Welcome to another Docscopy section. Parul Soni and Priya Bairagi of MedBound Times had an opportunity to have an enlightening conversation with Dr. Priti Hatkar.
Dr. Priti Hatkar is an Obstetrician, Gynecologist and Pregnancy Coach,
Founder of Cherish Babyz Hub.
Dr. Priti Hatkar runs program to help pregnant women. She does womb education through positive psychology to get CHERISH babyz (Creative, Healthy, Empowered, Radiant, Intelligent, Smart and Happy). She has 24 years of experience in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She has worked in various hospitals. She was an Associate Professor and Unit Head in KEM Hospital and Seth G S Medical College, Mumbai, India.
Parul Soni: I would really like to know about your life and professional journey.
Dr.Priti Hatkar: Thank you so much for inviting me, Parul. I'm a gynecologist. I work in Mumbai, India, and I have 24 years of experience in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. I have been serving the community and working in government hospitals.
I have worked all the way from primary care hospitals to secondary care hospitals to tertiary care hospitals, and I just took voluntary retirement a few months ago. Four years prior to my voluntary retirement, I was a unit head at KEM Hospital and Seth G S Medical College in Mumbai, and there I was a unit head in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
I had postgraduate students under me, and in this journey of 24 years, I had the privilege to observe pregnant women closely, to see their pregnancy journey. I got to know whatever challenges they faced during the pregnancy. Many of the mothers they are expecting have faced a lot of challenges.
I would say that those 24 years were a huge, rich, and golden period for me. I have enormous experience. I really loved being associated with all these mothers and doing this job wonderfully. So that is what I did, and like last year, in August, I took voluntary retirement.
Parul Soni: What are you doing currently?
Dr. Priti Hatkar: I switched to work from being into the job thing. I am doing something on my own right now, what I'm doing is having my own "cherish babies hub". The basic reason why I did this, for two reasons. One was definitely because my daughter was there. I have a daughter who is 6 1/2 years old, and I wanted to take care of her in a better way.
The second reason was that I realized one thing all these 24 years of whatever service I was doing and taking care of the mothers. I was more into the physical health, the physical development of the baby in the womb. But then I realised that I had undergone a lot of emotional challenges and trauma during my pregnancy.
I had to actually gather courage, learn a lot of things, come out of it, and be there for my daughter. During this journey, I realized that antenatal care does not necessarily involve, you know, the hand-holding of the mothers and guiding them. Especially in the area of mental and emotional health.
Parul Soni: Why and how is mental health so important during pregnancy?
Dr. Priti Hatkar: I thought mental health was really essential and important. Because when they look at the holistic health of the mother, that means physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. That should be the time when they are going to be really happy. And that is how they are going to be programming their unborn baby in the womb. The programming of the unborn baby in the womb starts right from there.
They are following certain instructions in the pregnancy, and they are keeping vigilance. The pregnant ladies are focused on all areas of health but only on the physical aspects, like whether "I'm gaining weight or not or whether my baby is gaining weight". That is absolutely essential. But at the same time, if there is a lot of emotional trauma. That is stressing out the baby. During the pregnancy period, they are undergoing a lot of other challenges and are not able to really remain happy. If they take their pregnancy journey in the best way possible, then that is definitely something that is going to affect the unborn child in the womb.
Parul Soni: Any coping mechanisms that mothers are taught because of all the stress in day-to-day life?
Dr. Preeti : Yes Parul! That's a good question because there are many techniques to cope with stress and these negative emotions. We teach basically everything! Starting from expressing gratitude to forgiveness, how to start journaling your emotions, and thoughts daily.
There are several parts of the course I provide. One of my classes teaches what things are to be written in the journal and what should be the pregnancy affirmations. We teach ladies how these affirmations are to be made and how they are to be spoken each day.
We guide each pregnant woman on how they can easily cope with pregnancy changes in the mind and body. Additionally, we teach them how to function in their relationships and balance themselves. The first thing that I teach them is how to love themselves. I teach them how they can develop self-love, self-esteem, and self-worth.
Most of the new mothers are so overwhelmed or they are anxious about taking on the role of mother. They have these fears and doubts about how they are going to handle being a mother. If they have a baby already they have this guilt that they are not doing enough. The first child and baby handling is another issue. The mothers think about how the unborn will be a healthy baby. The ladies don't think about themselves and I have observed that there is a lot of lack of self-love, self-worth and self-esteem.
There are many activities we teach each of them. For example, there is a mirror activity for self-love and the other one is journaling your daily emotions. There is the Ho'oponopono technique (Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian spiritual practice that was developed through the years as a family healing practice). One of the most loved techniques of emotional challenges that ladies are facing to overcome emotional changes. I also teach them techniques for aura healing, chakra healing, ancestral healing and the five-bodies healing technique.
Also, I teach them in the sessions where we undertake the Emotional Freedom Technique too. We look into a lot of cellular reprogramming and how to remove the emotional baggage that has accumulated.
There are also the emotional empowerment techniques that we teach. So these are things principally I cater to. I'm also a certified sound healer. So I also utilize a lot of music and sound bowl therapy. I use Tibetan bowl therapy and the other modes of healing when it comes to the emotional traumas, mental traumas, and spiritual growth that they need.