Every newborn baby deserves a loving and minimum-stress welcome into the world. Happy and healthy pregnancies create happy and stress free babies. So, how do you have the most happy and healthy pregnancy possible? By consciously working on the health and wellbeing of your body, mind and spirit. All three are interconnected and interrelated.
Current research has shown that everything a pregnant mum ‘eats, drinks and thinks’ has a direct influence on the physical, mental and emotional health of her baby within. The pregnant mum is the guardian of a new human being. She is now in charge of two bodies, hers and her baby’s. She has two hearts beating inside her. This is part of the miracle and wonder of pregnancy and the forthcoming birth.
How to take care of your Body, Mind and Spirit
Physical body health is based on a number of important factors. Healthy and natural foods are filled with nutrients that support the health of the mother and are essential for the development of the growing baby.
- Pregnant mums should drink up to 3 litres of clean, fresh water a day. Water keeps the body hydrated and helps to flush excess chemicals and toxins from the body.
- Appropriate pregnancy approved exercise strengthens muscles and bones, all in preparation for the advancing pregnancy and birth. Gentle exercise is a great way to relieve stress and tension from the body.
- Sunshine and fresh air are another essential component to having a happy and healthy pregnancy. Natural sunlight provides vitamin D to the body which supports healthy bone and muscle development, essential for the growing baby within.
Mind, or mental, health is about having a positive mindset, setting realistic expectations for self and significant others while pregnant, and managing all forms of stress.
- Begin to develop an ‘attitude of gratitude’. Think of all the little, or big, things in your life that you are grateful for and appreciate. This could be simply appreciating the miracle of the little baby that is growing within you, the birds singing; being able to see, hear and speak; having food on the table and a roof over your head. Each and every day spend a few moments to give thanks for all you have in your life. This is a great way to strengthen a positive mindset.
- Being pregnant is not the time to set huge goals or have unrealistic expectations for self and those that are close to you. Your main goal and expectation at this time is to have the happiest and healthiest pregnancy possible. Creating small, attainable goals are a good motivator and provide inspiration. This is such an exciting time of your life and you would want everything to be the best for your baby. Remember that the greatest gift you can give your baby is to be happy and healthy. Why not make your next goal be finding new ways to bring health and happiness to your pregnancy?
- Scientific studies have proven that constant, ongoing stress while pregnant can affect the length of labour and birth, the onset of post natal depression, and the long term physical, emotional and mental health of your child. Think about a couple of situations that are causing stress in your life at the moment? Can you do anything about these situations? Can you change these situations? Can you change your thinking, and therefore your stress levels, around these situations? Can you accept these situations as they are and just realise that sometimes things can’t be changed?
- Good food, gentle exercise, quality sleep and healthy relationships all help to relieve and reduce stress in life.
The third basic essential for a happy and healthy pregnancy is having a healthy spirit. ‘Spirit’ means a lot of different things to different people. Spirit is the recognition of a higher influence or intelligence that oversees and guides our inner and outer lives.
- Meditation and prayer are two common forms of communication with this unseen force. Sitting in meditation or prayer opens one up to the realisation that we are never alone. There is a loving energy that watches over us, guides and comforts us always. If you have never meditated before, pregnancy is a great time to begin a meditation practice. For now you are the guide and creator of a little human life. Part of you would be recognising the sacredness of this event. Using guided meditation audios is a great way to learn to meditate to begin your own connection to an energy beyond your physical body, that will help support your journey in the evolving creation of your little one within.
- Affirmations are another great way to connect with a part of self that is directive and in control. Positive affirmations work with your own inner spirit to bring out the best in self, and all that you have to offer, and want to achieve in your life.