How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy
1. Can you give us an overview of the things that a pregnant woman can do to promote good health for her and the developing baby?
I put together a "Birthing 8 Laws of Health" tract for pregnant moms to go by. Let's look at the acronym, 'BIRTHING'. Bodily exercise, Inhale pure air, Rest, Temperance, Hydrotherapy, In the sunshine, Nutrition, and God's Word.
BIRTHING - THE EIGHT LAWS Of HEALTH
"Perceive the evidences of God's love... Instead of looking upon an observance of the laws of health as a matter of sacrifice or self-denial... regard it as it really is. as an inestimable blessing."-MINISTRY OF HEALING, pg. 147.
2. Bodily exercise. What are the benefits of exercise and what types of exercise would you recommend?
Of course exercise will help tone up muscles to get prepared for birth. It helps blood circulation, which is good for mother and baby. Exercise is needed for proper elimination. It helps reduce stress and reduces indigestion. A pregnant mother needs to be in good physical condition in order to have the stamina she needs to give birth. The more exercise she gets the better she will stimulate the production of endorphins, which is a hormone that acts as a natural pain killer. Exercise may increase endorphin level in the blood by 60%. It is also interesting that prolactin, which stimulates the breast to make milk, may be increased by 40%. There are many types of exercises you can do, but the best is walking and/or gardening. Outdoor exercise in fresh air is healthiest.
3. Inhale pure air. Why should that be emphasized?
Inhaling pure air increases oxygen supply to mother and baby. It purifies the blood and improves sleep. We encourage our mothers to get fresh air in their houses and bedrooms. As for labor, I recommend the slow relaxed breathing from the diaphragm instead of breathing fast, to avoid hyperventilation. Slow relaxed breathing will expend less energy so the mother won't be so tired. This also helps ease the pain that comes with contractions.
4. Rest. Are there some benefits that perhaps we don't realize from proper rest?
Of course! We tell our mothers that every hour before midnight is worth two hours after. If they maintain regular hours and establish a schedule now, it will help establish regular sleeping patterns for their newborn. If you stay up almost all night, your baby probably will as well.
5. Temperance. There is more to that word than most people think, isn't there?
Temperance in all things is essential. Don't over exert, don't sleep too much, don't over-eat. We also encourage our mothers to abstain from tobacco and alcohol. And what many people do not realize is that caffeine can be damaging.
6. Hydrotherapy. What does this involve?
We encourage our ladies to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. This will promote good circulation, elimination, blood building, and supplies water for the amniotic fluid, which provides protection for the baby. Much of the fluid is being replaced every 3 hours.
7. In the sunshine. What types of benefits do we find in that for the mother-to-be?
Sunshine increases white blood cells, which strengthen the immune system. It destroys bacteria and helps lower high blood pressure as it brightens the disposition and soothes nerves. We also use it for treatment of jaundice in newborns.
8. Nutrition. Are there nutritional needs that are perhaps unique to pregnancy?
The pregnant mother does need to be concerned that she gets enough vitamins and minerals and protein for herself and her baby. The best source is what God has provided in good natural food. Mothers should choose their foods from principle rather than cravings. We encourage lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. (See my book for more info.)
9. God's Word. What role does the Bible play in pregnancy?
We encourage our mothers to read God's word and meditate on His promises. This provides spiritual strength for the day and keeps the mind clearer. It also helps eliminate stress, worry and fear. I find that Christians have the most peaceable births.
10. What are some helpful online resources for pregnancy and birth?
There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. - Exodus 23:26