Natural Labor Essentials
Preparing for labor is always important, but especially important if you're choosing to have a natural birth at home. This is your opportunity to create the unique environment that you and baby will experience in your first hours and days together. Your midwife will discuss with you how to prepare and give you a list of items to purchase and where to order your birth kit. Once the birth kit arrives, I like to begin laying out my items and think about the best set up of the room. Then at the 36 week home visit with your midwife, you can talk it through and begin visualizing your natural birth experience. If you are planning for a birth at a hospital or birthing center, then consider packing some of these items to help you succeed in your natural birth plan.
What You Need to Ease contractions, reduce cramps, relax and focus!
What do women need during labor? Anything that brings a state of calm and allows the body to relax, embrace the process of birth, and flow with the rhythm of the body. We don't recommend using epidurals and other opiates, which can be damaging to the mother and child. Specifically, epidurals have led to the unfortunate paralyzation of many women. Please watch our video on how to avoid the common interventions used in hospitals.
Below is our list of natural tools that can help women through the natural labor process.
1. Magnesium, magnesium, magnesium! Magnesium is a game-changer for any birthing mother.
We highly recommend the Health and Wisdom Magnesium Chloride Oil because not all magnesium is created equal. You can buy this in the oil form and rub it on sore muscles, the feet, the back, the belly and anywhere else you need to relax the muscles, relieve cramping and ease tension. You can also combine the oil with a drop or two of essential oils for increased benefits.
The Magnesium Bath Crystals are great for building up levels of magnesium in the body and can be used as an enjoyable, relaxing bath leading up to birth.
CALM by Natural Vitality is an easy way to get magnesium internally for calming and relaxing. Magnesium is also very helpful for sleep.
2. Essential Oils can be diffused in the room, rubbed into the bottom of the feet, added to a bath and many other uses. The best oils for calming and relaxation include:
3. The Bach's Rescue Remedy is helpful to calm and relax the emotions. It has been used for decades to help with stress, anxiety, trauma, and shock. Rescue Remedy has also been shown to increase focus and attention. They are simple, safe, and effective flower essences.
Preparing the Room for Home Birth
Vollara Air Purifier - Use before, during, and after labor in your home to remove airborne contaminants, dirt, and dust from the air.
Clean sheets covered by a plastic drop cloth and topped with a set of clean "birthing sheets" (sheets you don't care about).
Birth kit laid out on dresser along with towels for mom and baby, newborn diapers, wipes and swaddles or receiving blankets.
Toxic-free candles, essential oil diffuser, soothing music, and anything else that helps you relax.
Labor & Post Labor Foods
Eating food isn't a problem during labor, you just need to stick to foods that are light and hydrating, mainly fruits and vegetables. Once the baby begins to drop, mom may feel a surge of hunger, but with labor picking up, it is best to go with foods that are easy to digest. I always prefer a smoothie. Ideally one with healthy sugars and fat for energy along with a little protein for sustenance. Here are some ideas:
Fresh juice (grapefruit and orange is my favorite)
Hydrating fruits - grapes, pineapple, berries
A few Eggs
Pineapple juice blended with Aloe Life Greens
Post delivery - Load up on minerals like
Afterbirth Care For Mom
Sitz Bath - To speed up the healing process, soothe soreness, aid healing hemorrhoids, and prevent infection.
Afterease by WishGarden - Helps with after-birth pains of uterus returning to normal size.
Castor Oil Packs - Also for after-birth pains. Use directly over the abdomen.
Healing Comfrey Salve by Herbally Grounded - This salve can be used to heal tearing or stretching of the perineum for mom.
Baby Must Have
WishGarden Cord Care Powder - This powder quickly dries & disinfects the newborn's cord.
Healing Comfrey Salve by Herbally Grounded - Use the salve to help the baby heal at the umbilical cord area after it falls off.
Alaffia Lavender Baby Wash & Organic Coconut Oil - We avoid washing the baby too much to let their natural vernix layer slowly come off for longer protection. We usually wait a few days before their first bath and then only bathe them as needed. We use Alaffia Lavender Baby Soap for bath time and then rub organic coconut oil on their skin after.
Bio-K Mulsion by Biotics Research - If necessary, the baby can take drops orally as an alternative to the synthetic vitamin K shot.
See other baby essentials in our blog 'What's in Our Natural Diaper Bag & Baby Nursery.'