Hygiene plays a crucial component of a baby's overall care. Practicing a good hygiene is extremely important to keep your baby happy and healthy all the time.

Eight essential hygiene rules for your baby. Here are eight simple good hygiene practices to adopt when you have a baby.

  • Washing your hands with a good antibacterial soap is essential for removing harmful bacteria and germs that cause colds, flu, diarrhea and other infections. Be sure to dry your hands properly and wash your hand towels regularly. It's especially important to wash your hands before feeding your baby, after handling raw food, after changing a nappy or going to the toilet yourself, after touching pets, after touching anything dirty such as dirty nappies, rubbish or food waste.
  • You don't need to clean the house every day from top to bottom with disinfectant, you just need to pay particular attention to the surfaces that are most likely to harbour germs and bacteria. Focus on the areas that have a lot of contact with food, bodies and hands, such as bathrooms, kitchen benches, tables, crockery, cutlery and glassware. You need to be cleaning these properly. Use hot water with detergent for crockery, cutlery and glasses, while kitchens and bathrooms will need a thorough clean with a good disinfectant. Pay particular attention to taps, toilet seats, benches and door handles. Dry surfaces as well if they are not in a well-ventilated area with natural light.
  • Babies love to put things into their mouths, and toys are often the closest thing to hand. Be sure to regularly give your child's toys a clean with a good disinfectant. Wipe hard plastic toys down and make sure you rinse them thoroughly or put plush toys through the washing machine.
  • A good bath is essential for keeping your baby clean and tidy, but you need to make sure you are not over-washing as this is damaging to your baby's sensitive skin. In the first year of your baby's life a full bath is necessary only two or three times a week. Check out our step-by-step guide to bathing your baby.
  • These are three areas that need some special attention. Always keep your baby's nails well-trimmed so that they can't scratch themselves — the best time to trim them is when your baby is asleep. Be sure to use baby-sized nail clippers and not to cut the nails too short as these will hurt your baby.
  • Only wash the outside of your baby's ears, never the inside, and never insert cotton wool buds into your baby's ears. If your baby is unhappy and touching their ears repeatedly, this could be a sign of infection — be sure to get this looked at by a medical professional.
  • Clean any dried mucous from your baby's nose, as this can cause difficulty breathing. Use a damp wash cloth to gently remove the dried mucous. A nasal syringe may be needed to help remove excess mucous, but consult your baby's health practitioner before using one of these.
  • Be sure to keep your baby's eyes clear of any dried mucous. Use damp cotton wool to gently clean their eyes and seek medical attention if you notice your baby's eyes are irritated.

Not feeling prepared for your pregnancy journey? Our experts have the answers

Not feeling prepared for your pregnancy journey? Our experts have the answers

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it’s also filled with the unknown, which can be a source of stress. Thobeka Phanyeko asks the experts to address some of your most common pregnancy concerns.

The post Not feeling prepared for your pregnancy journey? Our experts have the answers appeared first on Living and Loving.


Not feeling prepared for your pregnancy journey? Our experts have the answers

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it’s also filled with the unknown, which can be a source of stress. Thobeka Phanyeko asks the experts to address some of your most common pregnancy concerns.

The post Not feeling prepared for your pregnancy journey? Our experts have the answers appeared first on Living and Loving.

Not feeling prepared for your pregnancy journey? Our experts have the answers

Midwifery consultant and researcher Dr Diana du Plessis reassures moms-to-be that feeling overwhelmed, experiencing extreme mood changes and worrying are all expected during pregnancy. “It’s normal to fluctuate between feeling happy, sad and angry in five seconds flat, because of the surge of pregnancy hormones,” she says. However, knowing the facts and addressing any concerns you may have can put your mind at ease and help you to enjoy your pregnancy.

ALSO SEE: Top 10 pregnancy fears busted

Read on for some practical solutions.

I don’t feel prepared for motherhood…

Since you probably don’t know what to expect if you’re a first-time mom, this is a normal feeling. If you’re welcoming a second, or third child, the fear of the unknown is still relevant. Dr du Plessis recommends keeping a journal. “Start at the very beginning – what parenting skills did you admire in your childhood? Write them down and indicate how you would improve on them. Also write down what you experienced as poor parenting,” she explains. You could also take it a step further by comparing notes with your partner or spouse.
“Attend parenting seminars and join chat and support groups, but avoid extreme parenting advice,” she cautions. It’s also a good idea to approach a person you admire to ask for help and advice.
Gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Tom Mokaya recommends a support partner to discuss issues with. “Good examples include someone who has had their own children, older relatives, and healthcare providers who you
can ask and receive advice from,” he says. Reading parenting books and attending antenatal classes will also make you feel more empowered.

ALSO SEE: Why you should attend antenatal classes

Will I have a normal pregnancy?

Dr Mokaya says he often has to reassure his patients that “this depends on many factors, including age, medical conditions and genetic factors.” He adds that the occurrence of foetal abnormalities is, generally, low.
Dr du Plessis agrees that fears regarding complications and a possible miscarriage are common. “Those who have experienced previous pregnancy complications may be more concerned about the outcome of the current pregnancy and risk of developing a complication,” she adds. This emphasises the need for early antenatal check-ups to address any developmental issues. Dr du Plessis acknowledges that it is difficult to be excited about a pregnancy when you’ve experienced a loss. “Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that something won’t go wrong, so try to stay focused on the positive and force yourself to talk about the pregnancy in a positive manner,” she advises.

Should I be taking supplements?

“Folate and iron are generally advised in pregnancy. It’s important to discuss what medication you are taking when planning to conceive, or visit the doctor as soon as you find out you’re pregnant,” advises Dr Mokaya. Also, if you’re not sure whether you should continue the medication you were taking before falling pregnant, consult your healthcare provider.

ALSO SEE: Dos and don’ts of supplementing during pregnancy

My partner is distant and unsupportive, how do I cope with this?

Remember that communication is key, especially when you need support. Dr du Plessis explains that it could be difficult for your partner to understand your emotions and attachment to your unborn child. “Tell him what you need and how he can assist. Things may change once the baby is born,” she says. If your partner is panicking because he feels unprepared, it’s commendable that he expresses his discomfort. “Antenatal classes are a great place for him to be more hands-on,” she adds.

Can I still be intimate with my partner?

It’s important to stay connected to your partner during pregnancy. If you’re concerned that being sexually active could hurt your baby, Johannesburg-based clinical psychologist Professor Elna McIntosh puts your mind at ease. “From your first trimester to your last, pregnancy and sex are a healthy combination, assuming that yours, like most, is complication-free.” Gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Peter Koll agrees, “The foetus is safely contained within a fluid-filled amniotic sac that, essentially, acts as a shock absorber. The entrance to your cervix is sealed by a mucus plug during your pregnancy, so, in the absence of complications, there isn’t much to worry about.”

ALSO SEE: Best sex positions during pregnancy

I fear giving birth − I’ve heard so many horror stories.

Fears around labour and delivery may be invoked by some women’s past experiences or information shared by friends or relatives. Dr Mokaya advises that most of these fears are addressed during your antenatal visits where the birthing process will be explained in detail by your healthcare provider.
The experts agree that a detailed birth plan should be in place. “Write down what you hope for, and work through each issue with a trained professional,” says Dr du Plessis.

I’m not excited about this pregnancy…

According to Dr du Plessis, it’s not uncommon for pregnant women to suffer from prenatal depression and advises seeking the help of a trained therapist. Dr Mokaya notes that first-time moms may worry more, because they are experiencing pregnancy changes for the first time.

ALSO SEE: What you need to know about depression during pregnancy

I’m not naturally maternal…

The transition to motherhood doesn’t always happen automatically, so don’t be too hard on yourself. “Learning to love a new baby takes time, and the more you work with your baby, the easier it will become,” explains Dr du Plessis. Worrying excessively takes away from the joy of pregnancy, and anxiety is generally caused by being fixated on the past and future. Striving to be present will allow you to enjoy this amazing journey.

The post Not feeling prepared for your pregnancy journey? Our experts have the answers appeared first on Living and Loving.


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