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.

Childbirth is just like on TV and other birth misconceptions

Childbirth is just like on TV and other birth misconceptions

Not everything you hear about giving birth is true...

The post Childbirth is just like on TV and other birth misconceptions appeared first on Living and Loving written by Lynne Gidish .


Childbirth is just like on TV and other birth misconceptions

Not everything you hear about giving birth is true...

The post Childbirth is just like on TV and other birth misconceptions appeared first on Living and Loving written by Lynne Gidish .

Childbirth is just like on TV and other birth misconceptions

Big hips or small babies mean easier labour

Pushing out your baby has nothing to do with the size of your hips, explains psychologist and sexologist Dr Marelize Swart. “In fact, your body shape, or the size of your baby, won’t tell you much about how easy or hard your baby’s birth is likely to be, because even if your hips appear to be wide, your pelvis may, in fact, be small. Remember, your pelvis is made up of ligaments and several bones that are designed to move and loosen as you give birth. There are also many internal contributing factors to your experience of labour. For example, will your baby’s head be able to fit through your pelvis? Which position is your baby in when you go into labour? How is she progressing through the birth canal? Your doctor is the only person who can evaluate your pelvic size in order to determine this. Your medical team will be prepared for every possible outcome.”

ALSO SEE: Do you have childbearing hips?

If I have a vaginal birth, my vagina WILL stretch and sex won’t be the same

A woman’s body is amazing, says sexual health physician Dr Jireh Serfontein. “It’s designed to adapt during pregnancy, making a normal vaginal birth possible. During the delivery process, the muscles and ligaments of your vagina and pelvic floor will soften and stretch to accommodate your baby. Although you may feel a little loose or “floppy” down there after giving birth, there’s no real cause for concern. Your vagina is naturally elastic, so it will gradually return to its normal state – maybe not exactly as toned as it was pre-baby, but pretty close. You can do your bit to help things along by regularly doing Kegel exercises once your doctor has given you the nod.”

ALSO SEE: What to expect (for your vagina) when you are expecting

Having an epidural increases your chance of a C-section

An epidural may increase your chances of needing an assisted birth (vacuum or forceps), but it certainly doesn’t appear to make a C-section more likely, says Marelize. “In fact, having an epidural may, in some cases, increase your chances of normal delivery as it allows you to relax and cope with labour. On the other hand, having an epidural may also lead to your pelvic floor becoming so relaxed that your baby may not be able to rotate into the right position for birth, which could eventually lead to an instrumental or C-section birth. Your doctor will address all these issues, as well as the pros and cons well before the birth.”

ALSO SEE: 10 tips to help prevent a C-section

Childbirth is just like on TV

Childbirth on TV or in movies is often very dramatic, suggesting birth is risky and very painful, explains Marelize. “This is not true. Pain during labour is different for every woman and, in some cases, is just uncomfortable. In fact, childbirth is far less dramatic than what you see in the movies, and generally a whole lot slower. One of the best ways to prepare for labour is by signing up for an antenatal class where you and your partner will be taught breathing techniques and exercises to help manage pain.
Unlike what you see on screen, you may not always instantly bond with your baby. Skin-to-skin contact between the two of you soon after birth can help with the bonding process, but this may take time. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to your experience of motherhood and you should always chat to your doctor about any difficulties that you may experience.”

ALSO SEE: 5 movie labour scenes you have to watch

Your waters will break in a dramatic way

This is another myth that’s perpetuated by Hollywood, says Marelize. “In real life, it’s often your doctor who ruptures the amniotic sac membrane with a specialised instrument once you’re already in labour and in a hospital bed. If your waters do break spontaneously, you’ll probably experience a trickle of a usually clear and odourless, or milky liquid. If this happens, don’t panic − there’s no such thing as a ‘dry birth’ as your body is able to replace the fluid every few hours. Call your doctor and get to the hospital as soon as possible if your waters do break as this puts you at higher risk of infection. Your doctor may decide to induce labour after 24 hours if you have not started on your own.”

The post Childbirth is just like on TV and other birth misconceptions appeared first on Living and Loving written by Lynne Gidish .


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