Body, Soul, and Baby : A Doctor's Guide to the Complete Pregnancy Experience, From Preconception to Pos tpartum
In a culture that rarely sees pregnancy as a journey to self-discovery,Body, Soul, and Babyoffers a fresh perspective on this transformative life experience by showing women how to tune in to the cues offered by their bodies and souls?as well as by the babies growing within them?for a healthier pregnancy, a more fulfilling birth experience, and a deeper bond with their baby. Drawing on the best of both complementary and conventional Western medicine, Dr. Gaudet has written a groundbreaking guide that shows you how to become an active participant in your pregnancy. By working with the natural processes of pregnancy, you can discover how to: ? Pick up important signals from within about what you need, what your body needs, and what is right for both you and your baby ? Tune in to cues that can alert you to early signs of problems ? Use the mind-body connection to reduce stress, explore this remarkable life change, and bond with your baby ? Nurture your whole self, including your evolving sexual and sensual needs ? Make informed and conscious choices that reflect both your personal feelings and the latest medical information ? Collaborate with your doctor or midwife, and build a supportive health-care team Empowering, inspiring, and respectful of the wisdom of the female body and spirit, this invaluable book also includes advice on eating right and staying active, and natural and alternative approaches to pain relief.
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January 28, 2008
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Excerpt from Body, Soul, and Baby by Tracy Gaudet
Chapter Four Your Pregnancy Self-Care Plan How to nurture your health across your five Centers of Wellness I wish I could offer you a magical formula for a perfect pregnancy and baby. But no such formula exists because ?perfection? is a word that has no place in describing the human endeavor of childbearing. What?s more, differing backgrounds, histories, tastes, habits, starting points, and so on mean that no one-size-fits-all health plan can possibly have the same effect on every person. Every birth is different, too. Sure, all female bodies are designed to gestate and give birth, but while some lucky people can just step out of the way and let the body do its thing, more often challenges arise?nausea, anemia, preterm labor? where our attention and involvement can make a difference. In addition, certain aspects of birth simply fall beyond anyone?s control or understanding. We don?t know why some women develop preeclampsia or why some fetuses refuse to come out of a breech position, for example. Your goal should be to move toward a lifestyle that will supportyourpregnancy in an optimal way. And that?s something Icangive you. Whatever your starting point, this season of change is an ideal time to make some improvements in the way you take care of yourself. Whether you work to bring better balance into your life, shed unhealthy habits, or improve the good habits you already have, a child is the ultimate motivation. What?s more, these benefits reverberate well beyond pregnancy and childbirth. You can create new habits that persist long after your baby is born, setting yourself up for a healthier midlife and beyond. By modeling those behaviors in motherhood, you?ll send out powerful messages that shape your child?s health as she or he grows, too. THE FIVE CENTERS OF WELLNESS Good health consists of five different (but overlapping) domains that must be individually strong as well as balanced overall. These five Centers of Wellness are: 1.Nutrition:food, drink, and supplements. 2.Movement:exercise for fitness as well as movement that brings you joy. 3.Mind:the state of your mind, including your stressors and your perceptions. 4.Spirit:a feeling of connectedness to self, to other beings, and to an entity larger than yourself (such as God or nature), whether via spirituality, community, religion, or other vehicles. 5.Sensation:sensuality (the senses: touch, taste, vision, hearing, and smell) and sexuality. It?s through these five centers that you nourish your body and soul. They?re listed in no particular order of importance, becauseall five are important! Conventional medicine tends to value the first two and give a nod to the third. The last two are rarely even considered in a medical setting. But I believe all five interconnect to impact your well-being. For example, when you are eating well, you often feel less depressed, more energetic and apt to exercise more, and your relationships are also better. When you are not managing stress well, you may overeat and stop exercising, and your relationships and sex life may suffer. What?s so interesting is that your needs within a given center are constantly shifting?especially in pregnancy. The way you move, your appetites and food preferences, your stress level, your libido, your sense of connection to God or to your own mother or your friends?all will be impacted across the arc of this experience and all will vary from trimester to trimester, and even from day to day. That?s why paying attention to all five of your Centers of Wellness is so important, and why you need a flexible plan that changes as you do. The Basic Self-Care Plan for Pregnancy is simple and life-chang