In a recent article in the Chicago Tribune five threats to a healthy pregnancy were listed:
poor nutrition in the womb, air pollution, Bisphenol A (BPA) found in many plastic bottles and the lining of soda and soup cans, depression and viruses. Out of this list we have the most control over our diets. A healthy diet also has the greatest ability to nourish and give protection to the developing fetus from environmental pollutants.
We recently completed a weekend in our year-long course at the Strengthening Health Institute where we discussed embryonic education. This has been a traditional understanding in the orient that has been passed down over the generations.
Embryonic education, which takes place before we are even born, is actually the most important education in our life. It sets our tendencies for health or sickness as well as our tastes in food, music and physical activity. This is consistent with the view of the fetal origins theory, which has been studied in recent years, where diet during pregnancy and infancy sets the future pattern for physical and mental health or illness. There are three main areas of this education: diet, activity and mental-spiritual practices. The dietary recommendations are based on grains and vegetables and include foods that are nourishing, strengthening and protective to the developing fetus. These include brown rice and other whole grains such as barley and millet, a variety of hard, fibrous vegetables, naturally pickled vegetables such as sauerkraut, beans especially azuki and lentils, miso soup and a variety of other foods.
Walking, cleaning and other daily, life-related activities are also important for the developing baby. Pregnancy is natural to life and activity and hard work are important to have a strong baby.
In a world filled with violence it is important to try and read or watch movies and TV shows that are peaceful and inspiring and to avoid shows and books that are violent, negative and overly sexually stimulating.
In my personal counseling practice I have guided many women through pregnancy. Many women who have followed these guidelines have expressed how happy they were that they discovered this understanding in time.