Pregnancy and Motherhood
When a 14-year-old school girl delivered a baby in her school toilet in a remote village in Tamil Nadu, people were astonished to hear about it. The girl, however, did not lose her composure and instead maintained that she even wanted to attain the pregnancy and enjoy her motherhood at the age of 10. When asked for the reason to become a Mother when other children were concentrating on their studies and games, the girl, without batting an eyelid said “pregnancy and motherhood cannot compensate for anything else in the world for women.
Prejudice against the Issueless
A woman with one or two children was looked at with suspicion and motherless women were shunned aside. What precautions did they take during pregnancy? “Nothing much, except taking normal food and the medicines suggested by the doctors.
Most importantly, we worked very hard and maintained our residences properly during our pregnancy and it invariably avoided cesarean births.” avers an elderly woman, who is a proud mother of 10 children.
Some doctors here agree with the perception of the old woman and regretted that the women now do not attach importance to working hard during their pregnancy and instead indulge in buying cosmetic and other unwanted items, which the women in the yesteryear, would never have dreamt of. A few psychiatrists, here are of the opinion that fear haunts the pregnant women now, despite all the comforts provided by their families about the delivery and they take some unwanted precautionary measures, and preferred to remain idle for most of the time or engaged in reading books and watching movies on television, which results in cesarean in most of the cases. It is being stressed that mother-feeding is advisable than of any other alternative to feed their children.
The sources in the maternity ward of a hospital say that most of the women are having babies in their mid to late twenties and the numbers of older mothers are on the increase. A 42-year-old woman confessed that she was 22-year-old, when she became a mother and by the time she reached 40 she had her fourth child, especially when other women of her age were choosing between colleges, career and what not.
However, she proudly proclaimed that the pregnancy did not affect her at any stage and managed the situation better than some women in early 20s. A maternity doctor revealed that in 2003, the birth rate for women in the age of 35-39 rose 43.8 per one thousand births, and the birth rate for women in early and mid-forties increased to 8.7 per one thousand births.
The sources in the medical fraternity are of the opinion that women diagnosed with Gestational Breast Cancer (GBC) facing problem in adjusting to two different and conflicting life events, as the threat of their disease along with the news of their pregnancy demoralizes them, considering the fact that the hapless women are expected to make decisions that impact on their life, the life of their foetus or new baby and that of their existing family. It is quite natural, says a nurse in a nursing home here, that woman, who receives GBC diagnosis, suffers from anxiety and stress, which pervaded their GBC experience.
Most of the women, after attaining the age of 40 or more, focus on their daily duties during pregnancy and they emphasize more on nurturing motherhood than the younger women. The older women change their priorities and their contentment builds around the idea of fulfilling the needs of their kids. Some women even in advanced age, do not mind opting for pregnancy even after delivering four to five children, if their husbands are of supporting nature and encourage them with warmth and affection during pregnancy. The women in general confessed that they would prefer their husbands to be with them during the delivery time.
A recent research indicated that the rate of miscarriage and premature birth is increased by 25 to 30 per cent for pregnant women, who attained the age of 40 and above. A physician suggested that it is imperative for aged women to consult their doctors for sonograms and tests to monitor their conditions and to ensure that their babies are in proper shape. The research also states that, apart from miscarriage, excessive weight, gestational diabetes and high blood sugar, among other complications, might confront the pregnant women and to opt for a stricter diet suggested by their doctors, instead of getting tempted to eat food of their choice during pregnancy. Moreover, it has been medically proved that fertility decreases for women, who attained the age of 35 and it would be difficult for them to conceive. Lack of consistency with birth control is another problem, says renowned doctor Mallika Ramanan. According to her, some women do not give gap between one child to the next child and it invariably affects their health and their children. She is quite right, as many aged-women fall prey to this temptation.
Older Women’s Fear
The grapevine in the medial circle asserts that older mothers are scared that since their eggs are older, there is every chance of a miscarriage. Adding fuel to fire, women, who crossed the age of 35, are at an increased risk of having a foetus with the chromosomal abnormality, causing down syndrome. Moreover, the incidence of spontaneous twins increases with maternal age. It is being stressed time and again that increased maternal age after 35 has been shown to be a significant risk factor, inspite of the fact that pregnancy-related death is at the barest minimum.
Pregnancy is no longer a challenging issue, argue some physiotherapists. According to them, with the advancing technology in science and medicine, women need not get scared during pregnancy.
What they stress is baby-care after delivery, since many working women leaving their children to their maidservants or crèche and their nourishments are not taken care of properly. Some health conscious women are afraid of going for pregnancy, as the lurking fear haunts them that motherhood would spoil their young look and beauty. But such women are less in number.
Medical bulletin advises them to remain slim and avoid oily food stuff and outside food to the maximum extent possible. But unlike in the rich families, women in poor families carry on with their regular routine work after attaining pregnancy and becoming mother. They, as a compounder in a medical shop opined, do not worry much about the delivery hassles and ponder about the precautions to be taken after attaining the motherhood, unlike their counterparts in cities. With the inclination of the poor women to work hard during their pregnancy, it is being apparent that normal delivery welcomes them often.
In some families tension crops up because of their failure to have medical check-up before pregnancy. Many doctors are of the view that women expect their men to go for an initial check-up to find out whether their husbands are impotent or not. In some cases, men hide their shortcomings and by the time their wives come to know about it and take them to the doctors for medical check-ups and further treatment, before indulging in intercourse to become pregnant, it becomes too late. Adding salt to the wound, it creates complications for aged women. It is being medically suggested that immediate check-up after marriage is the need of the hour.
The sources in the Industry said that some couples delay the pregnancy and consume unwanted medicines to enjoy their married life for a certain period. But by the time the wife is ready for pregnancy, the snowballing effect of the medicine pillory her and compounds problem during delivery time. Under circumstances, there is every chance of women delivering physically-challenged babies. It is also being noticed that some women consume more medicines than taking adequate food and water.
Too many cooks spoil the broth. Likewise, too many medical bulletins and suggestions did upset the applecart of pregnant women. Suggestions also vary in every bulletin with precautions to extra-precautions to no precaution at all, which confuses some pregnant ladies. Worrying constantly about their husbands and in-laws also affects some women and it reflects on their health during the delivery time. In the olden days, women were confident and had a ready-made proverb to counter whenever their relatives cynically attacked them for having not less than eight children, when their economic plight is taking a worsening scenario, “Nature invented tree, but is it not taking steps to provide water, too for it”. Fair enough, but in this technological, globalized and computerized era, money is given top priority and services relegated to the background and the medical profession also cannot be expected to remain as a rare exception. But do they believe in faith and destiny? Well, your guess is as good as mine!