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Motherhood: Coping up

November 28, 2010

The gender of the to-be-born baby in many cases remains the prime issue on which all preparations are based. For a boy we go for accessories of blue colour, while pink does it for a girl. Everything from clothes to the bouncer, stroller, bathing seat, feeders, mats, etc. is bought according to the gender of the baby.

Though most sonologists try to refrain from telling the baby’s gender as seen on the ultrasound, sometimes the doctor may pass a hint to the expecting mother. And that is the point when shopping actually begins. While we generally do not like other people ‘peeping’ into our lives, when one is expecting one becomes considerably tolerant towards the ‘predictions’ and expert opinions from all around. Amazingly, at this stage especially the first time to-be-moms enjoy such remarks and subconsciously also tend to accept the experts’ predictions as far as the gender of the baby is concerned.

However, have you ever noticed that even after buying the best and spending huge amounts of money, usually the first time-parents seem ‘disturbed’ after the baby’s birth. Why is it so?

It is because the couple had bought all they thought would be needed but they were not prepared for the physical and emotional changes that they would have to go through after the baby’s arrival. Generally such things are assumed to be ‘understood’ but the to-be-parents do not actually realise the upcoming change in their lives until they experience it. And at that point, it is too late to prepare oneself and one has to accept it as it comes.

It would be much better if instead of constantly bothering the couple about the ‘gender’ and such issues the elders and other well wishers guided the couple about the changes that they would have to adapt to, like telling them that after the baby is born they won’t get ample or timely sleep. Since we all need sufficient sleep to be active, it is important that right from the beginning of pregnancy, the couple should be told to try to mould their sleep pattern into ‘discontinued’ and ‘when possible’ pattern.

A child’s birth is indeed a blessing, but the arrival of a child comes with financial demands as well. Hospital charges and provision of other necessities is not enough. One should be prepared for the follow up doctor visits/ emergency visits, medicines, and if required, formula milk (an expensive affair). All such things should be discussed and talked about before, so that the couple does not feel frustrated.

The women who come to greet the parents and bless the child often do not miss the opportunity to tell the new mother that she has put on a lot of weight and should follow a diet/exercise plan. Good thought! But please ask your doctor first, as she/he can provide the best guidance keeping your physical condition in mind.

Close family members should prepare the mom before hand that she might undergo remarkable physical change, but once the baby is born she can take up certain exercises to get back in shape. Many girls panic when someone points to their shapeless appearance and often resort to dieting… which can be harmful. All mothers need energy to keep going but new moms need more as they are going through a healing process as well.

I remember, just a few days after my eldest son’s birth someone told me about my bad ‘shape’ and I felt like crying. After my second child, I was prepared and answered all such remarks very bravely and ‘informed’ my well wishers that I would get back to normal once I was allowed by my doctor to start the exercise.

It is important for new mothers to manage their time. After a baby, household chores become difficult but good planning can resolve many issues. Set priorities and don’t try to prove that you are a superwoman. You are just an ordinary human being who needs time to herself as well.

Talk to your family members and ask them for help (they surely will). Take good care of your spouse as well and share your feelings with him. Today’s fathers also help out; take advantage of this and enjoy your bundle of joy.