel secure. As you and your baby spend time together, you’ll become more and more in tune with each other. How you choose to achieve this with your baby is a matter for you, as the parents, to decide. A little preparation helps too. Deciding what is needed for your baby can be quite an intimidating experience. There is an overwhelming array of choice as well as pressure to purchase many gadgets that will possibly make caring for your baby easier and safer.



Pacifiers/thumb sucking

Many parents have strong feelings about the use or non-use of a dummy. Some resent the notion of calming baby with an object in his mouth, others believe it may harm baby (which is incorrect, they do not cause medical or psychological damage).


A dummy is meant to satisfy your baby’s non-nutritive sucking needs, not to delay or replace meals. It is for the baby’s benefit and not your convenience. Should you decide to try a dummy on your newborn and he spits it out, don’t force it on him, he may prefer to suck his hand or have no need for another form of sucking.


If your baby does take to a dummy, choose one which is moulded as one piece. It should be able to withstand high temperatures so that you can boil it, or wash it in the dishwasher, on a frequent and regular basis. This is required for the first 6 months whilst his immune system is still maturing. After that frequent washes with soap and hot water are adequate. Remember to have a couple of the favoured type of dummy in case of one being dropped just when you need it most. They come in various shapes and sizes – a smaller size for the first 6 months and then a bigger size. The shape may be nipple shaped or a flatter ‘orthodontic’ shape. Baby will make a choice as to his preferred size and shape.


Some babies forgo the dummy and develop a preference for their thumb. This has the advantage of always being available and easily cleaned. The disadvantage is that it is not as easily ‘disposed of’ when the time comes to wean your baby/toddler off the need for non-nutritive sucking.


Taking care of yourself

As much as you’ve longed for your baby’s arrival, all the feeding, nappy changing, and sleepless nights can leave you feeling pretty depleted. Don’t forget that you need some TLC right now, too. Be sure to get plenty of:

  • Liquids. They’re especially important if you’re breastfeeding.
  • Energy-boosting foods. Especially those that don’t need cooking.
  • Sleep. Well, as much as you can get!
  • Support. Asking for help from relatives and friends – or even hiring a doula or a baby nurse – isn’t a sign of weakness or inability; it’s a sign that you’re doing everything in your power to take the best possible care of your newborn.

Final thoughts

The first few weeks at home with a new baby are joyous – but they can also be tough. You worry about his sleep, milk intake, and comfort – everything – and you’re settling into a new, very different routine from what you were used to (all on much less sleep than you’re used to!). Just take it one day at a time, and don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ll feel like a pro in no time.