Do too many vitamins accelerate a baby’s growth? - Newborn Russia (E4)

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Oksana is expecting a baby girl. According to her husband, Aleksey, the daughter will make their family complete, as they already have a boy. Oksana’s son can’t wait to meet his little sister and has already thought of a name for her – Zlata, meaning “golden”. Oksana’s husband decided to be by her side during childbirth, which turns out to be a difficult one. Oksana explains that she took vitamins throughout her pregnancy to help her baby grow. However, her baby is now way too big. Her doctor is the same one who delivered her first baby. He suggests Oksana should have an epidural but she’s reluctant to take up the offer.

Polina is 25 and expecting a boy. She told all her friends and relatives to go to church to pray for the labour to go well. Now she’s trying her best to give birth naturally, but her doctors tell her a C-section is needed. Polina has never had surgery before so she doesn’t know what the recovery process will be like. Still, she agrees to do what’s best for her baby.

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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