Pregnant in India

You’ve gotta love being pregnant in India! I think India takes way more care of its pregnant women than the US. And maybe even more than is necessary. It’s either because of age-old Indian traditions that have been carried down through the years even though they’re obsolete in this time and age, or Indian women are seriously very overworked and undernourished. Gee, I wonder which one it is…

First of all, you hardly ever see any pregnant women on the streets. Where are they all hiding? They definitely aren’t at the movies, or walking in the park, or shopping or eating out. When I go out with my big belly, I get stared at a lot. And then of course, I get random advice from random aunties on the street. Don’t walk too fast, take small steps., you should be resting, etc.

My favorite random advice so far has been from my aunt’s maid. Why does she wear pants when she’s pregnant, she asked my aunt. My aunt explained that they were “maternity” pants, and were designed specially to accommodate pregnant bellies. Non-sense, she reprimanded- it’s all fashion, girls these days are only after fashion!

My next favorite is that everyone asks you to eat for two. Really? The “second” person is like 1/15th my size, and requires about 300 calories a day. That’s like two extra slices of bread. But no, no, when you’re pregnant in India, you must eat more of everything. More rice, more chapattis, more dal and lots more ghee. Ghee is what gives you energy.

Ob-gyn care too is very different here…probably in a good way. The US is all about protocol. You have to get this test done at this time in this particular way. Here, it’s all a little more organic. They don’t freak out (and freak you out in the process) for every little ache and pain. They don’t scare you about gestational diabetes the way they do in the US. And they surely don’t inundate you with more information than you need to have (this one I’m not sure about, since I like having lots of information). But overall, everything is a little more relaxed and the doctors seem more assuring. They should be I guess- with the way India’s population is growing, they’re probably seeing a LOT more cases than doctors in the US. I don’t know how the actual delivery part and hospital stay will be, and will have to wait and see before commenting on that.

So four and a half more weeks to go. After that it will switch from getting unsolicited pregnancy advice to getting unsolicited baby advice. Like from my maid who claims that Aari’s “big” head is because we didn’t massage him right when he was a baby. If we had pressed his head really hard, it wouldn’t be as big as it is! And that he fell sick two weeks ago (his first time since we moved to India in February) because we didn’t put the black dot on his cheek for drishti.

Fun, fun…!


2 thoughts on “Pregnant in India

  1. Wow… Excessive attention is just the way it goes in India I guess. If I was in your shoes I would’ve sometimes exploded I think… figuratively speaking of course… 🙂

    Not sure I totally see the connection between LOT more cases and doctors being more assuring. I mean it seems more an attitude and a style and not being hammered down to protocol with the fear of suing hovering over their heads (like it is in the US). Besides you are paying for all the services directly (vs insurance) so I think things would naturally be very different. But then I don’t live there and haven’t seen a doctor in India other than Hematha in years!

    Good post Pitu! Felt like I got a real glimpse of the nuttiness out there… well, at least I think some of the stuff is extreme cuckoo!

  2. Yes, I think you’re right about insurance and the fear of being sued. But there are things doctors here have just seen more of. Like certain forms of TB for example. While doctors in the US can go months without figuring out what the ailment is, doctors here can diagnose them in a couple of days. Just because they more commonly occur in India. Obviously, pregnancy isn’t an ailment, but I think maybe they have seen so much more of things like GD that they don’t make as big a deal about it as in the US. Of course, it’s probably highly doctor and experience dependent too. And maybe I just didn’t get lucky on that front in the US.

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