The wave towards everything organic has given these adjectives to describe everything from food to clothing to make-up, but has largely ignored the most natural process of them all – motherhood.
“Organic Baby” is the term we’ll use for a baby that has had no synthetic interference in terms of unnecessary supplements and medication, neither during conception, nor during pregnancy or birthing. As for everything organic, think of this as going back to your roots. Thirty to forty years ago, when the commercial revolution of domestic pharma industries hadn’t yet begun, women still gave birth to normal-weight, healthy babies.
What has changed in the last forty years?
Why are we popping supplement pills when we can get the same nutrients with a well-planned diet?
Why are we taking preventive medication when it can be replaced with many positive lifestyle changes?
What has changed is the rampant, unapologetic commercialization of the health sector in India and the world. The products that medical companies market as supplements and medicine are just that many extra chemicals to interfere with a beautiful, natural process.
And even though much research supports the fact that supplements are really unnecessary for normal pregnancies, pregnant women all over the world pop pill after pill because their doctors prescribe it. NICE recommends women should take 400 micrograms of folic acid each day, from before pregnancy until the end of the first trimester (first 12 weeks), and 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding. No other supplements are recommended for routine use.
However, folic acid is readily available in legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), in eggs, asparagus, leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits, papayas, bananas and avocados. Vitamin D, too, is available in fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon, as well as in egg yolk. Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals are also available.
In the presence of these natural alternatives to synthesized pills, supplements do not need to be taken. Of course, other lifestyle changes are highly necessary in combination with a natural, balanced diet. Yoga and meditation every single day are recommended. Squats are an excellent exercise to maintain strength and range of motion in the hips and pelvic floor muscles. Pregnancy yoga increases your flexibility and helps maintain better posture. Brisk walking is also a great exercise for better blood circulation.
Perhaps the most important thing is a strong support system that many new moms lack. A good support system, with helpful, non-judgemental people you can trust, is priceless. The support of your partner is irreplaceable, because lifestyle changes cannot happen overnight. They take commitment and continuous effort, not just during the nine months of pregnancy, but also before and after it.
But in the end, it’s all worth it. When done right, organic babies have better than average birth weight, with no developmental disabilities. There’s a reason going organic is the best way forward, especially in an era where synthesization and commercialisation run rampant.