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As I write this I’m currently pregnant with my 7th child. In fact she’s due pretty much any day now, but I think she’s going to wait us out a bit more. Here are a few Pregnancy “Hacks” I wish I’d known from day 1 of baby 1…
- I found that Stress is a major cause of morning sickness. When I was working and 1st found out that I was pregnant with my 1st baby-even in a positive sense (excitement is a positive stressor), the uncertainty of our finances, and looking like we were irresponsible kids, caused quite a bit of stress and angst for us both. This made morning sickness worse for me. Here’s a link to an article on some of the findings.
- What you can do about it is to take your cares, and throw them on God in prayer and speak Peace to yourself and your circumstances.
- Eating a balance of carbs, fats and protein every 1 or 2 hours in small amounts, and then brushing your teeth with a minty toothpaste helps maintain blood sugar levels and keeps nausea at bay. An example is 3 or 4 whole wheat saltine crackers with 1 slice of lunch cheese, on 1 slice of all natural nitrate free lunch meat. I would tear the cheese and meat into 4 small cracker sized pieces and eat that as a snack almost every hour. Then I’d brush my teeth. It worked for me, and even though I was a little worried about gaining extra weight, I was surprised to find that I didn’t.
- Get extra Magnesium. Some reports have estimated that up to 80% of the American population may be magnesium deficient.
- your body or if you don’t have a tub, even just your feet in an epsom salt bath. Here’s a magnesium infused body wash that I love the smell of. Since magnesium is absorbed through the skin better than if it is eaten, baths and magnesium infused lotions like this one here, are some of the best ways to get more exposure to this important mineral. There is also a magnesium citrate liquid that you can take by mouth before bed that can help. I use one now that tastes like thick blueberry yogurt, it’s so good. I take 1 tablespoon before bed at night.
- In late 2017 a study was published that said scientists found that miscarriages many times could be prevented by the mother taking in extra B vitamins. And that sometimes pregnant mothers were having a hard time processing those B vitamins that they needed most. After I read this I started taking sublingual (under the tongue) liquid B vitamins I found at Walmart.
- I read that morning sickness was virtually unknown to women in some 3rd world countries where one of the main staples was maize (non genetically modified corn). Like it almost didn’t exist. But in industrialized countries where childbirth is less esteemed and less desirable, morning sickness is very common. Also, women are more likely to be expected to have careers and make money outside of the home in industrialized countries. And of course, being pregnant, and being a mother tends to interrupt that, and so it can be a cause of a lot of extra stress.
- Get more sleep. Drink less coffee if possible. I find that when I get enough sleep, I don’t feel like coffee is as important to me. And when I drink coffee and it makes me feel sick, I stop drinking coffee till I can drink it again and enjoy how I feel. It seems to regulate itself for me. But the “getting enough sleep” part is the most important part.
- Don’t use a Doctor, nurse or midwife that makes you feel like a number. If it’s possible, try to find a healthcare worker/provider that is not pushy and/ or helps you to feel like your opinion, your questions, and your cares matter. Pray over the decision, and be careful who you allow to have spiritual authority in this precious and vulnerable time of pregnancy and birth. If a Doctor, nurse of midwife tries to use fear tactics to get you to comply with everything they say, they might not be a safe or good fit for you.
- Take Evening Primrose oil. I started taking this during my monthly cycle once after my 5th pregnancy when I didn’t have any Red Raspberry Leaf tea and all my cramps and menstrual pain left. I never stopped taking it. In pregnancy it helps soften the cervix for labor, and it’s a great replacement for cod liver oil- which can sometimes be high in mercury, and tastes like…oil from a cod’s liver. Evening Primrose oil will not have a rancid fishy after taste, it has no taste, and is pretty amazing.
- Drink Red Raspberry Leaf tea. This stuff completely banished my menstrual cramps during my monthly period. It eases labor, and helps balance hormones.
- Drink Mother’s Milk Tea after giving birth to increase milk supply. This stuff helps you get your milk in, and I found it did actually increase my milk supply.
- Eat calorie rich and nutrient dense foods after you give birth to help your body bounce back, and produce plenty of milk for your baby. I love quiches with lots of cheese, turkey sausage, spinach and tomatoes. Peanut or Almond butter with chocolate chips on it by the spoonful is just what the Doctor ordered (metaphorically anyhow). That’s what I tell my husband.
- Rest, Rest, Rest!
- Babies sleep most of the day at first. You should get in as many naps as you can too. Don’t feel guilty.
- When trying to figure out when baby’s serious about being born I only ever look for 1 sign and it’s not contractions. It’s a bloody show. A bloody show is when you wipe and there is a bunch of mucous with a pink tinge or blood in it. That means your cervix is starting to open and baby will very soon be making his or her appearance into the world. For me personally It usually means birth is only a few hours or even minutes away, though it’s different for everyone
- About a week before the baby’s due date I start telling them to get ready. I also speak to my body and tell it to get ready, and what it will need to do: Become elastic, and get ready to open up and let that baby through without tearing or trauma, quickly and easily.
- As soon as I know I’m in labor I start calling out to the baby and telling them to come out quickly and I tell them how much we want to see them, how much we love them, and about all the fun that we’re going to have. My birth attendants in the past have always admitted to me that it seemed like a strange thing to do or witness, but that it really did seem to help. I’ve done this for my last 4 children and they have all been very short births.
- A month or even longer before the baby’s due date I start to meditate on positive birth stories. I don’t read scary or sad birth stories. I take this time to fill my mind and heart with encouragement and a hopeful vision of what I want to happen in my own birth. I pray about it, and I picture it with my mind being fast, easy and uncomplicated.
- Fear is a pregnant woman’s worst enemy. You deal with it by using scriptures and casting it out. It’s a spirit. God’s love will cast it out. Declare and sing about God’s love for you, your family and your baby. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 Speak this out loud. And tell the spirit of fear to leave in Jesus’s name.
- Envision the birth that you want to have. See it in your mind, and walk through it. Ask God in prayer for specific things. This is why it’s good to fill your mind up with positive birth stories. It helps you to be able to see in your mind and heart a good scenario. It’s fear in reverse, also known as Hope.
- Speak to your body and tell it what to do. If you aren’t sure what needs to happen, you need to look it up so you’re not ignorant of the process. Watch some non scary animations of the birth process: Here’s a short one I found:
- Simple Vaginal Delivery
- I love a comforting hot or warm shower or bath to help me relax during labor. It’s also nice to be able to hang off of one of those large exercise balls.
- During the very last part of when my 6th baby was about to crown and be born- my midwife put a hot wet rag on me down there and it felt so amazing.
- Massage with hot rocks is a wonderfully relaxing comfort during labor. We got a hot rocks massage kit for Christmas and I intend to use it. This form of massage helped me through my 2nd baby’s 12 hour unmedicated labor. Immediately afterwards I was able to relax enough for my baby to be born.
- Home is my favorite place to birth because it’s less stressful for me to already be in my element with everything I need right there. My children can just watch a movie if they are even awake during the birth. The grandparents can just come over to supervise them if need be. And it’s just less complicated.
- Get a Birth Ball. I have both a 65 cm exercise ball I got at Walmart for about $9.99, and I just had my husband order a peanut ball online also, I think he paid about $15 for it. I’ve had the large exercise ball for almost 4 years now and I love it. It’s really great for sitting on, it has really helped my back. Here’s a video I recorded about how my birthing ball experience helped with sciatic nerve pain, and being able to comfortably sit at the computer or even the dinner table.
- This is a video tutorial on how to use a Birth ball during labor: Click here for the Birthing Ball tutorial.
- I just got the peanut ball in the mail about a week ago and the first night I tried to sleep with it, but couldn’t make it the whole night because it eventually felt a bit uncomfortable. My leg got a bit cold. But to my surprise my hips felt awesome after that and I slept so good and pain free the rest of the night.(Sometimes toward the end of a pregnancy I get more hip pain than usual when I lay down at night.) I’m actually using the peanut ball right now as I lay in bed typing this. I have it propped up between my legs and it feels great. It really opens up your pelvis and relieves a lot of tension. I was also reading up on how to use it a couple days ago and was pleasantly surprised to find that studies had been done to see if birth balls and peanut balls had any effect on childbirth and delivery. They found that the use of these birth balls significantly reduced the time it took for a woman to birth, they helped shift the position of baby’s that were in bad positions, and reduced the rate of c-sections.
- Here are some How To Videos made by experts on these Peanut Birthing Balls:
- Fill up your mind and heart with encouraging Birth Stories. I’ve been making a playlist of birth videos to encourage myself daily. If a story or a testimonial isn’t encouraging I don’t finish watching it because I’m in a sensitive position right now and I don’t want to meditate on what can go wrong.
- This lady’s videos: Part 1 and 2 crack me up, and really encourage me so much. I just found her again for my 7th pregnancy. The 1st time I found her videos I was pregnant with my 5th child and was trying home birth for the 1st time. My baby, I thought wasn’t going to be coming for another 2 weeks. But right after I watched her videos I went to feed our cat and as I squatted down my water broke.
- More encouragement to listen to: This recording is so beautifully peaceful. You can buy an mp3 download on www.amazon.com or buy the cd at www.walmart.com .
I’m going through this guys Painless Childbirth Course right now also. It’s free on youtube. Here’s a link to the 1st class, all of the rest of the courses are up too if you want to take the whole thing. He takes you through some visualizations that make sense if you’ve had past birth traumas that have created fear in you.
So these are my “Pregnancy Hacks”. I intend to keep updating this list as I come across more helpful tips. I hope something here has blessed you.