Friday, July 19, 2013

My Body is a Giant Uterus: PRE-Baby Makin'


Nope, Andrew and I are not trying...yet. But it's coming up in our general life plan. Truly, since the beginning of both my yoga and (especially) my environmental life overhaul journey, an overarching theme of "babies" has periodically shown itself.

I knew the minute I started reading Ecoholic that in the (very distant) future when I would start trying to conceive, there was the potential to see toxicity, birth defects, Autism in every corner of my life. From cleaning products, to beauty products, new furniture to pesticides on my food- no longer would I be taking a chance with my own eventual body toxicity burden but a little tiny vulnerable creation.

Most Naturopathic and holistic medicine readings recommend essentially treating your body as "potentially pregnant" up to six months PRIOR to even starting to conceive. This means ridding your body and environment of chemicals six months before you even start the fun stuff.

Now. I've never been comfortable with the idea that I must treat my body as a giant uterus- it speaks to closely to "women are baby making machines first and people second". I'm also not comfortable with the implication of responsibility and mother blame (legally and culturally) when it comes to how we treat our bodies as women (it is a very real possibility that our rights over our bodies could be taken away. Recent abortion and pro-life rallies and legislation in the US are a scary reminder).

That said... it won't kill me to decrease my alcohol and caffeine consumption. Nor would it be such a bad idea in general to start eating more organic and sustainably grown whole foods, replacing as many processed foods as we can. Cuz you know... this has kinda been a general goal we've struggled with for years. Mostly because it isn't convenient, I am a fussy eater, and we don't have loads of cash to spend on food.

So we've decided to focus on the "Dirty Dozen, Clean 15" to help us prioritize. What's sad is that we prefer most of the dirty dozen and don't like a lot of the clean fifteen... ah well.
(EWG's Dirty Dozen, Clean 15 guide for 2013)

On the yoga side of babies (ummm yes)- what I feel most thankful for is the focus on the pelvic floor via mula bandha and pranayama. When I first tried to do Kegels I was surprised to recognize that really yoga taught me all I needed to know through that weird lock, the Mula Bandha. You know, flexing your pelvic floor muscles? No? Seriously, you should try Kegels whether or not you have a vagina. It's supposed do all sorts of magical things.

Like help push out babies... or the Diva Cup. Yep, the Mula Bandha is the reason why I can easily remove the Diva Cup. Score one for yoga and environmentally friendly menstruation practices.

 Since I'm a giant wuss when it comes to pain, (see video above), breathing and meditation is going to be KEY. Despite what you may hear, yoga is actually all about breathing and meditation. My most valuable lesson through yoga is that I can breathe through uncomfortable asanas that seem like they have no end.

I'm still not 100% comfortable with the "my body is a babymaker" pre-conception stuff, but Andrew and I have decided to see what steps we could take in lifestyle changes before we start trying. (Hey, sperm need to be up to their full swimming and egg wall breaching potential!)

So... you'll be hearing more about it... #oversharescomingyourway


  1. While we didn't know all the potential dangerous stuff we do now when I first got pregnant 27.5 years ago, I think that most of the changes you would want to make are good ones for overall health and for the planet too:) In terms of foods, remember that dairy products and meat and even grains are further up the food chain than fruits and veggies so they concentrate pesticides and so on. In other words, if you have to choose for budget reasons or other reasons, go organic, or free range, local etc on cheese and meat first. right now you can get local berries and tomatoes without the extra pesticides even if they aren't certified.

    1. oh that is an interesting point!! I'll look into that. Organic and local meat is $$$$.... and thankfully Andrew and I don't eat that much meat. but dairy... yeppers I am a cheese gal. I'll have to see what is at the farmer's market tomorrow :)

  2. Yay for yoga! I had an unmedicated home birth with my third daughter and almost instinctively (as with my other two births) I went into yogic breathing for the active labour phase. It worked so well that when my husband called the midwife to come and I spoke to her she didn't think I really needed her (and yet I gave birth just an hour after she arrived). Yeah, it hurt, but it is amazing how well the breathing helped me through it.

    While I totally agree with being healthy and making good choices prior to being pregnant and while pregnant, I too dislike all the guilt put on mothers because they are baby incubators. Sometimes it feels like a version of legislating women's bodies that is going on in the US.

    1. yes exactly!! that was my first thought too.

      and yay for a positive yoga+breathing labour experience!! I'm crossing my fingers that I won't be the biggest baby on the face of the planet when it comes to the pain and that the breathing will help (also, that I'll have access to a midwife, in Nova Scotia it's pretty difficult to get a midwife... and there are no Doulas as far as I know).

  3. BREATHING IS SO IMPORTANT! I wish I had more yoga practice in me before Rowan. It would've prevented me hyperventilating and almost passing out. Sounds like you'll have no problem pushing :)

  4. There are doulas here:)
    And even if you are a baby about the pain you can still do it. I had an epidural for my first son's birth but had the next 4 without any pain meds including 3 homebirths. It certainly hurt A LOT but that wasn't the end of the world.

    As for eating, I think that it is worth it to spend the money and eat less meat etc but eat local, free range and so on. there are even meat and fish CSAs available in HRM. And you can get awesome cheese locally too:)

  5. #oversharingcomingyourway - LOVE it! LOL!


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