I’m Pregnant: What Do I Do Next? Best Practices From A PPN Perspective
I get emails from people wanting to know how to “do” the paradigm of baby consciousness when they are pregnant. The inquiries often start with, “I’m pregnant, what do I do?” I thought I would write out some simple bullet points and resources for those parents who want to embody earliest parenting to help the development of their babies.
- Current research shows that best practice is to regulate your nervous system, or essentially, manage your stress. Fetal brain and pregnancy researchers show that babies of nervous or anxious mothers are more sensitive to novel stimulus after they are born, so their nervous system is easily stimulated. What does all THAT mean? It simply means self care and support. Your internal stress needs to be regulated so that you feel good, that you are cared for, and you can care for your baby. Many women carry trauma from their life experiences. If at all possible, tending to your story before you get pregnant is best. There are many trauma-informed approaches now. If you can find a group of women who want to conceive, like this group with Kristen Markham and her work on Conscious Conception, that would be another best practice.
- Discern your story. I recommend the book, It’s Never Tool Late from author Mia Kalef, and if you are a real lover of neuroscience, The Neuroscience of Human Relationships by Louis Cozolino. They both talk about how our family stories can get into our bodies. You can explore the impact of your ancestral lineage through the work of Mark Wolynn and his book, It Didn’t Start with You, or an Ancestral Medicine Healing Workshop like the one coming soon to Charlottesville, VA. You can track stories of birth and family culture and how they affect you. The recent news of the royal couple, Meghan and Harry, is an example of a couple trying to form their own lives in relationship with a powerful family lineage. Discern what are your influences, and then seek to chart your course into parenthood with consciousness.
- Consciously conceive. Cell biologist Bruce Lipton has shared with us how the lives of the parents influence which germ cells are selected for conception. Become more aware of your life. How are you feeling in your body? Peter Nathanielsz describes to us, in his bookLife Begins in the Womb: The Origins of Health and Disease just how a baby builds her brain and body in response to the environment. Gabor Mater eloquently describes how we respond to your environment in this clip from the movie IN UTERO.
- Manage your stress and connect with others. While many researchers expected that stress would be the number one concern among pregnant women, the studies have shown that support was the bigger concern. Indeed, the support of other people can really help pregnant couples and parents to connect with themselves, their babies, and their community to improve health.
- Explore Prenatal Bonding and build a relationship with your baby in the womb. We now know thatparenting begins before birth. Organizations all over the world now support that the baby has experiences in utero, and that the mother-baby bond starts there. Prenatal bonding is key, as expert Rene Van de Carr explains at his Prenatal University You can nurture your relationship with your baby before birth, and this will help with how the baby feels after birth. Everyone sleeps better, eats better and learns better.
- Consciously explore your birth options. My favorite resource for this is the book by John Wilks, Choices in Pregnancy and Childbirth. John Wilks carefully describes many things that parents need to know about the choices they make about birth interventions. The baby knows how to be born, and mothers know how to birth. Data show that hiring a birth doula is highly effective and helps with outcomes all around, decreasing the need for birth interventions and increasing satisfaction with life, even the couple’s relationship.
- Select a practice where you can have no separation at birth with your baby. Skin-to-skin has amazing benefits. Seek out a hospital that is Baby Friendly Educate yourself about the 9 instinctive steps a babytakes to crawl to breast.
- Slow down after birth and give yourself, your partner/husband time to be with baby and go at a slow pace to really bond, attach after birth.
- Get support from professionals and other couples, too. Many women suffer from birth trauma or issues from birth. You can seek help from a talented bodyworker or physical therapists, I specialize in healing birth trauma with my family support. There are many therapists and programs out in our communities that want to support women and couples postpartum.
- If you have difficulty breastfeeding, you can seek out the support of La Leche League, an IBCLC, lactation consultant or other specialist. Baby bodywork is also recommended.
Books and Resources for Pregnant Couples and Moms:
- Prenatal Parenting by Fred Wirth
- Pre-Parenting: Nurturing Your Child from Conception by Thomas Verny
- Knock Knock Let’s Talk by Dr. Ankita Sapan Marjadi
- Spirit Babies by Walter Makichen
- Birth Psychology
- Kindred Media Website: The New Story of Parenting