Preparing for Pregnancy
Preparing mind, body and spirit for pregnancy before conception is vital. The numbers of women who are struggling to conceive is increasing in the west and desperate couples are seeking surrogacy in other countries such as India or Brazil. On the other hand, women in third world countries become pregnant all too easily and are at risk due to undernourishment and poverty. Not to mention the everyday stresses of city life, the airborne pollutants, fluoride in the drinking water, and work deadlines that add to the burden
The Miracle of Conception
of everyday life on the human body and reproductive system. There are some important facts to remember about becoming pregnant in today’s world.
Firstly, a woman who is overweight and/or underweight is not going to conceive as easily as a woman whose body mass index(BMI) is normal (Body). Secondly, a woman who is over-exercising or not exercising enough is not going to conceive as easily as a woman who is exercising moderately daily (Mind). Thirdly, a woman who has high levels of stress in her life may not conceive as easily as a woman who is happy and managing her stressors (Spirit). These three facts point to three areas in our lives that deserve loving attention, that Body, Mind, and Spirit. Let’s take a look at each of them individually.
A well-nourished balanced Megan at 38 weeks of pregnancy
Let’s look at the body aspect first. Nutrition is all-important here. It is one of the first subjects I address when consulting with clients. Refined Sugar is devoid of nourishment, turns to fat in our cells, and deceives us into thinking we have eaten well! Sugar, while a staple food for impoverished communities, is contained in most packaged food and even the bread we eat. In the long term, it poisons us and its frequent ingestion leads to diseases in later life such as diabetes and heart disease. It causes thrush and digestive problems that can exacerbate infertility. Advice is simple: drop it. Cut sugar out of your diet when you are trying to conceive and eat good carbohydrates and protein instead. Our eggs and our sperm are sensitive to the environment in which they are bathed. Make sure you eat whole organic food as much as possible. Use organic cold-pressed oils, avoid fried food. Fresh green vegetables are a must and good protein whether vegan, vegetarian or carnivorous is essential to create the matrix of tissue and blood in the uterine muscle for healthy implantation.
Movement is absolutely essential to health and sitting for long periods slows down the metabolism. Half an hour of brisk exercise 5 times a week will raise levels of your ‘feel-good’ neuro-chemicals in the bloodstream and increase your metabolism. Over-exercise can lead to infertility as can being overweight and sedentary. The trick is to find the balance. Getting in touch with and being aware of sensations in your body are primary requirements before pregnancy. Many women are aware of the moment of ovulation in their bodies each month and some women are aware of conception when it is taking place. This is a profound conscious mind awareness and helps to create a welcoming place for the embryo to implant in the womb and make a home for the fast-developing unborn baby.
Yoga helps build strength and flexibility during pregnancy
Yoga, pilates, non-aerobic dancing like belly dancing, swimming, walking, and cycling are all effective ways to raise the fitness factor and keep those blood sugar levels steady. The spine supports the most vital part of a woman’s body – her pelvic bowl and the precious uterus that nurtures the baby. The spine needs to be supple, the muscles are flexible yet strong. The muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support and carry the pelvic girdle need strength and pliability to support without transmitting tension to the uterus. The hip joints alike benefit from strengthening and stretching exercises and prepare the body to carry the weight of a growing unborn baby and finally give birth. Exercise strengthens the mind by testing one’s resolve and improves the ability to persevere. Training the mind through physical exercise is an important part of preparing for pregnancy.
In the hustle of our daily duties and commitments, we as women may forget where we have come from and where we are going. We forget that we are connected to the beginning of time through our grandmothers, as depicted here by this Navajo woman. The wisdom of generations of women comes to us through our ancestry, including the ability to give birth to our babies. We also forget where we are destined, that after all our living and efforts through our childbearing years, we too are destined to become wisdom keepers and pass on our wisdom to both our children and grandchildren among others. More and more evidence is gathering that the spiritual and psychological health of our children begins before conception.
The beauty of the Feminine Spirit
Therefore, in each present moment, it is helpful to remind ourselves that we are part of the universe, an infinite swirling mass of cosmic energy that is connected to Primal Source, God/Goddess, the Creator, the Great Spirit. We are connected to Spirit both within the core of our being and outside of ourselves. When our hearts are open, we become earth mothers on Mother Earth. As we discover our true potential for love and harmony, so will others be inspired to create a peaceful world.
Our spiritual journey, however, is personal for each of us and it is up to each woman to choose the manner and form her connection with spirit is expressed. When we are connected to Spirit, conception is a sacred act, and preparing for pregnancy is an honor. There is a wonderful quote with regard to our journey as women and mothers by Marianne Williamson:
“Deep within you
is everything that is perfect,
ready to radiate through you
and out into the world.”
Hilton, KZN, South Africa
Monday to Sunday : 24 Hours