The miracle of life it just that…one of the greatest miracles ever. It is truly amazing what our bodies are capable of. The entire experience is wonderful, scary, beautiful and overwhelming all at the same time; whether it is your first or fifth pregnancy. Each one is amazing and unique.
There are so many options available today when it comes to prenatal care and birthing. Hospitals with standard medical care, midwives to help you have a homebirth, birthing centers, doulas, water births and more! The choices can get pretty overwhelming.
After giving birth four times (2 in the hospital, 2 at home) I can offer a few natural tips for a healthy pregnancy and birth. And just for the record, midwifery care includes checking blood and urine and other routine tests. This can certainly be an option for women not at risk for complications and is a popular choice.
No matter what you choose in regards to where to give birth it is essential to have a birth plan, to make sure everyone is on the same page. I will be the first to say that births usually never follow “the plan” but it is a good way for your support system to know your wants.
Surrounding yourself with people you trust is of utmost importance. It is okay to say no to your mother-in-law who wants to be present in the birthing room or ask your sister to be present at your home birth. You want to do everything possible to minimize stress and be at peace whether that means allowing your whole family in to witness and video the birth or having two people present with the lights low.
For the rest of us, if you have a loved one that is pregnant please try to limit any stressors during the 9 exciting months of preparing for a new life. This may seem unusual but my friend and I once joked that whenever we were pregnant those around us seemed to be full of problems and drama, unintentional I am sure. Still, babies in utero can no doubt feel their mother’s stress which as you can imagine, is not good for baby or mama.
A high quality prenatal vitamin is a must. I prefer a brand without Folic Acid and to choose Folate instead due to possible MTHFR mutations. An omega-3 fatty acid supplement is important for proper fetal development, including the brain. Some say this supplement can help prevent against depression for the mother during and after pregnancy.
There are many herbs and essential oils to avoid while pregnant. Please take the list that can be found online serious. There are a few herbs that can be highly beneficial. I prefer to consume organic herbs through tea when pregnant.
Red Raspberry Leaf can be taken during the 2nd and 3rd trimester. This herb is known to tone and strengthen the uterus which comes in quite handy during labor. You can drink one cup a day during the 2nd trimester and up to 2 or 3 cups during the 3rd.
Ginger tea can help ease morning sickness. They make candied ginger chews that are palatable if you are not avoiding sugar. Eating crackers as soon as I woke up helped tremendously.
Organic Chamomile is a nervine which means it helps calms the nervous system and can support digestion, perfect before bedtime.
I reached out to our Midwife, Ruth Cobb, who is very dear to many Oklahoma families, aiding in the birth of 2,700 babies. She definitely found her calling and it is remarkable to see her in action. I asked her what her top 3 tips are for expecting mothers:
“I strongly encourage my patients to eat “consciously.” Look closely at what you’re eating picking out as much fresh, nutritionally packed foods; avoiding processed foods.
Water! Water! Water! Keep your body hydrated and functioning optimally. Every process in our bodies depends on adequate hydration.
Movement! Try to get some form of exercise in 3-5 times a week.” Ruth Cobb, MSN, APRN, CNM
Brooke DeLong, N.D.
Disclaimer: My goal is to empower and educate you to take control of your health, naturally. Please use common sense, visit with your health care provider and do your own research if something piques your interest.
“Let choice whisper in your ear and love murmur in your heart. Be ready. Here comes life.” Maya Angelou