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COMMUNITY SUPPORTS FOR PREGNANCY by Gold Coast Private Social Worker, Tracie Rozendaal

Being pregnant and about to become a parent can be as challenging as it can be wonderful, and can result in a range of emotions from shock and excitement, through to fear and anxiety. During this time, it is therefore important for you and your family to know how and where to access education, information and support in the community to help you manage any questions or issues you are facing. Your doctor or midwife should be your primary source of information, but there are a host of other support mechanisms, associations and classes around that can help you on your journey to parenthood. It is extremely important to pay attention to your mental health and emotional wellbeing during pregnancy and early parenthood. Expectant mothers and new parents are often more vulnerable to stress and managing this stress is far easier when you feel happy in your relationships and are generally content. If you are feeling overwhelmed or frightened, talk to someone. Opening up about your feelings will help to lift the burden and if you feel as though it is becoming too much to handle on your own, organisations such as Beyond Blue are there to offer support. https://www.beyondblue.org.au/for-me/pregnancy-and-early-parenthood/emotional-health There are also a host of free help lines that have been set up to enable parents, throughout any stage of pregnancy or parenthood, to speak with trained counsellors, registered nurses or other trained professionals. 13 HEALTH—phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) to speak to a registered nurse. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the cost of a local call. Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Helpline—phone 1800 822 436 to...

CHOOSING COLOURS FOR THE NURSERY by Gold Coast Private Physiotherapist, Tina Parker

Many people are under the misconception that babies are colour blind at birth.  This is not the case – babies’ eyes are physically capable at birth but their little brains are not yet ready to process all of the visual input they receive.  After the relatively calm and consistent view from the womb there is a lot in the outside world for them to take in. When your baby comes into the world they can focus usually only as far as your face when you hold them; they can detect light, shapes, and movement, but your face is the most fascinating thing they see.  After your face, the next most interesting things to look at are high contrast patterns which is why many mobiles and cot toys are black, red and white, with chequered patterns. By two months your baby can now process more colours but has difficulty differentiating between similar tones such red, orange and maroon.  This is why black and white patterned objects are still the favourite.  However, black and white might not be your first preference for the nursery, particularly if you don’t feel like redecorating at six months! Between two and five months, your baby will work on distinguishing more colours and will show a preference for bright, primary colours and more detailed designs.  Most toys for this age group are in bright, bold primary colours. By eight months your baby can now distinguish most pastels as well, which is commonly the first choice for nursery décor, however these can really only be appreciated by you and your visitors until your baby reaches this age....

CHOOSING THE RIGHT NAPPY by Gold Coast Private Physiotherapist, Tina Parker

You may already have your mind set on a certain brand or type of nappy, but it always pays to do research as there are plenty of options and products available – from traditional cloth nappies, through to disposable nappies and even new ‘hybrid’ nappies which are bio-degradable and eco-friendly. To help you in your decision, here are some common arguments for and against these different types of nappies for you to consider. The environment: Many will argue that contributing to all of those disposable nappies becoming landfill is a major environmental mistake. But interestingly, there are also arguments for the more local environmental impact of natural resource management – there is a lot of water involved in the rinsing, soaking, cleaning (and possibly drying in the dryer if you don’t live in year round summer) of those cloth nappies. Advocates for cloth nappies will argue that the manufacturing of the disposable nappy puts greater burden on the environment, but the disposable nappy team argue that in the processing and bleaching of cotton for the cloth nappy the same occurs.  There are new bio degradable disposable nappies which might be the best solution for those who are eco conscious. Bio degradable nappies are designed to break down quickly in landfill, and there are even ‘hybrid’ nappies available which have a cloth exterior with a flushable insert, so the answer is to do your research if you are looking for a ‘green’ solution. Your time: Without a doubt the time it takes to have clean disposable nappies (trip to the shop – or better still, delivery) is less than the...

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR ‘BABY WEARING’ from Gold Coast Private Maternity Manager, Judy Ross

‘Baby-wearing’ is the practice of carrying your baby on your body in a sling, carrier or wrap, so you can engage in your daily activities while keeping your baby close. Baby-wearing has been traditionally practiced by many cultures around the world for centuries, but has become increasingly popular in the modern world over the last decade. Deciding whether baby-wearing is the right choice for you is a personal decision. Your baby may enjoy being in a sling or carrier, as they are wired to feel comfortable when they are close to their parents.  Since they are unable to cling like other mammals – for example, a koala – babies can enjoy being held close to your body to gain confidence, warmth and reassurance.  A baby-wearer can also be a convenient and practical way to hold your baby close to you while keeping your hands free. There are a variety of different ‘baby-wearers’ on the market from wraps to slings to carriers, as well as those for specific activities such as swimming in the surf or hiking. Deciding which make or model to choose can be overwhelming, so it is best to do some research to find out which type will work best for your individual circumstances. It is important to keep the safety of your baby in mind when using a wrap or sling. The T.I.C.K.S. acronym is a helpful way to remember the rules for safe baby-wearing: TIGHT – The sling should be tight enough to hug your baby close to your body, positioned upright and with good head support. Slack or loose fabric can cause your baby...

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