by Nicole Ricketts, Childcare Worker, Goonellabah, Australia
There are many ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for a woman when she is pregnant, as we all know. For example, most doctors will recommend that you stop drinking alcohol (or at least cut back significantly) and stop smoking while pregnant. More and more women are now doing this, as we understand more about the effects these things have on ourselves and on the baby.
But then, what happens after the baby is born or perhaps after we stop breastfeeding?
Commonly, we as women tend to start back up again with these things/habits we know are not good for either a developing baby or ourselves. It’s like after the baby’s body is separate from us, then we think that anything we ingest in our bodies won’t affect them.
But what if it still does? It’s like, ‘while I have another little person in MY body I had better look after MY body because I have a huge impact on the making of this little person, but once this little person is out I can go back to treating MY body however I want.’ Surely how we are with ourselves affects those around us all of the time.
And then, what about that ‘little person’ that’s inside our bodies ALL of the time? Us. Me. I live inside my body ALL the time.
Do I not need just as much care and nurturing as if I was carrying a baby? We must ask ourselves, what is going on for us as women that we feel we can’t or won’t give ourselves the same self-care and love unless we are pregnant?
I have been pondering on this question, as it was not something I had even looked at for myself when I was pregnant with my son.
I had an ‘easy’ first trimester when I was pregnant with no nausea or sickness, and combined with the fact that my pregnancy was unexpected, I rushed around trying to organise and prepare for everything. I even took on extra work because I knew I would have to slow down towards the end of the pregnancy. I went back into a job that I didn’t really like just to earn extra money, so that caused some added stress.
On top of that, I spent hours painting the inside walls of our house and doing every pregnancy yoga and Pilates DVD I could find to ‘prepare’ my body for the physical changes I was about to go through, but really it actually hurt. I would come away after the DVD usually feeling more tired and tight in my body than before I started. It was just another box that I thought I had to tick while pregnant. In short, I completely overrode what my body was asking of me.
Looking back, what I did was what I thought women were supposed to do for themselves because of the pregnancy and the baby they are carrying. In actual fact, in my eyes I thought I was being so much more caring with myself, but with the awareness of my body that I now have I wouldn’t have done a few things that I did, i.e. the yoga DVDs.
Recently I was asked the question ‘What would I do differently in my 1st trimester if I were to become pregnant again?’ well, it got me pondering and what I came up with was a big realisation. It started with… I would definitely be listening to my body more:
- If I had nausea or felt unwell, I would take time off work (which I do now).
- I would sleep and /or rest when I felt to (some days I even do this now).
- I would take the time to cook myself yummy nutritious food for my body (which I am doing now).
- I would be making decisions for me, by me, considering and feeling into my choices deeply rather than blindly following what ‘a book’, my mother, my midwife, society etc. would tell me. If something didn’t feel right to me, I would listen to my body and pay attention (which, yes, most of the time I am doing now).
So, I started to feel that what if all women lived their lives as if they were pregnant ALL of the time? Why wait to be pregnant to feel how precious and nurturing we can actually be with our bodies, when we listen to what we truly feel?
Since becoming involved with Universal Medicine and attending presentations by Serge Benhayon I have discovered that I am extremely precious, and the natural way I treat myself now is very gentle and loving. The biggest thing that has changed for me is that I give myself permission to follow through on what my body feels or asks of me first, without worrying about what other people are doing and whether I’m doing things in the same way as they are.
In the past, I wouldn’t want to ‘stand out’ or ‘get it wrong’. I have realised I spent A LOT of time working out how I was going to be, say or look based on how I thought others would see me and possibly react to me. Wow, no wonder I was tired all the time, it is exhausting trying to read people’s minds all day!
In the way I am now living, the little baby that has been inside of me all along – ‘me’ – is no longer being ignored. I make sure she is looked after and nurtured all day long, and in return, I feel more vital, joyful and alive during my day. Now, I actually have so much more energy! We make an awesome team!
If I do become pregnant again one day I know I would even take the love and self-care to the next level, because I now realise what an important role it is to bring another human being into this life.
But first and foremost I know I must never forget how special and important I am.
I now know so much about what it means to truly love the woman I am and care for my body, and all that this ‘love of me’ offers a child. I see the difference it makes now to my son who is aged 3 (something I will share in more detail in another blog).
I am inspired by feeling just how amazing it would be to love myself and a baby within equally.