Pregnancy & Childbirth, When Close Family is Far Away
Sneha and Dixon, from the two corners of India, were brought together by God’s will. Soon they began their journey of love and matrimony. It was a beautiful wedding and so were their wedding pictures. It is not difficult to see just how perfect they are as a couple. Surely a match made in heaven. Soon as her Visa was done, Sneha moved to UK to join Dixon. The excitement of stepping into a new world was slightly tinted with homesickness. They did their best to adapt to each other’s culture and that helped them grow in love. When it comes to love, it is the little things that matter the most.
Few years down the line, they welcomed a baby girl into their lives. Adorable, pretty and healthy, Ana seems to have inherited the best of both her parents. She is the apple of their eye and the whole family has fallen in love with this angel and her big, innocent eyes.
Ana was born six months ago, at their home away from home where Sneha and Dixon are always surrounded by friends, ready to lend a helping hand to the new parents. Over the years they have found family in their closest friends, who have been there for them through thick and thin.
Somehow, it still did not seem complete without being able to share the joy of their newborn with family back in India. Indians are used to having the entire family around for special occasions such as childbirth. Other than being a part of the joyous occasion, family provides a sense of security and a lot of experience, support and care during pregnancy & childbirth. It is natural for first time parents to want their parents around.
Much to their excitement, the grandparents soon arrived and showered all their love, care and blessings on the new parents and the baby. The mother and baby are now being treated to some much needed pampering.
We spoke to Sneha and she shared her experience of pregnancy & childbirth with us
Pregnancy was quiet uneventful, fortunately. I didn’t face any health issues. In fact, I didn’t take any time off from work or maternity leave until I delivered. I worked till the evening baby arrived. It was only me and my husband. Being so far away from family, we didn’t have much help but we managed quite well.
How did you handle your personal and professional life during pregnancy & childbirth?
I enjoyed working during pregnancy. Pregnancy is not an illness, so it should not affect work life at all. It didn’t affect my performance at work and like I said I worked till my last day with a healthy pregnancy and normal delivery. All God’s grace!
Did you attend any prenatal classes?
Me and Dixon attended antenatal classes which I found very helpful and informative. It was a 5 week course with 1.5 hours class per week. We talked about labour, bringing baby home, breast feeding or formula feeding, sleep patterns etc. It was quite helpful for my entire journey of pregnancy & childbirth.
What facilities were you provided with at the hospital during and after labour?
The hospital care here in UK is remarkable. They encourage not to take any medication during pregnancy. They also promote natural birth over operation. My experience was amazing though labour was 14 hours long but with the help of midwives it all became bearable. The facilities included pool for water birth, gas and air and constant interaction. They were all polite and understanding so it was a great experience.
Did you face any issues post delivery? How did you deal with them?
I was discharged the day after delivery and there were no such issues at that time. However, now after 6 months post natal I am facing issues like mastitis, for which I am undergoing treatment. Post scan and swab we were advised hot compression and antibiotics and it provides relief.
How has your breastfeeding journey been so far? Were there any challenges?
Breast feeding is the best. It has been the easiest part of this entire experience of pregnancy & childbirth and beyond. We enjoyed it so much that my baby doesn’t want to take bottles at all now that I am trying to wean! Other than mastitis, it has been quite pleasant.
Any advice for new parents/soon to be parents who are away from immediate family?
My only advice would be not treat pregnancy as an illness. Continue doing your regular work but be carefully not to strain your back. There is loads of help available at every step everywhere even if you are away from family during pregnancy & childbirth. You just need to reach out to the right people i.e. health visitors or a midwife. I would recommend two useful apps that were suggested to me by midwife, Emma’s Diary for pregnancy and birth and BabyCentre comes in handy post natal.
Ana is the most beautiful and amazing baby. Although I am sure every mom thinks like that about their baby. She has been sleeping through the night since she was 8 weeks old, all thanks to the advice by health visitors. She is growing really well and she always has a smile on her face. She doesn’t get upset too much. We love her to bits. She is the perfect addition to our family!