De-stress for a healthier pregnancy

Pregnancy Awareness Week brings motherhood into focus

Thursday, January 28 2016

South Africa is the second most stressed country in the world, according to a 2013 study by Bloomberg, with the most stressed nation being Nigeria. For pregnant South African women this could have implications for their unborn babies.

Netcare St Anne’s Hospital maternity unit manager, Shanila Moodley, says research has linked chronic stress during pregnancy to small differences in the brain development of foetuses and, in severe cases, this might also lead to developmental difficulties as the baby grows.

“Pregnant women are advised to find ways to reduce unhealthy stress and embrace better coping mechanisms to give their unborn babies the best possible start in life. Having a baby should be a joyful experience. We therefore actively encourage mothers-to-be to make a special effort to deal with unhealthy stress in their lives. It is important to find coping mechanisms that work for you as an individual, as having a baby can at times be overwhelming, especially for new mothers,” explained Sr Moodley, who was speaking in Pietermaritzburg ahead of Pregnancy Week, 8 to 14 February 2016.

“Simple steps such as informing your doctor or a counsellor about issues that may be causing you stress, some light exercise and relaxing with a book and cup of tea, can go a long way in reducing stress levels. Some pregnant women may find relief via creative endeavours such as writing, painting, craftwork or other relaxing activities.”

Sr Moodley says that, quite understandably, new mothers are often concerned about the arrival of their babies. “Women delivering their babies at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital can take comfort in the knowledge that they and their precious bundles of joy will receive expert care and personal attention. We have highly skilled and experienced paediatricians, obstetricians and gynaecologists practising at our hospital and will always go the extra mile for our patients to ensure that their newborn baby has the best possible start to life.”

Netcare St Anne’s Hospital general manager, Louis Joubert, says that the refurbished maternity unit at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital offers a fully comprehensive service, including labour and delivery, breastfeeding assistance, postnatal care and specialised care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The unit offers 15-bed general, semi-private, and private wards, and there is also a Netcare Stork’s Nest mother and baby wellness clinic situated on the premises.

“The upgrades to the unit were undertaken in response to a growing need for quality maternity services in the communities we serve, and the facilities are fitted out with state-of-the-art technology and equipment. This is complemented by the high standard of care that has always been delivered by our dedicated nursing and medical professionals, who will assist to ease the concerns of expectant parents,” affirms Joubert.

“The upgrading of the maternity facilities cements the hospital’s reputation as one of the finest units of its kind in the region. The philosophy of the hospital is to ensure that each patient is well looked after from the moment of her arrival and well beyond the delivery of her child.”

“The neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital is known to attract patients from all over KwaZulu-Natal. We specialise in the care of microprem and critically ill neonates. Our NICU is also specially equipped for the treatment of severe respiratory conditions in neonates.”

“Our facilities are designed to make every mother’s stay as comfortable and relaxed as possible, with spacious private rooms all with their own en-suite bathrooms. “The unit places an emphasis on actively encouraging bonding between mother, father and baby.”

Sr Moodley adds the state-of-the-art maternity amenities have been purpose-designed for maximum efficiency, security of mother and child, and infection control. “The caesarean theatre, delivery rooms and NICU are situated together. This means that the entire unit is self-contained and able to rapidly respond to all medical situations should the need arise. In the event of premature birth or complications, the NICU achieves excellent outcomes in the area of neonatal care of premature and underweight babies.”

The on-site Netcare Stork’s Nest mother and baby wellness clinic provides the following services: antenatal classes, 4D scans, breastfeeding advice, as well as education classes, guidance, support and developmental milestone monitoring.

During pregnancy week, 8 to 14 February 2016, Netcare St Anne’s Hospital will have open days, where prospective parents can view the facilities and the services that the hospital has on offer. It will also give mothers an opportunity to meet the staff and to get more information on, and what to expect during, pregnancy.

“One of the greatest concerns faced by parents is the safety and wellbeing of their child before and after birth. It therefore stands to reason that they would want to be secure in the knowledge that their chosen healthcare facility will have all the required resources, competency and skills on hand to provide their child with the best possible healthcare services,” concludes Sr Moodley.


Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare St Anne’s Hospital
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Devereaux Morkel
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]