• Netsitsah Manela

Nourishing Body, Baby, Mind, and Spirit in pregnancy

Most of the people I work with are on a conscious journey, usually including some sort of intentional eating habits. Yes! So important. My favorite diets for the childbearing years are those that are nutrient dense, attend to macronutrients and micronutrients, include wisdom from ancient food traditions, and consider sustainability for people and planet. Vegan diets can work with great attention to eating abundant complete proteins, proper preparation of grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, supplementation of essential fatty acids and B12, and avoiding too much soy and highly processed foods. The Weston Price Foundation has some wonderful suggestions for ethical omnivorous eating. And Chinese medicine and Ayur veda provide wonderful wisdom on seasonal eating and balancing body systems and emotions through diet and herbs.

For supplements, I often recommend to my clients probiotics, magnesium, vitamin C, B vitamins, liquid herbal iron if needed, collagen powder, essential fatty acids, D3, A (retinol form), K2 (MK4), and others. Nourishing herbal infusions made from red raspberry leaf, stinging nettles, oat straw, and red clover can do wonders for the pregnant body. And homeopathic remedies can be a terrific help that is safe and effective for pregnant people and babies.

Your baby will develop a taste for the foods you choose during pregnancy and breastfeeding. My children, ages 5-15, still eat like I did during each of their pregnancies - different for each. Side note - they will also pick up your movement and exercise habits from gestation! So choose carefully, for their sake. And also load up on nutrients so that your body will stay strong for the future. This is a building time, not a cleansing time, so eat cleanly but for growth.

So that about covers nutrition for the body - abridged. As for the mind, having a pregnant belly or a baby really makes you stand out! Family, friends, and total strangers offer up unsolicited advice and even horror stories. The internet is also ready and waiting to supply you with stress-inducing information. My advice is to be as intentional with what you take in through your ears and eyes as you are about your food, cosmetics, and cleaning products. Write up affirmations and hang them on your walls. Tell your friend you'd love to hear their traumatic birth story after your baby has been born. Learn to tune in to your own intuition and find people you vibe with to connect with when something throws you off - it will happen, since we're even more open and sensitive while pregnant and parenting a new baby.

Now, the spiritual level can be a little tricky to talk about. I believe that the spiritual level of the being is inherently involved when it comes to - well, everything - but especially something as big and WOW as growing a baby, giving birth, breastfeeding, and the incredible growing and learning that babies and toddlers do. It just can't be limited to the secular realm. So, find a way to let that in and let that come out. Find some languaging or some music or some movement or something that resonates for you, if you don't already have a spiritual connection practice. Let yourself feel big and goddess-like sometimes. And also play with archetypal masculine and feminine energies. They are both so important in parenting. The surrender required in labor calls on us to access a level of feminine energy many seldom touch, even in sex. Go there. Practice embodying a vessel for massive power to come through. What do I even mean? Be in touch!


2 views0 comments