Baby shower do's and don'ts
By: Bernice Maune
Plan a hassle free baby shower by following our list of do’s and don’ts making for an awesome baby shower filled with precious moments everyone can be proud of.
Generally the first rule in planning a baby shower is finding out if the mom-to-be wants a surprise party or if she wants to be let in on the activities. Once you know what the mom wants then it should making planning easier as you can start arranging a party that will make her happy too.
DO: Serve mocktails
It’s no fun to have a party where some guests can drink and the mom can’t. Rather prepare tasty mocktails that look good and will be refreshing for everyone to drink and enjoy. Go one step further and have colourful, umbrella embellished mocktails to make for pretty images.
DO: Let the mom-to-be in on the planning process
Like we mentioned above, involving the mom in the process is essential to having a great shower. If she has made it clear that she would like a surprise then find out what her prefernces are through her partner or close family and friends. Together you can throw a shower that will meet her expectations. If she wants to follow all the steps of the baby shower than indulge her and keep her updated as you pick a theme and invite guests.
DO: Create a theme and ask all the guests to follow through on it
By the time you have the baby shower it will be clear if the mom-to-be is having a boy or a girl. Look at creating a theme where you could follow a sex based theme or an original theme where you incorporate the mom’s favourite music stars or her personality.
DON’T: Subject guests to humiliating party games
The days of having a shower where guests are smeared with body lotions, baby powder and cream are over. These days games are modern and different, allowing everyone to participate, win prizes and mae memories with the mom-to-be.
DON’T: Force people to watch gifts being unwrapped
This can be awkward and is a time waster. Rather allow the mom to open all her gifts at her own time and when she is ready to do so. Guests can tell her themselves what they bought her.
DON’T: Be insensitive
Sometimes one of the guests at the party may have experienced a recent loss. If you are aware of who that may be, give them the space to decline the invite if they want to and if they attend don’t be forceful in trying to get them to participate.
Remember the baby shower is there to be a beautiful occasion where friends and family spoil both baby and mom. Encourage guests to buy the mom gifts too as she may also need to be pampered.
Do you have any ideas on hosting a great baby shower? Do share with us!
Everything you must know about hypnobirthing
This technique which has been popularised by celebrities such as Pink and British royalty Kate Middleton involves a process where the mom uses self-hypnosis to get into an ultra-calm state where she is effectively able to manage the pain experienced during labour.
Before labour and birth, a mom would use self-hypnosis to relax herself, easing body tension and preparing her mind, emotions and body for the birth. Fear is eliminated and replaced with confidence and control as the mother gets ready to give birth.
Hypnobirthing originated from English obstetrician and founder of the Natural Birth Trust, Dr Grantly Dick-Read who studied how women who were fearful of having a natural birth became tense and their muscles stiffened leading to a longer and more difficult birth experience. His work also found that a relaxed state made labour and birth a more positive experience for mothers.
What to expect
According to Hypnobirthing.co.za, the method is based on the idea that fearful mothers release stress hormones leading to oxygenated blood moving to the arms and legs which is part of the natural response of fight or flight. The muscles of the uterus then constrict and become tense with the muscles working against each other and ultimately this results in a painful birth.
During hypnobirthing a mother is able to secrete endorphins which is a natural painkiller and eases the birthing process. Her uterine muscles are more relaxed and instead of restricting the baby’s movement, enable the infant to move more easily down the birth canal.
Advantages of hypnobirthing
- Calms babies down at birth
- The chances of recovery are increased
- Pain is considerably reduced
- It is understood to also reduce the chances of post-natal depression
Disadvantages of Hypnobirthing
- Labour and the process of it cannot exactly be timed, you may not be able to use the technique in time for the birth due to unpredictability.
- It takes practise and time to fully immerse yourself in the technique.
To use the hypnobirthing technique, expectant mothers need to find a practitioner close to them. Classes are then offered over five weeks and last for two and a half hours at a time. Partners are encouraged to attend while attendance is recommended from 14 weeks onwards.
Five things they don't tell you about the first trimester
You’ve just found out that you are pregnant and are excited and anxious at the same time about welcoming a new life into the world. But wait, there are some things that you will only find out through experience and that you may not be able to find in books or online.
Not to worry though because we’ve got you covered about what you can expect during your first trimester of pregnancy.
- You might not gain much weight and your stomach could look slightly bloated. You could actually get away with not looking pregnant for at least four months. This is normal and not a cause for concern as long as you are eating normally, taking your vitamins and staying hydrated while attending all your doctor visit to monitor your baby’s progress.
- Your baby is so tiny that he is the size of an orange seed. At the end of the first trimester he will be the size of a small peach. This small dynamite though will affect you in many ways during the first trimester, changing your sense of smell, causing morning sickness and causing you to pee a lot. All of it is very normal though.
- You will have to avoid all raw meats, this includes polony, ham, sushi, raw eggs and fish as well as brie and camembert cheese.
- About a quarter of pregnant women have slight bleeding during the first trimester – this light spotting may be a sign that the fertilised embryo (egg and sperm) has implanted in the uterus. Consult your doctor if you experience prolonged r heavy bleeding as this could be a sign of a serious condition or a possible harm to your baby.
- There will be a lot of cramping. According to American Pregnancy Association, this normal cramping can be attributed to the stretching of ligaments that hold your uterus, which is expanding.
The first three months of pregnancy are an exciting time as you start getting accustomed to the idea of carrying a child. Enjoy this period, record it and take pictures for memories sake.
These are the funniest old wives tales on how to tell if you are having a girl/boy
You’ve just found out you’re expecting and it’s too early to tell if you are having a boy or girl. As your pregnancy progresses, you are curious to find out your baby’s gender and may have heard a few old wives tales about what signs to look out for about your bundle of joy’s sex.
Pregnancy folklore has existed for years and has been passed down from generation to generation. While none of it is actually scientifically proven, it are interesting to take note of and see if any applies to you. So in the spirit of fun, we’ve compiled a few good old tales that are amusing.
If you are carrying high then you may just be having a little girl but if your bump is low then that could be a baby boy nestled in there.
Craving specific foods are all a normal part of pregnancy. What to take note of though is what type of foods you are craving. Do you feel like indulging on salty, protein rich foods? Or are you snacking on sweet and yummy goodies like ice cream and chocolate cake. Old wives tale have it that salty equals boy and sweet means you are expecting a princess.
Have you been getting compliments about how bright and rosy your complexion is? Or are you looking a little on the dull side? Baby girls are said to absorb their mom’s looks while boys are said to make their mums look fresh faced and glowing.
The speed of your child’s heart rate can reveal the gender of your baby. Apparently if their little heart is beating faster than 140 beats per minute, get ready for a girl.
Eat garlic and ask your partner or someone close to you to tell if you are reeking of the herb. If you are then that may means you will be giving birth to a little doll to play dress up with!
Take this quick quiz to see if you’re having a boy or girl
Answer yes or no…
- Have you been craving sweet (not salty) foods?
- Did you have lots of morning sickness?
- Are you extra moody?
- Is your face rounder than usual?
- Are your hands soft, versus drier than usual?
- Did the man initiate sex at the time of conception?
- Is your right breast larger than your left breast during pregnancy?
- Are you graceful during pregnancy, versus clumsy?
- Is your belly low versus high?
More yes answers = It’s a girl!
More no answers = It’s a boy!
Why banking your baby's umbilical cord might save his life
Your baby’s umbilical cord contains millions of stem cells which are cells which can grow into organs, blood vessels and tissue.
These cells have the ability to develop into cells which are needed by the body, depending on the disease or infection. They can help to repair damaged body organs, tissue and aid in boosting the body’s immune system. Stem cells can also help to fight several diseases such as blood disorders, cancers and immune deficiency diseases such as lupus.
The buzzword right now is umbilical cord banking where your child’s umbilical cord is cut and stored at birth. The cells in the umbilical cord can be saved for later use in the case an unfortunate incident arises.
According to Cryo Save, stem cells are often called master cells. They form the foundation of your entire body and act as building blocks for the blood, immune system, tissue and organs. The can replicate or regenerate themselves and have the ability to differentiate into any kind of specialised cell in the body.
The benefits of saving stem cells according to Cryo Save from the umbilical cord include treating the following diseases:
- Can replace diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow to treat/cure patients with e.g. blood cancer
- Replace non-functioning bone marrow with healthy functioning bone marrow in patients with e.g. acquired bone marrow failure.
- Regenerate a healthy immune system in patients with e.g. immune deficiencies, autoimmune disease
- Replace bone marrow with genetically healthy functioning bone marrow in patients with inherited blood related diseases.
- Used in treating cerebal palsy and autism
- Beneficial in treating type 1 diabetes
The process to retrieve stem cells is simple and painless for both the mother and the child, it also doesn’t interfere with labour or delivery. The umbilical cord is collected right after birth. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends a delay of 30 to 60 seconds between delivery and cord clamping for healthy, full-term babies.
To retrieve the umbilical cord, a doctor will immediately cut the cord and collect and store it. The cord is then shipped to a umbilical cord blood bank, where it’s tested, processed, and cryopreserved (preserved by controlled freezing) for long-term storage if deemed acceptable according to quality standards.
You have two options in deciding what to do with the stem cells contained in the cord after birth
- You can donate your baby’s cord blood to a public cord blood bankfor anyone who needs it.
- You can pay to store your baby’s cord blood in a private cord blood bank for your family’s use.
Locally, Cyro Save is a stem cell bank which can store your child’s umbilical cord. More information can be found on www.cyro-save.co.za should you be interested in investing in this life saving technology.
Watch this video of how umbilical cord and stem cell banking saved a child’s life
What you need to know about caesareans
A Caesarean section (C/S) is performed when natural birth is impossible or unsafe.
The operation may be performed before labour begins, if there are medical reasons for not going through labour and natural birth, or if the health of the mother or baby may be in danger.
What you need to know about SIDS
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old.
SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs
Dealing with temper tantrums
Remember when you went shopping and your child eyed a toy they wanted but you had no intention of buying it?
Identifying a bully
Bullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. It can be physical, verbal or over the internet and social media.