I write this first blog from the comfort of my London home. I have given a lot of thought as to how best to kick off this new blog site, but the same recurring thoughts keep coming back to me. Here I am in the ‘west’, 24 weeks pregnant. I have waited many years to meet the right man, and now have a loving, respectful husband who will make a fantastic dad. We planned to have this little baby, and although I am maybe a few years older than is ideal for starting a family, I faced little pressure to ‘settle down’ during my full and rewarding single years. I have some wonderful midwife friends who have been doing my antenatal checks and will be with me for the birth and those early weeks after the baby comes along. It’s a time of contentment, excitement and great happiness.
But I take not one day for granted.
I have met countless women who were engaged before the age of ten years old, and married not long after, being removed from their own families into the family of their husbands, with absolutely no say in the matter whatsoever. They find themselves pregnant at an age when their body is still growing and developing and is certainly not ready to bring a new life into the world. And that’s if they are lucky. Should they not fall pregnant quickly after the marriage, they are in an even worse predicament. They will often have no maternity care, and even if they are living in an area where there is midwife running a clinic, they need permission from their husband and a chaperone to leave the house and visit the clinic. It is not uncommon to be physically assaulted by their husbands, in marriages where they have no voice, and might even be less important to the husband than the animals the family owns. And how must these women be feeling in the months leading up to the birth having seen so many relatives die as a result of childbirth?
So it only seemed fitting to start by reflecting on the chasmic differences between womens’ lives as they set off on the path of motherhood. My hope is that this site will be a melting pot of all things pertaining to maternal health and motherhood from every corner of the globe.
I would love to hear from you, so please comment, contribute and collaborate along the way!
Featured image photo credit: Evan Leeson Flickr Creative Commons