Podcast in English
Text size
Bulgarian National Radio © 2023 All Rights Reserved

Maternity Care Day - a holiday in which there are tears of joy and ‎tenderness

Photo: pixabay

January 21 - on this day in Bulgaria we honour all those specialists who help ‎new life come to this world. Each of us owes a debt of gratitude to the ‎midwives, obstetricians and gynecologists, neonatologists and all the specialists ‎who work in the maternity and baby care wards. Maternity Care Day has been ‎celebrated since 1951, when a decree of the National Assembly set the date ‎January 21 in accordance with the folk holiday called Babinden (meaning the ‎day of the “babi”, or the old women who used to be the midwives in the past).‎

The tradition

The holiday begins early in the morning with solemn rituals in all maternity ‎departments of hospitals and clinics in the country. ‎

‎"Happiness in the profession - it is like the salty and sweet, one chooses which ‎one to try, because moments of happiness and difficulties alternate, but we pay ‎attention to the happy moments and that's how they multiply", says midwife ‎Nadezhda Stamenova from the Sofia-bsed Nadezhda Hospital on the air of ‎BNR-Radio Sofia. 

Her colleagues define her as an extremely dedicated ‎specialist who seeks a modern approach to help expectant mothers and ‎newborns. She herself says that her profession is unique: "Not the medical care ‎itself, but the fact that you are there and touch the new life, the beginning of ‎people's happiness - that makes it different from all the others."‎

Nadezhda Stamenova
Often in her hospital she encounters Bulgarians living literally on the other side ‎of the globe, but returning to give birth to their child at home, in Bulgaria. ‎‎"This is a great recognition for us," adds Nadezhda Stamenova, "because no ‎matter how pessimistic we are, in Bulgaria the care for Bulgarian women, ‎pregnant women, and babies is at a good level in most maternity wards in the ‎country."‎

January 21 is also a holiday in the hectic everyday life of Dr. Emil Abadzhiev, ‎head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the General Hospital ‎in Targovishte. Having devoted more than 30 years to the profession, Dr. ‎Abadzhiev says that the most amazing thing about his work is seeing how a ‎woman perceives the fact that she has become a mother. "The way in which a ‎woman addresses her baby is endearing and this is the moment that brings tears ‎to our eyes," says the doctor in an interview with BNR Shumen:‎

Dr. Emil Abadzhiev
‎"My parents are doctors - my father is an obstetrician-gynecologist, my mother ‎led the neonatology department for a long time, and then the pediatric ‎department in our hospital. Come to think of it, I don't know any other life ‎than among people of this profession. My parents are still happy that I am a ‎doctor. They never in any case directed me specifically to the hereditary ‎medical profession, perhaps because they were aware of the difficulties I had to ‎go through. They always stimulated me to read, to develop, to be critical of ‎what I see and what I read, they helped me a lot. For my son, as a father, I want ‎him to find ‎his place in life and be happy with what he chooses to do.”‎

Dr. Emil Abadzhev modestly defines himself as a person about whom there is ‎nothing else to say, except that he devotes little time to his family and much ‎more to his work. His longest absences from work are for one weekend, when ‎they travel to some town in Bulgaria to see something new from the beauty of ‎our homeland. He is happy to have a wife who supports him and takes care of ‎the family:‎
"Women are truly the guardians of the family. They are the people who ‎organize it, form it and manage to make others around them feel comfortable. I ‎am lucky to have such a wife. And about where I get my energy from - I have ‎always thought that there are things that need to be done and petty whining like ‎‎- how tired I am now, in the medical profession there is no such thing. With ‎us, sometimes it's about precious minutes and you can't afford to be tired. In ‎order to be able to help people who come to you not out of pleasure, but out ‎of necessity, you must be adequate to the situation. You have to be smiling ‎enough, cheerful, quite brave, sometimes a little more conservative, but you ‎have to be able to help. I have had the opportunity many times to move from ‎the hospital in my city of Targovishte to a more prestigious place, but I don't ‎think that would be more useful for me, and I know that I have a debt to the ‎place where I grew up. And if I can help the people here with anything, it is ‎with my profession, what I do best."‎

Photos: BGNES, Radio Sofia, private archive

Written by Gergana Mancheva (based on interviews aired on BNR-Radio Sofia and BNR-Radio Shumen)
Editing by Elena Karkalanova

Listen to the daily news from Bulgaria presented in "Bulgaria Today" podcast, available in Spotify.

More from category

EP lawyer Sibila Stoyanova on life in Brussels and the meaning of voting 

Today, 15 polling stations are open in Belgium - the same number as in the previous two elections in 2022. A total of 308 voting applications have been submitted in advance. It is difficult to say how many Bulgarians live in Belgium, but..

published on 4/2/23 8:30 AM

Bulgarian children to perform songs and folk dances in two parks in Paris

Children from the ensemble "Kitchitsa" with the "St. Cyril and Methodius” school in Paris (Ecole bulgare Paris) continue the tradition of the past two years and are to perform Bulgarian songs and folk dances in two parks in the French capital. The..

published on 4/1/23 4:00 PM

National Career Days 2023 open up new prospects for development

National Career Days 2023 opens up new prospects for the development of people’s talent and career growth. National Career Days offers an opportunity for live meetings and virtual interviews between employers and job seekers.  Visitors will find..

published on 4/1/23 11:00 AM