One of the most life changing events in a woman’s life is the event of giving birth to her child. The impact of this does not change, may it be the first child or her 3rd. Each pregnancy and birth is unique to itself.Then why does such a life changing and joyous event turn into major worry and anxiety trigger for most women today? Why have our mothers forgotten to enjoy this phase of their lives?
It’s not their fault really, it would be wrong to solely blame her for this change in perception because as sad as it may seem, our specific category of care medicine is largely based on a fear mechanism. To simplify it, the perception of birth and pregnancy has over the years changed in a way that maybe on purpose or maybe not causes anxiety in our mothers. It has ceased to look like something that could be fun, enjoyable and least of all relaxing.
Today as I sit and write to you dear mothers and readers, I would like to try and change that perspective for you. You deserve to not only enjoy to the utmost extent but also have a beautiful and relaxing pregnancy and birth.
We are going to look at some of the most common misconceptions that are so widespread that the moment anyone hears you are pregnant you will be bombarded with these pieces of advice sooner or later in some form.
#1 – A pregnant mother must only rest, throughout her pregnancy.
Resting is great. It is even suggested and enforced during the first trimester (0-3 months/0-12weeks). No heavy lifting, No bending down or squatting. During the first trimester doing any of these causes undue stress to the uterus and could cause a misscarrige. After 3 months/12 weeks it is entirely safe for a mother to resume her day to day activities, with the green light from your doctor it is highly advised that she keep her body moving and active. Simply because an active body can tolerate labor a lot better than a body that has only rested for the enriterty of 9 months.
The basic concept being that labor is no less than exercise for a mother. So if her body is used to some form of exercise it will take a lesser toll on her during labor because her body will be used to the exercise. An active body will perform better during labor because it has stamina, is flexible and the muscles are used to them being used. So mommies take that dance class,
get back to your gym routine, maybe go on a light trek, get back to work maybe but do not restrict yourself your pregnancy will only make you stronger.
#2 A Dramatic water breaking.
We have all seen at least one movie scene where a mother is walking in her drawing room, or a park or having a talk with her husband when suddenly from under her pregnant belly comes gushing out about a liter of water; with a look of complete shock and surprise she looks down at it and says “I think my water broke, the bay is coming.” Cut to lots of screaming and a visibly exhausted mom being wheeled into the emergency room and within a while she has given birth.
Reality is that not all women have such a dramatic breaking of water. According to a study only about 10% of women will have water breaking like they show in the movies. For most women it is like a trickle of water , or the constant feeling of being wet , while their underwear keeps getting wet. This usually happens after the mucus plug has been lost.
Even after your “water has broken” it takes a new mother about 12-16hrs until she actually gives birth. Labor is a long process, so once your water breaks that would be a good time to start making your way to the hospital and informing your doctor. The only exception would be if it is your 3rd baby in which case the moment you think your water is broken you should rush to the hospital because you could birth within an hour or two as well.
#3 A vaginal birth is difficult for first time mothers.
All good things take time and that is true for birth as well. For a first time mother whose body hasn’t ever been through such conditions, it will be difficult but there are so many measures to avoid making labor a difficult process. For example, water birth has been known to reduce the stress caused to mother and baby by upto 35% . The warm water helps her relax and energizes her during her labor making it easier for her to progress through the labor.
#4 A cesarean is less painful than a vaginal birth.
Birthing and labor is painful. There are no two ways about it. But with the right information, counseling and mental preparation any birth is not as difficult as it’s made out to be. During labor there are many ways to manage pain, but to say that a cesarean is less painful is not right because
in my opinion the recovery time is lengthy in cases of cesarean. Whereas with a vaginal birth most women are up on their feet within 48hrs.
#5 Your body will never be the same post birth.
It is true that your body will not be the same. It will be stronger, more resilient and the body of a mother who brought into the world a little miracle. As for physically looking good, a lot of mothers who breastfeed and hit the gym are known to have gotten into better shape than they had before pregnancy. Breastfeeding burns a lot of calories and in the process of providing your baby with the milk it news your body works out a little extra.
I do understand that with a new baby in your life it would be difficult to go to gym or find time to exercise but making time for yourself will not only help you be a better mom but also help you be more than you expected to yourself may it be physically or mentaly. So mommy go get that beach bod or take that extra long shower when you need it.
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