Pregnancy and Paediatrics

This section provides expert tips on pregnancy, babies and looking after children up to 12 from our leading paediatricians, general practitioners and gynaecologists.

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Babies

Can preterm births be prevented?

Pregnancy can take a scary turn when preterm birth becomes a possibility. Three Mediclinic experts weigh in.

Babies

Prematurity: The difference a week makes

Preterm birth can be a scary reality for some parents in South Africa. “Any infant born before 37 weeks’ gestation is described as preterm,” explains Dr Samantha O’Ryan, a neonatologist at Mediclinic Panorama.

Conditions

Pregnant and diabetic? What you need to know..

Two situations can occur: a woman with pre-existing diabetes wants to have a baby or, diabetes presents itself during the pregnancy of an otherwise healthy mother (this is referred to as gestational diabetes). Dr Andre Diedericks, an Ob-Gyn at Mediclinic Bloemfontein, explains these two situations.

Children up to 12

Is ADHD a learning disability – and can it lead to other mental health issues?

How does attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder develop? Does it impact a child’s intelligence later in life? And are there any mental health conditions associated with the condition? Paediatrician Dr Hannelie Potgieter, based at Mediclinic Potchefstroom, busts a few prevalent myths.

birth control, contraception, advances in birth control
Expert Articles

Birth control: contraception methods then and now

While today we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to contraception, the birth control pill only came to the market 58 years ago. We look back to see how far

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Immunisations save lives and help stop diseases from spreading.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • To make the most of every second, we strive to synchronise all our clocks in the hospital.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • Our hospitals have been awarded international accreditation for best practice in the management of environmental systems and practices.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • Some of our hospitals have operating tables that can support patients of up to 370kg in weight and 2.2m in height.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • Mediclinic is one of the three leading private hospital groups in Southern Africa and the sixth largest private healthcare group in the world.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • Our expert breastfeeding advice is based on the principles of the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organisation.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • A baby weighing 390g survived thanks to the expertise of Mediclinic’s highly qualified paediatric staff and specialists.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • We place oxygen-releasing, toxin-absorbing plants, like Sanseviera Trifasciata, around our hospitals.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • We have backup generators for our backup generators so that we can provide uninterrupted expert care.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • A jumping rope uses almost every muscle in the entire body during exercise.
    #MediclinicFacts
Babies

What’s in your breast milk?

We’ve heard it time and again, “breast is best”, but what exactly does breast milk contain that makes it so good for your baby?

breastfeeding. breastfeeding benefits for mom
Babies

Your Body on Breastfeeding: health benefits for mom

Most mothers are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding for their baby but they don’t realise there are benefits for them too.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Scrub areas in theatre are a minimum of 2.1m wide to accommodate at least two people at a time.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • A jumping rope uses almost every muscle in the entire body during exercise.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • An orange has over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, providing anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and blood clot-inhibiting effects.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • Our radio-translucent theatre beds enable X-rays to be taken on the spot, without having to move the patient or disturb the procedure.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • We found a practical solution to a shortage of theatre nurses by becoming a registered teaching institution.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • We monitor the temperature of our neonatal units as newborn babies are extremely sensitive to temperature change.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • You get 20% of the water your body needs from eating fruit and vegetables.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • Mediclinic trains more than a thousand nurses annually at training centres throughout Southern Africa.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • We have backup generators for our backup generators so that we can provide uninterrupted expert care.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • To ensure sterility, our surgical instruments are twice wrapped in sterile fabric.
    #MediclinicFacts
Children up to 12

Epilepsy surgery for children – from a neurosurgeon’s perspective

Epilepsy is a neurological condition characterised by recurrent seizures, or convulsions that occur when there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Epilepsy South Africa estimates the condition affects one out of every 100 people in South Africa, with 75% of those experiencing their first seizure before the age of 20.

Preemie
Babies

How Mediclinic doctors help your preemie

Not all babies born prematurely will have complications, but those born under 28 weeks, are at greater risk. Dr Aziza van der Schyff, a paediatrician at Mediclinic Constantiaberg, explains how preterm babies are cared for at a Mediclinic Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Babies

Ear Infections FAQ: how common are they, how are they treated, will antibiotics help?

Ear infections are a bacterial complication that can affect anyone but children are more prone as their resistance to infection is still underdeveloped. An ENT explains what to look out for and why chronic, untreated infections are something to be concerned about.

Babies

How important is crawling to your baby’s physical and cognitive development?

It’s their first taste of independence and mobility and one of the more exciting milestones your baby will achieve. But crawling is also a very important milestone in terms of cognitive and physical development.

Children up to 12

Should your children exercise when sick?

Should a little sniffle be reason enough to make them skip that tennis lesson?

Baby Neave: youngest person in Africa to receive cochlear implant
Babies

Baby Neave: youngest in Africa to receive cochlear implant

Neave Barrett was born deaf. Today she is a talking, singing, bouncing, hearing toddler.

Babies

Sleep time: what’s happening in your baby’s brain? [Video]

This may look like a nap but there’s something going on in your baby’s brain that is probably as critical to your baby’s development as good nutrition.

Babies

Why autistic girls are often undiagnosed

Ongoing research suggests that girls with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more likely to camouflage their symptoms than boys. This means they are not being accurately diagnosed – and are not getting the help they need.

teen suicide
Children up to 12

Should I worry about teen suicide?

In short, if you’re a parent, the risk of teen, or even child, suicide should always be on your radar. An alarming statistic released by the South Africa Depression and Anxiety Group shows that as many as 1 in 4 teenagers has attempted to take their own life. Here are tips from experts on how to help your teenager.

Children up to 12

Therapy options for children with PTSD

Children and adolescents can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after exposure to a range of traumatic events,’ warns Ronel Groenewald, a counselling psychologist in private practice in Kimberley. ‘These include domestic abuse, political or community violence, violent crime, physical or sexual abuse, hijacking, car accidents and home invasion.’

molar pregnancy
Pregnancy

When a pregnancy can turn into cancer

A molar pregnancy is a rare complication of pregnancy. Also known as a hydatidiform mole, it is characterised by abnormal growth of the cells that make up the placenta. It is diagnosed in about 1 in every 1 000 pregnancies but this figure can vary per country.

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