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Spot light

For would-be mothers…

To 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 of pregnancy.
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 students.
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 and beneficial.
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.

By Wara Karim

Reader’s chit

Mrs. Robinson Syndrome

Anyone 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.

By- Luna B. Purification


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