Fathers too ‘bear’ child, not in womb but in ‘heart’
Blog Post by Navya Singh
An unborn baby resides in the mother’s womb before stepping into this world and this leads
to development of an eternally strong relation between the two. But one would be biased by
not throwing light on the aspect of the beautiful journey, which a to-be father takes on with
his beloved unborn child. Unlike women, men are not fortunate enough to physically
embrace their child from the very beginning of their existence, when their size can be
measured in nanometres. Every breath that the child takes in the womb is virtually in sync
with the heartbeat of his father, who despite of the ‘unkind’ natural separation between the
two, can sense every movement of his child through the mother.
We often hear that a ‘couple’ is pregnant and not just the mother! This statement speaks
volumes about the journey to parenthood. An unborn baby is quite an attention seeker,
guessing it comes naturally to them. From the first time seeing their baby on the ultrasonic
monitor to feeling its ‘kick’ in the womb, the happiness of a father knows no bounds. A
father passionately awaits the arrival of his child for a good nine months period, cherishes
every feeling which he is struck by in those days and the moment he wraps his child in his
arms, he gets instilled with euphoria. Does a father’s role start only when the child is born?
The answer is a big ‘NO’. Just because the mother is bearing the child, it does not equate to
the belief that only she is responsible to ensure good antenatal care (ANC).
When there is no inequality in the love towards the child, so why does it have to be there
when it comes to responsibilities! The healthy growth of the child from a microscopic
embryo to a fully-grown foetus is not to be just centred on mothering. Care cannot be narrowed down to just include financial support, food and other such stuff. When a new life is rooted inside the mother’s body, a couple enters into a world which is brimming with happiness, excitement but at the same point of time it is accompanied with emotional highs and lows, perplexes and sometimes a state of panic and stress. The frequent shifts in the hormonal equilibrium in a woman’s body cannot be eliminated completely. But it becomes the responsibility of the father to assure, that they as the ‘to-be parents’, are in a state of
emotional, physical and psychological compatibility.
For a woman who can push a new human out of her womb, who can combat the intense pain, can definitely make through her way out of all the odds and lows during her pregnancy.
Involvement of men in antenatal care practices is not about dependence or any sort of burden but instead it is all about love and understanding one’s responsibility. If a man firmly stands by his partner when she is hit by side effects of pregnancy like breakdowns, exhaustion and pain and reminds her of his love and presence, this is something which will definitely be appreciated. This will also help evoke an intense and immortal connection between the parents and the child.
‘Parenting is the toughest job!’ A statement, a saying which we generally come across,
especially when we aren’t listening to our parents. But it is important for the people out there to know or basically to remind themselves that parenting is an amalgamation of mothering and fathering. According to a research by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it has been stated that there are several reasons why involvement of men in antenatal care is essential. It has been observed that the fathers have a considerate impact on the maternal healthcare decisions. It has also has been evidenced that the more the male partners are informed and educated about ANC, the more are the rates of safe and healthy delivery and this is also in direct proportion to the utilisation of post-natal care.
Isn’t the concept of kangaroo pouch, in which the animals keep their young ones, cute? A YES can be the only answer accepted here. Similar to these marsupials, kangaroo care, which is skin to skin care therapy, is used for the pre-mature new born babies. Conventionally, it is the mothers who are involved in this by holding their child naked in their arms close to their
chest. Not forgetting the parity quotient, nowadays there are several ‘kangaroo care’ giving
fathers as well. In November 2018, many fathers in the Rae Bareli lovingly ‘trespassed’ all
gender stereotypes and gave kangaroo care to their pre-mature babies. What could have been a better example of psychological and social enhancement of our society than this! Kudos to the spirit of affection!
It is frequently observed, that a slight tiff between the parents can have devastating effect on
a child’s growth and leave scars which can seldom be treated by any therapy. The case of an
unborn child is no different than this. The level of happiness and trust in the relationship
between a couple has a very strong impact on the pregnancy period and childbirth. Even
though not physically present in the world, a child through his mother’ womb senses
everything. Emotions and feelings are not just experienced by the parents but also by the
foetus and he reciprocates to it as well. It becomes extremely crucial to knit a bond of mutual
understanding and care between the parents and the unborn child, in order to ensure good
level of emotional intelligence in them. Wishing all the fathers, a very happy Father’s Day
and clearing a point that mother bears the child in her womb but a father does it too, not in
the womb but definitely in his heart!