Preparing for Motherhood (A Self-Quiz)

by Dr. Aisha Hamdan

To acquaint future mothers with issues they should know as they enter the phase of motherhood it is one of the most joyous times in a woman's life and also one of the most trying: The anticipation and excitement of the first newborn baby in the family.

You have purchased a crib, clothes, baby equipment; you have picked out names for the baby; and you have most definitely discussed the gender,predicting whether it will be a boy or a girl (or you may have already found out!)

But are you really ready for this new trial in life? Are you prepared with the appropriate Islamic, psychological, and medical knowledge? Take this short quiz and find out how much you already know and how much you may need to find out!

Questions ( See under for answers)

1) Which of the following are rights of a newborn child?

A. to be given a righteous and suitable name.

B. to have confirmation of lineage.

C. to be raised in Islam from the time of birth.

D. A & C.

E. all of the above.

2) Which of the following is NOT a Sunnah of the Prophet (SAWS), with regard to newborns?

A. circumcision of both males and females.

B. aqiqah (slaughtering of sheep).

C. tahneek ( rubbing chewed dates inside the newborn's mouth.

D. shaving the baby's head.

E. saying Athan (call of Prayer) in the baby's right ear.

3) From an Islamic perspective, breast-feeding a newborn is considered?

A. Recommended.

B. Obligatory.

C. Important.

D. up to the discretion of the mother.

4) In Islam, circumcision:

A. is a Sunnah act.

B. is an act of Fitrah.

C. permits proper cleanliness for acts of worship.

D. A, B, and D.

E. all of the above.

5) If a woman's post-natal bleeding (nifas) stops before the end of the 40- days period, she should:

A. wait until the 40 days end, perform ghusl, (shower) and then resume her prayers.

B. perform ghusl upon cessation of bleeding and then resume her prayers and other rituals

C. make wudhu and do her prayers; it is not necessary to perform ghusl after nifas.

D. do what she feels is appropriate.

6) The benefits of breast-feeding for the mother include all of the following except:

A. helps the uterus to contract, reducing bleeding.

B. facilitates weight loss.

C. protects against breast cancer and osteoporosis.

D. delays menstruation.

E. protects against heart disease.

7) In general, you should expect that everything will go as planned for the labor, birth and the first few months with the baby?

A. true.

B. false.

8) Research has found that the fetus 'hears' what is going on around her, so it is a good idea to read Qur'an during pregnancy so that the baby can begin to 'learn' early on.

A. true.

B. false.

9) Yasmine's baby seems to cry often. She is concerned that she may spoil the baby by holding her and trying to comfort her. Can a baby be spoiled?

A. True.

B. False.

10) Crying is the baby's way of

A. communicating his or her needs.

B. irritating the mother.

C. clearing his throat and chest.

D. indicating fear of something.


1) E. All of the above.

2) A. Circumcision is only required for males. The Prophet (saws), neither encouraged nor prohibited it for females. He specified that if it is performed optionally on females only a very small portions should be removed so as to avoid harm to the baby and her natural development.

3) B. Breast-feeding is an obligatory right of the baby as confirmed by the following Qur'anic verse: 'The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling.? (Qur'an 2: 233). This means that a woman needs to suckle her baby from birth for as long as she can, with a maximum period of two years. When a mother understands the immense benefits of this gift for herself and her child, she will not even question it. Without this understanding, one should still not question Allah?s Wisdom and Mercy.

4) F. All of the above. The Prophet (saws), said: 'Five practices are part of the Fitrah: circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, clipping the nails, shortening the mustache and pulling the underarm hair.(Bukhari and Muslim). There is no fixed time for circumcision, but it should be done before the boy reaches puberty. It is preferable to perform it during the first days after the boy's birth. Circumcision allows for proper cleanliness as required for praying and other rituals.

5) B. Once a woman's postpartum bleeding stops, she should perform ghusl and begin praying. If the bleeding re-appears, she should stop praying and wait until it clears. She would then need to perform ghusl again before resumption of prayers. She should not wait until the 40 days have elapsed. If the 40 days pass and she is still bleeding, she would need to begin praying again, making wudhu before each prayer.

6) E. Breast-feeding has all of these effects and more, but there has been no evidence to show that it reduces the risk of heart disease.

7) B. False. In general, you should not expect anything for these events since they can be unpredictable. Pregnancies, child-births, and babies vary from woman to woman, and even for one woman, from pregnancy to pregnancy. Do not anticipate that they will transpire as stated in the books or that you will have the same experience as your friend. Enjoy the experience that you do have and be prepared for any challenges.

8) A. True. Although this may seem unusual, there is evidence to support the fact that fetuses do 'hear' sounds while in utero! They measure this by the movement of the baby and by changes in the heartbeat. After birth, babies prefer sounds that they were exposed to during the fetal stage. So, read Qur'an for both yourself and the baby!

9) B. A baby cannot be spoiled. They have needs that should be met, such as food and comfort and love. The best thing you can do for your baby is to provide all of these without being concerned about spoiling; enjoy the time that you do have with him or her. The care that you give establishes a strong bond between you and the baby and helps to facilitate healthy psychological and spiritual development.

10) A. Crying is the initial way that babies communicate, letting parents know that they need food, comfort, and stimulation. The nature of the cry can help guide the parents toward its cause, with various cries having different meanin

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