Early, late or never: Let pregnancy be your choice, your priority, not the world’sUpdated on: 29 June 2022, 23:56 pm IST
Art imitates life, as does humour. Take for instance, social media influencer Kusha Kapila’s comedic monologue on Bollywood’s latest ‘good news’: Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor’s pregnancy! She succinctly encapsulates the emotions of desi mothers and mothers-in-law longing for a grandchild thanks to a growing tribe of young couples who prefer being childless or at most, “pet or plant parents”!
Ha, you can laugh a while! But truth be told: Pregnancy, somehow, becomes everybody’s business, even while it needs to completely be a couple’s choice alone. Whether you’re a somebody in celeb-verse or anybody, everybody seems to have a say.
We live in a bizarre world. In one part of the globe, women have lost their constitutional right to an abortion. And in this part of the world, people are trying too hard to make sense of an early pregnancy.
“What? Is that a film promotion?”, “How’s it possible, they just got married?”, “Pre-marital sex?” Speculations and moral policing – it was there for all once Alia announced “baby coming soon”!
A condom brand took cheeky to the next level with a post for Alia-Ranbir’s pregnancy, people readily commented about the importance of using contraception to avoid unplanned pregnancies, and Ranbir was being compared to superhero Flash for being ‘the fastest man alive’. Not to miss the “quick delivery” memes in Twitterverse! The sexist undertones in reactions were not understated in any which way.
Come, let’s watch what Kusha Kapila’s video, which was lauded by Alia’s mother-in-law Neetu Kapoor!
The news of Alia-Ranbir’s pregnancy sent fans, industry-wallahs and the media in a tizzy, with some even back-calculating the pregnancy to the stars’ starry April 14 wedding. It’s not the first time that a celebrity couple has got married and announced a pregnancy soon after, but well!
Interestingly, this brouhaha over Alia-Ranbir’s pregnancy comes just a month after an Indian couple sued their only son for not giving them grandchildren even after 6 years of marriage. The parents reportedly demanded Rs 50 million from their 35-year-old son and 31-year-old daughter-in-law. Lo karlo baat!
The right time for pregnancy
Freedom, must we remind you, includes a woman’s choices about her own body. Whether she conceives, wants to delay parenthood, doesn’t want to go the family way or terminate a pregnancy due to circumstances or valid medical reasons, is purely a matter of choice.
But then comes the debate of “the right time”. What is really the right time for a pregnancy?
Dr Vaishali Sharma, Senior Gynaecologist, Laparoscopic Surgeron and Infertility Specialist, tells Health Shots, “A girl is born with a fixed number of eggs and over a period of time, this number keeps on falling gradually. If we look at the fertility potential of a woman, it is highest in early 20s. Then it starts declining with a steep fall after the age of 35 years.”
Age, one of the reasons people attribute for fighting “the right time for pregnancy” debate is due to the diminishing number of eggs as one grows older.
“Moreover, lifestyle and diet also play an important role in expediting or retarding this process of aging,” adds Dr Sharma.
Fertility facts for a healthy pregnancy
The best chances of conceiving a healthy baby, for a woman, are highest in early twenties. The advantage is also that after delivery, it is easier for the body to come back to its previous shape more easily than in 30s or in 40s. And medical advancements like egg freezing has made it possible for women to plan a pregnancy later in life.
With women getting increasingly tagged as ‘career women’, the right time also tends to dwindle. Between losing a job to making a career shift and landing a new job, a woman can easily lose around 2 years, thereby delaying the pregnancy process.
So, We ask, why judge? If you play the ‘priority’ trump card, we play it back. Yes, it’s about priorities and they can be different for everybody.
For most, pregnancy is no spoilsport it is made out to be.
When Alia-Ranbir’s pregnancy news came out, questions were raised about how she would manage her projects, one of which includes her Hollywood debut ‘Heart of Stone’. But Alia Bhatt replied like a ‘queen’!
The 29-year-old pointed out how some people are still living in “a patriarchal world”. She also reminded them that “I am a woman, not a parcel”, when media reports claimed Ranbir would “pick her up” from UK where she is currently shooting.
“This is 2022. Can we please get out of this archaic way of thinking?”
Pregnancy is a choice
Like we said, it’s about a choice.
A close friend loves her freedom too much, and she doesn’t want to have a child. Another friend conceived within a month of her wedding, and everyday is a celebration with her baby. An acquaintance had a baby with her husband even before she knew him well, but they found love through loving the child. Another girl I know had a baby at the peak of her career, and she’s balancing all her worlds better than ever before.
So, we ask again, what really is the right time? Who decides the right time?
“There never is a right time if you start overthinking,” says 32-year-old Pragya Khanna. “But once you become a mother at whatever age and stage of life, you realize how you end up growing from your need of perfection to embracing imperfections.”