Unexpected childbirth decisions I had to make in my multicultural world

Last time around I was an avid reader of all the pregnancy books, newsletters, websites I could find. And I was quite overawed by the spectacular array of decisions available to me as a to – be mom. In the US. In India probably the decisions are not as many, and we should all be thankful for it!

Did I want a Doula? I had never heard of this concept before the eigth month and it turned out to be a woman who would help me through labor and post partum. The concept sounded really attractive, especially since I was going to have my husband only with me – not my mom or mom in law – a novel concept in Indian circles. Apparently she wwould not only help me, but keep my husband on track and manage hospital issues. Has anyone tried a Doula? I decided against it as I could not bring myself to bare myself to a person I did not know and had no idea how much the charge will be.

What did I want to do with the placenta? Did I want to plant it? Apparently many people in the US bury the placenta in their backyard and plant trees on it. It is a great sign of fertility and nurturing. Its based on a Maori tradition is what I heard. People even throw placenta planting parties and freeze the placenta till then. Some people freeze it till the baby is old enough to choose a plant. A multicultural tradition to be sure, but I decided against it.

Did I want a belly cast? Not content with belly pics, which I think are cute, mommies decided to belly cast. Put plaster of paris on their bellies and cast it and then save the cast for posterity. The thought of adding a cast of large belly to my closet was disconcerting, but since having the baby I have often wondered how big I was and maybe thats why people do it. Some dont keep it in the closet but displayed in their room. After I had stomached the surprise, I was quite happy that people were so proud of their bodies and bellies. Here is a site for more info.

Did I want natural or assisted childbirth? Maya has written a good post on this. I heard that in India for childbrith, unlike in the US, you dont get to choose. You just dont get epidural. Plus my mother and all others had gone natural. So I thought, why not try natural.

Did I want a scheduled induction? No thank you, but at 40 weeks, that option was offered to me. Or even a scheduled C-section, though that option was never offered.

Did I want myself to be filmed (hospital question) and used in classes for medical students? No thank you. Was I Ok with having students watching me? I said yes, thinking I can always change my mind at the last moment (I was OK with one student and not a class). Well, it turned out no one was present in the room but a student nurse woke me up several times post partum till I gave up and begged for more sleep.

Did I want rooming in with the baby? From Hindi movies, I had thought the babies always stayed in the nursery. And saying no would have made me feel guilty though I did think that the baby was probably safer with the nurses than me!

Did I have a birth plan? Err…yes. But in my head. Felt too lazy to write it down. Probably the sanest of all questions.

Did you have to make some unexpected decisions like this? What were some of the strangest?

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3 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    How about cord blood banking

  2. sands

    The birth plan was the most intimidating question to me coz I didn’t know I ma supposed have a plan! The hospital hasn’t got a plan for moi!? 🙂
    Epidural is available in India now but its common as “injection given to relieve pain” my sis in law took it.

  3. Khushi

    Oh I did not know Epidural was common there. Well, everything catches on! Anonymous, yes, cord blood is a tough question too.

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