Here are the top 30 pregnancy resources that I have personally used for a natural pregnancy and birth. I have broken this list into three sections
1) Preparing for a Natural Pregnancy
2) Natural Pregnancy Resources and
3) Natural Birth Resources
Curious as to what I mean when I say “Natural Pregnancy”? Here’s a great quote by Aviva Romm, author of The Natural Pregnancy Book.
“A natural approach to pregnancy necessitates that you respect the forces of your body – those that cause conception to occur and that also cause your body to grow in your womb – and that you try to work in harmony with those forces by bringing elements from the natural world (for example, foods in the their natural state and herbs) into your pregnancy experience.” – Aviva Romm
Preparing for a Natural Pregnancy
Healthy soil is a key component to creating a plant that thrives, just as a healthy body is a key component when creating a new life. Cleansing the body is one way to insure the body is free of toxins that could potentially harm a vulnerable growing baby. In this informative book, author Donielle Baker takes you through everything you would need to know about cleansing for conception including how to cleanse safely leaving you feeling confident to cleanse the body before becoming pregnant.
Taking Charge of Your Fertility (TCOYF)
Taking Charge of Your Fertility should be required reading for all women. By reading this book not only will you better understand how to become pregnant, but you will also have a better understanding of your body in general. With the information in this book I was able to successfully prevent pregnancy and become pregnant when my family was ready… naturally! No hormonal birth control in my home!
After extensive research, this prenatal vitamin is my top pick for pregnancy resources. In a nut shell, this prenatal vitamin is more bio-available than other vitamins on the market. This means the body is able to use the vitamins and minerals in the pill, instead of peeing them out – what a waste! Also, this vitamin contains no folic acid, but folate, which healthier and more bio-available than the alternative.
Because of my MTHFR diagnosis, I take this FolaPro supplement in addition to my regular prenatal vitamin. People with MTHFR have difficulty absorbing folate, but this supplement gives me a form of folate that my body recognizes and accepts.
Research studies continue to prove that a healthy gut is the foundation to a healthy mind and body. This probiotic will help to support a healthy gut and therefore help you to have a healthier, less complicated and more natural pregnancy. For example, did you know that probiotics can help prevent preeclampsia?
Did you know that people take butter oil mixed with fermented cod liver oil to help remineralize decaying teeth? This supplement might smell fishy, but is one of the most nutrient dense things your body will consume in any given day. If you can get over the smell/taste, these pills will help you and your growing baby to stay healthy.
Natural Pregnancy Resources
If you are struggling to find morning sickness remedies that work for you, look no further. These remedies bring you proven remedies both modern and alternative. Learn lifestyle adjustments that will bring you a better sense of well-being during pregnancy, and get the upper hand on morning sickness before you become pregnant. Learn herbal remedies, go in-depth with pharmaceuticals and much more.
If women were taught the knowledge contained in Real Food for Pregnancy and given the resources to make it happen, our world would quite literally be a different place. Backed by well documented research, Nichols helps parents choose the best foods for a healthy pregnancy, natural birth, and happy postpartum. As a childbirth educator, doula, and pregnancy blogger, I’m thrilled to finally have a resource on pregnancy nutrition that I can endorse.
When I was feeling a little nauseated from pregnancy, putting a Preggie Pop in my mouth would keep me from “losing it”. These candies are the perfect mix of sweet and sour, fit in your picket and aren’t as conspicuous as a lollipop (during the first trimester not all of us want to publicize that we’re expecting!). These are definitely a part of my first trimester survival kit.
This book is a reference book that should be on every natural mama’s nightstand. It’s great for someone who is new to herbal remedies. Demetria explains everything carefully from the ground up and makes the world of natural remedies so simple. Using herbal remedies does not need to be confusing or difficult! It’s also great for someone who is familiar with herbal remedies. Personally, I would never be able to remember each and every herb that is contraindicated for childbearing mamas, which is why I will use this book as a reference. One of my favorite parts of this book is the section that explains what essential oils are safe for pregnancy, labor and breastfeeding… especially breastfeeding. Breastfeeding and essential oils are like an unknown topic on the internet. To get some solid advice is reassuring.
Finally. A pregnancy journal that doesn’t look like it was decorated by Winnie-The-Pooh and the 90’s. This modern pregnancy journal is a beautiful mustard yellow that you will be proud to be seen with. It contains the perfect balance of writing prompts and blank space leaving you with an amazing keepsake of one of the most transformative times of your life. Small enough to fit in your purse, you can definitely expect to complete this journal for any baby – your first, third or fifth!
I am a fan of the Yogi brand teas, especially this awesome Mother To Be tea. The herbs in this tea are specially chosen to support your whole body, especially the uterus and digestive system. Ingredients: Raspberry Leaf, Peppermint Leaf, Nettle Leaf, Spearmint Leaf, Dandelion Root, Fennel Seed, Cardamom Seed. If you want to make your own pregnancy tea, check out my pregnancy tea recipe here.
Larabars are perfect for the first trimester. Want to know why? Rule #1 for pregnancy is to NEVER let yourself get hungry! Nausea is sure to follow, especially in the first trimester. Hunger in the third trimester leads to getting “hangry”. Don’t get hungry but #feedallthepregnantladies with Larabars.
These chewable papaya enzymes are a perfect remedy for the dreadful heartburn that comes with pregnancy. Throw out those Tums and try this natural alternative from a papaya.
I used Natural Calm during my third pregnancy to help with muscle cramps. I had them bad! Turns out, I had a magnesium deficiency. Once I started taking this magnesium supplement every evening, my muscles cramps VANISHED.
I love this prenatal yoga dvd so much! Sure, it was made in 2003 and is hard to find, but if you find it you’ll love it! Rainbeau Mars leads this gentle flow yoga routine with two other pregnant mamas, making adjustments for each trimester. If you’re looking for a yoga flow that makes you sweat, this isn’t it! This is a fabulous gentle flow prenatal yoga workout.
A birthing ball is a must have, for any mama looking to have a natural pregnancy. I used my ball to sit on which helped to keep me in alignment (ever noticed how you can’t slouch and sit on a ball at the same time?), alleviated all that “pressure down there” and helped me practice labor positions with a ball. TIP: Make sure you buy a ball that allows your hips be higher than your knees.
Freezer cooking can be a lifesaver. For example, as soon as I find out I’m pregnant I immediately do some freezer cooking before I get morning sickness to help cope with the intensity of the first trimester. Also, during the third trimester I always freeze quite a bit of food for postpartum. Click here to read all about one of my freezer cooking episodes, top 12 freezer meals for new moms! One of the best freezer cooking resources I know of is a website called Once a Month Meals. I promise, you’ll love it!
Natural Birth Resources
“Mom’s job is to dilate, but baby’ s job is to rotate. When baby’s job is easier, labor is easier for mother as well.” – Gail of SpinningBabies.com. If you’re wanting to have an easier, less painful natural childbirth the Daily Essentials DVD by Spinning Babies is for you. In this DVD you will learn
- How to move smart: Gain insights on how to move in ways that encourage optimal fetal positioning.
- How to sit correctly on a ball, in the car, on a couch.
- How to reduce pregnancy discomforts such as sciatica, pelvic instability, symphysis pubis weakness, sore back or hips.
- How to correctly do a forward leaning inversion which relieves back and hip pain while getting baby in the best position.
Birthing From Within is the childbirth education method I teach, and so I am biased when I say this is the best childbirth education method out there. And of course, this is one of the best pregnancy books out there. It is outstanding – a must read! It covers birth art, the basics of childbirth, PAIN COPING!, and advice for partners. The chapters are short and there are lots of fun illustrations making it an easy read. This book helps you figure out what YOU need to know to give birth as a mother or father, which often times it is different than what your friend, mother, nurse or doctor needs to know.
Dads! Partners! This book was written for you. This book is easy to read and will tell you everything you need to know to be an effective birth partner for your lady. This book is so good that it is required reading for new doulas. I even use the position illustrations in my childbirth classes. Of course, you should read this book cover to cover, but on the off chance that you ran out of time it is extremely navigable so you can look up things like “emergency childbirth” in a pinch.
This book is broken down into two parts. The first part is birth stories that are AMAZING and so encouraging. The stories leave you thinking wow, if those women could do it I can do it too! One of the stories is written by my very own dear midwife Diana Janopaul where she shares her journey to a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I love these positive stories because they are what pregnant women need to hear the most. The second part of the book is general childbirth education. You will LOVE Ina May’s “sphincter law” and how it applies to birth. If you get any book, get this one!
I have used essential oils at births since becoming a doula in 2007. At first, the idea of using essential oils overwhelmed me and I didn’t know where to start! I quickly learned that it can be very basic, easy to implement and with great results. Here is an article about the three basic oils should be in every hospital bag, homebirth kit or doula bag. They are inexpensive, work great and are a good starting point for someone new to essential oils.
The demands of labor and delivery are high. One way to stay strong is to eat and drink throughout the entire process. Here is a great list of things to eat and drink during a natural childbirth broken down by each stage – early labor, active labor, transition, pushing and immediate postpartum. Use this list to back your birth bag!
One of the ways women prepare for the intensity of birth is to use positive birth affirmations. Birth affirmations are a way to infuse your positive intentions into your daily life while pregnant. The words we speak, especially to ourselves, our powerful. So powerful, in fact, that our words can change our lives and the lives of those around us. One of the ways I used birth affirmations in my pregnancy is by reciting these bible verses to myself. It was SO encouraging to read every day. Head on over here to get your printable birth affirmations.
Natural Postpartum Resources
A postpartum survival kit is mandatory for any mama recovering from birth. Especially for first time moms, I thought this might be helpful to know how to prepare and to give an idea of what to expect during the first week postpartum.
This book delivers exactly what it promises: how to heal your body naturally after childbirth. Topics include pelvic organ prolapse, vaginal wind (lol!), using bone broth and gelatin (among other things) for a cesarean recovery, recipes like “Prune Chia Seed Pudding” to alleviate constipation, a pelvic pain sitz bath, using passionflower to help with anxiety and SO MUCH MORE. This book can be read for free on Kindle Unlimited. Seriously, you have no excuse to NOT read this book.
After pushing out my babies, this Mama Bottom Balm was cooling and very soothing on my traumatized nether-region-lady-bits. Here’s how I use this product for postpartum: 1) Go to the bathroom (pee, poo… whatever), 2) use toilet paper to dab and wipe, 3) use my peri bottle to cleanse the whole area, 4)put a new pad in my panties and then, 5) wipe the bottom balm all over my vulva. Ladies, it smells amazing and has this cooling tingly sensation that makes everything just feel alright. I highly recommend it to ALL pregnant mamas. Seriously. It’s that good. Best of all, it’s non-toxic and petroleum free.
Here is a list of the best breastfeeding books for any mom no matter where she finds herself on her breastfeeding journey. Whether you’ve never given birth, are currently pregnant or expecting triplets there is a book for you on this list.
People hire me for placenta encapsulation because they are hoping to 1) lower their chance of getting postpartum depression or other postpartum mood disorders, 2) increase energy, 3) lessen postpartum pain, 4) prevent anemia, 5) increase breastmilk supply, 6) stabilize hormones and/or 7) for good nutrition. To answer all your questions about placenta encapsulation head on over here. If you’re a DIY mama and want to take your crunchiness to the next level, head on over here to check out all the supplies you will need to encapsulate your own placenta.