I had my first baby in August 2012, and I learned a lot. Scratch that. I’m still learning–every day. Some things I’ve done well, and some not as well. Here are some tips, tricks, and suggestions gathered from my personal experience as a first-time mom.
If you’re looking for local Houston Metro pregnancy/postpartum/nursing resources, check out this list.
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Articles I’ve Written
Crickets . . . the only sound here for three months of extraordinary fatigue and nausea. That’s right—SURPRISE—we’re expecting a new baby…
Photo source: StockVault You may want to skip this part. Meditation doesn’t feel like doing something about your physical problem. Relaxation…
Photo source Peppermint essential oil has been one of my more recent discoveries, and I'm quite in love. It works so well for my occasional…
Green Pregnancy (published April 2012 in print in Change Magazine)
Mindfulness, Meditation, and Relaxation Resources — A list of some of my favorite resources, because practicing self-regulation and techniques that calm the nervous system and stress response systems can improve not only your sense of well-being while pregnant, but also your baby’s long-term health and functioning. Sound research shows that the prenatal environment has a profound, life-long impact on physiology.
HypnoBabies — We are so thankful that we took this 6-week class! It greatly helped my pregnancy and birth experiences. It’s a combination of birth education (the HypnoBabies founder is a former Bradley instructor) and instruction in hypnosis for childbirth.
Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds — This book is well-written, practical, positive, and full of concrete tips. It was, by far, the best book I read on the subject.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth — I really appreciated Ina May’s perspective and practical suggestions for natural birth.
Products I Like for Pregnancy
Squatty Potty Toilet Stool – helps relieve constipation, prevent (or relieve) hemorrhoids, and protect the pelvic floor. It’s a good idea anytime, but especially during pregnancy. Read more about my experience with it here.
Natural Dentist Mouthwash — for bleeding gums. One day I looked in the mirror after water flossing and brushing my teeth and startled: Dracula was staring back. I hightailed it to Whole Foods and grabbed a bottle of this stuff. Worked like a charm. Whenever I slacked off using it daily, the bleeding came back. Ick. Bonus: they have non-mint flavors. Get it cheaper at Vitacost or Amazon.
D-Mannose — for bladder infections or UTIs. I didn’t have one of these while pregnant, but I know they’re common. D-mannose is a miracle cure whether pregnant or not. Believe me, I know. D-mannose is the sugar from cranberries, and it causes the bacteria to slip out of the urinary tract when you urinate. Take lots at first (every hour), then taper off. Keep going for a few days at a maintenance dose, even if you feel better. Zero side effects, does not affect blood sugar.
Rainbow Light Complete Prenatal System – prenatal vitamins that truly improve the way I feel and promote regularity
Vitality Super Green – This greens drink by Body Ecology is fermented for maximum nutrient absorption. It tastes great (I actually looked forward to it every day), and is one way I squeezed in a little extra nutrition when I felt so exhausted and nauseated.
InnergyBiotic & CocoBiotic – These are fermented probiotic liquids from Body Ecology that sat well with me during pregnancy and, unlike other probiotics, do not irritate my newborn. (Tip: InnergyBiotic is tastier, though I alternate them to get broad spectrum flora for my and my baby’s gut.)
Products I Like for Birth
Aquaborn Eco Birth Pool – It’s deeper than any other on the market, and let me tell you, that extra 5 inches was a life-saver for me! I’m 5’8″, but even without the height concern, more depth=more buoyancy=floating=more relaxation=awesome. I rented one from my doula, but if there’s no one to rent this pool to me the next time I give birth, I’ll purchase one for myself. It’s that good. (More information and birth story to come)
Peppermint Essential Oil — Put a few drops on a tissue and sniff it to keep nausea manageable (you can go to the hospital with a few tissues in a ziploc bag). This was really helpful for me. I used Young Living peppermint oil, but I know there are other great brands out there. I wrote about my experiences with peppermint essential oil here.