Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Moms Need Moms Too

All kinds of lists are made out during and after pregnancy about people's requirements - things the mother and baby need.  While all these can be gathered from books and well wishers and bought in shops, I'd like to add a very important part to nurturing - having one or more loving person whom one can connect with.

This doesn't need to be your own parent or even a relative.  It just means having someone to communicate with - someone warm, understanding and supportive and (preferably) who has gone through one (or more) generation(s) of babies and pregnancies.  There are so many questions to be asked, so much reassurance required and so many helpful hints to be gathered which cannot come from any other source.

I'm lucky to have a long distance, wise and wonderful friend who has seen (and experienced) several pregnancies and a much younger relative (around my age) close by who has been supplying me with all the things I needed (that I didn't even know I needed).

The first few months go by in a daze, and one forgets to eat, tries to sleep (but can't), tries to squeeze in luxuries (like bathing!) and essentials (drinking water!) - I can see my old self looking on sardonically and saying, "Get a life, girl!"  But that's what happens while trying to cope with baby on one's own.

Time goes by and you realize that while you are there for the baby, there has to be someone there for you - especially when you're trying to keep the baby comfortable against all odds and fighting sleep deprivation!

Books do help.  They offer wise words, laughter, spiritual remedies and more - if one lays one's hands on the right sources.  While there are many pregnancy books (I find the 'What To Expect' series handy), I would like to mention two that are the equivalent of wise mothers' words, which have helped me through this period.  The most useful and reassuring book on pregnancy I have read has been 'The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding' by La Leche League International.  This doesn't just deal with breastfeeding (though this is an important component of the book, more so because (as the book itself says, and I have experienced it too): so many people including doctors keep saying, "This isn't working is it?  You had better stop") but also deals with aspects of bringing up a baby from a natural, baby point of view (not in terms of time or milestones or other things that most books talk about).  Similarly, 'The Secret of Childhood' by Maria Montessori is an old classic that I find has given me a different perspective of bringing up infants : how to try and see things from their viewpoint not from an adult's.  Apart from this - my yoga books and murder mysteries prop me along and help switch my thoughts when I am tired.

But most of all it is emails going to and fro and small phone calls and little bits of time spent talking and being with a small set of warm, loving, caring people that have really helped me in these last few months.

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