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Lavanya Bahuguna

Blogger-in-Chief

This Baby-Wearer Mom Told Us About Giving Natural Birth With The Help Of A Midwife & Preaching Body Love

  • IWB Post
  •  October 31, 2017

 

To the coward eyes, her pictures on social media might appear inappropriate. Mother of two, Kamna is a body-positive enthusiast and likes talking about her post-partum body often.

The cheerful Kamna’s Instagram bio is quite impressive. It says – Birther, Breastfeeder, Storyteller, Baby Wearer, Nutritionist, and Lactation Counselor. She gave birth to two kids within 19 months and believes in natural (vaginal) birth with all her might.

She spoke to Indian Women Blog about her mission as a mother and why people who ‘teach’ her about covering the body and detest breastfeeding in public don’t bother her anymore.

“When I began writing, my only intention was to connect with other women who were looking for first-hand information and suggestion regarding pregnancy. Those women who wanted someone to tell them that those stretch marks and that bulging belly fat are for real and that, there’s nothing to worry about,” says Kamna.

Being judged alot nowadays for my insta feed…. “I am who I am not what you think I am” This one….. For the love of postpartum body/belly #postpartumlife#postpartumbelly#monochromatic#Vsco#love#embrace#mommylife#2under2#parenthood#motherhoodunplugged#india

249 Likes, 35 Comments – Camna?? (@mycocktail_life) on Instagram: “Being judged alot nowadays for my insta feed…. “I am who I am not what you think I am” This…”

It’s amazing how Kamna counsels women online making them see themselves in a more positive light and change the negative self-talk that happens when they look into the mirror.

You gave birth to two babies in a duration of 19 months. According to the doctors, a minimum of one year gap is always beneficial. Did you consider any kind of medical precaution before conceiving your second child?

Honestly, I didn’t. The second baby wasn’t planned; however, abortion was never an option, so my husband and I went ahead with it. Unlike my first pregnancy, I wasn’t scared and took the beautiful process as something that would help me polish my motherly skills. It was my daughter’s first birthday that I got the news of my second pregnancy. The only medical advice that I followed was to stay nutritive.

What were you scared of during the first pregnancy?

Like any other working woman, I thought it would hamper my career and freedom. None of this is true, you know! As I proceeded in the journey calmly, the government hospital to which I was admitted gave me the shock of my life. My mother asked me to choose a govt. hospital over a private one because we wanted it to be a natural delivery. But from impolite doctors to uncompassionate nurses, everything about the govt. hospital traumatized me. I remember one nurse shouting at me because I didn’t shave my pubic hair. Hello, you never shared the protocol with me!! I mean, I was going to be a mother for the first time, na!

My staff would never notify me before injecting any medicine or instrument inside my body. Every process before, during and after the delivery came to me as an astonishment. They burst my amniotic sac (water) using an instrument without informing me beforehand. Can you imagine?! They never allowed my mother or my husband inside the room when I was screaming in pain. I had to hold the hand of the janitor present inside the room. Later, after the baby came out, they never let me touch it for many hours. In fact, they never told me the sex of the baby! Moreover, I was not told by the doctor that one must breastfeed the baby immediately and hence, this delay resulted in a poor milk production in me throughout the year.

One horrible experience, I guess.

That’s why I chose a midwife to deliver my second child. There is a nursing home in Hyderabad that promotes natural delivery and lets you decide how the mother wants to carry the process. This involves choosing your favorable position during the childbirth, ambiance, presence of your family members, etc. Our midwife was one amazing woman.

I read you let her name your son! Tell me more about her. 

Yes, my husband and I mutually decided to honor her with this act. Our midwife was like my soul sister and I remember calling her up every two hours during the labor period. I would ask her what to eat and how to stay fit, naturally. I was asked to come to the hospital only on the day my labor pain started. Though my husband and I were panicking, the hospital asked me to relax at home and surround myself with the warmth of my family. This made me ease things out inside my brain, making the painful process less excruciating.

#empoweredbirthproject A child birth is an euphoric experience and is a way of accessing the unique power of the body I clearly remember the 1st pain I had in this pregnancy, during an evening walk on 26th alongside my husband and my toddler. I husband worries a lot for me, so I had put up a great act to cover my pain in front of him. Else god knows he might have insisted we get to the hospital right away. I called Midwife who listened while I explained the pain and asked me to note its progression. She mentioned I may not be far away from delivering. With thoughts to delivering in the next 48 hours running through my mind, I drifted to sleep that night. The entire next day my contractions were highly irregular on 27thnight. I spent the whole night unable to sleep because of the pain, due to pelvic pressure and strong hip pain. My husband napped in between my contractions. To make matters worse, we had no help as my mother was leaving from Chandigarh to Hyderabad by train on 27th. My thoughts were wandering towards who can take care of my toddler if I were to rush to hospital, to why the baby is coming before due date and that too when I have no help beside my husband. 28th morning – The D Day. Having not slept the whole night, I was feeling unusually nimble. Though the pain was there and contractions per us were around 3 minutes apart, I had to work to make breakfast for the toddler. I spoke to Midwife who asked me to reach the Birthing center for a checkup. Got admitted at 9.30 am and found that contractions were quite irregular and sometimes even 20 minutes apart. By afternoon that day going through continuous contractions, thoughts of those people came to my mind that used to tell me 2nd delivery is easier. For me, it was turning to be tougher and slowly frustration started to grow. Midwife and her team were constantly there for me and the nurses were very kind to continue massaging my back and kept hot water bottle. I even asked for pelvic exam because I was so confident in my midwife and that indeed turned out to be a better experience than how it was done during first. Rest In the comment***** #birth#birthingstory#india#naturalbirth#midwifery#support

180 Likes, 45 Comments – Camna?? (@mycocktail_life) on Instagram: “#empoweredbirthproject A child birth is an euphoric experience and is a way of accessing the unique…”

When I suggested the hospital that I wanted a squatting position to deliver my son, they immediately agreed. My husband was by my side the whole time and was very much a part of the delivery. The midwife kept caressing my body with hot coconut oil in order to make me feel a little less stressful. Also, the gynecologist was present in the room in case of an emergency. Gladly, no medicine was given to me during these months and I was only asked to eat healthy food along with some vitamin supplements.

Your experience sounds relaxing to the women scared of pregnancy.

I know, right! Seconds after the baby was born, I was asked to keep him close to my chest. I was told that babies tend to feel nervous after they come out of the mother’s womb which was their home for nine months. For baby’s sake, the mother must share the body warmth by holding it close and feed it the thick yellow breast milk. In addition to this, my umbilical cord wasn’t detached from the baby right away. My attendants even showed me my placenta, so I feel more connected with my child.

Tree of life #Placenta Placenta imprinting being done by so many hands.The precious gift by nature.This imprint will be a keeper forever.My gratitude towards birth. #placenta#placentagram#treeoflife#placentaphotography#naturalbirth#nature#precious#life#birth#photography#monochrome#india

72 Likes, 14 Comments – Camna?? (@mycocktail_life) on Instagram: “Tree of life #Placenta Placenta imprinting being done by so many hands.The precious gift by…”

You’ve spoken about being thin-shamed during childhood and later, for showing-off your stretch marks and post-pregnancy body on social media. 

I was a skinny girl since childhood. Though I looked undernourished, I always knew in my heart and in my mind that I was healthy, but it was not the same thinking the society had for me. All the neighborhood aunties would tell my mother to give me something to eat and question “Don’t you give her food” “She looks malnourished”. My mother would go shopping for my dresses and she would always buy outfits in which I would look plumpy. My family used to joke of me. Example being “On windy days they will tell me to remain inside the house otherwise I might get blown away with the wind I remember vividly my ex-boyfriend telling me that I don’t have a front or back assets. He constantly used to say I should eat chocolates and junk food to gain some “Meat” on my “Assets” I got so thin shamed that I landed myself to a gym. Simply because I was fed up with all the people speaking about me and I wanted to end it by gaining some weight, via guess what – that’s right {Supplements} This did not stop even after marriage, with someone questioning if my husband earns well monetarily or not – and does he keeps me well fed? And now, after delivering 2 babies people’s opinion has moved to the other side. They now say “I have gained weight, and that I don’t look the same” Point is there always be somebody who think it’s okay to critize someone based on there physical attributes. Tell them that we are wonder women who comes in different shapes and sizes.I know it’s take time to ignore these hurtful comments and move on. Hence sharing few lines from one of the articles I read online “When you’re confident in what you’re wearing, you learn things about yourself that you never knew, and you remind yourself that you possess so many more qualities than you realize” PC: @Shriyak #bodyshaming#postpartumbody#love #motherhoodunplugged#mommylife#india#societysucks#youarebeautiful#confidence

1,447 Likes, 141 Comments – Camna?? (@mycocktail_life) on Instagram: “I was a skinny girl since childhood. Though I looked undernourished, I always knew in my heart and…”

It’s funny how I was always known as a malnourished kid back in my school days and now that I’ve gained some fat around my belly, I suddenly appear to be a ‘fat unshaped woman’ to people. Ridiculous! As I’d mentioned in one of my posts, I was a little apprehensive to wear a bikini but then I thought “My body cannot be defined by a swimsuit.” Sometimes I get weird messages on Instagram saying this is unacceptable in the Indian society. My husband also receives messages saying he should talk me out of this habit of posting semi-nude pictures. I am glad he understands my motive and supports me wholeheartedly.

#bodyimageissues There is no word like “Bikini body” Everybody is a bikini body whether obese or extra thin.Body shaming has become a daily norm of our lives.I have met lot of women who wants to wear bikini but scared of what society will think because of their body type. All thanks to the media including fitness/health magazines. I love my body and my fluffy tummy.There is so much pressure from the society on women to become perfect mother,wife,well educated and fit/skinny. Question is “Why others decide what we should wear or not “? Wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident.Whether you have delivered baby or not,your body will always be your body. I was little apprehensive to wear bikini first but than I thought “My body cannot be defined by a swimsuit” My body is healthy and happy internally and that should matter ?? P.S Grumpy toddler is so grumpy in the picture that she didn’t let me go inside the pool #motherhood#postpartumlife#postpartumbody#love#bodyshaming#mommylife#kidslife#kidsofinstagram#parents#india#proud

596 Likes, 50 Comments – Camna?? (@mycocktail_life) on Instagram: “#bodyimageissues There is no word like “Bikini body” Everybody is a bikini body whether obese or…”

I still remember wishing for the things that I have now by God’s grace #family#familyfun#mommylife#babygirl#babyboy#babiesofinstagram#father#love#bond#newbornbaby

189 Likes, 14 Comments – Camna?? (@mycocktail_life) on Instagram: “I still remember wishing for the things that I have now by God’s grace…”

You are also vocal about subjects revolving around breastfeeding at public places. I like how you’ve confidently put up your pictures on Instagram doing the same.

Thank you! If I were to describe the kind of things I get to hear from strangers about public breastfeeding, I can probably write a hate-novel. *laughs*

Vacation with 5 months old baby = least amount of effort in ensuring baby is fed well Breastfeeding in the architectural ruins of vijayanagar empire (Hampi) #nurseinpublic#breastfeeding#breastmilk#bręastisbęst#normalizebreastfeeding#mommylife#vacation#motherhood#parentingstyle#india#Vsco

338 Likes, 32 Comments – Camna?? (@mycocktail_life) on Instagram: “Vacation with 5 months old baby = least amount of effort in ensuring baby is fed well…”

I don’t leave my kids unattended. If I’m going out, I make sure both of them come along. And interestingly, kids don’t follow any hunger-timetable. If my child is howling because of hunger while I am shopping at a mall, my (motherly) instinct would be to feed him/her straight away. The look on the shopkeeper’s face or that of the security guard’s is, in no way, going to stop that.

Now that we’re talking about your kids accompanying you everywhere, I want to say how hands-on a mom you look carrying both of them. Baby-wearer, eh?

At pinkathon babywearing walk with milind soman @milindrunning @pinkathonindia #babywearing#tandem#mommylife#motherhood#parenthood#love#keepthemclose#wearallthebabies#kidslife#

520 Likes, 22 Comments – Camna?? (@mycocktail_life) on Instagram: “At pinkathon babywearing walk with milind soman @milindrunning @pinkathonindia…”

*chuckles* Yes, I am a baby-wearer. I wear my kids, making my hands free to do other tasks. Women think it’s painful for their neck or lower back, the reality is otherwise. It is an age-old way to hold babies, you see.

When appa wants to nap and amma wants to shop so you tell random stranger to click the picture Greetings from Goa ?? #babywearing#babywearingmama#wearallthebabies#keepthemclose#tandem#motherhood#parentingstyle#mommylife#vacation

572 Likes, 26 Comments – Camna?? (@mycocktail_life) on Instagram: “When appa wants to nap and amma wants to shop so you tell random stranger to click the picture…”

I agree. I am noting down every tip for my future! On this note, I want to praise your beautiful pictures with kids.

Wait, don’t get trapped very easily. The other side of motherhood is messier. Apart from that horrible hair that you haven’t combed for days, there would be an odor of baby puke coming out of you. *laughs* Haven’t you seen my postpartum-face Instagram post? Ha-ha.

Throwback to this 18 days postpartum reality face 1)Sleep deprived✔ 2)Dark circles and puffy eyes ✔ 3)Messed up hair ✔ 4 ) bloated face ✔ #soulslings#wrapyourbaby#fwcc#postpartumlife#mommylife#newborn#18days#exhaustedbuthappy#babywearing#wearallbabies#keepthemclose#wovenwrap

111 Likes, 7 Comments – Camna?? (@mycocktail_life) on Instagram: “Throwback to this 18 days postpartum reality face 1)Sleep deprived✔ 2)Dark circles and puffy eyes…”

My last question for you is – why the name ‘My Cocktail Life?’

With two naughty kids and an adorable husband, what else would that be?! I think I am ready for the third child. *giggles*

It all started with one kiss Yes ! We love to grab mamma’s face and scratch it.Very soon my face will be full of love bites ??? #mommylife#kidsofinstagram#babiesofinstagram#parenthood#motherhood#parentingproblems#mother#son#love#india#bonding#motherhoodunplugged

715 Likes, 20 Comments – Camna?? (@mycocktail_life) on Instagram: “It all started with one kiss Yes ! We love to grab mamma’s face and scratch it.Very soon my face…”

Well, obviously, I want to be a mom like Kamna. And, you?

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