For those of you who are mothers you can probably relate to this post. Do you ever have…let’s just call them “what ifs” (not regrets) relating to what you wish you would have known before you were pregnant?
Let’s face it, before we’re mothers we don’t know everything. You can say you’ve read hundreds of books, helped take care of nieces, nephews, cousins, or done whatever, but those experiences still don’t fully prepare you for own pregnancy and beyond.
Three kids later, I’m in a different place then I was before I started having kids. For example, I was never a fan of taking too many medications anyway, but I never really explored alternative and natural remedies either. I would just suffer through the cold.
I realize learning and changing are all a part of going through life. I don’t believe no one person keeps the same habits from childhood through old age. People change, habits change, views change.
Despite being just life, there are some things that I wish I knew before I was pregnant.
Here is my wish list:
1. I wish I knew alternatives to (fill in the blank)
I wasn’t fully educated in understanding that since the skin is the largest organ in the body it will tend to absorb much of what you put on it (at least 60%). I heard it mentioned, but didn’t fully grasp the concept. For dry skin instead of reaching for the avocado or coconut oil, I would reach for the petroleum jelly, made from petrolatum, which is found in crude oil and its by-products…ummm, ewww. For lotions I would reach for the ones that had the parabens, the phthalates, and all the other harmful substances linked to cancer. I would also clean with some very harsh chemicals, breathing that stuff in I don’t know how many times a week. Once my babies were born baby oil, which ingredients consist of mineral oil (another petroleum-based ingredient) and fragrance (which can consist of who knows what), was my go to product for their dry skin. You get the picture of what was happening here.
2. I wish I knew that cravings really meant my body was missing something
Pregnancy can make you want to avoid eating some of your favorite foods and it can make you crave foods you thought you would never eat. It can also make you crave foods that you already eat, but in larger quantities. Cravings, in general, can be an indication that your body is missing certain vitamins and/or minerals. This can hold true during pregnancy. It makes perfect sense since you are now eating for two (or more) and your body’s nutrient needs multiply.
Some simple nutritional deficiency craving explanations include:
Peanut butter/nuts B-vitamins, protein and fat. You need more B vitamins when you are stressed and more of each of these nutrients when you are pregnant. A good quality supplement will help diminish the craving and will be lower in calories!
Olives, pickles Sodium is probably what you need – salt to taste even when you are pregnant.
Bananas Potassium which helps to maintain the body’s water balance and normalize the heart beat.
Chocolate Make sure you are getting enough magnesium and iron through your daily diet.
The same concept can be used when you develop an aversion to certain foods, perhaps your body doesn’t need it during this time. Normally, during your prenatal checkups your blood levels are checked to ensure no deficiencies. But, even when your levels are fine according to your doctor, I believe there’s always room for improvement.
3. I wish I knew how to avoid getting three C-sections
Yes, you counted right! I have three kids and I’ve had three C-sections. The third one was a given after having the first two, but if I could do it all over again I know I could have been better prepared. Perhaps hiring a birth doula would have helped. Perhaps talking to a naturopathic doctor back then could have helped. Perhaps purposely seeking out an OBGYN with a holistic approach to prenatal care, in addition to a low rate of C-sections would have helped. Perhaps all of these would have helped me prevent at least one or two, if not all three C-sections. And maybe nothing could have stopped the C-sections from happening, but at least I know I would have explored more alternatives and would have known more than I know now. That’s the beauty and scariness of pregnancy – you never know what you’re getting into when you become pregnant and what kind of labor and delivery you will have…all thanks to the uniqueness of each experience.
4. I wish I knew more about baby wearing
I’m not saying I would have done it, but I wish I would have explored it more and maybe tried it with at least one of my kids to see if there were any benefits. Babywearing is a way to hold or carry a baby (or young child) using a cloth baby carrier. Baby carriers are said to make it easier and more comfortable to hold your baby, allowing parents and caregivers to continue on with their normal daily activities. Medical professionals agree that infants thrive through touch and “wearing” your baby is another way to do this. The list of the benefits of babywearing include happier and healthier babies, confident parents, as well as comfort and convenience.
Do you have a wish list of your own? Please share!
Resources – For Your Own Information