Listening to your pregnant body

How do you listen to your body?

I’ve often been asked this question by clients and students alike. And those who have ever attended my talks would know that my favourite quote would definitely be ‘Listen to your body!‘.

For example, when they ask me if I think they’re drinking enough or walking too much or whether they’re eating adequately or resting enough, I’d say (after some bits of advice): ‘…most importantly, listen to your body!’.

“But I don’t know how to, I don’t trust my body!”

I’d tell them that they are the best person to know what’s happening inside their own self, and most times a simple thought can influence the body’s state of healing (mind over matter).

Now I’m not trying to simplify matters, but truly, if we start paying attention to signs our body is giving us, we will notice that we know a lot more than we actually think – especially when it comes to our own pregnancy.

Take note of small changes – from your pee colour, stool colour, skin and nail condition, new sensations around the body, to your emotions – they’re all telling you something. If you feel something is a little off, pause for a moment and listen deep down to what your body is trying to tell you.

Earlier this week, a lovely pregnant lady, in a little panic, asked me if its normal to feel tightenings (small contractions of the uterine muscles) in the 2nd trimester which were really uncomfortable. While it may not require emergency medical attention*, it certainly means something is not quite right with the body so I asked her to look for clues like ‘what did you do differently today?’. Turns out she was fasting and that particularly hot day was taking a toll on her body. Her body was dehydrated and her muscles – the uterus especially – were signalling for her to get help. When she broke her fast and hydrated herself with water, her tightenings immediately stopped.

You’d be surprise at how simple this solution sounds in writing, but the truth is that not many people hear what their body is trying to say, especially when they feel their judgement might be biased by panic and fear.

When this happens, slow down, and ask your body questions – aloud works fine too 😀

Most of the time your body hurts to tell you something, not to attack you. It gives you a chance to plan a strategy so listen to it. Pay close attention and you will find the answer. And trust about what it is telling you to do. Because truly Allah has made our bodies very smart!

 And He has created you in different forms and different conditions. See you not how Allah has created seven heavens in perfect harmony, and has placed the moon, therein a light and made the sun a lamp? And Allah has caused you to grow out of the earth as a good growth. Then will He cause you to return, thereto, and He will bring you forth a new bringing forth. (71:14-19)

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, so please use good judgement to identify serious medical issues. The stories I share are suitable for the majority of healthy and/or low-risk pregnancies. Please do not ignore symptoms if you already have a pre-existing medical condition. Thank you!

** If you already tried listening to your body, but really can’t hear anything, sometimes a doula may just be the person to ask the questions for you. And we’re always happy to do so! ❤

Love, Hanani