THERE are no words to describe the happiness of a man and woman when they realize that a much-wanted child will soon be theirs to love and cherish and help to reach manhood or womanhood.
There is no need here to tell the mother-to-be about pre-natal treatment, for happily we now live in an age when great care is taken of women before, during and after the birth of a baby.
Of course, much preparation takes place and there is a rush to get everything ready in time, but it should all be accomplished at least two months before the baby’s arrival, especially with a first baby. For the mother-to-be the last few months seem to go more slowly than any time she has ever known.
Let me warn young wives to disregard all ‘old wives’ tales.’ Complications seldom arise and the woman who attends a clinic regularly, does all she is told and follows instructions carefully, should have her baby in a perfectly normal way.
There is nothing to fear about childbirth. It is a natural happening and the most wonderful time in a woman’s life. No woman knows the fulfilment of her life’s purpose until she experiences the joy of holding her own child in her arms.
As soon as a wife knows she is pregnant she should view the coming event from a practical point of view. Approaching motherhood puts everything else in the background. At this time a woman should forgo all outside interests – give up everything for the time being. There can be no successful part-time motherhood until children are of a teachable age.
But a family doesn’t last for ever. The time soon comes when there are no more nappies to wash, no more bottles to sterilize and children go to school for the whole day. Mother is again free for a few hours each day. What she docs in that time, whether it is voluntary work or work for a salary, is her own affair. But few women, after bringing up a family to school age, can be idle.
Home seems so much more precious to a man when there are children around. The mental agony a husband endures when the baby is coming is great. I now know that a loving husband goes through more, mentally, than a woman does physically at such a time. It is the ‘togetherness ‘of the man and woman in helpful thought and purpose that makes the birth of a child a happy family event.
Women are more practical than men over family problems. I think men spoil children much more than women do. Women today don’t coddle children or keep them tied to their apron-strings – children are allowed more freedom.
Notice of birth should be given within forty-two days at the register office of the district in which the birth takes place. You can get the address from your Town Hall. In addition, notification of the birth must be made within thirty-six hours to the Medical Officer of Health for the district.
The christening usually takes place eight to twelve weeks after birth. The boy needs one godmother and two godfathers. The girl needs one godfatiier and two godmothers. The godparents should be relatives or friends of the parents.
The chief godparent usually gives the baby a christening cup. The other may give Savings Certificates, a silver pencil, a family record book, silver fork, spoon and knife or table-napkin ring.