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Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock.com


NATURAL by Deborah Shouse


woman’s body is exquisitely designed to conceive, nurture and give birth,” says Dr. Carol J. Phillips, an Annapolis, Maryland, prenatal chiropractor, doula


and author of Hands of Love: Seven Steps to the Miracle of Birth. Judith Lothian, Ph.D., associate editor of the Journal of


Perinatal Education, professor of nursing at Seton Hall Uni- versity, in South Orange, New Jersey, and a natural childbirth educator, knows the signifi cance of women’s deep intuitive instinct. “Women who feel supported and encouraged can tap into their own wisdom and fi nd deep satisfaction in giving birth naturally. The process itself perfectly prepares mother and baby to continue on their journey together.” Several gentle strategies help mothers-to-be prepare for the joys of natural pregnancy and childbirth.


Build a Baby-Friendly Body


Discover Intuitive Nutrition “Follow your urges,” counsels Peggy O’Mara, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, former editor of Mothering Magazine and author of Having a Baby, Naturally. “Eat when you’re hungry. Sleep when you’re weary. Go to the bathroom the moment nature calls. Practice this in pregnancy so you’ll be in the habit of listening to your instincts when you give birth.” This simple advice counters women’s common habit of attending to other people’s needs instead of their own. Along with eating organic whole foods, Kristy Wilson,


of Las Vegas, a certifi ed professional midwife, labor doula and placenta preparation specialist, recommends both a plant-based food supplement with iron and whole food prenatal supplement. Vitamin C is important for a strong amniotic sac; she suggests at least 500 milligrams daily. A high-strung mom can take magnesium chloride baths or sip a soothing cup of red raspberry leaf tea. “Women that are concerned about their diet can tune into the baby and ask what they need,” says Lori Bregman,


Creating the Best Start for New Life “A


MOTHERHOOD


of Santa Monica, California, a doula, birth coach and author of The Mindful Mom-to-Be. If craving a certain dish, she can research its benefi ts and healing qualities. The yearning for comfort foods like pizza, macaroni or ice cream may signal the need for more nurturing. Eyeing popcorn or chips could be a sign she’s stuffi ng down an emotion. She can ask herself, “What am I suppressing?” “Eat a lot of protein, including vitamin B-rich foods, during


both pregnancy and breastfeeding,” advises O’Mara. “Nursing moms need to eat nutrient-dense foods frequently,


Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock.com natural awakenings May 2017 37


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