As some of you may or may not know from my Instagram and Facebook posts we are expecting our second baby in the beginning of May this year. Once again, I am very grateful and lucky to have a very easy and uncomplicated pregnancy which I am able to enjoy a lot. While one part of this may be luck and genetics, another big part definitely goes to living a healthy and mindful lifestyle.
As a Holistic Health Coach and Co-founder of Mindful Mum Malta – my dear friend Sarah (from Pre and Postnatal Yoga Malta) and I organise Mindful Birth Partner workshops in which we share our vast knowledge and experience on how to have a happy, healthy and mindful pregnancy with our participants. (Check out our next workshop here)
Today, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite tips with you ….
Being happy and healthy is so much more than just food
I may have been a major foodie for many years, over time though, and especially during my studies to become a Holistic Health Coach, I have come to realise that it’s about so much more than just food. The food on our plates only comes secondary after a lot of other things which are much more important in life, like for instance our relationships, social life, our home environment, our physical body, if we are content in our career and so on. This is why we call these topics Primary Foods and the “regular food” on our plates, Secondary Food.
In my opinion, pregnancy is one of the most intensive times to look inward and take a proper look at all topics of Primary Food. Do I feel I have enough joy in my life? Am I happy with my circle of friends? Are there some toxic relationships which I should rather let go of? Do I move my body regularly enough? Do I feel comfortable and happy in my home? Do I make space for spirituality in my life? (which might mean meditation for some, religion for others or just quiet time in nature, whatever way you define it!) Use this time before the baby comes to bring some things in order, pick out 1 to 2 priorities and try to improve them so your baby will be welcomed into an environment you’re happy with.
Through conscious choices in pregnancy, birthing and early parenting, we set the foundation for life-long health and happiness in a child.
The most important relationship is the one with yourself
Everything you do for yourself in pregnancy, you do for your baby. So try to make an effort to take good care of yourself on a regular basis. Try for something small every day. For some it’s a short walk, some yoga (even if it’s just 15 minutes at home), a run, a relaxing bath with epsom salts and essential oils in the evening, a good book and a nice candle, a cup of your favourite tea on the sunny balcony, – whatever it is: make space for it and create a habit. It will bring you into a routine which will be tremendously beneficial for yourself but also for your baby.
A calm and relaxed pregnancy is the best way to deliver a healthy baby.
Of course there are also some practical tips which you can start integrating in your pregnancy, to prepare for birth and to continue post partum. There is a vast choice of helpful holistic treatments which can tremendously improve one or the other pregnancy pain or simply prepare you physically and emotionally for your big day like homeopathy, reflexology treatments, osteopathy, aroma therapy, birth meditations and visualisations and many more. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any contacts or would like to hear about experiences.
Apart from that, it’s also very recommendable to start thinking about a Birth Plan in which you make a little summary of all the things relevant for the day of your baby’s birth, the ideal way you’d like to give birth and everything which midwives and doctors in hospital should be aware of (e.g. natural active birth preferred, music on, use of essential oils, as much movement as possible, pain killers yes/ no etc). It’s also a great exercise to work on together with your partner. Just remember, keep it short and simple so you can just hang it up for the staff to read.
And of course, what you eat
Some words on nutrition should not go amiss. No matter if you’ve been living a healthy lifestyle before you conceived or not, now is the time to get CLEAN. Try to swap processed foods, white flours/ sugars against fresh, wholesome meals, use wholegrain or gluten-free to mix it up, try to limit caffeine and keep an eye on getting your key nutrients in order not only through supplements but through eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. If you’re struggling, try to find new ways to like them. Juice and salad is not for everyone, but you can roast your veggies or add your fruit to porridges or make fruit stews. Play around or follow one of the many healthy foodies on the web for inspiration. Again, feel free to give me a shout out whenever you feel you need some help, inspiration or just someone to hold your hand and support you on your journey.
Enjoy the ride
Lastly, don’t be afraid. Preparing for the birth of a child is really about preparing for the rest of your life as a parent. And even if all your best efforts and plans fail and change all the time – this is a time to surrender to what is. Pregnancy is something magical and a wonder of nature and always will be. Everything will be good in the end when you hold your baby in your arms and you and your partner are born as a mother and father. Enjoy the adventure and never look back.
If you are pregnant and would like to join our next Mindful Birth Partner Workshop on the 17th March, click HERE to sign up.