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Challenges I Faced as a New Mother That I’m Sure Only Indian Moms Do

Baby Dove Baby DoveRemove term: baby massage baby massageRemove term: confinement confinementRemove term: motherhood motherhoodRemove term: new mother new motherRemove term: post delivery post delivery

All through my pregnancy, the people around me talked about how my baby would change my life. My sleep, they said, would become scarce once the baby arrived. I would be overwhelmed by just how much laundry needed to be done on a daily basis. Yes, there was no end to the advice and opinions I got regarding welcoming a baby into the house. But what no one advised me on turned out to be the most difficult challenge of all.

It was the challenge of being a new mother in India and encountering a host of unique situations that left me dumbfounded, anxious and unnerved.

The challenge of eating boring and bland foods

In the first month post-delivery, I was not allowed to eat several foods. Since I was lactating, it seemed that all I could get to eat was ajwain (carom seeds), jeera (cumin seeds), milk, roti, moongdal and four types of sabjis. Never mind that I was also ravenously hungry all the time! I craved for interesting, different and spicy foods, but it was a total no-no. I was told that such foods could affect the digestion of the baby as I was feeding her my own milk. So, “confinement food” was all I could eat in those early, difficult days.

The challenge of staying cooped up in the four walls of your bedroom

Can you imagine staying covered up with a scarf, socks and a blanket at all times when the weather outside is hot and humid? Those were the terrible months of August and September, when the Indian weather is really sultry. But I could not even open the verandah door and stand out in the fresh air for a few minutes. The reason? It seemed that I would catch a cold, and thus, so would my baby. It was baseless, I knew. But being a new mother, I was full of apprehensions about my baby, and hence decided to go with the flow. That doesn’t mean I was not immensely frustrated with this!

The challenge of my baby’s massage

After my delivery, I hired a confinement nanny who massaged my tiny daughter with oil. The elders in my house told me that a baby should be massaged for the first five years of her life. This makes her muscles strong and keeps her skin supple. Well, I read about this on the Internet, and came across articles that said, massaging a baby strengthens the bond between the child and her mother. However, I could not find anything that justified the claim made by my elders. The practice of a masseuse massaging your baby till she cried herself hoarse seemed like a pointless tradition to me! I tried to ensure that my nanny observed utmost care, but I still found myself praying all the time. I didn’t want my baby to break a delicate bone or two under all that pressure!

This continued for a few months. Read the rest of the article at

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