The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
Remember that babies are our sign that the future is worth whatever it takes.
Stress is perhaps one of the most underestimated factors in making a person, especially a pregnant woman high risk.
Cause: Stress can come from international events, work, appointments, family or the responsibility of becoming a mother.
Effect: The effect of stress causes the body to produce epinephrine and norepinephrine which triggers what is called the fight or flight response.
* The pupils of the eyes dilate * The heart rate goes up
* Blood pressure increase causing hypertension
* Blood vessels of nonessential organs such as kidneys and gastrointestinal tract constrict, making women feel like not eating or drinking.
* Dehydration from lack of fluids may also cause a fever, change in blood pressure and heart rate.
* Blood vessels involved in exercise such as running or fighting dilate.
* Breathing rate and depth increases often leading to hyperventilation.
* Blood glucose levels also rise because of activity in the liver reducing the mothers desire to eat normally.
* Swelling may occur if the mother does not eat enough protein preventing the liver from making albumin or blood protein.
* Immune system is inhibited, putting the mother at risk.
* Processes that are not essential are inhibited, such as labor.
* Hormonal imbalance which can lead to a roller coaster of emotions and/or crying.
Stay calm-Relax-Take care of yourself... your baby needs you!
Creating Calm in a stressful environment:
1. Stay calm. You are in direct contact with your baby and your baby feels and reacts to how you feel. Avoid stress if at all possible. If stress is an appointment find out ahead of time: where, when, and why. Take Bradley® classes to find out about the normal procedures and feelings surrounding birth. If stress is caused by an international event try turning off the TV for awhile. If it is work or family, talk about it and get others to help.
2. Relax on purpose 15-30 minutes twice a day and use short relaxation techniques throughout the day. Practice relaxation in advance. Relaxation is a skill which takes approximately 3 months to develop effectively. Each day you practice helps to lower your level of stress.
3. Eat a normal well balanced diet at normal times with nutritious snacks in-between. Food helps to stabilize your body and gets nourishment to the baby.
4. Environment affects you, so be with people and places that are calm. Humans share feelings with each other. Reach out to others who need your help.
5. Normal routine is important for normal function. Maintain or return to your normal routine as soon as possible.
6. Drinking, especially good water helps the body function normally. Without water hormones are inhibited in their mobility. Water is necessary to process and get rid of waste products from pregnancy and stress.
7. Sleep, helps you to calm down, relax, and heal mentally and physically. You may need to be in a place you feel safe and be with someone you feel safe with before you can sleep deeply. Take extra time and make the effort to make a safe environment which may include your favorite pillow, or picture or sound, etc.
8. Religion - Prayer can be a powerful tool especially during stress. Take time to think, read and be quiet. Every major religion has prayers, meditations, and phrases that may help you to have faith, hope and courage.
9. Pamper yourself and your baby with comfort, distraction, bath, foot rub, massage, walk, a good book, a video, all may help.
10. Have faith in the process. Your baby is protected by many things on purpose. All the way from the flexible cartilage of its bones, its own muscles, skin, vernix, amniotic fluid , bag of waters, placenta ,uterus, pelvis, the mothers abdominal muscles, and more just to protect your baby.
A Bradley® information paper
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