It’s pregnancy awareness month (P.A.M).  I just found this out recently and thought this was great.  I know it seems that there is a month for everything – but this is definitely something that everyone needs to be more aware of. 

I am a huge believer of empowerment.  Empowering yourself and/or others in whatever endeavor you may be embarking on – especially pregnancy and childbirth.  So often, women put a lot of trust/faith into their medical professionals (which you should trust and believe in) but I don’t feel you should be complacent or passive, and too often that’s what happens.  You let THEM tell you how to have your baby, what to do during your pregnancy.  This is YOUR body, YOUR baby, YOU need to be involved and committed.   It’s great to hear what they have to say and to gather all the information and decide what will work best for YOU and YOUR baby. 

This is what PAM is all about.  They aim to empower pregnant women with information, “how to” ideas and inspiration to incorporate PAM’s four key initiatives – education, exercise, nutrition & wellness and nurture – into their life routines and to show women how easy it can be to make healthy changes in their lives for themselves and their children.

I began my lifestyle change before I became pregnant but became much more passionate about it when I found out I was pregnant.  I knew if not only for me,  for our baby.  No longer was it all about ME, but it was now and forever going to be about this little life that was about to be born.  How could I put into my body harmful chemicals found in highly processed foods or genetically modified organisms that we know nothing about or their long term affects on us?  To me this was a no brainer, I was NOT going to do this to me or my unborn baby and now to my two beautiful children.  How did I come to this conclusion?  Through educating myself.  I delved into every natural pregnancy book, every website that had information about GMO’s, BPA’s, etc.  And I learned all of that was NOT for me or my family. 

Since I wanted a natural childbirth I knew I had to have my body in good shape to help during my labor, so I began a fitness plan, prenatal yoga everyday, hiking, walking, and other cardio.  I had a wonderful pregnancy and a very fast and fairly easy birth (with no drugs).  I believe this had a lot to do with my exercise during my pregnancy.  Now that worked well during my first pregnancy because I didn’t have a toddler running around.  But having a toddler running around during my second pregnancy also helped me because – I was always trying to keep up with Ryder – we were always out and about – walking a lot, playing at the park (climbing up and down the ladder on the jungle gym), and just running around.  This was not as “put together” as my fitness plan during Ryder’s pregnancy but it still kept me in great shape.  Again, my birth was fast and easy (and drug free). 

Nurturing yourself is another very important factor of pregnancy.  My main concern during pregnancy was to alleviate stress in my life.  I did not want that negative energy to be passed to my children (both born and unborn).  It’s amazing how stress can affect your health and your baby’s.  I had a hammock in the backyard that I spent many afternoons in, reading, sleeping and just enjoying the peace of the outdoors.  After Ryder was born he and I spent many more afternoons hanging in it, nursing, sleeping and just rocking.  This nurtured our souls.  I will admit I need to do a little more nurturing of our souls now.  It does get a bit hectic around here.  I guess right now, some of our soul nurturing is being in nature, whether it’s in our yard, the beach, the park, wherever – it always seems to ground me and the entire family.

Nutritionis very important in our house.  After reading Animal Vegetable Miracle I began focusing more on eating seasonally.  We have been very focused on eating local for some time now – pretty much ever since we moved to California 12 years ago.  We live for the weekly farmers markets and the local farms.  Once we bought our house 6 years ago we began focusing on gardening and producing our own vegetables and fruit.  We also now belong to a food co-op that purchases food from one of Whole Foods biggest suppliers- so we get a lot, if not all, organic food.  Eating locally helps you to know where your food comes from – there are no questions about what went into the processing or growing of your food- you can ask the actual person that grew the food.  I LOVE this.  Now that we have children, it’s even more important for us to have and maintain a garden and purchase our food from local farmers.  Then they know where food comes from – the ground!  And not the “store”.  They can appreciate their food. 

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I know it’s not always feasible to buy organic – if you can only purchase a few items organic then make it the most important ones – for example – soft skinned fruits and veggies like berries, tomatoes and lettuce.  Chemicals are easily absorbed into these – where an orange kind of has a protective barrier that you peel off before eating. 

This is just how I choose to live my life – it might not work for someone else.  The most important thing is to EMPOWER yourself during your pregnancy and let it carry into the rest of your life.  YOU are in charge, YOU decide what works for YOU and YOUR family. 

How did you empower yourself during your pregnancy?  What were some life changes you made and have they continued? 

Power to the Pregnant!!!!!