I am excited to share my top five tips for a healthy pregnancy and an efficient, peaceful delivery. Labor and delivery can feel scary for a lot of women and I just want to reassure you that your body was made to do this.
The inspiration for this article came from a TikTok video I posted recently about my one minute per story of how a cop delivered my baby on the bathroom floor. That was not my birth plan, but I did experience a very easy efficient birth. My video on TikTok got a lot of questions from women asking me what I did to prepare my body for birth, so I thought I would share some of my tips with you.
You can watch my one minute birth story TikTok video below.
Every woman’s body is different, and every birth is different, there is no guarantee that what worked for me will work in the same way for you. It is also important to talk to your doctor/midwife before implementing tips.
Tip 1: Drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is a uterine tonic it helps to strengthen and tone the uterus. My midwife told me to drink this during my second and third trimester, she suggested around a quart per day. Check with your health care professionals to see what the recommended amount is for you.
The easiest way I found to be able to drink that much tea was to take a glass jar, put 1/4 Cup of loose-leaf Red Raspberry Leaf Tea in the bottom, fill it up with hot water, leave it overnight, and then come back and strain it in the morning. I would always put the tea in the fridge because I found it easier to drink cold. Making tea this way is technically called a tea infusion.
A study that is referenced in the link below found that Red Raspberry Leaf Tea reduced the second stage of labor by about 10 minutes. It also found a reduction in the interventions these women needed during birth.
Some women have claimed this tea also helped reduce the pain of labor, but no official studies have been done to confirm this. There is some controversy over if this tea is safe to consume in the first trimester of pregnancy so please check with your health care professionals before consuming this tea.
Tip 2: Eat Dates
Eat 4-6 dates per day starting at around 36 weeks. When my midwife first suggested this to me, I thought it seemed crazy. My midwife shared some of the research about how it would help me have a more efficient birth.
What the research has found is that eating dates increases the likelihood of spontaneous labor versus the need for being induced, higher rates of dilation upon admission to the hospital, and a reduction in the length of labor.
The average labor went from around 900 minutes to around 500 minutes. My labor was actually much shorter than that.
I am linking the article about dates below, so that you can read the research for yourself.
Watch the YouTube Video I made discussing these tips below.
Tip 3: Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Labor, and Postpartum
If you follow my channel or read my blog, you know I am all about the essential oils.
I recommend reading, Essential Oils for Birth Pregnancy and Beyond, it's by Stephanie Fritz. I am linking the book below.
This book has tips for fertility, if you're trying to get pregnant. You will also find tips for morning sickness, digestion, and hemorrhoids. There are tips about handling discomfort during labor, back labor, and which oils you can safely use on your baby.
Here are some ideas of where to apply essential oils during pregnancy.
*Make sure to check with your health care professionals first though.
I also offer a FREE 7-Day eCourse to help get you started with using essential oils. If you are interested in that you can sign up below and get started right away.
If you need oils, I can help get you set up with doTERRA Essential Oils; being a doTERRA Wellness Advocate is my full-time business.
If you're not already a doTERRA Wholesale Customer I will hook you up with the oils you need and get you into our Wellness Community. The link below will take you to an article that explains what it means to be a doTERRA Wholesale Customer.
If you want to know more about becoming a wholesale member or how to become a doTERRA Wellness Advocate you can go to the link below.
Tip 4: Do Squats (Lots of Squats)
It’s important to get that pelvic floor in shape and doing squats is the perfect way to prepare the pelvic floor for labor and delivery.
You need to do lots of squats, I was doing around 300 per day. That is what my midwife suggested to me and I feel that made a huge impact. I didn't do squats before I was pregnant so I had to work up to being able to do that many per day.
You don’t need to do gym squats; you want to focus more on the motion of squatting. If you think about our ancestors, they were squatting all the time, they squatted down to make food, they squatted down to go to the bathroom, they squatted down to eat. We have modern conveniences, so we aren’t required to squat as much, but our bodies really need that motion to prepare the pelvic floor for labor.
I recommend starting to incorporate squatting into your daily life. When you're brushing your teeth, do some squats. When you're making dinner or drinking your team, bust out some squats. Start to break it up and get them in throughout the day.
Some of this recommendation comes from a woman named Ina May Gaskin. She is an incredible, empowering, woman, a midwife who has attended over 1200 unmedicated home births, and helped women have really empowering births. She got into this work after having a very traumatic birth experience with the birth of one of her children.
She has written several books and if you have any fears whatsoever about childbirth, I recommend reading her books. She will help transform your fear of birth into confidence.
A few of Ina May’s Books
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
- Spiritual Midwifery
I believe there is also a documentary about her. Check out her stuff and feel really empowered, and be reassured that women have been having babies successfully for millennia. Our bodies are so amazing, and they know what to do that's why we're here as a population still.
Tip 5: Shift Your Mindset About Birth
Shift your mindset about birth now.
Did you know there are some women in certain cultures that don't experience pain during childbirth? There are these small pockets of communities that have never been exposed the idea that birth is supposed to be painful. Sounds crazy, right?!
Some women actually have orgasms during birth, check out orgasmic birth on Google if you want to know more about that.
Just know that every mother's experience is different and yours doesn't have to be the same as another mothers. Even if you know or have an idea of what birth should look like, it can shift it a little bit.
One of the things that helped to open my mind to the different possibilities of birth and change the way I had perceived it, was a birth class called Hypnobirthing. I highly recommend taking a birth class with a certified Hypnobirthing specialist.
My instructor talked about breathing all five of her children out. I'm not talking about the Lamaze breathing you seen on TV. She got her mind in a place where she could relax and allow her body to release her baby.
She was my model of possibility of what birth could be like and how it could be peaceful. She showed us peaceful birth videos and animal birth videos. Animals aren’t fearful during birth; they know what to do.
We are instinctual creatures and it’s important to train your mind to get out of the way so that is not fighting against your body when you go into labor. I found it incredibly helpful to see some animal births and to think about allowing my body to perform in the same way.
She also shared a story about a woman who was medically in a coma and gave birth. Her body, without any interventions, except for somebody helping to catch the baby as it came out - her body delivered a baby. Her uterus knew how and when to contract, and those contractions moved baby through the birth canal and out into the world.
Our bodies are designed to do the work. You can start to explore some of those options before you get pregnant or early in your pregnancy in order to make informed choices about how you will give birth.
No matter what choices you make know that they are the right choices for you, your body, and your baby. You are strong and capable of making decisions for your body.
It’s important to note that not all births go as planned, mine included, I did not plan to give birth on the floor of my bathroom, with only my husband barely catching my baby in time. My plan was to have a home birth with a qualified midwife, but my baby came too fast for the midwife to get there.
So, no matter how your birth goes, it's exactly the way it's supposed to be. Trust your body and know that it knows what to do and allow it to happen.
If you want to explore more about good questions to ask your birthing professionals, I recommend watching the documentary, The Business of Being Born.
This documentary will open your eyes to some things that might help you have good conversations with your healthcare professionals, about interventions and things that you would like to see during your birth.
I am linking the documentary below.
Surround yourself with positive birth stories that are peaceful and start to imagine what your peaceful birth will look like. Make yourself some positive affirmation cards to hang around your house in the last weeks of your pregnancy. Positivity can drive out the fear surrounding giving birth.
No matter what you choose, if its a home-birth, birthing center, natural hospital birth, hospital birth with epidural, induction, or c-section, remember there is no such thing as a universally perfect birth.
You got this, Mama!
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