Facebook groups for South African moms

When I was pregnant, some of my lovely mom friends added me to a few baby-related groups on Facebook. At the time, I didn’t think they would be particularly important, but I thought, hey, I’ll stick around and see if they’re useful when the baby comes. And a lot of them were.

Here’s my list of some of the most popular Facebook groups for South African moms. Note that this is by no means an exhaustive list. I know I’ve left off groups from other parts of the country, and I’m sure there are support groups for c-section moms, preemie parents, and NICU parents. Please leave a comment below with the details of any other groups you can recommend or contact me and I’ll update this post.

Birthing

  • Natural Birthing South Africa: One of my favourite groups. In a country with such a high c-section rate, a group like this is a great resource and a good place to start finding out the facts and the misconceptions around natural birth. ‘This is a group for women seeking to have a normal vaginal delivery (NVD), or needing more info regarding NVD. Feel free to ask questions, ask for advice, give support and share your resources. We would like this to be a safe space where we can discuss our fears regarding NVD, any problems experienced, share our positive experiences and resources and information.’
  • VBAC in SA: I’m not a member of this group, but here is the info for others. ‘This group focuses on mammas who want to or might have had a vaginal birth after they have experienced a c-section. Everyone is welcome to chat and talk and share info regarding VBACs. We also want to dispel the wrong info that after one c-section you HAVE to have another c-section.’

Breastfeeding

  • La Leche League South Africa: Breastfeeding support and information from La Leche League Leaders as well as other boobin’ moms. ‘The mission of La Leche League International is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and the mother.’
  • Breastfeeding RSA: Another breastfeeding support group, but quite a lot smaller than the LLL group (perhaps a bit more personal?). ‘Breastfeeding RSA was started as we hope to create a breastfeeding friendly community in South Africa, uniting breastfeeding consultants, midwives, doulas, doctors, paediatricians, breastfeeding moms, friends and family, everyone who comes in contact with breastfeeding mothers.’
  • Exclusive Pumpers South Africa: I’m not a member of this group but here is the link for those who don’t hate pumping as much as I did. ‘A support structure for Exclusive Pumpers and mothers who have to pump for baby while working as well as those transitioning from EPing to breast and vice versa.’

Formula-feeding

  • Formula feeding mommies SA: A non-judgy group where moms can share info on formula and bottle-feeding (it’s more complicated than you think). ‘Feel free post any and all questions on formulas, bottles, feeding and burping techniques, as well share stories of your bonding experiences with your babies and success stories of your child’s development on formula.’

Babywearing

  • Babywearing b\s\t and chat South Africa: When Reid was born I didn’t have a wrap. Madness. By the second week, I’d secured myself a mei tai and my life changed. There’s plenty of info about wraps, carriers and slings on this group, as well as where to buy them (they are so difficult to find in the shops!). ‘Welcome to the place to buy, sell, and trade your wraps, slings and carriers and babywearing accessoires, ask questions or just have a chat.’
  • NINO Babywearing South Africa: ‘NINO South Africa, is a non-profit group dedicated to continue the vision of NINO International, by promoting babywearing through education and advocacy in South Africa.’

Starting solids

  • Baby Led Weaning – A place for Local Moms practicing BLW to connect: A South African group for parents who have chosen to introduce solids using the baby-led weaning (BLW) method. Don’t mention purées here! ‘This is a group for parents to learn about the Baby-Led Weaning method of introduction solid foods. BLW is ONE method of introducing solids. There are other methods; BLW may or may not be a suitable choice for you and your baby. Our aim is to provide information about the BLW method so that parents can make an informed decision about how and when they introduce solids. We also aim to provide a safe and respectful space where we can ask questions and share our experiences without fear of judgement.’
  • Official Baby Purée And Solids Page: A general group about introducing solids. ‘A safe place to share any fears concerns and questions on solids! Be it purée or BLW etc – share ideas, share anything!’
  • Little Munchkins Recipes: ‘This is for mommies to share their recipes to make lunches, dinners and snack time easier…’

Buying and selling second-hand baby and toddler goods

Getting confident about cloth nappies

  • South African cloth nappy users: This is a superb resource if you’re considering cloth diapers. There are plenty of helpful documents in the group’s files section and the moms on this group are ready to answer all questions. The lingo can be a bit intimidating at first, but once you get going, cloth nappies are really not as complicated as they look. ‘This group was created for South African parents whose children wear cloth nappies. It’s a space to ask questions, share experiences and create awareness.’
  • South African Cloth Diaper Businesses: ‘This page is a platform for cloth diaper retailers (businesses and WAHMs) to advertise, promote and sell their products.’
  • South African Flat and Prefold Diapers: ‘A group to help with troubleshooting, learning new folds, and to just celebrate the simplicity of the humble flat.’
  • South African Cloth diaper Buy/Sell/Trade: ‘This group is for buying and selling of mostly second hand baby cloth diapers and related accessories.’
  • South African Cloth Group Buys: ‘This group’s aim is to get the best prices on bulk buying by combining orders on baby and mamma related items.’
  • South african Cloth Bums B/S/T -SACB: ‘This page is for moms or retailers to sell their new used faulty once-offs.’

Being a parent

  • Body-Positive Parenting – with  Casey Blake: ‘A parent’s group to talk about “The Talks” and get input from fellow parents and Casey Blake. The focus is on empowering parents to have open and honest discussions with their children, in age appropriate ways.’ 
  • Mamahood South Africa: Mamahood South Africa, through its Facebook groups, is probably the biggest and fastest growing mom network in the country. The Mamahood groups are divided into provinces, from MAMAHOOD GAUTENG to MAMAHOOD CAPE TOWN. More here.
  • Mom to Mom Gauteng Business: ‘This is a networking group to help moms support each other in their business endeavours.’
  • Baby Product Specials Gauteng: ‘Here you can post and share specials on baby necessities like nappies etc with the shop and area information. Together we can all save some money.’
  • South African Multiple Birth Association: ‘SAMBA is an organization made up of volunteers that offers support to parents of multiples. This page has been set up for parents and families of twins and higher multiples who are paid up SAMBA members to network and share stories, triumphs and challenges. Multiples themselves are also welcome to join to share their advice, views and experiences to others.’

Have I left any great groups off this list? Please leave a comment below or contact me and I’ll update this post. Thank you!

 

 

Nappy bag checklist

While spare nappies should always be at the top of your ‘to pack’ list when venturing out the house, nappy bags, it turns out, are not just for nappies. I’ve compiled a full list of what to pack (below) but here’s a little disclaimer: you don’t really need all this stuff.  Not really really. You need nappies, wipes, a spare outfit and food/milk. You will survive without the rest.

But if, like me, you’re too exhausted to remember what you need, or you pride yourself on being a Prepared Parent (laughing at myself right now), here’s a handy checklist:

  • Nappies. Take at least two more than you think you need for the outing.
  • Changing mat. I like Cherubs Care Mats. They’re soft, disposable, absorbent, and waterproof. (I’ve also used one of these as a make-shift playmat on the floor of the doctor’s waiting room.)
  • Scented nappy sacks. You need somewhere to put the dirty nappy and wipes when you’re on the move. Dischem’s Baby Thing’s Nappy Bags are great value for money. If you’re using cloth diapers, remember to pack your wetbag or a sealable plastic bag for dirty diapers.
  • Bum cream. I use Sudocrem when we use disposables, and coconut oil (or nothing) with cloth nappies.
  • Wipes (for the bum). For nappy changes, I like Cherubs or Pigeon baby wipes.
  • Hand and mouth (and all-over) wipes. Essential for older babies, particularly if your baby has started solids and/or is crawling. I love the Pigeon Hand & Mouth Baby Wipes and Stikki Fingers Family Wipes.
  • Spare baby outfit(s). Spit-ups, poopsplosions, food messes, changes in weather … There are many reasons to take a change of clothes. Don’t forget socks and/or a hat, depending on the season.
  • Spare parent outfit. Reid once peed all over me while we were out. Pack an extra T-shirt for yourself, just in case.
  • Blanket. You may need an extra blanket in cold weather. Also handy as a make-shift playmat.
  • Dummy/ pacifier.
  • Bibs. Pack enough dribble bibs, plastic-backed bibs and/or sleeved bibs, depending on your requirements. I love love love Mum 2 Mum’s Wonder Bibs.
  • Burp cloths. When I was pregnant, I thought I could get away with only owning two burp cloths. Hahahaha.
  • Formula. Pre-measure the scoops into a formula dispenser. I like ClevaMama’s Travel Container, particularly because the sections are big enough to hold seven scoops of formula easily.
  • Bottles and pre-boiled water. If you need to keep water warm, there are plenty of insulated bottle holders on the market. I’d advise getting the same brand as the bottles you’re using.
  • Sippy cup and water. For babies who have started drinking water.
  • Food and utensils. For babies who have started solids.
  • Snacks for Mom. In my early days of breastfeeding, I was ravenous all the time. A few times, I popped out the house, thinking I’d survive an hour without food (surely?), and then nearly collapsed from starvation on the drive. Buy a bunch of snack bars for a quick blood-glucose fix and leave them in the nappy bag for emergencies.
  • Toys and teethers.
  • Medicines. Which medicines you take with you depends on you and your baby (eg if your baby is sick or teething). Lately, I’ve just been packing Allergex, as I don’t know what relatives are going to stuff into Reid’s little mouth when I’m not watching, and I’d rather be safe.
  • Sunblock. Bennetts Sunblock comes as a roll-on, which is handy for wriggly babies. Eucerin Kids Sun Lotion (for children over one year) is also highly recommended.

 

What do you always pack in your nappy bag? Have I left anything off the list? Let me know in the comments below!