50/50 presenter Ntokozo Mbuli talks pregnancy cravings and must-have nappy bag items

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Photo credit: Moniqu De Paiva

Ntokozo has been in broadcasting for more than 19 years. When she decided she wanted to start a family, she discovered that she had fibroids, which would affect her fertility.

Read the full story of her journey to becoming a mom in our June issue, on shelves from 22 May 2017.

Now mom of Azolile, we caught up with her to chat about her pregnancy cravings, her struggles with breastfeeding and the one product she simply can’t live without.

What is in your nappy bag?

Bepanthen bum cream (which also makes a wonderful nipple cream), baby wipes, a few changes of clothing, nappies, wipes, a muslin sheet, a towel nappy to put over my shoulder when burping Azolile and aqueous cream.

ALSO SEE: How to pack a nappy bag

What is the best piece of parenting advice you have received?

A woman I regard as an older sister to me, Musa, gave me a big speech before I gave birth. She said I must trust myself and I must trust my body. She said many things will come to me instinctively when I become a mom, so I must relax, take it in my stride and never at any point feel like I am not doing anything right. I must breastfeed as much as I can, and if I have little milk I must just get that baby sucking and I will be amazed at how my body will respond to him and produce the milk he needs – I mustn’t panic.

Her advice was handy, because it was overwhelming when Azolile arrived. I did start to feel that I wasn’t doing anything right and my milk came in slowly. Remembering what she said helped me to relax.

What is the one product you can’t live without?

Eucerin cream. It is the only thing that works for Azolile’s eczema.

What is your favourite family restaurant?

Papachinos. It is so baby- and child-friendly and a wonderful environment. I am amazed at how young children love babies. Azolile gets a lot of attention from other kids. I love watching those interactions.

ALSO SEE: 6 child-friendly restaurants in Pretoria

What do you love most about breastfeeding?

Azolile only started breastfeeding four weeks into his life because he was premature and couldn’t suck for a while. The NICU used to feed him my breast milk through a tube that went through his nose and into his tummy. Eventually, when he did start sucking, it was important for the paediatrician to know how much milk he was taking in, so he was fed via a bottle. By the time I started breastfeeding him, he already preferred the bottle teat. He immediately rejected the right breast and only sucked the left. So breastfeeding has been difficult, but I love it. The first time I breastfed my son was so emotional for me, because it was what made it official for me that I am a mom. I love the bonding that happens during breastfeeding. I feel like I am his whole world.

ALSO SEE: 6 tips to deal with common breastfeeding challenges

What did you love/hate about being pregnant?

I think the only things I loved about being pregnant were feeling my baby move and the scans. The rest I hated. I had bad morning sickness in the first trimester, and the nausea and vomiting started again when I entered my third trimester. I hated the leg cramps – they had me crying out in the middle of the night on many occasions. I hated that I needed the loo so often. I hated that there was never a comfortable sleeping position, even with those preggy pillows. I hated the discomfort (sometimes pain) when my baby was in a strange position. And I had one swollen foot, so getting comfortable in my shoes was almost impossible.

After the birth, I hated the pain of the C-section wound. I had a classic C-section because I’d had a myomectomy, so they cut all the way to my belly-button. The pain was unimaginable.

Did you have any crazy pregnancy cravings?

Yes. Spinach (which I ordinarily hate), Dijon mustard and Cheese Curls – together.

How do you spend time together as a family?

At home. Home time is the best family time.

What is the cutest thing your son has done so far?

He is such a happy baby and he loves to smile and giggle. The cutest is when he is crying and screaming his lungs out, but when you smile at him, he pauses and smiles back before carrying on with his cry.

What was your son’s first milestone?

Pouting. He was pouting when he was in the NICU already, before he even started smiling.

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