As usual my approach to pregnancy is very old fashioned. One of my favourite books, and one I recommend to all my clients is called Mothering the New Mother by Sally Placksin.
The book includes interviews with women from various traditional cultures that nourish pregnant women and new mothers. One of the most beautiful stories she shares is from Luz Garcia, a Colombian who is the daughter of a physician and a midwife, who talks about prenatal care:
"Birth was not ever seen as an illness, but as a sign of health and a sign of beauty and life coming through...If you could bear a child you were healthy, you were alive, every good thing was coming your way...Regardless of what the family was, that infant was cared for from the moment the mother was found to be in estado [pregnant]. The mother got fed better, first portion came to her...The mother was recommended to have long walks, to see flowers, to see baby animals at play, and to hold other babies and have good thoughts..."
Compare that to our modern Australian experience of prenatal care. We hide our pregnancies for twelve weeks when many of us need the most help, then we are bombarded with information and rules and instructions and tests. We lose bodily autonomy as we are poked and prodded by strangers each week. Even the thought of lovely activities like yoga and chiropractic and massage can become anxiety inducing when we keep being told we should when we'd just prefer to just stay home and relax on the couch.
If this is how you are feeling you are missing a VITAL element in your prenatal care, and that is oxytocin. Wouldn't it be lovely if our prenatal care consisted of long walks, flowers, baby animals and being given good food? If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed take a step back from this modern, medical world and take a leaf out Sally Placksin's book. Enjoy doing whatever feels nourishing for you and forget about all the shoulds!