"Giving birth is an ecstatic jubilant adventure not available to males.

It is a woman's crowning creative experience of a lifetime." ~ Dr. John Stevenson

"The Road Less Traveled..." of Parenthood

Following your instincts instead of the crowd

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference."

Robert Frost

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Multiply and Replenish

I love this video. I may have posted it before but I don't care. It really shares how I feel about being a mother. I came across it today while reading about my church's official position on having children on a very thought-provoking blog post on "Women in the Scriptures." Of course, I had to comment on it. First I quoted a previous comment and then added my own thoughts:

"What is the main blessing of exaltation? Eternal increase. If we refuse that blessing and responsibility in this life, how could we expect to be worthy of it in the next?"

I think a lot of it comes down to our attitude towards having children. I am thrilled with the doctrine of eternal increase. Sadly, though, I know many members who are not. In all fairness I have to add that I haven't always felt this way. My attitude has changed as my testimony has grown and as I've tried to distance myself from worldly philosophies that the Spirit has confirmed are not good.

Another huge leap forward in my attitude towards having children comes from having birthed my last three children at home. In a sacred, private atmosphere and in an unmedicated state, it is so much easier to really understand and appreciate just how profound is this amazing privilege of bringing children into the world. I can't speak for everyone, of course, but for me I only felt that to a very small degree during my medicated hospital births.

I am so grateful for this post because it confirms what my heart has told me for years. And I'm so grateful I followed my heart after my 4th child in not doing anything permanent. Otherwise I would have missed out on some of the greatest and most spiritually empowering experiences of my life.

I should have added: Not to mention 3 of the cutest little kids you ever saw!

Anyway, enjoy this video. It gives me the chills. When I read the words to my 5 year old, Charles, I started to cry as I thought of the life-changing choice I made in my later years to have 3 more children. One of the best decisions of my life. =)

(I actually found the video on a blog called Multiply and Replenish that was referenced in the comments at the Women in the Scriptures blog.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Optimal Nutrition in Pregnancy

I recently watched a webinar on achieving optimal nutrition during pregnancy. It was phenomenal! Tandi Hartle was the teacher. She is very well educated in all the traditional ways with many initials after her name, but more importantly, she learned through personal experience how traditional thinking on nutrition and medicine has failed many of us. So she re-educated herself on the more natural ways of dealing with disease and achieving optimal nutrition. In her webinar/class she talks about pregnancy complications like pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, low iron levels, etc, and how these problems can be reduced and in most cases eliminated through proper nutrition.

This is something I have always felt instinctively, but was hard-pressed to find in written form anywhere. I've read many natural childbirth books and done the Hypnobabies Homestudy course, (which I loved) but have been disappointed that everyone seems to parrot the medical establishment line that pregnant women need to eat lots of protein, including meat and dairy. Knowing the problems of eating too much animal protein and the problems inherent in dairy consumption, I could never feel good about eating lots of these foods during my pregnancies. I didn't feel good when I ate them and they caused an unnecessary amount of fat and weight gain. It was especially frustrating when my otherwise naturally-minded midwife encouraged me to increase my intake of these foods.

Finally, in this webinar, I found what I feel is lacking in the current literature on nutrition in pregnancy. Tandi taught the importance of making the food choices that would bring the highest nutrients per calorie. She gives great examples of what the best choices are and how what we've been taught is healthy really isn't so good for us and our growing babies. She also teaches how these vital nutrients so lacking in the standard American diet (SAD) prevent many of the complications that the medical field says happen for no known reason. They do happen for a reason, but most doctors have very little knowledge about proper nutrition so they don't have the answers we mothers are asking when the complications come up.

Tandi has the answers! I highly recommend her webinar class which you can view here. It does cost $30 but it is definitely worth it. She says it will be permanently available and you can watch it anytime that is convenient for you. If you just don't have the finances to do it you can read Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book "Eat To Live." Dr. Fuhrman's research and clinical experience most closely match the concepts Tandi teaches. It is available at Amazon. Jim Simmons, who came up with "Daniel's Challenge" (I have a link to this on my blog), and who wrote a book called "Original Fast Foods" also teaches these same nutrition concepts. Those books, however don't say much about pregnancy. That's why I was so excited to find Tandi's class. She applies the concepts they teach in relation to pregnancy in an easy to understand and profound way.

She is also going to do a 6 week class in about 3 to 4 weeks. I'll post information about that as I receive it. I don't receive any compensation for plugging her class. I just am totally excited to tell pregnant women about it because I feel it is the best information out there for achieving the "optimal nutrition in pregnancy." I believe there is so much misinformation out there for pregnant women it is downright frightening. What we put into our mouths really does matter and it matters very much to our growing babies! I firmly believe following the principles she outlines will lead to the very best pregnancy outcomes with few if any complications. And let's face it, to have the natural, empowering, spiritual births we all dream of we need healthy, joyful, complication-free pregnancies. Knowing and living these principles about nutrition is one big step toward that end.