Monday, 18 December 2017

Welcome to Motherhood

I witnessed a situation at the hospital not long ago; a young lady had given birth, and for three or four days she has been trying to feed the baby but baby simply will not take the breast milk.

Anytime new momma put breast to baby’s mouth, baby starts crying profusely, and so new momma had to resort to formula to feed the baby.
New momma really did not have a problem feeding baby with formula; however, she was literally being nagged to try, virtually force baby to take breast milk, given all the advantages breast milk has.
On the fourth day when new momma could still not feed baby with breast milk, she broke out and cried loudly. At that moment, I started asking questions such as why we don’t have motherhood support groups in the country.
Apparently, somebody I will call a lactation consultant came to help the new momma out. She explained to this new mum that her nipple was the flat type and so baby found it difficult to latch onto it properly.
To encourage breast feeding, she has to try and pull the nipple out to make it easier for baby to latch onto the breast. By this time, her breast had become engorged; she was in pain, especially during the night, and she had to pump milk out of the breast every day to relieve her of the pain.
Becoming a mother is not as simple as we make it seem; unfortunately, what we usually do is leave new mothers by themselves to explore, especially if the person’s mum is not there to help momentarily.
The internet has become a good source of information where many people seek answers to some motherhood challenges.
Someone said the other day that motherhood is a tough balancing act, and every mom deserves the chance to do what’s right for her and her family.
Somehow, getting motherhood right is also a good tool to help get the family life right. There are many who get depressed after baby is out. I mean after they give birth they are faced with real issues, baby safety, baby protection and handling baby well are all issues that every good mother will consider even before considering her personal well-being.
The fact also is that if the mother is not well, baby will not be well; our society is changing rapidly, and the times when we use to depend on our mother’s knowledge alone to care for baby is fast fading.
I met another lady who is even a mid-wife by profession; she had twins; her mother is alive but she is a busy old woman who could not find time to come and help her daughter out at that critical moment.
This lady, whose profession predisposes her to a lot of theoretical knowledge on motherhood and childbirth but not practical ones, is found wanting and soon finds herself and her babies in the hospital.
Isn’t it about time we paid attention to motherhood and childbirth issues beyond what we already do?
What we usually have on paper looks good but not practical; isn’t it about time we considered encouraging the sharing of personal experiences and knowledge, the known home-remedies that we can use as mothers to help children, among others.
I believe that having support as a new mother helps in a lot of ways; it will prevent a lot of post-partum depression that many women have as a result of not having support and help.
In Ghana, we don’t have many of the “professionals”; if we have any at all, like a lactation consultant, a child development professional, among others, helping new mothers to cope with their new exciting but challenging roles.
I am one person who believes that early childhood development is critical to our future development as a nation.
It is about time that we start thinking about establishing motherhood centres that provide supportive services for new and expecting moms, including a range of treatment options for women suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Usually, motherhood centres offer something for every woman making the transition to parenthood
Motherhood is a critical time in the life of every woman, and, for that matter, in the life of every family, and giving women the opportunity to know what to expect goes a long way
Just remember that motherhood is not all rosy, and that there is a lot of joy when you get it right.