Women of childbearing age should take extra precaution to be healthy in case of pregnancy. Some of you may be actively trying to get pregnant. You may be in a relationship and thinking of getting pregnant “when the time is right.” You might not be in a relationship right now, but know that you want to have children one day. There are things that you can do to start your pregnancy on a healthy note.
Many women don’t find out that they’re pregnant until about the 8th or 9th week of pregnancy. By that time, many neurological developments have already occurred. Early prenatal care can help you get started on a healthy path, but major development has already occurred before that first prenatal visit.
Researchers have recently “discovered” that preconception obesity negatively affects birth outcomes. That is to say, that when a mom is severely overweight or obese, this can cause problems with her pregnancy and result in a baby with health complications.
Two problematic dichotomies exist when it comes to weight. On one end, body politic advocates push for accepting the fat body and embracing being overweight. On the other end, mainstream media pushes for unrealistically small proportions.
RootMama promotes a holistic perspective of balance and healing.
Western society compels women to “treat” weight as it pertains to being healthy by simply losing weight. A lot of emphasis is put on the quantifiable metric of weight. Realizing that weight alone is not a good measure of someone’s health, western medicine added, BMI, or body mass index. BMI takes height into account. Western medicine even took it a step further than that and began to include percent of body fat as another indicator of health.
I have a family member of mine, I won’t say any names, who is always yo-yo dieting. She has major fluctuations in her weight because of her on-again, off-again relationship with dieting.
One reason why her “dieting” always fails, and she ends up gaining all of the weight back is because she doesn’t really change how she relates to food. She still has the flawed mindset of “I need to diet to be healthy” and that dieting consists of mostly baked fish and plain jane salads. Somewhere along the way, she adopted and is married to the notion that healthy eating is all about salads and baked fish/chicken. Boring!
I see this in a lot of women. Their diet is doomed from the start because they get into terrible food ruts. They eat the same thing day in and day out. They don’t really explore new foods and increase their personal knowledge of nutrition. They remain disconnected from their bodies and don’t really fully understand how to nourish themselves with the best quality foods available.
We as women have been taught that are periods are supposed to be a miserable time of the month. I noticed as a child in school that it seems that the Black girls were having worse periods than our white counterparts. This included me. I observed that Black girls were missing more school and generally seemed to suffer worse. I started to wonder why. An inner voice told me it had something to do with slavery.
It's very dangerous that women are expected to suffer during menstruation. We are expected to be in pain and sick during the time of the month. There's generally a very negative vibe and understanding of menstruating. The reason this is dangerous is because many problems can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years. Heavy bleeding, debilitating cramps and disruptive mood disorders plague the vast majority of menstruating women. Fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts and other disorders can go undiagnosed because a woman does not realize what is going on with her. She has excepted pain and discomfort as 'normal.'
The other aspect of this epidemic is that modern western medicine does not have comprehensive tools or treatments to balance the female reproductive system. When I was younger, I was told to take 4 advil every two hours by my doctor because of my cramps. Something about this did not sit right with me. I was simply numbing myself out, but none of the other issues were being addressed - like the heavy bleeding. God bless the heart of modern western medicine, but it is keen on treating symptoms and not on getting to the root of the problem that is causing the imbalance.
RootMama takes a body systems approach at assisting women achieve womb wellness. I think the first step to achieving womb wellness and female balance is understanding that menstruation should cause little change or disruption to a woman's life. Very mild cramping and minor bloating may occur. The period shouldn't last more than 3-5 days. Modern medicine says that 7 days is okay, but we naturalista folks reject that. There's an epidemic of severe anemia plaguing women of childbearing age. This has a lot to do with losing too much blood during menstruation and improper nutrition.
So I say to you dear sister, stop suffering. If you're experiencing extremely painful cramping, extreme bloating, a period lasting more than 4 days, heavy bleeding, constipation, nausea and vomiting and mood swings, THIS IS NOT NORMAL. And, you have the power to heal and stop suffering. Achieving and maintaining a healthy womb is key to good preconception health. You may want to have children one day. Your menstruation is a good indication of how healthy your reproductive system is. The sooner you balance your womb, the more time you'll have to prepare for a healthy pregnancy and ultimately have the birth experience you desire.
You can schedule a complimentary womb wellness consultation with RootMama for guidance and affirmation to achieve a peaceful period and all around female balance.
So, you and your partner have been together for a while and people are beginning to ask you, "So when are you two going to have a baby?"
Maybe becoming a mother has been something you have thought about since you were a little girl playing with dolls or perhaps it has taken you more time to warm up to the idea. No matter at what stage of the thought process you are , having a baby is a serious commitment that is worth discussing and planning for. Most people plan their educational endeavors, career plans, and weddings down to the smallest details, yet when it comes to planning for a baby, most don't give it as much attention.
So what exactly should you and your partner be discussing? In the first part of this Baby Maybe series, I am going to focus on the mental and spiritual aspects of planning.
1. Is our relationship stable enough to bring a child into it?
The strength of your relationship will determine the strength of your family for your family is an extension and a reflection of you both. Ask yourselves these important questions and be honest:
These questions are important because having a child will not fix problems in your relationship. Now is the time to identify them and work on them accordingly. You will find that many of your issues as a couple stem from things you need to work on as individuals to strengthen the unit.
2. Am I happy individually?
Although a baby can bring happiness and joy to a couple, a baby cannot make a person who is unhappy feel happy or fulfilled. Happiness and fulfillment comes from within. Of course there is no expectation for you to have accomplished every single goal on your life-plan before having a baby. That would be unreasonable, however, you should be at peace with whatever place you are at in life and have faith that whatever you desire to achieve can still be achieved while growing your family.
3. Are you ready to sacrifice?
Having a child does not mean that your 'life' is over, however, it does change some things. There will be another person to consider and sometimes that means giving up some of the things you wanted to do temporarily. If you wanted to go back to school would you be willing to hold off or go at a slower rate? Are you okay with turning those romantic vacations into family vacations? Are you ready to alter your social life and plan around your family? Are you okay altering your career goals? Talk over these types of things in advance so there will be no resentment
towards the baby or each other later.
4. Do we share the same vision on raising children?
Ideally this is something talked about before entering into a committed relationship, but many couples do not discuss these things. You should have a common, shared vision for child rearing.
I hope this helps you and your partner to get the discussion started on rather or not you are spiritually and mentally ready for a baby. In part two, I will discuss more logistical things to consider such as finances and health.
~ Sister Casey
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Sis. Freya is the creator of RootMama. She loves encouraging women to achieve greatness.
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