5 Things new moms never talk about

In-between juggling being a new mom and coping with the lifestyle change that having a baby brings, you will quickly realise that there are some experiences that new moms don’t always readily share. Instead topics around sex life and post natal depression are swept under the carpet and rarely spoken about.

It doesn’t have to stay that way, with our list of topics that new moms never talk about, you can start striking up conversations to find out how other new moms are facing motherhood challenges and conquering them.

Your relationship will take strain
From the moment you found out you were pregnant, you likely realised that your relationship with your partner was about to change. With the arrival of the baby there may have been adjustments that are made because you’re both much more tired, worried, and overwhelmed than you’ve ever been before. You’ve come to realize how much better sleep is than sex, and you’re no longer each other’s top priority. Children can put a strain on any relationship, no matter how strong it is and that is part of parenthood, navigating the new lifestyle changes while staying committed.

Finding time for yourself can be hard
While your time was your own and you could do anything you wanted and whenever you wanted, things aren’t so simple anymore. You have more responsibilities now and need to arrange a babysitter or relative to watch the baby when you want to do something for yourself. The key is to prioritise yourself and to be consistent about having me time.

Your intuition is right most of the time
Trust your gut. Yes advice from family and loved ones is always welcome but as you ease into parenthood, you will instinctively start to know what feels right and works for you and your child.

Your priorities will change
Expect to become different. Your life has changed drastically and this will impact you. You might hear comments about being boring, safe, sensible or responsible being thrown around and that’s perfectly fine. You now have a new perspective on life now that you are a parent.

There will be disappointments
Things will not always go as you expected and you’re going to make some mistakes. It will take a while before getting things right and the beauty of this exciting journey is learning as you go along and embracing all the change that parenthood brings.

5 Tips for losing weight after baby

With baby comes weight gain and for some of us that don’t easily shed the kilos, there are tips and tricks to get rid of that extra layer of belly fat.

Follow a routine and stay consistent. Whether you sign up for gym or opt to go jogging around the block, an exercise regime will support a healthy diet and lead to a more toned figure. Exercise is also a great way to relieve yourself of pent up frustration and a great stress reliever, so get moving and release all those feel good hormones while you are at it.

Stay hydrated
Stock up on water and liquids such as fresh fruit juice and herbal tea to help you in your weight loss journey. One trick to target the stomach area is to mix one table spoon of apple cider vinegar with warm water and to have this in the morning before meals and in the evenings after meals. This simple mix has several benefits which include increasing your metabolism and naturally detoxing the digestive system.

Follow a diet plan approved by a dietician
Visit a dietician to determine which diet is best for your body type and to establish what your day to day nutritional needs are. A professional and medically approved plan can provide a balanced diet which will fast track your weight loss without putting you in any physical danger.

Stay positive
Before you even get started on a weight loss plan, focus on cultivating a positive mentality that will motivate you to be consistent, stick to your daily meal plans and go to the gym. For your physical transformation to happen, you should be able to believe that you have already accomplished your goal and the best way to do that is by staying positive.

Eat regular meals
While it’s tempting to skip meals to reduce your daily consumption of calories, studies have shown that this is counterproductive to your weight loss goals. Rather eat small, regular meals with snacks in-between to manage your weight loss.

Extra tips on losing baby fat

  • Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can adversely affect your metabolism and slow down your weight loss process.
  • Try and stay stress free. Stress can adversely affect your weight loss, so try and reduce it as much as you can.
  • Eat early. If possible, have an early dinner, somewhere between 7 and 7:30 pm., so that you are done before 8 pm. It will boost your metabolism and let you reduce weight.
  • Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take your time and set realistic targets.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Even if you have stopped breastfeeding, go easy on the alcohol, and try not to have more than one or two drinks a week.

A beginner’s guide to baby proofing your home

Make your life and that of your baby simpler and safer by thoroughly babyproofing your home. Ideally, this should be done before the baby arrives but it can also be done within the first three months of your baby’s arrival.

It’s expected that as soon as baby starts crawling and exploring, your house should be fully baby proof. Here’s how to make sure that becomes a reality;

In the bedroom and in the baby’s nursery, the baby will be spending a lot of time there so this is a great and logical place to start.

  • Inside the cot, the mattress should be comfortably fitted with no spaces between it and the crib.
  • If the crib is painted, double check that it is not peeling.
  • Install a smoke detector and check it regularly to make sure it is working.
  • Steer clear of any headboard or footboard with decorative cutouts that could entrap your baby’s head or limbs.
  • Position the cot away from curtains, windows and cupboards that have things that could fall out and harm baby. Toys that are hanging over the cot should be removed once baby can start standing.
  • Cover all plug points and keep appliances safely out of reach.
  • Position your baby’s cot away from the window

In all the rooms of the house, it is best to fasten or bolt cupboards and bookshelves so that they do not topple over if your baby pushes or touches them. Keep drawers closed to prevent an accident of your baby bumping his head against it. Put plastic outlet protectors over all unused electrical outlets.

In the kitchen where most electrical appliances are, make safety a priority by:

  • Placing small appliances like irons in cupboards on the top racks.
  • Keeping toasters, microwaves and kettles out of reach
  • Carefully lock up or stow away every potential poison or other hazard, including cleaning products, medicines, vitamins, and knives.

The sitting room or lounge is where your child will spend time watching TV or just relaxing with parents.

  • Place bumper stickers on the edges of table to soften the edges.
  • Place a smoke detector and consider investing in a fire extinguisher
  • Large or heavy bookcases, dressers, and appliances are real hazards: Bolt whatever you can to the wall. Push items like televisions back from the edge of the furniture they’re on or move them out of reach, and then secure them, too. Always put heavier items on bottom shelves and in bottom drawers to make furniture less top-heavy.
  • Babies start pulling up on furniture shortly after they start crawling. Some children scale counters, bookcases, and anything else they can grab on to. Place floor lamps behind other furniture so that their base is out of your child’s reach.
  • Keep furniture away from windows to prevent children from climbing up and reaching the window sill.
  • If you’re using extension cords in your home, cover any exposed outlets with electrical tape.

The bathroom presents a challenge as that is where there are opportunities for children to play with water or to access medication which can lead to poison.

  • Throw out medication that is no longer in use.
  • Keep the bathroom door closed at all times.
  • Never leave your baby unattended in the tub – even if he’s in a ring or bath seat and install a safety latch on your toilet lid to prevent him from accidentally falling in.

Outside areas are where children play and spend time exploring their surroundings. Keep these areas safe by having gates with locks blocking immediate access.

  • If you have a permanent pool, enclose it with a fence that’s at least 4 feet high, and lock the gate leading to the pool after each use. Always secure and lock the cover on your spa or hot tub.
  • Use a gate to limit access to the pool

In all living areas pick up any coins, marbles, beads, paper clips, and other small objects that can be easily ingested by baby. Install gates, they are great for keeping baby away from places and rooms that contain poisonous, dangerous and electrical appliances.

  • Also check windows, that they are not easily reachable.
  • For windows with curtains, keep the ties knotted and high up.
  • Use cordless window coverings wherever possible, and avoid placing your baby’s crib near a window.
  • Have a smoke alarm in every room of the house, this can halve the risk of a full blow fire.

Breastfeeding difficulties and how to work around them

Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to bond with your baby not to mention that it is very healthy for your tot. Breast milk contains antibodies which help your baby fight viruses and nasty infections also lowering the risk of allergies and lactose intolerance.

For some mommies who are quite enthusiastic about breastfeeding, it can be a difficult experience to get used to. Not to despair though because we’ve spoken to a first time mom who had difficulties but managed to conquer them to become a breastfeeding pro.

Shamiso Chaibva (35) is an IT consultant from Kensington in Johannesburg. She gave birth to her daughter, Ruvenego in April and has opted to breastfeed her daughter until she returns to work in September. She shares her breastfeeding difficulties and how she overcame them below.

“I had no milk in the first 2 to 3 days. This was quite stressful as it took a while for me to figure out I was not producing as the first milk can be clear. After I asked my lactation consultant to check, she confirmed it and I had to give my baby formula until my milk started producing.

“It was stressful as I still had to put her on the breast though nothing was secreting, to encourage breastmilk production.

The first few weeks were very painful for me each time my baby latched. The pain is indescribable, but a few seconds later it goes away. As each feed began, I dreaded the painful latching process. The pain goes away with time though and using a lanolin based nipple cream worked to alleviate the pain.

Not knowing if my daughter was full was a challenge for me especially after the few days of not producing milk. Initially I was worried I was not giving her enough, and so I bought Nun to top her up, also because she would cry I thought she might have been hungry and so I topped up. Then a week later I thought I was overfeeding her but when my milk was now flowing she was visibly growing but I feared I could have been overdoing it.

“Very little milk can be secreted during expressing especially in the beginning, after figuring out how the machine works. When very little milk is expressed it makes you wonder if you are doing it right, and if so does it mean baby is getting enough milk, and if not do you need to top up or not. For successful expressing I started drinking water as I express (works like a charm). Diet wise I would eat fenugreek seeds and jungle juice. Generally for both expressing and breastfeeding staying hydrated is key to having lots of milk. Almonds, peanuts and oat biscuits are some other food items that I have found to work for me.”

Shamiso’s top five tips for becoming a pro at breastfeeding


  1. Attend antenatal classes to help you prepare on what to expect and how to deal with it, even though it may not address all the issues it gives you a good idea.
  2. Being at peace knowing you are doing the best you can with what you have without comparing yourself with the next mummy. Some of the mommys I am with don’t have enough milk so they have to give their babies formula and that’s ok. Some have to change formulas because of different reactions and that’s ok, you are doing the best you can.
  3. Seeking help from a lactation consultant
  4. Being part of a support group or just a group of mummies with whom you can help each other.
  5. Getting help be it hired or from family and friends. Also learning to accept help, instead of thinking only you can hold your baby.
  6. Finding helpful resources such as: LLL (La Leche League) it is a nonprofit organization that organises advocacy, educational, and training related to breastfeeding. It is present in a number of countries including SA. It’s purpose is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.”

They have a Facebook as well as contacts on the page that can provide 24-hour help.


How moms can find me time

Being a mom and running a household while maintaining a career and personal life can seem impossible at times and there may barely be time to schedule some self-love and pampering sessions. But bear in mind that finding time to be alone is important.

Prioritise yourself so that you can give the best version of yourself to every sphere of your life that needs you and essentially to your baby, partner and loved ones.

While there are many ways to enjoy some alone time, we’ve rounded up some practical, simple and stress free activities that you can do on your own or while with baby.

Take a walk with the stroller
If you’ve had a c-section then going on long walks with your baby are a great way to get moving without exerting yourself.  You’ll regain your strength while exercising and clear your mind. As your baby grows older you can pop a book or some toys to keep him preoccupied. Over time your child will look forward to the long walks and enjoy taking in the people, sounds and animals around him.

Create your own mini-spa experience
Ask your partner to take care of the baby to allow you at least two hours to relax. Look at your bath time as time for you to relax and grab some salt scrubs, essential oils-infused night cream, a bubble bath and a chance to give yourself a manicure and pedicure afterwards. Take the few hours to just be in your own world.

Schedule play dates with other moms
Spending time with other moms is an outlet for you to share how the motherhood journey has been, what your frustrations are and to hear how other moms are coping. It’s also a time to share your joys and be among moms who can relate to everything you are going through.

Retail therapy and some coffee
Express some breastmilk for baby and ask dad to bond with her while you pop out for some shopping and coffee. You’ll be able to relax and let your hair down while the two of them have their own uninterrupted one-on-one session.

Take a long drive
Babies enjoy car rides, the motion is soothing to them and helps them to relax which leads to them sleeping for hours on end sometimes. Take advantage of this and let them sleep while you either explore the landscape of a town you’ve never been too or park the car at a cool and quiet place like the park and take a nap of your own or read.

Share with us how you find some me time?

Moms tell us the first things they bought for their babies

Zimkhita Mfecane of Sharonlea, Johannesburg remembers the first thing she bought for her son, Owethu.

“It was a Superman t-shirt and baby receiving blanket. Buying those two items made it more real to me that I was having my own baby boy and I couldn’t wait to him. I remember the day so clearly.

“I went to the store on my own and after wandering a bit, checking out baby clothes and shoes, I saw the perfect t-shirt. I could picture him wearing it and I couldn’t wait to colour co-ordinate with him and take selfies,” says Zimkhita.

For Sandton mom, Nolwazi Bhengu her first item that she bought for her daughter was a toy.

“I wanted my daughter to have a toy that would remind her how loved and cared for she is. With clothes, they outgrow them fast and I know toys are more durable and my daughter would have a lasting memento of  the very first thing that I bought her before she was born.”

Centurion based Koketso Ncube says she went on a shopping spree when she had officially reached her second trimester. Koketso adds that she didn’t want to rush into buying baby clothes before she was cleared of pregnancy related risks.

“Immediately after I left my doctor, where I had gone for a check-up, I went shopping and bought so many things for my son! I remember buying a baby bathtub, blankets and so may onesies that I lost count. I still have many of the things I bought him and I’m saving them for my other children because I’d like to start a tradition where they wear a specific onesie when they come back from hospital,” says Koketso.

What was the first item you bought for your baby?


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