These are a few of the ways that I naturally dealt with the changes that came with being pregnant. I hope these natural pregnancy tips are just as helpful for you as they were for me!
Disclosure: Old World New uses affiliate links.
All birthing parents experience each of their pregnancies differently. No two pregnancies are the same.No matter how a pregnancy goes, there are a few things that can definitely help. These things helped me be more comfortable while carrying Little Boo, and I hope that they can help you, too. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. It is important that you take caution and discuss your health with your doctor before starting any new remedies.
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Papaya Enzyme Pills – Heartburn & Acid Reflux
When heartburn finally kicked in for me (it happened late in my preganancy, and Little Boo didn’t have much hair so that makes sense if you believe the old wives’ tale about heartburn meaning baby has a lot of hair), my midwife said that Papaya Enzymes were a more natural option to help with the pain. Papaya enzyme chewable tablets are a digestive enzyme that help to support nutrient absorption. Poor nutrient absorption can help cause heartburn & reflux. My midwife also still recommended traditional medicine if the papaya enzymes didn’t seem to help, but my heartburn pain was never severe. The papaya enzymes always helped, so I recommend them as a first line of defense against heartburn (even now, 4 years later). They also taste really good!
>> Purchase Papaya Enzymes
Magnesium (with Calcium) – Restlessness
Calm helped me to sleep like a tired teenager (since we know newborn babies don’t sleep through the night), and I couldn’t have made it as comfortably as I did without it. Towards the end of my pregnancy, Little Boo was really big and moving downward into place to be born. That downward pressure made it difficult for me to sleep at night. I mixed Calm in water each evening and it helped me to relax and get proper rest, up until the last few weeks when there was no such thing as good sleep. You can also create this drink with juice or warm water like tea.
>> Purchase Calm Magnesium (with Calcium)
Rice Bags – Comfort for Pain + Cuddling
Bags of rice. Sounds like the beginning to a yummy meal, but when you fill a small cloth bag with rice, it can work wonders. Warm the rice bags in the microwave for a few minutes to heat them up, and while they were still warm, place them on whatever is hurting. They helped me during the painful days of pregnancy, and they comforted Little Boo early on in life. We couldn’t afford a co-sleeper, so I used the rice bags to help cradle hime and to keep him from rolling. He would even cuddle them sometimes! The rice bags still get used from time to time now when I’m sore, so they’re always good to have on hand.
Little Boo enjoying the rice bags in his first few weeks of life:
Almond Oil – Soothing Stretching Skin
This is a bit gross, yet fascinating. While I was in active labor, when the baby was crowning (while my head was being delivered), my midwife used almond oil to pour on my vagina to help stretch it out while preventing rips and tears. It was SO helpful! Aside from mindfulness (preparing for birth mentally), it helped make pushing painless for her. And that’s great since my midwife likes to note that my baby had a big head when he was born, haha! I also used almond oil on her belly sometimes when I was pregnant because it helped to soothe my itching skin. Almond oil, or even olive oil or avocado oil, can make natural pregnancy & birth a little less painful.
>> Purchase Now Official Almond Oil
Education – Empower Yourself With Knowledge
Learning more about my body and how it actually worked to carry, grow, and birth my baby was the most an critical choice that we made during my pregnancy. The classes that Josh and I took prepared us for natural birth and also for what would need to happen in case of an emergency that required us to relocate to a hospital. It really is best to know all of your options so that you won’t become afraid if something happens in a way that you didn’t plan. We took classes with a local group of doulas at Natural Beginnings. The class was a hands-on, in-depth, intimate, and informal learning atmosphere. We met at the doula’s home with 3 other expecting couples where we learned about everything from the phases of pregnancy to the best positions for labor (hint: it’s not on your back).
I went through active labor in the “side-lying with top leg elevated” position. Josh held my elevated leg while our midwife made sure everything went safely and smoothly (the almond oil part happened here). When it was time to “catch” me, Josh and the midwife switched spots and he delivered our baby!
Books can be helpful, too. I purchased a lot of books, but they were all ultimately the same. The only book that I read thoroughly, felt connected to, and enjoyed was “Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth.” It’s not much of a guide like an instruction manual – it is filled with testimonials and real stories from women who have had natural childbirth. That honesty, realness, and the real-life stories is why she feel like I gained so much insight from it.
Doula – Help From A Loving Source
A doula is a person who helps a person in before, during, and/or after childbirth. They advocate on your behalf and make sure all of your needs and wants are being met without compromise, unless it is medically necessary to change plans. Doulas have typically been women who are trained to help pregnant people leading up to and during delivery. Midwives can serve as doulas, or you can hire a doula separately from your doctor or midwife. Josh was my doula – that’s what our birthing classes trained him to do. The midwives at our birth center encouraged partners to be the doula because they are closest person to the parent that is giving birth.
Mindset – Manifest Your Ideal Natural Pregnancy & Birth
I really tried to focus on believing in myself and my body when she was pregnant. This doesn’t create a guaranteed “perfect” delivery, but it is encouraging when you trust your body. It can be scary when you listen to people who only say that birth is horrible, so I chose to tune out that rhetoric. I chose to talk to people who encouraged me and who were genuinely excited about my choice for a natural birth. I repeated positive affirmations over and over to help me to focus on the good things that you want to happen and really believe in them. I truly believe that having this positive and empowered mindset (in addition to all of the knowledge about giving birth that I learned in our birthing classes) helped me to speak an easy natural birth into existence.
I’m so grateful for these simple, yet helpful natural tips that were given to me while I was pregnant. What helped you through your natural pregnancy and birth? Share in the comments!