The hormonal imbalance coupled with mood swings, frequent urination, headaches and back pain do not make pregnancy a good experience to cherish. Well, the truth is, you can choose to make pregnancy the most memorable and productive experience of your life, or you can spend it whining and crying.
Below are few tips to make pregnancy a joyous and productive experience of life, In sha Allah.
But before I jump into the tips, I invite you to bear in mind that there are four dimensions of human beings. We have a soul, a heart, a mind and a body which corresponds to our four basic needs: spiritual needs, emotional needs, mental and physical needs. In order to enjoy a productive and peaceful pregnancy in true sense of the words, these needs must be in harmony with each other.
- Involve your partner in everything you do. Learn together and grow together. It’s very important for a father to play an active role in a pregnancy in order to be able to strongly bond with his child.
- Tell people what sort of cooperation you expect from them (ignoring your mood swings, making you feel good).
- Hang out with POSITIVE people who boost your morale and help you sail smoothly through your pregnancy.
- Keep yourself busy. Don’t leave your normal activities unless extremely necessary. The busier you keep yourself, the lesser you’ll have the time to fret over pregnancy gloom.
- Lead a goal oriented life. Set small targets with your husband and rejoice and celebrate when you achieve them (reading a book together, exercising etc.) Then set a new goal and repeat the cycle.
Tips to Meet Your Mental Needs
- Educate yourself. You must read books or articles, attend programs, and listen to informative lectures to educate yourself about pregnancy and how to overcome its challenges. It is similar to knowing the depth of the swimming pool before diving in. It will save you a lot of trouble.
- Talk to an experienced person. It could be your friend or your sister. Some things you would want to take from their experience. And there would be other things you would want to do differently.
- A depressed mom is equal to a depressed child. Remember depression is the recipe for destruction. Researches tell us that a mother’s depression retards the normal growth of a child and affects his/her memory and learning later in life. It also leads the child to become fearful. So as you can see, a mother’s depression has a far reaching effect. Your mental condition affects the mental condition of your child. So if you’re feeling down, make extra effort to find reasons to be happy. Be a persistent positive thinker and ask people around you to help you think positively.
- Resolve stress quickly. Stress produces a hormonal called catecholamines which affects the nervous system of the baby.
- Read out loud to your baby. It will instill reading habit in the baby later in life. You might need to buddy up with your partner in developing this habit. Let mom read to the baby sometimes, and sometimes let dad do the job.
Tips to Meet Your Emotional Needs
Prenatal researchers believe that there is some link between a mother’s thoughts and feelings and how her baby feels, and that from six months on a pre-born baby can share mother’s emotions via the hormones associated with them.
- As your baby grows, he/she is constantly getting messages from mommy. The baby responds to sounds at about 20 weeks into pregnancy.Indeed, We created man from a sperm-drop mixture that We may try him; and We made him hearing and seeing. [Qur'an: Chapter 76, Verse 2]So talk to them! (Baby, daddy is coming, let’s get ready. Mama is going to pray, now be a nice baby. Baby, mama is reading out loud for you, pay attention). They know what’s going on in the outer world.
- If you have decided a name, call them by their names. This is the time to strengthen the emotional bond.
- Hug people more often. It produces a hormone called oxytocin (also called as love hormones) that has anti-stress and pro-social effects.
- Visualize a happy family. Involve your baby in the picture. Visualize yourself, your husband and baby going out, being happy, going out to the beach, playing and having a great time together. Let your imaginations go wild. Keep visualizing until you get the feeling of being in that moment and enjoying it to the fullest extent.
- Ask for love and support from those around you. Remind them that you are pregnant and they might have to be a victim of your mood swings but gentle care and love given by them will help you get over it.
Tips to Meet Your Physical Needs
This is one aspect of pregnancy that’s given all the attention. And sometimes this can lead to a very troubled pregnancy because our focus (and the focus of those around us) is directed only towards the physical aspect of pregnancy while the three other spectrums of need are totally ignored. Since we already know much about the physical aspect, I’ll only touch upon it briefly.
- Every deficiency in food leads to some sort of trouble in the baby’s development. Have a balanced diet.
- Avoid processed food of all kinds. Get yourself on organic food.
- Sweet melon, honey, barley and grapefruit tend to aid pregnancy. Dates help a great deal in delivery, too (remember Maryam ?)
- Exercise. (Personally, I used to turn on my favorite lecture on my phone and walk for half an hour every day. Killing two birds with one stone.) Apart from that, some exercises aid in normal delivery. You must ask your doctor about it.
- Increase your physical activities. The more physically active you are, the easier would be the delivery.
- Get closer to the nature. Walk on the grass. Breathe in fresh air. Ponder over the signs of Allah .
Tips to Meet Your Spiritual Needs
- Never, never, never be ungrateful to Allah for the pregnancy even if it was unplanned. He is the best of the planners. (Researches show that mothers who resented being pregnant had children with more emotional problems. You wouldn’t want your child to be emotionally unstable, right?)
- Prayer is the best form of meditation. It doesn’t just soothe you but also soothes your baby.
- Recite the entire Qur’an in your voice to your baby. A six-month-old fetus can move his body to the rhythm of his mother’s speech. What better gift could you give the baby than bonding him/her with the Kalam Allah even before his/her birth? Also by doing this, we can expect them to turn out righteous, pious, easy going and more religiously inclined In sha Allah. (Modern day researches have also proven that “music” has an effect on unborn children and that they are able to recognise it once they are born).
- Make istaghfaar. You wouldn’t want to have negative effects of your sins on your child. So be in the constant state of istaghfaar and make lots and lots of dua.
- Get connected with Allah 24/7. He is your best friend. Keep talking to Him. Involve Him in your decisions. Make istikhara (which doctor to go to, which hospital to choose etc). Ask Him to grant you a safe delivery, a pious child and a happy life together as a family.
Have a happy pregnancy!
About the Author:
Bela is the founder and Chief Inspirational officer at Muslim Women Empowerment. She is a life coach, speaker and a student of Qur’an. She helps women to overcome their obstacles and make a difference in their lives and the world. She can be reached at www.belakhan.com or www.facebook.com/muslimwomenempowerment