Being able to give birth is a superpower granted to women and perhaps no other experience can come close to how magical it is to bring a new life into this world. As mothers, we all experience anxiety, fear and nervousness while going through labour and delivery. While all these emotions are completely normal to have, many Indian mothers will also swear by experiences that they regret being subjected to or having faced in the delivery room. We may not be able to undo these regrets, but, in hindsight, learning about them will keep us better prepared for the future.
Entering labour, and subsequently the delivery room, can be nerve-wracking experience for any mom-to-be. You are in so much pain and so much trepidation at this time. You are worrying incessantly about your baby and whether all will be well during the childbirth procedure. But sometimes, not everything goes as per plan. Some of us end up having experiences that we regret for a long time later. Whether they are because of family pressure, our own set of beliefs, or medical negligence, these regrets haunt us for years and we wish we could have changed them.
1. “I was Forced Into a C-Section Procedure.”
Many Indian mothers confess regretting their decision of opting for a C-section, irrespective of the fact whether it was an emergency or they were advised by their own doctor or a loved one. In some cases, having a C-section once could mean a lesser viability of a vaginal childbirth/normal delivery in the future. It also means a long and painful post surgery recovery during which you may not be able to look after your baby as well as you want to. There is always new medical research on C-section, and some of the findings further distress moms who have had a C-section. Babies born via this procedure, it seems, could be more prone to asthma, Type 1 diabetes and obesity. This, combined with how our society often treats C-section deliveries as ‘easy’ and ‘less natural’ is enough to make many mothers wish they could undo the decision altogether.
Well, moms, the important thing is that both you and your baby are safe and growing up happily together. If you have undergone a C-section, make sure you do these 10 important things after childbirth to make your recovery faster. Medical science is making new leaps every day, so don’t worry yourself excessively about the aftermath of the surgery on your baby. He will be just fine.
2. “I Wish I Didn’t Need to Take an Epidural to Ease the Pain.”
‘I wish I could endure the pain and not need a drug to help with it’ is a thought many mothers have had post childbirth. In India, especially, women are often symbolized as someone carrying immense strength and endurance, who have to ‘bear pain’ to bring their baby into the world. This thought process makes many mothers feel they should have put on a brave face and got through the pain – without medical help.
The simple fact is that an epidural is administered when the doctor feels the need for it. Whether or not you need one depends on your health, the complications of your pregnancy, and what is perceived to be the best course of action for a safe delivery. We need to stop feeling guilty or regretful about this. It doesn’t reflect on our maternal strength at all.
3. “A Crowd Gathered in My Room Soon After the Delivery. It was Overwhelming!”
Your family is super excited to meet you and your baby after the delivery. But having a large group of family members or dear ones so soon after childbirth can be overwhelming! Yes, this means more love and more people who care, but having too many people in the delivery room is not such a great idea in hindsight simply because of the pressure it puts on the new mother. Giving birth to a child is an excruciatingly painful and tiring process and therefore the mother requires as much sleep and rest as she could possibly get post the delivery. However, the incoming visitors somewhere may be a reason why they aren’t able to do so. There is also an increased chance of infection!
Doctors advise having one or maybe just two extremely important people by your side when you are in the delivery room. Let’s start making this clear to near and dear ones that they should wait a while before crowding the room to see you. ||
4. “I was not Allowed to See my Baby Immediately. He was Taken Away from me for a Long Time…”
According to some customs in our country, the mother isn’t allowed to see or hold her child immediately after giving birth. The evil eye, warding off ‘nazar’, or just family customs are cited as reasons. But beliefs and superstitions like these take away the joy a mother wants to experience by holding her baby in her arms. She has carried him inside her for so many months, and this separation now is really cruel on her emotional state. Sometimes, a medical situation may also mean getting separated from your baby after giving birth. If the baby was born premature, he will be taken away to the NICU, for instance. This early separation from our bundle of joy is one of the biggest regrets many of us have as a post-delivery memory.
5. “I was not Really Prepared for the Labour and Delivery.”
This is one regret that we can actively eliminate, just by changing the way we approach pregnancy. Many mothers admit that had they been a wee bit better prepared, they would have been able to handle the process in the delivery room better. Reading up more, taking pre-natal classes, and performing pre-natal yoga regularly before the day of delivery would have helped them and made the delivery process smoother.
So, if you are pregnant, and the doctor is recommending yoga, please go ahead and start doing it, even if you face resistance at home. Here are some simple prenatal yoga asanas to get you started. Also invest time in reading up about childbirth as much as possible. While no amount of preparation can really prepare you completely, it does count in making things a bit easier to handle.
6. “I Couldn’t Breastfeed my Child After Her Birth. I was not Allowed To!”
One of the most common regrets that many mothers have is not being able to feed their child after his/her birth. This stems from an Indian custom where the new mother is made to hold the baby for a few minutes but not feed them. It is believed that mother’s milk is ‘not ready’ for some days postpartum, and the colostrum, which is actually wonderful for the child, is often discarded! There could also be a medical reason for not being able to nurse your baby, such as low milk supply, painful breasts, or a difficult surgery.
If there is a latching problem, it can usually be fixed with the assistance of a nurse. Speak to your doctor or a lactation consultant as soon as you can to learn how you can start feeding your baby. Breastmilk is definitely the best food for an infant. But ultimately, if you are unable to nurse for whatever reason, don’t think it belittles you as a mother. There are several other ways to bond with your child and provide him ample immunity and nutrition.