This pregnancy is flying by. I am thankful that I feel (mostly!) great, and things have been pretty easy. It's definitely a different experience this time around than it was with my first. Self-care was a whole lot easier before having a 4 year old! My first pregnancy it was much easier to figure out prenatal yoga a few times a week, regular acupuncture, massage, meditation, etc etc etc. While YES I am still doing all those things this pregnancy, and recommend them, it definitely hasn't been as frequent or as easy. Which led to - what are the MOST important things for a natural pregnancy?! Here you go!
Birth Matters! Educate yourself. Absolutely no judgement for how a mama chooses to birth. But - CHOOSE mindfully after careful consideration of all of the options, and do what feels right for you. Your pregnancy, labor and birth isn't something that "happens to you" or for "someone else to manage". This is a time to advocate for yourself and your baby. Want to learn more about having a natural, unmedicated birth? My short list of favs, sticking to the absolute must haves:
A long loved favorite of midwives, drinking red raspberry leaf tea starting in your 2nd trimester may make for an easier labor and delivery. My thoughts - if it's not going to hurt, and it might help, then why not?! I like Pregnancy Tea by Traditional Medicinals. Added benefit - I'm certain a daily cup or two of tea is good for the soul.
The second trimester is a great time to get more active. For most women, fatigue and nausea from early pregnancy is resolving, and you might even feel like a normal person again! For awhile anyway:) Being active in pregnancy is good for you and baby, and can help make your labor and postpartum recovery shorter as well. I try to get at least 5 miles of walking in a day, and mix in some yoga, hiking, and whatever else I can.
Remember that while yoga is amazing during pregnancy and has tons of benefits for both you and baby, it's best to work with a teacher comfortable with prenatal yoga. While pregnant, you are much more flexible than strong, which can really predispose you to injury. I also can't overstate the mind-body benefits of yoga enough! A regular practice will really benefit you and baby during labor.
Oils, oils, oils
Even with an easy pregnancy, sometimes being pregnant is just hard! Having a safe, natural option to help with pretty much anything has been amazing. Some of my favs so far this pregnancy:
- Peace & Calming, Valor, lavender, frankincense - for general calming, stress relief and meditation. Great for your relaxation practice for labor prep!
- Claraderm and Sulfurzyme - this could be a post in itself! Unfortunately I've had PUPPS with both of my pregnancies. If you know what I'm talking about...you feel my pain! If you don't, it's a super itchy, really uncomfortable but harmless rash on your belly. That sometimes spreads all over. The exact cause is unknown, and there is no specific treatment that "works", as people seem to respond differently or not at all to different remedies. I stumbled on this combo, which helped almost immediately and completely resolved my problem after a few days.
- Tender Tush - OK so this is labeled as a baby diaper rash treatment! However, the ingredients seriously rock and it is the BEST belly oil ever. I use it after the Claraderm spray.