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Thu, May 24, 2012
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Guidebooks to help mums, mums-to-be care for babies
by Gwendolyn Ng

JUST hours after giving birth to her first child yesterday, assistant teacher Redecca Paul, 29, was glad to receive a timely gift of a Health Promotion Board (HPB) guidebook with details on how to care for newborn infants.

On the booklet, which has information such as that on breast-feeding and infant massage, Ms Paul said: "It's my first time being a mum, so I don't really know anything when it comes to caring for babies. It's great to have a reliable source of information on hand."

Like Ms Paul, all mothers will now be presented with the guidebook, called Healthy Start For Your Baby, after delivery at nine hospitals. These include KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) and Gleneagles Hospital, which contributed to the book.

HPB launched the guidebook and another for expectant mothers yesterday at KKH. There will be 20,000 copies of each book available for free.

The booklet for expectant mothers, called Healthy Start For Your Pregnancy, will be given out at KKH, Singapore General Hospital and National University Hospital.

The guidebooks were put together by health experts from HPB and the nine hospitals that will present mothers with Healthy Start For Your Baby.

Speaking at the event, Dr Amy Khor, Minister of State for Health, said the guidebooks will help provide parents with the right information to manage their pregnancies and care for their children.

She said: "This is especially important, with the increasing incidence of chronic disease and (growing) evidence that the risk of chronic disease, such as obesity and diabetes, may be linked to the foetal environment."

HPB chief executive Ang Hak Seng yesterday shared studies that showed how newborn babies that are overweight or underweight are 30 per cent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

He revealed that out of 39,654 newborn infants last year, 7 per cent were overweight, while 12 per cent were underweight. Overweight babies weigh more than 3.8kg, while those underweight weigh less than 2.5kg.

To reduce such health risks, HPB will be launching free workshops for parents of children aged two and below, covering topics such as food preparation and developing a child's self-esteem.

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