20th Book of 2022
There are few authors who write continuously on a single topic for a vision that they have in their mind for bringing a change in society. Writing books on the subject is their mission towards fulfilling their vision. One such author who’s on a mission is Mahima Bakshi. Her 1st book was “Birthing Naturally” which spoke about how a mother should take care of themselves so that they can be as fit as possible when it’s finally time for their baby to arrive. Just after that, she has now released a 131-pages short book with Rupa publications named “Empowering you beyond Birthing”. I got chance to read this one which is a guide for new parents on postnatal well-being and equal parenting.
The book is very short which’ll make it easy for parents to go through it quickly and mark important points relevant to them. Mahima has further divided the book into 18 different chapters to give ample focus to the specific point she wishes to talk and elaborate about. Our generation has been quite cut-off from all the Ayurveda and ancient methods that was nicely adopted by our grandparents leading to which the situation has become so grim that many couples are not even wanting to have baby as they don’t know how will they go through the initial days post-pregnancy. Some of them are so nervous that they keep on postponing the pregnancy as they don’t know how they’ll handle their lifestyle, daily routine, weekend mastis and baby – all at the same time. Such books are crucial for parents running short of time due to plenty of workload and yet getting suggestions on how to plan expansion of their family.
The book resolves to clear doubts and concerns of new parents and in most chapters, Dr. Bakshi is successful in her goal. She has not only spoken on high-level topics but granular and minute level details too. Her research work and social interest towards ensuring better execution from parents on family planning is evident in her writing approach right from the first page. I liked those letters she has written to mother, father and at times, to both the parents after every chapter. It talks directly with you which makes you feel author’s words strongly. Mahima covers the aspects right from hospitalization to breastfeeding to post-partum depression to handling your child to finally getting back to your romantic sexual life with your partner.
Author focuses on the need of equal parenting. Just as gender equality has become a thing, Bakshi regularly wants us to understand that equal parenting is also needed for the couple to ensure none of them gets into an overwhelming or depressive situation. Though I felt Mahima talking more on behalf of mothers which is quite obvious but I felt personally that there are lot of points which could have been covered from fathers’ perspective too. I’ll talks about this later in the review. Anyway, her intentions are clear where she doesn’t want mother to lose her individuality because of having a baby whereas father continuing living the same life as before without realizing that it’s his equal responsibility too.
I liked the practical approach of the author where she discusses mothers to call either their mother or mother-in-law to stay with them in initial days to make the job easier for them. Author also explains why gap is needed between the 1st and 2nd pregnancy to ensure that the mother is completely ready for it rather than getting into the same sleepless routine again. Mahima also talks about the body care needed for mother and how to initiate or resume workouts gradually in order to lose their weight and get back to their previous shape without getting depressive about it. I am glad author speaks about post-partum depression – something many people don’t realize that a woman goes through.
Now talking about the drawbacks, I must say – there are many points which author could have added with detailing of exercises, recipes, diets etc. to be followed in this case. Also, book could have included how to cope up with the cases where mother loses child during operation etc. as it’s something which has majorly impacted many women. As the book focuses on equal parenting, I also wished if Mahima could have made women, specifically, understand why fighting for child custody in case of divorce by not letting father meet their child even once is cruelly damaging for the child’s mental health. Like, she has mentioned tips specifically for men multiple times, this serious issue should have also been explained to the mother in the book – prominently in a dedicated chapter.
From father’s perspective, how he also goes through several mental issues could have been discussed. A father starts doubting his ability to take care of his child due to financial issues or career stagnancy at times. They also start getting worried about family’s future as sometimes, mother takes decision of not working forever after holding their child for the first time emotionally. Men also starts getting irritated due to reduction in their sex life, being sleep-deprived yet attending office the next day and coming back home to handle mood-swings and depression of their wife. Such important issues should have also been included to make this book an equal guide for both – men and women. Currently, it majorly speaks from mother’s behalf – fathers might not get answer of many things they wished to know.
Overall, this is a book written with good intention and it can serve you well in your pregnancy and post-pregnancy days. It will be helpful in resolving most of your concerns. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. Please have it if you are planning for a baby; or gift it to someone you know is pregnant or already handling a new born baby. They will never forget this gift from you.