I remember when I was first pregnant I was pretty young, just 20, however, in those days, that was perfect timing, Married then pregnant. It seemed we were all in that mindset.
My body was young, strong and yet it wanted things its WAY! Within a few weeks of being pregnant, I was suddenly so tired!
Then the smells got to me! The smell of coffee, or bacon frying, any kind of greasy food and I was running for the bathroom.
I no longer wanted any kind of protein from any animal, bird or fish sources. Vegetables and some fruit, cheese and that was it. I was on pregnancy vitamins and told DO NOT GAIN WEIGHT.
Yes, those were the days! Our weight was monitored like a critical factor; we were not allowed to gain any more than 20 pounds with pregnancy and 20 was considered too much. I gained 18.
My body started to adjust itself to eating when it felt like it, and only from the food sources noted…no one really cared, other than don’t gain…we didn’t have ultrasounds or Gestational Diabetes tests; so hence when my first child was born at 8 pounds 11 ounces and I was weighed I was 17 pounds less than when I’d started the pregnancy! My body had been contributing to my infant’s development. Today we know better.
At that time there wasn’t a lot of information on pregnancy or birth models like we have today. In fact, the companies marketing Formula had installed themselves in most hospitals and integrated fully with the nursing staff. So much so, that they sent us home with a 6 pack of formula – Free!
No breastfeeding guidance, in fact, it was discouraged the most we got in the birthing room was an injection to dry up our milk. “Oh come now, you don’t want to be bothering with all that messy stuff now, do you? This way, others can help you feed the baby too”
They didn’t ask what my home situation was, I was heading home to my parents home, my husband was building our house, and working night shifts, my mother was dying with Pancreatic Cancer and I was the only one feeding the baby and doing a lot of other things too, like monitoring blood sugar levels, insulin injections, keeping the chart up to date for the doctors visits. Meals and keeping the house going, and dealing with the deep grief of knowing we were losing her PLUS up all night with a newborn.
My lovely little baby thrived and she spent many hours with my mother lying next to her…while I tended to the tasks of the house, meals for my mother and the family, it was a lot. My mother said she felt as the baby grew she was getting smaller, and indeed she was. She passed away just a few months after my daughter’s birth.
I know for some of you, your baby won’t even get that much time, as your mothers have already passed. For you I offer this awareness as you share your mother’s gene pool with your partner, she will live on in your little one. Same genes!
AND for an added insight, as your mother birthed you, your some 200,000 eggs were there within you at the moment of birth. So those eggs were for a time, within your mother too. Like the Russian Dolls, our mothers are not very far away from our moments – especially the big ones! She’ll be there with you and she’ll be there in your infant’s eyes, hair colour, fingernails, she’s there looking back at you.
My Birth had Zero Prep
My doctor had given me a very small grey covered book about “Reproduction” about 50 pages in length that offered a vague reference to body parts. That was it! Hmmm.
With my mother ill during the pregnancy I had not asked her any questions and my two older sisters who had children – had terrible birth experiences so they didn’t want to chat about it at all. They didn’t breastfeed either, and while neither had C-Sections (it wasn’t savvy then) they had long, painful and difficult deliveries.
We’d been working at our new house and I’d carried some 200 gallons of paint into the house that day, so I was pretty tired and had some consistent low back pain that evening. Mom was in the hospital, so we headed home and I had a bath to which my father suddenly realized I was heading into labour! He said to me – Don’t get in the bath, just don’t,- time to go to the hospital. I was barely in labour and laughing now, I know it would have been ok to remain at home for another day, and rest however, off we went.
The labour felt long, hard, and threatening. We didn’t do “doula’s” Midwives were something foreign and only available in the UK. There always seemed to be something wrong, and I was the cause or culprit. If I was sleeping or resting, they woke me “what are you doing sleeping, you are supposed to be having a baby”
And up I would have to get and walk around the room for hours. After 60 hours of this, finally baby arrived, with forceps and an epidural.
This was early days for epidurals – and business as usual with forceps delivery; they only administered the epidural once you are 10 cm and on the delivery table. And it was near to impossible to remain still enough to allow the needle to be inserted between the surges. It was amazing when it finally took hold, however! Yes, a long and messy episiotomy too.
By the time it was all over, I was black and blue and remained in the hospital for 10 days! I didn’t see my newborn who had been over this rough terrain with me, for another 24 hours, as it was a Catholic hospital and we birthed on a Saturday Night. No babies until Monday morning
She was finally introduced to me at the 8 am feeding on Monday morning for 20 minutes. They hadn’t started “rooming in” yet when I think of it, it was pretty brutal. However, not as harsh as my mothers day, when they used to drug the mothers so much they wouldn’t wake for 2 -3 days. What happened to us little ones during those times?
I wondered where had my infant been all this time? Did she know me? It was so foreign to suddenly be meeting this little one, and she was mine? the two of us met for the first time not knowing that the time between wasn’t completely normal
It was normal for the times. That’s the way it all went and we had little say in any of it. I remember looking at the girl in the bed next to me, sitting cross-legged the first morning after birthing, and wondering – how is she doing that? For me, I was in agony!
Pre-Birth Health Considerations and optimization:
It was some years ago now, I was privileged to find myself birthing with a number of Naturopath students. One had come to me and now referred me to the rest of her companions. We had 11 ND Births that year. I too wondered what was in their water?
Each ND, however, shared her Pre-Birth strategy and I think it’s such a good one I wanted to write about it here. They also advised that this super clean health focus and cleansing the body and cells prior to getting pregnant ensured when they actually got pregnant their body was in optimal health as would be their eggs!
First, when they decided they were going to get pregnant, they put themselves on 6 months cleanse of the “system” before even starting the pregnancy
This included healthy cleansing – not the kind you buy in a kit today.
They used green juices and healthy vitamins and natural teas to cleanse, heal and remove toxins from their body.
Especially the Liver, Kidney and Intestinal track, lower colon which sits very close to the reproductive organs.
This ultimately clears and cleanses the whole system, and you don’t want to do this like Speed Dating. You want to allow time and the gentle removal of toxins consistently to work.
What they also removed from their diets was interesting:
Caffeine – from tea, coffee and chocolate
All Sugars from non-natural sources
Most restricted the use of glutens and moved towards rice as their carb of choice
Oats and grains were important, so were beans and dark greens.
Zero Alcohol or smoking (none smoked anyway, however, they liked beer and wine, that subsided during this 6 months before too)
Milk was not part of their diet at all; instead, they used the nut milk available today
They ate 6-10 small meals a day, balancing fruit with proteins so as to maintain good blood sugar levels.
Lots of water, naps and listening to their body’s needs
They took high-grade Pregnancy Vitamins and supplements for the whole of the 6 months prior
Then the most shocking part of all of this?
They put their husbands on the same dietary cleanse and foods for the same period of time. WHAT? Did he do it?
Yes, you want a baby with me, I want my baby to have optimal sperm! You are either in this with me, or you are not interested in having a child with me!
Ultimately this was the outcome:
1: They all became pregnant when they wanted to
2: Their infants were all, healthy weights and good APGAR Scores
3: They gained weight during the pregnancy, however, held primarily to the foods they had eaten during the cleanse
4: Many birthed in-home water births with midwives
5: Births we deliciously on time, within 7- 10 hours of starting
most managing the whole pregnancy experience with gentle sounds and support of those they chose to have with them
6: Very few of them had to change strategies mid-birth and go to the hospital, in fact, there was only one that did, and that was primarily because her “birth space” at home was pretty busy with parents and family all showing up at the same time.
7: One C-Section occurred when the week before the birth the baby rotated into a full breach with head up and bum down, and she would not turn
This taught all the powerful skill of the Positive Reframe. We reframed the whole experience for mom and dad and baby was born in just under 20 minutes in a C-section
What I might share about this group of women and their partners,
They trusted their bodies, they trusted their partners in life and they had remained focused on what they wanted.
Both parents committed to the process and both brought their A game
Challenges to become pregnant:
Many women today are opting to wait longer before becoming pregnant, certainly longer than I did. At 20 we barely know who we are; never mind taking on responsibility for another’s life, and yet, this was the way of it not too many years ago. Certainly, before birth control, women had less choice in this matter.
Because we have the choice today, it’s creating this challenge around waiting until we get everything done, to become pregnant
Today we are into school, degrees, high-stress jobs, then adding to this, the lifestyle that goes with this and the foods and beverages we consume.
Does our body ever get really clear from the internal debris in a three week cleanse?
And then there is the whole stress and tension, the lack of sleep, the issues around releasing our jobs and what we will come back to?
For many women in leadership roles, it’s a completely engineered task and that becomes challenging too. When is the optimal moment? And now we have gone past that, what next?
It’s a lot for women today, however, that said we can still bring our A-Game to the conception side of this and give our bodies and our partners the same “housecleaning” before we start.
Of course, during the pregnancy, it’s just optimum to keep feeding your body and your newly forming infant with the highest frequency of food sources and vitamins and minerals.
Some mothers will say to me “yes I have pregnancy vitamins” however, they are from one of the lowest and cheapest manufacturers of vitamins. It’s only 9 months; your baby deserves the best start so opt for the best.
Health Issues that can arise:
Because we can measure and monitor everything these days, it’s best to be really conscious about what you are doing when going for various tests. Many women don’t really think about the outcome of these tests.
One client I had was in the habit of each morning consuming an extra large Tim Horton’s Iced Cap. Well her Gestational Diabetes test shot through the roof when she went for her appointment. She just didn’t think about the connection to the outcome. Her blood sugars were through the roof.
If you have been eating a lot of fruit or giving into your cravings for sweets during your pregnancy you might be moving toward Gestational Diabetes.
This is totally preventable with proper nutrition, and eating 6 small meals a day, balancing your diet with proteins – these help keep you balanced and your blood sugar in check.
Why is this important? Medically it can affect your infant to have blood sugars too high in the system. She /he could develop diabetes later in their lives. So could you.
Just know, it’s not fun. It’s really challenging to monitor and keep your blood sugars balanced and with children, it’s really hard for them.
Before your Gestational Diabetes tests – ensure you have had a week of Good Eating habits, cut back on the fruits and ensure you are eating enough proteins at each meal.
This will ensure you are on task with this test.
Pregnancy for a woman can seem like a non-issue in our twenties, lots of time.
The thirties too, then suddenly time is slipping past, and getting pregnant can become challenging.
Clearing and cleansing the body before and maintaining good habits during, is just the best start to life you can offer your little ones.
Start there, and if challenges arise for you, come see me, I have a program called Hypno-fertility and we can work through what might be getting in your way!
Contact me if you have questions: 604-421-1722 or send me an email!