Pregnancy Awareness Month ® co-founder Alisa Donner recently had the opportunity to engage in an e-mail dialogue with Dr. Michel Odent, a pioneer and advocate for women and babies during pregnancy, birth and beyond. Alisa blogged about her conversation with Dr. Odent and how inspiring it was for her. A line of that post stands out to me; Dr. Odent told Alisa that, “pregnant women need to live in peace.”
Peace. It’s a simple word, but for many of us finding it can be quite difficult. Life gets in the way and we spend our days stressed out and anything but peaceful. But finding peace during pregnancy is vitally important, not just for ourselves but for our precious babies. Don’t get me wrong, for most of us it’s impossible to have a “rainbows and roses” pregnancy; time doesn’t stand still during those nine months. However, there are ways to reduce your stress and find peace during your pregnancy- peace for yourself and in turn peace for your baby. I’ve learned these tips over the course of three pregnancies, try one or all of them and see if they can help you find peace in your pregnancy.
Spiritual connection- Being spiritual can mean a variety of things. If you enjoy praying, spend a few minutes a day in prayer. If you prefer meditating, take time each day to quietly sit and clear your mind. Does the universe speak to you while you are walking through nature? Wherever and however you encounter the spiritual be sure to make time for those moments during pregnancy.
Turn off the news- Yes, it’s important to stay up on current events; we should all be informed of what’s going on in the world around us. However, the constant barrage of negative, violent and graphic images shown during an evening newscast can send stress levels rising. That increase in stress isn’t good for mamas or babies. During my second pregnancy I dealt with severe anxiety, mostly revolving around world events and how they would impact the child I was carrying. I couldn’t control the things going on in the world around me and dwelling on them constantly led to a lack of peace. At a checkup I explained my rising anxiety levels and my lovely nurse practitioner gently asked if I watched the news on television. When I answered yes, she recommended that I switch to news radio, internet articles (without photos if possible) or skip the news altogether for a few months. When I took her advice, my anxiety level dropped quickly. I was more peaceful than I had been in many months.
Research, don’t obsess- If there’s ever a time to be informed, it’s during pregnancy. It’s important to know all of the options in regards to your care, your birth and your baby’s first several weeks. Researching key points that will help you make decisions on these options is important. In fact, it helps us feel empowered, confident and at peace with our decisions. We start to feel less peaceful and more anxious when we start playing the “what-if” game. During my third pregnancy I was terrified of a one in a million complication. I played the scenarios over and over in my mind for months. The more I read about the complication, the more nervous and upset I became. In this case, researching wasn’t doing me any good. If you’re concerned about something in your pregnancy and it’s causing you to obsess over the what-ifs, it’s important to bring your fears up to your midwife or doctor. He or she will be able to reassure you and give a better explanation of the real risks.
Talk to baby- Take a few minutes every day and sit quietly. Clear your mind, rest your hands on your belly and talk to your baby. Focus on the miracle going on inside of you and tell your baby how excited you are to meet her. You may feel silly at first, but remember that not only is this a chance for you to unwind it’s a chance for your baby to hear your voice- peaceful and free of stress. He will hear and feel the love and happiness in your voice as you tell him about your dreams and hopes for him.
Ana Getty, Pregnancy Awareness Month ® co-founder will be sharing her thoughts on her own conversation with Dr. Odent soon, be sure to watch for her posts in the coming weeks.