COURAGE: A bizarre world we live in

Image by Jon Butterworth

The first few days are all about transitioning and adjusting. The infant adjusts to the world outside the womb while the mother heals and transitions through the birthing process. During this time, everything is new to both the mother and child, so they seek to rebuild the relationship they once had while the child was in the womb.

I've heard women say they always looked forward to breastfeeding. They say when you hold your little child in your arms, there is nothing in the world as beautiful as this. In this moment you don't only nourish the child but you connect with him or her.  

Every three yours birthing mothers take turns to go to the nursery to breastfeed their children. At this moment,  they forget the soreness and the discomfort around the stitches on their tummy for those who had a caesarean section. Here, in this place the hardest part is not the birthing process, it is the part where you need to go and spend time with your child. Danger looms over these corridors. 

I have heard stories, "when you go to the nursery, be in a group it is safer this way." They say. 

"Do not use the elevators after midnight, and when you hear trolleys being moved or any movement in the corridors, walk into any ward and stay there until the people in the corridors have gone!" they whisper. 

"It is not safe" they caution.

The whispers are confirmed by stories that have been heard. "A young mother with a new born child was sexually assaulted once." The narrative begins. "Another died after an ordeal," they say. Then the story goes on, its all the same. "...She could not scream because they threatened her life. So there she was in the middle of the hospital, held against the walls of an elevator, her wounds barely healed...." Her ordeal and that of other victims turn into a cautionary tale retold by anyone and everyone. You can see the disgust, fear and anger in their words. But that is all it is, disgust, fear and anger. 

I always thought birthing was the hardest thing a woman could do. I always thought women were safer in hospital corridors and lifts. But not here. In this place, the most scary and hardest thing a woman could do is walk from the maternity ward to the nursery and back. Here, Breastfeeding is an act of courage. Being a birthing mother is an act of courage. Being a patient is an act of courage. Being a mom walking to the nursery is an act of courage. 

A girl can be assaulted at anytime in her life, as an infant, a young child, a teenager, a young woman, an older woman and now even birthing women in hospitals are not safe. What a bizarre world to live in!

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