And so I’m in the market with a cart-load of groceries waiting in line to check out. The pregnant woman in front of me has what looks to be about a five year old hanging off the grocery cart, screaming. Her three year old, who is sitting in the cart, is wailing at the top of his lungs. I am sympathizing with her in my heart, and almost about to say something supportive (such as “It isn’t easy being pregnant in this humidity, for sure” or “This is a day when you wish you could afford to have that market-delivery-service pick out all your groceries, deliver them, come and put them away – and then cook the meal AND clean the dishes, right?!”) when two things happen.
First, the mother says, “If I give you the damn candy bar, will you please just shut up?” and second, I notice what is in her cart.
The problem, lady, is that if you give him the candy bar, he won’t be able to shut up. Hasn’t anyone told you what sugar, chemicals, preservatives and junk-in-general do to children’s digestive systems, never mind their nervous systems and their brains? And although there are lots of items in the cart, there is no … FOOD! Fried crispy critters and chocolate loop de loops and donut holes and prepared foods filled with additives and salt and artificial flavorings and ice cream (not even GOOD ice cream, either) are in a completely different category – as for real food, there isn’t a green thing or anything fresh-fruit-wise in sight.
Thanks once again to my mentor midwife, VEH, I make a number of recommendations about eating to my clients that are easy to follow and makes such good sense. And I don’t wait until they have had the oral glucose tolerance test at 28 weeks to talk to them about food – by then valuable time has gone by, time when good nutrition could have made a very big difference in how the baby, uterus and placenta are growing/functioning – and how the mother-to-be feels in general. In fact, I do my best to discourage my clients from even taking the test, but that’s a blog for another day completely. Whatever you would be proud to hand to your two year old, you can offer to the little one growing inside you – after all, this baby WILL be a two year old someday. If what you are eating is something you would hide from your child, then it is something that you know isn’t right to give to it now.
But let’s say that no-no is something that you really, really want [Note: If you are craving sugar, it may be that you need far more protein each day to quell that desire] – I use the example of a home-made chocolate-chip cookie. Okay, you can have the cookie – but – BEFORE you have the cookie, you have to have a fresh fruit or a fresh vegetable combined with a whole grain and a protein and then you can have a small cookie. And lets say that was a great cookie and you really want another one – you can have it – but BEFORE you have this second cookie, you must have a fresh fruit or a fresh vegetable combined with a whole grain and a protein: this way, the baby gets all the good stuff first and you will find that you are in balance more quickly and that you crave the no-no’s far less often and often times not-at-all.
I am reminded of the time when I was in the supermarket with an extremely heavy cart filled-to-overflowing with food (healthy, I promise). Just as I was laboriously pushing the cart into the check-out line, my cell phone rang. It was a client’s husband who had some questions. His wife was only 36 1/2 weeks, but he thought maybe she was in labor. I asked what made him think this and then heard ouououhs and ohhhhhhs in the background and knew he was right and that something was, indeed, cookin’. I told them that I was on my way. I said to the check-out clerk that I was so sorry, but that I had to leave. She asked if I would be back in a minute, assuming I had left my coupons or wallet in the car. “No,” I replied. “I cannot come back tonight. I am a home birth midwife and someone is in labor!”
“Oh!” she said. “You go, Honey!” She immediately called the manager so that he could locate stock boys – and girls – who would then be assigned to put those items that needed refrigeration back quickly. As I was starting my car in the parking lot, I heard over the loudspeaker, “Shoppers, we had a midwife shopping here who had to leave quickly to go to a home birth. Let’s send that new baby some good thoughts!”
Those good thought worked perfectly. I arrived at the home of the laboring couple thirty-five minutes later and one hour and ten minutes before their seven pound baby girl was born. Her mommy was stunned to have had such a short labor and an early baby – and her daddy, a doctor, was delighted to have had a home birth.
They eat only organic and no sugar, no white flour, and no caffeine. Gorgeous baby, lucky to be born into a family who will take such wonderful care of her nutritionally – and otherwise.