ASK MAYA APA | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 01, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 01, 2016


Dear Maya Apa,
I have two young daughters aged 4 and 6 years old. I feel that my family is complete but my husband and my in-laws really want a son in the family especially as my husband is an only child and he takes care of his family business. Is there any way I can try to make sure I have a son the next time. 

Dear User,
Thank you for this interesting question. First of all congratulations on being a mother to two beautiful children! I am sure they bring you lots of joy. 

This is a common question and problem that many women face in Bangladesh. The way to overcome this is through communication, understanding and knowing the medical facts. 

First of all the medical facts. We all have chromosomes in our body. These chromosomes make up who we are and determine whether we are a male or a female. Females have two X chromosomes (XX) and males have an X and a Y chromosome (XY). To have children, women release an egg which only carries the X chromosome. The male releases sperm. Each sperm contains either an X chromosome or a Y chromosome. 

During intercourse, the sperm joins with the egg. If an 'X sperm' mates with the egg then there are two XX chromosomes so a baby girl will form. If the 'Y sperm' joins with the egg then there will be a XY chromosome and so a baby boy will form. Therefore you see whether a baby will be a boy or a girl depends on the male sperm. 

You may hear various theories of doing or eating certain things will encourage a boy baby but these are medically unfounded. 

Once you have the medical knowledge, you can confidently and clearly explain to your husband and family. Sit with your husband privately and discuss this issue. Explain to him how the process works and how you feel about the matter. Pregnancy and childbirth are an enormous ordeal for every woman, mentally and physically. You must be prepared in both aspects. If you feel that your family is complete then clearly express your feelings to your husband. I am sure he will understand your point of view. 

Giving birth to two healthy children is a miracle in itself. It is a combination of luck and a woman taking good care of herself so be thankful and proud that you have given birth to two healthy children. 

Dear Maya Apa, 
I am 5 months pregnant. My pregnancy is going well so far and I have no major medical problems. I work as a primary school teacher. I love my job but my family tells me that I should stay home and rest in my condition. Should I give up my job?

Dear User,
Thank you for your question. 

This is a common question amongst many women in Bangladesh. 

During pregnancy, lots of changes happen to your body throughout the 9 months. You will find that your energy levels will vary as well as your physical size. From now, you might have noticed that your stomach is starting to get bigger and you are developing a proper "pregnant belly". As well as your stomach, your hands, feet and overall build will start to change as well. All this is very normal. The fact that these are normal changes shows that during pregnancy you should also try to lead a normal lifestyle. 

Part of your normal lifestyle is to go to work. Many people may advise you that this is too dangerous for you and your baby, however, if you are experiencing a healthy pregnancy then there is no reason that you should not be able to go to work. It is very important to keep yourself active during this time. With that in mind, it is important that you also listen to your body as well. You may find that your energy levels are quite low and that you get tired more easily. Therefore, if you have a particularly strenuous job talk to your employer about how you can adapt your work schedule so you can continue to work if you choose to do so. 

It is important to talk openly with your employer and colleagues on how the pregnancy might affect your responsibilities. It is best to discuss these issues openly beforehand so there is no confusion later on as your pregnancy progresses. 

Handling pregnancy symptoms and work can be tough so here are a few tips to help you along the way - 

Keep plenty of snacks in your bag or at your workplace so you can keep your energy levels up

Eat iron and protein rich foods like chicken, cereal, vegetables etc to combat fatigue

Take plenty of short breaks 

Drink lots of water

If you spend a lot of the day sitting at your office, adjust your chair or take a small cushion so you can sit comfortably

If your job requires you to stand then wear comfortable shoes. Try to have a small stool that you can rest your feet on from time to time

After work, try to ensure you get time to relax once you come home

Go to bed early.

If you have any questions regarding female health please send email to

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Grameenphone and Robi:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222

Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Top News

Top News