When mum comes to the rescue - Newborn Russia (E20)

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Darima is looking forward to giving birth but as it will be her first time, she is blissfully unaware of how hard it can be. Nevertheless, she still thinks she’d like some support in the delivery room and asks her mother to be with her for the birth. Reluctantly, the mother agrees and proves an invaluable helper, she has both experience and seems to be a naturally gifted psychologist.

Darima’s neighbour in the maternity hospital is Albina, who is expecting her second daughter. Because she remembers her first childbirth, she’s much more nervous than Darima. Sadly, Albina will have no one to lean on during her labour, her husband has to stay home to look after their first daughter. Darima offers a brilliant solution, if they could synchronise their birthing, Darima’s mother could attend to them both!

Another concern for Albina is that she suffered postnatal depression after her first child and didn’t feel ready for another child quite so soon. Over the course of her pregnancy though she’s come to terms with how things are and feels much more positive about becoming a second-time mother.

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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