Mother's Day - Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

We are amid a pandemic yet today (10th of May) is very important i.e. Mother’s day. In the UK it is celebrated on 22nd of March because it used to be a family commemoration day; which later celebrated as Mother’s Day.

Today the young mothers of the world are more than concerned. The future is very uncertain and not healthy for their kids as it used to be. Parents of KG and school-going age are under stress as what‘ll happen when the kids will start going back to schools during this pandemic. They don’t want to hold back their futures, but the prospect is becoming very vulnerable for them.

According to the UN, 360,000 babies are born each day, 250 million are born each minute and at the end of the year we have more than 130 million a year. I wonder, among them how many are the firstborn, because these kids’ mums are the new mothers of the world.

When a woman becomes a mother, it’s a life-changing event in her life. She is immensely happy and at the same time scared and nervous. The first few months and years are hectic and seem to be a never-ending era. I came across a photo of a young mum on Instagram, who just wanted to have enough sleep on this Mother’s day.   The new mothers’ schedules are very demanding and hectic but only because of this the bond between the young mums and their babies is unique, which will last a lifetime.

In the developed world particularly and in a few other countries the health of the girls is prioritized. The mantra is simple – healthy mothers have healthier babies. In the developing world the story is not quite simple. The health of the girls is put as a last importance, which is already not very strong. The pregnancy puts a lot of stress on the young malnourished mother. A healthy body, which in turn makes the mind healthier, can sustain the pressures of lives.  When the mother health is not strong, how one can expect a child to be healthier? In those parts of the world, the main purpose of marriage is to have kids and keep having them despite the poor health, and sometimes the life of the young mother is at stake.

Around 450 million women around the world are underweight due to protein-energy malnutrition, which happened during their childhood. The highest incident of malnutrition is reported in South Asia; which in turn can lead to a lot of complications in these women’s lives. The childbearing at a young age puts so much stress on the malnourish mother that the chances of LBW (Low Birth Weight) and mentally impaired babies increase a lot. Maternal mortality is 57% higher in Indian women as compared to the United States. India’s maternal mortality rate is lower than Bangladesh and Nepal but higher than Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Severe anemia costs around 20% of maternal deaths in all of India. 

In Afghanistan, due to the long war and inner conflicts, cultural practices, and lack of human resources, 90% of deliveries are done at home. 40% of the children are underweight and 50% of all deaths occur among those who are under the age of five. Only 15% of deliveries are attended by trained health personnel. The total fertility rate per woman is 6.9% and the life expectancy at birth is 42.9. The female literacy rate in Afghanistan is the lowest in the world and is estimated to be 1-2 % in rural areas where 80% of the population is residing. Tuberculosis is a major killer in Afghanistan with an annual risk of infection of 3%. The disease is affecting more women than men (70% of reported cases are females).

Moreover pregnant women and children under five in Afghanistan are at high risk of malaria. WHO is working extensively with the local population to address these issues, by opening nursing schools for girls in collaboration with UN, providing nets to combat malaria, training more women health workers, supporting TB centers where 70% of the patients are women, etc. 

Worldwide more than half a million maternal deaths occur each year of which 99% are in developing countries, and more than half of those are in the African region. In these areas, women bear many children (the overall fertility rate in the region is 5.2). Women have 1 in 42 chance of dying prematurely from childbearing compared with the 1 in 2900 faced by women in Europe. One out of every 32 girls born in West and Central Africa will die because of a pregnancy-related complication in their lifetime. Besides, for every maternal death in the region, there are at least thirty women who suffer short or long-term disabilities. 

Overall the gender discrimination, medieval cultural practices, the status of women in society related with more kids, lack of contraceptives, near to none abortions facilities, low economic status, treating women inferior by-laws, and certain religious practices, along with coerced and forced sex are all contributing facts in the decline of a woman’s health and status in the world.

Today is mother’s day and we should be celebrating it, but can these mothers even know? For them it’s a must to have kids. After marriage, the young couple has to bear kids, so to start a family. The sexual health of a woman is associated directly with her reproduction.  Even if the couple is at odds, but if they can reproduce they are providing a service to the society. How strange?

One can be maternal without having babies. We consider it as a part of our life cycles. It doesn’t mean we should have them right after the marriage or make it the sole purpose of our married life. We should wait at least ten years after we got married. It will not only give the couple time to work on their relationships, but if the mother health status is weak, ample time can be given to improve it first. She may have stronger body weight ratio, which eventually leads her to participate in life. If her education is low, she may have the chance to improve it. Over and above the husband doesn’t have to provide immediately for the baby and if they both are working their economic status will go up.

To control women and keep them on leash, marriage, just for the sole purpose to impregnate, will eventually start to wither. I am not taking sides, the same goes for the husband too.

If you are mothers of firstborn, try to have 2nd kid at least 5 to seven years apart, and if your biological clock is ticking, try not to have a 2nd one altogether. You will enjoy motherhood even with just having one, this is a promise!

People are protesting in the USA to open up during the CoVID pandemic and the authorities also wanted to open up eagerly, but scientific data is at odds with this re-opening. Mother Earth is constantly telling us, one way or the other, decrease the population.  We are breaking the food chain by overstretching it.

In lockdowns, many species are seen to roam freely. Dolphins have been spotted in open water In Israel, which is unusual due to fishing nets or ships and cruises’ noises. Water of Venice canals are becoming clearer, air pollution in Los Angles decreased in record numbers, Himalaya’s became visible for the first time from Delhi.

These are all signs that we should not have more babies per couple as we used to have. If you want to save the young mothers future, tell today’s mums to have one or at the most two kids. Happy mother’s day, take care of your health by not having more and especially one after the other.

A tribute to all mothers of the world. 

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