tell the truth, only a handful of mothers in our country are aware of
the benefits that exercises can bestow on them during the critical period
Nazia Jabeen has been working for more than a decade to drive away the
fears and anxieties that engulf a would-be mother during these sensitive
nine months. She is currently working under Dr. Selina Khan in her Mothercare
Clinic. Situated in Block # A, 3/10 Lalmatia, Mothercare is a clinic,
which besides medical assistance provides pre-natal care for women.
The eminent late Dr. Suraiya Jabeen in her Lakeview Clinic started this
pre-natal exercise mission back in 1988. Nazia Jabeen was then a student
of Dr. Jabeen. Later on, Dr. Jabeen passed on this responsibility to
her favorite student Nazia, who was then a young mother.
Jabeen took extensive training on pre-natal exercise from Dr. Jabeen
and now she herself is an expert in this lonely field; lonely because
there is as yet no other clinic providing similar pre-natal care for
women. Besides, it's a fact that very, very few mothers and their families
in our country have accurate knowledge about the huge benefits associated
with antenatal exercise.
Jabeen acquired special training on nutrition from the Nutrition Institute.
She also completed a course on Psychology from Unicef. Here at Mothercare,
pregnant women are given training on special exercises and advice is
given on proper nutrition intake. Conception is a difficult period of
time that almost every woman undergoes in her lifetime. However, most
women face this period with extreme uneasiness, fright and often frustration.
Mothercare works towards eradicating these negative feelings from their
In Mothercare, class is held only once a week on Monday, usually from
4 to 5:30 p.m. In a warm, friendly and soothing environment, lectures
are delivered on numerous pre-natal issues to relieve the would-be mothers
from unwanted fear.
Open discussion takes place, and from each other's experience the students
come to know about things they never knew before. It's a place exclusively
for women most of whom are savoring the taste of pregnancy for the first
time. This 2-month long course starts from the sixth month of a woman's
pregnancy. But patients can come and keep in touch with Jabeen and the
clinic even after the course is over.
The charge is very nominal, only tk. 1000 for this 2-month long course.
Most of the women who attend the classes come with problems like severe
back pain, headache, insomnia (sleeping disorder), edema (influx of
water in the body) and numbness of fingers. Jabeen states that with
2 or 3 weeks' routine exercise a woman can overcome all of these difficulties
related to pregnancy.
At the same time, exercises on labor pain management are taught to make
a woman ready to face the ultimate day. Cervical exercises are also
offered for an easy delivery. Regular exercises can lower the probability
of caesarian section. Moreover, periodic exercises contribute to normal
delivery, which is highly encouraged in Mothercare.
In this training center, a woman is given of guidelines about how to
reduce worries and fear during this phase of their life. Most women
come out free and fearless after the course comes to an end.
Unfortunately the city has no such centre, even many doctors don't acknowledge
the benefits of such physical exercises, and it's often because of the
huge responsibility attached to such effort. Besides, lack of space
and expertise are the other two factors, which have prevented the growth
of such centers in Bangladesh.
Many women who visit Mothercare get adequate family support. On the
other hand, lack of family support creates a hindrance on the path of
many women who want to pay a visit to the place. As a matter of fact,
this sort of practice has unfortunately not been widely accepted in
our country. Men and women still need to have a clear-cut idea about
the positive sides of proper pre-natal care. The exercises taught here
are related to total relaxation; they relieve a new mother from physical
as well as mental agony. At the same time, breathing exercises are taught
with extreme care. Jabeen stresses that a would-be mother should continue
the breathing exercise till her entry to the labor room, as it is that
At the same time, Jabeen assists these women with techniques of proper
breast-feeding and breast care; she received special training on breast-feeding
from ICDDRB. Nazia Jabeen says that in the future she would also like
to start a post natal care service for women.
So, if you have a would-be mother in your home, don't deprive her of
the benifits of pre-natal care. However, exercises should be continued
under the supervision of an expert and with a doctor's permission. Keep
in mind that not all exercises are suitable for all; many women have
different complications and therefore must be treated accordingly. While
in the west pre-natal exercise is a must for every woman, in our country
most mothers don't even possess a basic idea about what it is.
Thorough family support can encourage women to take up exercises that
can mollify their pre-natal horror and also prepare them to face the
greatest challenge of their life. And we are all looking forward to
that day. For further details, you can contact Mothercare at 9119355.
who has seen the movie "The Graduate" will immediately grasp
the hidden meaning of the title of this piece. Although I do not intend
to dissect our typical "Mrs. Robinson" for the sake of not
getting rotten eggs thrown all over me, but I will explore a little
merely the seeming characteristic of this lady that all of us, men and
women alike, may or may not, willingly or unwilling, possess in ourselves.
For those of you who haven't seen this classic, you will soon get the
drift when I start my next line. We all have had some experience with
"Flirting". WAIT - don't throw that egg yet. Think back a
little. The time when you just started your teens. Who can deny that
they haven't experienced the flutters at the sight of a gorgeous girl
or a cute guy in the middle of an inter-school debate or at a regular
fast food joint? Yes…that's exactly what I mean. The first impression
of a person can make a huge difference in the way one interacts with
that person. It could be the way one looks, or the way one talks or
even the way a person smiles. Flirting isn't a bad thing. Some people
will of course disagree with this statement, and I don't reproach them.
It can be bad if it gets out of hand a little. But an innocent flirtation
is normally just a passing thing. A flirtatious smile or look normally
never leads to anything meaningful. And subconsciously we all do it.
And almost ninety per cent of the time we are not aware of it. Of course,
one may not flirt with every Tom, Dick and Harry that one meets, but
on average everyone has had or will have flirted with at least a hundred
others in an average life span.
Various stages of a person's life will entail different kinds of flirtation.
And the style of flirting indisputably varies from culture to culture.
For instance a simple comparison between Mrs. Robinson and Parvati (of
Devdas) will give away the very basic differences of the two cultural
norms. The "TV Commercial" is another area and a vivid example
in which life revolves around a little flirtatious engagement here and
there. And get this - this very nature of human beings has also stretched
a little further, may I even say "evolved" with the advancement
of technology. Yes - through chat rooms and emails. I can just see some
of your heads nodding at this point. Probably this has been the most
widely explored avenue for fun-filled flirtations.
What are some other common show-grounds where these innocent flirtations
take place? One that comes to mind instantly is at Parties, or at any
social gatherings. Especially, in the Bangladeshi context, all the wedding
functions play a big role in promoting young flirtatious hearts to explore
their aspirations a bit. No one can deny that the bridesmaids have not
checked out the groom-side hunks at their friends' weddings or vice-versa.
We may not want to label these young hearts as local "Flirts"
but surely what else can you call this mild action, other than a little
innocent flirtation? The workplace can be another dreary place where
this interesting interaction may take place on and off. If you think
of all the modern-day soap operas that promote any kind of work-environment,
i.e., a law firm or a hospital in any Hollywood or Bollywood production,
you will notice that this common flu called flirtation would be difficult
for an eager eye to escape. I ask any professional employee out there
to whether he or she has not experienced (or has not had the urge to
engage in) either first hand flirtation (either initiating or being
a prey) at least once in their whole professional life. Which brings
me to point out an important note, please do not confuse flirtation
with sexual harassment. There is a huge difference between the two and
if I delve into the latter, this piece would take a whole new course,
which could compel the LS editor to throw eggs at me!
Here is one last point that I would like to make. Flirting is an Art.
A fine art rather. There's a thin line that cannot be crossed. Once
you cross that line, it becomes improper and offensive. We all have
the natural inclination to flirt with our mates or coworkers or even
the cute hunk at the counter trying to sell the latest music album or
taking your chicken orders. And I think that in a given context we all
know where to draw the line. But I think the best place to enjoy a little
flirtation is amidst Moving Traffic! It is the safest place as you can
be almost ninety per cent sure that you will never see the person again.
As you can see, the Red Signal may not always be such a boring stop.
Irrespective of all the above hype about a little flirtation, let's
not forget our good moral values that we all learn since childhood from
our mothers and grandparents. After all, Mrs. Robinson is only a movie
character that lets us humans escape reality for a while - just like
any other character.
Luna B. Purification