Thursday, April 25, 2013

What 8 Women Wish they Knew Before Giving Birth


Posted by WRA Uganda
Ingrid Turinawe, FDC Women League leader, and mother of five children aged between 10 and 19
“No one had ever told me that immediately after birth and the baby cries, the mother becomes so overjoyed and excited. It is something that I got to discover on my own after giving birth to my first born child. In my mind, I was like why didn’t anyone tell me about this awesome feeling. I remember just weeks before going into labour, the mothers that I would chat with would narrate only scary tales about the child birth process. None of them ever told me that soon after birth, a certain overwhelming feeling takes charge of the mother’s body. .”
Harriet Anyango, 38, farmer and mother of two children
“I would be having three children but the second born died just days after delivery. My baby boy was just a few weeks old when he got malaria that claimed his little life. I gave birth to my 15 year old as well as my two year old son naturally but for this second child, it was through caesarean. The pain I felt immediately after the surgery was very agonising. It was even more than the labour pains I had encountered before. I could not sit or stretch any part of my body. In fact I was crying all the time. The pain subsided after about three days. Can you imagine even before going into surgery, no nurse or doctor bothered to tell me what pain to expect immediately after the C-section was done? It was such a traumatising experience for me.”
Betty Nambooze, MP, with 26 adopted children
“I have two children whom I have given birth to naturally. The whole process of giving birth to these two children seemed as if I was battling hard for my life. In other words, it was as if someone was trying to kill me. Can you imagine such a thought! I used to think that it was a matter of going to the labour ward, push the baby and immediately go back home. Honestly, no woman had ever told me about this battle that every expectant mother had to fight as well as win while inside the labour ward.”
Florence Mulindwa, 20, mother of a three month old baby
“I felt the urge of breastfeeding my baby immediately after it was born. However, there was one problem. I had no milk. When I asked the midwife why the milk was not coming from the breasts, she told me that I had not been cleaning my breasts with warm water. This water was meant to remove the so-called “sticks” from the nipples. Once the sticks were off, the milk would flow freely. The midwife told me that it was something I was expected to do right from the early stages of my pregnancy. But since I had not done that before, she told me to wait for a few more days. As I waited anxiously, my breasts were becoming painful. Her advice was very good though I wished someone had told me about it during my early stages of pregnancy.”
Lillian Ajio, 18, mother to a 6 months baby boy 
“I became pregnant while in my Senior Three. I was very young and did not know anything regarding child birth. When the time came for me to deliver, I went to the labour ward totally blank. The midwives were the ones guiding me on what to do most of the time. For instance, they gave me instructions on how to push the baby and how to hold it since it was very tiny. Different mothers had told me before that the midwives would take advantage of my tender age to mistreat me in the labour ward. But they did not do any of that. Those women were very helpful and encouraging. That was something I least expected from them.”
Judith Babirye, Gospel musician and mother of one daughter
“A few years back when I gave birth and immediately started breastfeeding my baby, the experience was quite tormenting. My breasts would pain a lot each time the baby was suckling. Whenever I shared this experience with other women, they would say, I was pretending and yet I was not. But I later got to learn of some other mothers who had gone through the same experience as mine. I just wish someone had at least warned me about such pain once breastfeeding started.”
Pauline Nalubega, 50, mother to a year-old daughter
“When I was going to give birth, the majority of my female friends who had children told me that the pain would only come from the lower part of my body. Little did I know that they were deceiving me? I got the worst headache a human being can ever get when I was pushing my child. At one point, I thought that I was going to die. That headache was just too much. Also, there was a bit of back pain as well, though it was not that bad. If someone had told me earlier that the deadly headaches were part of the deal, I would have been prepared for them.
Suzan Muwonge, rally driver and mother of two
“I had heard of stories of how the whole process of child delivery was very excruciating, I thought that when my turn comes, everything would just be a walk over. But when my turn came, I screamed, shouted and said all sorts of things. I even swore never to get pregnant again. This was especially with my first pregnancy which I had kept a secret from most family members.”

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