Motherhood is the greatest joy in the world, as described by mothers all over the world. It is another major step in a woman’s life, after her marriage and her role as a wife, where a girl becomes a woman, a mom to a baby who has been a part of her own body for the past nine months. However giving birth is one of the most tough experiences in a woman’s life and the amount of pain one experiences during childbirth has been describes as being equal to all the bones in your body being fractured at once! Phew- that’s a lot of pain! That is also the moment when a woman needs to be comforted and wants the ones closest to her to be by her side.
Child Birth Practice in Saudi Arabia
However, common practice in the Kingdom’s hospitals requires the woman to be admitted to the hospitals when in labor, accompanied by only females and the men are to sit separately in waiting rooms and wait for the baby to be delivered. This rule is even more sternly enforced when women are in government hospitals where they share a general ward with other women giving birth. Hence going by the Saudi rule of non-related men not seeing women, the males of the family are kept far away. When the woman gives birth then the child is taken to the father. If males are to meet the woman in such a general ward condition then proper measures are taken to form a partition between them and the other women. The point here is that maybe some women would want their husbands to be there with them when they are to go through all those tough and painful stages while some may not want that. But there is no option for those who do want it.
Child Birth Practice in Western Countries
After the child is born, the woman, depending on whether these customs are followed or not, are allowed to go to her parents’ home for at least 40 days during which she is not healthy and physically stable enough to get back to her old life and is advised to rest her body completely. During this time the husband may visit his wife and child. Contrary to this, if we look at the West and their practice during the same period, we see that they have proper classes and training during which the father is taught to be pro-active with his wife and help during her pregnancy and child birth and after that as well in the upbringing of the child. The husband is present in the delivery room and during her labor to support her and is the first one to hold the baby. This greatly helps in developing a strong bond between the father, his wife and the baby and helps later in life too.
Saudi or Western System, which one is better?
The reason why the Western system is better in this respect is because by involving the man in the process of the pregnancy and childbirth, he is made to realize and understand the pain and hardships and restless nights that the woman has to undergo to give birth to his child. Also, he is made to understand that it is not just the woman who is responsible for the child but it is also the man’s equal responsibility to do so. This makes him more involved in the child’s life throughout and also helps ease the woman’s burden. I think that we should be liberal in this respect and try to be more open towards this concept.