13 Facts About Childbirth For Indian Women

Motherhood is far from the perfect, effortless, and cool mothers as portrayed in pop culture. Motherhood, as we all know, is a feat accompanied by discomfort and pains. First-time mothers find it exceedingly difficult to cope with the sudden physical and emotional changes that childbirth brings. Additionally, taking care of the newborn can be strenuous, more so in India households where all the responsibility is mostly on the woman of the house.

Quite often, after childbirth, the focus automatically is more on the newborn and his/her needs and well-being. And in the process, the new mother is ignored. After speaking to enough women, we heard most women complain how they wish they’d been told more about pregnancy and childbirth. Here is a list of things Indian women wished they’d been better informed about.


1. Breastfeeding

Contrary to what it seems like, breastfeeding is not a natural skill. Though it is a natural phenomenon, like any other skill, breastfeeding too requires patience and practice. New mothers often find it hard to breastfeed and are confused on how to breastfeed their newborns. How to hold the newborn and how frequent you should breastfeed are all common questions among new mothers. Also, what doctors or midwives don’t tell you is that breastfeeding will be uncomfortable, painful in the beginning. You may feel sore and to have another human being suck on you throughout the day may feel icky and exhausting.

2. Epidural Back Pain

In most cases of c-section, women complain of back pain after childbirth due to the epidural. Doctors or nurses do not inform you about this pain before administering the epidural. Generally, the pain is persistent the first six or seven months and then fades away. But you may fee sharp spasms or pains when you lift heavy objects or sometimes when you lift your child too.


3. Bonding With Your Baby

An emotional bond with your baby much like breastfeeding does not come naturally. You can’t forge a bond with your baby. You have to put efforts and the first three months after childbirth is not really helpful. This is because, the first three months, your newborn is mostly sleeping, pooping or crying. Once your newborn turns a few months old and stays awake for a while, it makes it easier for you to connect emotionally. Eye contact, talking to your baby and breastfeeding are the most effective ways to develop the life-long mother-child bond.

4. Changes In Skin

Pregnancy generally means hormonal changes and these hormonal changes affect you even post delivery. The raging hormones cause skin changes in you even after delivery. While some women may notice a sudden outburst of acne, others may develop moles or freckles which may or may not go away with time. You may also notice pigmentation at times. Pregnancy takes your skin for a toss and it would take some time for your skin to come to its natural texture and color.


5. Diabetes And Thyroid

It is fairly common for women to develop diabetes or thyroid during or after their pregnancy. Pregnancy makes you vulnerable to thyroid and diabetes owing to your hormonal imbalance. This may sometimes cause postpartum depression too, therefore it is best to get yourself checked or tested every once in three months for thyroid and diabetes.

6. Postpartum Depression

Firstly, postpartum depression is real and very difficult. In India, not all women are informed about postpartum depression and its repercussions. Thereby, may women suffering from postpartum depression are confused and are not very aware of what to do. Most women feel broken and as though they can’t take care of their child.


7. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition you develop after childbirth, as a side effect of pregnancy. Women suffering from this syndrome, feel pain, tingling sensation, and numbness in their hands. Especially when they hold their baby in a particular position for a long time. “When I would feed my baby, my hand would go numb and I would need someone to lift her for me. Thankfully I had read about it so I could recognize the symptoms, but my doctor said it was not related to pregnancy. I still haven’t recovered from it,” said Gunjan Matreja from Delhi.

8. Constipation

Constipation during pregnancy especially in your first and third trimester is common. But a lesser known fact is that you may be severely constipated even after your delivery. In such cases, you may have to take laxatives and enema to recover.


9. Contractions After Birth

After you give birth, your uterus takes some time to shrink back to its original size. As your uterus shrinks, you may experience contractions which are painful for the next four to six weeks. Your uterus is bloated and would take some time to recover. The chance of contractions after childbirth is higher in women who underwent C-section.

10. Stretch Marks

Here’s the thing, there is not much you can do about the stretch marks. Doctors often brush this topic off saying either you will have no stretch marks or that there is nothing you can do about them. Doctors say the creams and ads are fake and do not do much to help you with the stretch marks.


11. Menstrual Cycle

Pregnancy can take your menstrual cycle for a ride. Many women complain of irregular periods with excess back pain and cramp accompanied by heavy flow during periods after pregnancy. While we all know, your periods for the first few months after childbirth will be irregular and strenuous. You may have to start taking painkillers just to make it through the three days.

12. Unexpected C-Section

What doctors don’t warn you about is, you can always have an unexpected c-section. If you have a labor for long hours or your contractions are not enough to push the baby out, your doctor may suggest a C-section in order to save both your and your baby’s life. Apart from these, any complications such as if the size of your baby’s head is big, doctors may order for an emergency c-section. Be prepared for anything before you walk into the hospital once your water breaks.


13. Pain After C-Section

Once you’re done with your C-section, the most difficult part is the pain that follows. Immediately after the surgery, once you’re conscious, you will feel an intense pain almost like you’ve rammed into a truck. The fact that you have a child to look after and breastfeed right after your surgery does not help you one bit. Pain management also depends on your doctor and your caretakers. Your body has been cut open, so you will feel raw, sore and in pain.