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

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Choosing a pre-school

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Newborn reflexes

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Mastitis

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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...

Colic

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...

Strap-in-the-Future

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

Healthy eating during and after Pregnancy.

Healthy_EatingHopefully, healthy eating is a part of your daily life, continuing to do so during your pregnancy will allow your baby to develop and grow and continue to keep you healthy. No special diet is needed during pregnancy as long as it is a balanced mixture of foods so that you and baby can get all the nutrients you need.

A balanced diet consists of:

Plenty vegetables and fruit will provide vitamins, minerals and fibre

Whole grain carbohydrates and starchy vegetables will provide energy as well as vitamins, minerals and fibre. Avoid over processed carbohydrates like white bread, crackers etc.

Lean meat, oily fish, chicken, eggs, beans, lentils for protein

Milk, yoghurt, cheese for calcium and other vital nutrients

Avoid excessive fatty and sugary foods.

Take care with certain foods as they could cause the following diseases:
Listeria: Is a food borne bacteria that can cause miscarriage, stillbirths or infection of the newborn baby.

Cook all meat and poultry until there is no trace of pink or blood. Wash all utensils and surfaces that have had contact with raw meat thoroughly.

Avoid the following:
  • raw and smoked seafoods
  • soft, semi-soft and blue veined cheeses
  • unpasturised dairy products
  • soft serve ice-cream
  • unwashed fruits and vegetables.

Salmonella: this can cause a miscarriage

Avoid raw egg foods like mayonnaise and custard

Undercooked eggs, chicken and meat.

Toxoplasmosis: this can lead to blindness or brain damage of the baby

Cook all meat products thoroughly

Avoid smoked meats

Wash fruit and vegetables

Remember to wash hands thoroughly after touching animals, wear gloves when gardening and don’t go near cat litter.

Morning Sickness and Nausea

This is a common discomfort in the early stages of pregnancy; it is believed to be caused by hormonal changes.

To cope with it, have a few mouthfuls of a craker or even an almond or two before getting out of bed in the morning. This gives the digestive juices something to work on as well as help balance blood sugar levels. Have small amounts often rather than two or three big meals. Drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest if possible.

If very severe, consult your Dr or Midwife for professional advice.

Heartburn

This is common in the final trimester of the pregnancy. Again it can be due to hormonal changes as well as pressure of the baby on your stomach.

Small, frequent meals will help, as will eating upright rather than slouching or lying down.

Milk, crackers and almonds can help with excessive gastric juices. Avoid foods that give you heartburn when not pregnant.

Always check with a pharmacist before taking antacid medication.

Nutritional supplements:

If you are eating a well balanced diet during the pregnancy, extra supplementation is not necessary, so discuss this with your Dr or Midwife first. Folic acid is the exception as you need 400micrograms daily in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy and you might not get this from diet alone. It is an essential vitamin needed for healthy spinal cord and neural development in the baby.

Once baby is born

It is important to continue with a balanced diet once baby is born, especially if you are breastfeeding. However one seldom has the energy to shop for and prepare nutritious food. Try and pre-prepare in advance and stock up on quick nutritious snacks and easy to prepare foods.

Hard boiled eggs, nuts, yoghurts, wholegrain bread, tinned fish, cooked chicken and fruits and salad vegetables can all be prepared with little effort and are full of nutrition.

Protein powders added to fruit and yoghurt makes a very nutritious and easy to consume meal.

If breast feeding it has been recommended by various medical bodies that a woman consumes 2700 calories per day which is about 500 calories more than a non breastfeeding woman. Research in the UK has shown that most women consume 2300 per day. The La Leche League recommends that women “eat to hunger”. One should be aware that a poor diet low in calories and nutrients will have an adverse affect on breast milk supply.

Be aware of what you are eating in case it upsets the baby digestively. Moderation is also the key with regards to coffee and chocolate. Avoid all alcohol.

Nutritional supplements may be required, especially the Omega Fatty Acids as this can help restore hormonal balance.

Remember to check with the Pharmacist before taking any medication whilst breastfeeding.

Healthy eating during pregnancy and breast feeding will go a long way to keep you energized and healthy.

References:

La Leche League Int. The Breastfeeding Answer book, revised edition 1996

http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumerinformation/pregnancyandhealthyeating/

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/917.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=130