How nutrition contributes to the normal physiology of pregnancy, labour and birth: Affirmations for changing your relationship with foods you choose

8. I eat a rainbow of colours every day.

Eating foods of all the colours of the rainbow will ensure that you are eating a good variety of foods and therefore meeting your nutritional needs. Red beets, apples, strawberries, orange carrots, tangerines, grapefruits, yellow squash, green kale, blueberries, and purple eggplant are just some colourful suggestions. Another good trick to trying new foods and getting variety is to get what is on sale – then you are guaranteed to buy and try new things each time you shop and you end up saving a few dollars, too! 

9. I eat foods that make me feel good.

Foods that are good for you make you feel good. There is a difference between what most people consider comfort foods and foods that actually make your body feel better. The foods that are available to you in boxes and bags at the grocery stores are made up of the same few ingredients and shaped into bread, crackers, cookies, muffins, you name it. Allergies develop when we eat only one strain of grain, like the wheat, corn, and soy that are grown in the U.S. Diversity in food creates health just as diversity in genes strengthens the gene pool. We are seeing more and more allergic reactions to normal, everyday foods like wheat and peanuts. The foods that are most readily available to us are not nourishing but toxic, and our digestive tracts are unable to sustain the abuse wrought by them. Looking on the bright side, we can see that these allergic reactions force us to seek out “alternative” ways to provide ourselves nutrition. Moving out of the habit of eating white flours and white sugars can be challenging, yes, but the rewards are truly healthful. Feeling good is your body’s homeostatic goal. Once we reach this goal, we no longer crave the foods that once made us feel bloated, foggy, and sluggish.

10. I understand that products that go on my skin go within my body. 

Just as the foods you put inside your body become part of your biology, so do the products that you put on your body. “What you put on your skin, goes within” is a good mantra to remember when shopping for and applying products to your hair, skin, nails, eyes, lips, underarms, genitals – everywhere. Paraben is one example of a controversial ingredient in many, if not most products – even so-called “all natural” products. Methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and all names including paraben are preservatives approved for use by the FDA. Just like foods, this ingredient is approved in a certain amount, but since it is in almost every skin, hair and cosmetic product on the shelf, you will absorb an amount that is well over the approved recommended amount. The body is unable to process this plastic-like preservative, and therefore, we find parabens making up the majority of many breast tumours studied. For a list of controversial ingredients which are cause for concern, please go to www.safecosmetics.org.

11. I purchase and use only natural, healthy products for my hair, body and skin. 

Truly natural and non-toxic cosmetic and personal hygiene products are readily available for purchase at most stores now. Companies making deodorant without aluminium, toothpaste without fluoride, and shampoo without petroleum and sodium laurel sulphates are boasting these features on the labels and are becoming more in demand while cost is becoming more affordable. 

Many people are simply making their own personal products- and cheaply. Made up of basic oils, like coconut, olive, and sesame along with essential oils for fragrance, many homemade products are proving to be not only effective but healthful.

12. I allow my intuition to guide me in choosing my meals.

Throughout pregnancy and indeed throughout motherhood, you will be given many opportunities to connect with your intuition – even those of you who already consider yourselves intuitive will grow in this area. Listening to your heart knowledge about what foods are good for you and your baby will serve you well during this time and through your life and your child’s life. Junk and fast foods are just that. We know this, yet many of us still choose to eat it despite this knowledge. We do not have to be gourmet chefs to eat good food, and not all foods must be prepped and cooked. When we allow ourselves to get so hungry that we will eat just about anything is when our intuition gets turned off and our instincts kick in. Carrying with you and eating healthy snacks and foods like nuts and fruit helps you to make better choices, which are more in alignment with what you really know intuitively and what your body is actually asking you to eat. Then you can make better decisions about what’s for dinner.

13. I realise that cravings are my body telling me what I need to eat. 

We have all heard of the pregnant woman’s cravings. Cravings can be a very good guide to choosing what to eat. For example, a craving for ice or snow cones is a good sign that your body needs iron. If you are craving sugary treats, you can bet you need to up your protein intake for the day. The body’s natural state is to be balanced and in harmony – homeostatic. Listen to your cravings (discerning cravings from addictions) and you will be certain to eat the right foods at the right time for you and baby.

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J. Michelle Gober is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and Licensed Midwife (LM). She supports families choosing a natural pregnancy and birth in out-of-hospital settings (home or birth center). She provides her families with the education and resources they need to succeed. Her passion for real food as medicine, especially during pregnancy, promotes healthy birth outcomes.

Michelle currently resides and practices in The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, and will travel to work in Santa Fe, New Mexico for Changing Woman Initiative in October. You can contact her through facebook or email.

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