Care of Pregnant Women, Nursing Mothers and Children
Care of Parents- Pre conception
Even before the child is conceived, if the parents take care of their health following the principles in this site, it enhances the chances of conception and of conceiving a healthy normal, child. Poison habits like smoking, drinking etc reduce the fertility of both mother and father. In case the mother is in poor health and the fetus unlikely to survive, nature will initiate a miscarriage. So taking care of their own health even before conception is an important contribution of the parents towards the health of their prospective child. See the article on Avoiding birth defects at http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/bass/birth-defects.html
Care of Mother during pregnancy
Books upon books have been written about this subject. In a nutshell, the natural hygienic approach is as under:
- Pregnancy is not a sickness but a normal biological process. The pregnant mother should therefore be treated as a normal human being and not as a "sick" patient in need of constant medical care and advice
- Avoid all smoking, alcohol and drugs (medical or otherwise). Minimise the number and type of medical interventions, examinations, drugs, medicines etc to the level at which you are comfortable and feel you can be satisfied with.
- Follow the natural hygiene recommendations in this site, with a few modifications listed below
- Exercise programs should be modified to suit the age and health of the mother, the stage of pregnancy, prior exercise history, any problems faced during the pregnancy etc. Be very careful to not over-do things, but at the same time remember some exercise is required at all times to keep the body and muscle tone in good shape. A mother in poor physical condition is more likely to have problems during delivery.
Diet of mothers during pregnancy
- It is a fallacy to say that mothers should eat for two. Eat as per the dictates of hunger and eat healthy food as advised by hygiene and you should be OK
- Protein The WHO recommendations are 44g of protein a day for pregnant women. There is no need whatsoever for milk and animal products during pregnancy to achieve these levels. Whole grains (wholewheat bread, unpolished brown rice), legumes, lentils, peas, beans, sprouts, nuts and seeds can amply meet your needs. At most a small quantity of yoghurt or cottage can be added to the salad to meet protein and Vitamin B12 requirements
- Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, which contain folic acid. They provide small quantities of high quality proteins as well. Folic Acid pills may be taken as nutrient insurance, as can Vitamin B12 supplements. This is particularly important if you are following a 100% vegan diet.
- Get some sunshine for Vitamin D
- Calcium needs can be met with green leafy vegetables, leguems, beans, lentils, chick peas, tofu, and sesame seeds (the richest source of calcium on the planet). Simply grind some sesame seeds into powder and sprinkle on your salad!
- - Make sure your iron intake is OK Coriander, Mind (Kothmir, Pudina) can be made into a paste or chutney and added to your salad twice daily. Add lemon juice to this the Vitamin C will enhance the absorption of the iron. Raisins, whole grains, nuts, sees, jaggery etc are good sources of iron
- Vitamins are available in abundance in raw fruits and vegetables
- Eat smaller meals more frequently if that suits you better
There are no known adverse effects of sonography but remember, it took 40 years to figure out that X-Rays should be avoided by pregnant mothers! So don't overdo sonographies.
Delivery of children is also a natural process. Do it with minimum medical intervention, drugs etc. Modern medical methods are more suitable for the needs of the doctor than of the mother. For example, walking around during labour is much more helpful to shorten the labour and make it easier than lying in bed. Or, the squatting position is the easiest to deliver the child in. However almost all hospitals insist on having the mother flat on the back while delivering the child. As far as possible, avoid induction of labour with drips, use of drugs, epidurals etc as per your judgement
Tke the Lamaze program for Natural Childbirth (www.lamaze-childbirth.com) or contact Ms. Nutan Pandit in Delhi 178 Defency Colony, New Delhi, India - (www.ncbchildbirth.com) which teaches diet, exercise and proper breathing for pregnant mothers.
Care of Nursing mothers
Nursing mothers should follow the same recommendatios as listed above. In particular take care of your protein, iron, calcium and Vitamin B12 requirements
Is the best for both Mother and Child. Bottled milk should only be resorted to if there is no other option. Breast feeding should be carried on until at least 12 months.
Infant (formula) food
Should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Fruits, vegetables, blended salads and juices are much better options. Babies cannot digest starch until they are 12 months old, or even later, so the introduction of starches into the diet is best delayed. Introduction of solid foods into the diet and other related issues are involved topics and not possible to go into, in depth, here.
Healthy diet for children
-Children do as you do and not as you say. If they see you sticking to a particular form of diet, the chances of their adopting it are much higher
- Keep healthy foods and snacks available for kids around the house. Do not keep unhealthy options available (eg chocolates, coke etc)
- Do not force the children into anything. Suggest and leave it alone. If they try alternatives and fall sick then they will learn on their own.
Bringing up baby Naturally
A real can of worms. Click here for more . Vaccine Click here to read my article on the vaccination debate