Pregnancy is the most exciting and apprehensive time in a woman’s life and you cannot afford to take chances with your care-provider in those nine months and beyond. We are not just talking about your OB-GYN. Do you know you have a plethora of options available for help along with your doctor? Read on to find out a whole new world of support for expectant moms.

Mid-wife.

A seedy village and an old uneducated lady asking for a pot of hot water to deliver a baby…that’s what you thought of, isn’t it? Well, you’re in for a surprise. Midwifery has evolved as a specialized and sophisticated profession today and the fore- runner of this is, can you believe it, the United States of America! Yes…it has gone way beyond the dai stereotype you have of the Indian midwife. Today in the US, nursing schools offer certified midwifery courses and it is estimated that very soon one is ten babies will be delivered by a certified midwife! But how do we benefit from it, right? You’re in luck! A lot of midwives and organizations are recognizing the need for such professional care in India and are moving to our country to provide their services. One such very effective organization goes by the name of Birth India. These midwives provide complete assistance in the labor process and are even qualified for basic drug administration and medical procedures required in labor and delivery.

Doula.

This care provider acts closely with the midwife to take care of all the non- medical and non-midwife related issues. She monitors the health, diet and lifestyle of the expecting mother; provides strong, informed emotional support; guides the expecting mother through every stage and is there to satisfy any query a mother might have on her mind. She also functions as a postpartum doula, proving assistance after the baby’s birth, in the mother’s own home. She guides the new mom in baby care and how to organize her newly changed life. Needless to say, that in families where the parents of the expecting mother are not available for some reason or she lacks extended family support, a doula can be a God send, assisting you every step of the way. This kind of support works wonders when there are chances of a postpartum depression setting in. Doulas are also certified and trained like midwives.

Breastfeeding consultant.

Unlike India where breastfeeding is the matter-of-fact way to follow after childbirth, the practice of breastfeeding was looked down upon in English speaking countries a long time ago. Now all of them recognize the incomparable benefits to be reaped from it and are hence acquiring all the help they can get to become more adept at breastfeeding. There are now certification boards for training and teaching breastfeeding consultants who license professionals like International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), Certified Lactation Educators (CLEs), and Certified Lactation Consultants (CLCs) and the training differs for each professional. In our country where breastfeeding is taken for granted, it is very difficult for a new mother to come forward and admit that she is having trouble breastfeeding her baby, without feeling ashamed, guilty or embarrassed. But this needs to change. There are a number of reasons why your baby won’t breast-feed and most new mothers are ignorant of those possibilities because most OB-GYNs do not include it in their routine care schedule in India. Fortunately, now there is a network of such specialized breastfeeding consultants functioning in India who are more than willing to help if you would just contact them.

So if you are looking for a fulfilling and worry-free pregnancy and childbirth experience, look beyond just your doctor and explore the posse of specialists who are working day and night to make your new life just a little bit easier.

(You can find a directory of such experts working in India here)

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