Peaceful Parenting from the Start: Pregnancy and Beyond

If you're expecting and planning to practice peaceful parenting from the start, here are six practical things you can do during pregnancy and the newborn days.Peaceful Parenting from the Start: Pregnancy and Beyond

I wanted to talk about peaceful parenting from the start today, because I feel like a lot of Peaceful Parenting resources focus on peacefully parenting toddlers and older kids, but the newborn and pregnancy phase is skipped altogether.

I’m not sure why it isn’t talked about, because those early stages of development and bonding are so, so important.

Now, before we get started, I do want to give a disclaimer. Pregnancy, birth, and newborn stuff are all in the realm of medical issues, and I do want to point out that I am not a doctor. So, nothing that we talk about today is intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Definitely talk to a qualified physician if you have questions or concerns.

Okay, with all that out of the way, let’s dive in!

From the moment you find out you’re expecting a little one, tons of emotions wash over you all at once. Joy, fear, gratitude, worry, love, hope….maybe even panic or sadness, depending on your circumstance.

All of a sudden, you question everything you do. Should I drink coffee this morning? Is it okay to take a hot shower? Which prenatal vitamins should I take?

Nearly all your thoughts are consumed with this new life growing inside you. The Bible verse, “Pray without ceasing,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) takes on a new meaning, as you constantly whisper prayers for your baby.

3 Ways to Parent Peacefully During Pregnancy

There are many ways you can start practicing peaceful parenting during pregnancy, but today we’re going to talk about three.

Now, obviously you aren’t going to be yelling at your unborn baby or threatening to put them in time out, but nevertheless, pregnancy is an important time for you to build a firm foundation for peaceful parenting throughout your parenthood journey.

  1. Manage your stress.

If there was ever a time to master stress management, this is it! Lots of stress can cause health problems and studies have shown that mom’s stress may also affect the baby, too.

If you’re going through a particularly difficult time, be sure to reach out and talk to a counselor. Working through any “baggage” you may be carrying from past hurts will help you be better prepared to peacefully parent.

Another thing you can do is start practicing meditation. I like to search YouTube for “guided relaxation” exercises. You can also find videos of encouraging scripture verses being read, which is also great to meditate on.

  1. Research everything.

When I was pregnant with my first, I read everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy symptoms and fetal development. While those things were important, I was very unprepared for all the decisions I’d have to make once my baby was born.

I hadn’t informed myself enough to make good choices for her, and that is something I deeply regret to this day.

Be sure to research everything you can about birth, breastfeeding, newborn sleep, attachment parenting, electromagnetic field exposure from cell phones/computers, safe personal care items, medication safety, and anything else you can think of. You’ll want to be equipped with all the knowledge your brain can hold so that you can make the best choices for yourself and your baby.

 

  1. Nurture your unborn baby.

While you can’t physically cuddle your baby, there are many things you can do while pregnant to start building a close bond and laying the foundation for peaceful parenting.

Around the middle of your second trimester, your baby can hear sounds! You can begin to read books, sing songs, pray aloud, and speak words of affirmation over him or her.

You can also nurture your baby by rubbing your belly, which is really like a natural instinct for moms to do!

 

3 Ways to Parent your Newborn Peacefully

 

  1. Plan a peaceful birth

If you think about it, your baby has been floating around in a warm bath, snug in a dark cozy environment for nine months. It must be a very rude awakening to be born into a loud, cold, bright world!

To make the transition easier on them, plan on birthing in a peaceful environment. I planned for a peaceful, natural birth with my first baby, but I didn’t do the first thing to prepare my body for actually handling labor and giving birth.

I ended up having an emergency c-section that was far from peaceful.

With my youngest two children, I planned a gentle cesarean with immediate skin-to-skin and both of those births were beautiful, peaceful experiences.

  1. Delay or skip “routine” procedures.

Unless you’re having a homebirth, most likely your baby will be poked, prodded, injected, suctioned, and subjected to many more painful experiences unless you specify otherwise in your birth plan.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, newborns experience “too much pain” from “routine procedures.” The AAP says that prevention of pain in newborns should be the goal, not only because it is ethical but also because repeated painful exposures have the potential for harmful consequences.

Of course, every baby is different, and each circumstance is unique, but many times you can choose to skip or delay painful procedures.

Be sure to do thorough research on anything that comes into contact with your baby, whether it’s an injection, a medication, a heel prick, or a medical procedure.

Specifically, routine infant circumcision is one procedure you can skip entirely to save your son a lot of stress and pain. Peacefully welcoming your son without cutting off a healthy, valuable body part is really important.

As Christian moms, we know that God designed the human body with a perfect plan and called it “very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

The Bible also tells us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)

God created every part of your child with value and purpose. Respecting God’s design and your son, is the ultimate way to start his life off peacefully. Circumcision is unnecessary from a Biblical and a medical perspective. Not only is circumcision extremely painful and harmful, but it also carries the risk of infection and even death. I do hope you’ll research this further. Recommended reading: LittleImages.org and YourWholeBaby.org

  1. Breastfeed if you can

Not only does breastfeeding have a plethora of health benefits for both mom and baby, but it is also a great way to start off with peaceful parenting.

Breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact are great ways to bond with your baby. This bond is so important because it lasts a lifetime. The close-knit feeling you have between yourself and your baby will last through the difficult toddler years and well beyond.

Breastfeeding also releases hormones that cause you to feel relaxed. The hormone oxytocin is called the “love hormone” because of its role in helping you feel more loving and nurturing toward your baby.

 

Just to recap, you can start your peaceful parenting journey even in pregnancy and in those precious newborn days. There are tons of ways to do that, and we’ve talked about just a few today. I hope this episode has inspired you to prayerfully consider all the many choices you have to make when you’re expecting a bundle of joy, and really do your homework so that you can be prepared to parent peacefully right from the start.

 

 


Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.


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