Planning a Pregnancy
So you are feeling settled and are ready to start or add to your family – how exciting! So why do you need to plan? Why not? A soul entering your life is such a big gift. Vaheguru is entrusting a part of him in your hands, so how can we help nurture this child? By planning for this pure soul entering our lives we can start to create the environment we would want our child to grow up in. This article hopes to touch on a few aspects that we could focus on.
Put down those ladoos! Ok, maybe just have one to celebrate this new phase in your life. Studies have shown that our diet, even before we get pregnant, affects our children! So lets start now if we haven’t already. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, make sure you’re munching on foods high in iron, and cut down on processed foods. There is also a common belief in our community that reducing the amount of ‘hot’ foods whilst trying for a baby, for example peppers, chilli, chocolate and ginger (for more examples ask a Bibi Ji)..
You also need to start having Folic acid supplement (as recommended by health professionals), as it has shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. It is present naturally in foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, oranges, whole grains and pulses. Some foods are also fortified with it such as bread, breakfast cereals and margarine. However, to be on the safe side, it is recommended that women of a child bearing age should be taking a daily supplement containing folic acid. You could also go for an iron and Vitamin D containing multivitamin because women in our community tend to have lower levels. Try to begin taking this as soon as possible.
Ensure you are a healthy weight and have a BMI between 20-25, as obese mothers tend to have more complications during pregnancy. It is important that you are not underweight as it helps to have some stores to help get you through your pregnancy and have reserves if you suffer from morning sickness. Also people of low weights are more likely to pick up infections.
Pregnancy is no easy feat. It is not only draining mentally but physically too. Adhering to the government’s advice of 30 minutes a day of moderate activity will help reduce pregnancy related issues such as back pain/ obesity and lethargy. It becomes more difficult to partake in some forms of physical activity so try to do as much as you can before you become pregnant. Continue some easy physical activity during pregnancy such as walking. Researchers suggest the more active we are as mothers, the more active our children will be. Fathers too, Singhs help your Singhnia and both of you being healthy will improve your chances of conceiving.
Whilst growing up, what do we feel helped us become the person we are today? Was there anything we would have changed? What kinds of emotions fill your home? Many studies show that children pick up emotions even when they are in the womb. Are there any feuds or issues that you need to resolve? How can you make your home become more positive?
What about within ourselves? Think of your mind and body as a home and realise that a soul will be coming to reside their for 9 months. Is there any dusting & cleaning we need to do? Do you use foul language? Do you tend to get angry or stressed easily? Think about how you start to work at these and come up with SMART (specific, measurable, achievable and time constrained) goals.
Baba Deep Singh ji, Bhai Taru Singh ji, Sant Ji and so many more heroes in our Panth have one thing in common – Parents that enshrined Sikhi values into their children from day one. Implementing Sikhi within our child will teach them about good morals, discipline, love, confidence, mindfulness, humility, the list is endless! To ensure this we need to start from now, just one step at a time.
Take just one step towards the Guru, the Guru will take millions towards you.
Bhai Gurdaas Ji, Vaars Bhai Gurdaas, Ang 42
Are we actually dedicating time to try and progress and get closer to Vaheguru? By surrounding baby with Gurbani and Simran we are surrounding it with positivity and love. Start taking baby steps i.e. listen to Kirtan, try to start reading Gurbani if you don’t already, and for those who do, try to do that little bit more. Do some Simran, and do how ever much feels manageable to you.
Ardaas… There is so much to think about, but Vaheguru will guide you. Go to a Gurdwara, do a personal Ardaas, ask Giani Jee to take a Hukamnama and try to understand the message. Take a note of the Shabad and find it on a Gurbani search engine after if you need help (www.searchgurbani.com), better still listen to katha of it (www.gurmatveechar.com).
Ask Vaheguru to help you through this new phase of your life and to aid you in taking the necessary steps to do the best you can for your child.