Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Born at Home
Many babies are born at home these days, and it is good to see the midwives back in business, after being absent from our society for decades. Our daughter is having her third child at home any day now, and I must say how impressed I have been with the confidence and professionalism of the women who assist in these births. The atmosphere is so wonderfully peaceful and calm. Everything is at ease.
There is one need, however, that I think the childless women or the older women without children, could fulfill at such occasions.
When children are born in hospitals, visitors naturally have to walk past the wonderful gift shop which presents all manner of irresistable gifts for the new mother. I remember that someone bought me a beautiful, large pink ceramic baby carriage (old fashioned pram) filled with pink rosebuds. I treasured it for a long time til I broke it. I certainly wish I had it back now. My room was filled with flowers in interesting vases and personal things like bath products in collectible containers.
Because the baby is born at home, visitors are less likely to intrude. It is not as public a place as a hospital. Women who are able, could perhaps make it a point to see that the new mother at home can get some flowers and gifts just like the ladies in the hospital. It is easy to overlook this because you aren't walking past a gift shop on the way to the room where the baby is!!
Another service would be hair and makeup. We never had any success finding a hairdresser that would come to the house and style my daughter's hair, nor someone who would come and do her hands and nails and give her a facial. She was really worn out from the delivery and in a few days expressed a need for something like this. She and many other new moms said they just felt washed out and tired and not very perky, and that the hair, the facial, the hands, really needed a makeover.
Perhaps also some really good food attractively arranged, to keep her blood sugar up, would be helpful. The new mothers sometimes experience depression and it is largely almost 100 percent due to low blood sugar, which can be easily alleviated by good, dense, high calorie comfort foods that will stick to the ribs, so to speak. They must eat often, if not constantly. A big bowl of really good fresh fruit and some vegetables and dip, as well as lots of good things to drink--maybe some herbal tea in a special teapot and cup that is presented to the new mother.
Sometimes when a baby is born at home, people assume that the mother will have everything she needs, but it is easy to neglect and overlook things. For example, in a hospital, a shift of people will share in looking after her needs--making sure she has a shower and the baby is looked after, or getting her meals, keeping the laundry caught up, and looking after the other children. There is a houskeeping crew that changes the bedding, a meal crew that brings food and takes away the empties, a nurse that checks her vitals, etc. However, in the home, these tasks sometimes fall to both mothers, and usually one mother has to go home after a few days, so it can be quite a hectic time for the husband and the mother or mil. That is where other women come in. Their help is so needed and appreciated at this time.
One other thing that would be very helpful is a baby basket, with all the needs of a newborn in it. Although women have baby showers these days, they often wait until after the baby is born. The newborn needs a couple of outfits to wear while it is waiting for its baby shower. Babies go through half a dozen outfits a day sometimes, and there can never be too few things for them to wear. Also, care should be given to see that the clothing is either 100% cotton and of high quality, or a natural fibre, so that it does not cause a heat rash or some allergic reaction.
If you know of any good baby products, be sure to show us where they are, in your comments.