As a new parent one can be very overwhelmed with trying to do the right thing for our baby’s health. Of course, this is the most important thing that is about to happen to you after all and you want to make sure that your little one has the best start in life. Here are ten things I did to ensure my children’s future health.
1. Birthing at home with midwives
Women know best when it comes to giving birth, it really takes one to know one as they say. Trust me, no man on this planet can even fathom what it’s like giving natural birth, it doesn’t matter how many times you have watched or helped women go through it, it’s just not possible to know what it feels like to be in so much pain that you think you are about to die. It’s not called labour for nothing you know. It is an act of sacrifice and love, much pain and downright fear.
Having built up a bond with my midwives during my pregnancy, I knew that they would be there for me when the right time came. They were prepped on the type of birth I was wanting and what my measures were for dealing with different circumstances and they helped me remain strong and get through natural birth at home. Twice. They knew how to deal with a certain thing that happens to me and helped curb unnecessary caesareans which I would have had no doubt if I had been in hospital. And did I say that I knew they would be there for me? I’ll say it again, they were there the entire time, they don’t go off shift or schedule caesareans in order to go on holiday. Which brings me to my next point…
2. Going overdue
Midwives know that healthier babies are grown when they are “overdue”. Both my children were overdue by 11-13 days ad they were strong and healthy. That’s nearly two weeks on both occasions. Our bodies are pretty amazing you know. They know how to grow an entire little human being, do you think they don’t know when the baby is ready to be born? Our bodies go through cycles of releasing different hormones that tell our bodies what to do next and how to do it. Interfering with the natural process of the baby getting ready to be born interrupts and short circuits natural processes that would be better left to run their course. Doctors often say that the placenta is busy deteriorating, I would think twice.
Have you ever really looked into the 40 week gestation period for humans? According to Wikipedia: In human obstetrics, gestational age refers to the embryonic or fetal age plus two weeks. This is approximately the duration since the woman’s last menstrual period (LMP) began.
In humans, birth normally occurs at a gestational age of about 40 weeks, though it is common for births to occur from 37 to 42 weeks.
Did you know that only about 4 % of women give birth on their estimated due date?
3. Don’t kill the germs!
Too clean of an environment can lead to allergies; children don’t benefit from a sterile environment because the world’s not a sterile place. Keeping your baby in an overprotected sterile environment does not help them to develop their immune system. Apart from making sure that bottles and teats were properly washed regularly, I was not phased about sterilisation at all. High heat releases chemicals from plastic bottles and chemical sterilisations are exposing your child to unwanted chemicals.
4. Choose natural latex
Natural latex is a much healthier choice for your baby as there are no chemical processes involved in the development thereof. These dummies and teats are also surprisingly much cheaper than the expensive fancy brands.
5. No petrochemical derivative baby products
Once you read up about what goes into certain, well-known baby products, you might find reason to stick to the natural stuff like I did. I used fullers earth as baby powder which does not block pores or expose my child to chemicals that have been proven to cause cancer. For nappy rash there are many natural products out on the market these days and likewise, only use natural products for washing body and hair.
6. Let the fever run
Well at least, up to a certain point! Running a fever is the body’s response to fighting infections caused by viruses or bacteria. Fevers can also result from sunburn or from getting immunizations. Anyone can get a fever, regardless of age. The longer you can refrain from interfering with the body’s natural way of dealing with infection and invaders, the better chance you give it to fight off the baddies. Breaking a fever means the body’s natural immune system is forced to stop working and may simply prolong the symptoms and suffering. Not to mention the negative side effects aspirin can have on babies and kids.
7. Feed them lots of snacky raw things
If it has any unknown ingredients or comes wrapped up in plastic – don’t give it to your child. Processed foods are packed with nasties that not only poison your child but also contributes to bad behaviour. Plastic packaging is also laced with bad chemicals that are absorbed into the food and is especially bad for girls. Just google it.
Kids love to pick and snack. Give them different shapes and colours and they will naturally try everything out. As soon as you give them sugar or processed food you will ruin their appetite and health.
8. Breastfeed and breastfeed even more
Breastfeeding not only promotes emotional security and bonding between mother and child but also arms your baby’s immune system by providing it with all the natural antigens from the mother’s immune system. After all, us mothers have been on this planet for a while and we have been exposed to quite a few bugs.
9. Use glass bottles
Even if your plastic bottles are classified as BPA free, no plastic is truly safe, especially when exposed to heat or cold. I used glass bottles instead, and yes they broke occasionally but nowadays they come with clever silicone sleeves. Have a look around, there are some lovely new brands out there.
10. Letting them sleep in your bed
I know they say that your baby runs the risk of being suffocated if they sleep in your bed as you or your partner might roll over onto them in the night. Nevermind the fact that centuries of human beings have raised babies in their own beds, why then should we become super paranoid all of a sudden? Maybe I was lucky, but let me tell you that you will never in your life be more conscious of a very special little being sleeping next to you than at this time. Having the joy of such a little being that you are solely responsible for is enough to make you understand that you cannot roll over them in the night. Having a little baby snuggle up to its mother and father in the night is really extraordinary. But please take into account that both of you need you be totally compos menti and sober, and yes I mean even one glass of wine and this should not be allowed.
The biggest factor for me to let my babies sleep in our bed was that I don’t deal well with being woken up at night. I really need my so-called beauty sleep! So having my baby sleep in bed with me meant that they could feed when they needed and I could carry on sleeping.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you did, let me know in the comments below!