A mom is a mom whether you are from the 20th Century or the 21st Century! As a mother we seem to be over responsible in raising a healthy, happy and well-adjusted kid. This is definitely overwhelming for a parent for sure. Being a 21st Century mom I really have too much of Information filled in my social networking but I really miss out on the informal support which my parents had in the 20th Century. It’s not because I don’t trust them it is just because I think a lot, analyse and want to give the best to my kid.
The technology has a huge impact on mommy’s behaviour and their lifestyle. One of the live examples is blogging and social networking. Before the boon of the Internet the networking was live and direct only with the neighbours, family and the first hand information was got only from the family but now its all over the internet. The 21st Century is completely evolving around the “OUT-Come” based whereas the 20th Century was “Time-based”. Everything is Research-driven and we are open to learn anything from anyone. Everything starting from the conception till the end is digitalised I can say. A baby born in the 21st Century is digitalised.
With the technology we have today, mothers literally do a lot for their babies, they go insane thinking too much and still they feel they are missing out something and fall into the guilt trap. There is an expectation set “My intuition is Right and I know and I will go by this parenting theory”.
Let’s have a look at how things worked on the 20th Century and 21st Century according to my perspective on various aspects.
Earlier in the 20th Century the maternity fitness wasn’t that noticed. Since India is a land of joint family and bonding the pregnant ladies would do lot of household work and would be fit and perfect but many of the mommies wouldn’t be aware of taking care of themselves. Those 9 months would go either by doing household chores and thereby gaining the needed strength to deliver the babies normally or at times remain idle and gain lot of fat leading to difficulties.
Now in the 21st Century, Once they know they are pregnant they willingly join maternity classes where the doctors and doulas themselves teach yoga and few fitness regime. New aged mommies are fully aware and educated about pregnancy and maternity phases and are better groomed with the necessary information. With the abundant resources online many spread the word about workouts/ fitness stuffs to take care of themselves as well their babies with care and concern.
Earlier the pregnancy fashion was considered to be conservative. The dress style was to conceal their bump. They would either wear saree to be in their comfort zone or wear a salwar khameez and hide their bump with the dupatta/shawl. Even at all they wear a jean they would wear a tunic top which would conceal the bump. Main goal is to conceal themselves in a billowy clothes.
Now in the 21st Century the main goal is to accentuate and feature their baby bump, look stylish and give all detailing of the bump they have. Even the top designers have come up with stuffs where the moms-to-be can wear and enjoy the 9 months as a fashion diva in these special months.
Earlier they would be in the form of books and not every mom-to-be would like to engage themselves in reading books. If I were a mom of the 20th Century, I wouldn’t engage myself in reading books as I become tired of holding a book continuously. For the Resources either one has to own a copy of the book or go to a library to gain the resources. To access regarding the birth stories we had to depend on the elders of the home, neighbours who would have by then forgotten the crisp and minute details of their experience.
Now we have everything on the internet, right from the birth stories, to the after care of delivering. Many bloggers write about their birth story and what all they do to induce natural labour which is scientifically proven.
Ultrasonogram / Scans:
With the advancement of technology we are in a position to find out the gender of babies and are even able to get highly defined 5D images of the babies in the womb. It definitely serves as an anti-anxiety therapy to the overwhelmed to- be-moms who could quench their thirsts about all the unanswered questions they go through because of those stressful hormone surges. A Mom-to-be definitely do feel happy when her baby kicks, move around inside the womb but it takes her to a whole new excitatory stage when she can literally listen to the first heart beat and when she looks her baby moving legs/hands the joy is unimaginable. With the recent advancements if at all there is an issue in the baby’s growth or health doctors help to treat the babies intrauterine itself or can also plan an immediate surgery or needed interventions the next moment the baby jumps out onto our hands without much wasting the golden hours. Thanks to the Almighty and the technology for giving this happiness.
Precious Moments After giving birth:
Earlier there was a condition only during normal delivery the mom was allowed to cuddle the baby as soon as the baby is born. Enjoy the baby crawl moments, golden hour, etc., even without knowing about it. This all happened only if the doctor had best knowledge about it and only if his school had taught about it.
With the technology in hand a mom-to-be knows about the importance of baby-crawling, the relation between baby-crawling and latching, delayed cord clamping, golden hour, saying a big NO to formula feed unless the situation mandates the need, giving a birth plan to a doctor, latching, even at all there is a tongue tie, if at all there is a latching issue seek an advice of the medical practitioner, enjoy the same benefits with the C-Sec. Gentle C-Sec by getting partial anaesthesia where she can sense the baby coming out of her. With the resources in her hand she is able make herself ready to the environment.
With the exploitation of formula milk and its undue marketing strategies in the late 20th Century parents were forced to give formula thinking their milk supply was not sufficient. It would either be completely on formula feed or would be on a top feed. When the baby reached 3 months external solids like cerelac, oats porridges, juices were given to babies not thinking on the maturity of the guts. But now in this century moms know the importance of breastmilk, when to start solids, when to introduce water, why not to start solids before 6 months, etc. In the olden era mothers used to breastfeed atleast for 3 years and in the scriptures at least in Quran its written that its mandatory for a mom to breastfeed the baby till 2 years and it also has given benefits of breastfeeding which is now being researched by the scientists. ONLY because of breastfeeding antibodies are formed naturally and babies are able to fight. This concept is understood by all. Normalising of breastfeeding is understood and people are supporting to nurse their babies in public when situation arises in their comfort zone. Earlier in the 20th Centuries moms used to run to the restrooms to nurse their babies but now NONE runs to the restrooms as they know Feeding is not a shame. Nursing in Public doesn’t mean we show the skin, it can also be done by being modest and being in the comfortable zone. We have techniques such as 2Tee-method, by using a cover, etc.
Use of infant carriers wasn’t welcomed by many in the 20th Century though the concept evolved in Asia and it was associated to poverty or transience attached for choice/necessity to attach the babies to their bodies. They felt how safe is the baby going to be in a cloth compared to the hand? But now in this century mommies feel comfy carrying their babies in a sling, wrap, meh-dai, soft structured carriers, what not? With the babywearing concept they nurse the baby in it, rock to sleep, smile, cuddle, relax, eat, sleep without fear of dropping the kid down. During the teething phase, sleep regression colic phase, babywearing is a boon!! With the babywearing a new mom can now enjoy almost all the exciting entertainments and outings. Even hiking is possible too.
Once the baby was born, cloth nappies were used those days on the bums but then due to the widespread marketing of the disposable diapers, it became a boon to the over-exhausted mommies who had to keep washing the soiled nappies several times a day to reuse them. But it was not only less safer than the cloth nappies to the gentle baby bums but also a curse to the environment. Mommies in the early 20th century used to make cloth nappies where it would hold a pee and poop but doesn’t damage their clothing. After the disposable diaper entered the scene the usage of homemade cloth diapers moved out of our homes slowly. In the 21st century there are moms who use disposables 24/7 . There are night time diapers, daytime diapers with absorbent technology, criss-cross technology and a unique design for a gender and a different concept for gender. Gender inequality doesn’t play over here. The design is based on the anatomy of the sex. With the care and concern shown towards the environment as well as towards the babies modern cloth diapers are slowly drifting into the market and gaining positive popularity. Potty training is also done with proper research and at the right age.
Raising Healthy Kids:
Making the kids eat is a tedious task when we force feed them. Concept of force feeding was practised and is still practised by the 20th Century moms. The main concept then was a chubby baby believed to be a healthy baby. But now with the resources the 21st Century is able to analyse and find out that being chubby is not the essential factor for being healthy. Being active, sleeping properly, self-feeding and nursed when the kid demands it is healthy now. There is a concept of baby-led weaning where the baby decides when to eat and what to eat. By this method, kids eat a good variety of food compared to the force-fed babies and special care taken babies. My sister who is a doctor by profession used to say, when I was a mom-to-be that when the baby nears his/her 1st birthday the baby must be able eat his/her cultural food themselves. Even now only those who follow the research oriented concept believe in it rest follow the same old school of thoughts.
Celebrating the First Birthday party is a business in this era they spend lavishly these days by planning theme parties. Earlier it was inviting close friends family members and the party was done within home but now with the advancement in the lifestyle and technology they seek help from event planners and make it like a marriage. But few do DIY stuff for their babies joy.
Earlier or now whichever century it is, people followed one Rule, Make the child happy!! They followed moreover or less the same concept but practised without knowing the name of it. Now with the researches happening everyday, this century moms have a whole bunch of resourced information with them where they are able to know the name of the process and make it happen with full heart and clear mind.
I am happy that I am a 21st Century mom where I had an opportunity to research on these facts and keep myself updated and give my best in parenting. As I am a mommy of 1 year Old I am stopping with these concepts in which I have personal experience and confidence. Happy motherhood to all the new moms out there and I thank all the old aged moms without whom the now healthy and self educated Moms/moms-to-be society wouldn’t have been into existence !!