If you’re reading this, you’re at least a small part of the disconnect we, as mothers and fathers, have with nature. Many of us are first-generation digital natives, having been brought up with technology as part of our daily lives. We have begun to lose touch with ourselves, as Dr. Carl Gustav Jung implicated many years ago, even before the internet and smart phones were even a twinkle in our imaginations.
The trade-off is convenience, and many of us agree that the connections we make via the internet are beneficial. I, for one, was part of a wonderfully supportive “natural” expectant moms group on Facebook, with whom, three years later, I still ask for parenting advice and direction. While I feel my online support has helped me tremendously, how much of this behind-the-screen chatter has muted my own inner gut instincts and smothered my own motherly intuition? It has certainly also played a part in cultivating guilt for choices I’ve made that others don’t like. The online environment has removed us all from fully participating in life to being mini-journalists.
We can’t completely blame the internet, though. The medically managed childbearing year came into play for our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. Confidence gave way to fear and suspicion of the woman’s ability to birth. Expectant parents began to accept the medical establishment as both the expert and manager of their pregnancies. Unfortunately, many doctors were not, and are not well trained in caring for the whole person, and this aspect of prenatal care is often ignored at the doctor’s office.
While there is arguably a time and place for medical intervention, there is also a false sense of security provided in this setting which leaves many parents feeling empty and wounded after their births. Neglect of whole-person needs pave the way for depression, trauma, and even health challenges in the father, mother, and baby.
It’s pretty evident that we, as parents, need to take responsibility for our wellness, no matter what sort of prenatal, birth, and postnatal care we choose. This begins with making mindful choices. Where can we start? Here are a few tips for self-care:
- Try yoga and meditation during pregnancy.
- Educate, educate, and educate yourself!
- Educate yourself and your partner on “how babies are born” and read up on several labor coping techniques beyond the hospital’s standard childbirth class.
- Read books on the spirituality of pregnancy and birth. Some lesser-known favorites of mine include “Reclaiming the Spirituality of Birth,” by Benig Mauger and “The Roots of Natural Mothering,” by Janice Marsh Prelesnik
- Prepare for breastfeeding by reading “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.”
- Research toxins and how to avoid them when pregnant, and with your new baby.
- Research pregnancy nutrition and eat as well as you can.
- Write a birth plan.
- Trust your instincts and build a community (online or offline) of supportive friends, family, and professionals who encourage you to do what is best for you and your family
Rose Hollo lives in the Midwest where she is a freelance writer and runs her business Everything’s Rosy Digital Marketing, http://www.everythingrosy.com and cares for her family including a husband, toddler daughter, and Thai exchange student.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by Rose Hollo and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) or any employee thereof. PAM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Rose Hollo. Consult with your own medical provider regarding your individual health questions or concerns.