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By Shivani Gupta
Many of us will go through life believing what we see is what we get. If you’ve been influenced by the mainstream culture, it’s ingrained in us to fear things that deviate from the societal norm. For pregnant women, never question doctor’s orders and comply with practices that are popular–even if they’re entirely unnecessary. This militant way of unquestioningly accepting advice “because the doctor said so” can be disempowering–and sometimes even outright dangerous–for an expectant mother. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Want to release the guilt we attach to why, what, how, and who we should be during pregnancy? Ready to throw out the rules and make your own? These seven simple tips can help prepare your mind, spirit, and body for a healthy pregnancy and a conscious life.
1. Become a Blank Canvas
Pregnancy is one of the most life-altering experiences a woman will ever have. It allows you to start over, to become just like a blank canvas. If you think about pregnancy as a special time to take a break or enjoy activities you often have little time for–like being a kid at recess time–you’ll allow yourself to enjoy this opportunity to play.
How you choose to paint that blank canvas for the next nine months will make all the difference in the world for your future baby and your livelihood.
2. Be a Good Steward of Your Health
We all know the world is full of toxins. What many may not know is the products targeting women, such as creams and fragrances, have some of the highest levels of toxicity in their ingredients. I say this to inform you, not to instill fear in you. Before you conceive, give yourself time to investigate products that are safe for you and your body. Then, do a gradual detox with the resources that make the most sense to you.
Not sure where to start? Don’t know what you don’t know?
- Avoid the fads.
- Question the dogma fed to you.
- Challenge yourself to make informed choices based on your beliefs and values–not what’s trending on Facebook.
The conscious awakening is already happening as you read these words. Step into your power and do your best every day to be a steward of your health.
3. Create Space for Self-Care
Create space for self-care, even before you decide to get pregnant. Self-care can include meditation, yoga, or any spiritual ritual that helps you quiet your mind and prepares your body for the exquisite experience of creating new life. The consequences are too damaging for the future baby if we neglect self-care–before, during, or after pregnancy.
Before you conceive, take advantage of the expansive creativity and stillness your consciousness craves. Remember, the choices you make in the six months to a year before conception will be key to achieving a conscious pregnancy.
4. Practice Indulgence Daily
There may be periods of time you will want to lie down and do nothing during pregnancy. Relish those peaceful moments. Bask in the stillness. Appreciate the benefits that come with honoring the needs of your womb–the ultimate vessel of health for your future baby.Indulging in daily rituals is essential for creating a peaceful haven for yourself, in your home, and for your spiritual practice.
Create sacred spaces in your home to help you achieve your daily rituals:
- a special place to sit and drink tea
- an altar with your cues for meditation
- a shelf in the bathroom full of oils and creams to pamper yourself with
Whether you’re practicing the ritual of bathing yourself, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, and feeding your family–or something more spiritual or religious in nature–do more of the activities that make you feel centered and balanced.
5. Be Proactive
When we submit to the internal and external pressures of the reactionary world we live in, we disconnect from our own truth. Pregnancy is not about cowering underneath your blanket for the next nine or ten months feeling defeated by fear-mongering advice. You can treat pregnancy like the sacred and special time that it is. You can use a proactive approach to prepare your mind, body, and spirit for the journey.
Being proactive is acknowledging that your future baby is full of promise and hope. Your future baby is capable of achieving mental, spiritual, and physical greatness. Choose to listen to your body. Trust that you intuitively know what is right for you.
6. Listen to Your Body
Do things in moderation early on because it will set the tone for the rest of your pregnancy. Never subject yourself to discomfort, it will only aggravate you–especially as your body expands. I used to visualize myself in a bubble where I could escape emotionally from my environment if I were unable to get away. The bubble shielded me from negative words or actions that could provoke unwanted emotions in me–emotions that could be harmful to the baby growing in my belly.
Chant mantras in your head. Listen to soothing music. Hum a tune that calms and relaxes you. Retreat to the bubble. Find peace however you see fit.
7. Build a Strong Support System
As you’re further along in your pregnancy, you’ll experience hundreds of different aches and pains. New issues can crop up. There are no perfect solutions to ease the discomfort, and too much of anything is never good for the baby. That goes for pain medications or any activity that can stress your emotional, mental or physical body. Many women say that working full time makes it difficult to find time for any of the activities prescribed to keep a healthy and happy pregnancy.
I’ve got three words for you: Ask for help.
It is crucial that you figure out how to keep yourself spirited during pregnancy. If you’re not already doing so, fit one to two light and uplifting activities into your weekly schedule to give you a reserve of positive emotions that can help relieve your aches and pains. Then, build a strong support system to assist you in areas of your life where you will need to go easy and have them take the load off of you. Stop doing it all by yourself.
Shivani Gupta is the bestselling author of The Conscious Pregnancy: A Spiritual and Practical Approach to Making a Zen Baby. Her work has been featured in Psychology Today, USA Today, Vanity Fair, American Baby Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Examiner, and several other major publications. For more strategies, tips, and insights on how to have a conscious pregnancy or to buy the book, visit www.theconsciouspregnancy.com.