I never wanted to have a baby. WHY? Because when I was in medical school, I had seen enough mothers suffering in labour wards. The shouting, screaming, beating (yes I have seen that also!), and lack of basic empathy for the birthing woman really shook me from within. From the moment she walks into the labour ward, she is hooked on IV’s, given injections and made to lie on a bed in a position that is so uncomfortable that no person on a good day would agree to do so.
I always wondered why nature made childbirth so difficult when it is an essential part of our existence.
Cut to 7 years later, my maternal instincts are up and I decide to have a baby. But I refused to accept that childbirth needs to be horrifying and difficult and so I started researching. I spoke to midwives who have been witnessing and aiding childbirth since ages and are more skilled than any gynecologist I’ve ever met. Their description of natural childbirth left me astounded. No IV, no drugs, No lying on your back, no pushing till your guts are out. It sounded too good to be true. I spoke to couples who had natural births either in hospital setting or at home and they all had such positive stories to share! Every woman who had control of her birth sounded so much more confident and empowered. I wanted to have that experience and I wanted to do this as nature intended.
I began voraciously reading books on this subject and took my pregnancy preparation very seriously.
Yes, women's bodies are meant for childbirth and it is as natural as eating, sleeping or breathing but we are far away from nature today.
So we have to prepare ourselves enough for what is coming. I even trained as a childbirth educator to understand the nuances of birthing that were never taught to us in medical school.
I am fortunate that I had a very supportive family who agreed wholeheartedly to my wishes. Finally I got what I always wished for. I had my daughter at home, with absolutely no medical intervention or drugs. I came out beaming on the other side of the journey and now I want to share my knowledge and experience with all pregnant mothers out there.
Midwifery is a lost art in India and I hope that someday it regains the popularity. Mainstream doctors should be more open to applying these wonderful techniques to make childbirth easy, pain-free and a memorable experience for the mother.
I have documented my journey in the following article and those who are interested can email me for a copy of it.
“Birth of Lasya: Emphasizing the Need for Support in Home Births” Shruti Sridhar, MBBS, MFHom, MPH. The Journal of Perinatal Education, 28(1), 6–9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1058-1243.28.1.6