By Machayo Angellah
Society dictates that the appropriate time for a woman to conceive and give birth is when she has gone through her education, pursued her career and finally gets married to her prince charming. ‘The perfect Cinderella story’. When I was growing up, my generation was raised by the extended family and neighbors as well. It took the entire village to raise a child. With the advancement in technology, times have also changed. The modern career woman receives advice not only from her family and friends, but also relies on the internet for answers.
On the 24th of January 2014, the first lady Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta launched the ‘Beyond Zero Campaign‘. The campaign was established to create awareness and to reduce child and maternal mortality. The campaign also seeks to bring maternity services closer to the counties and villages in Kenya. In 2012 alone, more than 100,000 children died before their fifth birthday- largely due to preventable causes (Commission on information and Accountability for Women and Children’s Health, 2013).
The coming of the internet has made life easier and faster. Information is at our finger tips; tablets, i Pads, smart phones and laptops. This advancement has also spread out to matters related to pregnancy. Women can access information on the ovulation of their cycle, tracking of the pregnancy, doulas, home pregnancy tests, how to dress when pregnant, choice of birth delivery and baby names.All one has to do is just Google.
Doulas assist mothers to be before, during and after child birth. They provide support to women in labor and ensure that the mother to be feels safe and confident. Women have a choice to decide whether they need a doula during labor and childbirth. As much as they offer comfort to the mothers, they are not professional medical care givers. They cannot offer medical services in times of crises. It is recommended for the mothers to be to have professional medical care givers before, during and after child birth.
The internet offers information that my grandmother and mother never had. I have access to information that before i give birth, I am able to seek answers to my questions. 58% say that the internet makes pregnancy easier, just 7% say it makes pregnancy harder and a quarter were not sure. When I asked them why they find it helpful, many respondents mentioned the ease and speed of getting an answer to a basic question (thebump.com). Then again, critical thinking is essential when filtering information that is credible.
During my grandmother and mother’s generation, children were named after a relative such as a grandmother or grandfather. Personally, I have three cousins who are named Keziah. They are from different uncles but all have one common name. In the digital age, the internet gives mothers and mothers to be the opportunity to research baby names and their meanings. The digital age has opened up the world. Wahu Kagwe is a female Kenyan musician who is known for her song ‘sweet love‘, named her first born daughter Tumiso. The name is from the Zulu community in South Africa that means ‘praise’. Names have meanings and people usually take characters that resemble the meaning of their names. The Kikuyus have a name ‘Wanjohi’ which means a drunkard. Parents need to be careful on the names they give to their off springs.
Courtesy of YouTube
Due to the advancement of science and technology, women have a right to choose which method of child birth they prefer. Giving birth is no longer a tussle anymore. They don’t have to endure long periods of labor pains. Doctors advice mothers to go in for C- section operations in order to save the life of both the mother and the unborn child. This has lowered child and maternal mortality.
Courtesy of YouTube