Embrace Motherhood: Before & After
After nine months, the baby has finally arrived and transformed your life completely. You probably love this little bundle of joy more than you ever thought you would, or could. A baby is everything you never knew you needed and everything you ever wanted. Babies fill up your heart with unconditional love towards them.
Though post-pregnancy can be both exciting and intimidating, as the families go nuclear, women often discover themselves lacking support and the right kind of guidance during and after pregnancy.
Earlier there were many women in the same house to look after a new mother. But nowadays, a mother handles everything herself right from personal visits to the doctor to get her child immunized.
Dr Alpana, also a yoga consultant, is of the opinion that mothers need immense support, especially during the initial period. “Early-stage motherhood and post-pregnancy period are times when women need maximum backing, mentally and often physically,” she says.
A mother has a lot to contend with after giving birth to her child – be it taking care of the baby, breastfeeding, maintaining healthy relationships with family and friends and at times even doing the household chores.
Nowadays, even social media platforms are actively involved in discussing motherhood and the challenges that come with it. One such popular group on Facebook is MommIcare, created by Ira Khanna and Umang Mehta.
“Having gone through an avalanche of emotions post-childbirth, I realized that we as mothers need to be heard and addressed and hence we came up with curating a forum called MommIcare. Many times, women are not able to discuss certain issues with anyone – not even with their family members. They need to pour their heart out to someone and discuss various issues. Some personal time or ‘me time’ is what they need to recuperate from life’s mundanity. Another important aspect is time. Time is limited and responsibilities are numerous. Mothers should learn to plan, prioritize and execute. This would help them deal with life’s toughest situations,” says Ira. She adds, “Afterall, mothers are the best multitaskers ever known. They are the nurturers. They deserve just as much love and support as their children.”
Being a mother is no less than a blessing. Amidst fulfilling various responsibilities, a mother’s own health takes a backseat. Physiological changes take a toll on her well being. Her once radiant skin loses its charm and the luscious hair that she had during pregnancy start thinning post delivery. Breasts become deformed and stretch marks appear on her stomach due to which they become low on confidence and feel uncomfortable in their own skin. Her physical health affects her mental state too. This is why a blissful experience like the birth of a baby does not instantly lead to a gush of maternal instincts.
Umang with a gentle smile adds, “MommIcare is a platform where we intend to make mothers feel at home, so they are convinced that they are not alone. We aim for mothers around us to attain a life of balance and fulfilment.”
Following the birth of a child, there is a gamut of mixed emotions that one is thrown into, which is known as Postpartum Depression (PPD). This can be largely attributed to the frenzied hormones which are responsible for mood swings. A mother is enveloped by sudden feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, loss of patience, exhaustion and loneliness. Also, we women in our fast-paced lives are not used to the discomfort that comes with childbirth. It is strange how little is talked about PPD, whereas pregnancy is much glorified.
Dr Alpana shares, “What begins as insecurity, usually within 30 days of a baby’s birth, rapidly expand to other symptoms that typically include sadness and anxiousness through the day that often worsens in the evening, crying spells, low self-esteem, lethargy, and sleeplessness. The milder version is called postpartum blues, where the mother’s feeling is being overwhelmed, low and having difficulty sleeping resolves on its own within a month. Deep breathing exercises, asanas such as cobra pose, triangle pose, downward dog pose, forward fold with shoulder expansion can be done daily by mothers for 10 minutes a day to help with PPD.“
So, dear mothers, embrace the changes that life has to offer during pregnancy and after childbirth. Accept the transition and take charge of your new life. Understand that these changes are temporary and life will be beautiful once again, though in a different way.
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