Mumbai’s Working Mothers; Their Woes And The Way Forward

An obstetrician & gynaecologist in a conversation with Mumbai Live shares the physical and mental obstacles that working mothers in Mumbai face.

Mumbai’s Working Mothers; Their Woes And The Way Forward
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Honouring the pillars of strength of families, mothers, apart from impacting their near ones have far-reaching effects on society. Mothers often go about their day without voicing their concerns. Further, in a bustling city like Mumbai, having to balance one’s professional responsibilities with personal commitments, often takes a toll on a mother’s health.

Dr Swati Gaikwad, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Pune in a conversation with Mumbai Live shares that there are a plethora of physical issues that mothers in Mumbai face.

According to her, obesity due to a sedentary lifestyle is a common issue among Mumbai mothers whether they are working or are at home. She says, “Working women spend 8-9 hours in the office and their schedule is hectic which can make them pile up those excess kilos.”

Gaikwad added, “They also have back, neck, or shoulder pain as they have to travel by trains or buses and carry heavy bags to the workplace. Moreover, maintaining poor posture at work can also lead to back, neck, and shoulder problems.”

Further, she broaches, “A sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, stress, poor eating habits can cause infertility too. Stress, obesity, and lack of exercise can cause diabetes, and hypertension and raise one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus, women will suffer from heart attacks, strokes, or irregular heartbeat.”

The doctor brings to light that air pollution due to traffic can cause problems such as irritated throat, breathing difficulties, asthma, bronchitis, wheezing, cough, pneumonia, eye problems, lung cancer, bronchiolitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Another difficulty that working mothers face is when they have to hold back their urine while travelling or don’t have access to the washroom at work. This, the doctor utters causes urinary tract infections (UTIs,) bloating and constipation.

Likewise, working women encounter mental health complications such as depression, anxiety, or stress. “These worrisome problems are seen due to long working hours and strict deadlines. Then, working mothers have to go home and take care of the family. So, striking a work-life balance will be stressful,” exclaims Gaikwad. 

Furthermore, other factors like poor sleep, nutrition, lack of exercise, addiction to alcohol, and drug abuse also invite mental health snags.

The doctor shares that commonly mothers in Mumbai face health predicaments such as stress, anxiety, obesity, depression, urinary tract infections (UTIs), insomnia, acid reflux, shoulder pain, lower back pain, and diabetes mellitus.

Gaikwad concludes with steps that Mumbai mothers can take to overcome these woes. “Women need to kick off a sedentary lifestyle. They should exercise daily, and eat a well-balanced diet. Avoid junk, spicy, oily, and canned food. Drink enough water, and give up on smoking and alcohol. Exercise on a daily basis for at least half an hour without fail. To de-stress, then do some relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, spend some quality time with family, go on a vacation or pursue a hobby. Take frequent breaks and walk or stretch in between work.”

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