Dr. Omolara Adetukasi A public health physician, Dr. Omolara Adetukasi, in this chat with ARUKAINO UMUKORO talks about her experiences during pregnancy and birth of her baby. She further tells why Women should give birth before 35, please read!
time, maybe it was because I have been ‘there and done that’ (laughs).
But of course, labour is always painful; it was a natural birth, not
through caesarean operation. My labour did not last for too long. It
started at 9am in the morning and by 12.30pm, I put to bed.
call my brothers-in-law to take me to the hospital. I made a lot of
noise but it all went well.
attend a friend’s baby’s christening ceremony somewhere in Lagos. My
husband is a pastor. While he was on the way, I began to sense that I
was going to go into labour. I called him. But he could not turn back
and drive home because there was a lot of traffic at the time. So, he
asked me to call his brothers to take me to the hospital.
But before he got there or even finished christening the child, I had
already been delivered of the baby.
We now have three beautiful daughters. When he came to the hospital,
his first concern was me, and of course, the baby. He was present during
the birth of our first two daughters. The birth of the third child was
what he missed. He wanted to know that I was fine and that there was no
problem. When he saw that mother and child were doing well, he was
husband adores his girls. I adore my girls too. We are not bothered. Of
course, at first, I wanted a boy; we prayed and believed for a boy this
time. But we have a wonderful daughter, her name is Zoe. She is
absolutely lovable and we are happy.
was because my body was beginning to age. I had my first two children
before I was 30. But I had my third child in my early thirties. The
first few months were okay, but along the line, my body experienced some
things it did not experience in my first two pregnancies. I had
haemorrhoids. I was always physically tired. I also had swollen limbs
and sleepless nights. It was not that I was sick this time but the first
two pregnancies were quite graceful for me because I was younger. I
just felt that age told on me during the last pregnancy body wise. And
it took quite a while also for my body to come back to normal after I
had put to bed. Usually, what happened to me is that in two or three
weeks after giving birth, I regained my body shape. But in this case, it
took about a while longer; about two months. Two or three weeks after
the birth of the baby, my legs were still swollen and my body ached. I
had to get people to massage my back.
development in medicine and women give birth at 40. What would you tell
women who are above 30 about pregnancy?
usually advise women that they should be through with childbearing at
the age of 35. It is not as if we would tell an elderly woman who wants a
baby not to try. Also, with the way our health system is and the
disease pattern in Nigeria, one realises that some diseases begin to
creep in after a certain age. Some of these diseases are hypertension
and diabetes because of our lifestyle and the things that we eat. That
might affect the health of the woman.
for a woman above 35 to give birth easily, of course. But if a woman at
35 wants to give birth, she should know that she needs more medical
attention. She needs to be properly registered with a qualified
obstetrician and gynaecologist. She needs more care, eat the right kind
of food, do the right kind of exercise and to be conscious about her
one’s identity or status. By the time the pain starts, one forgets that
one is a medical doctor and all that medical jargon flies off one’s
head. Even though I am a doctor and I was delivered of my baby by a
midwife, I had to trust her experience and exercise and do what she said
I should do because, at that time, I was the patient and not the
doctor. I just wanted to give birth hence I cooperated with her.
just felt like, “Did this child come out of me, am I a part of this
beautiful creation, and was I the one that brought out this life?” One
feels warmth, excitement and sense of ownership, knowing that the child
is one’s. And of course, one feels a powerful kind of love that cannot
be described. Motherhood starts from the time one is carrying the child
in the womb, but when the child is in one’s hand, there is this reality
of knowing that one is now a mother.
out that motherhood helps one to prioritise. Before I became a mother, I
could describe myself as a bit selfish because I always put myself
first. But motherhood has made me put others ahead of myself. Before I
eat or have a bath, my kids have to eat or have a bath first. Before I
sleep, my kids have to be asleep first. Motherhood has made me more
compassionate and a better person altogether. It has made me consider
other people higher than myself; I have found out that I look out for
the good of others above myself.
is anything like paternity leave, I think it should come to people like
him because from day one he has been very helpful, he is the kind of
person that bathes his baby. He is always there, he backs the baby if
need be, and he rocks them to sleep. We do not have a housemaid,
although I had help from my mother-in-law, who came around for some
weeks. But after she left, it was me and my husband. If I was bathing
the baby, he would be there to hand me the soap, sponge and the baby
oil. After that, he dresses the baby and vice- versa. He also helped
with the other children too. He drops and picks them from school, and
helps with their homework, everything that would give me free time and
to help me take care of my baby. I appreciate it so much.
that are given to any particular food cravings. But I loved to eat out. I
preferred to eat food cooked by someone else than myself. While I did
not have any craving for a particular kind of food, I had a big appetite
for food. By 9am, if I had not eaten, there would be trouble. Usually,
we do not take breakfast on Sunday morning, but during the pregnancy, I
would not be able to listen to the sermon by 9am. Hence, I had to leave
the church to find something to eat.
God, as a Christian, even when I saw some things, I had haemorrhoids
which wasn’t normal. I trusted God to see me through the whole nine,
month journey. Delivery is a normal thing. I believed God that I would
not have any hassles because even animals put to bed. But at the same
time, despite the fact that I am a pastor and a medical doctor, I
ensured that I registered in a good hospital and I attended my
ante-natal clinics as much as I could. Whenever I had any issue, even if
I could not go to the hospital for some reasons, I contacted some of my
medical friends from time to time. My piece of advice to pregnant and
expectant women is that they should believe and trust God. It is a
beautiful experience and by God’s grace, everything will work out well.