Pregnant Woman’s Preparations for the Delivery of Baby
Generally, major portions of the delivery in our country take place at home-particularly in villages. There is a network of maternal and child health centers providing assistance through auxiliary nurse midwives to have delivery in a sanitary and hygienic environment. You must always try to get the help of a trained midwife if a doctor is not available. If you are near a hospital register yourself there for delivery. Though you feel that in a hospital much of personal touch is absent, there you are provided with all the modern and expert care. Hence it is always safe to go to the nearest hospital for your delivery. However, this is all for the general population. If you can afford, arrange for your delivery in a private nursing home or in the private wing of a hospital through the obstetrician of your choice.
Never allow yourself to be handled by an untrained nurse who may cause much personal havoc to you and to your child by her ignorance. The untrained ‘dais’ may attend the baby with unwashed hands, cut the umbilical cord with an unclean knife, tie the same with all sorts of dirty threads. This may cause Tetanus both to you and to your child. Simple precautions can save a lot of undue suffering. If you take a shot of Tetanus toxoid in the last months of pregnancy, you and your child will get immunity and protection against this disease.
The family must fix a place for safe delivery as per their convenience. This could be in a separate, well-ventilated room where the mother that is going to deliver can live in comfort and in isolation.
For home, delivery make sure that the cot should be hand one with the board on it instead of the usual ‘Niwar’ or jute thread which is common in the villages. Pots or vessels to make little lotion and keep other things like cotton etc. for delivery. Make sure that these cotton etc. are kept full sterile. However, looking to the facilities that the various medical centers provide visavis the money they charge, it is always better to go there for delivery.
Whether their daughter is pregnant, it is customary for parents in most Indian homes to bring her to their house in her 7th or 9th month. She is sent back to the home of mother-in-law only in the 3rd or 5th month after delivery. This is apparently a long duration of separation from the husband’s family from the western standards! As things are getting modernized and life is speeding up, this interval is getting reduced. But as a custom, it is very good, as the daughter can relax more in her parent’s house as she does not have much for the responsibility of the household work and usual demands of family. She has more time to plan and prepare for the needs of the forthcoming baby.
Things Required by a Mother
- Napkins for the baby square or triangular and made of new cloth or clean old cloth.
- Three to six shirts for the baby without buttons or zips, and of one-year size.
- Sweater or socks.
- Caps for the head.
- Water-proof sheets. Large enough to turn baby round on.
- About six-bed sheets.
- A bedpan or an earthen pail.
- A bucket to throw all dirty linen and also to be used for washing.
There are many women amongst the working classes who work till the last sate of pregnancy. Work becomes a habit. But one should not work too hard as to exhaustion. Sometimes, they work hard up to the last minute and suddenly develop pains and easily deliver. That does not mean that you should also strain and exhaust yourself at work. This is only to show that work is not forbidden during pregnancy.
A Girl or a Boy?
Ultrasound scan notwithstanding, it is wrong to anticipate the sex of the baby you are going to have. Of course, for the first time, you may be slightly indifferent. But for the second time, you are sure to think of a preference. Sometimes you may have a series of boys or of girls. But how long you are going to maintain the stream to have your choice of the alternate! You can take a maximum of three chances. If all the three are boys or girls, you have to be content with that, without developing a feeling of dejection. After all, the longing to have children and to have a choice for a ‘right’ number of boys and girls in the family is natural. But in the modern world, it makes no difference whether your children are boys or girls. The upbringing of both is equally costly and equally satisfying. As it is always nice to limit your family to three children, we have to leave the working of the ‘balance’ to nature as scientists have not yet developed any means of changing the sex of the baby in the womb as per the parents’ desires. Perhaps, if desired and willpower alone can produce the needed change, you better strongly desire so, without developing a sense of dejection and negative attitude towards the loving child that you have given birth to if the child is contrary to your expectation.
Every child you produce, must be well planned and spaced so that your health is well maintained. Only then the child that is born will have all the needed care.