I think one of the most exhilarating yet trying periods of my life has been during my first pregnancy, I had never before been so aware, so curious, so alert and intimidated by my own body as I was when I was pregnant with my first child.
Many of you moms out there may agree that while it’s a time when most women are cherished and showered with attention, it can also be an extremely lonely period because no one else can know and understand what you’re going through. I’ve often wondered how women with no family or medical support manage their pregnancies. I considered myself rather well-supported, with an excellent ob-gyn at a hospital just 10 minutes away, a husband with a medical degree, several doctors in the family and many well-wishers around. Despite that, I felt very often the need to confer with someone on several minor questions about my health and my baby’s and all the people I knew were just not enough.
One big mistake we often made was to compare our pregnancy-related symptoms with others’, which itself can be quite disturbing. How come her baby started moving and mine didn’t? Why do I have back pain while she doesn’t? Shouldn’t my baby also have turned by now? And so on…..One of the most valuable piece of advice I got was from my doctor who said “Just remember 2 things- every pregnancy is different and pregnancy is not a disease it’s a natural phenomenon”.
And by no means does the need for more information end with delivery, if anything, it multiplies when you’re dealing with an infant for the first time, the avalanche of unanswered questions just continues. Currently, for all of us facing a medical question that’s not urgent or emergent, the avenues available to us are google searches, chat groups, and advice from friends and family. The first option is a data dump because you get a lot of information but it’s out of context and often non-specific. The latter is useful and specific but often anecdotal. I’ve also noticed that advice from people you know comes at a cost- if you don’t heed it exactly the way they want you to, they take it personally.
We’ve been working on several platforms to address this very need. We were very clear that we did not want to replace the doctor’s opinion but bring it to the patients sooner, ie. You have access to credible medical information specific to your concern even before the problem gets worse.
Aditi, a clinical research professional-turned healthcare entrepreneur has co-founded Mirai Health along with her husband Aakash. Mirai Health is their third baby and follows the birth of their two boys, Siddhant and Samin. Besides work, Aditi is passionate about Hindustani classical music and yoga.