So You Want to Be a Parent?
Getting Mentally Prepared
Whether it’s your biological clock ticking away, or an urging from friends and family, you think it’s time to have a baby. Are you sure? It’s a big decision with an eighteen year plus commitment.
You’ve watched your friends, parents and strangers parent their children and you half expect it will go pretty well. But in the back of your mind are gnawing doubts, fears, and what ifs. Get ready, your mindset is in for a real overhaul. Getting mentally prepared for mother/fatherhood is your first step from ditching worries to imagining yourself as a mom or dad. Anticipating challenges is the key.
Today’s world is much different than the one I brought my children into. In the late 70’s and 80’s I was concerned with eating well and other basics of a healthy lifestyle. Babies born today have challenges that were unheard of just 20 years ago. Toxins in our environment are wreaking havoc on our bodies and our delicate newborns. According to The Healthy Home, babies are born with over 200 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood. We are literally inundated with chemicals in our environment; food, water, clothing, cleaning and personal care products, and more. This may be overwhelming at first, and you’re probably wondering, “Where do I start?”
Take a deep breath. Parenthood is a tremendous responsibility that requires physical, mental and emotional stamina. You’ve got to expect the unexpected, learn as much as you can about these little humans. You’re going to be inundated with “expert advice,” hopefully this article will narrow it down a bit.
Get It Together
Your first step and your most important task before you have children (and a relationship) is to get yourself together first. Your success and happiness as a family begins with you as individuals. And if you’re a single parent, your challenges will be even greater.
Here’s some great tips to help you decide how together you’ve got it:
Your life is easy going and for the most part you haven’t much to complain about.
You treat yourself well and your diet & lifestyle reflect this.
You love your friends' kids (not all their behaviors, however!) and children love to be with you.
Your personal relationship is harmonious (for the most part).
If any of these statements don’t ring true, we suggest you peruse the articles below for helpful advice and suggestions.
Preparation is your key to success. Start preparing long before the baby comes, preferably one year.
#1. Consult a Functional Medicine Doctor or Naturopath
Addressing health concerns and nutrition are best done BEFORE you get pregnant. Your functional medicine physician is trained to help you heal yourself by addressing diet, lifestyle and the environment. Functional medicine is effective because chronic disease is a food and lifestyle-driven, environment- and genetics-influenced phenomenon.
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#2. Get Fit Before You Conceive
If you’re overweight, slim down. Prepare one year before attempting to conceive. Healthy weight loss takes time. Obese mothers increase their risk of diabetes, sleep apnea, cesarean delivery and high blood pressure that can lead to kidney and liver failure. In rare cases, stroke can occur. Obesity increases the risk of miscarriage, and newborn birth defects such as heart defects and neural tube defects.
#3. If You Smoke, Quit & Do Not Drink Alcohol & Stop Birth Control Pills
It’s well known that smoking affects the unborn. Low birth weight, and preterm delivery (early delivery) is a leading cause of death, disability and disease among newborns. Seek counseling to address emotional issues. Alcohol is of course toxic to the body and is harmful to a growing fetus. If you’ve been taking birth control pills
stop several months
before you plan to conceive to let your body get back to normal.
#4. Take a Quality Prenatal Multivitamin & Mineral Supplement
All vitamins are not created equal. Some are worthless and toxic to your health. Those made with synthetic ingredients do more harm than good. Quality supplements are generally more expensive but well worth the price. We have done extensive research and found Garden of Life to be one of the highest quality supplement sources available.
Many Have Paved the Way
As we mentioned earlier, knowledge is power. While friends and family have well-intended advice, there’s no substitute for common sense. At Eden’s Corner our goal is to provide you the best health and wellness resources that support your healthy lifestyle.
Getting Your Body Ready for Baby
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