Prepare your Body for Labour - Natural Induction
If you’ve read my first birth story with Birdy, then you' might be familiar with a few of the natural remedies and practices that we adapted in the days and weeks leading up to her home birth; but I had never fully shared a complete run down of a few pre-labour + delivery staples that we’ve implemented twice now throughout pregnancy, and more importantly from 35 weeks onward. I also thought it might be helpful to include a few additional postpartum products that I’ve used and loved throughout both healing and postpartum journeys as well.
Keep in mind that on top of the physical products and supplements that I’ve shared below, we also made sure to do a LOT of walking, curb-walking, mall-walking, stairs, ball-bouncing, and maintaining hydration as much as possible in the later weeks.
Raspberry leaf tea is something that everyone usually mentions and is recommended throughout pregnancy - it’s not a pregnancy-specific tea and can be drank by anybody, but it’s something that you’re encouraged to drink throughout pregnancy; it’s filled with great nutrients and iron, as well as is studied to have properties in tightening pelvic muscles, which in turn could potentially better prep your uterus for labour, as well as shorten labour time. It’s pretty delicious on it’s own, but I’ve also enjoyed making sweetened tea lattes with it as well if I want to change it up.
Evening Primrose Oil is something that I start taking at the 35 week mark alongside of my prenatal vitamin. It’s used for a multitude of reasons throughout pregnancy (and otherwise), like aiding with skin hydration/skin conditions during pregnancy, as well as preparing your cervix leading up to labour and delivery.
For both pregnancies, we purchased a Home Birth Kit through our Midwifery Clinic, which includes a plethora of things that we use for our home births, but a portion of that kit includes a few homeopathics, one of those being EzBirth (that little teal/green tube). I took 3 little homeopathics in the morning and three in the evening, beginning at 37 weeks.
A few other things that I wanted to include for induction, as well as labour itself are Jasmine essential oil, Rescue Remedy, and Emergen-C packets. There are multiple essential oils that are recommended to help induce or ease labour, but I’ve been drawn to Jasmine for both pregnancies now. Around 39/40 weeks, I use it in my diffuser, as well as for reflexology foot massage pressure points.
Rescue Remedy is an incredible life-tool in general if you’ve never heard of it or used it before. It’s incredible for easing anxiety, and I’ve found it to work magically to ease those “omg this is actually happening” nerves as soon as you know that labour is starting for real. I use the drops, but it’s available in a multitude of varieties.
Emergen-C or Ener-C packets are a great way to boost some vitamin C and energy in the early stages of labour; I usually try to have one in early labour as well as one later in labour (if I’m not too distracted by contractions, etc).
As far as labour itself goes, it’s really important to stay hydrated throughout the process; our home birth classes emphasized continually about having a “bendy-straw” throughout labour, which I always thought was strange advice, but I can’t even explain how beneficial that was throughout labour. After every contraction, Mark would give me small sips of whatever liquid I was drinking at the time (water, coconut water, gatorade, emergen-c), and being that I often had my eyes closed and was either laying down or had my head on the edge of the pool, being able to take sips with that straw without having to lift my head was super helpful.
Moving onto postpartum care, there are a handful of homeopathics + supplements that I thought I would mention. Two other items that we got through our homebirth kid from our midwifery are a big pump bottle of calendula, as well as the Arnica 30 tablets.
Calendula has incredible healing properties, and is used as a diluted solution post-birth every time I use the washroom, as well as to prep and freeze calendula-soaked pads for post-birth.
Arnica is a wonderful natural way to reduce birthing pain, bruise healing, and promote an overall faster recovery. On top of Arnica for pain + healing, I also take tylenol + ibuprofen in the couple of days post-birth to help with general pain management.
Two other helpful little supplements that I love are the Liquid Gold capsules from Legendairy Milk (I’m also equally obsessed with their website haha), as well as the essential oil roll on from Harper Apothecary; both for breastfeeding support.
Obviously, there are plenty of other things that we did to prepare for life post-birth (especially our second time around and having a better idea as to what to expect in the weeks following), such as meal-prepping + storing, better life + work planning, buying adult diaper, having lots of comfortable clothing on hand, prepping + washing baby things, etc, but I thought I would try and contain this post to homeopaths + supplements.
I’m definitely open to talking more about any area or expanding further on something if you have specific questions for me, so feel free to share those down below and I’ll help out however I can.