Along the way, I have picked up lots of things and have adopted ways to prepare for birth I did not know about when I was pregnant with my daughter. Back then, all I did was read lots of mainstream parenting magazines and one excruciatingly bad pregnancy and birth book, eat a sugar free diet, stop drinking coffee and sleep lots and lots.
This time around, I prepared in a totally different way, so I thought I’d share all of the little things I’ve done.
- I started drinking a pregnancy blend around 24 weeks, which contained nettle and red raspberry leaf (I drank nettle tea off and on at the start of the pregnancy). It’s this one from Sands tea. For the birth, I got red raspberry leaf, nettle and chamomille to make a herbal honey sweetened labour infusion.
- I was already eating paleo, so diet-wise, nothing much changed, except that I got even stricter (to avoid any possibility of going down the GD road again) and stopped drinking coffee (except for the occasional cup at friend’s houses) - I didn’t drink alcohol before I got pregnant, so that was a non-issue.
- I took no drugs whatsoever this time around. I treated ailments I had naturally (through aromatherapy and herbal/natural remedies).
- I did prenatal yoga whenever I had the time (which sadly isn’t often enough with an active toddler running around).
- I went for walks with my family during the weekend.
- I also took the occasional dive in the Kasai river
- I read extensively... but this time great pregnancy books: Unassisted Childbirth (Laura Kaplan Shanley); Birthing from Within (Pam England & Rob Horowitz), Orgasmic Birth (Elizabeth Davis & Debra Pascali-Bonari), Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years (Susun Weeds). And of course on top of this, the oodles of great blog posts (I’ve shared the best ones on Sunday Surf, so if you’re looking for something specific, you can browse through the previous editions).
- I asked for support online when I needed it.
- At about 6 months, I started listening to the Birth Relaxation kit, and read it’s booklet.
- I researched and wrote about pregnancy and birth a lot - you might have noticed if you’re a regular reader.
- I took a parenting coaching session to deal with some issues I was going through. Especially anger. While it didn’t resolve the anger issue entirely, I did bite through some things that were making me feel miserable. I cannot recommend this enough.
I think being creative during pregnancy is really important, specially if one picks projects specifically geared towards the newborn, as it helps in channeling this great anticipation. With my daughter, I knitted and crocheted half a wardrobe and this time around I felt the creative bug too, yet time was not so much on my side. I knitted a bonnet for the baby and made the birth announcements cards by hand.
What I didn’t do
- Even though I notched up birth preparation a couple of levels, compared to when I was pregnant with my daughter, there are a couple of things I wish I could have done.
- start drinking pregnancy brews earlier on
- get some sort of counseling, since I dealt with lots of anger issues and mental blockages I did not manage to work through on my own.
- sign up for a group pregnancy program, preferably prenatal yoga, or maybe pilates (sadly, I don’t get to do this, because I spend my pregnancies between two different countries... and even so, neither of them have an array of these kinds of programs).
- work out more often, ideally go swimming, but I don’t like doing things on my own and this pregnancy I have been alone all the time.
- have a real-life community. I really missed female companionship this pregnancy. I had none whatsoever and this was really a big issue.
What did you to prepare for birth? What would you do different?