For many of us, making the decision to conceive a child is a natural milestone we’ve looked forward to since our own childhood. For others, it doesn’t feel right to become parents. However, many still go ahead with raising children due to self-imposed, family and/or societal pressures even though it’s not what they deeply desire. From a spiritual, mental and physical perspective, there are many questions and things to consider before taking steps to conceive.
Conscious parenthood is an important part of our evolution as human beings. By taking the time to really ask yourself whether having a child is right for you at the level of spirit, mind and body, you have the best chance of raising a healthy and happy child who enhances your own journey individually and as a couple. For those who don’t choose to have children, there are many other pathways that are equally fulfilling.
Are you Spiritually Ready?
The first question a woman or couple should ask themselves before conceiving is why they want to be parents. Many times people succumb to the idea that children are the natural next step in the progression of life, but don’t give too much thought to it beyond that. Societal pressure is always encouraging us to create a family regardless of whether parenthood is the right choice for us. Women or couples who choose not to have children are frequently viewed as a bit odd or alternative in their thinking and often times misunderstood. However, it’s extremely important that you ask yourselves this question, because many children these days are being raised by parents who have not yet reached the level of maturity necessary (spiritually, emotionally, etc.) to really be able to offer healthy guidance to a child.
If after looking within, you find that you do truly desire to have children for any number of reasons including experiencing motherhood, learning to give selflessly, expanding your ability to love unconditionally, sharing something profound with your partner or even to ensure you have someone to take care of you when you’re older (such is the case in some countries around the world), it’s important to then ask yourself if you’re ready to raise a healthy and happy child on all levels (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) at this stage in your own personal evolution.
For example, one practice of successful parenting is the ability to stay mentally and emotionally “detached” from a child’s actions. This doesn’t mean to be aloof, but rather able to maintain an inner calmness while also being active and caring in the child’s development. On the same note, it’s important to have control over one’s emotions and not to “react” to everything the child does or doesn’t do, but instead respond with clarity and intention. Our reactions often have to do with our own belief systems and life experiences rather than what’s actually taking place in the present moment, which is unique, new and contains an infinite number of possibilities. Reaching this sort of objectivity and emotional maturity usually takes years of personal work and is really important for bringing a child into the world.
Are you Mentally Ready?
Another important area to explore if you are considering conceiving a child is whether or not you and your partner agree on your approach to child rearing. If you are having a child on your own, these areas are still applicable and important to think through ahead of time. For example, will you opt for a natural birth at home with a midwife or give birth in a hospital? Will you decide to breastfeed or not? How about your position on schooling, vaccinations, discipline, etc.? What dietary habits will you teach your child? Will you demonstrate spiritual values and let your child decide which path to follow or will you insist on a religious upbringing in line with your own belief system? Will you and your partner both continue working, how will you divide up parenting duties? Do you want to raise your child in the city or a home closer to nature? It is imperative that you and your partner are compatible in your approach to raising a child and by discussing these things in advance; you have the best chance of creating a happy environment for yourselves and your child.
Are you Physically Ready?
Being physically prepared to conceive and carry a baby to term is also something that takes time for many people. First of all, you’ll want to go off of all hormonal birth control systems at least 3 to 6 months in advance to give your body a chance to readjust to its normal cycles. You’ll also want to do the same with medications (both prescription and over the counter) that are unsafe to take during pregnancy or aren’t absolutely necessary for your wellbeing. Remember that everything you take into your own body ultimately affects the baby.
You’ll also want to stop smoking, using drugs and alcohol, and limit your consumption of caffeine. Your body needs time to re-balance itself when these things are eliminated, so try to do it several months before trying to conceive.
Many people believe that they should take a prenatal vitamin before and during pregnancy. However, new information tells us that these vitamins do little if any good. You are much better off getting your nutrients from a healthy, balanced and clean diet than relying on synthetic vitamins that don’t absorb into the body in the same way that live nutrients do. With this said, there are some nutrients that are extremely important before and during pregnancy such as folic acid, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, omega-3, calcium and iron. If you are deficient in any of these, ideally look for food sources to obtain them. If you do turn to vitamins, make sure they are in a natural form. A diet rich in organic, plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts/seeds, beans and sea vegetables, will supply most of the nutrients your body needs and optimally prepare you for pregnancy.
An exercise or fitness program is another pre and during pregnancy activity that will support you and your baby. Yoga is also an extremely beneficial practice for the body, mind and spirit and will prepare you on all levels for your baby to come.
The decision to have a child should be a conscious one. By being sure of your choice ahead of time and taking the necessary steps to prepare yourself on all levels of your being, you set yourself up to be a successful parent or parents who can offer their child a strong foundation for health and happiness. For those who don’t feel they want to be parents now or in the future, this is a valid and responsible choice and should never be frowned upon. Each person is on an individual journey of lessons, growth and life experiences. For some these lessons are best learned through parenthood, for others no. Stand secure in what you feel is best for you.
 (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411882,00.html
Published On: February 05, 2013