CHENNAI: Childbirth and motherhood are commonly proposed as the most heart-warming experience for a woman. The pregnancy period is filled with choices and decisions about exercise, clothing, prenatal care providers, birth location and most importantly birthing options. In recent times, more women are considering natural birthing choices, among which water birthing and hypno birthing are common. Natural birthing method is suggested to low-risk mothers. Dr Jayashree Jayakrishnan, founder and director of Happymom talks about this fast-catching birthing experience.
How many women, especially in Chennai are open to natural birthing methods?
More mothers of this generation are opting for natural birthing methods. The availability of options is an important factor. The awareness must start from college days. From diet patterns to a healthy lifestyle, everything matters towards fertility issues.
How long does one take to prepare for this?
We focus on diet patterns and exercises throughout the nine months. Diet patterns and weight gain are some of the important factors in natural child birth. Eating patterns during pregnancy need to be monitored. Awareness about gestational diabetes, metabolism and glucose, and insulin levels are explained. Exercises help in stretching the pelvic muscles and has an implication at the time of birth. One must exercise better to have an easier birth.
What is the role of the family?
Educating husbands is crucial. They’re taught to monitor the time of the contraction, when to take to the hospital, and the way he can be a labour coach to his partner. This helps the couple have an easy and memorable childbirth.
How equipped are the doctors when it comes to handling natural birthing methods?
Providing a safe environment is important. The labour room will have a gynecologist, anesthetist, and pediatrician. We will only monitor the mother and baby. There will be no intervention. When the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck, the gynecologist unplugs the chord. The women get to choose a position whatever the body needs while bearing down the baby. Some of the positions include full squat, kneeling forward, lying down on the side, and hands to knee. The positions vary during childbirth.
Is there a stigma attached to it among the general public?
Not many mothers are open to natural birth either because they don’t have family support or they’re not up for it themselves. Everybody contemplates on the physical pain.
What are the risks involved?
Preparation, guidance, and monitoring help during different stages of pregnancy. If a mother has medical complications and does not have a low-risk pregnancy then we can always reconsider. Some people also get misled due to family pressure in the middle and the plan changes.
What are the pros and cons?
After constant monitoring, the final method of delivery is discussed during the 36th week. You would be surprised to see people coming from remote areas, tier 2 and 3 metros. We also have mothers from foreign countries. Unlike our fathers and grandfathers who anxiously walk up and down the corridor, men these days are very much present inside the labour room. Everybody knows what’s happening. After delivery, the respect towards wife and womanhood tremendously increases. It helps nurture the father-child bond as well.