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Daughter's normal delivery & my motherly advice

Updated on July 5, 2016

Soon after birth

The announcement

It was in September 2012 that my daughter who was then in Bangalore informed me coyly on the phone that she was pregnant. In every way a wonderful news! Since this meant that our daughter would come and stay with us for a longer time in Indore. Also, after a long time, we were going to see nappies and newborn baby’s nano dresses on our clothesline. As per the gynaecologist, the date fell on 23rd May'13! It was all very exciting!

Dohal Jevan (Baby Showers)

Happy & nervous

And yet I was nervous. With all my strong belief in God, I have till date not been able to master the art of Aukshan (waving lighted lamp) or Oti (giving coconut, bangles, rice and doing aukshan). And the sheer thought of how I would conduct myself at the time of Dohal Jevan (Baby showers), Barsa (name keeping ceremony) and other times gave me cold shivers. Not to forget, my arthritic knees that make me feel incompetent at such times.

My husband's say

He was greatly annoyed when I expressed my concern for the nth time. “Surely, there are more important things to worry about?" Yes, he was right! As a mother I needed to see that my daughter ate well and had no problems during pregnancy. I also had to see that the development of the baby was good and that she had a normal delivery. Yes, this was the time to make up for all the mistakes I had made during my time! Actually, for years I have suffered the guilt of not taking adequate care during my first pregnancy. Not surprising that my daughter was born through a caesarean section. During my son's time, I was wiser and also more careful, because of which he was a normal delivery- and that too, born within just 2 hours!

I needed someone to motivate me

Quite a few weeks had passed by now. Ganesh Utsav had got over and Shraddhapaksha (a fortnight where we pay obeisance to the dead) had started. But nothing was helping me.Neither my husband's chiding nor my daily prayers! It was as though I needed someone to push me hard to run and win the race. I needed someone to motivate me. And it happened. I was in Delhi along with my husband for our son's important exam. I had even taken one month's leave from my Ad agency for this purpose. And that's when I shared the news with my father who stayed in the flat opposite my son in the same housing complex. Always very happy and positive, he remarked "So, go ahead, start your preparation!" His words were a real driving force as I immediately went ahead and had a few nappies stitched from a tailor nearby. The mood was set! I was now determined to exercise regularly and keeping arthritis at bay.

Happenings at my pregnant daughter's place

Our son-in-law, who is in the IT sector learned that he would be going abroad frequently in the ensuing months. There were other factors also which were troubling them. For example, over the years, Bengaluru has turned into a city of traffic jams. This apart, my daughter’s physio clinic was quite far. It required her to travel by bus and then take a metro (train). Thus, it was decided by him, his parents (who stay in Indore) and my physiotherapist daughter that she would quit the job. Around the same time it was decided that my daughter would come to Indore at the very start of the 7th month, which happened to be Saturday, 26th January and also incidentally India's Republic Day.

Do's & Don'ts to pregnant daughter

"Hope you are eating well," I asked her in the next few days. I was happy to learn that she was doing fine and scarcely had morning sickness. “Have a biscuit if you feel very sick when you wake up in the morning. However, try to gain control over this by the end of the 3rd month" "Yes, Aai," she replied. I was now constantly thinking of necessary advices to be given to my daughter. One such advice was, “Please eat something, if you experience a sudden empty feeling. You don’t have to wait for others to join you at such times.” I said this because I had seen one such miscarriage. And I didn’t want this to happen to my daughter in any condition “Yes, Aai,”she replied.

It's simply amazing to see the kind of will-power and determination my daughter hides behind her delicate frame and 5'2'' height. "I hope you know, you should preferably sleep on the left side?" I further added. “Yes, I know Aai," she told me over the phone. I was not surprised since my physiotherapist daughter has guided several pregnant women in the course of her work. But experience is also a big teacher and so I continued, "Don't ever sit down with a thump. Likewise don’t ever get up with a jerk!" I had my own reasons. In India where it is quite common to squat on the floor, pregnant women quite often sit down and get up in a hurry. Not surprising that we hear of caesarean delivery due to umbilical cord entangled around the baby's neck. The other things I told her were," Your pace is bound to get slow. So don't try to finish jobs as per your earlier speed." She agreed.

Every day, I would ring up and give her advice. One day I told her, “ Do take rest in between your work.” My constant refrain being, “ Your baby trusts you completely. So please don’t make mistakes.” Good, she understood what I was saying. Because, these were some of the mistakes I had made and had nearly lost this precious daughter of mine in the 5th month!

In due course I also advised her what to do at the commencement of the labor pains. Do check under subtitle ‘8th month’.

Pregnant daughter’s daily diet

My daughter has always loved milk. And so when I instructed "You must drink milk twice a day." She said, she was already doing so. That cut down my worries to a great extent, since milk is the best source of proteins, vitamins and calcium. She informed me that at times she ate Dalia (broken wheat) with milk and sugar which is again a good source of proteins and minerals. And so I had no complaints when my daughter said that she did not feel like eating eggs every day. And yet there was one point to worry. My husband was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago. This meant that my daughter had chances of developing pregnancy diabetes which could come in the way of normal delivery. Surely there must be ways of avoiding this! Incidentally by then I had started giving warm lemon water early in the morning to my husband on empty stomach as per an article based on Ayurveda. And the results were good. I told this to my daughter. All her 9 months she followed this without fail. And the best part was that not once did her sugar level escalate. However, my advice to other pregnant women is that if you find it difficult to drink lime water in winters, you can have coconut water once a while. Make sure you don't drink more than one coconut water per day.

Anyway, for lunch and dinner, my daughter would have dal (protein), one vegetable, salad, chapattis, rice and curd like any Maharashtrian. In all, the food was simple and non-spicy. She also drank a lot of water throughout the day. Happily, she was not very fond of sweets and carbonated cold drinks! Besides, she enjoyed eating fruits such as apples, pomegranate and guavas. Papaya was a strict no, as it is known to trigger miscarriage. On her own, she also avoided pineapple. She did not eat bananas as in the very early stages, her sugar was reportedly on the higher side. On doctor’s advice, she took iron, calcium and folic acid for whole of 9 months. Even after delivery, she took iron and calcium supplements for 3 months.

Weight increase during pregnancy

My delicate looking daughter had put on considerable weight after marriage. When pregnancy was confirmed my daughter was 62.5 kg (a good 4-5 kg overweight). She was therefore strictly instructed by the doctor not to put on more than 8 kg of weight. Likewise, when she went into labour she was 69 Kg. Even though she did not show much bulge like other expectant mothers, her gynaecologist was happy with the baby's growth. And so were we!

Activities during pregnancy

My daughter had to quit her job due to reasons mentioned above. Thus to remain active, she took to regular evening walks besides doing household chores. This kept her happy physically and mentally. She now also did online medical writing. And this she did till the last day of pregnancy. It kept her happy, busy and made her feel worthwhile as she was also earning money from it all.

Giving good vibes to baby

Much before we received the good news, in the course of my general talks on phone I had told my daughter about Garbha Sanskar book ( teaching values to baby in the womb) which was now available in CD form also. I had learned about this from a young mother who had seen good results in her baby. In my opinion all this was very important, especially in view of the violence and insensitivity creeping into the society. I seriously believe that mothers can contribute a lot in bringing forth good human beings into the world. And what could be a better place than a mother's womb? My daughter and son-in-law must have also seen reason in this. For when my daughter's pregnancy was confirmed, our son-in-law placed an order for Garbha Sanskar through one of the e-marketing services. And this was really good as the CD contained mantras (vedic hymns) sung in a soft and soothing voice. It was absolute bliss listening to the musical rendition. The profound and sublime effect stayed in the mind for hours. My daughter enjoyed hearing it daily for an hour or so. As the pregnancy advanced, she even began experiencing movements in the womb every time she played the CD.

Baby movements

Baby kicking is an important milestone during pregnancy. It occurs normally around the end of 4th month or beginning of 5th month. My daughter experienced soft kicks each time her husband returned from office in the evening. It was as though, the little one inside the womb understood that her dad was home from office! The frequency of kicks increased as the baby grew in the womb. And when she joined us in Indore, my daughter experienced heavy and joyful kicking every time her in-laws visited us. Blood relations, I guess!

Those were also the days, when election speeches for the 16th Lok Sabha elections had started in full swing in India. The little one inside her mother's womb felt great joy whenever Shri Narendra Modi appeared on TV and would kick happily as my daughter would listen to his speech.

Flying home in the 7th month

With no direct train and also the distance being quite long, arriving by flight was the only alternative. But 'take-off ' and 'landing' were factors that were worrying me. I advised my daughter to check this with her gynaecologist in the beginning itself. The doctor, who was well acquainted with the common Indian practice, saw no problems in this regard. However, she directed my daughter to go for a check -up on the very day she would land. An advice that my daughter followed seriously when she arrived in Indore!

In the meantime, my daughter also mailed all information to the hospital in Indore where she had worked before marriage and where she wanted to have her delivery. This way, she got herself registered in the Indore hospital and we were all spared of any kind of tension later on.

Type of delivery

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Arrival at Indore for delivery

She was set to arrive by flight on Sat. 26th Jan.'13 morning with her husband. It was a national holiday and so I did not have to take any leave. My husband, I and our son who by now had joined us in Indore, reached the airport by 8.30 am. The flight was scheduled to arrive at 9.30 am. I don't know the going on in the minds of my husband and son, but I for sure was very excited. How would she look? It is said that a woman has a lot of glow and looks truly pretty at the time of first pregnancy. While some others opine that a pregnant woman looks beautiful if the baby in the womb is a girl. Whatever, we all three eagerly awaited her arrival now!

The flight arrived. She and her husband emerged along with the rest of the passengers after completing the formalities. She looked serene and radiant as always! Girl or boy, we would come to know later! In a way, it is good that sex determination test is banned in India! The guessing game is so much fun! We sure enjoyed it at the time of our children. And we enjoyed it this time too.

We dropped the two of them at her in-laws place where she stayed till the Dohal Jevan (Baby Showers) function. Our son-in-law, however, left after a week. He planned to take at least 10 days leave once the baby arrived.

Medical check-up on arrival

The hospital where she was registered happened to be quite close and was equidistant for both the families. After a quick bath and some rest, my daughter reported to the hospital. She also rang me up as she wanted me to be there. My daughter looked fine except for a slight swelling on her hand fingers and feet due to sitting in the plane for a long time. The doctor took cognizance of this and advised her to increase the water intake. At the same time she asked my daughter to submit urine sample just to check if there was an increase of protein in the blood. By evening her swelling had vanished. The urine report too was normal.

Dohal Jevan (Baby Showers)

This takes place anytime in the 7th month of pregnancy. And so it was in mid-February that her in-laws and we jointly organized the function at the club house attached to the very same hospital. Not knowing much customs I decided to keep a low profile. More over I was still going to office. Not every time can you look very smart, I reminded myself. This time I was firm about not deviating from my main objective. A week after Dohal Jevan, our daughter came to stay with us. Being in the final trimester, she reported for medical check-up twice a month now.

Stem-cell Bank

In the meantime, my daughter in consent of her husband got herself registered with stem-cell bank. As per today’s science, the stem cell transplant can help greatly in hereditary disorders and life threatening illnesses like cancer, etc. It is much like the blood bank, except that here cord blood can be saved for 20 years. In the meantime if cord blood tissue matches any needy person, you are contacted to confirm if you wish to donate a part of it. My daughter was seriously in favour of this even though the process is costly.

Head fixing

March end and also end of 8th month. The 3rd ultrasound test (the other two were conducted in the beginning and in the 5th month) confirmed that the head had almost got fixed. Naturally, the movements were now somewhat less. The revised Due Date, as per the radiologist and the gynaecologist, was now 10th May’13. Everything was fine. Just that, my daughter was given protein sachets to increase the weight of the baby.

There were times when my daughter would express discomfort and walk only 1 or 2 rounds after dinner. However, she was still doing assignments, listening to Garbha Sanskar, seeing TV, reading newspaper and magazines and doing odd jobs in the house.

8th Month

March had begun. My daughter was eating well and she had no swelling. In all she was active – handling small amount of kitchen work in my absence whilst also doing medical assignments online. After dinner, my daughter and I would go for a walk in our compound. At such times we would meet colony friends taking a stroll. Yes, there was eagerness writ large on everyone's face- Will it be a normal delivery or caesarean, girl or boy?

If there was a change, it was her hair! Her knee length jet black hair had turned somewhat brown. Further, combing hair even once a day seemed troublesome now! Her doctor who knew her very well must have noticed this, because she asked my daughter to increase her protein diet further. So apart from dal, I again introduced egg in her diet. By now, she had approached the end of 8th month. Those were also the days, when I tried preparing her for delivery. “When the pains start, don’t panic.There will be enough gap. Take it easy and try not to get tired. As the baby comes down, the pains will be rapid. Even then, bear with them. God has given enough strength to women to face any kind of discomfort. You can still lie on your side. But once there’s water breaking, lie straight. And when the doctor says push, push with all your might. You should not be tired that time,” I told her this during one of our evening walks.

Baby shopping

1st April’13 and 9th month start! But all I had were 6 white cotton nappies! I was panic stricken! My agency was kind enough to allow me to go on leave from 10th April’14 as against 1st May’14 that I had requested earlier. Often jokingly, I would tap her tummy gently and whisper to the baby, “Don’t come out till your clothes are ready!”

The next day after being relieved, I along with my husband bought newborn baby's frocks, caps, baby powder, baby soap, mosquito net, Chatai (plastic mat), etc. After delivery, we employed an ayah for massaging the baby and her mother. This is how the chatai came very handy.

This apart, I also arranged stock of ajwaian (owa), shopa, cardamom, coconut, etc. for making supari for my daughter after delivery. I also got several dupttees (cotton wraps) stitched. These rectangular or square pieces prove very good while holding a newborn baby. I completed the shopping within a week. In the meantime, I also talked to a lone Maharashtrian shopkeeper in Indore about Alivache and dinkache ladoo that I would need for my daughter after delivery. The shopping was complete in about 7 days.

Countdown for baby arrival begins

After 15th April, each day was difficult. My daughter was tired. Nevertheless she was attending every ante-natal camp organized by the hospital. She enjoyed these camps as she got an opportunity to interact with other pregnant women. The physiotherapist taught them deep breathing exercises. They were also offered breakfast and lunch. Interestingly, this was the camp that my daughter organized when she worked in the same hospital as a physiotherapist. In one of these camps, the gynaecologist assured the expectant mothers that the labour pains never lasted beyond one sunrise or sunset and that there was really nothing to feel scared about. This was really very reassuring. My daughter and many like her felt happy and relieved.

Last Check-up before delivery

On Monday 6th May’13, we once again went to the hospital. Her ma’am (doctor) informed her of yet another ante-natal camp that was coming up and said they would think what to do after that.

We came home. The day passed as usual. We also went for our post-dinner walk. We talked animatedly about an engagement ceremony coming up in my daughter's family. My daughter was all intent to attend the function even if for mere 15 minutes. She was also eager to know what sari I would wear, knowing my nature of not being too particular about dressing up. After finishing our walk, we watched TV for sometime before we finally retired to bed.

Water breaking on 7th May

I was fast asleep when my daughter, sleeping by my side, shook me hard at about 4.15 am, “Aai, water leaking..." I woke up hurriedly.

Hearing us talk, my husband who was sleeping in the living room woke up. He in turn woke up our son. The best part being that our son surprised us by waking up at the first call! He rushed downstairs from the first floor to get the car out of the garage. The car had full petrol and was in good running condition.

My highly meticulous daughter had well in advance packed the delivery bag with baby and her clothes in it. She had also kept the stem cell kit in the bag. We were to call the person as soon as the doctor would tell us.

Labour pains & reaching hospital

It was still very dark! My daughter was rushed to the pre-labour room where she was examined by the night doctor. As per doctor's assessment, the baby was expected to arrive by 8.30 or 9 am. We all 4 were immediately taken upstairs to the Deluxe Room that we had booked. The labour pains had still not started. The blood pressure was normal. In the meantime, my meticulous daughter gave a get ready call to the stem cell bank. It was around 6.30 am that the pains started in full swing and then they came rapidly without a minute of respite. Around 8 am, that the main doctor and gynaecologist came on the round. Sensing something, she ordered my daughter to be taken immediately to the labour room.

My daughter in labour room

The doctor came out and told us to call up the stem-cell bank immediately. This is the beauty of small towns and cities! The guy reached the hospital within no time!

My husband, I and our son were all outside. My husband had already informed our son-in-law and his parents. And now he called up to give them the latest update. The in-laws had gone to Ujjain for some work, the previous evening (their native place at a distance of about 2 hours from Indore). Anyway, on receiving our phone call, they started immediately.

We could clearly hear the loud shouts of our daughter at short intervals of time. But after some time there was total silence! The ayahs were coming out and going in. Each was giving us a broad smile. I had with me a copy of Atharvashirsha which my father had gifted me and I was praying in all earnestness from it. My puzzled son was busy taking the round of the hospital. My husband was by now anxious and concerned. He stopped me in the midst of my prayers and asked me to peep in to see what had happened. I tried but was driven out each time! Just then, a senior pediatrician appeared and called out our daughter’s name. 'Normal delivery... Baby girl... weight-3.02 kg...Time 8.24 a.m.’ By Indian standards, the baby was healthy.

Oh, great! But why didn't we hear the baby cry?" That's because, your daughter's shouts were far louder," he said in a matter-of- fact tone.

Baby arrival

Everything was happening very fast. My husband was now busy ringing up everybody. This included our son-in-law and also the in-laws. And yet, there was no sight of our daughter! She was still in the labour room. Seeing my husband so nervous, an ayah came out and told us that our daughter had fallen fast asleep on the bed immediately after the delivery!

Oh, God how eager we were to see our daughter and also our little one! Just then, yet another ayah stepped out with a small wrap and rushed upstairs. It took us a few minutes to comprehend that it was our little one being taken to the nursery for immunization.

In the next few minutes, our daughter came out on a stretcher. She was wide awake. My son, meanwhile, had gone behind the first ayah, eager as he was to have a glimpse of the baby. First time in his life he was going to see a new born baby! My husband was in two minds regarding where to go. Finally, he decided to come behind me to where our daughter was being taken. "You know, Aai, I behaved very badly." “Why, what happened?" "I pinched ma’am several times." I found it hard to suppress a smile.

So now, our daughter was taken on stretcher to the deluxe room upstairs. And we followed her behind. Even today, when we remember those moments, we laugh. Our daughter too apologized profusely to her ma’am later on! It’s now a joke between them.

Baby joins us

Our little one was brought to us after about 2 hrs, after all the vaccines were administered As the ayah, brought the little bundle inside, a pediatrician too came in behind her. "She is fine. We gave her about 2 spoons milk and so she is asleep. When, she wakes up, she will require mother's feed. This sometimes takes 6-7 days, which is okay. Till then, you may give her double toned milk. But use only spoon and bowl. No feeding bottle at anytime. Also give her a little sunlight early in the morning."

Even if a male pediatrician, the doctor was knowledgeable and understanding Rightly so, it took roughly a week for my daughter to feed the baby. I have mentioned breastfeeding tactics in my hub- apart, it is best to start breast massaging in the 7th month of pregnancy.

Baby now a few days old

The baby has a dimple

It was a sweet moment as we held the baby for the first time in our arms. How cute the fair bundle looked! “Oh, my God, she has a dimple,” I exclaimed. Incidentally, our son-in-law has a dimple and so does my husband!

Yes, I was successful

I am happy that I was able to guide my daughter well and it was a normal delivery. The baby also took to mother's feed. It's good that at no point did I fall sick or feel short of stamina during the entire period of her stay. My arthritis too did not come in the way. Neither did the baby nor my daughter fall sick at any time. Much of the credit goes to my husband and son who were supportive all throughout. My father is no more but I will always remember how he pulled me out of my fears.

Functions during pregnancy and after

During the entire period, 3 functions were held. The first was Dohal Jevan ( Baby Showers) in the 7th month, the second was informal name keeping ceremony on the 12th day and third was formal Name Announcement "Barsa'.

In all the three functions, I kept a low profile. The Dohal Jevan (Baby Showers) function was organized jointly. My part was only restricted to gifting a nice salwar suit to my daughter and also arranging some song CDs related to the function.

As regards the 12th day ceremony, it was conducted at home. It was organized because of the custom running in the in-laws family. Therefore, those present were our son-in-law, his sister with her 5 year old daughter and parents. I arranged for a help from my husband's factory. Since my daughter had started feeding the baby by then, I made sure that she suffered no indigestion. So, we had normal food, except for Shrikhand and puris. The good thing about this ceremony was the cradle, which my husband specially purchased from the market. We kept the baby many times in the cradle during the entire one and a half months that she was with us. As regards exchange of gifts, we left it for the official ceremony 'Barsa'.

Barsa took place exactly on the day the baby completed 2 months i.e. on 7th July'14 at a small hotel nearby. My daughter, by then, had shifted with the baby to her in-laws place. A few of our relatives came down from Delhi & Mumbai. My father's movements being terribly restricted could not come. Thus, we had a small function with a few of our relatives and theirs.

Happy memories

Yes, it was a success. And I attribute this success to my husband's strict stand, our son who proved a big help and also to the famous adage 'First thing first.'

An acquaintance had a C-section delivery recently

My grand daughter completed 3 years this May 2016. She is now London with her parents. Like all children, she is very positive and the word 'impossible' does not exist in her dictionary. Which is why she has also picked up English along with Marathi and Hindi.

But that's besides the point. Recently, Somebody whom I know well, had a caesarean delivery. A dentist by profession, she had really taken care of herself all throughout. Despite the occupational hazard such as standing long hours, she never suffered from swelling of feet or edema. She was very active till the end. But it seems, when the water broke, the baby was still high up.

The doctor feared 'distress' and chose to do a C-section. Maybe a simple sweeping exercise towards the end could have proved good. I had asked my daughter to do it a day or two before the delivery. And the belly had shown immediate signs of the baby coming down.

I had refrained from mentioning this earlier, as I didn't want anyone to do it without the concerned doctor's advice. But I feel these days, women rarely sit down. All work is done standing. Maybe, because of this the tummy does not get any exercise. Whatever! A pregnant woman should not sit down or get up with a jerk. This could be dangerous as the umbilical cord may just wind up around the baby's neck.


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    • profile image


      18 months ago

      Please people, just make sure you do not come into the room when a woman is giving birth or breastfeeding, unless you are her husband or even her mother,

      We have got to stop letting a woman's dad and our in laws, to come into those her private female spaces. Please people, learn how to respect another woman's body privacy, especially men,

      You wouldn't want all these people looking at your exposed penis and testicles would you? 3-14-18

    • Sulabha profile imageAUTHOR

      Sulabha Dhavalikar 

      4 years ago from Indore, India

      Thank you so much. This will motivate me to write more.

      Thank you again.

    • Padmajah Badri profile image

      Padmajah Badri 

      4 years ago from India

      I was remembering my pregnancy and my mom's involvement ..Truly hats off ..This hub reciprocates the emotions you went through and it is not at all easy to express in this way ..Happy writing

    • Sulabha profile imageAUTHOR

      Sulabha Dhavalikar 

      4 years ago from Indore, India

      Dear peachpurple,

      Absolutely. It was very challenging as all my life I have struggled with low confidence.

      Thank you so much for your sweet encouraging words.

    • peachpurple profile image


      4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Being a first time granny can be exciting plus nervius breakdown


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