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Sustainability in Pregnancy


"Children grow up hearing how broken the environment is, how broken beyond repair. Plant strawberries together, make wild medicines, and paint the sunrise. Show them proof that for every act of destruction, they can sow a seed, however small, of beauty.”

~Nicolette Sowder








Disclaimer!

The intention of this post is not to make you feel upsetting emotions towards yourself and your approach to living up to this point. If you're reading this, it most likely means you're wanting to make changes to help support the regeneration of our earth and become a sustainable role model for your child, and that is what's important. It can be a lot to take on, when you want desperately to help. Take it slow, bit by bit. Any changes to a more sustainable approach to living and parenting are good ones and may encourage those around you to do the same. This post relates to the privilege and lifestyles of Westernised, developed, or colonized countries (however you refer to these countries), as it is these countries that contribute the most to climate change.



 


It is not our mothers and fathers who will bear the brunt of climate change, but ourselves and most importantly our children.


In 2022, there are more and more conversations around the problems we are and will be, facing in regards to the health of the earth and climate change. I really want to bring these conversations into the realm of conception, and all the way through to parenthood. This phase of life is undeniably one of great change and there is potential here to utilize the transition of starting a family, or extending a family, to include more environmentally sustainable choices.


We have roughly 8 years to make effective changes to help avoid, and possibly revert, some of the damage done to our earth. So, my question to you is:


How can you be more sustainable from the beginning of parenthood?



 


Below, are some ideas of ways you can implement environmental ethics into your approach to living and therefore parenting. If you have utilized the transition into parenthood as a vessel for a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, comment below to help others feel inspired and supported.


Starting with conception, and even preconception, there is time and space here to make the changes that benefit your health as you enter into pregnancy, and at the same time benefit the earth. Consider:

  • Your toxin exposure - how can you begin using more environmentally friendly cleaning products, skincare, and makeup? Where can you reduce plastics and invite reusables? Can you walk or ride a bike rather than drive? Can you catch public transport or carpool?

  • Your food sources and produce - where are you buying these from? Can you support local farmers, or even begin your own herb or vegetable garden? The quality of our soil, and therefore our food, is not as supportive of our health as we may think. How can we choose the best forms that will give us, our unborn baby, and the earth, the best nutrients?

  • Buying animal-sourced foods? Consider food energetics... if you are purchasing and consuming factory-farmed meats, you are taking on the energetic imprint of that animal's experience, not to mention the way the meat is impacted by the process of factory farming. Are you able to catch your own fish? Hunt your own meat? Or at least purchase from an environmentally minded business?

  • You may begin to consider your values surrounding things such as fast fashion and consumption of mass-produced material items. This can be a huge process once you begin to implement more sustainable living, take it slowly and if in doubt, always lean towards ethically and locally made items (at least local to your own country).





Unfortunately, the consumerist market for pregnancy and early parenting is done so in a way that makes many of us believe we need the newest and most expensive pram, cot, car, and accessories, to be able to have an enjoyable experience of pregnancy, birth, and parenting.


This couldn't be further from the truth. Once we see this misleading information, we can evaluate what we truly need and don't need in these times. Consumerism works in a way that presents individuals with a smorgasbord of choice, pleasure, and seemingly endless “model identities” (Bauman).


We really have too much choice in the 21st century and almost everything we need or want is within reach. This creates an urgency to buy, consume, and throw out ready for the next best thing. It's a vicious cycle to be a part of, but an avoidable one with awareness and knowledge.


As with everything in life, it is a lot easier to continue a practice when you spend time and energy cultivating it as a habit. Once your baby is here, your attention and priorities will shift as your world zeros in on this bundle of love you've grown and birthed. My advice? start now. Make this approach to living a core part of your everyday life, so it does not require the same energy and effort while you are newly postpartum or tending to your child's needs.


An important consideration in teaching our children of connection with nature


Invest some time in learning about the Indigenous custodians of the land you will birth and raise your child. Reach out to the community where you live and ask questions, learn more about the ways to care for the land, and acknowledge the experience of the Indigenous groups when Colonialism came to the country. For those in Australia, visit the Indigenous Map of Australia here.


I hope this information can enlighten a view of how we can coexist with the earth and even make lifestyle choices to reduce or reverse damage to our earth. Stay tuned for Sustainability in Parenting, bringing forward awareness of the marketing of motherhood.



 

With a special interest in natural fertility, conscious conception, and conscious relating through starting a family, I offer Birth Doula and related services to encourage more depth and awareness in your journey. I educate on the menstrual cycle and encourage women to reawaken their confidence and trust in their bodies, and show an understanding of how all of these experiences are interrelated and must be considered on your journey to starting a family.


To get in touch, email me at:


hello@caraburns.com.au or visit my social pages:






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