“Motherhood is a great honor and privilege, yet it is also synonymous with servant hood. Every day women are called upon to selflessly meet the needs of their families. Whether they are awake at night nursing a baby, spending their time and money on less-than-grateful teenagers, or preparing meals, moms continuously put others before themselves.”
– Charles Stanley
Motherhood is a privilege indeed. Once upon a time, our grandmothers gave birth to children at home in whatever the circumstances and environment. So much has changed since then, all the way from infrastructure to science and medical advancements.
1900s was considered the natural birth decade. Then around 1910s came a treatment known as Twilight Sleep, which was a type of sedation, often detrimental because it usually killed both mother and child. By the 1920s doctors were getting experimental and started doing the procedure of dilating the cervix and removing the baby with the forceps. In the 1950s the fetal ultrasounds started mostly to see the medical health of the baby and not gender yet. But women were still faced with the discrediting of childbirth as a medical phenomenon and not a natural action. Then came the 1960s where the dispensing of antibiotics started post birth and monitoring of fetal health through systems became regular. But this was also the time the woman had the option to use the new invention, the birth control pill.
1970s saw the introduction of the Lamaze classes and the use of epidurals to relieve pain. Fast-forward to the 1990s and the knowing the gender started becoming the norm, while the removal of amniotic fluid with an injection to check fetal health also became popular. The C-section procedure became popular in the millennium.
Having a baby is the most beautiful gift you can have. While there is positivity there is also negativity. According to the international organization taking the lead on orphan care, HOPE EFFECT they say there are 153 million orphans worldwide and add that, according to UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), if orphans were a country of their own, the population would rank 9th in the world—ahead of Russia. Such is the natural dilemma that we are facing.
Let’s narrow down to how are we treating childbirth around us. There is much celebration and even extravagant baby showers. Yes celebration is a must; it is a miracle that has been given to us humans. The baby showers really depend on your social circle, expectations and standards. I recommend, go and feed hungry orphans and blanket them with your love and possessions. However where a mother who is pregnant and needs your help then don’t hold back.
For the men or fathers you must support your lovely partner throughout the journey as much as possible or be frank and just not have the baby. Be real. She may not want you in the delivery room, but she wants you in her life no matter what. A recent study in Kenya shows that women prefer not to have their male companions in the delivery room. This study focused more on the rural areas and this does bring to light the much-needed personal education required in the families across the country. If we want gender equality then we must address deeper issues such as childbirth. The baby is a creation by both and a responsibility by both.