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Care for your Mother’s health

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Mother\’s day is just round the corner and this time I read that Rwanda is going to celebrate it n a grand fashion. As such everyday is a MOTHER\’S Day. It is only when a mother sacrifices her pleasures and comforts to nurture a baby, nurses   him  through sickness, cares for his nutrition, instills right values that this child grows in to a healthy productive adult . Therefore it is not only individuals but society as whole which should feel indebted to mothers

The decision taken in Rwanda to celebrate mother\’s day in a grand manner is laudable.

A mother is an individual who exposes her health from the beginning of giving birth to a human being.

During pregnancy and breast feeding, there is increased demand for iron and calcium   in the body. This if not fulfilled, can lead to weakness, giddiness, pain in joints and back. During delivery, a woman experiences much pain and discomfort. There is a potential risk for developing excess bleeding and other complications due to many reasons which can be fatal.

While handling a baby and toddler, the back and neck is bent and twisted many times in unhealthy positions which culminate in early onset of cervical and lumber spondylosis in women   as compared to men.

In any average household, it is mostly the lady of the house who cares for the nutritional needs of the family. While cooking and serving the family over the years, she may be negligent about her own nutritional requirements.

The health of all family members including growing children is also watched and guarded by mothers. In this context, a mother\’s own health takes a backstage. Mostly women tend to neglect their own health, complaining only when the sickness is much. As children grow into teenagers and adults, there is corresponding aging of the mother. Around menopause, the demand for iron and calcium is again increased in the body.

Failing to fulfill it, she becomes vulnerable to develop chronic asthenia, backache and pathological fractures (cracking and breaking of bones without trauma, due to their softening). At this age, a woman becomes more prone to develop hypertension and heart problems as the protective effects of female hormones are withdrawn.

Apart from the physical problems, menopause is associated with emotional changes as well.  Hot flushes, feelings of anxiety and depression often creep in at this stage. At this stage of her life, the grown up children have a world and life of their own, husbands are busy with their careers, leaving women feeling lonely and unwanted   at home. This adds on the depression.

Of course as the age advances, other age related problems also start like reduced vision, stiffness of joints, e.t.c. As mothers have cared for their young ones and helped them grow into healthy adults, now it is the duty of children to care for their mothers. First and foremost it is important to see that she takes a balanced and nutritious diet.

If needed, supplements of iron and calcium can be given after consulting a physician. If she develops high blood pressure or diabetes, the children should see that she takes her medicines regularly and rests adequately. Ideally it should be seen that the mother does not have to do heavy physical chores around. If she does not have a helper, children should help her in the chores or make such arrangements that working becomes easy for her. It is also important to care for her emotional needs. She should always be felt loved and needed by her family.
If the children do not stay with her as happens in most urban nuclear families, they should be in constant communication with her.  Her increasing age should never be discussed in her presence because it is a sensitive issue. Children should help her to take up something creative like knitting or reading in her free time to keep her mind happy. When grandchildren are present, they should be encouraged to be respectful and caring for the grandmother at all times. Any woman is bound to feel very happy when cared for, respected and loved by her children. This is all what she needs at this age. Some mothers may not be having their own savings or financial resources in advanced age. In such a situation, the children should help her out before   she asks for it. Thus she should be helped while keeping her dignity and respect intact. The children should realize that she as an individual would have had spent bulk of her income and savings on their upbringing and education.

Whatever an individual does for his or her mother will never repay the debt to her, because a person owes his entire life to her. Therefore whatever possible to be done, should be done to help her unconditionally.

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