I am constantly being asked what sort of items, supplements, clothing, etc. are really truly needed for Pregnancy, Postpartum, and Baby! So, I have compiled a list of items I have found to be extremely beneficial (and have also taken suggestions from clients, friends, and family into consideration). This post includes suggested items specifically for Pregnancy.
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Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Red Raspberry leaf tea has been used for centuries to support the health of various systems within the body (respiratory, digestive, uternine, reproductive, etc.) The leaves (from the raspberry plant) are especially beneficial before, during, and after pregnancy. This tea may reduce morning sickness, can improve the strength of the amniotic sac, reduce the length and pain of labor (and after pains), and can help balance hormones (plus many other benefits). The time to start drinking this tea is debatable. Some women drink it their entire pregnancy, and other don’t begin until their third trimester (but the general suggestion is wait until your 2nd trimester). Your best bet is to discuss it with your physician. And for best bang for your buck, buy the loose-leaf tea and your own steeper (plus this saves on waste)!
Pregnancy Pillow: The Snoogle
The snoogle was my jam during pregnancy! I waited until about 20 weeks to start using it with my first (the recommendation is to stop sleeping on your back between 17-20 weeks, and thereafter to prevent the compression of the vena cava artery that runs along your back). I wish I would have started using it earlier (which I did with my second pregnancy – around 12 weeks). This pillow offers amazing back support, gives you something to lean against (so you don’t roll onto your back), and in my opinion is just the best thing ever. I was bummed when my pregnancies were over and I couldn’t justify taking up the entire bed with my pillow(s) anymore. You’ll also want an additional cover to make changing it and washing easier and convenient! Lastly, in my 2nd pregnancy, I also threw in the Boppy Belly Wedge pillow. I loved adding this into the opening of the Snoogle when I slept and also took it with me to movies or long rides in the car.
Birth Ball/Yoga Ball
A birth ball (or yoga ball – it’s the same thing) are extremely useful during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum. Sitting on a birth ball during pregnancy helps release your pelvic floor, keeps your abs and stabilizer muscles in good shape, and forces you to sit up straight (which benefits the positioning of your uterus). You can roll from side to side (to help open your hips and pelvis), you can lean over it on all fours, roll it up to the side of your couch or bed to rest, etc. This thing can be then used in labor to help with discomfort or positioning of your baby! Plus, you can bring it in the shower to sit on! Then after your baby is born, you can bounce your baby on it! It has endless uses!
I think that educating yourself during this EXTREMELY important chapter (no pun intended) of your life is so so so important. This is literally the beginning of a time in your life where you will make life changing decisions (for you, your baby, and your family). These are three of my favorite books and offer many different approaches to pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and baby. Beyond these books, I also highly suggest watching the documentary The Business of Being Born (which can currently be streamed on Netflix), join a prenatal yoga community, and take a childbirth class (pleas please please not one offered by your hospital if you are delivering in a hospital). Bradley Method, Hypnobabies, Birthing from Within, Mama Natural, to name a few, are some great childbirth education options.
Prenatal Vitamins & DHA
A lot of doctors used to physically prescribe prenatal vitamins. I don’t hear of this too much anymore, but that may a regional thing. Your best bet is to avoid what your doctor prescribes. There are so many amazing prenatal vitamins on the market, so this give you the opportunity to really find one that has good stuff in it. Most importantly, make sure it has FOLATE rather than FOLIC ACID. Folate is derived from a natural substance wheras Folic Acid is man-made. Folic Acid can lead to the risk of certain cancers and may also cause neural tube defects (so, get FOLATE instead). Secondly, you may want to add in DHA/Omegas for healthy brain development.
There are sooooo many different brands of belly butter out there. I personally made my own, but obviously finding a nice clean one is much easier. Some argue that some of us are genetically predispositioned to stretch marks. Whether or not that’s true, using a belly butter won’t hurt any. Plus, if you do get stretch marks, continuing to use a moisturizer (and maybe even some super beneficial essential oils like Lavender and Frankincense) can help reduce the discoloration in your stretch mark (making them almost disappear). Plus, your skin will get itchy if it’s too dry (which will make you scratch which will cause even more stretch marks). My biggest suggestion when choosing a belly butter is to get one WITHOUT fragrance or perfume (parfum). Check the ingredient list for this wording. Fragrances are not regulated at all and are usually made up of extremely harmful chemicals/synthetics. Make sure you buy a brand that is transparent about their fragrance sources (or just get one that doesn’t have fragrance).
Pregnancy is an awesome time to really think about ALL the chemicals in your house. I know this is when I really started thinking about it (and thus I was thrown into my holistic journey). These things can include cleaning products, perfumes, makeup, pharmaceuticals, air fresheners, candles, toiletries, etc. I took advantage of the time I had during pregnancy to remove as many toxins from my life as possible (and made an action plan moving forward). This isn’t something you need to achieve overnight. I decided to use Young Living products. They have an amazing Seed to Seal guarantee and have a great collection of products. The starter kit is a perfect place to start if you haven’t invested in good, clean essential oils (because the ones you buy at your local store are not pure. Please don’t use them on yourself or your baby. I have written quite a few blogs on using essential oils, please browse through my posts. You can also visit my Instagram in which I post lots of fun ways to use your oils! I also linked the Gentle Babies book which has really great info for using oils during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
My suggestion to you is buy just a few items for pregnancy. You don’t need an entire new wardrobe. And, I highly suggest checking your local facebook pregnancy groups or local thrift/maternity 2nd hand store for clothing. These can be really great, cost effective, and less wasteful ways of getting the clothing you need for pregnancy. A few choice items you might want are some leggings, tanks that already have nursing snaps, and a belly shaper/support for wearing under loose clothing or dresses! Once you are done with them, store them or sell/donate them.
Reusable Water Bottle
If you don’t have a large, reusable water bottle, now is the time to invest in one. I personally have all of these (on of each of the three above). I am always using my reusable bottles and tumblers to reduce my wast, keep myself (and my kids) hydrated, and to keep whatever I’m drinking cold. These vacuum insulated bottles/tumblers can keep liquids cold for 24 hours. So, that’s awesome. Also, I suggest getting AT LEAST a 40 oz bottle. You will need to constantly hydrate during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum (hello breastfeeding). Then once your kids are old enough and always drinking out of your bottle (yes, this will happen), you will already have one large enough for you all to share on your daily adventures. Yay!
Many women experience morning sickness (especially in the first trimester). Unfortunately, if you get morning sickness, you just have to survive until it goes away (which usually happens in the first few weeks of your second trimester). Many women swear by ginger candies to help with neausea. You can try the ones I linked, or just get some fresh ginger and add a slice or so to some hot water (ginger tea!)!
Next, Evening Primrose Oil capsules. You can start ingesting these capsules at 37 weeks and beyond. The idea is that they contain prostaglandins which will help soften your cervix. They will not put you into labor. They will simply start priming your cervix (which will then aid in effacing and dilation). Once you are 38 or 39 weeks pregnant, you can also insert once capsule vaginally when you go to bed (remember to wear a panty liner). If you find you are becoming nauseas or having an upset tummy, simply stop taking them or reduce your dosage (up to 2000mg per day). And as always, please consult your physician.
Lastly, magnesium oil. Many of get restless legs (and/or have trouble sleeping) as our pregnancy progresses. Using a magnesium oil or lotion on the soles of your feet to aid in helping you go to sleep (and stay asleep). Additionally, if you find yourself getting leg cramps, you can use this on the spots that are cramping! Lastly, go to your local store (pharmacy or grocery) and get some epsom salts. You can use these in baths to help in relaxation, tissue repair, and sleep!
Coming Up Next: Natural and Essential Items for Labor and Delivery, Postpartum, and Baby!
This blog is an educational and informational resource for anyone interested in my stories and creations. It is not a substitute for working with a doctor or other medical professional. I cannot guarantee the outcome of my recommendations and statements. I make no guarantees about the information and recommendations provided herein. By continuing to use/read/participate in this website/ blog/email series you acknowledge that I cannot guarantee any particular results, as such outcomes are based on subjective factors that are not within my control. Therefore, following any information or recommendations provided on this website/blog/email series are at your own risk. If you need medical advice, you should hire a physician or other professional. Please speak with your medical professional before using essential oils.