'Why would I want to be fully informed & nutritionally sound during pregnancy anyway? "
I know for my second pregnancy I wanted to just sit around and be pregnant. I didn't care what I ate because I was eating for 2 but in reality I was nervous that I didn't know enough and I was scared for my baby inside. I know that I could have used some of this guidance to help be me emotionally well.
1. What feeds you, feeds baby
According to the World Health Organization, the nutritional status of the mother is one of the top indicators for the outcomes of pregnancy. What the mother chooses to eat, not eat, and the environmental toxins she may be exposed to, are transferred to the baby. Therefore, making sure your diet is well-balanced, your nutrients are well-absorbed and your exposure to toxins is reduced, you are setting yourself and baby up for success.
2. Nutrition is a baby's building block for development
Many, many nutrients (such as protein, iron and folate) are required by the growing fetus to develop. Unfortunately, our foods and the soils they are grown in have become so deficient in essential nutrients that our babies run the risk of coming into this world at a deficit. Understanding where to find these key nutrients and making sure the body is absorbing them well, can give the mother-to-be peace of mind to know she's providing baby with the essentials.
3. Show, don't tell
It's easier to instill good eating habits in your family by practicing them yourself first!
4. Be ahead of the game
Time goes fast, and before you know it, you're entering the next phase of a baby's development in the womb - or at birth! Therefore, learn all that you need to know in advance so you're well-prepared when the time comes.
5. Take the overwhelm out of motherhood
There's so much to learn when becoming a mother, and growing a family. Each baby's development and needs are unique, and it's hard to predict what's in store. By learning the fundamentals (like nutrition) in advance, you're lessening the learning curve, and creating space (time and energy) to handle the things that you couldn't necessarily prepare in advance for.
6. You are able to choose your ideal place of birth
Currently most people will say 'well, why wouldn't you go to the hospital? I want my baby to be safe' Once we get to learn the stats, how home birth is planned and managed we may end up with a different perspective. And we may not. We may have a partner who is not fully convinced and after hearing what actually happens, they may be willing to look into it further. And even after knowing all the options, we may still choose the hospital as the safest place for us to birth our baby.
7. We can have the birth we've always imagined, or be totally blown away about how birth can be
When we feel powerful in our decisions about what we really want in our pregnancy and birth we can give up listening to the scary stories or people who doubt that we can do it 'naturally'. When we are in a place of discovery, we can challenge the ideas we have of birth (no, it's not like it shown in the movies) We can set a powerful intention of birth, and when interventions or recommendations are offered, we can make a decision based on our intention instead of fear
8.Because there is more to 'at least mom and baby are healthy'
We want you to experience a birth in where you feel respected, in power and that your emotions are well aligned. For those that have had a baby, we know that our birthing process was not just about the end result of having a healthy baby. Yes, that is our goal, and on top of that there is complexity of allowing a woman to grow into motherhood HER way. We will allow you to discover what else can their be on top of a healthy mom and healthy baby.
9. Building a perfect team
Building a perfect team to support ourselves in birth and after baby's arrival takes many questions. Some people we get to choose, such as our care provider, our alternative therapists, or our Doula. Others are with us for life, like siblings, in-laws, and parents. Great communication is key to these relationships which allows us to choose who is with us at birth, and who contributes to us after baby's arrival.
And finally, with a drum roll....
10. If you don’t know what your options are, then you don’t have any.
We may come across information casually, or may be reading, asking questions, and looking up local stats. The reality is, in birth and pregnancy, if we don’t get a chance to ask questions, or feel like we have the space and time to inquire about our care, you end up taking 1 person’s word for it, only only to later discover that wasn’t our only option. We will encourage you to feel confident in asking questions so that you do know what your options are and make an informed choice when it comes time. Building options is another way to feel in control of pregnancy and birth!
Later this month, Holistic Nutritionist Natasha Asselstine and myself we'll be teaching parents-to-be all about the nutritional, social and emotional needs of the mother and growing baby. Learn more about our Nurture and Nourish Series Click here.
I want to thank Natasha Asselstine for contributing to today's blog! We are so happy to collaborate so that we can contribute powerfully to our communities. Check out her work here.