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Pregnancy = handicap?

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Nach_Baliye

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Nach_Baliye

Joined: 28 November 2006

Posts: 713

Posted: 12 November 2012 at 1:47pm | IP Logged
I have been reading SNS updates, and it is appalling how Indian serials portray pregnant women. They literally treat pregnant women as if they are handicapped and cannot do daily chores anymore. The women are asked to rest all the time, asked not to do anything, they are catered to all the time.

I am five months pregnant for the first time, with twins no less. I have a full-time job, I cook on some weekends, and I run errands. I also workout. Once a week I do some weight training, the doctor has advised me to swim and do yoga. I also walk, and try to walk home from work.

Pregnancy is different for different women. Some women are very exhausted, but they still do the chores and go to work if they have a full-time job. I have taken only three days off from work during these 5 months. A pregnant woman doesn't need to sit at home and do nothing unless there is a problem. In fact, doctors recommend that being active and doing yoga actually helps a lot towards healthy pregnancy and healthy kids.

So my question is this, why do Indian women think that portraying this is correct? My own mother-in-law is a doctor, and she suggested I leave my job and stay at home if I want. As did my FIL. I was pissed off, what the hell am I going to do at home alone all day long? Sit on the bed and fatten myself? My MIL is a doctor in India, yet this was her recommendation.

There are so many misconceptions regarding pregnancy in India, and these types of shows make it worse. I find it extremely ridiculous because it instills such a culture in India, and it drives me crazy to hear people say I should leave my job just because I am pregnant. Honestly, people don't like to tell everyone about it during the first three months due to a high chance of miscarriage, but in these serials everybody and their mother and grandmother knows. I understand that joint families are different, but here looks like the whole town and city knows.


Edited by Nach_Baliye - 12 November 2012 at 1:52pm

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Xarina

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Posted: 12 November 2012 at 2:20pm | IP Logged
First of all congratulations on the news of your twins and hats off to you for continuing to dictate things on your own terms.

Pregnancy is not a handicap.  It is a natural process practised the world over, even though at times you may feel smug (I don't mean that in a bad way.  I think I mean contented. Hope you understand).

There still seems to be the old fashioned view that there are certain things a pregnant woman can and cannot do.  And that is what it is, old fashioned.  From telling you not to run, walk fast, to not to cough when laying on your back (yes I kid you not) eat eggs, fish or ginger in the early stages.  Rules and opinions are brought forth as everyone adds their tuppence worth like they own you.  I actually have a joke on this but not sure if I can post it here. It is naughty.

If you are physically able to lead a normal life do so.  Your body, will tell you when it wants to rest.  You have a healthy outlook on your pregnancy. Well done and all the best.Big smile

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Justlikethat1

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Posted: 12 November 2012 at 2:24pm | IP Logged
Hi.. A very good post..Star You are right about your views on pregnancy. It is not a disease. Smile 
Women need to be active during pregnancy. After the initial 3 months,  the more active a pregnant women is the better. There are certain things to be avoided but that does not mean stay idle.

But again, I would also point out what you yourself wrote. Every pregnancy is different. It is great that you feel the way you do and all the best for a safe pregnancy. But there are also other woman who take to it differently. I would say get a doctor's advice.
Midwife's tales are alright but also consult with a doctor. In case one feels tired, then that pregnancy may be different.  every person is different. That needs to be kept in mindSmile

The question of why Indians treat pregnancy with so much attention, my answer is because we are still not completely confident. In cities maybe things are better but in villages we still consider pregnancy to be a second birth. Mortality rates are high. Plus with two lives involved people get worried.
The best way to allay one's fears is to make them understand. Take them to visit the doctor once and make the doctor advice your elders. Then they will be comforted and will back off. 

BTW happy Diwali and have a safe pregnancyTongue

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gksk

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Posted: 13 November 2012 at 7:20am | IP Logged
I wholeheartedly agree with you. I am a mother of a 18 month old baby. When I got pregnant in US, my entire family in India wanted me to leave my job and sit at home. My reaction was the same 'What will I do at home?' And why should I stay at home if I feel ok.
 
I had full day nauseous feeling in the first trimester. I threw up every 2-3 hours. But what is there at home that I don't have in office? There were 4 restrooms in office if I feel like throwing up. My entire office knew that I was pregnant and they supported me so much. They got me different things to eat like 'ice-candies, pretzels, etc' which helped me. They never mind if I rushed out of an important client meeting (happened only once). I even had to go on two client visits with my boss for full day meetings. When we reached there he asked them to show me the restrooms and told me that if I have to go, I do not need to worry about it. He will explain to the clients. Once the first trimester got over, morning sickness was gone too.
 
I went to office till the day before my baby was born. Infact I had gone straight from my office to see my doctor for a regular visit. The doctor asked me to keep working unless I am feeling very tired. He advised against waiting at home because that would only worry me why the baby is delayed (She is 2 days late). And same evening I had labor pains. It was all so easy.
 
During my entire pregnancy, I worked full time. I could not cook in first trimester because smell of spices made me nauseous. But, except the first trimester, I also cooked and did household chores. My husband and I went for walks.
 
And my MIL in India could not believe how I could do so much work alone and still be fine and healthy.
 
There are a lot of misconceptions in India regarding pregnancy.
  • Myth - You cannot do any work. Fact - You should continue being active.
  • Myth - You have to necessarily take lots of medicine. Fact - My doctor tested my blood iron level regularly and as it was normal I was not prescribed any Iron or any other tablet. I only continued taking the daily vitamin pill for women that I have always taken normally.
  • Myth - You have to eat for 2 people. Fact - You just have to eat enough for a woman and a baby. So, more than what you used to eat but not double the diet. My doctor advised me to just add more fruits and nuts to my diet. So, I had 2 fruits, a full glass of milk and 3 meals a day and some nuts as snack.
  • Myth - After giving birth you are prone to catch cold. My friend in India was forced to wear scarf and full-sleeved clothes in June to save her from catching cold. She was always so uncomfortable. Fact - Just normal clothing as per season is required.
  • Myth - After giving birth, woman should eat food without any spices. No non-veg. No cold things. No fast food. Fact - Woman can continue eating what she ate during her pregnancy. No need to change diet. Yes, taste of breast-milk changes as per mother's diet. So, don't eat food full of chillies. But normal food doesn't hurt. In the hospital, food was provided by hospital as per doctor's advise. I ate non-veg and salads all the time. They even stocked the refrigerator in our hospital room with ice-cream as it was hot (May). I ate so much of it. Doctor said no restrictions. He said if you dont have time to cook due to baby's responsibilty, dont stress. Get chicken nuggets from fast food drive way. Healthy and fast.
Like you I also told my family what the doctor said and that shut them up. Congrats for the twins. Keep being active. Rest when tired. If you feel tired all the time talk to your doctor, there may be something wrong.

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Ritu-

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Posted: 13 November 2012 at 8:25am | IP Logged
First of all congratulations for your twins. Smile
 
I so agree with your statement. In every hindi serial they always over do it when it comes to pregnancy.Ouch They treat it like someone is handicapped and can't do anything. AngryThere are loads of women in real who are pregnant and they are able to work, look after house and remain active. Clap

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arti12345

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Posted: 13 November 2012 at 9:29am | IP Logged
Yes, all this sounds so familiar.
I am a working and mom to a 3 month old..
and i can clearly remember the instructions specially from my mother in law which i never followed..ROFL
don't walk fast, take very small baby steps..Angry
don't do any exercise never go to swimming when doc himself advised for doing all this..
don't raise your hand above your head else the chord will be around baby's neck Shocked
avoid stairs at all places.. i stay in the first floor with no lift..
do not drink cold water after delivery and not to feed the baby when your hairs are wet..Dead
and the list continues...

am thankful, these elderly ladies weren't around to make my life miserable.. i was in US...

But yes they are too much mostly in rural places.. they will not feed the mom to be well and would impose all these mindless things..

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Nach_Baliye

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Nach_Baliye

Joined: 28 November 2006

Posts: 713

Posted: 13 November 2012 at 9:38am | IP Logged
Thank you everyone for your good wishes.

So nice to see input from others. I am so so so happy being in the US away from my family, so that I don't have to hear all these things. It annoys me immensely to hear these things because I feel like just because I am going to be a mother doesn't mean I cannot have my own life, my life doesn't have to revolve around my kids. I hired a personal trainer to focus on specific problem areas, she specializes in pre-natal. She asks me to climb stairs as exercise, walk a little fast for at least an hour everyday.

I take vitamins, DHA, and folic acid everyday. I feel great. I only have to put on weight during the last trimester, and I eat normally. I do feel hungrier, but overall I am not hogging everyday. I have soups, fruits, nuts, etc. In fact Indian food gives me heartburn.

Sometimes I don't even feel pregnant. So when I see shows where every single day people walk on egg-shells around a pregnant woman, it pisses me off because that would drive me absolutely insane.

On a funny side, my husband loves to take care of me. I tell him let me do my own thing to remain active, and he complains that I am too independent. Haha.

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sitamma

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Posted: 13 November 2012 at 10:05pm | IP Logged
This is my first post in this forum.
I agree with you one hundred percent.
I myself have worked till the end of both my pregnancies.
I am a gyneclogist myself and have done caeserean sections and conducted deliveries a day before my own delivery..both times.

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