my pregnancy & natural birth favorites

January 9, 2020

On that late August day in 2018 when I saw those two pink lines indicating that I was pregnant I immediately thought, "well what do I do now?!" I knew I was interested in the midwifery model of care and natural birth based on prior research I had done, but I was so clueless as to what to do next in the moment following finding out the best news ever!

After it sunk in a little bit, I called up a local birth center and scheduled a tour. They wouldn't be able to see me until I was further along, but I didn't hesitate to set something up to see what my options were. In the meantime, I met a midwife that worked out of our local hospital. She seemed great and I was set to move forward with her. The next day I went to the Birth Center and fell IN LOVE. I walked in & they were playing worship music over the speakers and diffusing some of my favorite Young Living essential oils so I pretty much knew at that point this was the place for me ;) after a tour & speaking with the owner and midwife I knew that THIS was the place that I was going to feel most comfortable and that I would be so cared for in this environment. Every week that went by leading up to my first appointment brimmed with anticipation. When it finally came & I got to hear sweet Hudson's heartbeat for the first all hit me. This was really happening. I am becoming a mother. With a weight of responsibility on my shoulders, I knew that I wanted to do everything I could with my knowledge to provide the best for him. To the books I went.

My favorite resource during my pregnancy was my Mama Natural Week by Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth. This was a must have for me & now I highly recommend it to everyone who asks me about pregnancy. Even if you're on the fence about natural childbirth that is OK. Even if you're decided that you want all the interventions that is OK too. This book dives into all the questions I had about all things pregnancy & birth and laid out the facts so I was able to better make an informed decision on everything from what crib to purchase to how each stage of labor works. I love this book & that's why it's my favorite resource.

Next up is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Read it! Its not too long at all. Half of the book dives into how childbirth actually works and the other portion is real life positive birth stories to encourage you. To me, having a positive mindset about the whole process of pregnancy & labor better prepared me for that very special day of welcoming our boy. Hearing other positive stories reassured me that I am capable of doing this & that is what God created my body to do.

Along those lines, before I was even pregnant I watched the documentary, "The Business of Being Born" and that opened up my eyes to the world of interventions typically used in labor and the reality of what they actually do (I know sometimes they are absolutely necessary in specific situations so please don’t take this as bashing them) It showed me how powerful the woman's body is in childbirth. It gave me a better understanding on what my body was created to do.

Prayer & positive affirmations were HUGE during my pregnancy. I purchased a book that had weekly prayers to specifically pray over our baby based on his development for that week. I also downloaded affirmation tracks that spoke God's word and bold prayers for our babies health & his delivery day. Listening to these on repeat helped to refocus my mind on the truth that I was capable of delivering this baby and that he was safe in God's hands. You can listen to these tracks on Spotify here. My favorite one to listen to (at least 3 times a week) was "Declarations of Childbirth in the Glory".

Along with these wonderful resources for my mind, I knew I had to take care of my body too. Here is what I used the most throughout my pregnancy.

(disclaimer: this is what was best for me & approved by my midwife. Always consult your healthcare provider before implementing any of these things. I am not a doctor and I am not recommending you do these too, I am simply sharing what I did and what worked for me. As always, consult with your provider.)

-Raspberry Leaf tea because of the amazing benefits found here. I didn't love the taste so I added honey or apple juice to make it taste better to me. When it comes to tea, I always buy organic and fair trade so I am not consuming chemical pesticides, supporting good work practices, and I also prefer loose leaf tea since some tea bags are made with microplastic or bleached. 

-Prenatal Chiropractic Adjustments using the Webster Technique

-Daily stretching using a birth ball as well as daily walks (especially in the third trimester)

-Supplements and Vitamins (all from Young Living): Master Formula (multivitamin), Omegagize (omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D-3, and CoQ10), Ningxia Red (rich in antioxidants and nutrients), and Life 9 Probiotic.

-Essential Oils: Digize & Peppermint to combat feelings of morning sickness. Lavender & Peace and Calming for restful night sleep. Valor & Joy for all the emotions that pregnancy brings. Frankincense for my skin. Believe, Release, Surrender, and Frankincense during labor. More about essential oils here.

Hudson was born joyfully at home on May 3rd. During the transition phase it was pouring down rain & thunder, but as soon as He came into the world a beautiful sunset lit up the sky & a rainbow adorned the sky welcoming our sweet baby boy to the earth.

Thanks for reading my pregnancy favorites. I hope you are encouraged in your journey of welcoming LIFE into this world.
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