Category Archives for Childcare

9 Reasons to Exercise in Pregnancy

Exercise and nutrition play an essential role in our general health and wellness.  So why is it that many women stop exercising when they become pregnant?  Is it because they fear that it may harm the baby or cause miscarriage?  Alternatively, is it because their doctor advises against it – particularly in the first trimester?  There are many reasons why following a safe exercise programme can play a big part in having a healthy pregnancy.  Here are 9 of the many Health Benefits of Prenatal Exercise.

  1. 1
    Reduce and Ease Backache -  Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints in pregnancy and can lead to discomfort that is so severe that carrying out simple tasks such as walking around the supermarket or standing for any amount of time become distressing activities.  Backache is caused when the ligaments relax and the joints loosen as a result of the pregnancy hormone relaxin.  The same hormone also causes the ligaments around the spine to loosen, leading to instability and pain.  Exercise to strengthen core muscles and address your changing posture can lead to a significant reduction in pain and discomfort.
  2. 2
    Manage Weight Gain – It goes without saying that exercise and healthy nutrition will help you to avoid excessive weight gain.  Women who maintain a healthy weight gain have fewer pregnancy complications and lose weight easier following the birth of their baby.
  3. 3
    Reduce Stress and Improve Mood – Exercise releases the body’s natural happy hormone called endorphin.  It is natural to feel stressed during pregnancy because your body is changing, the impact on your regular routine and family life so if you exercise you can take advantage of endorphins released and lift your mood and reduce your stress levels.
  4. 4
    Improve Sleep – It is vital to get plenty of sleep as this will help with the growth of the baby and your overall well-being.  As your pregnancy advances, it can become increasingly difficult to get comfortable in bed, and this can affect the quality and quantity of sleep.  Exercising regularly during pregnancy will improve your sleep by maximising your energy output, working your muscles and clearing your mind, all of which will promote a peaceful night’s sleep.
  5. 5
    Reduce Risk or Manage Gestational Diabetes – Gestational Diabetes is caused by reduced insulin sensitivity, which results in an increase in blood sugar levels in the body.  Gestational diabetes can lead to severe complications during pregnancy,  labour and delivery. There is much evidence to show that exercising regularly improves blood sugar control and reduces the need to maintain healthy blood sugar levels with medication.  Studies have also shown that baby’s of mums who exercised regularly during pregnancy had improved insulin sensitivity into adulthood and less incidence of obesity.
  6. 6
    Reduces Constipation, Water Retention and Swollen Ankles – Again uncomfortable and irritating effects of pregnancy and extremely common, which can be caused by rising blood pressure.  If unmanaged, this can lead to serious complications such as pregnancy-induced hypertension (high blood pressure) and pre-eclampsia.  Regular safe aerobic exercise can help to regulate blood pressure as well as exercising joints and reducing discomfort.
  7. 7
    Improve Stamina and Strength and Prepare you for Labour – It is generally said that an average labour uses the same amount of energy as running a marathon.  Most people wouldn’t consider running a marathon without undergoing months of training for the big day.  So, it goes without saying that “training” for labour and delivery will significantly improve your experience and possibly even reduce the length of labour.  Training your core muscles, posterior chain (legs and back), as well as regular aerobic exercise for cardiac health, will significantly affect your energy and strength and ability to cope with the demands on your body during labour and delivery.
  8. 8
    Increase Chances of a Natural Birth – the position your baby is lying in when you go into labour can have a significant impact on the length of labour, pain experienced, and type of birth.  For example, babies lying in the posterior position (baby’s back adjacent to your back) will result in a longer labour and a potentially obstructed labour leading to an increased risk of forceps delivery or caesarean section.  Exercising and remaining upright and mobile encourages the baby to adopt an anterior position, which is the optimum position for the baby during labour.
  9. 9
    Quicker Recovery and Longer-Term Benefits – whether you have a natural birth or your baby is born by caesarean section, being fit and healthy will help your body to recover more quickly.  In addition to aiding physical recovery, exercise boosts your immune system, which means that you’ll have additional protection from infection and any incisions will heal quicker.  Moreover, the final icing on the cake is that many studies have shown that babies born to healthy mums are healthier and more intelligent!

There are many more reasons why exercising in pregnancy is so beneficial to you and your baby – hopefully you are now convinced!

For more information about MamaBFit’s prenatal exercise programme, visit their website

The 10 questions every first-time parent asks

When you're a new parent, no question is too trivial. Emirates Home Nursing answers the 10 most frequently asked newborn care queries.

  1. 1
    How do you bath a newb​​​​orn?
  • Make sure you bath before a feed, so it doesn’t affect baby’s digestion. Pepare clean clothing, a towel (hooded recommended), clean washcloth or baby bath sponge, nappy and elbow-checked warm water.
  • Undress baby, leaving the nappy on, and wrap in a towel exposing only the areas to be washed. Cradle the head in one hand.
  • Gently clean one area at a time starting with the face then behind the ears, neck, elbows, knees, between fingers and toes. Pay attention to their creases.
  • Lightly sponge the hair with water (tip head back slightly).
  • Wash baby's belly, bottom and genitals (front to back).
  • Gently pat baby dry and make sure to dry the skin folds.
  1. 2
    How do you burp a newborn?
  • Over the shoulder. Hold baby upright with chin resting on your shoulder. Support their head and back and gently tap or rub baby’s back in a slow motion.
  • Sitting position on your lap. Baby facing away from you with your hand supporting their bottom. Rub or pat with the other hand but don’t keep them in this position for too long.
  • Face down across the lap. Keep baby at a right angle to your body so they are lying across your knees, with one hand supporting chin and jaw. Keep baby's head slightly higher than rest of the body. Rub or pat their back gently with the other hand.
  • Tip: Talk or sing softly to baby as you rub or pat the back as this relaxes them, and if they don’t burp in one position, try another.
  1. 3
    How do you swaddle a baby?
  • Lay out the blanket on a f​​​​lat surface.
  • Fold down the top corner to match the baby’s length.​​​​
  • Lay baby on the blanket with their neck on the fold.
  • Gently place baby's arm at their side and hold it in place.
  • Pull one corner of the blanket (same side as the arm you're holding) over the body and tuck it snugly underneath their back.
  • Pull the bottom corner of the blanket up toward the middle of baby's shoulders and tuck behind the left shoulder. Remember to leave plenty of room for their feet.
  • Pull the right corner of the blanket over baby, folding it so that left and right corners form a V-neck swaddle. Using your left hand, gently hold the blanket in place on baby's chest.
  • With your right hand, flip over the right corner, which should be somewhere near their feet.
  • Pull the flipped right corner up over their right shoulder and tuck it into the back of the swaddle (you may need to lift them up to do this).
  1. 4
    How do you change a nappy?
  • Prepare a changing mat or towel, nappy, clothes, cotton wool, bowl of warm water, wet and dry towel or alcohol-free baby wipes, barrier cream, nappy sack/nappy bin.
  • Lay the baby on a comfy flat surface
  • Unfasten the dirty nappy tabs and pull down the front part. If you have a boy, you may want to cover his penis with a clean cloth so he doesn’t wee on you/himself.
  • If they’ve done a poo, use the front half of the nappy to wipe the worst of it off.
  • Clean your baby's genitals and surrounding area with a damp cloth, wet cotton wool or baby wipe (front to back if a girl).
  • Using a new wipe, piece of cotton wool or fresh side of your cloth, clean baby’s bottom either by lift the legs or rolling them gently to one side then the other.
  • Put the wipes and cotton wool into the nappy sack.
  • Let baby's skin briefly air dry or pat dry with a clean cloth.
  • If skin is dry, apply a thin layer of a barrier cream to their buttocks and groin.
  • Place a clean nappy under the waist, tuck it firmly and secure each tab.
  1. 5
    How do you sterilise bottles?
  • BOILING. Place clean bottles, teats, caps and utensils in a large saucepan on the stovetop back burner. Add enough water to cover and ensure no air bubbles. Boil for five minutes. Turn off and allow water to cool. Wash hands thoroughly and disinfect the surface you’re going to use. Remove equipment and shake off excess water. If not using immediately, put the lid and teat on the bottle and refrigerate in a clean container. Reboil the bottle and other equipment if not used within 24 hours.
  • CHEMICALS. These are liquid disinfectant solutions or tablets. Make sure bottles, teats, caps and utensils are thoroughly clean before you begin and read manufacturer’s instructions. Completely submerge equipment in the solution, ensuring no air bubbles. Leave in for the recommended time (usually around 30 minutes) or until you need to use it (within 24 hours). Allow equipment to drain before use but don’t rinse off the solution as this re-exposes equipment to germs. Clean the sterilising container thoroughly in warm, soapy water before reusing.
  • STEAM (microwave or electric sterilisers). Follow manufacturer instructions and make sure all equipment is completely clean. Make sure bottles and teats are placed in the steriliser with openings facing downwards. Leave bottles in steriliser until needed and check how long you can leave them before re-sterilisation is required.
  1. 6
    How long can you store breast milk?
  • Once expressed, it can be stored at room temperature for four to six hours. It can also be stored in the fridge for 48 to 72 hours and in the freezer for six months. Containers should be labelled to show date and time of collection.
  1. 7
    How can you calm a baby to encourage sleep?
  • A calming nightly routine is key along with setting a consistent bedtime and giving baby plenty of opportunity to figure out sleeping on their own. Hold baby in your arms and place the body to the left side to help digestion or on the stomach for support. Gently rub baby’s back. If they go to sleep, remember lay them in the crib on their back. Switch on some calming sounds.
    Good to know: Some babies take more time to relax or may not yet have the developmental ability to self-soothe. They can also be overtired and unable to self- settle, so try moving bedtime earlier. Examine your own behaviour too. Are you rocking baby to sleep before putting them down or rushing to comfort at the first cry?
  1. 8
    What are the reasons why my baby won’t stop crying?
  • Hunger. Feed at regular intervals and don’t wait for them to get hungry before feeding.
  • Gas/colic. Burp baby every after feed to help prevent abdominal discomforts.
  • Tired. Don’t overstimulate and always allow for rest after play, or this could be due to a lack of sleep.
  • Too hot/cold. Check their temperature and remove excess clothing or add a blanket as necessary.
  • Uncomfortable i.e from a wet nappy or dirty nappy.
  • Teething.
  • TLC. Baby maybe just wants to be cuddled!
  1. 9
    How can you avoid baby swallowing too much air when feeding?
  • Feed them at an angle, making sure the head and neck are slightly elevated above the tummy. Latch baby onto the nipple properly. Take a break between sides, or every ounce or so, while bottle feeding to get a burp or two out. If you have an especially fast let-down while breastfeeding, allow baby a short break one to two minutes into it.
  1. 10
     What do I do if baby chokes while feeding?

If mum has an oversupply of milk, it should be expressed at the start of the feed to relieve the pressure and prevent choking. 
If it does happen, one of two extremely delicate first aid methods can dislodge the milk.

  • Pick up baby while supporting the head and place arm around the chest, bending it forward slightly. Place a clenched fist on the baby’s navel with other hand over the fist and thrust inwards with hard, fast slightly upwards movements into the abdomen.
  • Turn baby upside down and give intermittent back blows and chest thrusts (with two or three fingers to lower half of breastbone while supporting head with other hand) combined with gentle taps to the back to open up the airways. Continue until blockage removed.

Welcoming baby: planning for birth and beyond

Whether you’re a first-time mum or adding to a growing family, giving birth is a big deal. We asked Ana Piera, a Dubai based childbirth, hypnobirthing, doula and breastfeeding counsellor, and our resident midwife Anoesjka Myburg, for their expert tips on how to plan for this life-changing experience.

Women have been doing it for 1,000s of years but that doesn’t make giving birth any less daunting and the benefits of having a well thought-our birthing plan in place and surrounding yourself with a great team of experts – and your birth partner! – is the way to go.

An Emirates Home Nursing trusted partner, Ana Piera is a champion of positive birthing and works with mums-to-be to create an empowering experience from start to finish, irrespective of what path the original plan followed in reality.

“It is very important that both mum and her birth partner feel in control, informed and respected, even when special circumstances demand that control is handed over to the experts, but with all the decisions still theirs,” she says.

Anoesjka Myburg adds: “There isn’t a one size fits all definition for positive birthing.

Catering for the individual is important and the information I share with different groups empowers each mum-to-be in different, and positive ways.”

Growing demand for hypnobirthing services in the UAE is thanks to increased awareness of how empowering and effective it can be for both expecting couples and healthcare professionals.

“A hypnobirthing course will teach you how to take control of your body and manage its reaction to fear and anxiety so as to create internal equilibrium,” explains Anoesjka.

“There is an assumption that women only attend a hypnobirthing course because they want a natural birth without drugs. However, hypnobirthing techniques are beneficial for any type of birth, even when women decide to use pain relief or in the case of a C-section. The techniques are even more valuable when there is increased fear and anxiety,” points out Ana.

Al Zahra hospital in Dubai has a hypnobirthing room as well as a birthing pool. Mediclinic City Hospital, Saudi German Hospital and Mediclinic Parkview Hospital also have birthing pools.

Another option is to engage the services of a doula. Also known as a birth companion, a doula is a non-medical person who assists a woman before, during, and after childbirth and who acts as an advocate throughout the journey, helping her

fulfill specific desires she might have for her birth and beyond.

“Demand for doula services is also growing and, with improved education, more people will be able to understand the positive effect a doula can have on a mother’s experience during pregnancy, labour and delivery,” says Anoesjka.


Think of the word hospital and it doesn’t necessarily engender warm, positive feelings, and Ana is keen to address this early on, as she explains: “It is important that expecting couples visit several hospitals and choose the one where they feel most comfortable, safe and positive. It’s a good idea to visit several times, to get familiar with the environment, find out what they offer and get to know the medical team.”

“Find a doctor who puts you at ease and who supports your labour and delivery views. Your midwife is your personal advocate and cheerleader and someone who  can answer all the questions a doctor perhaps doesn’t have time for, especially the more difficult questions, such as what to truly expect,” adds Anoesjka.

Ana makes sure to share as much evidence-based information and techniques as possible that will help expectant mums remain positive, calm and confident. This extends to birthing partners too, with a ‘toolbox’ of relaxing techniques to boost their confidence and enable them to more effectively support the mum-to-be during birth.

This is also important if there is a history of complications or if a pregnancy hasn’t been textbook plain sailing.

“You will both be more aligned if you talk about the birth preferences plan, about your fears or limitations, and how you can work as a team. This involves lots of home practise and at hypnobirthing classes, for example,” she notes.

Anoesjka also reinforces the importance of partner involvement. “Most midwives enjoy having the father as part of the experience and appreciate it. Discuss how you want your partner to participate with him. It can be anything from him holding your hand to having him cut the cord after delivery.

“Make sure he also knows where your hospital bag is, so when it is time to go, he will feel like your knight in shining armour. The most difficult part for him is seeing you in pain and not being able to make it better; so making them feel needed is a sure way to include them in the whole experience!”


“At the birth, one of the key things we do as a team is to breathe slowly and deeply throughout the whole process in order to remain calm, relaxed and in control. When we are calm, our breathing slows and creates more inner peace, bringing us into the present moment,” says Ana.

This kind of breathwork helps women stop fixating on what is about to happen and reduces the possibility of slipping into a negative shallow breathing cycle.

Birth partners play a vital role, as Ana explains: “They can support mum by breathing with them, listening to relaxing music together, providing a massage and some pressure point relief, practising pregnancy and birthing positions, providing positive talk, plus emotional support.

You also shouldn’t be afraid to ask for what you want, as Anoesjka explains: “Allow staff to do their job but if you want to get up and move around, use a yoga ball or take a shower to help relieve the pain, then just ask.”


The physical work done, what comes post-partum is a whole new world.

“Skin to skin contact immediately post-delivery is the first physical connection and the midwife and doula, if you have one, will be on hand to help with the initial breastfeeding,” says Anoesjka.

“You can also ask for help and demonstrations of all those important first-time activities from cord care to nappy changing and most baby-friendly hospitals insist on your newborn remaining in the room with you during your stay,” she adds.

Says Ana: “Mums need to be aware that it may be challenging, especially in the first three weeks. It’s a new experience for everyone and is particularly emotional for new mums, as well as being a learning time for the rest of the family. Depending on the birth experience, mum may need more time for recovery and it’s important that she rests as much as possible, eats healthy and drinks lots of water.

“It’s a good idea to also have a post-partum plan, to have someone take care of the housework and cooking in those early days. Breastfeeding may be challenging at the beginning and the key is to be prepared and patient. Professional breastfeeding support may also be an option worth considering.”

Emirates Home Nursing host a number of free sessions on calm and positive birthing. For more information or to register for a session, contact us on 800 687 7464.


Welcoming a new baby is an overwhelmingly joyful occasion but also demands a certain level of adjustment, not only for mum but for the entire immediate family; and with May marking both (US) Mother’s Day and International Nurses Day, the team at Emirates Home Nursing has new mums very much front of mind.


It’s important to understand the demands that having a new baby in the home places on parents. Emirates Home Nursing recognises this and that’s why, working with mums and families, we have identified the areas where a little extra hands-on help can really make a difference.



A full suite of newborn services is available, which includes bathing and clothing little ones, umbilical cord and circumcision site care, nappy changing, bottle preparation and sterilisation, assisting with breastfeeding as well as giving advice on breastfeeding, feeding times, and how to know when the baby is full.


“Another key area is skin and eye care, with a host of common skin conditions affecting newborns. These include desquamation, cradle cap, milia (white bumps), miliaria (heat rash), newborn acne and rashes such as eczema,” explains Mary Jane, Neonatal Nurse, Emirates Home Nursing.


“Eye care is equally important, and this includes checking for problems such as watering eyes, crusty eyelids or crossed eyes, and common eye conditions in newborns include infant eye infections, blocked tear ducts and leukocoria (white pupil),” explains Anna Loraine, Neonatal Nurse, Emirates Home Nursing.


And who doesn’t need help in establishing feeding and sleeping patterns – ask any sleep deprived new mum! Says Anna: “Our nurses teach mums how to recognise signs that their baby is tired, such as rubbing their eyes, whining, crying, yawning and stretching a lot, or losing interest in people and their toys.


“She will show your baby the difference between night and day, with super helpful tips such as keeping the house and bedroom light and bright in the daytime and changing the baby into pajamas to mark the beginning of their nighttime routine – and show them that it’s the end of the day.”


Health and safety advice rounds out the sleep support services, with Emirates Home Nursing staff also on hand to establish a safe sleeping environment.




Newborn consultations are another way in which the teams provide invaluable early days support. With a quartet of one-off one to three-hour packages to choose from, new mums (and dads) get expert insider assistance and that all-important peace of mind.


Led by our Clinical Manager who is a highly qualified NICU nurse, and her team of specially trained newborn specialists, this takes place in the comfort of your home and covers multiple health check fundamentals from weight and growth to the maintenance of development records.


Whether you require a one-off visit to get started or feel that you need a little more support, we have flexible packages available to suit both your needs and those of your baby.

The one-hour bronze package covers measurements (weight, length and head circumference), nappy change, a skin assessment, safe sleep technique and vital signs check, while the three-hour platinum packages includes all of the above plus a feeding assessment (breastfeeding, bottle, expressing), establishing routines guidance, medication demonstration, bili check, nursing procedures and feeding tube assessments/demonstrations



If I hire a neonatal nurse, do they live in? 

No. Our nurses work a maximum 12-hour day so you have the option of day or night shift nurse support, or both if you want 24/7 care.


How long do new mums like myself need the services of a neonatal nurse for?

It’s entirely up to you but most of our clients use our services on a monthly package basis for the first two to three months after the baby is born.


If I’m having a tough time through lack of sleep or for other reasons, or need a nurse to come in at the last minute, is that possible?

Of course! If we have a nurse available we can send them to you with as little as four hours’ notice. If you commit to a longer-term package then the more notice we have, the better. This allows us to plan the schedule and ensure that you get the same nurse throughout your time with us (during her regular scheduled working hours).


How do your nurses ‘educate’ new mums like me rather than simply helping just helping me out?

As we always say to our nurses, taking care of the baby is the easy part.  Teaching the mums is the challenge. Obviously, our highly trained nurses do their best to impart years of knowledge and experience, making sure they know what to do and what to look for in different situations. This could be as simple as teaching mum how to differentiate between a cry for hunger and a cry of discomfort.



12 May 2018 is International Nurses Day, so we asked our team – many of whom are mothers themselves – for their top tips on caring for the newest member of the family.


BREASTFEEDING: Breastfeeding requires extra calories so breastfeeding mothers should include two to three servings of protein per day in their diet plus lots of vegetables, fruits and water to increase lactation.

NEWBORNS: Did you know that there are no nerve endings in the umbilical cord? So, you don’t need to worry about hurting your baby. Folding the baby’s diaper below the cord will improve air circulation and help keep the cord dry.

FORMULA:  Never microwave formula. The microwave heats formula unevenly, causing hot spots that may burn the baby’s mouth.

TEMPERATURE CHECK: Check your baby’s temperature. If your baby won’t stop crying and you can’t figure out what’s wrong, see if they may be too hot or too cold.


By 2021, the UAE hopes to be one of the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality, and a big part of this is getting women back into the workplace after having children.


It’s not easy, as a 2016 YouGov survey, commissioned and conducted in partnership with online recruitment portal mums@work, found. A total of 77% of mums surveyed were eager to return to work after having a baby, but 38% stated that a lack of flexible or part-time solutions was the biggest barrier.


The key driver for making the decision to return to work was financial stability, with 19% also wanting the independence that comes with employment.


With International Women’s Day on 8th March once again highlighting female empowerment, and a growing number of UAE companies evaluating options for female employees, how does this fit with the desire to be a great mum and the realities of juggling family and a career?




Let’s start at the very beginning. The arrival of a new baby is momentous in every way but even the most well-prepared ‘supermum’ in training can find it overwhelming at times.


“It’s not just about having someone personable and baby or child friendly to help out at home, but about finding a qualified, dedicated and trustworthy professional to look after your most precious asset,” says Ana Neto, for Emirates Home Nursing.


And if you’re a busy working mum with a child under the weather or simply want the occasional night out with your husband, who is your go-to for qualified childcare?


At Emirates Home Nursing, we know that for you to put your trust in a third-party resource, we need to ensure that we only work with the best.


Fundamental to this is training, and since 2016 we have been delivering Dubai Health Authority (DHA) accredited courses – not only for our own professional team members but for other healthcare professionals…the very people you may be looking to use as ad hoc at-home support.




The Emirates Home Nursing roster of training programmes covers a wealth of topics, and those specific to babies and children include our popular newborn care workshop.


If you are planning to bring someone into your home to either help you navigate the early days and weeks of motherhood, or support you post-maternity leave, you obviously want a caring, practical and qualified professional.


These workshops cover an A to Z line-up of key topics from discussions on the importance of newborn care and learning how to understand a baby’s reactions to hunger, pain and discomfort through to techniques to support breast-feeding mothers, identifying newborn jaundice and recognising skin conditions.


“A hands-on qualification, we also cover newborn hygiene and nappy care as well as understanding the digestion and metabolism of a baby as well as feeding techniques,” says Ana.




Many of us may have taken a first aid course in the workplace or probably know someone who is qualified, but it’s a skill vital to ensuring the safety of your family.


Ask yourself, does your current child carer have a first aid qualification? Do they know what to do in an emergency?


Says Ana: “Emirates Home Nursing’s basic first aid at home workshop is a foundation level requirement for our own people, and we are increasingly welcoming other family-employed professionals to our courses.”


“We take it right back to basics, communicating the importance of understanding what first aid is and the aims, as well as the all-important consideration for duty of care and legal implications of administering first aid here in the UAE.”


“That may sound more than a little daunting, but we can’t underestimate the significance of being able to understand the factors involved in an emergency situation – and how to react,” she adds.


At the end of the workshop, the individual professional will be able to provide basic first aid within the home environment to babies, children and adults – and that’s great for peace of mind if you’re not around.




We’ve all seen it; the maid or nanny in the park/supermarket/schoolyard struggling to control the little terrors in her charge.


This is another area where Emirates Home Nursing’s years of qualified expertise comes into play through our conflict and behavioural management course. Open to parents and childcare professionals this is an incredibly insightful and practically useful experience, and the feedback we get is extremely positive once parents see it in action,” remarks Ana.


The workshop begins by identifying challenging situations that can lead to conflict as well as identifying workplace conflicts and teaches the individual how to effectively manage all types of conflict.


“Knowing how to properly handle a tantrum, and manage it, is a skill that doesn’t necessarily come naturally, and this is something that our participants find particularly useful. We also address the area of educating parents in behavioural management, to ensure a balanced carer-parent dynamic that a child will react positively to,” notes Ana.




Industry professionals also receive DHA-approved Continuing Medical Education (CME) CME credits when they successfully complete an Emirates Home Nursing course or workshop.


“When we looked at developing a full suite of training programmes, we also wanted to ensure that these qualifications would benefit healthcare professionals as they progress their careers,” says Ana.


“The Emirates Home Nursing commitment to delivering excellence across every aspect of the home care field means that we attract a very high caliber of nurses and staff to our own team. We also want to support the DHA – and families throughout the UAE – by growing the number of properly qualified baby and child care professionals in the community,” she continues.


In 2017, Emirates Home Nursing has trained and qualified 477 healthcare professionals across various disciplines.


Says Ana: “For 2018, we have decided to combine some shorter related courses to create workshops that are worth more CME points. Instead of having 11 smaller sessions, we now offer three compact sessions and four workshops. Across all the courses we deliver, we can offer a total of 17 CME credits out of the 20 each nurse requires to renew their annual license,” she concludes.

Healthy Living

Many of us tend not to worry about high blood pressure or cholesterol until we are sitting in front of the doctor getting our results. As healthcare professionals, we often repeat the same line ‘prevention is better than cure’. So what can we do to ensure we maintain a healthy lifestyle and still enjoy a few guilty pleasures? We have put together a few expert tips that we feel will help you not only get started but keep these lifestyle changes.

Increase your water intake and reduce your caffeine intake. I’m sure this isn’t new to any of us, it is recommended that adults drink between 6 to 8 glasses of water per day as a minimum. So why do we find this so hard? Perhaps because caffeine and juice taste so much better! Most of us believe that our caffeine fix in the morning sets us up for the day, however many studies show that the long-term effects of caffeine often include increased anxiety and blood pressure. Swapping just one or two cups of coffee for water will help us feel better overall. It is also important for us to encourage our elderly relatives and children to increase their water intake. This can prove difficult but offering frequent sips throughout the day can really make a difference. Top tip: Label your water bottle!

Stop dieting and enjoy a balanced diet. Having a balanced diet does not have to be dull. Portion control and ensuring that the right food is on your plate is very important. Including proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, fibres and the right fats will help you in achieving this and doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the occasional slice of chocolate cake! Part of feeling good is a direct result of your diet, too many processed foods can make you feel lethargic. Top tip: Meal planning at the start of the week will help ensure you are getting your 5 fruits and vegetables per day and is a great way to maintain a healthy diet. This will also help you in organising your meals so that you don’t get bored.

Doing some form of exercise on a regular basis not only helps you in maintaining your weight but it can also reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as help lift your mood. Exercise stimulates various chemicals in your brain that can make you feel more relaxed. Just 30 minutes of exercise such as a brisk walk around the park will get you started. Top tip: Take the stairs instead of the lift or elevator. If you live on the 50th floor, we don’t recommend you try this but you can go up the first 5 floors and then take the elevator.

Increase your vitamin D intake. Being in this area of the world you may think well that’s easy which in theory it is. However, vitamin D deficiency is a common health issue in the UAE. It is recommended that exposing your skin to direct sunlight for just 10 minutes per day without protection can help you absorb up to 10,000 units of natural vitamin D. Exposing yourself to sunlight also helps your brain produce more serotonin which lifts your mood and therefore makes you happy. Top tip: Sit and eat breakfast outside or take 10 minutes out of your lunch break to enjoy a short walk in the sunshine.

Relax. This sounds odd after encouraging you to get started with a healthy diet and exercise but it is also important to take the time to relax. Many of us get lost in our busy work schedules and forget that our bodies need time to recover and rest. Top tip: Take that long bath or do something you enjoy for 30 minutes each day. Take time out for yourself.

Remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also about maintaining a happy one. Make changes that you enjoy and don’t completely deprive yourself of those guilty pleasures, just limit them.

Child Care

Dealing with Children Who Feel Overwhelmed

Stress is usually something we associate with being an adult. However, children quite often are stressed without understanding what they feel. Children of all ages can be overwhelmed at some point whether it’s frustration at being unable to complete a task or just having too much in their everyday routines. It’s our job as parents and caregivers to recognise this and come to the rescue.


Some of you may still be thinking ‘children stressed…ha!’, but it’s more common than you think. The stress that we come across as adults may seem so much larger and more significant in comparison to what a child encounters. Their problems can seem small to us in the grand scheme of things, but they are smaller people.


The first thing that we as caregivers should be doing is recognising when our children are overwhelmed as it can be hard for children to recognise the emotions they are feeling. The first emotions we learn are ‘happy’, ‘sad’ and ‘angry’, so it can be frustrating for children who may be experiencing feelings of stress or anxiety when they can’t communicate this to us. If you notice a change in behaviour, ask and listen. Help them understand why they are feeling a certain  way, and then focus on the positives and aid in finding a solution.


Our children can feel overwhelmed with school which may include anything from schoolwork and exams to changing classes and teachers. Over-scheduling; our children are expected to spend 6-7 hours a day focusing in school followed by extra-curricular activities that demand further concentration. Pressure; different children excel in different activities and sometimes they don’t understand that not everyone can be good at everything all of the time. If they are frustrated at not being top dog at a certain activity, reinforce that ‘it’s the taking part that counts’. While one child may not seem to grasp some activities, they will take like a duck to water in others.


Sometimes our moods rub off onto our children. Morning routines for most families can be tough, waking up late and rushing to get everybody fed and watered before they pile out the door. This manic start of the day can have a startling impact on your child’s mind set for going to school. Try to make sure you wake up with plenty of time and establish a routine that flows and avoids the odd morning disaster (annoyingly, we have all had them).


Encourage your child to take up hobbies/activities that they truly enjoy. Just as we all need a release, be it tennis, spin class or swimming, so do they. It’s good to let them focus on something that’s fun and allows them to relax. Sometimes this can be trial and error, taking them to different classes and letting them have a taste of different sports/activities, but the important thing is that they enjoy it.


We need to keep in mind that children are children. Within their own schedules of school, homework and hobbies they need some play time. Whether it’s reading their books, playing vets or jumping from couch to couch to save themselves from the molten lava on the carpet, they need to just be kids at times.


Allowing them to use their imagination, and be creative and playful are just as important for their development, and particularly helpful when you notice your little one is feeling overwhelmed or anxious. As they grow up they will naturally have all the pressures and strains that come with being an adult, they won’t be little for long. We need to allow them be children so try to limit stress to a minimum by talking to them about the feelings they are experiencing. Focus on the positives, make time for family down time by watching a movie or spending an afternoon at the beach, and above all, set a good example.

Baby Sleep Advice

​We have all heard that saying ‘slept like a baby’…most of the time from somebody who doesn’t have one! All parents have been there desperately singing a lullaby whilst rocking back and forth, praying that their child will fall asleep. As well as being essential to your sanity, plenty of sleep for your child is vital for their development.

Here are a few hints and tips from our babysitters that can help your little ones on their journey to the land of nod.

A bedtime routine is key to getting your child into bed. Establishing a routine whilst they are still a baby helps when those ‘terrible twos’ kick in. With a routine, they know what is coming which can really help with the night time tantrums. Something as simple as ‘bath, pyjamas and a story’ before putting them into the bed can make all the difference.

Bath Time
After a busy (and possibly messy day) a great start to a routine is a bath. Everyone loves going to bed clean and that counts for your little ones too. As we get tired our body temperature naturally decreases. Giving your baby a warm bath slightly raises their body temperature, and creates a decrease once they are dry and squeaky clean which then initiates tiredness and brings on those little yawns. This one works with adults too, so for all you tired mummies and daddies, it isn’t a bad idea!

Baby Massage
A baby massage using baby lotion helps your baby relax. Other than being enjoyable it also has many positive psychological effects. Touch is one of the first senses that babies experience, and infants who have routine touch show 50% more eye contact and are less likely to show negative expressions, which could mean less tears at bedtime as they grow. Massages help strengthen the bond between parents and babies, and form the foundations of their relationship making abilities for later on in life.

Chill Out
Once your child is dressed and ready for bed it’s time to wind down and relax. It’s important not to excite them with games (this time is a good excuse for cuddles). For new-born babies the motion of a gentle rock can really help relax them as they associate this motion with being inside mummy’s tummy. For toddlers it’s important to choose calmer activities the closer you are to bedtime. Story-telling lets them use their imagination to allow the story to come alive, and is a great way to let them settle and start their dreams. Just remember daddy, the aim of the game is to get them sleepy…so not too much animation on the character’s voices.

Tablets and SmartPhones

As much as we all know our tablets and smartphones can be our saviours in times of need, however the use of these before bedtime can really disrupt our child’s sleep. Artificial light affects all of our sleeping patterns, particularly the blue spectrum light which is present in high concentration from the LCD screens of our beloved digital devices. Research shows that this blue light decreases our natural melatonin levels by 22%, keeping us more alert and increasing the time it takes for us to go to sleep. So as tempting as it may be to let your little one watch an episode of Peppa Pig, it’s probably not wise.

Last piece of advice, remember all children are different. It can take time to realise what works for yours, and what helps them sleep. Stay patient and calm, and you will succeed!


Basic First Aid for Children at Home

It is reported that children under 5 are most at risk to injury within the home, boys being more likely than girls. This is because young children are unable to assess risks. Their perception of the environment around them is often limited and their lack of experience and development, such as poor coordination and balance results in them being injured. Children above the age of 5 are more likely to obtain injuries such as fractures.


Caring for a child includes ensuring their safety.


As parents, we all know that we can’t watch our little ones 24/7 and often hire help to support us. It is inevitable that there will be bumps and bruises along the way, however we all dread that phone call from our child’s nursery or carer informing us that they have taken yet another tumble.


So, what are the minimum requirements for basic first aid in the UAE?


There are no guidelines on the minimum requirements that any child carer should have here in the UAE. Whilst many parents source private nannies, some choose a home care company that have dedicated child caregivers like Emirates Home Nursing.


What sets us apart is that all of our nurses have a BSc degree in nursing and are registered nurses in their home country. In addition, all our staff attend courses which include paediatric and adult training as well as accredited basic life support. This may seem over-cautious but we feel it’s imperative that our nurses are ready for any mishaps and are able to deal with them calmly.


We know how important basic first aid is and recommend that you have a first aid kit at home. This can be purchased from a pharmacy or healthcare facility and includes plasters, sterile saline water, antiseptic cream, gauze and slings, and many more useful items.


Anyone providing childcare should be given special instructions that can be helpful when taking care of your child. Our nurses sometimes ask lots of questions which may seem as common sense to a busy parent, however to someone first meeting your child it will be useful information. We always make sure that nurses are aware of any allergies your child may have prior to coming to your home to avoid any incidents.


Allergies, cuts and grazes, burns, poisoning and bumps to the head are probably the most common injuries to occur when caring for a young child. We recommend that parents provide us with their daily routine. This is important as children who are tired are more likely to become clumsy which may result in an injury. Including any allergies, likes and dislikes will help prevent any incidents from occurring and providing emergency contact details is essential in the case of any accident.


It is also a good idea to safe proof your home. Keeping a child friendly home is key to preventing accidents. Making sure all harmful chemicals and medicines are locked and out of reach is something we often overlook. Covering sharp edges, using baby gates near stairs, keeping blind cords out of reach and providing a soft flooring are all some of the things you can do.


Parenting is full of ups and downs and a journey that often results in the same experiences for many of us. We can’t wrap our little ones in cotton wool, bumps, bruises and grazed knees are all part of the fun. Be prepared for these mishaps and have your first aid kit at the ready!