What’s all “the buzz” about health? Is it important to you to have an easy and healthy pregnancy? Who’s dreaming of a safe and uncomplicated birth? How many of us are interested in delivering healthy babies that thrive and grow and are as smart as they possibly can be? Is there anyone left reading this that isn’t raising their hands?
It seems simple enough to me, and probably is a no-brainer to you, that we all want to be healthy, and to have healthy pregnancies and babies that are happy. In fact, this is what pregnant women and new moms dream about. As consumers, we are bombarded almost constantly with messages about products and brands to purchase as a pregnant woman and a mother. To obtain crucial items that will help us to attain a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby, and a happy life. It is almost a full-time job to wade thru the advertisements, blog posts, commercials, and websites talking about this. What do you as a pregnant woman, as a mom, need to be aware of in order to know how to make all of these choices?
I believe in the power of the consumer, and I see the power that I wield as a mother in my household. Truth be told, I make 99% of the purchasing decisions for my home. Whether it is groceries, baby gear, back to school supplies, clothing, bathroom goodies, cleaning supplies, bedding and towels…it’s all about what I ultimately decide on. As the mom, I reign over that domain. I’m not knocking dad’s and S.O.’s, but there is typically 1 person in the parenting partnership who owns that duty, and it continues to be the mom (or mom-to-be). This fact is regardless of if mom or the pregnant mom works. I work full-time, and not just at Pregnancy Awareness Month, yet I continue to be the decision-maker on those purchases.
Today the term “healthy” and “natural” is being used to describe many of the products that I consider to purchase in my home. I believe that it is our desire to make healthy choices that is driving many of the marketing campaigns. They reveal what we as women are searching for: healthy products, healthy pregnancies, healthy babies, really it is all pointing at the idea of healthy lifestyles. These concepts seem to be woven into every part of the advertisements targeting products for us to purchase, books with advice for us to read, classes and workshops for us to take, the list goes on.
So we own “the buzz” about health, ultimately, certainly in the arena of healthy pregnancy and healthy babies. Moms. Pregnant women. Women. As the consumer, our voice is heard our vote is cast with every purchase, with every swipe of our rewards card, with every “share” and “like” that we check on facebook, with every ad that we click on the web. So it isn’t as simple as just grabbing something described as healthy to actually be healthy. It takes a bit more effort. Of course many will tell you to read the label and learn more about the manufacturer, etc.
I propose that beyond the research is another answer actually another step that is required and it starts in your heart.
- What do you value?
- What is important for you regarding your pregnancy, regarding you baby’s health?
- How do you envision your future and the future of your family?
- What is the intention that you are holding in your mind about your life and how your child’s life will turn out?
Start there. Start with knowing what is important to you, really knowing it. This is different than what you may be thinking is important this is possibly different than what is important to your best friend. Make a list. Keep a log. Make a Pinterest board about it. Talk to your partner. Get clear. Set an intention of how you define health. See your pregnancy as healthy. See your baby as healthy. See your life as happy. Be aware of who you are and what you value. I propose that then the ads, the pulls to buy this or that well they become so much easier to sift through. And when you read blog posts and books, you can identify quickly which perspective rings clear to you and which voice supports your values. When you purchase from that place of power you are empowered. There will be no question somewhere in your mind that you make the best decisions for your family.
Try it and let me know if it reveals any surprises. I’d love to hear what your experience is like.
Alisa Donner, MSW, LCSW
Co-Founder of Pregnancy Awareness Month