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the pregnancy and birth magazine for today’s woman — and her man! Uganda 7,000/Kenya 250/Tanzania 5,000/-

Issue 18 MONTHS your baby growth & care guide from birth to 1st birthday

My precious gift Pregnant man’s journal

Nail care

What you should know

Am I in labour?

Signs to look out for

Spinach

The power in the green

Your fitness

Keeping trouble away

Cervical cancer Signs and symptoms

HIV/AIDS

Know your status

Say‘I LOVE YOU’ and !

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It’s FREE, It’s Easy, It’s Fun!

Mambo Mbotela ‘My wife, my anchor’

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inside 26 what’s

Facing Life

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Cover Model the pregnancy and birth magazine for today’s woman — and her man!

Linda Kemunto

Planning for a baby

11 77

50 Adam & Eve

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18

44

8

Before Delivery 10 - 12 Planning for a baby: Are you ready for a baby? Planning ahead of time 14 - 15 9 months: I am set to have my baby 16 Upper room: The beauty within 17 Due Date Guide

Journal Section

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18 - 21 Been there: Mambo Mbotela 22 - 24 Mja Mzito journals 25 It’s a pregnant world 26 - 27 Facing life: My second miracle 28 Diary of a nurse: My first test as a nurse 48- 49 Pregnant man’s journal: My precious gift 50 Adam & Eve: Pamper her this Christmas

Labour & Delivery 44 - 45 Am I in labour? Signs to look out for 46 - 47 Celebrating birth

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dR 'p' & Health 8 Dear Doctor ‘P’ 40 Nutrition: Spinach—the power in the green 41 Health Issues: Cervical cancer

Beauty, fitness & safety

32 - 39 Mja Mzito Fashion

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7 Tummy Butter 42 Nail care 43 Fitness—Keeping trouble away

preggy bits 5 First word 6 Speak on a pregnant note

29 - 30 HIV and Aids: Know your status

31 HIV and Aids: Basic facts 66 Tit Bits: Did you know? 76 Shy moments

MONTHS your baby growth & care guide from birth to 1st birthday

52 Moulding his character 53 Baby profile 54 - 56 Expressing love through breast milk 57 - 58 Investing in your baby DayCare—Just like home 60- 62 Mum's Diary 63 HIV and baby 64- 65 In the dock

67 - 75

Merry manual 1


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the pregnancy and birth magazine for today’s woman — and her man!

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the pregnancy and birth magazine for today’s woman — and her man! Uganda 5,000/Kenya 200/Tanzania 3,000/-

It Happened To Me!

Issue 8 2007

High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Issue 9 2007

Pap Smear

Issue 6

IS IT ESSENTIAL?

Roadside Delivery

Coping With Stillbirth

Rejection

Passing Your Expected Due Date SHOULD IT WORRY YOU?

DURING PREGNANCY

A WORKING MUM’S DILEMMA

Issue 7

your baby growth & care guide from birth to 1st birthday

Meet Princess Farida’s Newborn!

Who Will Nurse Me After Delivery? Television Sports Presenter

your baby growth & care guide from birth to 1st birthday

Leaving Your Baby At Home Is It Causing You Stress?

Complementary Feeding Nyatichi Sitati’s Baby Time

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A Must For All Babies

MjaMzitO

Mary Wavinya

My Baby Could Not Stop Breastfeeding! Esther Wahome Protecting My Baby Is A Priority

the pregnancy and birth magazine for today’s woman — and her man! Uganda 5,000/Kenya 200/Tanzania 3,000/-

How A Woman Can Break The Ice

Issue 11

Asunta Wagura How I Planned for Baby Joshua

Lack of Periods

 your baby growth & care guide from birth to 1st birthday

Should A Baby’s Hair Be Shaved?

Black Beans

Will They Make My Unborn Baby BIG?

STOP Your Baby’s Thumb-sucking

Buying Diapers

Sheila’s Diary

Weight Gain Cracked Nipples Baby Memory Box Scars After Pregnancy Episiotomy And Sex

What To Consider

Should It Worry You?

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What You Need To Know About ‘Fistula’

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2008

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Fertility Demystified A Parent’s Moment of Terror

UNEVEN SHAPE Of Baby’s Head

Should Men Attend Antenatal Clinic!

Co-joined Twins

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the pregnancy and birth magazine for today’s woman — and her man! Uganda ,/Kenya /Tanzania ,/-

Worry Not

You Are The Man

Issue 14

A Man’s Viewpoint

A Man Can Be In The Know

Hadija Bakari’s Story

Hard Baby ‘Poo’

What Can One Do To Ease It?

How to Loose It

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Dr Doctor ‘P’ Your Pregnancy Queries Answered

NO PLEASE!

When Your Baby Says A Regular No To Food

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Factors To Consider East Africa

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What A Man Can Do To Brighten Her Day What Is Your Plan For Him? East Africa What A Man Must Not Do 1

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Hints For Survival

How To Tell She’s Pregnant!

What Will He Say?

your baby growth & care guide from birth to 1st birthday

Time for Love

East Africa

Premature Birth

Is My Baby Safe?

Darling, I’m Pregnant!

Weight After Delivery

Tips To Encourage Him To Antenatal Classes

You Are NOT Alone!

BLESSINGS AFTER 4 MISCARRIAGES

Epilepsy

Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered!



Alias ‘Papa Shirandula’

Save Your Baby From Rickets

Issue 10

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Basic Rules For Men

Issue 12

CONVULSIONS

Uncontrollable Bladder

your baby growth & care guide from birth to 1st birthday

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Pregnancy and Passion

2008

your baby growth & care guide from birth to 1st birthday

Stretch Marks?

‘He Who Loves His Wife Loves Himself’

Charles Bukeko

Rhesus Negative Mum’s Worry

Issue 9

the pregnancy and birth magazine for today’s woman — and her man!

Romance After Delivery

2008

Will My Blood Group Harm My Baby?

Can Kill Your Child

MjaMzit1O

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What Some Men Say About It Know When To Resume What Makes It Difficult For A Woman Steps To Make It Work For You

Excessive Saliva During Pregnancy

Dehydration East Africa

‘I Will Accept The Outcome!’

Issue 8

Sex After Delivery

Thank God For The Second Opinion

My Husband Or My Mother-in-Law?

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Susan Kamau ‘I’m Ready!’

Issue 10 2007

LOVE, SEX AND ROMANCE

Coping With It

To Hire A Nanny Or Stay At Home

Let’s Cook TV Hostess

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My Uterus Was Almost Removed!

RHODA’S EXPERIENCE

WHAT TO DO WHEN A WOMAN DELIVERS UNEXPECTEDLY

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Intimacy Tips

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‘I Had Child Birth Phobia’ Say‘I LOVE YOU’ and !

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Wooing Your Man Back

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PREGNANT MAN ‘ÍT IS A MIRACLE’

CIRCUMCISING YOUR INFANT

Baby’s Slow Development

THE GOOD AND THE BAD

Coping with autism

TEST TUBE BABIES

Breast Cancer

ADAM & EVE

Expectant Fathers

OLDER & EXPECTING

Wambui Otieno Mbugua

HOPE FOR THE INFERTILE

Not a death sentence

REVIVING ROMANCE AFTER DELIVERY

The fear factor

Talks about motherhood in her time

‘I’m a woman in all respects’

THE PROS AND CONS

Reflections 2 Issue 15

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KENYA’S FIRST PREGNANCY MAKE-OVER

My Pregnancy Mini Diary

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Jocasa House, Nakasero Road Kampala, Uganda Tel.: +256(414) 340160 E-mail: pregnant@integral-advisory.com

Post-natal Depresion

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Publishing and Production Director Ashington Ngigi Editorial Director Joyce Njenga

Featured in Pregnant Issue 3 Page 48.

s re tu t ea ge f f nd sion o a ies fy es er nti epr a s ide l D of ou ata 1 y n rt lp st Pa he f Po to d o ri

Copies of this edition are available from stockists listed on Page 23.

Editor Anne Mukei Assistant Editor Brenda Wangwe Consulting Editors Medical Content

Dr. Blasio Omuga

Obstetrician/Gynaecologist

Dr. David Kiragu

Obstetrician/Gynaecologist

Staff Writers

Rebecca Njoki

Elizabeth Ombati Contributors Obstetrician/Gynaecologist

Paediatrician

Dr. Weston Khisa 50

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Nappy Rash Featured in Pregnant Issue 7 Page 54. Copies of this edition are available from stockists listed on Page 23.

Dr. Kituyi Adelaide Subscriptions and Enquiries Rebecca Gitu

Design and Layout

Photography

Rosalia M. Kinyua

Emmanuel Jambo Integral Media Team

Distribution

Advertising and Marketing Anne Kigathi Leah Gachuhi

Nation Media & Publishing Ltd.

Circulation, Promotion and Public Relations Anthony Kibagi Integral Media Outreach Team Pregnant is published every month by Integral Media. Subscription is available to East African residents. All rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any material in this magazine is prohibited. The Editor welcomes contributions for which rights will be reserved by the publisher upon publication unless with prior alternative agreement with the publisher. Unsolicited contributions will not be acknowledged. Material submitted will not be returned and no responsibility will be accepted for the custody or damage of any material submitted. The publisher will not accept any responsibility for errors in material published. The publisher will not accept responsibility for the interpretation, use or any consequences arising from use of any material published in this magazine. The Editor reserves the right to edit all material for publication. Views expressed in articles, photographs and advertisements in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.

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FIRST WORD Hi! My first child was born on Christmas Day. It's quite an experience to have a midwife urging you to 'puuush!' with Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, It's Christmas time in the City... rending the air in the background. Friends and family at home and fun spots were busy gulping down every drink and foodstuff they could lay their eyes on, while I was stuck in the delivery room, bearing down. While every one else out there was singing 'amezaliwa bwana', I was singing a different song. Luckily, my hubby was by my side as I laboured out the day. I could see the look in his eyes silently nudging me, 'Hey love, get this done with!' But as we all know, there is no rushing mother nature and it was not until 4 p.m. that the young one was born. He came out like a warrior ready for the world, seeming to pop out like a pop corn. It was a sort of anti climax for me, given how long he had taken to make the decision to come out—and causing me severe pain in the process. Now that he was out, he seemed to realise that the world was tougher than anticipated and he surely cried his vocals hoarse. I smiled; it was rather ironical, given that I was the one who should have been crying—after all the labour pain; and he should have been rejoicing at joining the world. My hubby seemed satisfied with the results. A baby boy on Christmas Day is not something he had burgained for. We had not checked the sex of the baby, so everything—from the unexpected labour to delivery on Christmas Day and a boy for our first born—was coming to us in pleasant bouts of surprises. 'What a Christmas!' I thought to myself, as fatigue knocked me out into a lull of sleep. I had not caught a wink since midnight of the eve of Christmas. When I awoke, there was a bevy and flurry of activity around me. Family and friends had rushed to hospital to come see my latest antiques—acting Mary, mother of Jesus. My hubby had not wasted any time in publising the fact that we had delivered a baby 'on Christmas Day.' It was my turn to experience the joy and love of Christmas as they surrounded me with warmth, affection and thanksgiving to God. It is this kind love and care that I wish you all at this time. May the Almighty send a breeze of warmth and fondness your way as we brace for the New Year.

JoyC It’s time to say ‘I LOVE YOU!’ to your pregnant wife or your husband! It’s EASY and FUN! YES! Your chance to say ‘I LOVE YOU’ is NOW!

By simply writing to Pregnant, you can express your best thoughts to your lovely wife or your loving hubby. Pregnant has launched a new, beautiful ‘I LOVE YOU’ card, specially for Pregnant COUPLES! Once you send to us your message and the postal address of your wife or husband, we will send an exciting card on your behalf, with your message, expressing your LOVE! A total and pleasant surprise for your loved one. IT’S FREE, IT’S EASY, IT’S FUN!

s ! s e lf r p rse x e u yo

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Pregnant a blessing

I would like to thank Pregnant magazine. It has been more like a doctor to me, from day one of my pregnancy to date. I cannot thank you enough. I am due on the 20th of this month. My journey has been smooth except for vomiting that has not stopped. The doctor assured me that I am fine though. Thank you so much Pregnant.

First is to thank you and congratulate you on your good work. Pregnant came to my aid when I needed help the most—through the invaluable information it offers. I would like to know how I could put my story through to help other women who may be looking for answers as I was, and to communicate with those who just need a word of encouragement. Pregnancy is a joy and that beautiful young being in the mother’s womb is a blessing.

Razia Ali

Christine Nyambura

EDITOR We at Pregnant are glad to know that the magazine has been of great help to you. We greatly appreciate your readership.

EDITOR Thanks for your compliments and for being a reader of Pregnant. Indeed pregnancy is a real blessing, something to be enjoyed. Please send us your story; our writers will get back to you.

Superb new look

I am 20 weeks pregnant and enjoy reading Pregnant. I love the new look. The articles published therein are well thought, and make interesting reading. The layout and design is also superb. Keep up the good work. Jane Mbithe EDITOR Jane, your note is encouraging and uplifting. Pregnant team will strive to keep up the standards.

Dear Doctor ‘P’ Send Your Pregnancy Questions To ‘Doctor P’. See Page 6

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Issue 

We salute you

My wife had just gotten pregnant when I came across a copy of Pregnant magazine. She is almost due. She had been going through a lot of changes and most of the time we did not know how to handle the frequent discomfort and mood swings she experienced. Then one day as I did my shopping I spotted a copy of the magazine. I was quick to grab one. Since then we have less to complain about. We salute you for your good work. Martin Oduor

ur Wooing Yo Man Back

Issue 

it! How to do

TWINS IN PREGNANCY

Baby’s Slowent Developm

A lot of connec

tion

HEADACHES What

h autism Coping wit

to do

Cancerce Breast th senten

CEREBRAL PAL SY

Not a dea

Happens—but does NOT hav e to

t Fathers Expectfacan tor The fear a ieno Mbugu i Wambu Otood in her time

ADOPTING A CHILD

Your legal guid

e

motherh pects’ Talks about n in all res

CONCEIVING After stopping contraception

MAKIN A LOV ING HUBBY & FATGHE RTOBE

r rie Rogo Make-ove O Manduli

‘I’m a woma

EGNA FIRST PR KENYA’S

AKE- OV NCY M

EDITOR Martin, the Pregnant team is honoured and humbled by your sentiments. We are glad to have kept you company and wish you happy parenting.

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‘MY STORY...’

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Tummy

Butter

T

Tummy Butter is a unique moisturizing formula made from cocoa butter, vitamin E, collagen, elastin and soothing lavender essential oil. It is a moisturizing body cream designed to soothe the itchy skin of pregnant women, thus the lavender oil for its soothing qualities elastin for the stretching skin. It is also used to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks on skin. The months prior to and after birth can cause great worry to a new mother. She may begin to notice changes in her skin, such as the appearance of slivery lines running across her belly. These are the dreaded stretch marks that with care can cause less worry to a pregnant woman if treated before they appear. Properties of tummy butter Since the cream is intended for pregnant women, most of it contains little or no fragrance in order to ensure little irritation during morning sickness where smells affect women the most. It has a soft texture, is as smooth as butter, and easily rubs on the skin. Tummy butter does not cause irritation on the skin since it is mild. How to use it Gently rub a small amount in your hands until it melts. Then apply on the tummy in a concentric fashion, massaging it into the skin. Mothers find that it doubles well as a lip balm and cuticle cream. Take note that tummy butter melts in warm temperatures so do not leave it in a hot car or close to a heat source. Uses & suitability of tummy butter Tummy butter promotes pliant and youthful skin, providing a moisture barrier so that it helps prevent the development of stretch marks. It is also used after bath to moisturize a pregnant woman’s sensitive skin. Tummy butter is also suitable for other parts of the body other than just the tummy and also for general family use. It helps in getting rid of irritation on the skin, especially where it has cracked. It can also be used in cases of eczema, where part of the skin becomes red and scaly. It is a genetic and common skin condition that should not cause any undue alarm. Clean and dry skin thoroughly, then apply tummy butter and with time it will clear. This formula can also be used in cases of chafing. When there is friction between a mother’s clothing and skin, or where areas of skin rub together, chafing can result. Remove or minimize anything that is tight or rubs against the skin, like rubber pants or straps. Cleanse, rinse and dry skin thoroughly, then apply tummy butter. It can alternatively be used on baby’s skin in case chafing occurs too.

7


Dear Doctor ‘P’ send your questions to: pregnant@integral-advisory.com answers are provided jointly by our team of doctors

None mothe ri

ng instincts I am mother to a two-and-a-ha lf year old son. had any mater Since I had him nal instincts. I fe I have not ar it will be like I see everyone this forever. I se else and preten e him like d to all about ho What can I do to w much he mea have that overw ns to helming love th for one’s baby? at a mother shou me. I feel guilty. ld have Under such circ umstances, it is normal to feel out. Review yo guilty. But you ur relationship can work it with the father whether all thro of your child. As ugh your pregna k yourself ncy you warmed were going to be a mother. An up to the fact th at you d what was th and post natal e quality of yo care, what wer ur prenatal e the social and Again, what was em otional circum your economic stances? situation, and w at the time of yo hat were your ur pregnancy? priorities At present try and give more attention to yo about children. ur child. Get in Read easily un formation derstood book with fellow pare s and magazin nts (especially es. Socialise those in your sit family counselin uation). You may g and spiritual also seek guidance to em Also look back bark on self di on your upbrin scovery. ging to rekind parents interact le memories of ed with you. Yo ho w your u m a spark, warmin ay discover an element that w g your heart’s ill ignite attitude towards parental love w your child. The ill then be arou magic of sed. ra cond child, afte y be normal? Will my bab now 15 weeks pregnant with my seins since I was four

d normal pelvic pa I am 34 years an tablets which experienced ab ve ha I p. ga adril and folic ar m so ed nine ye ib cr es perience severe . My doctor pr 97kgs; I also ex at , weeks pregnant gh nced hi so al is due to my adva y weight abnormal baby have helped. M an how t on ge ay ce vi m I ad is worry would like I g. in nc backaches. My rie pe ov fore I disc ered oblems I am ex avy drinker be he a age, and the  pr as as w I n r confirming I w y diet. Agai mediately afte im to go about m d pe op st I t cting bu that I was expe . nt pregna ars cal age of 36 ye ached the criti re in t pa no s ic lv ha t pe e nced bu ber. Th increase in num Your age is adva ed es ne iti al d an rm no ed ab ag omal be man when chromos nancy. This can diet for ed in early preg ct ith a balanced pe w ex ue in be nt to co is to y may ed nc ne na u in preg baby. Yo reduce weight not affect the to t ery. A or liv eff y de r An te . af owth undertaken be ld healthy baby gr ou sh d t the baby an problems. adversely affec ld solve all your ou sh re ca l ta brain of the good antena pregnancy. The in d se it vi ad t baby ’s system ption is no enters into the l Alcohol consum ho a is co al is n Th . he se the ca g then. W baby is growin ose as should be it uc n gl t tio di no d ad In an . , used tissues is preferentially xic to other body that urce. It is also to so pends on. Now de gy er by en ba er e w th po at th ms, le em st ob sy pr rnal body In case of affects the inte ur pregnancy. yo r ito on m y. y el osel effectiv you stopped, cl dress the issue care should ad rt pe ex l ta na ante

Chemical use — is it safe?

Our Team Of Experts Dr. Blasio Omuga

Lecturer, School of Nursing Sciences, University of Nairobi Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist Based at Doctors’ Plaza, Clinic No. 18, Kenyatta National Hospital

Dr. David Kiragu

Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist Based at KAM Health Services IPS Building, 1st Floor, Kimathi Street, Nairobi

Dr. Weston Khisa Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist Based at Hurlingham Family Health Clinic Nyaku House, Hurlingham, Nairobi

Dr. Kituyi Adelaide Consultant Paediatrician Based at Afya Royal Clinics Uchumi Hyper, Mezz Floor, Ngong Road, Nairobi

Unparalle

l

growth ra I need to kn te ow what det ermines ba are both nin by’s growth e months o . That is, if tw ld, chances the other. W o babies are that on hy is this so e will look b ? I also wou women is th igger than ld like to kn e same. ow if breast milk for all Different gro wth rate in babies partl developme y nt in the w omb. Smalle depends on the cond small after ition of r babies ten birth. Cong d to contin enital malfo growth reta ue being rmations an rdation. Dis d malnutrit eas and develo ion cause pment, as d e occurrence also affe cts child gro o e s psycholog abnormal p wth arent-child ical disturb ances such relationship as . an It can be a cause of alar m dependin rate. A med g on the dis ical check u p p is necess ary to estab arity in growth lish the cau Breast milk se. in al nature. Som l women is relatively the same in e mothers have breas jaundice (y t milk that ca composition and ellowing of uses breast the skin ide are at least milk ntified in b a week old re astfe ), b ut this is ra feeding is re re. Note that d babies who commende exclusive b d for the firs reast t four to six months.

I am two months pregnant and I have been using a cream called hips to uplift my hips. I am still using it but I am worried that it might affect the baby. Please advice.

8

Any cream is not advised for use in pregnancy, unless absolutely necessary. While pregnant, hip pains occur and hip lifting may be a problem. This is best managed by postural changes, exercises and good diet. Whenever necessary get rest. Use prescribed analgesics (painkillers) and supplements. Be careful about use of chemicals in pregnancy. It can affect your baby’s development.


9


Planning

for a baby

Are you ready for a baby? By Rebecca Njoki

Janet and Godfrey had been happily married for five years. But in all this time they had not had a child. Parents and friends were starting to worry that there would never be an addition in the family. There was speculation that one of them could be infertile. Many wondered why the couple did not consider adoption as an option. ‘We were not yet ready for a baby and it did not matter what opinion others had,’ Godfrey says. Finally, the couple was ready to have a child. What factors are these that led them to determine the ‘right time’? Financial status

Most parents-to-be want to create a comfortable home for their forthcoming child, not wanting them to lack, especially their basic needs. They would rather build their fortunes first, as a way of preparing to have children. Different couples have different ideas as to what building their fortune is. Some may decide to save up for the future education of children, or building a house, while for some it may just be establishing a firm foundation in their career.

Further education

Sometimes balancing school and motherhood may be difficult. A woman may decide to first immerse her attention on career development. This may take some time. This is particularly the case if she has agreed to support her husband with providing for the family as opposed to being a housewife.

Age

Is there really a right age to attain before parenthood? Dr Blasio Omuga says it could be between 18 to 35 years of age if all other conditions that a couple has set are favourable. Though late childbearing finds a mature, it could lead to complications for both the mother and the baby. The mother is prone to high

blood pressure, miscarriage and gestational diabetes while the baby may have a low birth weight, or even Downs Syndrome.

Emotional readiness

What best describes your feelings and your spouse’s feelings towards the prospect of having a baby? Are there views of bringing up a child that you differ on? It is best for a couple to wait until they are mentally ready. This way, there is no reason to fret about the ability to raising the child properly. As a mother-to-be has concerns about the gravity of the life she is carrying, bearing and raising up the child, her husband has his fears too. He is probably asking himself whether he is ready to be a daddy.

Will we make good parents?

The answer may not immediately surface, but if an agreement is in order and the priorities are right, chances are both will be excellent parents. At the same time if the man is given a say in when parenthood should start, he will be emotionally prepared to take charge. But if one partner feels as if they are being pushed or pressured to have a baby, then there may arise arguments and constant fights. These could lead to resenting the baby.

Below are simple questions that may help you conclude on your readiness to having a baby You decided to have a baby when:

a) You were financially and emotionally stable b) You turned thirty c) You were pressured by parents

A pregnant woman is:

a) Beautiful b) Natural c) Fat

Your view of having a child is:

a) Being responsible for another life b) Having someone to tell your stories to, and carry on the family line c) Having something of your own

Which best describes your feelings about having a child?

a) It will challenge and fulfill me in new ways

10

b) It will make my partner and family happy c) I just always assumed I would have kids

Will my partner and I will make good parents.?

a) True b) Not sure c) False

On religious matters, my partner and I:

a) Are in agreement as to the path the child will follow b) Have not agreed which way to go c) Are quiet about it

How much time do you currently spend with babies and children?

a) I work with kids and/or go out of my way

to spend time with them b) I enjoy seeing them on holidays and special occasions c) I never see them except in malls or restaurants

If you have answered a) in most of your answers, you are definitely ready for an additional member in the family. If you have b) in most of the answers, then you need to wait for a while and sort out the issues holding you back from going for the a) answers. If option c) makes up most of your answers then you need more planning yet.


Planning

ahead of time

O

One time, you only want to be with your mummy. Then comes a time you wish for the latest toy in town. Some time after that, it is the girlfriends you cannot unlatch yourself from. And then you graduate into preferring being with your serious boyfriend who you pray will marry you—so you can; one, have the great companionship for keeps; and, two, have a BABY! Njeri Njiru narrates her story to Brenda Wangwe. What has been the trigger? It is a desire that has been accruing with age and has intensified by seeing this gentleman who gives me the ‘forever’ feeling that makes me very secure about taking the next step of life. I did not know great character could stimulate the motherhood juices. But here I am, looking forward to bringing a human being into this world. What is your plan? First, I am looking forward to having my man quickly propose so that the process can set off in, say, two years, when I will be 28. Otherwise, I am getting as much info on pregnancy as I can. I am reading books, and browsing the net. I am working on adding weight on to my 46kgs frame to cut down the complications that are normally susceptible to underweight expectant mothers. I am already changing my eating habits, for the better. I am making myself accustomed to wholesome food, taking more glasses of water—a drink that I am yet to like, and farmiliarising my body with exercises. I want to rule out any physical setbacks that may come with conceiving.

11


Planning

for a baby

Do you have any financial plans? Definitely. My two-year plan has a financial bracket. Every month I put aside a certain per cent of money for what I specifically term as ‘school fees’. What do you see about your baby’s future? I see my baby growing to be a great person. And from what I have learnt from my mum, he should be better than I am (in his own way)—nothing less. I am a driven person. I know what I want and I go for it. My friends knowing this say my child will have big shoes to fit in. He does not have a choice! What do you expect of your future husband when you finally fall pregnant? I would like him to listen, encourage, reassure and also say great things to our child. I would like him to massage my back and my legs, accompany me to the clinic, help me with shopping—I know some may say my expectations are quite unrealistic, but I believe we can work around these through communication, understanding and tolerance. The good thing is that the potential father of my child already has an astounding record. And we are together reading books and other material that teach on harmonious blending and great handling of the effect that is likely to follow the blend—a baby. Do you hear the biological clock ticking louder and louder? No. I am peaceful and patient because I am planning in good time. And as optimistic as I may sound, I am a very practical person, therefore, keeping all options open. I am ready to handle whichever eventuality. Boy or girl? Hey, boy! I already see his sky-blue room. I have a name as well, which I will not disclose—especially to folks who do not like being creative. Two years after that, the girl should follow. Then we close the deal. How much time do you plan to spend with your children? As much as possible. I want to get home on time to do their homework with them, see them feeding, tuck them in bed and read them bedtime stories. They will not escape discipline. Do you have any fears? Sure. The pain. From what I have heard, it is something out of this world. But my desire for a baby surpasses that. Policy To come up with my own idea of pregnancy. Everyone’s opinions put together can be confusing.

12


13


9

months

‘Am set to have my baby’

Anne Wambua continues with her story on her journey towards having a second child.

‘I have never planned for anything before like I have for this baby. I am practically counting the days to my EDD. January seems too far. I cannot wait for Christmas to come and go.’ 14


A

As I write this, it is 9am; and I have already had two meals. I feel constantly hungry. When I do, nausea soon follows. So I have to eat, instantly and constantly—I feel faint when the hunger pangs strike. But when I have a bite of food or sip a drink, the feeling dissipates as quickly as it came. Strange. It is like a raging fire dying away after being doused with water. I am very pregnant. My stomach is big, and now I can feel the weight. I have learnt to wake up from bed in style, and also to turn in bed in style. I went to clinic last week, and I found out that I had added 2kgs. I was pleasantly surprised. This is because since I got pregnant 30 or so weeks ago, I have only been adding 1kg per month. But in the last one month this has doubled. This is good news. It means my baby is growing. The doctor promised me that the weight will from now on build up steadily. I do not mind. And am glad, for any weight I add seems to be going to my tummy, and no where else. My face has not changed; my arms and legs are the same. My friends tell me I am lucky. I know I am; pregnancy can really alter ones’ entire look. Actually it is hard to tell I am expecting when you see me seated. It is only when I get up that you will be surprised at my bulging tummy. I cannot wait to have my child, to see him grow. I see pictures of mothers holding their infants and this fills me with so much excitement and warmth. It will soon be my turn. I had a baby shower last Saturday. Actually, my sister Rose held one for me. It was a complete surprise. All along I have thought I am the secretive and creative one. But then I got to rethink this. I understand that for close to a month my loved ones have been plotting how to surprise me. And surprise me they did. Playing the ultimate sleuth, my hubby somehow got hold of my phone and accessed the numbers on my phone book. He got contacts of my friends that my sister needed. Then they went ahead to hatch a plan on how they would catch me unawares. On this Wednesday evening I listen on to a conversation between the two of them.

We shall be going to view my sister’s car, of which she intends to sell. A friend of my hubby is keen on buying one like that, I hear. I enquire on who is this interested party and I am informed that I do not know them as yet. And so I shall take him (my hubby) there on Saturday afternoon. Mentally I quickly cancel the dates I had set for this day. And I look forward to going for this long drive with my beloved—my sister stays in the outskirts of the city. I walk into her house to be greeted by a group of about 20 girls, shouting ‘surprise’. It was all I could do not to burst into tears. I was deeply touched. How could I have been so blind? And to think that I had been constantly in touch with these people. Is it not only yesterday that I spoke with Irene? And she did not send any signal. And the day before yesterday I sat down with Eunice and Eda for a long coffee chat! I even find Ruth, a neighbor. I feel cheated. In a nice way. It is an awesome baby shower. The food is good and so is the company. We have lots of girl talk and the gifts are beautiful, thoughtful. So now I have most of the baby stuff. I was looking at it later on after the event and it hit me that yes, I really am going to have a baby. The sweet little items are enough to make even the coldest of hearts go mellow. I am not a planner by nature. And so is my man. But this time round I am prepared. This weekend the baby cot will be ready. And last week we rearranged our home to accommodate our soon to be born child. And my dear mother got me a house help. I finally gave in to the idea of someone helping me run the house. All along I have felt that it is still too early to have one. But my hubby has been feeling sorry for me. He tells me that with extra hands I will now be able to paint my nails and rest more. I have never had a live-in help before. My life is sure going to change. Today I woke up to find that she had packed my lunch and breakfast. And as I left for work I thought to myself—not bad. Now I know it will be a while before I eat my husband’s cooking. But all is in order.

15


U pp e r R o o m

Within The

beauty By Lucy Simiyu

Personal encounters with family and friends who are expectant in recent months have left me reeling with concern about general attitudes and perceptions towards pregnancy.

O

One friend confided in me that she had been to compare themselves unfavorably to others. Such told she was fat (how else is a size 12 five-month comparisons can lead to a lot of human misery and pregnant woman supposed to look like?); while feelings of inadequacy. In addition, Collins points a relative of mine was pre-occupied with the out that feelings of inferiority can lead one to feel pimples on her face. Yet another one did not seem isolated and unlovable; have difficulty in getting comfortable with her increased appetite. In each along with others, and exhibit an inability to accept scenario, I found myself affirming and assuring the compliments or expressions of love. It is important mothers-to-be that what they were going through for the pregnant woman to begin to assess her was normal for a pregnant woman. true worth and shut out society’s negative voices. What began as a mental search on what was While acknowledging the value of maintaining happening to my expectant family members and balance between fashion, health and pregnancy, friends, led me to the realization that by the time the seemingly unpleasant physical changes should most women are getting pregnant, there are so many not mar the beauty that lies within. In identifying unresolved issues in regard to their appearance. your beauty as an expectant woman, take time and In a society that dictates how the perfect woman list down your assets which include your talents, should look like, we are all bent on ensuring that your good traits, and your strengths. It will also be we measure up to the prescribed standards’ and so helpful for you to remind yourself the value you when our tummies bulge or our faces are no longer add to other people’s lives. You may be the one smooth, we panic at the possibility of losing face. people confide in, or the one who cheers others What most of us do not realize is that we have an up. Visit an aunt or friend who has gone through inner beauty that is too often neglected. pregnancy and share your fears and anxieties rather For the expectant women, your true value lies than sit alone in a pity-party of sorts, mourning the more in this internal beauty than loss of your ‘perfect’ figure. in the physical changes you are For the expectant women, The beauty within is greater experiencing. An obsession with your true value lies more in than what society could ever societal expectations regarding give you so find it, live it and this internal beauty than in share it. your outward appearance can easily drive one to develop an the physical changes you are inferiority complex. Collins, Gary experiencing. An obsession with The writer is a member of the Trauma Counsellors’ Network (Kenya). She R. (PhD) in his book Christian societal expectations regarding is also a psychological counsellor counselling: a comprehensive and mentor by profession, and guide while making reference your outward appearance can has a Master of Arts in Counselling to Alfred Adler, a European easily drive one to develop an Psychology from the United States psychiatrist states that people who inferiority complex. International University (Africa). feel inadequate and inferior tend

16


My due date guide Name

Due Date Simply identify the first day of your last menstrual period, and proceed to find your due date right next on your RIGHT Important Note: This table is a guide for your EDD. The exact delivery date could be up to 2 weeks before or after your EDD.

- EXAMPLE 1 (Shaded in RED): If the first day of your last period was 20th February, then your due date is 27th November of the same year - EXAMPLE 2 (Shaded in GREEN): If the first day of your last period was 7th June, then your due date is 14th March of the next year - EXAMPLE 3 (Shaded in BLUE): If the first day of your last period was 14th November, then your due date is 21st August of the next year Jan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Jan

Feb Oct 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Nov

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Mar Nov 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Dec Feb

Mar

Apr Dec 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4 5 Jan

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

May Jan 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Feb Apr

May

Jun Feb 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mar

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Jul Mar 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4 5 6

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Apr Jun

Jul

Aug Apr 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 May

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Aug

Sep May 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Jun

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Oct Jun 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Jul Sep

Oct

Nov Jul 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Aug

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Dec Aug 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4 5 6

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Sep Nov

Sep 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Oct

Dec

Designed and distributed FREE by

TM

17


MBOTELA’S PHOTOS BY RAPHAEL KHISA

Been There

Mambo Mbotela ‘My wife, my anchor’

Pregnant staff writer Elizabeth Ombati cannot help but marvel at Leonard Mambo Mbotela as he narrates his life and times. This he does with ease, with details on his fingertips. His is a journey that has spanned several decades of broadcasting, with rich memories kept in the confines of his heart. Above all, he is a family man who respects and loves his wife deeply. What does he have to say about pregancny and his experiences as a father? 18


O

On the morning of August 1, 1982 as Leonard Mambo Mbotela went on air with the unexpected shocking news that the government had been toppled, all that was rushing through his head was the safety of his family. The only words he had been able to tell them as he was matched out of his house at gunpoint was to pray. And now almost three decades later, Mambo talks about his family, the pillar of strength that saw him through those tumultuous days when he thought his life had come to an end. And happy he is to tell about the precious people in his life. ‘This quest is deep, because it is from the depths of my heart,’ says Mambo. For a man who never declares his age, these are words full of meaning. And just like a grandchild listens to his grandfather narrate the heroic deeds of past years, my ears are open, ready to hear this veteran journalist’s invaluable story. Who knows? He may get to reveal his age in the process.

My heaven-sent wife, Alice Mwikali

I came to Nairobi in the year 1964 and joined the then East African Standard as a linotype operator cum trainee reporter. This saw me garner experience in the media from where I was able to join the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation then known as Voice of Kenya. It is then that I thought of starting an interactive programme targeting young people and the famous programme, Salamu za Vijana was born. The programme turned out to be very popular and unknown to me, more good tidings were on the way. The programme used to attract numerous responses from the audience and as would be expected, girls turned out to be the die-hard fans. I got requests through letters and some adventurous youngsters even sent me love letters. I was happy that the new programme I had started was making it big out there but then the best was yet to come. Alice Mwikali, my wife to be soon came along. As one of my listeners, she expressed interest in meeting ‘this young man with a heavenly voice’. I did not hesitate in giving my answer back. Yes, I would meet her. I have never understood why I chose to meet her because there had been numerous similar requests from other ladies, but it is Alice that my heart settled on meeting. Alice made it to Nairobi from Machakos right on time. She was a beauty. On meeting her, I saw a wife. I knew she was the woman of my dreams and I could already visualize

the three children I had always wanted. I was going to have them with her! One thing though—I realized I needed to give her time to finish high school before my dreams could be fulfilled. However a surprise awaited me. My parents had already chosen a girl for me to marry. I had made up my mind though. If I cannot marry Mwikali, then I will never marry, I told them. My parents knew better and after meeting her, they gave me the go-ahead.

Wedding bells

I walked Alice down the aisle on the 26th of June 1970. I was the happiest bachelor turned married-man on earth. My fans, colleagues and well wishers attended my wedding in droves and that really humbled me. ‘I now pronounce you husband and wife,’—the sweetest words a man in love wants to hear. A chapter had been opened in my life. I was now a married man. I was 30.

Duty calls—my first baby

As a journalist, many things are bound to happen. Every day is totally different from the other. Today you are in the country, tomorrow you are out on an assignment in Malaysia. When my wife announced to me that she was pregnant, I knew it was a blessing. I did all I could in my capacity to ensure she had a successful pregnancy. Then duty came calling. I was to go to Great Britain for a broadcasting course that was to take two months. The day I was to travel was the day my first born, Jimmy, was born. I would not get

Je, huu ni ungwana?

Mambo Mbotela hosts the programme ‘Je, huu ni ungwana’ that airs both on KBC television and radio. It is a programme that both educates and entertains—it discusses people who do things that are annoying and irritating to others. It has been running since the year 1966.

How it was started;

‘My friends and I had gone to this posh restaurant in town for a drink. Suddenly they could not wait to be served and could be heard shouting, ‘Oyee, oyee, waiter!’ People around were wondering what type of people these were. I felt then that it was time to highlight on the small obvious mistakes we make in our every day life in a bid to change our ways.’ Mbotela has also launched a book titled ‘Je, huu ni ungwana’ that tackles the same.

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Been There

She was a beauty... However a surprise awaited me. My parents had already chosen a girl for me to marry. I had made up my mind though. If I cannot marry Mwikali, then I will never marry, I told them.

to witness his birth. I went through a mixture of emotions, whether to focus on my job or whether to be present at my child’s birth. I chose the former, albeit regretfully.

A new father

I compared notes with my friends who were fathers and they gave me invaluable advice on how to be a good daddy. ‘Do not leave missus alone,’ some said, ‘No going to boogy till late hours,’ others added and still some more constructive information, ‘Learn how to clean the nappies.’ I smiled because all this I was going to learn. I was determined to be the greatest father.

Alice Mwikali back in the day

My second child—on the dance floor

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon. I was whiling away time in a pub, dancing to oldies. It had been two years since my first child and I was coping well with fatherhood. My missus had indicated that her time was not near. I knew that number two would not be joining us that soon. The call from Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) startled me because I was off duty. Of course they knew where to find me on Sunday afternoons. The news was relayed in warm happy voices which gave me the reassurance that Alice was alright. I asked a friend to accompany me to the hospital and there I saw the most beautiful baby in the world. Aida, my first and only daughter, was born. I wanted to talk to

‘I compared notes with my friends who were fathers and they gave me invaluable advice on how to be a good daddy.’ 20

Alice washing little George


Mambo Mbotela

‘My wife, my anchor’

‘I was involved in all my wife’s pregnancies, from the first to the last. I helped her in house hold chores... I also accompanied her to the clinic...’ her, to share a laugh with her. I wanted to tell her that as she was struggling to come to earth I was boogeying.

When not working, I would ensure I imparted a lesson or two to my children and also give a helping hand to my wife.

My wife

My wife has always worked as a business woman. It has been almost four decades now. That she was sent from heaven is what I keep telling her. She lives a simple and quiet life, which she loves. She understands that her husband is a public figure and is used to it.

About the coup

My family kept me going. I knew that I would eventually go back to their comforting arms. And as I co-operated with the coup plotters, I knew my sunshine was at home, awaiting my return. This is an experience I will never forget.

To the younger generation

I feel hurt whenever I hear about abortion. Children are a gift from God and it is wrong to engage in premature sex only to end up procuring an abortion. It is the worst crime any human being can do; a disservice to another soul.

My third child—viewing television

The third time round was different altogether. We had taken a break of ten years and were now on the last lap. We had agreed on having three children. On the d-day, my wife informed me that she was due and I drove her to the hospital. As the midwives assisted her, I left for home and went to watch TV. I knew the midwives were doing their work. I could not accompany my wife to the delivery room; I would be scared for her. All I wanted was to be called to receive my new born. The phone call finally came. George had arrived. I rushed to the hospital and held my boy, my last born, in my hands.

On Pregnancy

I value women who take good care of their pregnancy. There is a time I saw a pregnant lady who was in a very tight dress, and I thought that was not healthy.’

The pregnant experience

I was involved in all my wife’s pregnancies, from the first to the last. I helped her in house hold chores every time she was pregnant and I also accompanied her to the clinic whenever I could make it. I would enjoy touching the bulging tummy, putting my arms around it and talking to the baby inside. I wanted bonding to start early. Thankfully, all her three pregnancies were trouble free. As a working parent, it is only natural to spend long hours away from family but other than hiring a house help I ensured that I spent quality time with my children.

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ournals

My journey’s

best moments

I have not had morning sickness and my appetite has improved greatly. I also love the baby’s kicks from the womb. I respect all pregnant women and all women who have given birth. It is a blessing from God.

bad What’s

On the 12th week of my pregnancy, I decided to surprise my husband with a wonderful dinner. I went shopping and did not give much thought as to how I would carry it. I went up the stairs alright and once in the kitchen as I laid the stuff down, I suddenly felt something go down my thighs. On checking I saw blood. I was terrified. I ran all the way to hospital, barefoot. Thank God it was nothing serious. The doctor attributed the bleeding to too much strain.

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what it is REALLY like...


what it is REALLY like...

‘My determination to have a baby’ She stayed in her mother’s womb longer than expected. She has lived with a hole in the heart that was discovered when she was twenty years old. Doctors say that carrying a weight above 50 Kilogrammes could threaten her life. Now at 30 weeks pregnant and weighing 42 Kilogrammes, Malaika Wasikenda shares her joy with Elizabeth Ombati at the thought of finally having a child to call her own.

M

‘My mother has always told me that she had a difficult pregnancy when she conceived me. I was born later than expected (two months after the due date). My father would come to pick mother from hospital only to find that I had not yet been born. He tells me that he almost gave up on me. I have been a weakling since my birth. Chest pains and frequent fainting spells were part of what I experienced. Most of my early childhood was spent in hospitals. Sadly, my exact ailment could not be detected. I ruled out marriage for the reason that no man would marry a weakling. In 2002 while in campus, I fainted and in the hospital, a startling revelation was made. Tests showed that I had lived with a hole in the heart all my life. It explained why I had all along been a weakling. The hole cannot close, and I have to take medication for the rest of my life. In my mind, I could not imagine a man who would be ready to shoulder my burdens, already too big for me to handle. But when I met Hillary, (my husband), I realized that nothing is impossible. He proposed and at first I thought he was not serious. I felt as though I would be a let down and he would give up on me because my

condition would not allow me to perform most house chores. I was wrong! He instead made me feel very normal and instantly became my caregiver. He acquainted himself with my cardiologist and learnt more on how to handle a heart patient. Initially, when he asked for my hand in marriage, my parents were skeptical, but they did change their minds and agreed after meeting him. We eventually wedded in 2006. My then weight was 39Kgs and I was 26 years old. Luckily I did conceive on March 30th and my baby is due in December. Most people aware of my condition got shocked on learning of my pregnancy and have keenly been following my progress, albeit worried.

Trying moment

On the 12th week of my pregnancy, I decided to surprise my husband with a wonderful dinner. I went shopping and did not give much thought to how I would carry it. I went up the stairs alright and once in the kitchen as I laid the stuff down, I realized I was bleeding. I was terrified. I ran all the way to hospital, barefoot. Thank God it was nothing serious. The doctor attributed the bleeding to too much strain.

Best moments

I have not had morning sickness and my appetite has improved greatly. I also love when my baby’s kicks.

The doctors’ caution was that my weight should not go beyond 50kg otherwise it would force them to remove the baby, even if premature, and have him in an incubator. I may have to go through a C-Section due to the weakness of the heart. I have been on bed rest since this pregnancy commenced.

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ournals

The Life in me

what it is REALLY like...

Linda Kemunto is expecting her first child. This has grounded her, bringing the best out of her. ‘I have made a point of getting in touch with my spiritual growth so that the mood swings do not take a toll on me.’ ‘I am five months gone and cannot wait for my body’s siren to go off in four months time blaring HERE COMES THE BABY! At least I am through with the first three torturous months that almost saw me throw up my alimentary canal. What has refused to budge is the fatigue. My body unremittingly begs for a bed. However, knowing too well that I cannot afford to give it all that rest; it has learned to work with my schedule. Cravings Carrots, chevda and green apples. I wish this was all I needed to eat. Work I got my IT job two months later (how timely). My workmates are great. My department being based on client support entails a lot of moving around and lifting of gadgets here and there. My male counterparts see to it that I do as little lifting as possible. I am asleep by 8pm so that I take it to the office by 8am like everyone else, cucumber-fresh for the day. Dreams I have great aspirations for my children. I would like my son or daughter to be independent. However, I will be in touch with what is happening in their lives. And to be in a position to guide them as they haggle over life’s choices. Kids are like blank pages for parents to write on. And what you write determines how well the book is going to sell. I want mine to be a best seller. Regarding this, I have made a point of getting in touch with my spiritual growth so that the mood swings do not take a toll on me. Scientific research has shown that babies pick emotions and attitudes right from when they are in the womb. I am very careful about the noises I am exposing my baby to, hence I am careful as to whom I interact with. That is why I am doing my best to expose my child to what will bring the best out of them. I talk to my baby a lot, making me feel like a psycho sometimes. But when I remember what the talk is for, I charge on. I want my child to know my voice before he is born. I am working toward us having a solid relationship. Baby names They have got to be African. Suggestions are most welcome through Pregnant magazine’s letters’ column. Otherwise I love the life in me in every way.’ Linda was interviewed by Brenda Wangwe

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It

is a pregant world

! ed Jin C by Elizabeth Ombati

Clarence’s fear of elevators began on the day she spent close to an hour in a stuck lift. There was a power black out and as the darkness engulfed the small confines of the lift, an enormous fear consumed her entire being. Help did not come soon enough. She must have fainted because she awoke to find herself in a hospital bed. Since then, she has gone out of her way to avoid elevators, even promising herself that she will not enter one again. Soon she was married; and she had her first baby. She could not ask for more. Then came the second pregnancy, which somehow baffled her. Her stomach was growing at an unprecedented rate. Clarence was prepared for twins and the good news was confirmed during one of her scheduled visits to the clinic. She would take visits to the town centre to exercise her legs, her company being her now three year old daughter. On this particular day she was strolling in the city centre, walking slowly to take in the fresh air she so craved. At seven months pregnant, she could not afford to take any risks and was also extra careful. Her walks were leisurely, never rushed. The buildings looked new and tall. When was the last time she had come to town? She wondered. Her daughter too was staring at the sky scrapers that seemed to reach the skies. Suddenly, Clarence felt a pain which disappeared the moment she placed her hand on her tummy. ‘Honey,’ she said to her daughter, ‘I felt a strange pain here,’ she said, pointing to her tummy.’ Before long she felt another pain which now got her scared. She had not experienced this kind of pain before. It was

different. She was reaching out for her phone to call her husband when a sharp intense pain followed. She had to sit on a verandah outside a tall building. This drew the attention of passers-by. One said, ‘Madam, I can take you for a check-up, there is a hospital right in this building.’ That was music to her ears because she could not reach her husband at the moment. Someone held her hand even as she held that of her toddler daughter. She was led into the building. ‘Is it on the ground floor?’ The mother to be asked, ‘No, replied the good Samaritan. It is on the 25th floor.’ Clarence felt warm blood rush right to her face. She could have resisted but then she knew she had to see a doctor. She tried to stem her elevatorfear but it was there, staring right at her, for her frightening experience three years ago was etched on her mind. When she got into the lift, she felt it start to move. She closed her eyes. She wanted the ‘commute’ to be smooth. But soon there was a crackling noise and the elevator stopped. Her eyes flew open. What was that? The lift was not moving. It was now dark. She heard someone speak but she could not make out the sound. She heard, ‘Lift, stuck, no electricity’.. She could have passed out but she was determined to fight her fears. Electricity was back in no time—after a few seconds in fact, though it seemed like eternity. Clarence hurriedly told her daughter to rush out and as she squeezed her round frame through the narrow door, it was all she could do not to scream with relief. The pains were now forgotten!

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Fa c i n g

life

My second

miracle By elizabeth ombati

W First child

Every pregnant woman’s desire is to have a healthy and beautiful baby—one with all the human features, including ten toes and fingers. But what happens when the unexpected happens, when things go wrong? When the baby you get is not what you had hoped for?

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When Ann Ngugi, a news anchor, got her first baby five years ago, she initially felt disappointed. Her baby had hydrocephalus*. As a well known television personality whose life is like an open book, people were bound to learn of this sooner or later, to ask questions. Her baby’s condition did elicit different reactions from different quarters. ‘It is a chapter in my life that will not leave my memory soon,’ says Ann. ‘When you are a public figure, people tend to think of you as a somewhat higher being. They presume that there are things you will not encounter. It was

a difficult time for me. It took me quite sometime to come to terms with it.’ But that was then. Years down the line Ann decided to take the plunge again. This, she admits, was not the easiest journey to take considering what she had been through with her first pregnancy. It required a lot of courage. But the urge to be a mother again was just too great. Ann succumbed to it. ‘The decision to have a second baby did not arise as a result of my first baby having the condition that she has. My husband and I were prepared and wanted another child. It had been four years. I knew it


would not be an easy pregnancy. I told my partner the same.

The experience

The second pregnancy was different. I was not strict with my diet like I had been the first time I fell pregnant. I only added six kilogrammes the entire period. But I was in for a big surprise because after delivery, my weight shot up by 11 kgs. Fluids are what characterized my meals. I also had the strange craving of any food with chilli or pepper. I was a bundle of nerves, emotionally imbalanced. If I was happy, I was extremely so, and if something angered me, I remained annoyed the whole day. And at the end of the day I would let out on my husband. It was hard, straining. In the beginning we did not cope well because of the strain but I thank God it did not affect the relationship. I did not want a baby with problems; I had shared my concerns with my gynaecologist—that I wanted a healthy baby. I went down on my knees every day and night, praying for the best. I have never been as confused as I was at the time I was having my second child. I went through a C-section and was put on sedatives. It took almost six hours before I could set eyes on my baby, as it was a while before I gained consciousness. When I finally came to, the first thing I asked my husband was, ‘How is my baby?’ He smiled. The confident smile reassured me. And when I held our baby in my arms, I knew he was the miracle I had been asking God for. John Mark, is the most handsome baby. He was very light complexioned at birth. When our eyes met, he gave me a smile any mother would wish for.

How is Angel coping?

My daughter is having the time of her life. She loves her brother. I can tell by the way she always wants to be around him. The age difference between them is not so big and I am sure as they grow older they

will guide each other. She received her last treatment for hydrocephalus when she was a year old and now she is doing well. Apart from her abnormally big head, Angel is a normal kid, doing all things that girls her age do. She is attending kindergarten presently.

And the father?

I sometimes think he loves our son, John Mark more than I do. He is a sensitive man and a great father. He is not my girl’s biological father but we have blended well as a family. Family life is indeed a blessing.

Juggling work and family

Motherhood presents itself as a challenge to the working woman. It has not been different for me, having in mind that my journalism profession requires a has-to-be present approach. It needs a lot of sacrifice. There are always numerous deadlines to beat—and I am one who wants to give nothing but the best. My colleagues at work discovered my pregnancy at almost the eighth month, probably because of my big built, but this was in order; I did not want attention. I worked till the last day. I also ensured that any free time I had was spent with my family. This I still do to date. My family is precious to me.

How was the post delivery period?

I resumed work after four months and since then I have been going to the gym. I want to shed the extra 11kgs I added after delivery. A woman needs to look beautiful, you know. There have been those embarrassing moments like when milk needs to be expressed. Then I have to go to the bathroom to express it so it does not wet my blouse. But when I remember my bundle of joy back at home then any inconvenience ceases to matter.

Last word

Have your babies when still young! At an older age one tends to incline towards their career and when the desire for a baby sets in, you may find that it is too late. At a young age, the body’s systems are alert, making it the best time to have and raise a baby.

*The term hydrocephalus is derived from the Greek words ‘hydro’ meaning water and ‘cephalus’ meaning head. As the name implies, it is a condition in which the primary characteristic is excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. Although hydrocephalus was once known as ‘water on the brain,’ the ‘water’ is actually cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)—a clear fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The excessive accumulation of CSF results in an abnormal widening of spaces in the brain called ventricles. This widening creates potentially harmful pressure on the tissues of the brain. For more information on this condition read Pregnant magazine Issue 4 page 59.

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Diary

of a

Nurse

My first test as a nurse

The first time I helped someone deliver away from the hospital environment was when I was in college just after my midwifery course. I had little experience in midwifery; but I had to help a life come safely into the world. I was about to start doing the evening rounds in the delivery room when I got a call from my roommate.

A

All along she had been pregnant but she had not shared her status with me. I went back and found her squatted on the floor. She was in so much pain, she could not talk. She could only whisper that the baby was coming! Amidst the panic that I strived to hide, I was to remember the knowledge that

I had learnt in school. And I had to be strong. I was to assist her deliver, and believe that everything would be fine. I was not experienced enough but at least I remembered we had to prepare to cut the cord when the baby arrived. She had put a towel on the floor and I got a blade. I tore a bed sheet into two so that we could tie the umbilical chord with it. She was to lie in a comfortable position that would enable her to push. Meanwhile, she was crouched on the bed. Amid the excitement of the forthcoming baby, and my being a bit green in this field of midwifery, I had to ensure that all would go well. A trickle of sweat was running down my face; I put on a brave look for my friend. Her contractions were becoming more intense and I knew sooner than later the baby would be out. I started encouraging her to push. When I saw the baby’s head push its way out, I was exhilarated! I had done it. It was an opener for me in the medical field. I saw the smile and look of relief on my friend’s face as I held out the baby to her. I was elated to have been the one to assist her. Using the bed sheets that I had torn, I tied the baby’s chord in two different points and cut in between. I did not want the blood from the placenta to mix with the baby’s so I had to act fast. Lack of gloves did not deter me either and I went for the next available items, clear polythene papers. A baby girl was born weighing 2.8kgs. I handed her to the mother immediately to start breastfeeding. After ten minutes, the placenta was delivered. I then cleaned her up, before wiping off the amniotic fluid, which can cause a baby to catch a cold. Then I wrapped the baby in a shawl. We then headed to hospital to have the mother and baby checked. The mother did not have any tears or a cut at her perineum. So they went back to the hostel. We had done it. The child I delivered is now eight years old and still healthy.

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Hiv Aids

H

v

Aids

Know Your Status Martin Okello, his wife and son outside their home

By Elizabeth Ombati

Martin Okelo and his pregnant wife are HIV positive. Martin never seriously thought about the high prevalence rate of the disease. Now he regrets all those times he did not use protection and also the times when he could have gone for HIV testing but chose not to.

Y A son of fate

Young Martin Okelo was meant to be in the 1994 ill-fated Mtongwe ferry that capsized in the Indian Ocean. Instead, his mother told him to return home which he did, albeit with a heavy heart. He did not know that soon he would be the only living member of his family. For his parents and four siblings died in the menacing waters. The fact that he was orphaned did not register in his mind immediately. But it marked a sad turning point in his life. Then he was 13. ‘I was a lost kid in a cruel world,’ he says, a

forlorn look on his face. I wanted to die too but there were bits of resilience left in me. I had a talent in painting and decided to become a street painter. I was spotted by a passer-by-turned sponsor who saw me through high school and who also got me a place at the Kenya Polytechnic to pursue a course in graphics. My happiness was short lived though, for my benefactor passed away before I could learn much. I was back to the streets. I got a small house in Korogocho (an informal settlement in Nairobi)

The devil’s workshop

‘An idle mind is a very dangerous weapon. It was not long before I met a young, nubile girl and thought that instead of spending my long, lonely days alone, I could have some company. She too was willing. Soon enough our relationship took to another level—we became sexually involved. I trusted her and I never thought I needed to use any form of protection. After a short time with my beauty, my sixth sense told me that things were not as they should be.

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‘Time had not passed and our honeymoon was not over yet.But the strong man I had married suddenly started falling sick.’ I noted that the girl loved alcohol and men. I decided to let her go. It was expected that sooner than later we were bound to meet new people in our lives. I met another girl almost immediately. She was my neighbour. It did not take me long to see that there was chemistry between us. I did not hesitate in wooing her and we were soon living as man and wife. She had a child from a previous relationship; I was more than eager to have one of my own. I did not think about taking an HIV test. This was in 2007.’

The journey to nothingness; Hellen Bukuta, Martin’s wife speaks…

‘Time had not passed and our honeymoon was not over yet. But the strong man I had married suddenly started falling sick. He was constantly sick and vomited. He had diarrhoea and complained of headaches. Had I believed in occult, I would have concluded that he had been bewitched. In a period of three months, Martin had become a shell of his former self. For a 35 year old man to weigh about 20kgs was shocking. He was always ill. One time he had typhoid, the other he had malaria. His weight was going down. The medicine he was using was too strong and in turn not helping. Friends told him to go to hospital but he refused.’

Martin continues…

‘Though I was bedridden, I believed that whatever was ailing me would eventually go. It took the prodding

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of an elderly lady whom I respected to convince me to go for an HIV test. My wife accompanied me and she too decided to take the test. It never crossed my mind that I could be HIV positive. The same did not occur to Hellen. When we learnt of our status I felt terrible about the whole situation. I was the carrier. I had infected my wife. She must have seen me as the devil incarnate.’

Her reaction

‘I did not hate him for it. I have come to accept the situation as it is. The nurses at the centre where we get our medicine have assured me that my baby does not have to be infected too. This gives me hope to keep living. I have already started attending antenatal clinic.’

Martin concludes

‘Currently, I work as a volunteer with Kenya Network of Women with AIDS (KENWA), Korogocho. I attend seminars to talk to people about HIV/AIDS and why there is need to protect ourselves from the killer disease. I love associating myself with HIV positive people so as to encourage them about adopting a positive attitude towards life. I have started a small group called KaKoNgo (Kariobangi Korogocho and Ngomongo) whose sole purpose is to create more awareness on the same. I affirm to both young and old that HIV/AIDS is real. You cannot tell whether one is a carrier of the virus from just looking at their body’s appearance. A well built man with a six pack can hide so many faults from the eye. Know your status, it never kills. When you are aware you will know how to care for yourself. Today I keep myself busy so as to prevent my mind from becoming a destructive weapon.’

‘You cannot tell whether one is a carrier of the virus from just looking at their body’s appearance.’


Hiv Aids

Basics of HIV and AIDS Granted, the subject of HIV/AIDS is not strange to many of us. But though familiar, it is easy to forget the basics, the facts about this scourge. We seek to remind you of what you may have forgotten, or what you may not know.

G

Early this year, findings released by the government showed that Kenya’s HIV/AIDS prevalence rate had increased to nearly 8 per cent, from a rate of 5.1 per cent. With the rising numbers, it is crucial to ask where we are going wrong, and what the trigger may be. The fight against HIV/AIDS begins with each of us, as individuals. What is HIV?

Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome, more commonly known as HIV is a virus that, if left untreated, slowly damages the body’s immune system—the immune system gives our bodies the ability to fight infections. Without a strong, healthy immune system, the body is susceptible to many infections and illnesses. HIV finds and destroys a type of white blood cell (T cells or CD4 cells) that the immune system must have to fight disease. If a person living with HIV becomes sick with opportunistic infections, they are said to have Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS. While there is yet no cure for HIV or AIDS, many infected by it are living long productive lives, thanks to medication and aggressive treatment programs. How HIV virus is transmitted

The following are ways HIV can be transmitted from one person to another: Through bodily fluids (blood, semen, and vaginal secretions) during sexual contact. Saliva is not considered a transmission route for HIV. By sharing needles used to inject drugs. Infected blood can be exchanged between the parties who are using the same needle and syringe. By accidental needle sticks in the health care industry (needles contaminated with HIV infected blood). Through the transfusion of infected blood or blood products. An HIV infected woman can pass HIV to her baby during pregnancy, delivery, or while breast feeding.

HIV is a fragile virus. It cannot live for very long outside the body. As a result, the virus is not transmitted through day-today activities such as shaking hands, hugging, or a casual kiss. You cannot become infected from a toilet seat, doorknob, sharing dishes and drinking glasses, food, or pets. You also cannot get HIV from a mosquito bite. HIV signs and symptoms

Often persons who are newly HIV infected show few or no symptoms at all. At other times, symptoms of HIV are confused with illnesses such as the flu. Symptoms of this infection include:

Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, groin or under the arms Diarrhoea Unexplained weight loss Fatigue Fever, chills or sweating (especially at night) Visual challenges Frequent pneumonia or shortness of breath Rashes on the skin Flu-like symptoms

How to prevent HIV infection

Speak openly about safer sex techniques and HIV status. If you do not know your status, get an HIV test to protect yourself and others. Get tested with your partner as a way of showing that you care and want both of you to stay healthy. Use protection in each sexual encounter. Do not share needles or syringes if you inject drugs. If you do inject drugs, seek professional help to kick your habit. HIV infected pregnant women should get regular prenatal care. HIV infected women should not breast feed. To protect yourself, always remember the ABCs: A=Abstinence B=Be Faithful C=Condoms

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Chic it up this Christmas! Jingle bells! Jingle bells! The sun is up most of the time, the streets are alive with expectant faces and the malls are bustling with shopping. The office has slowed down and the talk about where people are spending the holiday is filling the air. The most important thing is that you are not left out of bandwagon to happiness. Part of your package for the journey should be the beautiful you and fabrics of red, green and gold seamed in a manner to flatter your current sensual physique. With the sun barely moving from above the sky, we insist that your arms should breathe. You need options of knee lengths for your legs to blend with the weather and to still remind you that you are chic. Go for black ankle lengths for dinner. May you be as mysterious as the night—this is fun time, remember. Give fashion some preeminence this Christmas! Brenda Wangwe

Photography

Emmanuel Jambo

Hair & Makeup Dee’s Salon, China Centre Ngong’ Road. +254 721880767 Outfits, Jewellery & Accessories Jamia Mall g74, g75 Bexx Maternity Wear Jivae

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MjaMzitO

TM

mtoto wangu, maisha yangu

fashion

Life can surely spoil you!

Patricia Nyalwal (7 months pregnant)

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Salome Kaminjuki (8 months pregnant)

Christine Kawira (5 months pregnant)

Catherine Mwangi (8 months pregnant)

Edna Kimeu (6 months pregnant)

Edna

Christine Kawira (5 months pregnant)


MjaMzitO

TM

mtoto wangu, maisha yangu

fashion

Waiting for that kick—yet again...

Edna Kimeu (6 months pregnant)

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MjaMzitO

TM

mtoto wangu, maisha yangu

fashion

My blessings...

Christine


My everyday joy starts here...

Malaika Wasikenda (7 months pregnant)

Edna

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MjaMzitO

TM

mtoto wangu, maisha yangu

fashion

Our common source of pride...

From left to right: Salome, Edna, Catherine and Patricia

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Nutrition

Spinach the power in the green

T

By Rebecca Njoki

The adage says that you are what you eat. This cannot be truer than when it comes to pregnancy. For the diet you eat as a pregnant woman will determine the health of the life growing inside you. Spinach as a green leafed vegetable is a rich food that should be part of your diet as a mother to be. It has an excellent source of amino acids, vitamins and minerals, which makes it a good choice to have in your meal. Its availability, ease in preparation and cooking gives all the reason why it should be included daily in the diet; for spinach is not only good for an expectant mother, but it also improves the quality of milk production in lactating mothers. The leafy vegetable is especially rich in Vitamins A, C and K, folic acid and magnesium. When cooked, The antioxidant property is easily absorbed in the blood. There are three types of spinach; savoy, smooth leaf and semi-savoy. Savoy spinach has creased curly leaves. This is the most available kind in the Kenyan market. Flat or smooth leaf spinach has unwrinkled, spade-shaped leaves. The semi-savoy variety has slightly creased leaves. These different types have the same nutritional value, only that savoy needs thorough cleaning since it holds up most dirt in between the creases. Nutritional value It helps protect against osteoporosis (a condition in which bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, as a result of hormonal changes or lack of calcium or vitamin D. Spinach provides Vitamin K which is important for bone health. is important for bone health. The vitamin activates a protein known as osteocalcin that helps to anchor calcium molecules inside the bone. Spinach

also has bone strengthening nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. Thus, when the baby is growing, spinach is an excellent source of rich nutrients. It is an excellent source of foliate These leafy vegetables contain foliate, a vitamin that helps in the development of the spinal chord of an unborn baby. It helps to reduce the risk of brain and spine defects during the first trimester of pregnancy. It is in fact, advisable to take food rich in foliate such as spinach if someone is planning to conceive. Alleviates iron deficiency Iron transports oxygen from the lungs to the body cells. It is crucial in pregnancy for energy production and metabolism for both the baby and the mother. Though meat is well known for iron, spinach come a close second, in that it provides the nutrient alongside calories and fats. Cooked spinach, on the other hand, is totally fat-free and an excellent source of iron. Furthermore, spinach contains quercetin, a chemical that purifies the blood. So as more spinach is ingested the blood is purified and the pregnancy is well maintained. The purity of this blood helps in formation of the skin for both the mother and the forthcoming baby. Contains fibre Spinach relieves constipation which is common with pregnant women. Its juice aids in cleaning the digestive tract and removing the accumulated waste, avoiding bloating and constipation. Stabilises blood sugar If a mother is suffering from diabetes, then taking half a cup of boiled spinach soup could help stabilise the sugar level and keep it from fluctuating. Note: To maximise the benefits of spinach, buy it when it is fresh and steam it rather than boil. Also do not reheat it after cooking for it loses nutrients.

eaning the digestive Spinach juice aids in cl e accumulated tract and removing th g and constipation waste, avoiding bloatin


Health Issues

Cervical cancer Signs and Symptoms

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By Dr. Blasio Omuga

What is cervical cancer?

It is a cancer that affects the cervix, an organ that connects the womb to the vagina. There are two main types of cervical cancer—squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Both can happen during pregnancy. However, they do not affect pregnancy or its outcome. Approximately 80 to 90 per cent of cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. These cancers are from the squamous cells that cover the surface next to the vagina. Under microscopic observation, squamous cell carcinoma is seen as having cells that are thin and flattened. Squamous cell carcinomas most often begin where the part next to the vagina (exocervix) joins the part next to the body of the uterus (endocervix). The 10 to 20 per cent of cervical cancers that are adenocarcinomas are more common in women aged between 20 to 30 years. Cervical adenocarcinoma develops from the mucus-producing gland cells of the inner cervix.

How often does it occur in pregnancy? In pregnancy, the incidence of cervical cancer occurring is 0.02 per cent to 0.9 per cent of all pregnancies. It is the most common cancer in pregnancy. The signs present themselves at early stages of the disease. Diagnosis is safely done by colposcopy, a medical diagnostic procedure to examine a clear, magnified view of the cervix. A pap smear test can also be done but the evaluation is modified to accommodate the pregnancy state. There is no urgency to diagnose pre-malignant conditions during pregnancy. It can wait until six weeks after delivery for evaluation and treatment.

How is cervical cancer treated during pregnancy?

Delay in treatment may be done to allow time for fetal maturity and viability. This is achievable at 32 to 36 weeks of pregnancy. Abnormal cytological smear (a thin tissue or blood sample spread on a glass slide and stained for examination) may thus be subjected to conservative management. First trimester cone biopsy is delayed and usually done in early second trimester to prevent abortions. In the third trimester, cone biopsy can increase chances of premature labour. After delivery, hysterectomy (a surgical operation to remove a womb) may be done after six weeks. For stage IA (the earliest form of cancerous cells in the cervix) of cervical cancer, treatment is delayed until the foetus is mature. Decision on whether the delivery should be vaginal or Caesarean largely depends on the stage of the disease, the stage of gestation and preference of the parents. For stage 1B, II III or IV, radiotherapy is the treatment of choice. For viable foetus, C-section is recommended before treatment to prevent radiation from affecting the foetus.

Is therapeutic abortion recommended?

When diagnosis is made in the first trimester, this is an important consideration. The stage of the disease, its curability and the nature of treatment needed are taken into account. Therapeutic abortion could then be recommended when the cancer is totally advanced.

Signs and symptoms Abnormal bleeding Women with cervical cancer may experience abnormal vaginal bleeding. This can be heavy or light bleeding during the month.

menstrual cycle can be a cervical cancer symptom. Many women describe them ranging from a dull ache to sharp pains that can last hours. It can be mild or severe.

Unusual heavy discharge An increased vaginal discharge is also a symptom of cervical cancer. It may be foul smelling, watery, thick, or contain mucus. It varies from woman to woman. It is important to report any unusual vaginal discharge to your doctor.

Pain during urination Bladder pain or pain during urination can be a symptom of advanced cervical cancer. This cervical cancer symptom usually occurs when cancer has spread to the bladder.

Pelvic pain Pelvic pain that is not related to the normal

Bleeding This can happen between regular menstrual periods, after sexual intercourse, douching, or

pelvic exam. This is due to the irritation of the cervix during these activities. While a healthy cervix may have a very small amount of bleeding, many conditions may cause bleeding after activities like sex. Note: These cervical cancer symptoms are also symptoms of many other illnesses. If you are experiencing these cervical cancer symptoms, please see a doctor. He or she will most likely do a pelvic exam and may order further tests.

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B e a u t y, F i t n e s s

and

Safety

NailCare By Rebecca Njoki

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Pregnancy is a life changing experience. Some of the changes are temporary— yet noticeable.

Pregnancy brings all sorts of changes to every part of your body, some permanent, some not. Your nails are not spared. Usually, the change that occurs is for the better, in the fact that they tend to grow stronger and longer. But there is a likely hood of them splitting and getting rough on the surface.

Trim nails

All in all the change is common and temporary. After you have your baby, or shortly afterwards while breast feeding, your nails will go back to normal. In pregnancy, your nails grow stronger and long at a faster rate due to the additional prenatal vitamins that you are taking and the healthier diet too. So how do you take care of nails during pregnancy?

Avoid removal of cuticle. Instead you can push them back gently towards the nail. Do not use chemical-based cuticle softeners because they can cause skin irritation and are poisonous when inhaled.

Nail cutting

Do not bite or cut nails manually with fingers. This makes them weak and easy to split and may cause pain at the tip of the finger. File them instead and do it in one direction to avoid having them split on the edges as they grow. Balanced diet

Eat a balanced diet that contains Vitamin B to improve your nails firmness and hardness. Food rich in protein also helps in encouraging nail growth.

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Opt to keep nails short, especially if they are brittle. They will be less of a fuss and will help you avoid scratching the baby’s skin when he comes. Cut them straight and file them round to strengthen them at the tip. Cuticles

Moisturising

Keep your nails dry because moisture increases their weakness and easily breaks them. Moisturise your hands with a lotion or hand cream after washing clothes or cleaning dishes. These will help stop the nails from chipping. Ventilation

Wear nail polish in a ventilated area to avoid inhaling the fumes which could harm the growing baby. The ventilation also helps the polish dry up fast, avoiding a messy and smudged look. Make sure you regularly remove the polish, giving some time for your nails to breath.


Keeping trouble away

Fitness

Exercise has great benefits, but during pregnancy you need to approach it with a lot of caution. Whether you are a regular exerciser or not, the following12 rules will see to it that you and your baby are safe while exercising during pregnancy.

1

Consult your doctor first

If you exercised regularly before getting pregnant and your pregnancy is problemfree, you can most likely continue working out as before — but with modifications. So talk to your doctor or midwife about your fitness routine to make sure your activities do not put you or your baby at risk. If you are starting from scratch as a nonexerciser, talk to your healthcare provider as well and make sure you follow the beginners guide.

2

Your diet

3

Take lots of water

Get the 300 to 500 additional calories a day you need during pregnancy. Make sure to eat well to help nourish and strengthen your body.

Drink water before, during, and after exercising to avoid being dehydrated, which can cause contractions and raise your body temperature, sometimes to levels that are dangerous for you and your baby. A good guideline is to take one cup before you exercise, one cup for every 20 minutes of exercise, and one cup after you finish your workout.

4

Right clothing

Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing. Dress in layers so that it is easy to peel off a layer or two after you have warmed up. Make sure your maternity bra offers enough support, and choose athletic shoes that fit your feet properly and offer good support.

5

Warm up

Warm-ups prepare your muscles and joints for exercise and build up your heart rate slowly. If you skip the warm-up and jump into strenuous activity before your body is ready, you could strain your muscles and ligaments and experience increased post-workout aches and pains.

6

Avoid dangerous sports

Keep away from contact sports, as well as activities that might throw you off-balance, such as basket ball or biking. Keep in mind that the increased levels of the hormone relaxin during pregnancy, which relax pelvic joints in preparation for childbirth, loosen all ligaments and joints making you more susceptible to sprains.

7

Do not lie flat on your back

Avoid lying flat on your back after the first trimester. This position puts pressure on a major vein called the vena cava, which will diminish blood flow to your brain and uterus, and can make you dizzy, short of breath, or nauseated. Placing a pillow under your buttock will allow you to be almost flat on the floor without compressing the vena cava.

8

Get up from the floor slowly

As your belly grows, your centre of gravity shifts. That is why it is important to take great care when you change positions.

Getting up too quickly can make you dizzy, and may cause you to lose your footing and fall.

9

Keep moving

Standing motionless for prolonged periods when, for example, lifting weights can decrease blood flow to the uterus and cause blood to concentrate in your legs, making you dizzy. Keep moving by changing positions or walking on the spot.

10

Do not overdo it

Avoid exercising to the point of being exhausted. Slow down when you notice you cannot comfortably carry on a conversation. In essence, listen to your body. When something hurts, it means something is wrong. You should feel like you are working your body, not punishing it.

11

Cool down

At the end of your workout, take a few minutes to walk on the spot and then stretch. Heart rate increases during pregnancy and it may take as long as 15 minutes for your heart to return to its resting rate following a workout.

12

Make it a habit

Make a commitment to exercise regularly. Keeping up a routine is easier on your body than docile times being interrupted by exercise sessions. You can safely engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily as long as your doctor says it is okay.

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Labour & Deliver y

Am I in labour? Signs to look out for Lilian Karanja, a Lamaze instructor at Aga Khan University Hospital discusses labour and how a pregnant woman can be empowered to know when she is due —a bid to avoid the roadside deliveries that expose many a mother to numerous risks. What is labour?

This is the process that culminates in the birth of the baby, placenta and membranes.

PreLabour

Signs experienced when a pregnant woman nears birth: Nesting: It happens that at the last moments before labour, a pregnant woman wants to do her shopping, have her hair done, if planning to move houses, this is when she does it. It is a natural occurrence that even happens to animals, a sign of preparation. Bust of energy: For most women, late pregnancy brings a lot of fatigue but this time a pregnant woman will certainly realize she has lots of energy. She wants to do laundry, and tasks she has not carried out in a while; her days will be characterized by a new bust of energy.

inside pushing in all directions. Pregnant women are advised not to wait to feel pain to conclude that they are in labour. Pain is individual and it is not a guarantee that it happens. There are instances whereby a woman experiences false contractions and may think she is in labour which is not the case. Here are signs to know whether it is false labour. The false contractions can happen two to four weeks before the true labour starts.

True Labour o o o o o o

Contractions Begin irregularly Becomes regular and predictable Progressive Enhanced by activity Lower back sweeps round to abdomen in a wave o Cervix dilates

Other possible signs which may or may not escalate into labour include: o

o o

Nagging backache accompanied by restlessness Menstrual-like cramps Soft bowel movements.

False Labour

As the contractions come closer together and last longer and also keep a rhythm, the woman will realize that she is discharging some brownish, reddish discharge (show) which is a sign to confirm that she is in labour.

Loose bowel movement or diarrhea: A woman may think she ate something bad but it is her body clearing up the rectum.

The first stage of labour is divided into three substages

The discharge will keep coming because the cervix is becoming softer and starting to open up.

How to tell

Early Labour:

Lightening: (relief experienced in the last stages of pregnancy when the baby’s head sinks into the pelvis) After 36 weeks, it is expected that a baby’s head is down towards the pelvis while the buttocks are up. The head then slowly starts to get into the pelvis. For most first time mothers it happens during pregnancy and for mothers who have previously delivered it will happen when they are in labour.

A woman will get contractions, whereby the walls of the uterus become tight and hard for a couple of seconds and then relax. What the mother feels is the baby from

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o o o o

Contractions Begin and remain irregular Do not progress Begin on abdomen and remain confined to abdomen and groin o Disappear /Diminish with activity o Cervix does not dilate

The woman gets mild contractions that may last between 25 to 45 seconds. The break between each is about five to 30 minutes. At this stage the cervix dilates to

This is the first stage of labour.


Pregnant women are advised not to wait to feel pain to conclude that they are in labour. about 3cm. Early labour lasts between 4 to 8 hours. Emotionally, the woman is excited, energetic, apprehensive and talkative.

Active phase

The mild contractions start becoming intense (4060sec long), coming close together. The cervix opens a further (3-7cm) with this phase lasting between 4 to 6 hours. Emotionally, the apprehension increases and the mother gets more focused on the task of labour. She is less talkative. Physically, she will experience nausea, vomiting, urinary frequency, thirst and backache.

Transition

This is the last phase of stage one and now the baby is about to be born. Contractions are intense and seem continuous, coming every 60-90 seconds, accompanied by multiple picks. High pelvic pressure, shaking and trembling are part of what the woman is experiencing. She is heavily perspiring and sensitive to touch; she is also having nausea. The cervix dilates 7-10 cm. This phase lasts 30 minutes to two hours. Emotionally, the woman is irritable, feeling out of control, and is filled with fear. A desire to quit can easily set in then.

Stage two

Now the woman has an urge to push, she will have a lull in the uterine cavity. Nature gives women a break after the contractions and the transition. She will get a break during which her body restores and gives her more energy. After a while the contractions come back. If the cervix is already 10cm dilated, the mother to be, in a comfortable position is encouraged to start pushing. Once the baby comes out, she is put on mum’s abdomen, and we cut the cord, we tie it in two different spots, after which we wipe the baby, wrap him and give to his mother to breastfeed if the baby does not require any medical attention. Now that baby has arrived, the placenta has to be removed. We allow the mother to breastfeed and as she does so, her body produces a hormone, (oxytocin) which helps the uterus to contract. The placenta is soon removed. Emotionally, the mother feels in control and happy. The whole process is tiring to both the mother and the baby so we let them rest for a period of two hours.

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Celebrating birth

Mercy

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Baraka Waihenya Born: 26th April 2008 Time: 6:15pm Weight: 3kg


Phyllis

Kyle Karisa Maitha Born: 17th August 2008 Time: 1:36am Weight: 3.8kg

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Pregnant Man's Journal

gift

My precious

The unsettling sound of nauseous vomiting woke me up with a start. Who on earth was retching so loud, rousing me from sleep? I wondered as my hands groped under the covers to get hold of my wife, Panda. The answer was imminent when I padded an empty space on my left side; Is that Panda? I bolted out of the bed like a mad somnambulist, and sprinted all the way into the bathroom in a frenzied panic. By Ambrose Simiyu

48


S

Something was terribly wrong. Since we got married, I had known my wife to be of sound health. The only time we ever came close to any sort of infection or ailment was when sympathizing with an ailing friend or relative in the hospital wards, or occasionally while watching its fictitious form in a malignant horror movie! The previous night had seen her all perfectly jovial, laughing at my shrewd jokes with enthusiasm only akin to the angels’. So this deviation from the norm hit me with a destructive impact! All my masculine cool being replaced by an instinctive sense of emergency and fear of some unknown phenomenon. True to my fears, Panda was all hunched up on the toilet seat, her face partially lost inside the bowl. ‘What is it Baby?’ I apprehensively asked, trying to pick her up. As if to answer my question, she suddenly stiffened, recoiled, and lurched for the toilet basin just in time as the involuntary muscle contractions threw her into a violent wave of vomiting spasm. Quite an answer indeed. My mind was in a wild detour, imagining all sorts of eerie things that could be happening to my wife. As I supported her over the toilet bowl, I feverishly prayed, Oh God, let nothing happen to her. Not my dear beloved, newly wedded wife. We had been married for just a year and a half, but to me, it seemed like I had been married all my life. I could no longer remember life before her. I deliberately let that bit of my bachelor life slide into the dark sea of forgetfulness, and gladly so. I could not mar my blissful matrimony time with the memories of my miserable solitude life! I no longer considered as fun the roasted meat eating, beer drinking, and football talking, till the wee hours of the morning that had once characterized my life. And going home to a lonely alcohol induced sleep, after which I had to endure an all blaring headache as I nursed a hangover and cursed the beer barons! Did I used to call that fun? It was an expensive indulgence and most of the time I was in debt. When Panda came along however, things took a topsy-turvy turn, and for my very own good. It was a life started a new. She rescued me from the brink of a forever downhill spiral just before I turned myself into a pile of ruin. Gently, yet firmly, she had reformed my social calendar, which saw a huge chunk of my drunken friends make an uncompromising exit. Then she lovingly and laboriously encouraged me to kick my drinking habit, and cut on my lavish spending. That saw me learn to budget and repay my bachelor’s humongous partying debts. With spending on the bare minimum, soon money started accumulating in the bank. Within no time, I was taking positive investment initiatives. With the fruits thereof; I started enjoying my life immensely. This lady was magic. She had turned out to be what I just needed in this life. And down the aisle, when I said to her I do, I meant every word of it. However, I had not envisioned, in any way, the prospects of death trying to part us this soon. And I received with much loathing and resistance, this untimely move. Death and ailments should have better audacity than to strike newly weds at the peak of their love and intimacy! I fumed from the inside. I carried

True to my fears, Panda was all hunched up on the toilet seat, her face partially lost inside the bowl. her to bed and sat her down gently to let her catch her breath. I desperately wanted to know what was wrong with her. But she was far out of breath to talk. I was holding both my phones in my hands. Just in case I needed to call an ambulance. Seeing the phones, and sensing my intentions. My wife began shaking her head in negation, a faint smile on her lips. ‘Do not call an ambulance, Honey,’ she intercepted in a barely audible voice. ‘Say what?’ I asked, slightly confused. ‘Am not sick, I am pregnant Joe. You are going to be a father.’ Pregnant? A father? This one caught me flatfooted. For a brief moment, I lost myself as a flood of relief swept through my tensed up nerves. My wife was not dying? Oh thank you God! For real? ‘Yes Honey, we are, and this seems to be the morning sickness, my pregnant companion.’ Good gracious! Now I know a more dramatic phrase than the famous; from rags to riches. And that should go something like; from potential widower to potential dad! I was beyond myself. What a serendipitous turn of events. ‘Were you planning to tell me all this, Pumpkins? You had me dying of a heart attack!’ I swept her into a bear hug and swung her in large arcs of celebration. ‘Actually, I was to surprise you later today. This news was to be your 30th birthday present. Happy Birthday Baby Boy!’ She said it more like a silent whisper. Some things from her were only meant for my ears, even in the privacy of our own bedroom. Panda has these beautiful love sick eyes, and when she gets emotional, they sparkle like polished gem stones as the light rays get reflect on their teary film. Looking into those sentimental eyes, now oozing with so much love, gentleness and profound joy, made me transfixed with the awe of how much I truly adored this girl. I knew I was the luckiest man in the planet to have such a fine woman as my wife and soon to be the mother of our child. I was lost for words. All I could do was grumble an inaudible heartfelt gratitude, all the while wishing that hug could last forever. What a gift!

49


Adam

& Eve

Pamper her this The emotional connection between you and your pregnant wife will ensure a lasting love and a smoother pregnancy

P

Pregnancy experience during the Christmas holiday can be quite a gift for a family. Not only for couples that have been looking forward to conceiving, but also for those that already have children and need an extra subject of love during the festive season. Christmas time is clearly one of the jolliest times of any year. Make your pregnancy during this season exciting and a blessing to your family. There are a several ways in which a pregnant family can enjoy themselves over the Christmas holiday. The family can choose to relax and spend some time bonding. As a father, take charge of this rare moment to provide your pregnant wife and family with a holiday, a gift to remember. This should be more so if in the course of the year there has not been enough quality time spent as a family. Planning for a holiday away from the humdrum of every day living is important. There are many places that the family can go for spoils but it’s prudent to consider the costs also. Affordability should be one of the key guiding principles though it should not be an impediment to fun. Another consideration to bear in mind is the extended family get together. You could plan to see them before going away or arrange to join them before the season is over. Also, involve every member of the family in the planning so that each person’s wish is given fair consideration. Your pregnant wife’s wishes are of course top on the list. Take into account her

50

traveling conditions and ensure she is fit to travel. Consult with her medicare giver if in doubt. Short distances are the most advised. Other exciting things that a pregnant family can involve itself in include buying gifts for one another and for the less fortunate in the society. It would be fun to choose gifts for one another and even more entertaining to select items for the unborn baby. An expecting father would find the Christmas time less strenuous by focusing on the happiness of the wife and the family at large. Being away from work can be a recipe for boredom but this need not be the case. It is a golden opportunity to take stock of your relationship and seek ways of strengthening it. In fact, Christmas is one of the best times to rework all aspects of your life.

Here are some suggestions that should help you relate with your pregnant partner without sweat this Christmas. Take time to listen to your spouse. Many times we forget simple acts of intimacy like lending an ear to one another. Recreate opportunities for being there for one another and increase sensory touch. Do not allow the festive mood to carry you away unless it’s in expressing affection for each other.

During this Christmas, look for a way of reliving your best dating encounters with your spouse. Think about it and as you plan for it let your mind get imaginative. As a couple talk about your love life and discover how such a conversation in itself becomes a moment of intimacy. Prepare to make this Christmas unpredictable. Take mental note of lovely things that you have not said to your spouse in a long time. Consider how important she is and say magical words to her over and over again during this festive time. Schedule passion for this season and look forward to it. Plan to make it a special time and as you both lay your focus on being together excitement will grow and the two of you will be drawn closer than ever. Above all, this Christmas plan should be more affectionate, more romantic. Romance is an intimate connection to another human being and a simple way to express love and affection. It is a known fact that women treasure romance more than the men. It makes them feel valued, loved, attractive, and cared-for. It also improves their self esteem. Romance as an element in a relationship is the barometer that women unconsciously use to determine how much they are respected, valued and loved. This Christmas, go on and be more affectionate to her. It will make her feel more alive, ensuring she connects to you better. The emotional connection between you and your pregnant wife will ensure a lasting love and a smoother pregnancy. This will be the best gift your wife can get from ‘Father Christmas’.


MONTHS your baby growth & care guide from birth to 1st birthday

Inside

• Moulding his character • Baby profile • Expressing love through breast milk • Day Care: Just like home • Diary of a first itme mum • Second time a mother • Taking care of a HIV positive baby • Sharing for the baby's own good

Baraka Waihenya Born: April 26 2008 Time: 6.15pm Weight: 3kg

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12 Months

Moulding his character —It’s never too early ‘Character is like smoke, it cannot be hidden.’ —African proverb

G

Good character is treasured. And just like our parents strived to instill it in us, we want to pass it on to our children. It may not mean the same thing to everyone but there are distinctive qualities in character that we all appreciate. A courteous and respectful child, obedient and with good morals to boot is one to behold. The environment a child is brought up in determines how he turns out. The environment in this case, includes you the parent. How much are you influencing the character that you want your baby to acquire? Are you pampering your child to the point of spoiling them? Or are you raising him to understand what it means to embrace positive human values? As a parent, it pays to start teaching your child to be a person of good character at the earliest possible—from birth. Most important, ensure you bond with him. It is through parent-child bonding that the infant acquires his identity. Here are character traits important for a baby to embrace. The responsibility to ensure this happens from the word go falls on you. Trustworthiness

Consistent interaction with your infant over time helps them understand trustworthiness and to act in a trustworthy manner. The first years of life are trustbuilding years. Even though infants do not have the capacity to exhibit trustworthy behaviours, they have the capacity to learn from others. Every time you respond quickly and appropriately to your infant’s cries, coos and smiles, you are building trust. This trait ensures that the baby learns to tell the truth, follows rules, does what he says

52

By Elizabeth Ombati

he will do and does not take things that do not belong to him. Respect

The foundations of respect begin in infancy. When you talk to your infant in response to their cries and coos, you are showing them that their situation is important. When your baby cries you might say, ‘You must be hungry. I am getting you something right now.’ This may not stop the baby from crying, but it will reassure her. It is also the first step in teaching the baby to talk about her problems. This trait ensures that the baby learns how to be kind to friends and family, how to have good manners, and how not to hit or hurt others. It also teaches them how to talk about their problems. Responsibility

Once infants start weaning, give them the opportunity to feed themselves. They will learn the art of trying by picking up bits of food off the plate. They can also learn to use a spoon at an early age (9-12 months) if you provide a plastic baby spoon with a big easy grip. Quick responses to the child’s calls and cries will teach him that he is important and that it is important to help friends and family. Teaching responsibility ensures that with time the baby does what he is supposed to do, keeps on trying even when it seems hard, always does his best and is comfortable in helping out with friends and family. Fairness

Listening to the baby is an important way of establishing a foundation for teaching

fairness. When your baby is awake and alert, listen to the different sounds he makes and respond to them. When the baby starts babbling, he will love to hear you mimic the sounds he makes. This way you encourage language development. Remember that listening is character development. Babies who are listened to will learn they are important and valuable, and they will be more likely to listen to others when they are older. This trait helps a baby to know and follow rules, share and listen to friends and family and not heap blame when things are not right. Caring

When infants cry, coo or smile, respond in an appropriate manner. This way you are teaching them about caring. Holding your baby and playing with him is another way of being kind, of demonstrating that you care. He in turn will be demonstrative when he grows, and portray the same when he grows up. Teach them to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, two phrases that are hall marks of good manners. Citizenship

Social conduct is important. You can introduce young ones to citizenship by making them feel like members of the community. Go for walks in your neighborhood to expose them to the world that is larger than your home. A child who feels connected to the outside world through exposure to it will want to be an active member of the society. This will help a child to respect those in authority, obey rules, to be cooperative and to respect the environment, by taking care of trees and avoiding littering.


Baraka Waihenya The flash from the camera! It made me keen.

But it cannot make me forget my toy. No!

And amused me too. hehe...

You thought it would? Gotcha!

Someone else wants to join us

Now come here, you and I need to have a serious talk

Now that cannot happen.

Ignore my toy, just come

It should only be you, I and the toy.

53


12 Months

g n i s s e r p Ex

Love

through breast milk The HIV AIDS virus can easily be transmitted from mother to her new born child. But this is avoidable. A HIV positive mother can ensure that her new born stays HIV negative. So, apart from feeding the baby on formula milk, what are the options available to a mother that ensure baby’s health is protected? Georgette Kareithi, the executive founder and director of Pure Love Expressed (PLE)—an organization that encourages mothers to donate breast milk for infants born to HIV positive mothers, spoke to Rebecca Njoki on her quest to ensure that babies remain HIV negative, at the same time being nutritionally fed.

M

Mothers are amazing. They will go to great lengths to provide for their children. If they have the HIV virus and are expecting, many will religiously get the antiretroviral injections to ensure that their unborn child does not contract the virus from them. So why should a baby be born HIV negative and contract the virus while breast feeding? Most HIV positive mothers are aware that there is a chance that her child can contract the HIV virus through breast feeding. And if she cannot afford formula milk what next? PLE brings the solution to this dilemma. They plan to coordinate and distribute donated breast milk free of charge to HIV positive mothers who are needy.

Getting started

‘My mother told me she had seen some women on a local television programme pooling resources together to buy formula milk for needy newborns. I thought to myself that though the project was noble, it must be expensive. It occurred to me that women could offer their breast milk to the needy, after being tested to ensure it is fit for the baby. My mom would express milk for other mothers while visiting me in the hospital. I did research and found out that there is a similar programme in the US, whereby mothers with premature babies get breast milk in hospitals to feed their newborn. This they get for a couple of days but when they leave hospital, the milk is no longer available to them. I thought of doing something more by making it accessible to mothers on a daily basis.

Testing

Before a mother donates her milk she has to get tested for infectious diseases such as hepatitis and syphilis to ensure that she is healthy. I have enlisted the assistance of Dr. Florence Kiboi, a doctor running one of the busiest maternity hospitals in Kayole and a health centre in

54


Salute Your Midwife

Was your midwife remarkable during delivery of your baby? Did he/she leave a positive mark in your life?

n i w

If so, write to us sharing your experience on how he/she made your labour and delivery memorable for you, giving us his/her full names and hospital contacts. The mom who submits the winning experience receives a Johnson’s Baby hamper and her midwife will get a surprise award. To nominate your midwife write to: The Editor, PO Box 11463 - 00100 Nairobi. Email: pregnant@integral-advisory.com

mtoto wangu, maisha yangu ‘Salute your midwife’ is a joint venture between Johnson & Johnson and Pregnant magazine aimed at rewarding good55 midwifery


12 Months

Buruburu. I thought she was suited for my project since she will be able to reach out to more women living in poverty. So with her support, I came up with a plan. Dr. Kiboi, who is the executive director accepts anything in return of her services as most of her clients cannot afford the maternity services. These include blankets, fruits, cell phones, bracelets, just anything that the mother could give. At first, I had 250 women in mind that I would start with, both donors and recipients. But every hospital that hears of this, wants to get involved and instead of the two hospitals I had planned to start with, I now have 25 hospitals on my list. The project will start running in February 2009. Since getting media support there has been enormous response countrywide. I now realise that the name I chose, Pure Love Expressed is appropriate. Mothers are willing to share their love through their involvement. When I first started, I thought the problem would be in getting donors but I have realised now the work is in capturing the recipients. This is so because the recipients fear stigma. I also had to plan a way in which the milk could be tested quickly and pasteurized so that it would not take long before it reached a recipient. Fortunately, the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) agreed to working with me. I had an approximate number of 250 women in mind for starters. But since there is a large overwhelming response, I intend to move on increasing the numbers until we go countrywide. Initially, my aim was to work with the VCTs (Voluntary Counseling and Testing Centres) and hospitals. Since VCTs are in every constituency, they are accessible to anyone so we will start a small control group. But I thought of the stigma that mothers would face if they went to VCTs to donate or get breast milk, then thought it better to work with all medical service providers.

What is the procedure?

When someone comes to donate breast milk, she fills an application form. Then the mother is screened for HIV virus and syphilis (a serious sexually transmitted disease caused by the spirally twisted

56

So is breast milk from various donors mixed?

Yes, breast milk is breast milk; it has the same quality of immunity. As long as it is screened and handled hygienically, it should not pose any danger to an infant. Just as cow milk is mixed and processed for people to buy in shops, that is how breast milk will be, only that it is free and available in hospitals for better monitoring.

Given that some children are allergic to some foods, is a donor required to be on a specific diet? bacterium treponema pallidum that affects many body organs and parts, including the genitals, brain, skin, and nervous tissue). If she is healthy, she goes through counseling whereby we explain why we need the breast milk and how the procedure would go. Then she decides to proceed, she signs the patient consent form. We agree on how and when they want to participate. She is then shown how to use a manual breast pump. It is easy to use the pumps in hospitals because they will be sterilized by KEMRI. To ensure complete hygiene, we provide a requirement that the milk must only be expressed in hospitals, then screened by KEMRI before they collect.

The challenges

Since I am dealing with the economically challenged, there is the chance that the milk could go bad because most of the mothers do not have electricity or refrigerators. I am planning on giving them ice cooler containers. Hence every day a mother comes in, she picks an ice cooler pack with milk inside it and returns it on her next visit. People are also wary of the service being free, especially the recipients. But this is help I am providing; I want to reach out to the needy through mothers because they represent continuity in life. I want my clients to be as familiar and sensitive to AIDS patients as possible. The manual breast pumps have to be used in hospitals; we need several of the equipments, so anyone who needs to donate at the hospital can do so.

Not really. We advise mothers to eat a balanced diet but beyond that they have to ensure it is rich in diet for the sake of the recipient.

What were your initial fears?

That we would not get enough donors. I was afraid of having a false start for lack of milk. But the response is overwhelming. Instead, I find myself wondering whether there will be enough people to receive all of the donations. I have realised that people are afraid of taking up the breast milk because of stigma associated with HIV positive people.

Any other way the mothers will benefit?

PLE understands that people lacking financial power need help. So the job opportunities that will be created will be open to the mothers. There is a plan to provide an incentive for donors but each case will be evaluated. They will also be trained to counsel, teach women on social issues and HIV Aids prevention.

Is the recipient only supposed to be HIV positive? The project focus is for mothers who have infants that need breast milk. Whether they lack enough milk or that the babies are orphans. But I figured the best target would be HIV positive mothers, if only to ensure children do not contract the deadly virus through breast feeding. Because babies die easily and quickly when they breast feed from a HIV positive mother.


care

Investing

in a

Baby

Just like home... By Elizabeth Ombati

You have probably seen one in your neighbourhood. You have even contemplated taking your baby there but then you have also had reservations, not knowing what care he would receive. We give you an insight on what day care centres are all about. What should a parent look out for when choosing a Day Care Centre?

faith day care centre

Day Care for children starting from 0 months to 3 (three) years. A home away from home With monitored activities Safe and secure environment Want to see your child during the day? You don’t have to wait till evening to breast feed.

We are open We are open Six days a week from Monday to Saturday 7.30 am to 5.30 pm We have kindergarten teachers who are experienced in handling little children and know how to keep them entertained. We are located in town which is very convenient for parents to drop their children as they go to work and other appointments i.e. gym at the club. It is a home away from home with adequate toys to play with and ample space for children to play. Children are also taken for outdoor activities. All day care employees are trained in Child Minder courses and basic first aid.

A

A day care centre is a place where your child is taken care of at times when you are engaged elsewhere. It is a professional environment where a baby’s holistic development is emphasized. Faith Day Care is one such facility. Here a child’s spiritual needs are also catered for. ‘We do not try

Other Activities (Optional) Hot meals provided at an extra cost. Potty training Plaiting children hair Monthly child minder courses for mothers and house keepers.

Contact & Location

THE UNITED KENYA CLUB State House Rd, Opp. St. Paul’s University Chapel Tel: 020 242 9633 Cell: 0724 054 927 wairimunyambane@yahoo.com

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12 Months

to replace a mother; we help in nurturing the baby when there arises need,’ says Catherine Nyambane, the principal of Faith Day- Care Centre. There is a definite need for day care centres as majority of mothers are forced to continue working when the baby is only a few months old. And the thought of leaving the child under the care of the untrained house helps, is also unfathomable to many parents, as some of them are not to be trusted.

Can’t a house help take care of both baby and household chores?

A house help is basically suited to do house work. He or she does not have formal training in baby care and may not be in a position to know a baby’s needs as much as the parent or a professional. Then again, house work is sure to divert their attention. The thought that a baby is being handled by a professional should get rid of any worry from a parent’s mind.

select activities that aid them in speech development and muscle and eye coordination.

What benefits would you accrue to a day care?

Today you find that most parents opt to get just one child or two. Many children therefore are closed up with no play mates and some develop characteristics like shyness. In day care, we expose children to mixing up with others. The child is hence able to grow up comfortably with his peers. In the day care we also expose the babies to activities that will teach eye and muscle coordination. We constantly talk to the children and you find that children who are constantly spoken to develop speech fast. The first 12 months are important to a child. We ensure that the children get a good foundation.

What prompts parents to At the least level take their babies to day care of education, what centres? should the teachers In most instances, the absence of a house have acquired?

Today you find that most parents opt to get just one child or two. Many children therefore are closed up with no play mates and some develop characteristics like shyness. In day care, we expose children to mixing up with others.

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help is what leads most parents to opt for day care centres. The idea that you can leave your baby in a day care when you have a house help at home is still new to most parents. They feel that a house help is adequate. Other instances when parents bring their children to a day care are when they have to travel and/or to work.

How does a child spend a typical day at the day care?

The children are brought in the morning; they are then fed a healthy, balanced breakfast. After that they are guided in singing and playing. The older ones, like three year olds engage in easy learning, like identifying various shapes of objects. Then there is Bible story telling sessions and play time. The children will have a snack at ten. Lunch is offered at 12.30p.m. In the afternoon they take a nap. They then do little activities like playing with toys. There is hot chocolate and a snack at 4pm as we ready them to leave. For the really young ones we constantly talk to them and play; we

The first thing any day care provider should know is the ABC of First Aid. They should also have training in early child development (ECD). At Faith Day care we have taken the responsibility of training parents, parents-to-be, house helps and even young people on the first aid skills in children. A child minder course.

Is there an age limit for children who should be brought to day care?

At Faith Day care, it is from age zero onwards.

What misconceptions do parents have about day care centres?

Some do not trust that day cares are manned by professionals. Many would rather leave the baby at home with a house girl.


Frequently Asked

Questions A couple that is planning for a baby or expecting one has tens of questions about reproductive health, pregnancy and birth

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Mum's Diar y

Diary

of a first time mum By Elizabeth Ombati

Sylvia Mugambi graced Pregnant Issue 17 cover together with her twin sister, Connie Mugambi. She was blessed with a baby girl on the 20th of October, 2008. She tells us of her experience as a new mother.

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My due date was 30th of October. I had made up my mind on having a C-section. In such a case, one can choose a date of delivery, even two weeks before the given due date. I chose the 25th of October because that was when my doctor would be available, but my plans did not go as planned. On the morning of 20th October, I woke up with intense contractions. I shared this with my husband who thought it was still early for the baby to come. He assured me with a smile, ‘Am sure baby can wait a few more days.’ I wanted to hold on to this assurance for the next four days but the pains were not subsiding. My mother-in-law advised that I go for a check-up and in no time, my husband and I were on our way to hospital. After check-up, I was informed that I had dilated 2cm. I had to be booked in for an emergency C-Section. This, and I had not even carried a hospital bag. I was informed that had I stayed later into the day, I would have been forced to push, something I dreaded. I urged them to go on with the operation. It had been my desire to have my husband by my side but he could not enter the theatre room. All kinds of emotions went through me. I did not know what to expect. But the moment I was put on a drip, my senses took leave and I slept. The procedure was over in about 45 minutes and when I woke up, I did not feel any pain, thanks to the painkillers I had been administered. Though we had gone for scans during my pregnancy and had been informed that it was a girl, I knew that was no guarantee, so my first question was to enquire about my baby’s sex. Jasmine was born at 12 noon on the 20th of October, weighing 3kgs.

Earlier days

Since I went through an operation, it was not possible to breastfeed my baby in the first five days. She was given formula milk. The nurses would clean her up. I was shown how to do so, including caring for her umbilical

60


cord, and general baby care. I left the hospital on the fifth day.

Welcome home new mom—some laughs

Our first night at home with Jasmine was memorable. She had been doing well all through but come midnight, she started crying. I did not know what was disturbing the baby. Jasper, just like I, was lost. Jasmine was not wet, we had just changed her. She was not hungry, for she had just breastfed. We called our mother-in-law who encouraged breastfeeding. And an auntie advised to give Gripe water. These only quieted her momentarily, because in no time she would be howling again. In the morning we decided to take her to hospital. On nearing hospital, the little angel went silent and fell asleep. We were debating whether to go on to the hospital but then changed our minds. Maybe she needed a little fresh air. We drove back hoping her silence would last. We were in for a surprise. Getting home and placing her in her cot, her screams started again. We had no alternative but to head to hospital again. On the way there she went back to slumber land. We had to make a quick decision. Getting to hospital, it was comical telling the doctor that our baby could not sleep yet there she was, asleep as a baby possibly can. The doctor gave us a ‘you must be first time parents’ look. We learnt that the baby had colic.

The challenges

The three month maternity leave is a great deal but I wish it could be longer. The initial days of raising a child are hard work. There is no sleeping. I have employed a house girl to help me with household chores since I cannot bend, my wound is yet to heal. I sleep with Jasmine but I have been advised to let her sleep in her cot, so that she does not get used to me. And soon I have to go back to work. Letting this happen has been hard though.

Funny moment

My identical twin sister Connie had accompanied me to the hospital when I started labouring. She later told me how, after I delivered, a certain nurse who had seen her in the waiting room came to her, worried. “But you just delivered, you are not supposed to be seated out here!” Amused, Connie had to explain that it was her twin who had just delivered.

Adjusting

The realization that I am “Mama Karimi” has not registered yet. Whenever my mother-in-law calls me “Mama Karimi” I take time to answer, and only respond after it hits me that it is I being addressed. I can now eat like before, especially chicken which I used to eat and puke in my pregnancy. I take lots of fluids so as to stimulate breast milk production. It is a nice feeling being a mother.

Second time a mother Being a second time mother has been challenging. There is a nine year difference between Brayan, my second child and Antoine, his older brother. But it has also been rewarding. Waithera Kabiru shares with Rebecca Njoki the joys of motherhood.

B

Brayan was born on 26th December 2007 through a normal delivery. This was the day he was expected, for my EDD fell on this day. He was a Christmas gift. We were having dinner at a friend’s house when I went into labour. I did not tell anyone, for I did not want to spoil the party. At around 10 pm the contractions got to less than five minutes apart and I was worried my water had broken. It is then that I raised the alarm and got rushed to hospital. I laboured for 12 hours, but the pain was bearable as I was on an epidural (a local anesthetic injected into the space between the outer membrane covering the spinal cord and the overlying bones of the spine. It is often used in childbirth). No complications arose after I delivered.

First days after delivery?

They were crazy! I was having a hard time getting Brayan to breastfeed and of course I suffered from lack of sleep! I had to make sure Brayan’s older brother did not feel left out and abandoned. Breastfeeding was not smooth at first. I suffered from engorged breasts but I used cabbage leaves to relieve the pain, and it worked!

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Mum's Diar y

Second time a mother After about a week of both Brayan and I trying to figure out the art of breastfeeding, the sailing got smooth. I am still breastfeeding and intend to do so until Brayan is one year old. I stayed home for six months out of choice. I just was not ready to leave him with the house-help. My leave from work was unpaid but my husband was very supportive in ensuring our needs were met.

Since I returned to work four months ago, I have had four house-helps! My first house-help could not explain bruises on my son’s head and leg. Best moments

I love playing with Brayan because he brings a smile to my face. I especially enjoy bonding during breastfeeding, when he looks into my eyes as if to say, ‘Thank-you mum for giving me the best’.

Fears you have about him?

Whenever he gets sick I panic, like any mother. In the first few days I used to watch him sleeping to make sure he is still breathing as I was very worried about SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). But now I have learnt to relax.

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What is the most amazing thing about motherhood?

I firmly believe motherhood is the ultimate joy in life! Other than God’s love, the other unconditional love is that between mother and child. I have had to re-learn many things. I would love for him to be God-fearing, above anything else. I also would like him to be a responsible, hardworking person, and to enjoy life to the fullest.

Describe his feeding habits

Brayan eats more than his nine year old brother; he has a big appetite. I am not sure if it is genetic (from his dad), though I am not complaining. We cannot have a meal in front of him without him fussing, wanting to join in.

Is there a difference between the way Brayan is growing and the way Antoine did?

For one, I stayed home with Brayan for six months while with my first born I was back to work after three months. Brayan has had the advantage of bonding longer with me. And with Brayan having a brother who is much older, he is being brought up in a more social environment, given that Antoine can guide him and play with him.

His strongest qualities?

He is an aggressive kid. His dad always says he will be a ‘fighter’ in school! He gets what he wants most of the time. He is quite the adventurer.

Plans for more kids?

Thanks but no thanks! I am glad God has blessed as with two beautiful and healthy boys.

How did you take it in the first few days after you went to work?

When I initially went back to work after my long leave, I was excited because I had stayed home for awhile, and hence felt the need to interact with adults. However, after the first couple of weeks I did miss my son terribly. I would call the house-help every other while—but I realized she could not feed me with the information I needed about my baby! Since I returned to work four months ago, I have had four house-helps! My first house-help could not explain bruises on my son’s head and leg. She ran away in the middle of the night. The second one lasted a day! I went to work and just did not feel comfortable the whole day, so I came home and asked her to leave. It was my gut talking to me. She had done nothing wrong! The third one left to further her gospel music career. I am on the fourth one and I pray we will finally settle with each other.


HIV

and

Baby

Caring for a HIV positive baby The HIV virus depletes the white blood cells thus lowering the body’s immunity. Therefore, a person infected with HIV needs special care, be it young or old. As the main care providers, women living with the HIV virus have the greater responsibility when it comes to taking care of a HIV positive child. A lot of care is needed for the baby to turn out alright and not succumb to AIDS at an early age.

A

What care is given to HIV positive children?

How are newborns tested for HIV?

Apart from supplementary feeding, the environment of a child exposed to HIV should be clean. There should be easy access to a health centre because such a child is prone to illness. It is prudent to keep some funds aside in case of an emergency. If a mother notes signs such as refusal to feed, difficulty in breathing, anaemia, diarrhoea and vomiting, she should consult a paeditrician or a doctor immediately.

Babies born to HIV positive mothers retain antibodies from their mothers. Thus, a HIV test that is done six weeks after birth with a polymerase chain result test may be positive even if the baby does not have HIV infection. After the child is one-and-a-half years, he no longer has the antibodies from the mother and can undergo the Elisa test (a test that detects the presence of the HIV antibody in a sample of blood). This test will give an accurate result.

How do babies acquire the virus?

How can I minimize motherchild transmission?

Through pregnancy, delivery and breast milk of a HIV positive mother. Due to provision of ARV’s to expectant mothers, there is a high chance that the baby may not contract the disease during pregnancy. But if not handled well, and if not advised against breastfeeding, the baby may contract the virus. According to the World Health Organization website, 30 per cent of newborns contract the HIV virus within one year after birth through breastfeeding. Thus a child should be on supplementary feeding from once delivered. This may be expensive for the parents but it goes a long way to keep the virus away from the new born.

By taking anti-retroviral drugs during the second and last trimester of pregnancy and during labour, a mother greatly reduces chances of spreading the HIV virus to her unborn child. The child may also be given an injection of anti-retroviral therapy after birth. Then he should be bottle-fed and not breastfed.

Access to information

Information and counseling must be available at post natal clinics because a mother may be doing practicing the wrong things out of ignorance. Parents of such a child should ensure they read as much information as possible to keep in stride with new information and developments. Most of it is free, provided in health centers and hospitals.

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In

the

Dock

Sharing

For the baby’s own good By Brenda Wangwe

64


T

Things have gone sour. The last thing the couple wants is to see is each other’s face. And after all efforts to erase this awful emotion yield no fruit, the couple succumbs to the contemporary way out—divorce. But there is one thing they have in common. Something their hearts respond to in the same stride. That which toned down their voices during the fights. The thing that makes them want to jump the mountains and swim the oceans just to ensure that it gets the very best. It is their baby. Now, a ‘King Solomon’ has lifted up his sword and the two sides are to negotiate for a portion of their beloved baby—because they need to go apart. Nature has it that that is not possible naturally, emotionally or even socially if the welfare of the subject of the matter (baby) is to be put in good consideration. This is where joint custody comes in—an arrangement where both parents have legal (court approval) custody over their child. According to the advocate, Phyllis Namachanja, family law proceedings which involve issues of residence and contact often generate complicated disputes. While most parents co-operate when it comes to sharing their children, not all do. In Kenya, says Namachanja, the law has it that the child automatically stays with the mother until they are 18. The father is to provide for the child until then.The lawyer goes on to enlighten that in most jurisdictions the issue of which parent the child will reside with is determined in accordance with the best interests of the child. The father can, however, stay with the baby if he proves beyond reasonable doubt that the child’s mother is not capable of bringing up the child in an ideal manner citing unstable physical and psychological conditions; like poor physical health, mental instability or a tainted police record. To do so, the court must determine that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child.

Such cases, where the court orders total parental responsibility and custody to one parent denying the other parent any access to the child are rare though. In most cases, parental responsibility for a baby will be shared by both parents so that each retains full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child. This requires both parents to be in agreement with the status of the custody as major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly. You and your spouse may agree, or the court may order, that one parent gets the ultimate responsibility over specific aspects of the child’s welfare, such as,

consideration by the courts. You and your spouse each have a responsibility to support your baby in accordance with their needs and your financial abilities. Support may be by direct payment or by indirect benefits, such as mortgage payments, insurance, or medical and dental expenses. Ordinarily, the obligation to support your child ends when that child reaches 18, marries, or becomes financially independent. Some of the issues concerning child support which must be considered include: the amount of support; the method of payment; ways to assure payments are made; when child support may be increased or decreased; and

The father can, however, stay with the baby if he proves beyond reasonable doubt that the child’s mother is not capable of bringing up the child in an ideal manner citing unstable physical and psychological conditions; like poor physical health, mental instability or a tainted police record. education, religion, their being relocated, medical and dental needs. If you as a couple have a substantial conflict over any of these areas the court will decide for you. As mentioned earlier, the court will also designate one parent’s home as the primary residence of the child. The other parent is usually entitled to frequent and continuing contact with the child. The court may also award to the child’s grandparents certain visitation rights if it is deemed by the court to be in the child’s best interest. Thereafter, the grandparents have the right to seek judicial enforcement of the visitation rights. The court may award grandparents visitation rights after the parents’ divorce, when one or both parents of the child are deceased, or when a parent of the child has deserted the child. Again, the best interest of the child is the primary

who claims the dependency deduction for tax purposes. Other questions may need to be answered, depending on the circumstances of your case. Guidelines for support which apply to all cases have been adapted by the state; generally it is based on the income of the parents and the number of children. If you have a problem getting support payments from your spouse or former spouse, or visitation and access to your child is denied, you should bring this matter to the attention of the court. It is not proper to withhold visitation or child support payments because of any alleged wrongdoing by your spouse or former spouse. This is to ensure that everyone gets their fair share—for the baby’s own good. Phyllis Namachanja is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

65


Did you know?

Tit Bits

66

That babies are, pound fo r pound, stronger than an ox. While a baby certainly coul d not pull a co vered wagon at its present size , if the child were the size of an oxen it just might very well be able to. Babie s have especially st rong and pow erful legs for such tiny creatures, so watch out for those kick s.

growing teeth start That your are before you six months s are e few babie born. Whil e, the c eth in pla born with te eventually push will teeth that ung gums of yo e through th g n lo d e form children are aves le n ve e d chil before the 12 weeks At nine to the womb. orm the f starts to the foetus rn into tu that will teeth buds . baby teeth

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That one out of every 2,000 newborn infants has a tooth when they are born. Nursing m others may cringe at th is fact. Sometimes the tooth is a regular baby toot h that has already erup ted and sometimes it is an extra tooth that will fa ll out before the othe r set of choppers comes in.

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Merry activities Merry decor Merry gifts Merry cleaning Merry money minting Merry hosting 67 Merry fruit cake


Merry Activities

Boredom busters at Christmas time

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Christmas is a most enjoyable time for both kids and grown ups. It is a time when almost everyone has a long holiday; a chance for you to meet your loved ones. But how do you occupy your time together with fun activities? Below are some suggestions that you could use to improve the quality of the time you spend with your kids. Go for a movie together. So your kids have been raving of the new comedy in town and you never had the time to check it out within the year? Let them enjoy the movie with you now that you are free. Take a snack and let them pick their choice. It will be a memorable time that they will thank you for. Decorate the Christmas tree together. Encourage the children to pick a branch or two and adorn it on their own. Provide the lights, the bells, the decorations and the music. Leave it to them to decide what to put where and it will turn out to be an adventure. Bake cookies or mandazis and allow kids to decorate while preparing. Give them ideas and let them explore. However, do not let them near the oven or fireplace as it may cause an accident. Let them design their own Christmas greeting cards. You could help in purchasing the manila paper and drawing tools. On the other hand, you could cut out the old greeting cards or fancy pictures and stick them on the manila papers, then colour them. Help out in a social cause as a family unit such as donating food, encouraging them to give the clothes that no longer

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By Rebecca Njoki

fit or those they have not worn for a long period. Bring out the artist in them. Let them draw or paint pictures with Christmas themes and display the pictures where friends and visiting relatives can see. It will build their self confidence when they are appreciated. Indulge in a simple sight seeing stroll and hear out their expressed ideas concerning what they see. If they ask to stop for example, in a park, then do it. After all, the rest of the days you are always in a

Bring out the artist in them. Let them draw or paint pictures with Christmas themes and display the pictures where friends and visiting relatives can see. hurry to get home and you could make use of that time to see the developments in your surrounding. If they are involved in church activities, encourage them to rehearse the Christmas carol and the Bible verses. This will help them learn fast and be able to stand up together with their peers without hesitation. It will also build their morale. Place the photos you have taken during the year in newly bought albums. While placing them, the pictures will help you

point out details of the captured moment. It may be a funny pose or something to enjoy together. Drive with your children around the estate and in town telling your childhood times. In a way this makes them relate with you better knowing that you were at their stage at one time. Go for a picnic. Prepare food for a group and ask other families to join you preferably those who have your children’s age mates. Then get music and encourage them to bond and play together. You may also join in for a ball game if you are in an open space. Or you can have a bonding session for getting to know your relatives and your ancestry. A story telling session over snacks or takeaway packed lunch could also suffice. Let the kids hang dÊcor around the house. Purchase decorations and ask the children to help put them up. Ensure that they stand on firm bases and reward their efforts after the work is all done. Do some gardening. An outdoor activity would do well for kids if it is not strenuous. You could weed out the small flower garden or plant fragrance plants around the house. Make sure that every one of their efforts is praised for best results. Compose your own songs and poetry and recite them together. Allow provision for creativity from every child. This should be fun if it is a success. Let the kids sing for guests at your home or while you are out with family or friends for get-togethers.


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Merry decor

easy ideas for

Christmas dĂŠcor

The Christmas season for most people is indeed a busy time. This is more so when it finds you pregnant, for you may find that you have little or no energy left to decorate your home. Dedicating time to find unique and high quality ideas for Christmas decoration may be the last thing on your mind, your thoughts directed only on your forthcoming child.

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Here are dĂŠcor ideas that are fun and easy. The kids will also enjoy decorating with you.

First and foremost, decide on a colour scheme. Christmas colours are basically green, red and gold. Decorating is always easy when you do it around a theme. Most families tend to have a decorating ritual of adorning the Christmas tree. The tree is normally placed in the living room. Collect items that are attractive and of interest to you, then get ahead with creating a festive environment. Ornaments which kids have made are ideal. You may add colour to a room by getting flowers that are in tandem with your theme. Place them in vases and bowls and set them in a place that is ideal. If you have houseplants, you may dress them up by hanging small ornaments on them. Potted plants can be wrapped with red or gold foil. Display your Christmas cards on a stand or shelf. This will make for interesting

reading and will look attractive if placed strategically. Bake simple cookies and make a hole toward the top of each cookie using a straw. When ready and cool, string a red or green ribbon through each cookie and hang on your Christmas tree. Go wild with the children. Use crayons to decorate your mirrors and windows. The children will love you for this. Make use of Christmas wrapping paper. You can use this to wrap your table and stools. Wrap your picture frames with the same paper and put back in place. They will look striking. You could also get boxes of varied sizes and wrap them with the same paper. Then pile the boxes in a corner. The effect is stunning. Hang indoor Christmas lights. Screw small hooks into the wall and ceiling and hang the lights from them. Dress up your table ware. Tie green, gold and red ribbons to the stems of wine glasses or cutlery handles. Have a Christmas screen saver on your computer. This will keep you in the spirit. Cut pictures from Christmas cards and pin them to your curtains or bedspread.

You can also cut out pictures of old Christmas cards and create a collage by gluing them onto a piece of poster board. Frame the poster board if you like or simply hang it on the wall. The children will have fun with this one too. To add color to a room instantly, use red or green towels, blankets or even scraps of fabric as throws for your chairs, couch or tables. Tie bows around door knobs. This is one of the simplest Christmas decorations. Display coloured glass ball ornaments or even beads in bowls (preferably clear glass) instead of hanging them on your tree. Away from the living room, you could put some color into your bathroom. Have on display red and green glycerin soaps, bath gels and oils. Get a wreath and hang it oat the entrance of the front door. It will serve as a cheerful welcome sign to both family and visitors.

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Merry Gifts

Their Christmas gifts Do you need help?

Christmas is a time for giving and receiving. There are those among us who do not necessarily want anything. Then there are those who seem to have everything, making it hard for you to pick something for them. So how do you make the gift shopping experience easier and fun. know what he likes. Maybe you heard him make a comment about something, ‘That sculpture looks beautiful,’ or ‘I have to start visiting the gym soon.’ In such a case, you already have a clue as to what interests them. In this case full year’s subscription to a reputable gym would be ideal. Other gifts to present to a man include: Shaving kits, deodorants, sunglasses, personalized gifts such as a pen engraved with his name, ipods, pen stands and cards. If you know he is visiting a certain place, say Mombasa, going out of your way to get him a guide map to show him which interesting places to visit would be welcome. If he loves sport like football or cricket and a game is in the offing purchasing a ticket for, will make him adore you.

For the ladies

When it comes to exchanging gifts, what matters most is the thought. A simple yet elegant and inexpensive gift can go a long way to warm the receiver’s heart. Esther Nyawira has worked in a gift centre for eleven years and says that contrary to popular belief, a gift need not be expensive. ‘From a funky looking

70

handkerchief to a priceless Monalisa painting, a gift is a gift.’ She gives some tips s on how to ‘gift-pick’ just right.

For your man

It could be your husband, brother, friend, co-worker or father. Selecting a gift for whoever it is will be easy if you

The person in mind could be your mother, sister, co-worker, friend or even a pregnant lady friend. Watches, jewellery, perfume , handbags, teddy bears, chocolate and office accessories are appreciated by most women. For the expectant friend, it would be thoughtful to buy something for the forthcoming baby such as diapers and baby clothes.

For a younger person

This could be your child, your younger brother or sister, nephew, niece, or even a friend’s child. When shopping for children, the tendency is to go for toys and clothes. For older youngsters (nine


Merry Gifts

to 15 year olds) you may find it best to buy clothes in the latest trends and fashion. Most shopping malls have introduced shopping vouchers and it would be gratifying to get one for a teenager; this way he will shop for himself and get exactly what he fancies. Other memorable gifts to buy may include Christmas CDs and movies. According to Sarah Wambui, a book dealer, it would be a good idea to buy a book for that special person. A spiritual or motivational book is appropriate to present to someone as a Christmas present. May be your loved one did not have a fulfilled year and a motivational book will uplift him and give him renewed energy to find reason to be happy. Sarah recommends Impossible is Possible by John Mason and The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

Do

• Wrap the present attractively and remember to use themed wrap paper, in this case Christmas wrapping. Remember that everyone likes the excitement of tearing open the wrapping to take out the gift. It is also thoughtful to go the extra mile as you package the gift, by tying it with a ribbon or a bow. • Attach a card to your gift telling the receiver how much you appreciate them. • Give a shopping voucher so that your loved one can do the buying themselves. They will probably appreciate this gesture more.

Do not

• Include the receipt of your purchase. Remember to keep the receipt away before presenting the gift. The price of the gift may be taken to reflect how much or less you value your intended recipient. • Buy clothes and shoes without adequate information. In case you decide to buy clothes, ensure you know the size and the taste of the receiver to make the gift more meaningful.

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Merry Money Minting

Making money

during

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By Rebecca Njoki

Christmas time is a time to spend. But is there a way that one can make some extra money during this period? One way of doing this is by targeting the money-spenders; and by giving thought to what might interest them and their families. You could plan early so that people can start purchasing your wares in advance. Below are some ideas that can earn you an extra penny:

Translate your artistic mind into a money making venture

Determine what you are good at, an activity that you can engage in during your free time. It could be sewing, painting, or pottery. People enjoy giving products of such artistry as gifts. Stem the urge to give them out for free otherwise you will not make any extra cash. Let your friends be your first customers, the ones to spread the news about your talent and business. Remember people are more than willing

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to spend money for that special gift or holiday service. When you engage your creative juices, you will pocket money and usher in the New Year stress free.

Greeting cards and notes

Remember the good old days when sending love cards and greeting cards was the in thing? A personal touch is always welcome. It is delightful to send a hand made card alongside a present to send to friends and family. Make sure you prepare notes that are well authored to enable the receiver to have them as keepsakes. The rewards of this type of business are very exciting.

Buy and pack gifts on behalf of others

With almost everyone having the intention of sending a seasons greeting card or a gift to a loved one , and with no enough time to do so, this is where you come in and extend a helping

hand—of course at a fee. You may take advantage by packing and wrapping the gifts, and selling at a slightly higher price. This venture can start out with people you know, and then expand to those you do not know by word of mouth and advertising.

Baby sit

Not all parties are for children. Parents will welcome a chance to go out without their children even if it is only for a night.

Cook

The merry season is not complete without lots of eating and drinking. Look out for those who need a helping hand and those who do not enjoy cooking and do it for a fee. Future customers for other similar functions may arise then.


Merry Cleaning

Dealing with the aftermath of the Christmas party

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The party has been great. You have just seen the last guest off, and the rest of your household has retired to sleep. As you too call it a day you cannot help but suddenly notice how your house looks like it has been hit by a hurricane. Not to worry, here is what to do to make cleaning easier. By Brenda wangwe

Preparation

First to make things easier, prepare your house so that it is always ready to accommodate children and company. For example, choose dark coloured rugs that can mask stains that may occur during the party. It is helpful to have a few towels stashed somewhere so that accidents can be taken care of immediately. This will serve both your guests and children well. In order to avoid water rings on the furniture, position coasters and napkins strategically around the room before the party. Delegate some responsibilities in advance but remember you are the hostess. You may ask a friend to help you pick up dirty plates and used glasses during party time.

In the morning

• • • • •

After the party

• • •

• • •

Start by emptying your kitchen sink and clearing off your kitchen counters. Empty leftover food into plastic containers and put in the fridge. Gather up all the cutlery, dishes and glasses. Scrape plates and empty glasses and put them to soak. You could use a bucket filled with soap and water. It fits under our sink so that we can put the dishes out of sight while we attend to the rest of the mess. Getting clutter out of the way makes the kitchen look cleaner even before the actual cleaning process takes place. Then, attend to all stains accordingly. Quickly damp mop the floor. This is not the time to be thorough. You are just trying to give the next morning an easier start. Wipe down your kitchen counters, drink a glass of water and go to bed.

• •

To eliminate smoke, food or other odours, leave a small bowl with cotton balls soaked in vanilla to kill any smoke or odours in a room. Light a great smelling candle and put on some upbeat music. Have tea and something to boost your energy levels. Check any stains. Add additional spot remover if necessary. Do the dishes taking breaks in between enjoying your favourite beverage. Make sure that you do them on the sink so that you avoid bending, which is a health hazard for you as an expectant mother. Clean the blenders by pouring a bit of soap in the bottom and fill almost to the top with water. Cover and blend on low for a few minutes. Any remaining food will come right off when wiped with a cleaning sponge. Remove coffee and tea stains from fine china by rubbing it with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda. To clean your microwave oven, combine one tablespoon baking soda with a cup of water and heat until the mixture froths over. Then wipe with a sponge and warm water. To remove burned food from a pan, heat the pan on the stove until it is fairly warm. Then place a mixture of bleach and detergent over the burnedon food. Leave it for twenty minutes to an hour and then rinse.

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Be a gracious host Hosting a successful dinner is every hosts’ desire. But this becomes a challenge when large numbers are involved, for Christmas is about people and food. Here is what to do to ensure it turns out so. Guest list

Prepare a guest list and keep in mind that not all you invite will attend. The reason could be that they too, are hosting parties so do not entirely stick to cooking for the number you have invited. You need flexibility. Be in a position to accommodate more or less. Send out invitations in ample time so that people have a chance to get back to you.

Cooking

Who will do the cooking? This is the first question you answer after dispatching the invitations. It is a home made dinner yes, but no one will fault you for hiring outside caterers. If you think the number of people could be overwhelming, you may consider an extra hand. The important thing is to ensure that the issue of food is catered for adequately. Keep in mind your limitations and time constraints in as far the preparation is concerned. This will save you a great deal of headache in the end.

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The menu

Taking time to find out what individual members love in their food table, may be tasking, but may also go a long way in making the event memorable. They will not forget you soon for that grand gesture. So, as you plan what to cook at the Christmas dinner party, and putting into consideration what the guests prefer, go for the foods that are both delicious and easy to make. You may even opt for foods that can be made ahead of time and only require heating before the party to be finished. When planning what to cook, you may find it wise to stick to cooking foods you are familiar with.

All ready

Now that you have in mind the approximate number of people attending, assuming that they have got back to you, and you have the list of the foods to cook ready, you need to start making final plans. Create a list of the supplies you will need to host the dinner. Items like tables, chairs, cutlery, plates and decorations, if any. Food items from your menu fall under this category as well. Now, all is set to go. It would be recommended to take a week before your dinner party to take time and do shopping. You may find it in order too, to give your house a thorough cleaning. Incase you are doing the cooking on your own; you can start the day before the party, preferably in the evening. Let the day of the party be for cooking the simpler foods that take a short time to cook and also for setting up the tables and adding the finishing touches to your dĂŠcor. If outside caterers are doing the cooking, ensure that everything is ready. All it takes to host a memorable and successful Christmas dinner party as can be seen, is preparation. Go ahead, enjoy.


Sumptuous dessert A cake tops it all, completes a meal, an occasion. This delicious fruit cake will make the perfect desert for Christmas dinner.

Ingredients

250g butter 230g dark b rown sugar 4 eggs 350g wheat flour 2tbs baking powder 160g sultanas 100g currants 250g chopped glazed cherri es 45g glazed ap ricots 80g coarsely crushed cash ew nuts 1tbs grated le mon rind 3tbs treache 1tbs ginger 1tbs mixed sp ice 1tbs cinnamo n 250ml brand y or rum

Processing method

Put the fruit in a bowl with the brandy and soak overnight Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease the baking tin 20cm round. Cream the butter and sugar. Add in the treache and rind Add the eggs, beating after each addition. Stir in the fruit and the sifted flour and spices. Spoon into the baking tin and smooth

the surface. Tap the tin to remove air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes – 2 hours or until skewer comes out clean.

Icing—frosting

3 egg whites 500 g icing sugar 2-3 tbs lemon juice Method Lightly beat the egg white with a

wooden spoon. Gradually add the icing, beating to a smooth paste. Add the lemon juice Spread the icing on the cake with a pallet knife. Pat the icing with the knife to make peaks/frosting. Decorate with holly leaves and red berries. Recipe courtesy of Matthew Gathua of Valentine Cake House

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Shy M ments nt look None pregna

my only affect my tum to s em se y d my face My pregnanc y skin glows an M ). ad gl am g. While I am (of which I I am expectin at th ay tr be y condition. does not e to suspect m on r s fo rd ha is to my friend seated it when I went ed d er ha ov sc ho di w I r Or so rly mothe rty. Her elde . And place for a pa ed some help ne y seated ed the ad re ng al ri e no m ig d foun me, totally to t ou d un te this yo g so she poin women—‘Can r ge un yo r, some buckets’ other fitte e and get me or st . e th to from my seat lady dash heavy frame y m on d d te ie lif tif y I quickl tally mor , she was to ely, Upon standing on. She apologised profus iti nd seeing my co l. me a footstoo and even got

Hot pizza I grew up in rural Kisii. M y friend decide special Christ d to give me mas gift since a I was pregna should visit N nt. She felt th airobi as I had at I never set foot sun. I was ve in the city in th ry excited and e soon was head capital city. O bound for the ne day as I was walking in the I decided to neighbourhoo buy pizza, of d, which I had ne before. I orde ver partaken red for a take of away. The at ‘You want ho tendant asked, t or…?’ I knew she was abou so I did not le t to say cold an t her finish th d e sentence. ‘H I could not w ot is okay,’ I sa ait to taste th id. e pizza. I made a mad rush to the ho use to find my quickly took a friend waiting. large piece of I the snack and the eagerness munched it w of a small child ith . But before I taste, I sudden could savour ly started coug the hing hysterical could not un ly. My friend derstand wha t was happen small bite of it— ing. She took and smiled. Th a e pizza had to She had to br o much chilli. ing me water to calm my co learnt that ho ugh spasms. I t meant chill i. Silly me, I attendant wan had thought ted to give m the e cold pizza. never forgiven My friend ha me for giving s her such a scar to name my ch e. She asked m ild ‘Hot’ as a e reminder. Funn my baby girl y, but I did ca Hottenshiah. ll

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Relieved fro m not queuin g

On a hot sunn y day I walke d into the bank to make a qu . I was ick deposit bu t from the long I did not see queue this happenin g. I got depr had to finish m essed; I y transaction that day. The hall was stuffy banking despite the fa ns working ov I filled my tran ertime. saction form and found a noting my pl sit after ace in the qu eue. A kindly came to me an askari d walked me right to the fr the queue. I ont of was elated. Bu t not the thre now behind m e men e. I could hear them engage animated disc in an ussion, asking what was spec me, why I co ial with uld not wait on line like th them. It is on e rest of ly when one of them note stomach that sil d my big ence descende d. I felt overly of my bump proud as I walked aw ay, upon com of my busines pletion s.

Hard to let go I loved my fitting blue jeans. I would wear them every weekend. I neglected the rest of my wardrobe hence. Then I got pregnant. I would still wear my jeans. But after some months I realized that I just had to let go. It was not easy. On this weekend I decided to have them on one more last time. So I took a huge safety pin to fasten the waist. It was a long and busy day and I did not notice when the pin eventually gave in. The sharp point was jutting out and as I alighted from the bus I accidentally brushed past the conductor. He yelped in pain. It was all I could do not to run. I dashed home and removed my beloved pair of jeans. It was time for them to rest.

Football kicks

ote on , I usually place the rem When I am watching TV nths mo ht eig ck. When I was my stomach and lean ba ing be s wa tch important ma pregnant, a particularly d ha I d an , nd sba with my hu televised. I was home he ; him th wi tch ma football promised to watch a tball, baby is exposed to foo the lier ear believes the sat in we it when he grows! As the better he will love and k kic by match, I felt my ba silence, hooked on the ce tan dis a ote s the TV rem the next thing I saw wa My ch. ma sto my placed it on away from me. I had could s strange that a remote wa it ht husband thoug bably pro s wa by ba the that fly on its own. I told him bby hu g ability. Amused, my practicing his ball kickin said ‘See, I told you.’


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Pregnant Magazine Issue18  

Pregnant Magazine Issue18

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