Fatigue, nausea, morning sickness, irritation, getting mad for no reason (can you relate to any of this?)— yes, that’s right; you’re about to embark on the most beautiful journey of your life. Allah (swt) has chosen you for a great task. He has honoured you with continuing the Ummah.
But these aren’t usually the thoughts dominating pregnancy, are they? The hormonal imbalance coupled with mood swings, frequent urination, headaches, and back pain do not make pregnancy an experience to cherish.
You can choose to make pregnancy the most memorable and productive experience of life, or you can spend it whining and crying. Below are a few tips to make pregnancy a joyous and productive experience of life.
As human beings we have a soul, a heart, a mind, and a body which correspond to our four basic needs: spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical. In order to enjoy a productive and peaceful pregnancy these needs must be in harmony with each other.
1. Involve your partner in everything you do. Learn together and grow together. It’s very important for a father to play an active role in pregnancy in order to be able to strongly bond with his child.
2. Tell people what sort of cooperation you expect from them (e.g. ignoring your mood swings, making you feel good).
3. Hang out with positive people who boost your morale and help you sail smoothly through your pregnancy.
4. Keep yourself busy. Don’t leave your normal activities unless extremely necessary. The busier you keep yourself, the less time you’ll have to fret over pregnancy problems.
5. Lead a goal-oriented life. Set small targets with your husband and rejoice and celebrate when you achieve them (e.g. reading a book together, exercising, etc.) Set a new goal and repeat the cycle.
1. Educate yourself. Read books and articles, attend programs, listen to informative lectures to educate yourself about the pregnancy, its challenges, and how can you overcome them. It’s no different than knowing the depth of the swimming pool before diving in.
2. Talk to someone who has experienced pregnancy, perhaps your friend or your sister. There would be something that you would want to take from their experience or things you would want to do differently.
3. Remember that depression is the recipe for destruction. Find reasons to be happy. Be a persistent positive thinker and ask people around you to help you thinking positively.
4. Resolve stress quickly. Stress produces a hormonal called catecholamines, which affects the nervous system of the baby.
5. Read out loud to your baby. This will instill reading habit in the baby later in life. You might need to buddy up with your partner in developing this habit. Let Mommy read to the baby sometimes, and sometimes let Baba do the job.
Prenatal researchers believe that there is some link between a mother’s thoughts and feelings and how her baby feels, and that from six months on a preborn baby can share mother’s emotions via the hormones associated with them.
1. As your baby grows, he or she is constantly getting messages from mommy. Babies respond to sounds at about 20 weeks into pregnancy.
Talk to them. (E.g.: “Baby, Daddy is coming, let’s get ready. Mama is going to pray, now be a nice baby. Baby, mama is reading to you, pay attention.”)
1. If you have decided on a name, use it. This is the time to strengthen the emotional bond.
2. Hug people often. This produces a hormone called oxytocin (also called the “love” hormone) that has anti-stress and pro-social effects.
3. Visualize a happy family. Involve your baby in the picture. Visualize yourself, your husband and your baby going out, being happy, going to the beach, playing, and having a great time together. Let your imaginations go wild. Keep visualizing until you get the feeling of being in that moment and enjoying it to the fullest extent.
4. Ask for love and support from those around you. Remind them that you will have mood swings but that patience, gentle care, and love given by them will help you get over it.
This is one aspect of pregnancy that’s given all the attention and it’s is for that reason that we sometimes have a very troubled pregnancy because our (and of those around) focus is directed towards the physical aspect of pregnancy while the three other spectrums of need are totally ignored. Since we already know much about it, I’ll touch upon it briefly.
1. Maintain a balanced diet.
2. Avoid processed food of all kinds. Eat a lot of raw food.
3. Sweet melon, honey, barley, and grapes tend to aid pregnancy. Dates help a great deal in delivery, too (remember Maryam as)
4. Exercise. (Personally, I used to turn on my favorite lecture on my phone and walk for half an hour every day, killing two birds with one stone.) Also, some exercises aid in normal delivery. Ask your doctor about it.
5. Increase your physical activities. The more physically active you are, the easier the delivery.
6. Get closer to nature. Walk on the grass. Breathe in fresh air. Ponder the signs of Allah.
1. Never, never, never be ungrateful to Allah (swt) for the pregnancy even if it was unplanned. He is the best of planners. (Researches show that mothers who resented being pregnant had children with more emotional problems.)
2. Prayer is the best form of meditation. It not only soothes you but also soothes your baby.
3. Recite the entire Quran in your voice to your baby. A six-month-old fetus can move his body to the rhythm of his mother’s speech. What better gift could you give the baby than bonding him or her with the Kalam Allah even before his birth? Also by doing this, we can expect them to turn out righteous, pious, easygoing and more religiously inclined insha Allah. (Modern day researches prove that music has an effect on the unborn children and that they are able to recognize it once they’re born).
4. Istaghfaar: you wouldn’t want to have negative effects of your sins on your child. So be in the constant state of istaghfaar and make lots of dua.
5. Get connected with Allah (swt) 24/7. He is your best friend. Keep talking to Him. Involve Him in your decisions. Make istekhara (which doctor to go to, which hospital to choose, etc). Ask him to grant you a safe delivery, a pious child, and a happy life together as a family.
Have a happy pregnancy!
Lo! We create man from a drop of thickened fluid to test him; so We make him hearing, knowing.” [Quran, 76:2]