I’m writing to share with you my journey to healthy pregnancy. This will probably take place in installments, as I have a lot to say ;). Although not always graceful as I would have liked, being a mother is the most profound experience one can have on this earth. I am so grateful these little (and not so little) beings chose me. I choose them every day.
Below are a few things I learned and practiced throughout my pregnancy that may be of benefit to you.
1. Listen to your body.
It’s been shown that meditation increases grey matter in a number of areas of the brain including the insula. This is the area of your brain responsible for self awareness and it was amazing this time how much more in tune I was with Declan. The meditation practice I had been doing regularly for about seven years now and irregularly since 2000 made such a huge impact. I learned to connect intuitively with Declan very early on. I had dreams where I met this little soul and knew love so deeply.
2. Avoid wearing underwire bras.
Although they provide support, underwire bras constrict the flow of lymphatic fluids and hinder the free flow of energy, or qi, encouraging stagnation around the breasts. I stopped wearing them completely in my pregnancy.
3. Avoid toxic chemicals
Antiperspirant, hair and body wash, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, etc. I use things like jojoba oil, castile soap, white vinegar, lemon and baking soda for personal and cleaning needs as much as possible. This also includes processed foods, leftovers, canned foods, packaged foods, frozen foods, and items grown with chemicals, pesticides, or GMOs.
4. Eat organic and local, seasonal food.
I was even more mindful of what I put into my body. I started tracking my diet with an app on my phone and made sure I was getting my nutritional needs met. I had been vegetarian for years and began craving meat. According to Ayurveda, meat can be medicinal. I listened to my body and began taking in small amounts of meat at lunchtime a few times a week. There are some amazing places in Monmouth County for consciously raised meat. I would always silently give an offering of thanks to the animal that gave its life for my health.
5. Massage yourself every day!
Ayurvedic Garshana (dry skin brushing) and Abhyanga (warm oil massage) were amazing for my body, mind and spirit. These practices remove toxins, promote cell turnover, enhance skin tone and improve self love and self acceptance. Gently massage yourself from your extremities towards your heart daily with warm castor or sesame oil. This helps mobilize your lymphatic system, toxins, fats, and excess hormones, and give your breasts a daily dose of love.
6. Exercise regularly.
Moderate exercise helps to balance your hormones, build immunity, and cleanse your body of accumulated ama or toxins. Focus on movements that use all of the muscles of respiration, the pelvic floor, the hips and glutes. Walk, swim, yoga, dance – all of these helped me stay fit during my pregnancy.
7. Breathe deeply.
Breathing deeply and fully relaxes tension in the body and increases the energy flow between each cell, organ, muscle, and tissue in our body, including that beautiful life inside of you. As far as Yoga, my practice was constantly changing. Below are some amazing resources I used for practice. My favorite is the Yoga Nidra, I did it every single day.
8. Love all that is happening
This is such a miracle. Life. Birth. Death. Rebirth. It’s all magic. Appreciate each moment. Become immersed in the rhythms of the universe.