Care and support | First 1000 days

Develop a support system. Make sure you have other expecting parents to talk to and make a point of talking to them or seeing them at least once a week. Express and accept your negative feelings. It's normal to feel bad sometimes when you're adjusting to a new baby.

Mother / Caregiver

Confirm your pregnancy at the clinic if you suspect you may be pregnant.

There is someone you can speak to at your clinic and there is help available if you don’t want your baby.

  • Book in at an antenatal clinic in the first three months of pregnancy.
  • Avoid stress.
  • Look after your body, mind and soul.

Pregnant women and mothers who are stressed or depressed need help.

Depression and anxiety are very common in pregnant women and it affects a person’s feelings, thoughts and behaviour.

Depression and anxiety can be helped with counselling, but sometimes a depressed person needs medication. You can ask for help at the clinic if you are having negative feelings about your pregnancy or for stressful relationships, because severe stress during pregnancy can affect your baby - even before birth.

Your unborn baby feels your stress. There is help available for very stressful or violent situations during or after pregnancy; ask your clinic nurse about this.

Make sure that you are looking after your own health. The clinic has food supplements for pregnant women who need them. You can ask your clinic nurse if you need these supplements.

Your baby can become infected with HIV and TB and other illnesses during pregnancy. Make sure you attend your antenatal appointments. Drugs, alcohol and smoking during pregnancy affect your unborn baby. You can ask for help to stop using alcohol, smoking and abusing substances (drugs) during pregnancy.

Do you know what is available in your community to support you in planning for your baby?

  • You can register with Mom-Connect?
  • There may be a pregnant Mom’s/Dad’s support group in your area which you can join.

MomConnect has three main objectives: 

To register each pregnancy at a government health facility.

To send stage-based, personalised SMSes to each mom in the registry.

To allow women to engage with the health system through help desk tools and services.

    How To Register for MomConnect:

    1. Ask someone at a public health care facility to confirm that you are pregnant.
    2. Dial *134*550# from your cellphone to register.
    3. Answer a few simple questions about your pregnancy. 
    4. You will then be registered – welcome to the family!
    5. Pregnancy is registered in the national database.
    6. User receives weekly SMS messages to inform them of their pregnancy and baby health (up to when the child is one year old).

    Plan how you will get to the hospital or clinic where you will give birth.

    • Is there a family member or friend who you could ask to be with you when you give birth to your baby?
    • Make plans for a caring person to care for your other children whilst you go to hospital to give birth.

    During Pregnancy

    • Avoid stress.
    • Attend your antenatal appointments.
    • Look after your body, mind and soul.
    • Pregnant women and mothers who are stressed or depressed need help.
    • Stop drinking alcohol after a missed period.
    • Eat healthy food.
    • Stop smoking.
    • Do regular exercise.

    Child

    Good nutrition is essential to ensure a healthy pregnancy, and that your baby is born with a strong body and smart brain. During pregnancy, babies draw all of their nutrients from their mother. If mom lacks key nutrients, so will her baby, putting the child’s future health and development at risk.

    Read our pamphlet on why the First 1000 Days is so important to your unborn child's future.

    Flyer ENG & AFR.pdf (pdf, 225.86 KB)
    Flyer ENG & XHOSA.pdf (pdf, 225.02 KB)