Teen moms worry for KZN

2012-12-27 00:00

THE maternity wards at KwaZulu-Natal’s public hospitals were frenetic on Christmas Day, with 209 babies being delivered.

This was more than double the births in the province on Christmas Day last year.

However, among the lucky mums were 41 teenagers, prompting KZN Health Department officials to express concern at the number of young mothers.

Of the teenagers who delivered, nine were aged 14 to 16.

Health Department spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said 59 babies were delivered by Caesarean section.

“In the age group of 17 to 19 years, 33 babies were born and in the age group of 14 to 16, nine babies were born.”

Mkhwanazi said the department was conducting new projects to curb teenage pregnancy and was asking community and religious leaders and members of the public to help reinforce the message.

By contrast, two private hospitals in Pietermaritzburg had fairly quiet Christmas days.

Only two babies were delivered at St Anne’s Hospital, while none were born at Mediclinic Pietermaritzburg.

The Witness visited Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, where staff delivered 27 babies.

Sister Connie Barnes, the matron on duty, said the first Christmas baby born at the hospital arrived at 12.35 am. She weighed 2,2 kg.

“Twenty-two babies were born through natural birth and five through C-section.

“A total of 13 boys and 14 girls were born.

“The lightest baby weighed 1,7 kg while the heaviest weighed 4,25 kg.”

Barnes said the number of births was typical for a Christmas Day.

The Witness spoke to a few of the new moms at Northdale Hospital, most of whom became mothers for the first time.

Visibly tired, they were nevertheless very excited to have their babies born on Christmas Day.

“It is very exciting to be a mother, especially since my baby was born on Christmas Day. What makes it more special is that she is my first child,” said Puseletso Noka.

• kyle.venktess@witness.co.za

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