Rio's birth

Titled along the lines of birth stories shared in Ina May’s book “Guide to childbirth”. It’s a great book if you are looking for information about natural birth.

After 9 years of wedding, there I was, finally going to be a mother. Becoming a mother is truly a divine experience. Pregnancy puts the mind and body of a woman into a spiritual trip. It pushes the limits of the human body. My heartfelt thanks to my beloved family, friends, colleagues, doctors, doulas and midwives who helped me have a pleasant experience through pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.

My family was very pleased with the news. My friends and colleagues rejoiced at the news and were so happy for me that some even had tears of joy. Some of my friends and acquaintances who are mothers shared their experience and went out of the way to help me with anything I needed. I am thankful for everything they did for me. I am doing my best to pass it on to others.

It’s unlikely for an Indian man to be present in the delivery room and even more, care for his wife during postpartum all by himself. My husband is my hero. He gathered information about pregnancy and childbirth so he is well informed about the course of things that happen to support me. He accompanied me for walks, sessions with doula and to the hospital visits. His calm demeanor and knowledge of things filled me with more confidence. He chose the right diet for me and ensured I eat healthy food all the time. He stood by me and we made every decision together. I had a wonderful time during pregnancy because he cared for me day in and day out. Having him by my side during labor gave me more courage and confidence. I didn’t have to worry about any of the admin stuff. During labor, he guided me with breathing techniques which he had familiarized himself with. During postpartum, loads of advice came from my family as to how to care for me and the baby. He patiently listened to them all and did his best to meet mine and the baby’s needs besides managing all the things around the house. There are no words to explain how I felt and how lucky I am.

My saintly yoga teacher taught me whenever I requested him in spite of his busy schedule and irrespective of the time zone differences when I moved to the Czech Republic. With his knowledge of ayurveda he recommended home remedies for common prenatal and postpartum maladies. I thanked him while I was on the delivery bed handling the contractions using the breathing techniques he taught me. He is an image of God to me. He and his wife call our son a “Yoga baby”.

Having doula during childbirth and postpartum was immensely helpful for me. To my luxury, I also had midwives who cared for me during the last trimester. Being a first time mother, I welcomed every help that prepared me for a natural and healthy birth. I recommend every mother-to-be to have a doula or midwife for assistance. It is a very crucial time and having such professional help is quite necessary. What I paid them is a lot less compared to the service they offered.


We live and work in the Czech Republic. We were on a sabbatical for 6 months during spring time 2021. We spent most of our time in India traveling, meeting relatives and friends. I got the news of my pregnancy on the 3rd of January 2022. The year began with this sweet news. I spent the first 5 months of my pregnancy in India and then moved to the Czech Republic for childbirth. Under the care and affection of my husband, in-laws and parents, my baby was getting well nourished inside me. It is not an easy task to source organically grown food in Bengaluru. My in-laws made all the effort to get organically grown food for me. I had a pleasant time during pregnancy. I was connected to my baby and started sensing the movements from the 3rd month.

When it came to the regular gynecology check-up, we had to drive for about 15-20 mins from home which is definitely not bad considering the heavy traffic in Bengaluru. We avoided some of the invasive tests that were recommended mainly because of my age. I was 38 when I conceived. As long as the general tests and checks were okay, I believed everything with the baby was okay. I focused on my health, food and nutrition to the best. Starting the 3rd month I did yoga every day until the day of delivery.

Here are a few things I would like to share from my pregnancy diary. Everything in moderation is the key.

  • Regular and mild workouts. I recommend doing yoga. You need to learn it from a professional who specializes in teaching yoga for pregnant women.
  • Regular walks to keep yourself active and ensure good blood flow for the growing baby
  • Maintaining a balanced diet. Including vegetables (mostly cooked), fruits, legumes and other proteins in your diet is good. Avoid deep fried food. Reduce the quantity of salt and sugar. Drink lots of water (min of 2-3 ltrs per day). I had soaked almonds(5-6) and yogurt regularly.
  • It’s not true that you have to eat for two. Don’t overeat. Gaining a weight of 7-9 kilos during pregnancy is normal. I gained around 7 kilos. Remember, once you deliver the baby you need to lose that extra weight you have put on.
  • When your belly starts showing up or even earlier, start smearing some oil mainly on your belly, around hips, shoulders and breasts. I used olive oil and coconut oil. This will keep the skin supple and avoid the discomforts you might have from stretching of the skin as the baby grows. Alternatively, moisturizers can be used.
  • Avoid cosmetics filled with chemicals. Any natural alternative would be good. The only cosmetic I ever used during pregnancy is the moisturizing cream “Skin Food” from Weleda which is prepared from natural ingredients.

Hamarrhoids is another common problem most of the women face during pregnancy. Especially during the last trimester, as the belly becomes heavier and heavier it puts pressure on the pelvic area causing hamarrhoids. There are some home remedies which I learnt from my doula and midwife. It is good to control them as much as you can so that they don’t interfere during birth. You can cool them down by appplying green clay (Zelený jíl) paste, ice cubes from tea made of oak bark (Dubová kůra), you could use the cooled oak bark tea or the gel. The best of all is “Strachova mast” available locally in Brno in only one pharmacy, Lékárna Milosrdných bratří. There are also some yoga poses (mulabandasana) that help in controling and curing of hamarrhoids.

I used to feel very thirsty and hungry especially during the last trimester. I remember, almost every morning at around 04:00 am, going to the kitchen to munch on some nuts, dates or sometimes I fancied eating buckwheat porridge. Later I started keeping some dry fruits and nuts by the side table close to the bed. And, I always carried water wherever I went.

Why did I move to the Czech Republic?

Many have asked me this question. It was very tricky to decide but I felt strongly that I wanted to be in the Czech Republic for birth.

My family wanted me to stay back in India for delivery. After thinking a lot about the comfort I would have being with family during birth versus quality of healthcare and other benefits I would get moving to the Czech Republic, we decided to move to the Czech Republic for childbirth.

Few reasons why I considered going back to CZ are,

  • The Czech Republic is known for good healthcare with advanced facilities for childbirth and neonatal care. This is the country with the lowest infant mortality rate in the world.
  • The CZ provides good maternity benefits and supports parents with good facilities. Mothers get 28 weeks of maternity benefit. One of the parent can take parental leave upto 3 or 4 years of the child. If you are working, company is obliged to keep your post until 3rd year of your child.
  • I am a tax payer of this country. I have health insurance coverage for all medical expenses.
  • I used to notice healthy and happy mothers walking around. I always wondered how beautiful they look with their belly and then get back in shape after delivery. I used to think if I ever get a chance to be a mother, I wanted to be one like them.

Once we were back in the Czech Republic, the first thing I did was to look for a doula. In the meantime, my husband and I attended a prenatal course at a maternity hospital (Obilní trh in Brno, CZ) to get some overview of hospital facilities, when and how to check-in and what to do during an emergency.

Doula is a professional who supports you morally during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. I found a wonderful birth doula, Terezia Roubalová, through facebook references from mothers in Brno. I reached out to her. She is a great person. Very knowledgeable, skilled and kind. She cared for me right away. My husband and I had a prenatal session and sessions on what to expect during childbirth and how to prepare for it. For some of the usual pregnancy related issues I was facing she recommended home remedies which were brilliant. Based on the discussions with Terezie, I created a birth plan which I eventually shared with her and the midwives before my due date.

Ivana Bednářová was my postpartum doula and breastfeeding consultant. Before delivery, I had a breastfeeding session and information about the first 6 weeks after delivery from her. Having this information before the delivery was super useful. My wish was to exclusively breastfeed my baby from day-1.

One thing that was important for me during birth was no medical interventions unless there is an emergency. One of my birth wishes was to delay the check-in at the hospital until it’s time and in case the delivery fast tracks, I was open to having a home birth. It is tricky to prepare for such scenarios. While we were discussing this with Terezie, she suggested having a midwife might be useful. She explained to me that a midwife can do some regular checks at home and suggest when it’s time to go to the hospital. Also they can help with checking the baby during the first 6 weeks of postpartum. I got interested. Based on her recommendation, I met two midwives. They were of course busy but we came up with a plan based on their availability.

Tereza Nožičková was my primary midwife and the first one to touch my pregnant belly and educate me on the baby positions. That’s the first time I learnt that I can touch and massage my belly gently. She seemed to be a believer in natural therapy and home remedies. She had a solution for every one of my problems which helped me a lot. She and the other midwife, Dagmar Lovecká, did some checks for me at home to verify my fitness for natural birth. It was reassuring for me that I can have a natural delivery.

It’s from doula and midwives I learned that my belly was dropping low. It was not a concern but they explained to me that the baby’s weight should be positioned at the core. This will help in keeping the pelvic muscles and back strong for the delivery. Also it helps the baby to take the right position for birth. To achieve this they suggested that I use a sling and showed me how to tie it. Tereza also recommended I go to a physiotherapist specialized in helping pregnant women and suggested me with a contact she knew. I was in my 33rd week or so when I met the physiotherapist. She taught me a few exercises which helped me put my belly up without using the sling. Around the 35th week I was going on my walks without the sling.

Thanks to regular yoga practices, walks and physiotherapy exercises, I had no back pain or any sort of problems. For those of you who are interested in knowing more about yoga, I have added a list of yoga practices I did during pregnancy and postpartum below. I recommend contacting a teacher before practicing any exercises. I also did yoga nidra which helped me relax well. I used the Insight timer app on my mobile for practicing the same. During my yoga practice and relaxation, I always prayed (“sankalpa”) for a healthy natural birth. I thought that it would be the first gift for my son.


Knowledge is power. I was hungry for information. As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time reading about pregnancy, natural birth and child care. I took some inspiration talking to people. I had a chance meeting a nurse from the USA while in Bengaluru. She introduced me to books written by Ina May and recommended that I read them. So I did. My goal was to have a healthy natural birth. I did my best to educate myself and prepare for it. There are many things that can go wrong during childbirth that are not in one’s control. But I believe the best we can do is to keep ourselves informed and prepare as best as we can. I recommend, if not all, reading “Guide to childbirth” from Ina May.

I started preparing my hospital bag around the 36th week. And by the end of the 37th week I was mostly set with everything I needed. I also went around to check the maternity wards in the hospitals I was considering. It is good to check it out and be familiar with the hospital facilities so that you aren’t surprised or shocked during the delivery. I needed a calm environment which I found in the Vyškov hospital which is known for natural births and VBACs. Terezie accompanied us for the tour and helped us with the registration process.

I used the app Pregnancy+ for checking week on week progress. What I liked most about it is the 3D image of the baby with the updates about growth of the foetus week on week, tips for the changes to expect during that week of pregnancy and some simple ways to overcome some of the common issues or discomforts and I could track my weight changes. If you would like to use the birth plan or contraction timer from this app you have to pay. I referred the birth plan to get an idea and created it on a google doc on my own and used a free contraction timer app.

On top of all, keeping the mind nourished with good thoughts and exchanging positivity over conversations helped me keep a calm and happy state of mind. This is very important for both the mother and the baby for maintaining good health.


I was excited about when the baby was going to arrive. I read and gently rehearsed the breathing techniques I could use during childbirth. Revisited some of the books about the phases of delivery and what to expect. I knew it could be anytime. I was ready and looking forward to it.

It was the 2nd day of the 40th week of my pregnancy. On the 3rd of September, I finished my yoga session and had breakfast. It was my younger nephew’s birthday. We had a video call with him to wish him. My in-laws passingly wished that if we had our child on the same day, we could celebrate birthdays together. Our friends were visiting us with their little daughter to lend us the baby breath monitor and weighing machine. I prepared upma and pongal for lunch for them. It was around 12:30 pm. I started serving them. There it came. My water broke. I didn’t want to shock my husband and did my best to be gentle about sharing the news with him. Argh, but he got nervous and started running around to call doula and midwives. I was trying to calm him down. Our friends asked if we needed any help and ensuring we are all okay, they left us to take care of the next steps. After about 30 mins I started feeling mild cramps and then contractions. After about 2 hours, when contractions seemed quite regular we started timing them. They lasted for about a min and 8-9 mins apart. After discussion with doula and midwife, I was all set to go to the hospital. Terezie came to pick us up. Thanks to Terezie, check-in went smoothly. Doctor told me I was 2cm dilated and had to check in. I was prescribed an IV as a preventive for a rare infection I had. We were given time to think over it and check-in in about an hour.

We decided to go out for a walk before check-in. I recall from the books I read that walking helps to progress the labor. During the walk, I discussed IV with my husband and doula. I was against taking any antibiotics unless really necessary. Terezie suggested we can talk to the doctor to understand more about the consequences.

We checked into the delivery room allocated to us around 6:00 PM. We discussed IV and consequences of not taking it with the doctor. Doctor gave his honest opinion and supported us with our decision. Since the risks were really low, we decided against it. This came as a relief for me as I didn’t want to have any medications during birth.

We had got a VIP room with all the facilities. We went around the room and noticed all the equipment and facilities we had for birthing. Terezie was explaining to me how to use some of them. She briefed me on what to expect, what are the possible birth positions I can take and what I can do to support the contractions and maintain the birth progress.

I felt contractions coming one after another and intensity kept increasing slowly but steadily. I was breathing deep and long. After a while, I tried the bathtub. Terezie was pampering me by pouring warm water on my belly. Shortly after, I started feeling dizzy. Terezie and my husband helped me to step out and dried me. Terezie inquired if I had felt dizzy in the bathtub before anytime. Because of my low blood pressure, I did feel dizzy sometimes. She made a note of it. As the contractions started becoming more powerful Terezie suggested back massage. She used the massage oil of my choice and also showed my husband how to massage so that they could take turns in supporting me. It felt so good. The room was lit in dim light per my wish. It seemed Terezie had a blueprint of my birth plan in her mind. She was so present and ensured everything was according to my wishes.

The midwife assigned to us from the hospital came in to do a quick check. She did a very rough examination while I was dealing with a contraction. I felt sad and worried how things would go from that point on. I shared my worries with my dear doula. She took a quick break shortly after and met the midwife outside the room. I refused any more checks.

It was around 9:00 PM. I and Terezie were discussing if I should go for enema. I was willing to but then I felt like delaying it a little more as I was focusing on contractions. Terezie and I decided to let the things move naturally and not do anything to fast track the delivery. I think that’s when I missed the chance to take enema. Terezie suggested that I and my husband take a nap and relax as much as possible. My husband was guiding me to take deep breaths and massaging my back whenever the contractions came riding like a wave. After about 30 mins, contractions grew unbearable. I called out Terezie and told her it’s getting more painful. She looked at me and said “I can only see you breathing, you are doing great. Keep going”. That was encouraging. Latest phase went on like this for hours.

Contractions grew more and more intense and I had to change my breathing technique. I think the transition phase had begun. Recalling what I read from the book “The Mindful Mother”, I knew that I should let the body do its function that is best known it. But “how?”. I kept sipping water after every contraction and continued breathing. My mind started becoming louder and I was thinking if I should ask for pain medication, then what? Does it reduce pain? Can I get rid of all this discomfort? Probably not. What if things go south? Pain medications aren’t good for my baby. I took a breath after a contraction and asked Terezie “It is so painful. Will it get any better?”. The answer that came changed everything. She kept it real. She replied “No, it’s going to be worse. Maybe during the push phase it might be slightly okay”. Thankfully my mind did the right thing. It told me to prepare for dealing with the contractions and I surrendered to the power of nature. My body went into a spiritual rhythm and started performing a holy ritual at every contraction. I was recollecting the things I read from different books. In Particular, the book “The Mindful Mother” , which it is described beautifully how to prepare our mind for handling the different phases of delivery. Tereize was caressing me, holding me, hugging me. I felt light and a sense of relief when she hugged me and swayed. It was like I felt God in her. I trusted her completely. I was counting random numbers after every breath. At the right time, Terezie inserted a pill through the anus to relax my pelvic muscles and help dilation as agreed.

It was early morning the next day. Midwife asked if she could do a quick check to see the progress and she promised she would be very gentle this time. I accepted. Good news, I was almost fully dilated. She suggested I can slowly start pushing when I feel the urge. I recollected the words from a birth story in Ina May’s book and kept repeating it, “I will open up like a flower and push my baby out into this beautiful world”. When the crowning began, Terezie helped me to touch my baby’s crown. It was soft. Then a couple of more strong and long pushes. At a magical point, the midwife told me to stop pushing and started helping the baby out. On the early morning of 4th September, my son arrived. I was overwhelmed by the joy when I saw my bundle of beauty lifted in the air. I couldn’t believe he arrived. He was placed on my chest. This memory overshadowed all the pain I faced during the labor that lasted for about 12 hours. I was in seventh heaven. As soon as he came out, he looked at his father and everything around and started crying. I caressed him. That sweet smell, silky soft touch and his melodious voice filled my soul with contentment. Life is a miracle. I was caressing him, consoling him. Terezie smiled in surprise looking at his hair. She exclaimed, “he has a lot of hair”!. It was of course a special event for them to have an Asian baby born in a Czech hospital. After a few minutes, I felt why not sing his favorite lullaby which I sang when he was inside my belly. I didn’t want to miss that opportunity. I sang the lullaby for him and soon after he stopped crying. He crawled up with a little help from Terezie and started feeding. He scored a 10 on 10 on the Apgar test. The whole team there congratulated each other. My husband and I expressed our heartfelt thanks to everyone. I had a 2nd degree tear as my son had his hand by the side of his head. I understand it wasn’t possible to correct it before he started pressing through the birth canal.

I didn’t realize when the placenta was delivered. It must have taken about 10 mins after the baby was delivered. I didn’t feel any pain. Midwife showed me the placenta. I wasn’t specifically interested and couldn’t see the details of it in the dim light. Per our wish, after the pulsating had stopped, my husband was assisted by the doula and midwife in cutting the umbilical cord.

We were left in the delivery room for 2 hours for bonding with our baby. Though it’s a small detail, I can’t forget Terezie lending her shawl to cover me and my baby during bonding so generously without even thinking or talking about it. We had missed keeping the bonding blanket we had got in reach. Terezie left us to have some quiet time with our baby after ensuring everything was okay. Later, we were shifted to a family room where my husband could stay with us for the next 3 days of postpartum. He was so tired. I was happy he could stay. My prayers came true. I gave a healthy natural birth to my son and I was able to hold him in my arms a while after we shifted to the postpartum ward.

It was truly a blessing I had doulas and midwives by my side. They were all very responsive on phone and email. I had reached out to them on different occasions, whenever I ran into some questions or issues and they were very helpful all the time.

I wish all mothers-to-be a pleasant pregnancy and childbirth. See those crucial 9 months as a celebration. Remind yourselves to cherish every bit of it. If you wish to know more or have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.


Map of midwives:

Health insurance covers some of the expenses before and after birth. You can check it here:

Link to Tereza Nozickova’s blog:

Czech association of doulas:

I have listed the yoga routine I practiced during pregnancy below. Suitable changes may be required for individuals depending on their health condition and fitness. Please check with a professional before practicing. If you need help, you can reach out to my yoga teacher Prabhakar Upadhyaya (email yogaprabhakar.u<at>

Pregnancy - Until the 6th month (I started at the end of 3rd month)


  • Samasthiti
  • Sukhasana or vajrasana- a small prayer
  • Pavanamuktasana 1
  • Vajrasana
  • Marjari
  • Hastauttana
  • Tadasana
  • tiryaka tadasana
  • Kati chakrasana


  • Ujjayi
  • Anuloma viloma
  • Brahmari


  • Ashvini mudra


  • Moola Bandha

Relaxation/ meditation in a comfortable sitting position

Pregnancy - 6th month onwards


  • Pavanamuktasana 1
  • Vajrasana
  • Marjari


  • Ujjayi
  • Anuloma viloma
  • Brahmari


  • Ashvini mudra


  • Moola Bandha

Relaxation/ meditation in a comfortable sitting position

Written on April 10, 2023