A Sacred Calling

Mother's Influence

The sphere of the mother may be humble; but her influence, united with the father's, is as abiding as eternity. Next to God, the mother's power for good is the strongest known on earth. The mother's influence is an unceasing influence; and if it is always on the side of right, her children's characters will testify to her moral earnestness and worth. Her smile, her encouragement, may be an inspiring force. She may bring sunshine to the heart of her child by a word of love, a smile of approval.

When her influence is for truth, for virtue, when she is guided by divine wisdom, what a power for Christ will be her life! Her influence will reach on through time into eternity. What a thought is this--that the mother's looks and words and actions bear fruit in eternity, and the salvation or ruin of many will be the result of her influence!

Little does the mother realize that her influence in the judicious training of her children reaches with such power through the vicissitudes (change of circumstances) of this life, stretching forward into the future, immortal life. To fashion a character after the heavenly model requires much faithful, earnest, persevering labour; but it will pay, for God is a rewarder of all well-directed labour in securing the salvation of souls.

At most, prepare one year in advance. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by an active devotional life, frequent outdoor exercise in your garden or brisk walks early in the morning, this not only enables you to get pure fresh air, but also allows you to get the much needed Vitamin D from the sun and as has been mentioned, maintain a well balanced vegan diet with plenty of fruits and fresh vegetables. Ensure that you go on a fruit or vegetable fast for at least 3 days, this will detox the system and will aid in fertility.

Drink herbal teas like Dandelion root or leaves, the herb cleanses the blood and liver by removing poisons from the system, Winter cherry root (Ashwagandha) is highly valued in India just as ginseng is in Chinese medicine, it acts as a tonic to the hormonal system and promotes conception and probably among the most important is Dong qui also known as Dang gui; Angelica sinensis, the root of this herb is a valued blood tonic especially in the East. It tones the reproductive system and maintains normal function. It tones the uterus; this herb should not be used during pregnancy.

Make sure you get an adequate supply of folic acid, Vitamin B12, iron as well as essential fatty acids. Avoid stimulants like coffee, commercial teas, alcohol and tobacco. 

“And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.  Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:” Judges 13:2-4

When the Lord would raise up Samson as a deliverer of His people, He enjoined upon the mother correct habits of life before the birth of her child. And the same prohibition was to be imposed, from the first, upon the child; for he was to be consecrated to God as a Nazarite from his birth. The angel of God appeared to the wife of Manoah, and informed her that she should have a son; and in view of this he gave her the important directions.

God had important work for the promised child of Manoah to do, and it was to secure for him the qualifications necessary for this work, that the habits of both the mother and the child were to be so carefully regulated. The child will be affected for good or evil by the habits of the mother. She must herself be controlled by principle, and must practice temperance and self-denial, if she would seek the welfare of her child.

The words spoken to the wife of Manoah contain a truth that the mothers of today would do well to study. In speaking to this one mother, the Lord spoke to all the anxious, sorrowing mothers of that time, and to all the mothers of succeeding generations. Yes, every mother may understand her duty. She may know that the character of her children will depend vastly more upon her habits before their birth and her personal efforts after their birth, than upon external advantages or disadvantages.

The effect of prenatal influences is by many parents looked upon as a matter of little moment; but Heaven does not so regard it. If the mother unswervingly adheres to right principles, if she is temperate and self-denying, if she is kind, gentle, and unselfish, she may give her child these same precious traits of character. Very explicit was the command prohibiting the use of wine by the mother. Every drop of strong drink taken by her to gratify appetite endangers the physical, mental, and moral health of her child.

Many advisers urge that every wish of the mother should be gratified; that if she desires any article of food, however harmful, she should freely indulge her appetite. Such advice is false and mischievous. The mother's physical needs should in no case be neglected. Two lives are depending upon her, and her wishes should be tenderly regarded, her needs generously supplied. But at this time above all others she should avoid, in diet and in every other line, whatever would lessen physical or mental strength. By the command of God Himself she is placed under the most solemn obligation to exercise self-control.

The enemy of souls understands this matter much better than do many parents. He will bring temptation upon the mother, knowing that if she does not resist him, he can through her affect her child. The mother's only hope is in God. She may flee to Him for grace and strength. She will not seek help in vain. He will enable her to transmit to her offspring qualities that will help them to gain success in this life and to win eternal life.

Mother's Nutrition
A balanced and varied plant-based diet has been proven to be nutritional and beneficial for all ages. Ultimate health is not a result of chance, but of choice, so it is important that women take extra measures and make efforts to be knowledgeable about the necessities of pregnancy, how to preserve the life of the unborn baby especially in the beginning stages of life as well as during the child’s infancy, childhood and teenage stage. It is at these times that the child's body is changing, and should thus be given special attention.

Generally for all women, whether they are vegetarian or non-vegetarian, mineral and vitamin intake during pregnancy is recommended. Because the body's needs are now accommodating another person, the mother's intake of these minerals and vitamins should be increased. More folic acid, vitamin A (beta carotene), B1 (thiamine), niacin, riboflavin, B12, calcium, iron, zinc and essential fatty acids, should be taken. This is essential because the unborn baby's body uses the mother's extra intake of these vitamins and minerals to build up its own supply in the body, hence the need for the mother to get enough from her diet for the both of them.

During the first six months of the pregnancy, calorie requirements are small however; health professionals advice women that during the last trimester (last 3 months before birth), 200 extra calorie intake should be taken per day. It is extremely important that the mother drinks extra water as this will help in making additional blood for the mother, unborn baby as well as for the amniotic fluid (the fluid surrounding the fetus in the womb). Health professionals prove that a nutritionally balanced diet can alleviate pregnancy symptoms such as cravings, stress and fatigue.

Morning sickness (pregnancy nausea)
Although it is referred to as morning sickness, it can occur at any time of the day. This normally happens between the 6th and 12th weeks of pregnancy. Morning sickness is a normal part of pregnancy and is caused by increased progesterone levels. It is said that this action is an effort of nature to cleanse the body, to prepare a clean environment in which the fetus can properly develop.

At its worst, the nausea can degenerate into hyperemesis gravidarum. In this situation, the mother to be has far too much vomiting and nausea is dehydrated and not urinating properly, she cannot keep food, water and juice down for over a period of 4-6 hours. This condition can lead to pulse irregularities, electrolyte imbalance and even kidney and liver damage. Do not stop eating and drinking fluids, even though you feel nauseated and vomit. See a health-care professional if the nausea persists beyond 13 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Avoid sugary food and snacks
  • Avoid smelling fried and fatty foods
  • Eat oatcakes or toasted whole-wheat bread/crackers
  • Try herbal infusions such as ginger, peppermint, chamomile or dandelion.

Breast feeding

During pregnancy as with the time the baby is now born, maintain the same healthy lifestyle and increase your zinc, magnesium, copper, selenium, protein, calcium and B12 intake. Zinc is especially important for lactating mothers because should the baby not get enough from the mother’s milk, the baby's body will start drawing some from the infants' reserves stored during the last 3 months whilst in the womb. Eat an increased quantity of vegan wholefoods, B12 and Vitamin D2 as well as essential fatty acids at this time, this is said to give a nutritional boost while breastfeeding.

Breast feeding is important for proper growth and development of the infant. The mother’s breast milk is the best food there is for the infant. The quality of mother's milk varies according to the food eaten, it can thus be said that good wholesome milk will be a result of good wholesome food. Breast milk is safer for the infant as it does not have the environmental contaminants present in animal milk or formula.

First foods
As the baby grows and develops, they will move away from milk as the main source of food, the transition from breast milk to solid food should be gradual, and the food should not be restrictive. The energy levels of a growing child are different from those of adults and should thus be met. Nutritionists claim that porridge does not provide sufficient energy for small children, however an increased intake of cereals, nut butters, avocados, dried fruit spreads and legumes is recommended. While limiting the amount of vegetables and porridge,  some can be included such as cooked millet, vegetable purees made from cauliflower, broccoli, peas, carrots, and fruits as well. The baby's food should not be seasoned with spices, salt, or sugar.

7 months
At this stage in the child's life, the energy levels increase and the child becomes more active, this is the time to introduce them to slightly lumpy food with variety of course. In addition to breast milk, the mother can also include blended oats, millet, rice, buckwheat, cooked and mashed broccoli, sweet potatoes etc.

8 to 10 months
At this point, it is advisable to adjust the baby's breast feeding to fit with the family's meals example, soft food like mashed potatoes and peas. The baby will also be ready for some fresh fruits like figs, soft pears, plums, melons, peaches etc. Depending on the baby, at this stage s/he will be ready to drink from a cup. Start giving the baby some cooled boiled water, fresh fruit juices diluted with a little water, and vegetable juices.

10 to 12 months
Since the child will now be more inclined to hold his/her own spoon, let them do so, but supervise them. The child can now eat some chopped food, finely grated or blended food. A greater variety should be given to the child at this stage.

12 months +
From this point onward, the child can now eat what the family eats. Nutritionist advise that at this stage the child should now receive more energy rich foods, which will help maintain the child’s energy needs as well as growing demands. They can now eat thick porridge, fortified plant-based milks like soy, coconut milk etc., fruit smoothies, and some nut butters like tahini, flax oil, black-strap molasses, tofu, also include vitamin D and C rich foods as well as B12 fortified soy milk and cereals.

Older children and teens
This is where most of the work starts, arm yourself with patience...you'll need it! Get more information and facts on how to meet your child’s nutrient needs. Be knowledgeable and teach your children the right principles from babyhood, the womb rather. Give them reasons to what you present to them, children are intelligent and if you do not arm them with the truth and with information, it will be easier for them to yield and compromise. The proof of your efforts will be seen in the children's radiant health and sharp minds. Include a lot of wholefoods, fruits, vegetables, particularly green leafy ones, lentils, sprouts, nuts, seeds, as well as a reliable source of calcium and supporting vitamins in order for them to have good healthy bones.

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