Hi all and welcome. As I mentioned in my first Blog, I’m going to be breaking down those 10 building blocks to raising resilient kids. So, let’s talk about a positive and healthy pregnancy. The general consensus is; if we want to give our kids the best chance at a happy life, it starts with the pregnancy. It’s such a huge responsibility as well as an amazing honour. Here’s a powerful quote :
“Behavioural disturbances as serious as delinquency, schizophrenia, ADHD, depression and substance abuse have been associated with highly stressful experiences in the womb; such as severe marital discord, or maternal hostility or rejection towards the foetus.”
Robin Grille, Parenting for a Peaceful World (2013)
I’ve been doing some research and have found the healthy pregnancy tips to be pretty uniform across the board. I really love that technology and knowledge in the area of pregnancy and birth has grown so enormously over the past 30 years. Researchers have and still are discovering the effects of the mothers lifestyle on the unborn child. I’m constantly in awe of the people who have researched the effects of particular foods and stress also. I feel it’s really valuable stuff! Another great thing about the leaps and bounds in technology is the ability for women to access all sorts of information online regarding health and nutrition.
This is what the experts are saying…..
“Research now shows that a foetus is responsive to its mother’s changing emotional state, which is passed hormonally across the placenta.”
-Maggie Dent - Real Kids in an Unreal World (2016)
Here are the “Do’s”…..
Take folate or folate rich foods
Eat a variety of good food - can I just add here that I never heard the words “don’t eat these particular foods because of LISTERIA”! In the 80’s and 90’s it seemed to be more about weight gain than food types. There are websites out there with Apps and advice and meal planners for each trimester. So good!
Exercise/ maintain a reasonable level of activity - As well as being so good for reducing stress and boosting your good mood chemical, SERATONIN, therefore warding off depression, exercise will give you the strength to carry the extra weight gained during pregnancy, help prevent or ease aches and pains, improve the circulation in your legs AND very importantly, give you the stamina for the hard work of labour. Some websites recommend yoga, pilates, swimming, brisk walking and aqua natal classes (that sounds like fun :) Let’s NOT forget that pelvic floor ladies. The good ol’ Kegel exercises strengthen your pelvic floor which helps support your bladder, bowels and uterus. Again, pretty important, right?
Do what you can to reduce stress in work or family life if possible. A lot of professionals now say that stress does have an impact on the baby in the womb and that babies can be born with emotional memory. At last we are coming to understand what an immense impact stress has on us.
This may be directly related to stress in your life or not…Ladies/ girls please give yourself permission to ask for any help you may need during your pregnancy and after the birth of your baby/ies. No matter how little or how much help you may need to reduce your stress levels and help you to remain calm and happy, for yours and your baby’s sake, just ask :) Surround yourself with as much loving support as you can get your hands on!
Here’s a nice one (I would have LOVED somebody to give me this advice!) Make time for yourself. Some people call it “me time”. Call it what you will. I think now more than ever our society recognises the importance of some sort of time-out from the hustle and fast pace of this world. I think we would all agree that pregnant Mamas need to do what they can to just perhaps drop it back a gear or two every now and then. Have a massage/ spa day. Wouldn’t it be great to make that an occasional/ regular treat that continues after Bub is born?
Rest and get enough sleep. How much is enough sleep? Is it too simplistic to say that if you are constantly waking up tired, you may need to go to bed a bit earlier and get more sleep? And, does it really matter if you leave the dry washing to be folded for another hour? Just have a break, put your feet up (or even lie down) for a little bit and then tackle what you have to.
Be consistent with your use of sunscreen when outdoors. Now here’s something I didn’t know………your skin during pregnancy is much more sensitive to the sun. I had 2 Autumn babies and I used to wonder how they were affected when I was in the sun, particularly on the beach….. I never knew my skin was more sensitive, but I was vigilant with the sunscreen.
I remember when I was pregnant I really enjoyed my regular checkups with my doctor. It was peace of mind being monitored, advised and cared for. I felt so special during those visits and rightly so! Pregnancy is a wondrous and and important task. In my opinion, regular checkups don’t just monitor the baby’s and your own health, it highlights the importance of what you’re doing.
Here’s some pretty standard Dont’s for you;
Avoid alcohol, smoking (passive also) and Guarana. I also read on a website that any multi-vitamins containing Retinol should be avoided as it is harmful in large amounts. Check that info out for yourself and of course ask your Doctor.
Reducing caffeine intake is recommended also.
Phew! That’s a lot of rules and regs isn’t it? When you consider what you are growing though, it’s all absolutely worth it, isn’t it?
On a slightly lighter note, taking yourself shoe shopping when you are pregnant falls under the “must do” heading (when doesn’t it??!!!) Apparently, when pregnant, a woman’s feet grow or feel like they’ve grown. The weight gain can throw off your centre of gravity and put extra pressure on your feet. I have to admit that my feet grew half a size by the time I had my 3rd baby.I had to buy new shoes (!) and it felt like such a treat to buy something dressy and glam after being pregnant and wearing “sensible” clothing and shoes for the duration.
I feel positive that all of you are aware of all that I’ve mentioned here. The grapevine works well and you all seem to be sharing your knowledge and experiences with each other. Wonderful isn’t it?
On a more intimate note; even though there is so much to remember about taking care of yourself while pregnant, don’t forget to introduce yourself to your Bub in utero. Place your hands on your belly often, so they feel your loving energy, talk to him/ her/ them, sing to them or play music for them. Enjoy this beautiful time. You and your baby will never be as truly connected as you are during your pregnancy.
I hope you’ll join me again when my next Blog will be around good nutrition…. until then :)
I love helping families feel happier! If you would like to chat about how I can help you, and you live in Melbourne, follow this link to my “Contact Me” page.
This piece is written with the intention of helping parents create happier and more resilient children and is subject to copyright. Please contact the author if you wish to publish elsewhere.