#LockdownSA: Expectant mothers worried about regulations

#LockdownSA: Expectant mothers worried about regulationsHealthcare challenges faced by pregnant women during COVID19. (File Photo.)

Baby care items are now on the country’s essential items list, but few know about the amendment to the lockdown regulations.

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Pregnant women are concerned about the prospects of giving birth and not having any clothing, or related items to care properly for their infants. This is because baby essentials such as clothes, receiving blankets, bathtubs, bottles were initially excluded from the products that can be sold during lockdown — and as a result, mothers could not buy these items in the beginning stages of the lockdown.

Sowetan Nthabiseng Moloi* is due to give birth in three weeks and is anxious about what she will dress her new born in should she give birth earlier than expected.

“I have bought a few clothes but my worry is if the clothes are too small for the baby — you know that some babies come out big. My other worry is that if I give birth now, then the baby won’t have enough clothes to change into, because I only bought two sets of clothes.”

She adds: “It’s stressful because one is not even sure that the lockdown won’t be extended past 21-days. With only Dischem and Clicks open — not all new mothers can afford to buy there.”

Another concerned pregnant woman is Pamela Madonsela, from Ormonde in Johannesburg.

“We are hoping that after the lockdown is over we will be able to get some stuff together with the hospital bag essentials. I haven’t been to the shops since the lockdown began and I’m hoping to go when it’s not too full — but a part of me is really worried.”

Unlike Moloi, Madonsela has not bought a single clothing item for her baby because her due date is more than a month away.

Amendments made 

However, according to Gauteng Education and Youth Development MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, expectant mothers won’t have to worry any longer.

“We are also concerned especially from the Department of Social Development point of view. We have been approached by many women that also feel that this is something that needs to be urgently reviewed because it is beyond anyone’s control. I mean you can’t postpone birth — when it’s time it’s time,” he says.

This missive comes from the Presidency, who have amended the lockdown regulations to include products for the care of babies and toddlers” as an essential item. Pick ‘n Pay and Clicks have already stocked their baby care aisles. 

However, an application has been sent to the Constitutional Court by the Tebeila Institute of Leadership, Education, Governance and Training and the African Institute for Human Rights and Constitutional Litigation. They want President Cyril Ramaphosa to publicly announce the regulation amendment, because not all shop owners are aware of the change — especially retailers in rural areas. — Health-e News

For more information on Covid-19 in South Africa, you can call the toll-free line on 0800 029 999, or you can send a message that says “Hi” on WhatsApp to the number 060 012 3456. You can also visit the SA Coronavirus website.