Stand by me!
Mother & Baby India|February 2021
M&B’ panellist Sonali Shivlani is an Internationally Certified Pregnancy Consultant and a child nutrition counsellor. She is the executive director of CAPPA India, and also trains aspiring birth professionals to achieve certification in pregnancy, birth and lactation counselling.
Sonali Shivlani

It’s said that a child gives birth to a mum. This statement is such an important insight of how things really are. We always consider the woman giving birth, but in reality, a woman becomes a mum only once the child is born. The childbirth and childbearing phase is one of the most important parts of a woman’s life. With so many people now opting for a single child, it makes the experience truly ‘once in a lifetime’. We cannot eliminate the pain, the discomfort and the length of the childbirth process, but we can surely consider ways in which this can be an enriching experience for the mum.

The pain of childbirth is intense. Yet, almost every mum will forget this pain once the baby is born. Maternal instincts kick in, and all is forgotten. And many will even prepare for round two. But forgetting does not mean that the experience is unimportant. I am yet to meet a mum who does not like to talk about her birth story, even years later. Don’t believe me? Just sit your grandmum down and ask about her birth and she will recall every minute detail. And it is this long term memory that can be made positive with the right support during labour and birth. The first question is—who can be a birth support partner?

Well, this answer is not very easy. Firstly, a woman can have multiple birth support partners. You do not need to settle on just one. However, your hospital may not really allow an entire team, so you will have to make some choices. Here are some things to keep in mind while zeroing in on that most important person.

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