My Essentials for Pregnancy, Birth & Post-Partum
I was writing a list for myself of all the things I wanted for birth and post-partum this time around, and I thought back to all the times I googled or looked on pinterest to find lists like this with my first. So I figured I’d post my lists here in case anyone wants to take a gander! Enjoy and let me know if you have questions.
A good prenatal that you will take. I took Rainbow Lite with my first and they didn’t sit well with me, which means I conveniently forgot to take them most days. This pregnancy I switched between Thorne and SmartyPants. I like both, but I have more energy when I take Thorne.
Prior to getting pregnant I saw a naturopathic doctor and had extensive labs done. So even before getting pregnant I was on a prenatal, fish oil, vitamin D, and magnesium. I had also done a dairy elimination too which helped with fatigue, pre-menstrual crazy mood swings, dry skin and scalp and this annoying cough. Truth be told, I’ve been craving dairy during the 2nd trimester, so I’m back on the D, but limiting my intake.
Magnesium spray! I found a great spray at TJ-Maxx, however I’m sure there are ones online.
Magnesium supplements. These have been life changing for me. Not only do they help with leg cramps during pregnancy, but they also ease my anxiety and improve the quality of my sleep. I highly suggest seeing a ND and getting lab work/dietary advice prior to trying to get pregnant.
Belly Bottle Nalgene water bottle. My pre-natal yoga teacher/mentor/friend suggested this and it is great! It tracks how much water you should be drinking throughout the day. I love schedules and routines so it’s perfect for me.
Good shoes that support your arches and do not cramp your toes. I do not wear heals. I am a sneakers and Birkenstocks girl.
A pillow for between the legs while sleeping. This helps me sleep with less interruptions and in a more ideal position.
Panty Liners. Yes, for real. Ugh. I was finally at a great place with my bladder and pelvic floor. However, pregnancy hormones override that. So yeah, panty liners for the win!
Magnesium bath flakes. Truthfully, I can’t use these unless my husband is home because I get so relaxed I could fall asleep in the tub!
A bathtub, or a foot soak if you do not have a tub.
Quality essential oils. I use doTerra, but am not a sales rep nor am I being compensated for saying that. They just ended up being what I like! My house is dry, I have bad seasonal allergies, and I’m likely allergic to my precious dogs whom I bed share with. So I wake up every morning coughing. I diffuse the Breathe blend at night. Sometimes I’ll diffuse lemon & peppermint, or wild orange depending on what kind of day I’m having.
Prenatal Yoga/Yoga! If you have never done yoga before, I recommend starting with pre-natal during pregnancy. For me, I am still doing “regular” yoga in addition to pre-natal, but I had a strong yoga practice prior to getting pregnant. Pre-natal targets a lot of areas a regular class may overlook. For example, on Monday we focused specifically on stretches that help with leg cramps and low back pain. As for regular yoga, I am listening to my body and slowing down as needed.
If you’re a first-time mom, I found Hypnobirthing classes to be really informative. I used the techniques during labor, and the knowledge I gained from the classes gave me the confidence I needed to labor medication free.
A Doula or support person in addition to your significant other. This is probably my #1 non-negotiable. My birth was 150% better because my mom was there; I am sure of it. She rubbed my feet when I was in labor, helped me navigate the entire process once I got to the hospital, and she put ice towels on my head while I was pushing.
A soundtrack- last time I did not use music even though I had planned to. We will see if I remember this time!
Lots of water. For some reason I want to say coconut water. Maybe I’m just craving that right now…
Peppermint essential oil. You can make a roller with peppermint in it ahead of time and use it to help with cooling off during labor/pushing. Just to be clear, do not put it near your lady bits, or your eyeballs.
I just ordered Basil & Black Pepper oil and will be making a roller of that too. I was reading up and saw it can be helpful when massaged onto the low back during labor to ease that tension. We will see if that holds true! I am confident it does.
A giant yoga ball. I enjoyed sitting on it while resting my head on the side of the bed. I think my mom rubbed my back during that too. The ball really helped with contractions.
A birth photographer! This may not be your cup of tea, but I am really into documenting the special moments of life. I regret not having had a photographer with my daughter, and I am thrilled to be using one of my friends/clients/home birthing, placenta encapsulating, mom friends of all trades to do the job!
Arnica/Any homeopathic remedies you want in your tool kit. Again, I would see your ND and not wing it here.
I feel like I don’t have a ton of “birth essentials” because to me it’s a pretty natural process. The baby has to come out one way or another so might as well make like nike and just do it.
Arnica, but also, Advil. I needed advil and I’m so thankful it exists.
The Postpartum Soothe kit from hypnobirthing. Again, I am not getting paid to tell you this. It’s just the truth. I’m glad I invested the money. It was amazing! Basically it’s an herbal mixture you prepare after birth. You put it in the squirt bottle and spray it on the pads.
Tucks pads. These are a must! I just brought one of my best friends a little post-partum kit and made sure to include these.
A cozy bathrobe. It just made my life easer because the last thing I wanted to do when my vagina felt like it was hanging down to my knees was put on pants. Can I say that here?
Cozy socks. No specific reason really, cozy socks just make me happy.
If you eat meat and are nursing, put a rotisserie chicken in your fridge. My midwife told me to do this after having my daughter so when I woke up ravenous in the middle of the night or while breastfeeding, I could get some protein. When someone has been doing this over 31 years, you listen, and the advice does not disappoint.
Snacks for when rotisserie chicken doesn’t sound appealing. My mom and husband found these great coconut waters with protein in them that were helpful while nursing. Really any snacks you like and are easily accessible will do the trick.
I had my placenta encapsulated with my first. I was considering not doing it this time around because full disclosure, we are ballin’ on a budget. However, I am doing it. I’m not sure if it helped with anxiety or milk supply or healing or what not. But I’d rather do it and think that it may have helped. I need to do anything and everything I can to keep not only my body healthy, but my mind.
A therapist. I wouldn’t put this off as long as I did last time. Talking it out and making time for you is a must.
A maximum coverage under eye concealer. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did this.
If you’re nursing, lots of tank tops/shirts that have easy access.
I’ll likely update this as I think of things and my pregnancy progresses, but this is it for now!
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