The months that the woman is privileged with the divine task of carrying her new baby to be, are perhaps the most magical months she will experience in her lifetime. .The continual nuances from conception, through the stages, until delivery and the ultimate new life in the arms of mother, is an experience never forgotten, never repeated in the same way and never is there a more creative and incredible process.
Being responsible for the growth and development of a new little life, carries with it the calling to prepare oneself properly, to ensure that the home for that developing newbie is safe, calm, happy and healthy. Yes, it is a tall order; so is raising a child. It requires consciousness, dedication and commitment; so does raising a family.
That is why it is encouraged for mother’s to be, both first time as well as for those who have already given birth, to ensure that her body, mind and spirit are strong, stable and healthy prior to the process. Establishing good health will not only enhance the quality and ease of the pregnancy, it will also give the growing baby the best chance for a strong, solid beginning, as well as setting mother up for the capability to produce ample milk for the baby once born.
In the next few paragraphs, I will offer you five key factors to take into consideration when contemplating conceiving, that will not only assist you with a higher fertility factor, but also create the environment – mentally, emotionally and physically, to support a healthy pregnancy, delivery and transition into motherhood. In preparing ones body for pregnancy, it is wise to resolve any health concerns – however minimal, as even minor concerns could become magnified while carrying.
The first thing to consider is your hydration. Remember that your body is 75% water, and that your brain is almost 83% water. Your body must continuously keep the fluids circulating, not stagnating for dynamic health. The woman being the more yin creature, relies on fluid to build her blood, reproductive fluids, to keep her cool and balanced, to nourish her organs and glands and to ensure healthy nervous system and brain function, including balanced moods and energy. Without adequate hydration, a woman runs a higher risk or miscarriage, or may even have difficulty with conception. Adequate body fluids will assist with the needed energy to create and sustain life, and when it comes time to nurse, water is the #1 most critical factor in her ability to make enough milk to feed her little baby.
Good wholesome, healthy food is another key factor. Foods in their most whole, natural unprocessed state are supreme choices. Foods rich in color contain higher vitamin and anti-oxidant content – greens, orange, yellow, red, purple; as opposed to filler foods containing processed flour and sugar. The more nutrients your food contains, the easier it will be for your body to create healthy reproductive cells and ensuing productivity. When choosing grapes, peppers, cantaloupe, strawberries, papaya and apples, remember that there are multiple pesticides and sprays used to grow these crops and the organic variety is well worth the extra investment for taste and purity!
Keeping your body fit, flexible and strong is encouraged, as nine months of carrying extra weight on a labile frame, can be exhausting. Prior to pregnancy is a good time to begin an exercise program that you enjoy or continue the one that you are doing.
Swimming is great for months closer to your labor, walking is always good, yoga – except for twists is lovely. Excessive running, jumping or laborious hikes are best saved for later, if at all.
My friends remember me in the gym, at yoga, in ballet and biking up diamond head until I was ready to pop. I was told that labor was like an intense work out and wanted to be in shape. The truth was, for me, at 40, labor was probably closer to a labor camp than a vigorous work out, and there was no amount of breathing, prepping or conditioning that prepared me for that incredible ordeal. Looking back on it, I can laugh – almost to tears – with exuberant joy for what that labor brought into my life. For younger moms labor and delivery may be easier. I opted to go “all natural”, like our mothers had done through the ages. Whichever way you wish to go, have your birth plan clearly written out for your doctor, midwife, nurses and assistants to see. If you prefer that your baby be given to you first, before being taken away and given vaccinations, state that in your birthing plan. Do your research. That baby has only known you – your heart beat, your voice, your warmth, your nourishment and love. The air conditioned hospital room is a big difference for him or her already, not to mention that long journey down the birth canal. Connection with you immediately upon his or her exit is the smoothest possible landing point for baby. He or she only needs you and your love. You may not think you have anything left to give at that moment; your newborn does not need much – you will see!
Along with adequate nutrition, it is a good idea for the prenatal and pregnant woman to supplement with high quality vitamins containing B’s, C, iron, folic acid, probiotics and a super clean source of essential fatty acid. Your health food stores do their best to provide ample choices of these supplements for you, however there is no supplement like the ones that will be provided to you by your favorite naturopathic doctor. Speaking for myself, I can be certain that the supplements you will receive will be the perfect fit for what your body needs, is lacking or will be benefitted by.
There are a few cleanses and detoxification process that I will sometimes recommend for a women prior to her desire to conceive, depending on her present state of health. I will access her need for liver cleansing, clearing of yeast, parasites, bacteria, virus’s, and heavy metals. These cleanses are very detail oriented and not recommended without the guidance of your naturopathic physician who has been trained in these procedures. Taking pills and potions without proper guidance can upset your system and throw you into an imbalance of another kind. Particularly with the liver and heavy metals. With all of the upset in our ecology over the last five to ten years, we are seeing more birth defects, miscarriages, autism, ADD, ADHD, and sick pregnant moms than ever before. Clearing your system of specific impurities will do wonders for how you feel, how you carry, and how your baby turns out.
With proper preparation and a peaceful state of mind and heart, your pregnancy and nursing years can and should be the most blissful and enjoyable time of your life. It goes so fast and cannot be duplicated ever again. Much like life, this moment, this day is all we have. Play all out – your best game ever! Have a safe, happy, healthy pregnancy and oodles of richly abundant joy with the new life you will create and be blessed with!
Love and Aloha,
Dr. Diana Joy Ostroff is a primary care physician, specializing in comprehensive naturopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. She has been working with tens of thousands of patients in Honolulu as well as remotely nationwide for 25 years. Dr. Ostroff’s mission is one of educating her patients, as well as spreading the word globally, that the primary person in charge of their health is each person individually. She is eager and grateful to assist those who seek her support and expertise, in transforming their health and life in a profoundly beneficial and long term way.
“The Center for Natural Healing” located between the ocean, mountain range and lushness of nature has been designed to create tranquility for all who enter. She is thrilled to share her latest “Fabulous after Forty” program with women wishing to regain the body that they will love – ideal weight, hormonal balance, vibrant energy, a joyful spirit, as well as a pleasant boost to libido. She is a published author of three books and gives regular educational sessions at her Center as well as throughout the community.
*Results may vary from person to person.