Pregnancy & Birth
I am a mom, childbirth educator, massage therapist and essential oils educator. These are my thoughts and opinions based on my experiences and education since 2004. Always consult your care provider and use your common sense and intuition when making choices for yourself. I do, however, hope you find my personal experiences and stories helpful.
VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS
By my third baby, the prenatal supplements I had been using had been purchased by a larger company and I was in pursuit of something safe, natural and nurturing for my baby and me. I read through some literature written by some trusted midwives and consulted my own midwife and felt that LifeLong Vitality Supplements would be the most perfect and affordable option for me as a prenatal supplement. These are whole food vitamins that are easily digested and gentle on the stomach and provide everything I was looking for in supplementation including omegas for brain development, circulation and cardiovascular support, a multivitamin providing multiple benefits and includes vitamins A,B,C and E and is gentle on the tummy – always important while pregnant and a cellular complex providing cells with essential nutrients and metabolic factors of cellular energy and protecting our cells from toxic stressors supports healthy cell function, vitality, and wellness.
In addition, probiotics and food enzymes are important during pregnancy to support the digestive system and to maintain a healthy microflora balance in the gut. Some mamas have a hard time keeping up with their digestion and staying regular during pregnancy because of the added iron in the diet as well as the increased blood in their systems. These two keep things going and these were a game changer for me with my last baby. I wish I had used these in all three pregnancies.
Essential oils are safe during pregnancy. Purity and quality matter and not all essential oils are created equal. The most tested and trusted essential oils are from doTERRA and are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. This means they have gone through 3rd party testing to ensure no added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their essential oils that would reduce their efficacy.
I have used doTERRA essential oils through two pregnancies and births. They were an amazing support emotionally and physically to me. Here are a few I recommend.
Lavender – sleep, relaxation, stress, baby blues, skin irritations, breast and nipple irritation, cramping, leg cramps, overwhelming feelings, restlessness, promotes milk production
Frankincense – calming, relaxation, lessens stressful feelings and trauma, stretch marks, skin irritations, after pains, breast and nipple irritation
Peppermint – nausea, morning sickness, digestive support, muscle tension, headaches, stuffy nose (use caution during postpartum as it can decrease milk supply)
Wild Orange – nausea, mood booster, low energy
Copaiba – painful nerves, calming, relaxation
Deep Blue Soothing Blend – back pain, soothes aches and pains
Massage feels so good during pregnancy. It can be very physically and emotionally soothing to mom and baby. There are so many benefits including, being helpful to your circulation, easing your pregnancy aches and pains, and supportive to the nervous system. Consider massage during pregnancy a must and not a luxury. You’ll want to find someone who is trained in prenatal massage and knows when and when not to give an expectant mother a massage.
Getting chiropractic care during pregnancy you are giving your body and your baby a big hug. When you have a balanced pelvis, your baby has a greater chance of moving into the optimal position for birth and there is less concern of breech or posterior baby. Weekly adjustments are ideal if you can make that happen.
Adjustments were part of my pregnancy regimen with all three boys. And, all of them were adjusted within 24 hours of birth.
To learn more about chiropractic care for pregnancy, birth, babies and children you can visit http://icpa4kids.org.
YOGA AND MOVEMENT
After a 25 hours labor and birth process with my first baby, I was determined to be more physically and mentally prepared the next time around. Not only did I eat way better for myself and my baby, I made sure to attend weekly prenatal yoga classes and get moving every single day. I highly contribute my 4-hour labor and birthing process the second time around supporting my body in this way. My mind, body and emotions were really well prepared. If you can’t find a prenatal Yoga class in your area, sometimes instructors will accommodate and modify poses for you. Or, you can always find videos that you can do from home too.
If you want the most comprehensive education about your pregnancy and birth and an idea of what to expect, you will want to take a childbirth class. Why a class over ready books? Books are sometimes good as well, but there is something about being in a class with other expectant parents learning about how to take the best care of yourself during pregnancy and what to expect for birth that puts your mind at ease. Knowledge is power and you will find that when you know more you can do better for yourself and your baby.
5 Things to Know Before You Have Your Baby
1. CLOSE YOUR EARS. People like to tell you birth horror stories (sorry, I may have been guilty of this before I knew better) while you are pregnant or try to give you all the advice. Some advice is supportive, some is not helpful at all. What you need to remember is that their story is theirs. It doesn’t belong to you and neither does the fear, stress or doubt that comes along with that. When I am pregnant and I tell people that I have a midwife and plan to birth at home, you wouldn’t believe some of the fearful stories people try to tell me.
2. YOU HAVE OPTIONS. You can have your baby at a hospital, in a birth center or at home. Wherever you give birth to your baby is your decision if you and your baby are healthy. The most important thing you have to know is that you have a choice who to have your baby with and where to have your baby. As long as your baby is inside of you, you still have options. If you haven’t chosen a care provider yet, look into all of the possibilities in your area. Just because you talk to one doctor or midwife doesn’t mean you have to choose them to be at your side during pregnancy and for the birth. The outcome of your labor and birth is strongly dependent upon who you choose to birth with and where you have your baby.
3. YOU HAVE A VOICE. You are pregnant. This doesn’t mean that you suddenly have no voice about your body and your baby. If you and your baby are healthy, you should be able to have a lot of say about what is done to and for you while pregnant and while giving birth. This takes some confidence, I know, and another good reason to take a childbirth class so that you know the questions to ask your care provider. During your pregnancy, you’ll be presented with tests, procedures, and various other things and you’ll want to be able to make an educated choice. Best advice…if you aren’t sure and it isn’t an urgent or immediate life-saving procedure, gather all of the info, take time to think about it, visit with your partner and make a choice you feel good about.
4. CHILDBIRTH IS NOT LIKE IT IS ON TV. You will not actually be suddenly caught off guard at 40 weeks pregnant in the middle of the grocery store in a puddle of water and be shocked that you are labor while screaming for someone to rush you to the hospital. That’s too dramatic….great for tv and movie ratings…not actually a good portrayal of how things usually progress in labor and birth. If you plan to educate yourself about how childbirth really works, you will most likely know the signs of impending birth. The best advice I can give you is to find a class and people to support you during your pregnancy and at your birth who align with your vision of the birth you desire. Check out this awesome Birth Boot Camp class. You can find an instructor in your area or even take classes online.
5. SHORTEN YOUR WISHLIST: Your baby doesn’t need all the things. When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was adamant we have a crib set up before he was born. And you know what? He slept in his crib exactly one time in his whole life. Cribs aren’t bad. I finally got one with my 3rd for safety and so I could shower while he was occupied. And, he napped better in a crib too. However, we have always co-slept at night. It’s a personal choice, but I love sleep, so it came naturally. There are a few things that babies do need: breastmilk, a car seat, clothes, diapers, blankets, and lots of love. I also found a pack-n-play, bouncy seat and personal care items like argon oil, essential oils, and soap to be some good additions. If you are having a baby shower and your registry list is too short, add gift cards. They will come in handy later when you need clothes, diapers or some toys as they grow.
Birth Boot Camp (my affiliate link here)
La Leche League
Pregnancy and Essential Oils
Hi, I’m Hannah.
I am on a mission to help mothers learn how to take care of their families using essential oils in a natural and safe way. I am here to guide you in learning ways to use essential oils for emotional and physical support in an effective and affordable way. Join me in the journey!
I believe that with the right tools, we as mothers can feel great about supporting our families. My desire is to share, educate and support you in learning how you can be the best mother possible while using essential oils as one of your tools. You deserve to feel happy, healthy and amazing!