by Fudia Muhammad
If we were to poll a large group of parents and ask if they were one-hundred percent ready for parenthood – or even 80-90% ready, most would say, “Absolutely not!” If Allah (God) required us to be one-hundred percent ready before reproducing, the human population would have faced extinction eons ago. This is not to say that the application and preparation to become parents should not be taken seriously – it certainly should. But if we waited until every aspect of our lives was perfect, we may never become parents. The purpose of this article is to share a few areas of focus that will help future and current parents reach a level of comfort and confidence before conceiving; whether it’s their first or fourth child. Knowing that we have actively prepared by making sure crucial elements have been achieved, allows us some level of peaceand readiness for parenthood.
There are seven primary areas of focus we should be aware ofthat will prepare the body to conceive new life. Though our primary focus is on the body, we should approach this with an understanding that there are other areas that shouldbe settled before deciding to become parents. The two biggest areas are marriage and finances. If we are not married to someone with whom we are equally yoked, mentally and spiritually, then we are not yet ready to reproduce. Our spouse does not have to be perfect, but they do need to be perfect for us. If our finances are nonexistent, we are not ready. Again, we do not have to be wealthy, but we should definitely be financially stable. Once these two areas are cemented, it’s time to prepare the body.
AREA 1: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said that we should take at least one year to clean up our bodies before conceiving. The intention of both husband and wife has to be to purify their physical vessels before conceiving. Each must desire to have optimum cleanliness of mind, body and spirit. This must be discussed and planned together. There is nothing more powerful than a made-up mind. Our mind has to be made-up to produce children who will make a tangible impact on the world – we have to desire to give birth to gods. Great children are desired long before they exist. If desire is absent, the will cannot be fed and if the will is not fed, we will not make the necessary sacrificesto transform desire into reality.
AREA 2: Women should schedule a preconception visit with their midwife or OB-GYN and get a complete gynecological exam and overall physical, including bloodwork. This should be done at least one year before trying to conceive, and then again one month prior to conception. This is the best way to know what health issues are specific to you. Men should do the same with a family practice physician. Our health is paramount; including good oral hygiene – so see the dentist! Do not be discouraged by any health challenges uncovered – be grateful for such knowledge. Almost every negative condition can be reversed by changing our diet, daily habits and making different lifestyle choices.
AREA 3: We must cast away all harmful, foreign chemicals and substances. This includes drugs (crack, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, inhalants, synthetics, etc.); over-the-counter and prescription medications (most of which have natural and much healthier alternatives); alcohol; cigarettes and all tobacco or nicotine products; caffeine; and all forms of hormonal birth control. All of these vices quickly enter the bloodstream and therefore will become a part of the genetic make-up of a woman’s eggs and a man’s sperm.
AREA 4: Invest in a copy of How to Eat to Live: Book I & II by The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and practice the diet he describes as a prescription for our ills and to give us abundance of life. Our healthcare practitioners will tell us to begin taking folic acid and prenatal vitamins prior to conceiving. However, if we are strict in our discipline and practice of the principles detailed in these two books, not only will we not need additional vitamins and supplements, but we will be able to prevent and reverse illness and disease.
AREA 5:Both men and women have to establish a regular exercise pattern and routine. Stagnation is death – we have to get moving. Women in particular need to prepare their bodies to be fit for pregnancy. Conception can be difficult if we are extremely underweight or overweight. During pregnancy, this can lead to an unhealthy birth weight and/or complication during labor and delivery. So, we should strive to be at a healthy weight prior to conception. If you have not been exercising, start slowly then gradually increase the duration and level of intensity every couple of weeks. We should focus on cardiovascular exercises, increasing muscle strength and flexibility during this preparation year
AREA 6:As women we should use the months before trying to conceive to get an understanding of the dynamics of our personal monthly cycles – menstruation and ovulation. This is solely the woman’s responsibility, but what she discovers must be shared and discussed with her husband so that conception does not take place prematurely. When a woman is about to ovulate, the hormones can be detected in her urine, saliva and her skin by using ovulation kits. There are also clear changes in her basal body temperature and cervical mucus. However, in order to determineone’s personal pattern, these changes must be charted and recorded over a period of several month.This makes it possible to pinpoint ovulation, so conception can take place when desired.
AREA 7: Humans do not exist on the physical plane alone. The body is affected by the mind and the spirit; and how we feel about ourselves physically has a bearing on our willingness to strive to achieve mental and spiritual greatness. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said that prior to conceiving, women should say in prayer, “O Allah (God), help me to produce from my womb, a son or a daughter that will glorify you and change the reality of the world’s condition – bless my womb…” He went on to say that if this is said over and over again, it will be in our blood, in the cells of our brain and in our eggs. Thought is a chemical substance. It permeates from the mind and travels throughout the body, affecting every cell – from the brain to the heel. Every action is first preceded by a thought, so we must work to rid ourselves of internal vices which are affecting our mental and spiritual health.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said, “So as you get yourself ready…First thing you [have] to do is weed out your garden. Pluck up the things from yourself that you know will not be good for your child to feed on in your mind: Bitterness, envy, jealousy, hatred, vile behavior, that comes from vile thoughts; you [have] got to make a sacrifice and get rid of that, if you want to produce a child for God… Get your womb together. Get this womb (mind) and this womb (body). Both wombs work together, co-operating with God; for the resuscitation, reformation, regeneration, and procreation of human life.”
(Sister Fudia Muhammad is a member of Muhammad Mosque No. 64 in Austin, Texas. She is married to Student Minister Robert L. Muhammad and they have been blessed with four children. Sister Fudia holds a Master’s degree in Education – she is a writer, an educator and an advocate for God-centered child-rearing.)