For the parents or caregivers who do not give birth (eg fathers) – Aajol

For the parents or caregivers who do not give birth (eg fathers)

The process of pregnancy, labour and the birth has much to it than meets the eye. Apart from the visible shifts in the body, many invisible processes take place. 

The labour involves certain shifts which are traumatic for the body, especially because the modern medical process of birth involves routine surgical interventions and does not take into account the autonomy of the mother.

The body goes through phases of different levels of different hormones throughout the process. This directly affects the experience of emotions for the mother.

Psychologically, the mother endures the stress of uncertainty with respect to the pregnancy and labour as well as the new motherhood. Many mothers endure the stress related to breastfeeding, whether it is related to learning to feed, the continuous small changes when the baby adjusts its appetite, the possibility of biting when the baby starts teething or whether it is about learning to be okay with having to supplement the breastmilk for whatever reason. The mother also is usually sleep deprived due to feeding schedules throughout the first year. This doesn’t help the body heal fast. Then there is the definite and big shift in the identity with the latest addition of the identity of a mother. This identity has its own baggage of social expectations which also is stressful. The identity of the mother takes the forefront organically and it is so encompassing for most mothers that it displaces other identities of a wife, partner, daughter, sister, friend, a professional and so on. The mother also may seek to find some semblance to the familiar experience of these displaced roles.

These are only a few of the things among many more. The mother may not find enough grounding or energy or bandwidth to make sense of and express all of this as she goes through it. It helps the parents or caregivers who do not give birth, for example fathers or grandparents, to be aware of and sensitive to these invisible aspects of having a baby.


What more actions can you take when it comes to taking care of the baby, to contribute more to the caregiving?

What more actions can you take to make the mother feel safe and free?

How can you give the mother her ‘me-time’ regularly?

How can you stay more and more sensitive and open to the needs of the mother through observation and communication? 

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