It is recommended that all infants from birth to 12 months receive Vitamin D drops. Both breastfed and formula-fed babies should be given a daily supplement of 5ug (200IU) of Vitamin D3. This should be provided by a supplement containing Vitamin D3 exclusively. Vitamin D helps our bodies use calcium to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Low levels lead to weak bones and in severe cases can cause rickets in children. Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because our bodies can make vitamin D from the sun. It is not possible for babies to safely get the vitamin D they need from the sun and therefore supplementation is required. There are a number of suitable Vitamin D3 products available to buy in Ireland. A list of these products can be found on www.hse.ie or ask your pharmacist, doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional.
Rubella (German Measles) Vaccination
If you are not immune to rubella (rubella negative) the three-in-one vaccination will be offered to you at CUMH. If you have the vaccination, it is important not to become pregnant for one month as the German measles virus can damage unborn babies, particularly in early pregnancy.
Chartered physiotherapists specialising in the area of women’s health give classes on the postnatal wards about:
- Pelvic floor exercises and perineal care
- Strengthening your tummy muscles
- Caring for your back
- Returning to exercise
- Encouraging your baby’s development
- Dos and don’ts following a Caesarean section.
Details of when and where the class will be held on your ward will be on the notice board in your room. You are encouraged to attend this class regardless of the type of birth you have had. The physiotherapist will also answer any queries you may have.
Reduce The Risk Of Cot Death
- Place your baby on his or her back near the foot of the cot to sleep.
- Babies should be kept warm but they must not be allowed to get too warm. Keep the temperature in your baby’s room to a level that you feel comfortable in. To check how warm your baby is, feel the tummy. Your baby’s tummy should feel warm, but not hot. Sometimes when your baby is ill, his or her temperature may go up. If this happens you should take off some of the clothes and bedding. If you are worried, contact your GP or public health nurse. Use lightweight blankets that you can add to or take away according to the room temperature. Do not use a duvet or baby nest, which can be too warm and can easily cover a baby’s head
- Mothers should not smoke or allow anyone to smoke near the baby during the first year of life. If at all possible, mothers should breastfeed babies for the first few weeks, as it may reduce the risk of infection. If your baby seems unwell seek medical advice early and quickly.
Research continues into the causes of cot death. Remember, it is comparatively rare, so do not let the fear of cot death spoil your months with your baby.
We will give you the booklet – Safe Sleepfor your Baby: Reduce the Risk ofCot Death, when you are on the post natal ward.
Different contraceptive methods suit different people at different times, so ask the advice of your family doctor or your family planning clinic. If necessary, try one or more methods until you find the one that suits you and your partner best. You are far more likely to use a method regularly and properly if you feel it is the right one for you.
HIV and Condoms
It cannot be too strongly stressed that to avoid sexual transmission of HIV, the most effective way of all is to:
- Stay with one faithful partner
- Remain faithful to that one partner
However, for sexually active people who are not in 'one faithful partner relationships', a good quality new condom, correctly used, is the single most effective defence against HIV infection (read instructions on the packet carefully). Remember, condoms reduce, but do not eliminate the risk of infection as they occasionally break.
For more details on the contraceptive methods contact:
- Your GP or hospital doctor
- Cork Family Planning Clinic, 23 Tuckey Street, Grand Parade, Cork Tel: (021) 4277906