Did you know that childbirth is supposed to be an orgasm? No pain. Only ecstasy.
This body that we nurture every day nurtures us back. We are stuck in it. And sometimes, it’s scary. But it doesn’t have to be.
I’ve written about health many times and it all boils down to something we all learned in school. Again, I’m saying it - it seems to me there are only two kinds of people in the world, those who paid attention in school and those who didn’t. Maybe you had a loser for a teacher and you coasted but you missed out on a lot that could be useful to you now. That loser had a lot to teach you.
In all of the pandemic, I only heard the WGBH Boston journalist, Adam Reilly* say what we all learned or should have learned in school (I’m paraphrasing) - “All you really need to do to strengthen your immune system and be healthy is to eat real nutritious food, get enough sleep and exercise.”
That’s three things.
And, nobody does it.
I was lucky. I was brought up Italian, eating only whole foods from the Italian market in Haymarket Square, Boston. My grandfather and my uncle used to go every week and come home with wheels of cheese and hunks of prosciutto that the family shared. Every day was a fresh loaf of bread. Fresh fruits were abundant. My mother even foraged for dandelion greens. My grandmother grew her own arugula, tomatoes and red pepper in a tiny backyard garden in East Boston.
My mother cautioned us to never eat anything from a factory! Candy was kept on a top shelf. Anything packaged was suspect.
I was thirty-one years old and eight years macrobiotic when my daughter was born. She popped out after only four hours of labor; she was pissing, pooping and screaming! I won’t say it was painless, it wasn’t. I did it without drugs and there comes a point, where, like Catholic saints, you pass the pain and drift into nothingness.
But it’s not about pain or no pain. It’s about health.
A friend of mine delivered her ninth child herself behind the counter of her natural food store. Health.
Every time I see a commercial for children in a cancer ward, I shudder, because NO CHILD SHOULD HAVE CANCER! No, nor any other degenerative disease.
It is my opinion, and you can take it or leave it, that eating junk food as food causes cancer. “White bucket” fast food restaurants, where the ingredients come out of white plastic buckets instead of out of the garden or from the farm. Anything made in a factory - artificial “food-like substances” (Michael Pollan*, author, nutritionist and chef) that we eat as our daily food.
Feed yourself and your children real nutritious food! Everyone must learn how to cook! Every man, woman and, yes, every child as soon as they are able!
Cooking is not an inconvenience. It is an opportunity. A chance to get better, to be better, to feel better!
What is good nutritious food? Here is the Food Pyramid we learned in school. It changes sometimes, but the basics remain the same. In macrobiotics, we lean more toward whole grains and vegetables with occasional servings of chicken, fish, dairy and eggs.
Here’s what to do for good pre-prenatal care and it’s the same for everyone’s everyday health. You don't have to be macrobiotic to be healthy! Get as close to this as you can!
Pre Pre Natal Care For Women and Men: Get Ready For Your Baby!
- Learn to cook real whole foods. When you are a young adult (think high school!) stop all junk food as food. Junk food is a cheat meal, only for fun, not for food. Children cannot develop properly on a diet of sugary breakfast cereal, pizza and hot dogs. Not in life or in the womb - you must pre prepare for pregnancy to give your baby the best chance at health!
- No drugs, limit alcohol.
- Cut your sugar intake in half - or more!
- Get enough sleep. This can be hard when you work and commute. But you must try.
- Exercise. Keep your body as strong as possible. Keep your blood circulation pumping! Your own good quality blood made from good quality food is the best healing medicine for you!
- Drink plenty of water! Water is the only drink that can truly hydrate you! Dehydration can sneak up on you. It has many, many symptoms that can be dangerous!
Drugs, alcohol and sugar take from the body. Obviously, no hard drugs which can take your life as well as your baby’s life. Use other medications in moderation at all times. (Check with your doctor.) Nowadays women do not drink alcohol when pregnant. Many women also stop coffee. My mother never heard of these restrictions. I did drink coffee and everything was fine. I was advised by my European macro friends that European women drank good quality beer while pregnant to ensure plenty of breast milk. So, I drank the best beer I could find at the time, Pilsner Urquell. I had lots and lots of milk! I was also advised to eat a fermented soy product called natto for skin health. “No stretch marks,” commented the intern who cared for me. The doctor wouldn’t come down to the delivery. He said since it was my first, there was plenty of time. An intern and several nurses attended me. Initially, I had planned to use a mid-wife with doctor/hospital back-up. However, the doctor felt my hematocrit (number of red blood cells) was too low for mid-wife conditions. I studied what that meant and adjusted my diet to change my condition - I reduced my coffee intake and I made a hearty miso soup for my lunch everyday, bringing my hematocrit up to an acceptable level. The doctor couldn’t believe I had done it.
Be advised -
Pre-Prenatal care also applies to boys and men! When they eat, young men are preparing the quality of their sperm which contains the program of their good or bad health. When they eat, they are creating the quality of their health which they are passing to their child! How many young men do I see leaving the convenience store at lunch time with a huge bag of chips and a huge bottle of Coke! Not a nutritious lunch for a working man! We could go into the eating habits of our mothers and fathers which also influence the quality of our health. Again, I was lucky. My parents’ generation did not have a lot of junk food around and most of it was too expensive for them to buy. That’s no longer true.
We are further and further away from that naturally healthy generation. Possibly four generations removed. In many cases, we could go back to great-great-grandmothers before we reach someone who cooked real nutritious food every day. And THAT effects our health, our children’s health and our future children’s health! The good news is, the body reacts quickly and powerfully to good food and good habits; we can reverse most damage that has been done.
This body that we were given. This body that we nurture will nurture us back.
If we don’t take good care of our body, it will seem to attack us one day when we least expect it.
But, it’s not an attack, it’s our body reacting to what we gave it.
Give your body goodness. Get ready for your baby!
©Patricia Goodwin, 2022
- I am not affiliated with journalist Adam Reilly, nutritionist Michael Pollan, or Mayor Eric Adams, and they have not endorsed me in any way.
- I am not a doctor, nor a medical professional. I’m just a person who has enjoyed the benefits of a macrobiotic diet and lifestyle for nearly 50 years. I’m 70 years old and not on any medications. When something goes wrong, I am able to consider what caused it, make adjustments and watch things heal. However, by law, I am required to say that any advice you see in my blog is not meant to be followed without first checking with your doctor.
Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the Salem witch trials and the vicious 11-year-old pirate Ned Low. Holy Days is her third novel, about the sexual, psychological seduction of Gloria Wisher and her subsequent transformation. Her latest novel is Low Flying, about two women suffering psychologically abusive marriages who find and nurture each other. Her newest poetry books are Telling Time By Apples, And Other Poems About Life On The Remnants of Olde Humphrey Farme, illustrated by the author, and Java Love: Poems of a Coffeehouse.
Within this blog, Patricia writes often about non-fiction subjects that inspire or disturb her, hopefully informing and inspiring people to be happy, healthy and free.
***Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not meant to substitute for medical care. Please consult your physician before beginning any new dietary guidelines.