It is fairly common to see babies of a few days old out and about at the mall, lovingly cradled in mom’s or dad’s arms. Perhaps you have noticed, though, that these newborns are mostly white and that you seldom see black babies out in public at such a young age? What’s going on here?

Dr Tiny Mhinga from Fourways jokes that “black parents must just have an extra layer of overprotectiveness...” before saying that it is a fallacy that newborns can’t go out within days of birth. “All babies, irrespective of their skin colour, are born with some natural protection. They have yellow fat known as adipose tissue. This fat is there to help cushion and insulate the body and as the child grows older it disappears and becomes thinner and thinner,” explains Dr Mhinga.

He adds the reason babies are inoculated immediately after birth is to help strengthen their immune system in order for them to be able to fight germs. However, retired cultural expert Professor Jabulani Maphalala from the University of Zululand holds a different view about when a baby can go out in the world.Duke of Sussex gifted newborn booties and bonnet

There are cultural reasons why many new black moms stay home with their little ones for up to three months. He wishes for people to understand why some cultures require things be done in a certain way, before just dismissing it out of hand.