Esther Kimani: Pregnancy and Baby WhatsApp Chat
Three weeks ago, we had the opportunity of having an educative, interactive and a quite engaging WhatsApp flash chat sponsored by MYDAWA and it was full to capacity. Our in house expert, Esther Kimani answered a lot of questions on Pregnancy and Baby raised by mothers in the group.
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Esther Kimani is a Certified Nutrition Advisor, Certified Lactation Specialist, Certified Doula (CD DONA), and a member of DONA International, LAMAZE Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE), Certified Infant Massage Instructor (IAIM) and also a certified Infant and Young Child Nutrition Counsellor. She supports and walks with parents so that they can fully enjoy the parenting journey during pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Here is a brief summary of points to carry home.
Feeding and Weaning Highlights
- What do you do to babies who close the mouth or refuse to swallow food as you start weaning?
Esther Kimani: Feeding toddlers can turn into a fighting time due to bad eating habits, not swallowing and complete refusal to eat. Babies don’t hate food but reject the methods in which it’s given and presented to them.If the baby refuses her food but eats your food; let her be, that’s a blessing and not a problem.
You can also try having her food on your plate and see how that goes. Try having other caregivers apart from you feed her if she utterly refuses to be fed by you. In addition to this, avoid feeding her while hungry as she will be impatient.
- Any tactics can one use to make a toddler eat/ swallow his food and avoid keeping it in the mouth for long?
Esther Kimani: For toddlers who keep food in their mouth for too long, allow them to lead and feed themselves. Children at this age are becoming a bit independent and food presentation matters too. Try using colourful and divided or partitioned plates for attractive servings, to avoid mixing food, or mashing it into a soggy mixture.
- Can I introduce cow and gate to my boy at 4 months?
Esther Kimani: 2-4 tablespoons 2-3 times a day. Milk should still remain as the main food.
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- At what point should we add salt to baby’s food and sugar too?
Esther Kimani: If you are wondering when is the correct time to add sugar or salt; Esther advises that salt should be introduced at 7 months to boost iodine intake but sugar should be delayed as long as possible.
- Is it okay to give multivitamins?
Esther Kimani: Administering multi-vitamins is also good as the baby can get more nutrients from other sources. Websites like MYDAWA are offering amazing discounts for you. Use VILLAGER15 to get a 15% OFF when you buy these multivitamins.
- My baby is three months old and I’ve tried introducing the bottle but baby is not cooperative, he cries the whole time. Am almost going back to work and I have no clue on what to do.
Esther Kimani: If you are going back to work, bottle feed at around 6-8 weeks prior then let someone else do it
- Hey what amount of food should the baby eat at 6 months -7 months? How do you know when to add the amount?
Esther Kimani: Feeding should be 25ml per kg per session. Your baby should take 500ml of dairy everyday. More than this does interfere. For a fussy feeder, try and give small meals. Fruits should be introduced last, closer to 7 months. On the topic of adding milk to baby’s food, add oils as milk will interfere with the absorption of nutrients such as iron.
Sleep Training and Potty Training Highlights
- By any chance are we talking about sleep training babies? If yes, at what age should it start?
Esther Kimani: Sleep training babies should start ideally from birth. Establish a sleep routine that signifies sleep to the baby and the baby will adjust pretty early.
- On sleeping training…I want to add a twist to it and ask if a baby is not sleep trained when do they sleep the whole night?
Esther Kimani: Most babies will sleep through the night at around 9-15 months.
- Is it too late to sleep train a 14 month baby who cant sleep without breastfeeding but still wakes up enough times at night breast-feeds to sleep?
Esther Kimani: Most likely some emotional need to connect with you. You can look at what is going on in the baby’s life to see why they need it.
- Hi, what do I do for my 7 weeks old baby to poop? He hasn’t pooped for 3 days now and he seems to be really struggling to do so in vain?
Esther Kimani: If he is on breast milk only then there is no cause to worry. Baby may skip passing stool for up to 7 days and that’s normal.It is also normal for babies to strain while passing stool as they have to use more strength and co-ordination so they can be pretty loud too.
- Potty training tips for one year 8 months
Esther Kimani: Potty training will be guided by the baby. The baby starts showing signs of readiness like hiding while passing stool or urine. If they do show these signs, potty train them as soon as they wake up.
Pregnancy and Baby Highlights
- What can I do to speed up labour.
Esther Kimani: Have lots of movement during labour, avoid lying down and let gravity work for you. Dance, move walk, breathe in and out through your contractions and have good support during labour.
Apparently, Pineapple and ripe Pawpaw do induce labour so if you’re tired of waiting for your labour pains, might as well get a big pineapple and start on it 🙂
- I have rumours that pineapple , sex and chilli help but am not sure if it is scientifically proven. But you can try since it is healthy anyway.
Esther Kimani: Yes they do have some benefit, when a man ejaculates, he releases Prostangladins that is the hormone that helps the cervix to soften so sex can trigger labour.
- What should one apply to the body when pregnant to avoid stretch marks?
Esther Kimani: Stretch-marks due to your expanding tummy can be reduced by applying oils to soothe the skin. Oils like bio oil, coconut oil and Vaseline act as great moisturizers and help minimizing stretch-marks.
In case you are having pelvic pains after feeding or in general, it may be due to the location of the baby. If too low, it maybe hard to walk so schedule in your routine pelvic shift exercises to help save the situation and the location of the baby.
- After a CS, how soon can one get pregnant?
Esther Kimani: It is recommended to get another child after 18 months to 2 years. Vaginal birth after a Caeserean birth is possible as long as the baby engages into the birth canal and with good medical support.
- Is it normal for a baby over 2 months to get startled while asleep? What can one do?
Esther Kimani: Actually it’s called a startle reflex and is normal. It’s actually important as it helps baby coordinate their breathing. To help your baby, swaddle them well so that it doesn’t wake baby up
Drooling and Eczema Highlights
- My baby has eczema what are the does and don’t to heal have already seen a paediatrician but how will i manage to avoid occurring instances?
Esther Kimani: Eczema is a genetic condition so there is no cure but you can manage it. The best thing is to find out what your baby reacts to. Most of the triggers are either environmental or dietary. It could be what comes into contact with baby like cloths, soap oils or it could be what baby is eating. Once you find the trigger, avoiding it helps. Also the skin tends to be very dry, so moisturizing it with appropriate oils helps.
Myths and Misconceptions Highlights
- Is it true that if baby boy stays with diapers 24/7 it can cause infertility?
Esther Kimani: This is just a myth babies do not yet produce sperm so their is no link to their fertility.
This was obviously a great and insightful WhatsApp flash chat and a way to find out the major concerns mothers in Kenya have. There will be another chat, a continuation of Pregnancy and Baby Chat and we are excited to have you again next time.
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