On Friday 6th April, Vivian Corporation hosted an educational seminar and baby fair at Xara Lodge, Rabat where specialised healthcare professionals gave valuable expert tips related to pregnancy and the baby’s first year.
The parents-to-be programme covered a talk on Common Ailments during Pregnancy and one about Breastfeeding and Sterilisation whilst the parents programme looked into Child Development in Early Months and Infant Nutrition. Both programmes also included a combined talk on First Aid for Babies and Toddlers.
We have shortlisted 12 golden tips that were mentioned during the seminar which we feel all new parents and parents-to-be should be aware of.
Common Ailments during Pregnancy
1. Do not google it:
It is very common to worry about many things during pregnancy and it is also very tempting to google our symptoms however it is recommended that ideally we would always turn to medical professionals about any health concerns we may have, since googling symptoms can often lead to unnecessary stress and worry.
2. Take care of your teeth:
Not everyone realizes that during pregnancy our teeth become more prone to gingivitis due to increased plaque formation so doctors recommend that in early pregnancy women schedule regular check-ups to avoid infections.
Breastfeeding and Sterilization
If you manage to breastfeed, during the first 6 months of your baby’s life, you do not need to supplement with anything else as the nutrients from breast-milk are all the baby needs. After 6 months you can start also introducing solid food.
4. Importance of sterilization:
Sterilization is very important before your baby is one year old since your child’s immune system is still very immature. If using a breast pump, any parts coming into contact with the milk must be sterilized. After your baby has turned one, you do not need to continue sterilizing since the child then needs to be exposed to bacteria in order to build a strong immune system.
Child Development in Early Months
5. New-born brain development:
The new-born’s brain is not fully developed when the baby is born and it undergoes drastic growth in the first year. Brain development depends on the experience of the new-born, and attachment between a child and caregiver motivates children to develop and explore their surroundings.
6. Secure Attachment:
To encourage secure attachment, it is recommended that caregivers are playful with their child, making eye contact, being responsive, offering a safe loving touch, and being supportive of the baby’s development needs.
7. When to start?
Weaning should ideally not start before 6 months. Signs that your baby is ready include: sitting up, having good head control, showing interest in food, and weighing more than 6 kilos. If you think your baby is ready for solid food before the age of 6 months, consult with your pediatrician.
8. First foods:
It is recommended that parents start with smooth soft vegetable purées. An important factor to consider when introducing food to your baby for the first time is to choose a suitable time of the day when your baby is not tired or cranky.
At 6 months of age it is recommended to give your baby vegetables and fruit in a soft and smooth consistency 1 to 2 times a day. At the age of 6-8 months, it is recommended that you introduce all food groups in a thicker and lumpier consistency 3 to 4 times a day. And at the age of 8-12 months it is recommended to give your child a wider choice of food from all food groups in a mashed or chopped consistency 5-6 times a day.
10. What foods to avoid in the early days:
It was stressed that sugar, salt, swordfish, raw shellfish, raw eggs, sugary drinks, tea, juices or honey should be avoided in the first year. Moreover the following should not be given to children under four years of age: peanuts, hard sweets, raw carrots and popcorn due to choking hazards.
First Aid for Babies and Toddlers
11. Local emergency number:
In case of emergency immediately call 112 and offer first aid until help arrives.
12. Guidelines on burns:
It is important to immediately cool the burn by placing it under cold running water for at least 10 minutes. (Do not use anything other than water and DO NOT APPLY ICE). Following this, it is advised to cover the burn with a clean plastic bag or cling film (this helps since pain of a burn is due to the wound being exposed to the air and it also helps keep the wound clean and minimise long term scarring). Call 112 if necessary. (For more information watch this video) For guidelines on baby CPR watch this video and for guidelines on choking, watch this video.
Parents-to-be and parents with babies under 12 months of age attended the seminar and also had the chance to browse the baby fair set up which displayed an array of products from the Vivian Baby range of brands which include Chicco, SMA Nutrition, Plasmon, Cuore di Natura, Bioderma, Orchard Toys and Doddlebags. Apart from benefiting from a number of offers, they also had the chance to meet the Vivian Baby team and professionals on these products.