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How To Care For Your Baby as a Teenage Mother

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Importance of baby care and development

(Survival Strategies for teenage parent)

ARTICLE BY: KGALALELO MOTHIBEDI

Teenage parent stories

My life as teenage mom

Being a Teenage parent is hard

Up to this far we have talked mostly about the teenage mother, but rest assured we have not forgotten that there is a baby. Let’s take a break on the mother and see the baby for a while. You are a mother because of that baby; give him or her best attention that you have.

Given the fact that you are going to back to school or you are going to start a home business, you cannot afford those things with a sickly baby. It’s important to take best care for the baby. The first 12 months of every baby’s life is the most delicate period that needs extra care as well as following instructions, yes following instructions. Teenagers generally have a character that what is in their mind is the most correct so when you are a teenage mother, be sure to listen and to follow instructions.

(NB. I am sharing these tips from a parent point of view I am sharing from my experiences as a mother. I was a teenage mother, but now I am mother of 4. I am not a nurse or a doctor, so be sure to always follow the health care workers information with regard to baby care)

The baby’s body is so delicate that it needs to handled great with care. Everything is too delicate in the baby’s body. There are a lot of other tips that you can follow but here we compiled just a few to help you in the journey of teenage parenthood.

Check the following  for more medical  information  specifically at this  covid 19 era

https://www.acog.org/?mod=article_inline

Washing your hands

This one goes with out saying. Besides the Corona novel we are leaving in, we have always being taught the importance  of washing your hands with soap.it prevents the spread of all known infections  and illnesses

https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/

Breastfeeding 

It is very important to breastfeed your baby. Breast milk is very healthy, it is very pure and it nourishes the baby’s body. It assists in the development of the baby. Breast milk always comes to the baby at the right temperature. Breast feeding your baby is very cheap, very affordable. Since you are a teenage mother has no source of income, choose to breastfeed. Breastfeeding your baby create a very strong bond between the two of you. As you breast feed the baby he /she will be staring into your eyes and that is a very memorable thing. It is a connection that is not easily broken. There are a number of positions that you can adapt as you breast feed. You can lay down with your baby, you can cuddle with the baby or you can also sit on a couch with the baby on your lap. Both ways build an unbreakable connection between you and the baby.

For more information  on breastfeeding  especially during this covid 19 check the following

https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/maternal-or-infant-illnesses/covid-19-and-breastfeeding.html

I have also been taught the importance of burping. It helps the baby to reduce more air from their stomach and there will be less crying. A burping technique I know of is after feeding the baby put him by your shoulder facing your back and massages his/ her shoulders till there is a burp.

Bathing the baby

Again am going to emphasize the importance of listening and following instructions of the parents, guardians or the support structure that is assisting you care for the baby. They have the wisdom and experience that you don’t have as a teenage mother. The first thing is making sure that the bath water is at lukewarm. In my times as a teenage mother I was taught to use my elbow to check the temperature of the water. As for the toiletries choose to use very mild baby soap that is not fragrances.

When I was a teenage mother I was also taught not to immerse the baby in water before the umbilical cord has dried and fallen off. The baby head is very delicate so handle it with care; you can’t afford to mess with a life that you brought into this world.

Immunization schedule

Upon leaving the hospital after giving birth, there is a clinic card that is given to you.in this card there is an immunization schedule for the baby. The baby has to be taken to the nearest health care center for him or her to get his immunization. The importance of immunization is that it assists and boosts the baby’s body against some diseases. The best part about the immunization schedule is that there are sessions where the health care workers will offer discussions on baby development, so it’s important to attend to the immunization schedule of the baby

Immunization is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Vaccines stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease.

Immunization is a proven tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases and is estimated to avert between 2 and 3 million deaths each year. It is one of the most cost-effective health investments, with proven strategies that make it accessible to even the most hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations. It has clearly defined target groups; it can be delivered effectively through outreach activities; and vaccination does not require any major lifestyle change.(https://www.who.int/topics/immunization/en/ 

Baby development/ milestones

In addition to the immunization schedule, it is important to keep track of the baby’s development. At the health care centers/ clinics, there is a monthly check up of the baby. The baby’s weight and height are measured and recorded on monthly basis. The importance of this routine is to map the development of the baby. If the baby is not gaining weight there must be something wrong and it will be attended timely. There is graph where they record all the information, study it and ask questions so you can also keep track of your baby’s development

With regard to baby milestones the health care workers mean stages of development. Like for example when can the baby start to sit, when can the baby be expected to start solid food, like when can the baby start to crawl around the house up to when a baby can start to stand and ultimately walk. It also include when they baby can be expected to teeth.As a mother it is important for you to keep track and record of such things. Yes keep record so with your second, third or fourth child you are all aware and not panicky.

Routine

Observe your baby and develop a routine strategy for him /her. The routine of the baby will include activities such as bathing time, sleeping time, feeding time. With the developed schedule it will also assist you as the teenage mother when you back to studying. Remember that to do list we talked about, it applies here too. If you have developed the strategy the baby will learn it and things will get easier

Crying

Just writing this, I had to pause to take a sigh as I am taken back to my sons crying times. Crying is a normal thing that the baby has to do. Babies express their emotions through crying. Yes it frustrates the mother as to do not know what to do but they have to cry. Some babies cry because there is some pain they experiencing somewhere in their bodies.as the baby cries, make sure to observe the body temperature of the baby and take  him to the health care center if it worries you.

starting solid food

As mentioned in the milestones part, the baby at the age of 6 months have developed enough to start solid food. Start the baby with very soft porridge and as well it’s important not to over feed as also to have a feeding routine. Do not introduce different kinds of food at once. It may lead to the baby developing allergies. Remember to always consult with your doctor or the health care workers for advice and instructions to follow. It’s also important to keep the baby’s utensils very clean to avoid infections. Always sterilize by boiling the in clean water with a pinch of salt.

For more information  on starting  slide foods visit  https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Starting-Solid-Foods.aspx

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LET’S MEET AGAIN          

Thanks for joining me!!!. My name is Kgalalelo Mothibedi. I am a mother of four beautiful and grown up kids ( Laone 24, Kaelo 20, Khumo 14 and Obakwe 8.) I look forward to sharing my motherhood journey with you to empower and motivate you that motherhood is indeed a wonderful hood to be in

 

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Keep motivated!!!

After experiencing the isolation ,the unglamorous and the difficulty of being a teenage mother at a very young age, becoming their mother owner, Kgalalelo started to share her own untold stories of teenage motherhood journey. Kgalalelo know that there are some mums , young mums ,teenage mothers who need to know that they can still figure it all and become wonderful and powerful mothers. The online platform is for all mothers joining hands to show teenage motherhood support .To give parenting advice as well as to offer parenting tips to the teen mothers out there. All is not lost, hang in there teen mum. After being a teenage mother, Kgalalelo soared through like an eagle through the heavy storms. With determination and discipline she pushed through. She became a wife and a mother a 4. Shes a business woman and a working mom. Shes a blogger mom and a freelance writer Follow her as she shares how to figure it all out as that mum

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