Interview with Mahima Bakshi Author of "Empowering You Beyond Birthing"
on Sep 12, 2022
Mahima Bakshi is a renowned maternal child wellness consultant, women’s rights activist, author of Birthing Naturally, and founder-owner of Birthing Naturally Queen. She’s a maternity influencer and has been awarded ‘Times Most Influential Personalities 2021’ by the Times Group. She has also been felicitated by the governors of Maharashtra and Haryana. She is currently associated as a Maternal Child Consultant with Daffodils by Artemis in Gurugram and Delhi, Sahyadri Hospitals in Pune, and Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai. In the past, she has been associated with Fortis Hospitals, Apollo Cradle, Rainbow Children’s Hospital, and Rosewalk Luxury Hospital for Women.
She is also India’s first ‘Dancing for Birth’ certified instructor. She has completed certification courses in International Women’s Health and Human Rights from Stanford University; Global Adolescent Health from the University of Melbourne; Everyday Parenting as well as Global Quality Maternal and Newborn Care from Yale University; Perinatal Mental Health from Postpartum Support International, USA. She has also completed the advanced certified Lactation Professional India program and has received certification in ‘Breastfeeding and Breast Diseases’ from the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India. She has also been certified as a birth doula and water birth coach by Waterbirth International.
She completed her master’s in Reproductive Child Health Management from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund and Maternal Infant Young Child Adolescent Nutrition Course from the Public Health Foundation of India
Frontlist: Being a new parent comes with many challenges, especially when you are a first-time parent. Society has put a lot of emphasis on equal parenting. Do we practice it, or is it just an urban class-style trend?
Mahima: - Equal Parenting is an essential part of Gender Equality which is also a SDG- goal. Ofcourse we need to practice it for uplifting ourselves for a better society. When we talk about parenting , we see a lot of patriarchal issues in rural areas. We need to not only bring that change in urban but rural areas too where non working women are expected to raise kids without physical support from husbands. Working women get support from husbands but what about non working women , don’t they need support too ? Hence I would say whether its rural or urban ,both the societies need this change.
Frontlist: Pandemic has drastically increased the rate of postpartum depression. Don’t you think we should educate more people around us to remove the stigma of PPD?
Mahima: Absolutely , that’s why my book – Empowering You beyond Birthing also talks about Postpartum mental health care. One can do many things to reduce the chances of PPD and if couples try to follow it from beginning, it can really help in preventing it. Hence awareness is very important.
Frontlist: After each chapter, you wonderfully wrote a personal note to either a mother or father. What was the objective behind it?
Mahima: I wanted to personally connect with every reader and specially new parents who sometimes feel lost with the new responsibilities that come along . Hence these personal notes for both the parents , are just to let them know that this book is like a friend to them for their postpartum journey.
Frontlist: You would have come across many new parents in real life. Could you tell us the type of parental stigmas they go through?
Mahima: I think single parents go through many stigmas. It is very challenging for them to raise a child on their own without having partner support. And I would say it is the biggest parental stigma we see even today unfortunately. We see many single moms raising their babies and working at the same time . We have also seen single dads managing the kid where mother has refused to take the child with her. Women/Men who have a kid and have to get married again go through many stigmas in the society while choosing their life partner after a divorce.
Frontlist: According to you, the Traditional way or the Modern way, which is the correct way of parenting? Which method would you like to suggest to a parent of this generation?
Mahima: I believe in a mix of both , which would be keeping the modern practicalities in mind and yet providing the best traditional parenting to kids. My book is just a perfect combo of it. I would say read it
Frontlist: Could you please share any chapter from the book close to your heart since you’ve included your first-hand experience?
Mahima: The entire book has all the chapters that are close to my heart as I have written it with the intention of helping new parents to have an easy transition . It’s very difficult for me to choose . It’s just like asking a parent to choose who’s the most favourite child amongst all the kids . haha
Frontlist: Parenting can be proven daunting for today’s generation. What advice would you like to give to all new parents?
Mahima: Be prepared. I think that’s the most important rule. If you know what to expect, it will help you with solutions in advance and hence give you mental and physical preparation to handle a small baby 24 hrs . And balancing your home and work so that you don’t loose your identity after becoming a parent. Just enjoy every moment of it.