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Baby Samourai made-in-India – 2. A dream pregnancy

india,birth,water birth,pregnancy,baby,infant,newborn,delivery,midwife,swaddling,swaddle,diaper,breastfeeding,hospital,fertility,contraception,sterilizationThroughout my pregnancy, I almost managed to escape advice and tips and did only what I wanted to (with the support of the father obviously).

That's how we ended up in Laos, the poorest country in Asia, during the monsoon season, kayaking on the furious Mekong, or pedaling in the mud, when I was five months pregnant! When holidays got over and I got back to work, one of my colleagues almost forbade me to take the stairs, 'given my condition', which obviously made me laugh.


So, I got a dream pregnancy. A part from a horrible first trimester. And a part a few severe cramps, a small sciatic nerve that got stuck for three weeks at the end of the fifth month, my asshole who tried to get away in the eighth month (hemorrhoids man I tell you…), and my sphincters which once failed me for 24 hours (it’s scary)!


Here is what saved my life:

  1. A magic potion against nausea,

  2. A balanced diet (a juice or smoothie at 9 AM, a biscuit at 11, lunch at 1, protein-shake (my Gynec insisting heavily on it) at 4, a snack at 6, a soup and/or salad at 9),

  3. Sport (yoga, exercise ball, walks, sex (when you are lucky enough to have trooper hormones and that your new whale-type figure doesn’t repel your partner) - sex is even 'prescribed' to induce labour; as the doctor told my favorite Indian "you started it, now you finish it"!),

  4. A good deal of luck!!


(To be continued...)


Baby Samourai made-in-India - 1. Choosing the right Gynec

And now, a little more about my own experience of having a baby in India...


india,birth,water birth,pregnancy,baby,infant,newborn,delivery,midwife,swaddling,swaddle,diaper,breastfeeding,hospital,fertility,contraception,sterilizationLet's start when the pregnancy got confirmed. The Gynecologist I had for my Indian debut, who belonged to the Stone Age, told me my life as I knew it was over: no more eating outside, no more travelling and if possible no more sex (she couldn’t really why, but in case eh...) until the end of the first trimester. So I did not cancel my coming business trip and... set to find a new doctor! If possible one that had some with the Western patients. I know very well that pregnancy is the same process for all the women in the world, but you know...


Fortunately with the all the social media 'groups', we quickly found the right doc: the kind of Gynec that let you ride on the bike until the very last day of pregnancy! Joke apart, the choice of the Gynec is not trivial because in India, there is a real tendency to promote (or ' force') C-sections (cf Babies made-in-India – 6).


(To be continued...)


Babies made-in-India - 8. Massage, bath & Breastfeeding

india,birth,water birth,pregnancy,baby,infant,newborn,delivery,midwife,swaddling,swaddle,diaper,breastfeeding,hospital,fertility,contraception,sterilizationOnce back home, almost everywhere in India, professionals called maalishwali come home to give massage and bath to mothers and infants. 

And this technique is somehow spreading in the West, with an interesting twist: the parents massage the baby themselves. It is a good to create a bond, while developing the motor skills of the child. The problem with this ‘twist’ is that the mother rarely gets her massage, unless the father is really available (and talented)! Be careful in cold western environment though ;)


For the mother, the idea is that massaging helps the inside organs to get back in place and shape. Paradoxically the re-education of the perineum is not even addressed by the Gynec! Finally, when I asked her,she told me to do some Kegel exercises at home. (I must add that my British midwife has also never heard of the type of perineum re-education prescribed by doctors and performed by physiotherapists in France.)


For the baby's bath, the masseuse sits on the floor with her leg stretched on which the infant lies. Less water wastage, less dangerous than a bucket which can fall of the table and from which the infant can swallow water (especially when he is slippery after a good massage!) but also less fun than a bathtub where he can turn and splash!


As for breastfeeding, beware! You shouldn’t say you are thinking it over! Indians can not understand, for example, that only 56% of French mothers or 69% of British ones breastfeed.

So even if the World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend to “initiate breastfeeding within one hour following birth; practice exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months; and continue breastfeeding for two years and beyond, while starting from the age of six months a supplementary feeding [...]”, it always sound weird to hear a woman say that she is breastfeeding her 4 year old...And it is not uncommon here...

And now, I am done! Be happy that I have spoken only about the most widespread traditions! And not of the custom of eating the placenta for its hormones (which would be better assimilated if the placenta was consumed raw) and to reduce stress. Or of mothers giving girls “joyous genital tickling” and boys “full-on fellatio” (which for these people is not a sexual practice whereas kissing, even the cheek is…). I must say that these traditions are actually mostly Chinese but still present in some parts of India!


Sources: ;;


(The End)