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Tag Archives: Babies

It’s a Boy, It’s a Girl! Point Blank with Asian Weekly, 23rd February 2018

pexels-photo-733881.jpeg

“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.

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Posted by on February 23, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Who’s Got The Last Say? Point Blank with Asian Weekly 18th August, 2017

Who’s Got The Last Say?

Baby Courtesy GeeksLP

Baby Courtesy GeeksLP

Today’s babies are growing up surrounded by iPads, smart phones and the YouTube network. Let’s go back to the Millennials who were born from 70s to 90s and are probably your parents. They grew up in the Cold War that probably did not affect us in Kenya that much except the regime of former President Daniel Arap Moi. Kenyans were living in their bubble of extended families, gatherings, small businesses and peace and harmony. This was also the time some of these ventured out of the country for travel/holiday/settlement/education or business purposes. Though some succeeded a few stayed back and while they did not opt to get employment in the service industries they created their own businesses which for those who have lasted long enough, have become empires. The empires were laid down by strong foundations of the baby boomers born after the Second World War who really worked hard and honestly and left a legacy for their generations to come.

You must recognize the difference; the millennials while being born from 70s to 90s were slightly conservative because at the same time there was the Generation X being born from 60s to 80s that defined the next generation Z. This generation Z is considered to be born after the 2000s and the dotcom era and those born after 2010 are being called Generation Alphas. Age is just but a number what is however interesting and possibly of concern depending on whose side you are the social trends taking place over these years and generations.

Your mum and dad never spoke up to their parents and listened and followed society norms, they probably did not know any better or there was thorough respect for their elders. After that this very mum and dad decided to give their kids slightly more freedom and fulfilment in choice of career and education especially. By then it was becoming obvious that status and good income were necessary. Some of the kids here eventually became robots and while they may not have excellent public relations they have fat bank accounts. This mum and dad had arranged marriages and till death do us part vows that for very obvious reasons have lasted their marriages. The divorce rate is negligible and love happened along the way. They also knew the value of family, friends and even though material things were still slightly hard to get, they valued every little piece of furniture or clothing item.

Then come their children who have grown up knowing simple things, for example playing outdoors, cousins birthday parties, tending to grandparents, working hard and being as good people as possible. A few have gone on to become successful in their careers or kick start in the service industry of finance, medicine or law. A few have gone on to settle down in relatively wonderful arranged marriages and are bringing up their kids fairly well. Finally, thankfully only a few have had massive failures and turned to the other side of life, the danger of drugs or poor social habits. Naturally they wanted to give their kids further freedom and to make choices as they please.

The big flop is coming now. Children born after 2000 have gone down the alley of poor social habits mostly and less focus. They need more parenting and extra vigilance on issues regarding depression, suicide, pedophilia and they remain vulnerable. They have become the victims of a very open society and the race to become western, stylish and upper class. This race has cost money, time and even lives. They will most likely not even be able to handle their civic duties of building a society and a nation. They will have the broken marriages and lack of purpose in life. Only a very few will see light at the end of the tunnel, because of strong family links, foundations and support from good minded friends too.

The Generation Alphas are an interesting bunch. They have all the gadgets, they have no idea what a trunk call means, or owning only one car and not having instant coffee. They cannot do without their digital weapons because as much as they are devices a few are converting them into anti-social activities. While some parents are over working to meet the little kids demand, there are those who are getting them quite easily because of old wealth and quite frankly taking it too easy. Their kids are being looked after by iPads and robots will not surprise them. There is not much human reality in their lives, except again for those families who have kept their grandparents close and extended family members and friends involved. It does take a village to carve out a relatively balanced human being. The last word will belong to the generation that outlives all.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Shooting Blanks May Just Become the New Solution, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 11th November, 2016

Shooting Blanks May Just Become the New Solution

male-pill

One of the oldest type of contraceptive pill has been known to be with the Ancient Egyptians. The women used a combination of cotton, dates, honey and acacia as a suppository, and it turns out fermented acacia really does have a spermicidal effect. The contraceptive pill came to modern science in the 1950s, when in 1957 the Federal Drug Administration USA approves the pull and it hits commercial use thereafter 1960 onwards.

The main thing to note here is that if the pill is taken correctly then it has a 99.9% success rate, however it does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. It is the male condom that is the best protection against STDs and HIV.

The biggest side effects known are nausea, weight change and serious ones such as increased risk for blood clots, liver or even heart disease. These pills are so sensitive that if any mistake happens the effects are long-term and silent, thus appearing later and causing a lot of damage.

Women have the choice to have a baby or not, yes motherhood is an option but there are several circumstances where they have no say. These include domestic abuse, rape, non-consensual sex, bad marriages, teenage drug habits and more. The most important requirement is a mutual almost company like partnership agreement between the man and woman and especially so with a husband and wife. It is therefore very crucial that both the husband and wife get counselling and parent preparation, because parenthood is not the easiest for various reasons and of course good mental and physical health is paramount.

Thus, this new finding of giving the man his own “contraceptive pill” is a delightful piece of news. This is the new non-hormonal male contraceptive injection that will block the sperm.

It may be ready to hit the market as early as 2018-2020. This will not affect the sexual desires and activities of the male. Plus the success rate has been known to be as high as 96%. But if the women have struggled with side effects, will the men be spared? Two major side effects noted have been increasing levels of depression leading to suicidal thoughts and faster palpitation with almost heart attacks. Therefore the study and approvals are being delayed.

While the awareness of wanted pregnancies is spreading fast and well amongst the educated population and first world nations, the world is still falling behind. In a study released in 2012, of the 213 million pregnancies, 40% were unintended. The highest proportions were in Latin America and the Caribbean (56%) and North America (51%), and the lowest were in Africa (35%), Oceania (37%) and Asia (38%); Europe’s proportion was the closest to the global average (45%).

Therefore what is most required is open dialogue between partners, families and the community. A healthy baby in the world is everyone’s sunshine, but an unwanted child is the fault of the partners involved, so why should he or she suffer?

 

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Ladies Circle, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 25th September 2015

Ladies Circle

Keep Calm Gynaecologist Courtesy by Zazzle

Keep Calm Gynaecologist Courtesy by Zazzle

Twenty years ago when a lady wanted to visit a gynaecologist she specifically sought out a female doctor. Ten years ago, women started opting for male gynecologists because of short supply or lack of connection. Five years ago, the trend has reverted and women want women.

I haven’t got these statistics from any authority but from observation of the family and friends around me. gynaecology is known as the “science of the woman” and andrology is known as the “science of the man”. Every doctor has to gain his or her specialty and back in the days around the 1900s doctors were male and midwives were female. In fact most nurses have been female for a long period of time, mostly because she had the motherly or healing touch and in a way it was the woman’s job to clean up. Times have changed and men have signed up and are capable nurses too. Thus in seeking specialties since most doctors were male they easily stepped into the role of gynaecologists. While midwifery started in Egypt almost 100 years ago, it has been recognized by the World Health Organization and is an active profession even in today’s modern hospitals.

Men have been asked all the time why they became gynaecologists and while their answer remains because they found their calling in that specialty some women have suffered at their expense. They have known to take advantage of their lady patients, physically abuse them or get romantically involved and cause havoc. A recent case of sexual abuse being in New York where the 55 year-old doctor was conducting oral sex with his female patients for almost 2 years before being caught. Thus, the threat remains. You might think if he is a straightforward family man, he may not be creepy, but he can slip up. However someone can argue what if the female mother is beautiful and also seduces him? Things can get sick, so let’s keep it basic. It is your call, as a couple what do you want?

Ultimately physical examination will happen and as a woman would you be comfortable if another male saw you like that? Most of our mothers had male gynaecologists because there was not that much female doctors penetration into the medical profession. Much has changed since then and more girls want to sign up and have successfully managed to have great medical careers. Our mothers went on the referral basis and trusted that all will be well since the danger of a complication lurks you need faith that your doctor can save you and the baby. The following generation either went to the same male gynaecologist or depending on their upbringing and exposure and also their husband’s opinion she may have changed to choose a female gynaecologist.

Having a baby in today’s time has changed dramatically. From medical miracles to new types of parents such as gay couples and transgender and the various birth defects and other illnesses babies can face, a lot more calculation is going into the whole pregnancy process. Depending on what type of medical access you have, for example a woman living in a village is limited, but a woman living in a city has choice, you can have the option to make a better decision based on the experience and reputation of the gynecologist. A female gynecologist may not harass you but what if she can’t perform a necessary procedure? Being a feminist I don’t mean to put my colleagues down but if you have the option to choose a better doctor depending on your pregnancy case, then be smart.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Which Baby Shall I Raise? Point Blank with Asian Weekly 8th May, 2015

Which Baby Shall I Raise?

Happy Mothers Day 2015

Women have become more career oriented than ever before especially in economies such as ours. My generation put more emphasis on education and getting a decent job, because women were allowed to. They didn’t need to be bound at home to take care of in-laws, grandparents or new borns. Then there is those who don’t want any of the relations named above. Thus, which baby shall I raise is the question perhaps a few women are asking. Majority are happy to earn an education, get a smooth job and raise a family.

Let’s go back to the basics, what is the role of the woman? The most important is reproduction and unless the males have a sex change or miracle, that will remain forever. The woman looked to her family to clothe, feed and educate her until she is married off and then husband pays the upkeep.

Let’s come to the reality, what is the new girl doing? She goes to university, college or gets a job at some point to support her family financially. Dynamics have changed, a girl is now a leading provider for income and essentials in many families globally. Her role is nearly equal, until it comes to marriage and children.

The woman wanted to settle, raise a family and grow old gracefully. The new girl is confused, mostly because those exposed to the Western culture, realize that it is possible to have a dream career and maybe, just maybe have a family. Then there is the other new girl who feels as long as her degree and qualifications are complete she can now pay attention to husband and children needs. Unfortunately these girls are the ones from affluent families. They don’t have to worry about bills, school fees or any expenses, there is already a running family business, husband is diligently working with father and family and well reproduction takes emphasis and life goes on.

The crucial choice falls to the other girl, who is providing or assisting her family financially, what about her own family? A job provides income and in these demanding times, money is a necessity. Thus, she must meet an incredibly hard working and ambitious man who can appreciate her and they know they are both taking care of a big family. Immense support and understanding from the husband and his family is required because their contribution to raising the new family will provide crucial. Luckily in Kenya I doubt we face many “kyunki saas bahu” situations but even so, as a girl I urge you to take a stand. Marry smart and well because raising a child in today’s times is just another ball game completely.

So shall a woman leave work and raise her child? If you are married into an affluent family, my dear lady instead of splashing money on nannies, kindly take care of your own children 24/7 and yes make that husband of yours do some chores too. You have no excuse to dump them on the in-laws or your own parents. You can always pick up your work or career once the children are old enough and put to use the education you earned.

To the lady who is an almost equal partner in her marriage, think about the child. Plan well, save up, use your in-laws or your parents, both of you and build as strong a foundation as you can. Children are unpredictable anyway so don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t leave your work for a long time. From close to birth and as much as 5/6 months be at home, use the full maternity leave, otherwise get smart, get back to work and use the help of family to get you through this. Otherwise is just too expensive. This doesn’t make the daddy not man enough or the woman give up her job or career, it is a beautiful sacrifice.

Raise your children with as much time and attention as possible because they are faced with an entirely different world from yours. There is the Internet, Social Media, Peer Pressure, Fashion Expectations, Sports and Talent Competitions and they need all the love and attention possible. Remember money will never be enough or make your child happy completely, but you being there even if it is a hug in the morning and a bigger one after school makes all the difference. The mother is responsible for the attitude of a child and this has been proven scientifically. The more attention, positive energy and love she gives her child until 5-years old makes all the difference. Make the small sacrifice and see that you will be able to raise the best baby ever for you. If however career becomes more important then simply don’t have children, make that your baby and move on.

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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