Pregnancy a time for celebration rather than being paranoid

The moment a woman discovers that she is pregnant, she undergoes an instant transformation. ‘I’ becomes ‘we’, ‘mine’ becomes ‘ours’. They say that being pregnant is a feeling that cannot be described in words and true that, women across the world are pampered, celebrated and waited upon by friends and family when they are carrying.

If you look at pregnancy as a marvel or miracle, you will be puzzled. How beautiful is the power of creation that from tiny near invisible cells comes a newborn that is so perfect! Like a potter, a woman slowly and steadily brings to life a being that is the center of joy for everyone around. Why then do women get paranoid about pregnancy? Is it too much information or lack of it?

For ages, women have been giving birth without fuss. They go about their daily routines and even add more work in order to keep their body fit enough to birth. This would not have happened without their faith in their bodies and the confidence that the child knows when to arrive.

Over the years, paranoia has crept into the folds of pregnancy thanks to misinformation. The World Wide Web has enough content to encourage a pregnant woman and otherwise. It is up to us to wisely pick and imbibe what is essential for our pregnancy.

Believe me when I tell you that the nine months will fly away in a jiffy and suddenly, you will be sitting with a newborn cuddled in your arms. So before you wonder ‘where did all the time go’ here’s how you can enjoy and celebrate your pregnancy so as to make it a memorable and positive one!

  1. Understand your body: Each woman is different and so is every pregnancy. Understand your body and look for cues that it gives. Even though you will hear a lot of similar symptoms and pregnancy stories, remember that your pregnancy and baby are extremely unique. Enjoy the uniqueness.

  2. Take in what is required: It is easy to be distracted in the ocean of information that’s available online. But choose wisely and take in only what is beneficial. Always remember to talk to your care provider often about your changing needs and symptoms. Nothing works like human contact.

  3. Make yourself your first priority: Most women rush through pregnancy, as though they are running against a timer to get things done before the baby arrives. Don’t rush! Slow down and make your health your first priority. Take time off stressful activities to nourish your body & mind.

  4. Make memories: Monthly bump photographs, pregnancy photoshoots and baby showers are great happiness boosters along the course of pregnancy. Enjoy these small moments and soak in all the positive vibe it brings. Once your baby is here, you will always have these memories to fall back on and feel loved.

  5. Do things that make you happy: Most of you will be surprised, but the key to a happy pregnancy is in being as normal as possible. There will always be streams of elders and well-wishers who will ask you to not strain and do less. But listen to your body. Discuss with your care provider about things you can indulge in. Unless your care provider has a risk factor to worry about, you can lead a perfectly normal pregnancy doing things you always did, like swimming, gardening, walking, yoga, cooking and so on.

If you are the spouse, family or friend of a pregnant woman reading this article, then awesome that you’ve read so far! Now, here’s something for you:

  1. Treat the pregnant mom with a lot of love, care and comfort. It isn’t easy to be making a baby inside with all the hormonal changes and physical ones too.

  2. Accompany her on walks, medical checkups and prenatal visits. These make her feel that she isn’t in this alone.

  3. Go by her cues. Only the pregnant woman knows how her body is acting or reacting to the changing phases of pregnancy. Be patient, because she might like chocolate ice cream today but may find it repulsive the next week.

  4. Once the baby arrives all the attention shifts entirely from the mother to the newborn. This can leave the new mom feeling ignored. Remember to check on her as well as the baby.

  5. Give her some time off by taking charge of the baby while she sleeps, sips on her cup of tea or enjoys her favorite show on TV. Even having an extra 10 minutes in the shower can do a lot for her mind & body.

Finally, enjoy the beauty of pregnancy and the transformation of your wife/friend/daughter into a mother. There will always be things that scare you about bringing a child into the world; at times like those lean on support forums, your care provider and friends for comforting words and encouragement. Remember as science or not, pregnancy and childbirth are nothing short of a miracle and you are part of making one!

Anjana Dhanavanthan