What to expect when you’re expecting!
For all the moms-to-be out there, it is necessary that the family guides them and helps them in every step of the way. As there aren't many pre-natal counseling facilities in Bangladesh, everyone has to become aware about during pregnancy and post-pregnancy related health, familial and socio-economic issues through reading or researching.
There are some things you should know but not many will tell you. Firstly, save money. If you are thinking about having a baby there will be additional expenses throughout the whole path. Even after the baby is born you have to make sure you can rear the baby up without any drawback.
Before you are planning to expand your family, try to be in good shape and go for a checkup to assure perfect health. Another thing that requires care is solidifying your relationship with your partner.
Dr Ferdous Mahal Rooni, Associate Professor and Head of Obs and Gynae Department, International Medical College and Hospital, says, "In Bangladesh, there is a misconception that everything will fall into place once you have a baby. But this is not true, before adding another member to the family the husband and wife need to have a mutual understanding between themselves. The family shouldn't pressurize them, it should be their decision to bring a child into this world."
She also says, "A woman's body goes through a lot of changes when she is pregnant. The elders in the family has to groom her so that she knows these are completely normal and nothing to be anxious about."
During pregnancy women may feel nausea due to changing levels of body fluids. They might suffer from breast soreness and morning sickness. Also, the taste and smell senses are heightened which sometimes lead to reduced appetite. Acne breakouts are also normal, not everyone gets blessed with a pregnancy glow!
Among other things what not all women are aware of is spotting (bleeding). "Doctors estimate that 25 to 40 per cent of women will experience some vaginal bleeding during the first trimester of their pregnancy," says Alyssa Stephenson-Famy, M D, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist at the University of Washington, Seattle.
While spotting is very common, it also can be an indication of any underlying complication like ectopic pregnancy (when fetus attaches to any part other than the uterus) so contact your physician if it continues for long.
Mood swings is another one of the dreaded side effects of having a pregnancy-brain. Instead of being offended, the other members of the family should try to understand her while she is going through a panic attack or a fit of anger on which she has no control.
All these are normal but she should be informed about them beforehand otherwise she may start to panic or become depressed. Depression is very common in women going through pregnancies. It is often overlooked but it should be given proper care through counseling from a psychologist. While the future mother needs to be guided the whole family also needs to learn how to take care of her and what to do in case of any emergency.
Not only these, there are many misconceptions --- not to eat papaya while being pregnant, while too much of anything is bad, a small amount of papaya can be good for digestion. Swelling in the feet is sometimes considered a good thing whereas it can be a sign of hypertension and shouldn't be taken too lightly.
Though looking toward a solar eclipse can be bad for the eyes, it is also considered to cause deformities to a baby in the womb which has no truth behind it whatsoever. The family needs to be educated about all of this and having a training centre would certainly be helpful.
Rubaya Akhter (pseudo name), a housewife and now 8 months pregnant, says, "My mother-in-law has been too careful at times and doesn't let me go anywhere. She doesn't even let me visit my doctors regularly and would say --- we didn't have that many doctors in our time and we gave birth just fine! This is really frustrating me."
It is not only the mother who needs guidance but so do the other members of the family. For eradicating these problems and preparing the future mothers for a smoother journey, counseling and training can be extremely valuable.