In love and romance…
Couples encaptulated in their own bubble. Euphoria captured in time. Pregnancy is a beautiful life changing chapter to share together.
In a world where materialism, labels, engineered prams and new age gadgets. Newly parents are wanting to know the best of the best, what are the must haves in preparation for their precious new babe. An all too common aspiration to anyone trying to do their best in an unnavigated sea.
I challenge such conventional material possessions for preparing for a baby and invoke thought on the investment in self care.
For it is only our physical and mental stability that hang in the balance that can only truly measure our capabilities as parents. Let’s shift the focus towards, ‘ who are the people around, that best help support me so I can be best version of myself. One that is prepared to look after this baby?’.
Lets dive into the rather -overlooked yet essential must have services that will best serve our body + mind during a monumental season that we spend serving little humans..
Rather than create statements of status. Lets create circles of care. The invisible heroes that are never mentioned over tea at the baby shower or credited in the non existent baby manual.
Alison Mitchell Talks about how a woman’s biomechanics change, relying on natural resources to fuel the body and the possible implications this can have on both mother and baby before, during and after.
‘Naturopathy can be helpful to improve many aspects of your pregnancy journey, giving you a smoother ride and helping to ensure optimal health for baby. Considering the amazing act your body is performing - creating another human, it's a good idea to nourish it, and to make sure you're providing yourself with all the nutrients to do this.
One of the wonders of pregnancy is that if you are not getting in the right amount of nutrients, you will take the nutrients your baby needs from your stores (such as calcium from your bones) to supply baby with. This is good for baby, but it can result in you feeling very run down after a while, especially after the birth. Iron deficiency is another great example.
Its hard to boost during pregnancy, low levels can cause anemia and increase post partum depression. Looking after yourself before and during pregnancy will not only be good for baby, but good for you too.
Where naturopathy stands out for pregnancy care is in the act of preventative health care - if you are planning to conceive then I suggest to start a preconception care program at least 4 months before hand.
This is to make sure you’re not deficient in any nutrients, to reduce your chemical exposure, look after your gut health, and balance any hormonal issues that might reduce your ability to easily conceive (sperm health for men too!). By doing this you may reduce the likelihood of complications during pregnancy and have more confidence that you and your baby are getting the right balance of nutrients.
During pregnancy a naturopath can give advice on how to have a healthy diet, lifestyle and environment and provide suggestions for any diet changes that may benefit you. There are many nutrients we have a high requirement of during pregnancy and unfortunately it is very difficult to get enough with diet alone. Iodine and Selenium for example are very important in maintaining a healthy thyroid. This is important as it affects the chances of conception and miscarriage.
Having a Naturopath in your circle of care will give you support and education about the changes that occur during pregnancy, help you make informed decisions around your birth plan, and give you guidance around birth, recovery after birth and breastfeeding..’
For more information about how naturopathy can be of help during pregnancy and an overview of a typical pregnancy program you can visit https://www.naturopathnsw.com.au/naturopathic-support-in-pregnancy
WOMEN’S HEALTH PHYSIOTHERAPY
Brooke Hile, founder go ‘Things Down There’ is an advocate for womens health and wellbeing. Brooke talks about how a woman physical condition pre birth can affect the outcome of birth itself and post birth recovery.
As a women’s health Physio, I work with women across their lifespan, but specifically during the pregnancy and post natal period. Despite us having plenty of resources to help women make decisions regarding their own bodies, there is still a lack of information given to women prior to the birth of their baby about possible outcomes such as tearing, use of forceps and subsequent leakage, despite us having plenty of resources to help women make decisions regarding their own bodies. I find that women and the healthcare profession are so focused on the baby, that the needs of the mother are often put off to the side, resulting in a lot of long term health issues such as incontinence and prolapse
I recommend all women getting assessed at 20 weeks and 34 weeks to check in and see how their bodies are travelling, and specifically to check their pelvic floor- we can assess the length of the pelvic floor which gives us an idea of how stretchy or mobile the pelvic floor is as well as teaching the woman how to push; this is essential if the woman is planning a vaginal birth to ensure their Muscles can stretch and relax, as well as adequately push to reduce the risk of intervention. From here we can discuss the benefits and risks of vaginal vs caesarean birth and what we can do to minimise risk during vaginal birth.
It’s then absolutely essential that every woman gets a post natal check at 6 weeks- women are not just vaginas. A whole body assessment is essential; abdominal wall, pelvic girdle, upper back and chest, and pelvic floor to work on strategies to minimise the risk of dysfunction, or treat any present concerns. It is important to have a team behind you when you are pregnant and I believe that women’s health physio’s are an essential component of pregnancy, labor preparation and post birth recovery’
For more advice and guidance from Brooke you can find her on Instagram @thingsdownthere
Jade Jeyaratnam , Nurse and Birth Doula talks about the importance of support.
‘Support is the foundations of a positive pregnancy and birth.
Whether that be family, a friend or your partner, both physical and emotional support are really important. Not everyone has a great support network, (or people they think know enough or trust to navigate the pregnancy-birth journey) and that’s where I feel a doula can be really beneficial.
We are a continuous presence of emotional and physical, support, offering reassurance, touch, massage and give strategies to help cope throughout not only your pregnancy, but also birth and into your post natal period. A Doula can help not just with birth but by coming to hold the baby and do your dishes when you haven’t showered in days because it’s all just been a little too overwhelming. Perhaps you need to arrange appointments but just haven’t picked up the phone or needing breastfeeding advice. I really believe that good support improves birth outcomes ( published statistics also show this ) and helps a whole lot leading into the fourth trimester and the physical and emotional exhaustion it entails.’
To find out more about Jades service you can find her here - https://www.helloworldbirthsupport.com/about-jade
Building A Village
You know what they say. It takes a village to raise a child. When there is lack of support, or we aren’t feeling good about ourselves. We fall into flight/fight mode. Stress happens and cortisol rises. We harness resentment and become a version of ourselves that well isn’t our best version.
Living in a modern world requires modern solutions. We do not live in tight knit villages anymore. Now we have to create our own village and support systems. What will be best for you and YOUR personal circumstance. Who can be on your village panel that will help nourish, uplift and support you while you are solely focused on nourishing your thriving baby?
When we are feeling good from the inside out, having people that can uplift and be supportive through challenges will leave you space to be in gratitude. What does gratitude give birth to? Joy, love, fulfilment. All the feels that you want to be focusing on when caring for your newborn.