Baby and you! Preparing for great health for you both
Having a baby is a big decision for any couple but a joyful one! This is the time you can express your love for each other through a new creation – part of both of you. So, if you decide that having a baby is right for you, then you’re going to want to make sure that you give that baby the best chance by making sure you and the baby are healthy. Having a healthy baby starts from the moment you decide to start trying. While there is no way to promise that your child will be totally free from illness, or that they will sleep soundly, there are certain things you can do that will help give your baby the best chance to develop and thrive in the best way possible.
A baby needs healthy parents
You can give your baby the best start by being healthy parents. The foundation of your child’s health is based on the vitality and strength of the parent’s sperm and ovum as well as their DNA. There have been studies that have shown that a high fat diet can decrease sperm quality. So, having a healthier diet will help with sperm quality. If you as parents exercise regularly, eat a healthy balanced diet, don’t smoke or take recreational drugs, and avoid pollutants as much as possible, you can increase your chances significantly to have a healthy baby.
Is your womb an Optimal Environment?
If you’re pregnant you need to be aware that you will not only pass on physical nutrients to your developing baby, but your emotional state and your stress. When exercising try low impact cardiovascular exercise including swimming, or you can spend time in quiet meditation and relaxation. You should also try to avoid areas of high electromagnetic frequencies like computer terminals, airplane flights, or high voltage electric wires, especially if you are in your first trimester. There are modern devices you can buy to protect you from these if these are part of your work environment so make some enquiries there.
Being Prepared for the arrival
Preparing for your baby is not just physical. It’s emotional and spiritual also. To prepare yourself for your baby’s birth you can meet with a birthing coach and talk to her about the various options, techniques for relaxation, and methods for the delivery. You can also receive regular Craniobalance sessions if you are very stressed. This is a gentle, hands-on therapy that helps relieve tension and stress. It focuses on realigning the individual bones of your cranium to remove any distortions contributing to your pain or tension.
Will you breast feed baby?
Not every mother decides to breast feed her baby. This is a personal choice and should be respected. Some expectant mothers are not sure what they plan on doing, and some are wanting to breast feed exclusively. Whatever your decision there is a range of health benefits associated with breast feeding your baby. Breast feeding your baby the first few feeds is still a good idea even if you are planning on bottle feeding for various reasons. This is because breast milk has overwhelming health benefits for your baby’s immune system and growth.
There has also been research that shows that breastfeeding reduces the chances of your child developing ADD/ADHD later in life. Another benefit is that the sucking of the mother’s nipple stimulates the entire cranial system affecting brain function and development and helps strengthen the muscles of the oral cavity.
The passageway your baby goes through from the womb to the outer world can sometimes be difficult and traumatic. This can be due to the cord wrapped around baby’s neck, breech birth or your labour being non-progressive. These all complicate the birth process and may cause stress and tension in the body. Even minor stresses can cause health problems such as colic, torticollis, sleeplessness, irritability, allergies, ear infections and breathing difficulties. Some research shows it can even be part of the cause of ADD/ADHD, behavioural problems, and learning disabilities into childhood.
Craniobalance is a safe way to help combat these stresses and reduce the risk of health problems. You can give your baby a gentle five-to-ten-minute post-partum session. It will balance out their tiny body and release any held in trauma from birth and delivery.
After delivery – what now?
Once baby has arrived you can make a calm and happy environment to create good vibes for them. Remember that they are sensitive to incense, oils, perfume, chemicals and other smells. Also, their skin is sensitive. Be aware what is in your home and what you are wearing as parents. Also, people they come in contact with and whether they are smokers.
There is a custom in some cultures to remain at home with the baby for 40 days to let the baby stabilise in the home and become used to the environment. This also can give mum and dad a chance to set up a routine and mum a chance to rest more after giving birth especially now that dad’s get to play a much larger role in paternity than years ago. Parents need time out to rest so take turns looking after baby. It’s important to attend to personal care, such as mum having her nails done, or a massage. Yes, I did say that. Yes, I know you have a demanding little person there but self-care is a big part of bringing them into the world. Children copy and if you start right, you will give them the message of how important self-care is for all of their lives.
Baby and the importance of Touch
Babies need to be held, caressed, and given human warmth without limits. From the first time they are placed in your arms, nursed, rocked to sleep, calmed down when agitated you are confirming to your baby that the world is a safe and loving place. You can enhance and deepen your touch through two ways. These are massage and Craniobalance.
Some research shows that babies that receive a daily infant massage have a stronger immune system and develop more rapidly. A baby massage therapist can show you helpful massage techniques to apply to your baby. Craniobalance goes even deeper than the infant massage. A Cranial therapist physically comforts and holds the infant. They then tune into the subtle, gentle rhythms of the brain, spinal cord and the internal organs. They then work on releasing restrictions in the baby’s body. Results of a simple few sessions are that they can help relieve colic, high fevers, ear infections and torticollis. Alternatively, you can give baby a gentle massage yourself at home.
When I had my son, I went to the library and borrowed a book on Indian Baby Massage. It showed the proper way to massage, how to use a warming oil on his tummy, especially for colic. This is a good time for bonding. Play some calming music and dim the lights. Place your baby facing you on your lap with the head to your knees. This will stabilise them while you have both hands free to deliver the massage. A good time is just before you prepare the evening meal as babies tend to often get colic around that time. Another good time is round bath time to relax them and then to bed.
The shift from being a couple to being a family is an amazing journey. Now is the time to put the rules in place about how you want to bring your child into the world and the environment you want to create for all of you. Take the time to sit and plan, to daydream, to start a gratitude journal – with photos as these will be moments you will relish looking back on in years to come. (Thanks to Andrew Apperley Burst for the cute pic)