• RTD

Newborn Russia 10 April 2014 205

Newborn Russia (E16) Trying to avoid a repeat of a traumatic first labour

Diana is about to have her third child. She’s going to have a C-section. As she’s had this procedure before, she knows what to expect and isn’t too worried. Still, she asks her husband, Aleksey, to be there to support her. The couple recently lost their four-year-old son to a vicious virus. They are still grieving their loss, but say that they probably wouldn’t be having their third child had they not experienced that tragedy. It will be a surprise baby as doctors are unable to tell them definitively whether it’s a girl or a boy. The mystery will be revealed only after the baby’s born.

In her maternity ward, Diana has made friends with Svetlana, who’s expecting her second child, a girl. Svetlana is hoping to avoid a C-section and give birth naturally. Her husband’s name is also Aleksey and he will also be present at the birth. Svetlana’s counting on his support. Her first time giving birth turned out to be traumatic for her baby and she’s now nervous of another bad experience. Despite the doctors’ concerns about Aleksey’s wellbeing, he is determined to stay by his wife’s side as his child comes into the world.

Related: Surrogate mothers bring joy of parenthood to childless couples

In modern Russia, life usually begins in state maternity hospitals; run by medical experts who deliver new babies into the world. RT Doc takes you inside the labour ward to meet expecting mothers, nerve wracked fathers and the men and women who devote their lives to delivering children and facing any challenge that come their way.

Pregnancy and birth may be the greatest of life’s miracles but the babies don’t always read the plan! Some births go smoothly but others can be a challenging, emotional and frightening experience for a mother to be. Each case is different and requires an individual approach. Russia’s highly experienced and attentive doctors and midwives are there to help, often with ‘tough love’. They assist women at every step, providing medical and moral support and taking care of the newborn Russians.

In the Soviet era, husbands were never allowed into the delivery room, but now the practice has become more common. Men whose nerves can take it are welcomed to see their child coming into the world and offer their partners emotional support. In many cases though, it’s the men who end up needing support.

Related: Women face unplanned pregnancies

The series captures the miracle of childbirth and shares the stories of women preparing to welcome a new life into their homes and hearts. Each one has a unique and touching background story to her impending motherhood. Some are happy wives and mothers, others are expecting a love child from a clandestine relationship. Some of the pregnancies were planned, others came as a huge surprise but were seen through to the end even though it could mean the end for romance. Then there are the heartrending stories of parents who have tried for a baby for years and are finally rewarded with the joys of parenthood; some are first-time moms, others already have children and know what to expect from childbirth.

The series has it all, overdue pregnancies, premature and natural births and Caesarean sections, everything you could possibly want to know about child-birth complete with dramatic relationships and the fears and joys of becoming a mother – “Newborn Russia” on RT Doc.

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