With so much information available to new moms on the internet, you may find it overwhelming to sort through the abundance of articles, advice, and current recommendations. One reason why hiring a doula is so beneficial during your pregnancy is because we have already done some of the work for you in narrowing down all of the products out there to choose from. Below you'll find a list we've complied of 10 of our current favorite pregnancy products.
1. SPINNING BABIES DAILY ESSENTIALS video download
Let's face it, sitting in chairs and driving in cars is not the best body prep for labor and delivery. This inexpensive, 30 minute daily stretching routine provides an excellent foundation for birth preparation. And the video also has excellent tips for general maternal posture that supports optimal fetal positioning. http://spinningbabies.com/
2. EXERCISE BALL
...or what we like to call a "birth ball" in the doula community because it's so birth friendly. It's awesome in pregnancy because sitting on a big soft ball helps you stay on your sitz bones (aptly named because they are actually intended for us to sit on) rather than sitting on your sacrum (which closes your pelvic opening and tends to jam things up) and helps strengthen and stabilize your pelvis. It allows great freedom of movement, hip circles, side to side, leaning forward, even seated "dancing," etc. - all of which are excellent during labor. After baby, it's and excellent alternative to rocking, easy on the healing perineum, and many babies love to be held while you bounce on the ball. https://smile.amazon.com/Exercise-Ball
3. RASPBERRY LEAF TEA
Maybe you've tried this for PMS support? Well it also has benefits in pregnancy. RLT helps tone the uterus and pelvic muscles and is a great preparation for childbirth. Most midwives and OBs suggest it in starting in the 2nd trimester on since it can trigger some uterine cramping. Check with your provider about how much. We've read 1 cup/day in 2nd trimester, 2 in 3rd and 3 cups/day starting at 38 weeks. We suggest making a big batch and putting it in the fridge for easy access (also nice if it's summer!) Traditional Medicinals make a nice tea and you can get it at Target or other grocery stores. https://smile.amazon.com/Traditional-Medicinals-Organic-Raspberry
4. ANCIENT MINERALS MAGNESIUM OIL
Love the spray because it's immediately absorbed. Magnesium calms the body, combats stress, helps with nausea, faitgue, constipation, gestational diabetes, aches and pains and sleep. What's not to love?
5. GENTLEBIRTH APP
This app is has a great guide you can read, but even if you never read the guide you will benefit from the affirmations, mindfulness and self-hypnosis tracks. Listen to midwife, Tracy Donegan's comforting Irish accent and let her remind you that you can choose your response to your experiences in birth (and beyond.) Listen to a short track every day and train your brain to remain calm. If you have some fears about birth (and honestly, most of us do) - this app can help.
6. SQUATTY POTTY
Have you seen this yet? Get one. Use it. Watch the hysterical YouTube video and laugh at how ridiculously funny it is and then buy it. This is good for you, your partner, your children, your children to be. It is also nice in labor because it helps you sit in a position that creates nice alignment for baby. There are knock off versions at Costco and all over. https://www.youtube.com/squatty-potty
7. BIRTHING FROM WITHIN or INA MAY's GUIDE TO CHILDBIRTH
Giving birth is more than a medical event. Do yourself a favor and read something that will help you connect to the deeper rite of passage that is traveled when giving birth. I'm not being all hippy woo-woo here. Nor do I have one particular view of birth in mind. No matter HOW you give give birth, vaginally, cesarean, with or without pain meds, at home, birth center, or hospital... birth is an act of self discovery and transformation that is spiritual because it is a WHOLE body thing.
8. ELECTRIC HOT WATER BOTTLE
Plug this puppy in for 15 minutes and enjoy your soothing hot water bottle for up to 5 hours. No microwave, no wires. Easy-peasy. This is great for aches and pains and we especially love it for those pre-labor and early labor abdominal cramps. https://smile.amazon.com/Portable-Electric-Hot-Water-Bottle
9. YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS
We love using carefully curated essential oils to support relaxation and balance. Dilute and use with care on a cotton ball beside your pillow, in your bath, or in massage oil. Inhale for relief with nausea, fatigue or anxiety. Combining essentials oils with other relaxation practice will help train the brain to relax when the scent is introduced in labor. Some of our favorites are Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint and the blends: Peace and Calming, Stress Away, Gentle Baby, and Joy. https://www.southbaybirthservices.com/essential-oils
10. EQUAL EXCHANGE ORGANIC DECAF COFFEE
Sometimes we just want guilt-free coffee :) This is not only decaf, organic, and water processed, it's supporting a good cause. Drink up!
11. BIRTH PODCASTS
We have access to so much information and so many stories through podcasts. This can be a nice way to take some time for yourself, combat fear and horror stories, and stay up to date on current research! We love: