Each month, I give my clients a monthly theme: something to work on, think about, and practice doing to help them prepare themselves as mothers for the birthing of their children. This month I am choosing to work with my mothers on the theme of health.
You can ask any mother-to-be (or anyone who already is a mom) what their greatest wish is for their children, and the first thing they always say is that they wish for them to be healthy. Sadly, there are some things that are totally out of your control when it comes to the health of your children. But there are many other things you can do to make sure your children are healthy.
Everything starts with you, the way you live your life. You will be an example to your children of how to be and setting a pace for them.. If you want your children to be healthy, and you are living on junk food and choosing not to exercise, then what would inspire your children to live any differently? You are the role model; how you live your life is how your children will live theirs.
Before pregnancy is when I usually like to work on developing a healthy lifestyle with clients. Think of your pre-pregnant body as a special soil in which you are about to plant the most precious seed. The healthier the soil (your body), the healthier and more vibrant that seed (your baby) will grow. It’s a known fact that women who take better care of themselves have healthier pregnancies, births, and an easier time bouncing back afterwards than those who don’t. When you start off and maintain healthy choices throughout your pregnancy, the chances of pregnancy risks go way down. Also, better health before pregnancy helps with egg quality and promotes healthy hormones.
When I talk about healthy lifestyle before pregnancy, I am talking about the food and supplements you are putting in your body, stress management, a balanced lifestyle, and exercise. This is a lifestyle change, not something you are doing temporarily. You are shifting the way you live so you will have overall health, feel better, be more vital, and have a healthier pregnancy. The longer you practice healthy choices, the more locked in to this lifestyle you will be, and the more likely you are to pass on this way of living to your children.
While you are pregnant, you are literally developing the foundation on which your child will grow. Pregnancy is such a miraculous time. Inside your belly, over the nine months of pregnancy, a whole human being forms, develops, and grows. Prenatal health is like someone building a house with materials of their choice. Obviously, using the best products will create the most solid foundation on which to build the rest of the house. When I work with a pregnant woman on shifting to a healthy lifestyle, I always use that metaphor followed by, “Do you want to build your baby on Kentucky Fried Chicken and mashed potatoes or roasted organic chicken and a fresh kale salad?”
A while back, I read a book by the author, Annie Murphy, called, “Origins – How the Nine Months before Birth Shapes Our Lives” (which is fabulous, and I highly recommend it to all). In her book, she talks about how the food a pregnant woman consumes while pregnant shapes the pallet of the foods her child will want to eat when it comes time for them to make their own food choices. So if you want your child to make healthy choices, then you have to teach them those choices while they are still developing inside you.
Your children watch, mimic, and absorb all you do. You can tell them to make good choices concerning their health and well-being, but if you aren’t a living example of what being healthy looks like, then you can just forget about them listening to you.
So, for this month take a look at how you have been living. Are you living a healthy lifestyle? Would you be ok with it if your children lived this way? Begin to look at the foods you are putting in your body. Make changes where you need to make changes. If you have been not moving your body enough, then establish a new workout routine. If you are stressed out find ways to manage it like yoga, massage, meditation, acupuncture, life coaching, or therapy. Evaluating your lifestyle now will help you to create a healthy environment for your children in the future.
We pass through the generation’s lifestyle choices, addictions, beliefs and thoughts. All it takes is one person takes is one strong person to break away from the tribe to do something different then what was taught to them. Be that person for not only yourself and your children but for the generations that follow.