Natural Birth Must Haves!

Is a natural birth your birth plan? You can TOTALLY do it mama! With this list of MUST HAVES for a natural birth from a mama who’s done it not once but, twice, I am confident that you can achieve a beautiful birthing process without meds like I did!

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  1. Essential Oils: Consult your midwife prior to using.*
    • Clary Sage Oil-Help induce labor naturally and enhance contractions once labor has started. Use topically with a carrier or in a diffuser. Not to be used prior to labor*
    • Peppermint-Help reduce nausea + headaches. Not to be used after birth, can reduce milk supply* 
    • Helichrysum-Supports elasticity of the perineal area. Mix it with a little carrier oil and apply to perineal or use in a compress.
    • Myrrh-Use with a carrier oil and rub it on the lower abdomen with clary sage oil to bring on contractions.
    • Lavender-Promotes relaxation and eases muscle tension.
  2. Cold Wash Cloths: These will be a God send when a contraction comes along and you’re beginning to sweat out of every pore on your body. Make sure your partner knows to keep them cold and ready for each contraction!
  3. Personal Fan: This is one that I didn’t have with my first or second birthing experiences but, it sure did make a difference with my third! Not only does it keep me cool where I want to be cool but, I placed mine in front of our essential oil diffuser to blow the steam right into my face. A big whiff of Clary Sage Oil diffusing and blowing from the fan would send me into a long, deep, really beneficial contraction! THIS ONE is my favorite!
  4. Birth Support: Make sure to have a really solid team behind you. If a nurse comes in offering medication, or something that doesn’t sound like part of your birth plan, you’ll need a backbone to do the talking for you, one who supports your plan. Make sure they know your practices and preferences before entering the hospital. Keep everyone updated on the research you’ve done and signals for your “breaking point” should you have one.
  5. Evening Primrose Oil: Consult your midwife prior to using. Recommended at 38 weeks or after through vaginal insertion or oral consumption.* This stuff is wondrous! Evening primrose oil helps the cervix to soften and thin out (efface). Studies suggest that due to linolenic acid found in EPO, it may trigger a prostaglandin response in the body to help shorten labor.
  6. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: Not to be mistaken for raspberry tea.* Raspberry leaf tones the muscles of your uterus so they work more efficiently. Drink 2 or more cups a day starting at 36 weeks or after. Can also be used during labor for hydration.
  7. Yoga + Meditation: Whether you’re having a natural or medicated birth, yoga and meditation are great tools to have all the way through your pregnancy! Help your mind and body prepare for your baby by practicing meditation every evening in a luke warm bath and try 10-15 minutes of pregnancy yoga every morning to help ease aches and pains!
  8. These Apps:
  9. Dates: A study conducted in 2011 and published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favorable, but non-significant, delivery outcome. My favorite are the fresh dates from The Fresh Market! Start consuming 6 per day, every day starting at 36 weeks for best results.
  10. Affirmations: Birth affirmations are great when paired with meditation for removing stress and fear when another contraction comes along or to keep your body relaxed while pushing during the third stage. Along with affirmations, I like to envision my body acting as a rose or flower opening up for my baby to make his way out. This Pin Board rocks and has a ton of affirmations to choose from!
  11. Several Coping Options: Whether it’s a warm tub, birthing ball, Rebozo Shawl, pacifier for biting down, you name it-have it! Try practicing Belly Dancing for Labor, Hypnobirthing, and Breathing Techniques.

 

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10 Things No-one Tells You About That Are Essential in Your Hospital Bag, For a Better Post-Partum Stay!

This post contains affiliate links which help me fund the free + fun posts on the blog and sometimes, Friday night pizza nights!

We’ve all been there: stalking Pinterest for the best, most secretive must-haves for your hospital bag, only to find the same results each time you scroll down. You then turn to rely on friends, family,  or New-Mom Facebook groups for answers. Well, I’m here to save you from middle of the night Pinterest scrolling and sanctimommies of the Facebook world, with this single post! As a mom of 2 with a third arriving any day now, I’ve had my fair share of experience with hospital bag packing!

Congratulations mama + get ready for the best ride of your life!

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1. Pads but, not just any pads, THESE pads:

During the first 12-24 hours you’ll bleed ALOT, like more than I’m sure you’re actually picturing in your mind right now so, the adult diaper style pads the hospital supplies you with are great during that time but, afterwards when you’re not bleeding from what feels like your vagina to your butt, you might want something a little more comfortable. After two babies and a third just days away, I’ve had my fair share of pad trial and error and THESE are by far the best for medium to heavy bleeding!

2. Boy Short Underwear like these: MAMIA Women’s Seamless Stretch Boy Shorts Panties (Pack of 6)

If this is your first pregnancy, then you haven’t yet experienced the joy of mesh undies after birth. They’re great, really, if you don’t plan on moving from where you’re sitting at any time to feel a gush leak out one side. Boy shorts are AWESOME, they keep your pad in place, tightly confined to its appropriate and carefully adjusted area, and you won’t feel awkward when a nurse comes in while sitting in nothing but boy shorts and a nursing bra versus mesh undies and a pad sticking out on the side!

3. An actually COMFORTABLE nursing bra (or several). This one is my FAVE: A Pea in the Pod Full Coverage Nursing Sleep Bra

With my first, I didn’t know the absolute need for a nursing bra. Things changed when round two came. I promise you won’t regret investing in just a couple of comfortable, easy to manage nursing bras. The Pea in the Pod Nursing Sleep Bras are my personal favorite. They’re ultra soft, light weight, pull down easily, and don’t have weird clips or straps. They’re soft enough and without lining that you’ll have no worries cuddling your new babe while wearing it or sleeping in between feeding sessions.

4. A legit heating pad
You won’t regret this one. Your hospital probably has heating pads available, SOMETIMES, as long as there’s one not in use by other new moms. Even so, the heating pads they offer are okay but, ESPECIALLY if you’re on baby number 2 or after, you’ll likely want a heating pad that gets hot and stays hot. Of course not to be used when cuddling baby or feeding but, when they’re sleeping or away at the nursery, you’ll want some warm relief. The Sunbeam Heating Pad is top rated and for good reason. It’s already packed in my hospital bag and is off limits to anyone in our home until after baby is here and mama fully recovers.

5. House shoes. Not slippers, Not socks

Okay, I’m talking: easy to slide on, rubber bottoms, that your grandmother used to wear when she cleaned house or got ready in the morning. Socks, ewe unless they’re keeping your feet warm in the hospital bed. Slippers, just the same. Someone will likely come in and mop and clean your room once or twice during your stay but, if you decide to walk around the baby floor or down to get fresh air in the hospital courtyard. You’ll want the rubber bottoms.

6. Something to keep you occupied after baby arrives

There are only so many channels on the hospital’s cable network and only so many Law and Order SVU episodes you can watch before wanting to pull your hair out. Bring a book, magazines, cards, a board game for you and hubby, or something else you enjoy doing in a tiny, quiet space. *Also, snacks that can be eaten in between meals.

7. Something to help you fall asleep…
Fast! Practice meditating, bring Lavender Essential Oil and your Diffuser, your favorite pillow, anything. You’ll need it. Once things become quiet and everyone leaves you alone with your new baby for the first time since he/she has made their arrival, the exhaustion and tiredness will quickly set in and so will baby’s next feeding time or diaper change. The adrenalin will settle and your body will soon start to remind itself that it needs rest after all the work you put in for however many hours. Your team of nurses will visit periodically to make sure you’re awake and feeding your baby when it’s time, they’ll help with diaper changes and charting urine and bowel movements if they’re due, and anything else you or baby may need. So, take the time to rest when baby allows.

8. A short, light-weight robe

Don’t get something that will drag on the floor. A nice, light weight, knee-length robe will do the trick! One like THIS ONE (which I own and love) will make feedings easier without making baby hot and visits from friends and family more comfortable. Not to mention, your hospital bed is only so big, there’s no room for all the extra fabric of a long, heavy, terry cloth or fleece robe!

9. Your own towel

Have you ever stayed in a hotel with exceptional service but, hop out of the shower to a towel that only wraps halfway around your body? Well, that’s what you’ll get if you don’t bring your own. You’ll thank me for this one after your first shower post baby.

10. DISPOSABLE Breast Pads

If you produce a pretty fair amount of milk or more, you’re sure to leak…A LOT. You’ll be feeding your baby often but, some mamas are extra gifted when it comes to producing milk and have quite a bit of leakage in between feedings. Try the reusable ones at home if you desire but, during your hospital stay, the disposables will be so much easier and more convenient!

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This post contains affiliate links which help me fund the free + fun posts on thehappeninghousewife.com! Find a full disclosure on the sidebar of my blog.

 

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