Guest post: Gail Janicola from Moms on Top
I’m handing out magic pills for the healthiest pregnancy possible. They come in a pack of 8, each a different variety, and all super potent! Now don’t fall into the trap of gulping them down and tapping your fingers while you wait for the magic to be released. That would be like starting a marathon at the finish line. You will completely cheat yourself out of the steps it takes to free the moxie from these potions. The work you put in to get those suckers digested is where the power and effectiveness lie, and it is so worthwhile!
Let’s take a spin on the Pregnancy Wellness Wheel to understand more about each of the 8 spokes that represent the coveted effects of those magic pills, and how they should be dispensed. Get excited for the possibilities! If you put in the effort, the results will be undeniable. (Sidenote: What comes out of this will last way longer than the 40 weeks or so of pregnancy.)
Eat For Two (Nutrition)
Well, sort of… but in quality, not quantity. Everything you put in your mouth either helps to create a healthy human, or it messes with that miraculous process. Do these things to be certain that your wellness is also defining the wellness of your creation: Eat whole foods, treat sugar like poison, enjoy what you eat (don’t just plow), and notice whether your food makes you feel like a superhero or a slug.
Get Moving (Body)
Movement is what regulates and fosters mood, healthy weight gain, flexibility, strength and energy. You, no different than any athlete, are training for an event.
Adapt exercise type and intensity to how you feel and your ability in the moment, which will likely change month-to-month, week-to-week, and sometimes, day to day. Have a plan and put it in your calendar, even if the entry is “Walk around the block”. Exercise consistently. Always engage the glutes, the core, and the pelvic floor.
Play Nicely With Others (Communication/Relationships)
Work on loving yourself first. That really helps. Then make sure you’re on the same page with your partner. Stay open to the opinions and views of others, including your medical caregivers, without being defensive and argumentative. Remember, “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”, so when you’re asking for support (not necessarily agreement) do so with diplomacy.
Use It or Lose It (Knowledge)
This can be applied to lots of things, but I’m referring to your mind, your brain, the synapses in your beautiful head. You have so much control over the health of your pregnancy but you need to crack a book, watch some videos, take a class. There’s way too much inaccurate information out there that the masses are following like lemmings. You are not a lemming. Take control of what you can control by gaining evidence-based information from reliable sources without bias and hidden agendas. And always ask “why”.
Speak Up (Advocacy/Empowerment)
First, know your truth, protect it, and make it the source of all your actions. NO ONE knows what is best for you more than you. Once you gain confidence through knowledge, present your questions and ask for support toward achieving your goals. This is, not only the way to secure the partnerships and the respect you deserve, but it is also the perfect time to practice the advocacy skills you will need as a parent.
Find Your Tribe (Community)
There are so many ways to connect with other moms and moms-to-be, as well as other couples. (Hello, social media!) Don’t be afraid to share. Vulnerability opens massive doors to personal wellness. You can gain vital resources, even ones you didn’t know to look for, plus some good, old-fashioned accountability in the areas of exercise, nutrition, and being brave.
Allow Your Attitude to Determine Your Altitude (Mindset/Emotional Health)
Be in awe of the process. Aside from the fact that some pregnancies are like tip-toeing through the tulips while others are like dodging bullets through a land mine, there is nothing more incredible than creating a human being. We can choose to jump on the bemoaning bandwagon or remain grateful and marvel at the miracle.
See pregnancy and birth as a natural function that your amazing body was created for. Trust that your experience is providing the opportunity for growth in the present and for the future, even if you cannot fully grasp the meaning.
Stay Centered (Balance)
Wellness can never be achieved with too much or too little. Strive to recognize the extremes and find the equilibrium in everything: exercising, eating, working, playing. No comparing, no beating yourself up – just healthy perceptions and expectations. Remember that balance takes constant recalibration. Meditate! And stay present.
About Gail Janicola
Gail Janicola is the founder of Moms On Top, and has been a certified childbirth educator for over 2 decades. She is also credentialed as a certified health coach and a pre- and postnatal corrective exercise specialist, blending these areas of expertise to create a roadmap for physical and emotional health throughout a mother’s life, from pre-conception to “empty nest.” She is dedicated to providing unbiased, evidence-based information, mentoring, and support for moms, moms-to-be, and their partners. To learn more, visit www.momsontop.com