Technology – does it help or hinder new parents? You decide


The social sciences are increasingly reporting on how technology can get in the way of healthy family interactions. But digital tools can also be used to care for yourself and your unborn or new-born child. Here’s how to harness online tools for the better.

Over the years, technology has become and more of a two-edged sword – while advances are empowering more people across the globe with access to information, resources, and services at the click of a button, there have also been a number of unintended ill-effects.

According to a 2016 social sciences study, interruptions caused by technology devices like cell phones can decrease coordination between parents. Mothers rating more technology interference in their homes reported worse co-parenting, less relationship satisfaction, and more depressive symptoms. Another study found that new mothers often feel social isolation, and that social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can making moms feel more socially disconnected, instead of less so.

But it’s not all bad. While the Internet can certainly enable unhealthy patterns and behaviours, digital tools and features can also be used to educate, organise and simplify the complex but rewarding task of parenting a young child. There are many ways apps and features can be incorporated into your lifestyle and help keep you focussed and better informed. Here’s how:

Stay ahead of the curve with My Pregnancy and My Baby

If you’ve recently found out that you’re pregnant, and suddenly you feel like there are a million things you ought to know and do, rest assured – there’s help to prepare you every step of the way. Discovery Health’s My Pregnancy programme offers you 24/7 support, advice and guidance on caring for yourself and your unborn child during pregnancy.

You can activate the My Pregnancy programme here or on the Discovery app. Do this as soon as you find out you’re pregnant to unlock your additional benefits and tools right away. To date, over 17 000 members have activated the My Pregnancy benefit – and here’s why:

New parents are understandably quick to add their new baby to their medical aid policy in order to gain access to comprehensive maternity and post-birth benefits, but you don’t have to stop at that.

By activating the My Baby programme here or on the Discovery app, you can create a profile for your baby to track their milestones, view screening appointments and vaccinations, and connect with your doctors. You’ll also find all kinds of resources to help you manage your everyday, like breastfeeding tips and personalised checklists:

So, to ensure that technology does more good than harm in your household, consider regulating how you use it during family interactions; don’t hesitate to seek help if you are feeling overwhelmed, lonely or anxious; and make use of helpful digital tools to keep you on track when it comes to your own and your baby’s health.

The Discovery Health Medical Scheme is an independent non-profit entity governed by the Medical Schemes Act, and regulated by the Council for Medical Schemes. It is administered by a separate company, Discovery Health (Pty) Ltd, an authorised financial services provider.

Put your mind at rest with comprehensive maternity benefits

With Discovery Health Medical Scheme, you have access to comprehensive maternity and post-birth benefits supported by access to 24/7 support, advice and guidance through the My Pregnancy and My Baby programmes on the Discovery app and website

The healthcare services are covered from the Maternity Benefit at the Discovery Health Rate. This cover does not affect your day-to-day benefits and depends on the plan you choose. Learn more here

Related articles


Why do I feel so bleh? Understanding what causes pregnancy nausea

Nausea and vomiting is the most common complaint in pregnancy. We chatted to Dr Natalie Odell, who qualified with a Fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the College of Medicine South Africa and a MMed from WITS, to better understand its causes.


6 milestones to celebrate in your baby's first months

Many parents are preoccupied with whether their new-borns are developing normally. Every baby is different – but here are some fun signposts to look out for!


A new dad's guide to new-borns

This is the second of a two-part feature in which a financial writer at Discovery and father of twins, offers honest and tongue-in-cheek advice to expecting and new dads. The article was first published in Men's Health in February 2018.

Log in

Please click here to login into Discovery Digital Id

Please click here to login into Discovery Digital Id