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Esali Birth Pregnancy Bags Inside

ESALI BIRTH TO GIVE AWAY FREE BABY WRAP PREGNANCY BAGS FOR MOTHERS IN THE MID-OHIO VALLEY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Ravenswood, WV –June 26, 2017 - Esali Birth, an organization that provides holistic education and support to families of the childbearing year, will be using funds raised from the 2017 Esali Mother’s Day 5k to provide mothers of the Mid-Ohio Valley with an amazing free resource useful for pregnancy through the early years of parenting.  The Esali Birth Pregnancy Bags are filled with information, samples, and made with a handmade baby wrap and ring slings. All mothers have to do to receive a free bag is to be currently pregnant and register at esalibirth.com/pregnancybags then prepare to pickup their bag after attending one of the monthly MOV Breastfeeding Socials or other approved event hosted by Esali Birth.  There are 50 bags available on a first-come first-serve basis, so mothers are encouraged to register early.

“Mothers are often provided with free pregnancy bags filled with fear-based literature, information lacking in perinatal options, and tools counterproductive to breastfeeding.  I hope these bags reach mothers searching for options, effective tools, and holistic support to help improve birth and breastfeeding across the Mid-Ohio Valley,” says Danielle Bergum, Owner and Perinatal Mentor of Esali Birth.

The Esali Birth Pregnancy Bags are made with 100% cotton in lightweight double gauze.  There are multiple patterns from plain white to adorable nature designs.  The wraps are approximately a size 4 wrap enabling families to not only support their growing pregnant belly and take some pressure off the pelvis through wrapping, but also used with the included sling rings as a simple sling ring or to wrap their new baby for months to come in a variety of methods.  Babywearing guidance is available through Esali Birth including nursing while babywearing.

Supplemental goodies inside the bag may vary slightly, but all bags will include:

  • A copy of the book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Dr. Sarah Buckley – One of the best holistic pieces of literature available for families today covering options through pregnancy, physiological birth and newborn care, and breastfeeding as well as gentle parenting and co-sleeping safety.
  • Infant feeding tube which can be used on an as-needed basis if baby needs to be supplemented to avoid artificial nipples that can damage breastfeeding by changing the way babies latch onto the breast. While most mothers do not need this, these are wonderful alternatives to, without the side effects of, nipple shields that are so commonly handed to new mothers in the first few days ultimately reducing milk supply and causing, for many moms, nipple pain and decreased breastfeeding duration.
  • Gift Certificate for 1 Perinatal Mentoring Skype Session with Esali Birth
  • Gift Certificate for $100 off Esali Birth Series or Doula Support
  • Other items are information on rights in childbirth, support group meetings, prenatal tea supplements and other options supportive of a holistic perspective on pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. Bags will never contain formula marketing or samples.

Esali Birth provides education, doula support, and full mentoring to families in the Mid-Ohio Valley and online. Esali Birth seeks to enhance the knowledge of options available to childbearing families as well as the human rights individuals have during birth and beyond. Empowering parents to make informed decisions about their health and well-being is our focus through confidence-building education, awareness and support.

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If you would like more information about the Esali Birth Pregnancy Bags, please contact Danielle Bergum at 304-482-4729 or email at mdbergum@esalibirth.com.

healthy bowel function

Constipation in pregnancy seems to be an expected symptom.  The first thing wrong with this picture is that someone expects to experience a "symptom"  - Hello!  Pregnancy isn't a disease!  The second problem is that constipation is a symptom of less than ideal body function either through food intake means or other.  On the contrary, now that you're eating healthier fats, staying hydrated, moving your body, and getting most of the nutrients you need every day - bowel movements should be taking care of themselves.

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Share the way your lifestyles supports #healthybowelsforbirth with #esalibirthprep on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter.

I'm sure you've seen videos of the mommas dancing their way through their labors and births.  I'm sure you've found it funny, maybe you even tried it.  Maybe you're one of the ones that found amazing benefits, even just for comfort, from moving your pelvis.  In fact, most of us that have tried this in pregnancy will continue to do this well after the baby is born because this isn't a pregnancy or woman-only movement.  Do you know *why* this is helpful?

Belly dancing was historically done for pregnancy and labor.  As with most traditions, it developed into more entertainment and theatric performace and lost its connection to a way of life.  Let's talk about that connection a little bit.

Birth supporters and advocates are constantly talking about positioning of the body for a smoother birth.  We all know (or should know) that sitting on your bum with you pelvis cocked forward or back lying in labor is 100 kinds of wrong for getting baby out in a healthy and happy way, right?  We may even suggest a chiropractic adjustment or massage often to help align things.  A physical therapist that specializes in women's health will take these treatments a step further and is definitely worth looking into so you can not just treat the symptom but fix the root problem of your discomfort and misalignment; but I want you to take a step further with your care because how you move regularly is how your pelvis and baby are aligned and appointments aren't going to fix the responsibility you have to take care of your body nutritionally and physically.... AND emotionally.

Belly dancing moves the baby.  It moves the baby so that baby can move in the pelvis.  What it also does is move the pelvis, ligaments, and muscles - including the uterus.  If your uterus is tilted from not moving your body enough, your baby is going to be tilted.  If your ligaments (way more than just the round ligaments in the front) are tight, they're going to tilt your cervix and overall cause more pain.  If your body isn't hydrated, your myofascia will be brittle and crispy and no amount of chiro care is going to keep you aligned.  If you're not moving and stretching and overall taking care of your muscles, ligaments, and bones - your body and baby won't be positioned well for birth.  Belly dancing, rather big sensual movements of the pelvis in circles both ways and figure eights and dips and turns and just going with your body massages the ligaments, massages the muscles, moves the pelvis, turns the baby - it does all these things that many adjustments are trying to do, but dancing does it all at once from the inside out!

So take a look at the video above if you haven't already at what your baby might be doing inside that cozy womb while moving your pelvis 5 minutes every 30-60 minutes of the day.

The only thing you have to do is keep moving, and stay well well hydrated so that the myofascia doesn't get brittle.  This is crucial.  Likewise, if you have a desk job...etc., these movements can be done on a birth ball as well.  Of course, this is only one piece of the puzzle and one movement you can add into your daily routine.  There are a lot of other techniques you can use for optimal fetal positioning in pregnancy to not only prevent discomfort now and in labor, but also increase your ability for spontaneous birth.  There are specifics to your situation that change the way these techniques are approached.  You can scour the Spinning Babies website for a few of these tips, and if you're interested in learning more?  Join me in a monthly birth class or for mentoring sessions online or locally.

induce labor naturally Esali Birth

Are you curious how to induce labor naturally and safely at home?  This is probably one of the biggest questions in the maternity industry... 

How do I Induce Labor Naturally?

In most cases, mom is either trying to avoid a medical induction that has been coerced on her by her providers or she's ready for the baby to come out now for various reasons – some medical, most personal.

Well, if you've stumbled upon this post early in pregnancy, wonderful - you have time to comfortably make the choices for provider and birth location that support the biology of birth.  On the other hand, even if you're late in pregnancy - you still have plenty of time to politely say, "No thanks" or any other rendition of that statement that allows you to practice your legal right to make your own decisions for your body and birth.  Oh, and of course, time to read this post and see how you can encourage baby into this world.

STEP 1 – How to Induce Labor Naturally

Learn what your body and baby need to move from the gestating phase of the childbearing year into the birthing phase.  What is that?  Well, beyond the obvious need of the baby to be fully developed - which takes somewhere around 37-43 weeks... give or take depending on your luteal phase of your cycle, when you conceived, and simple biology - there is an immense need for moms to feel safe.

If you don't feel safe, supported... i.e. RELAXED... then your mind is basically the one telling baby, "Stay in, it isn't safe to come out yet."  So, get that support.  Relax.  Take a bath.  Take a walk.  Listen to happy music.  Get a massage in all the tense places, including your uterus.  Most of all, TALK to someone about ANY questions you have.

While ideally your provider AND educator/doula would have prepared you so well during pregnancy that darn near all of these questions and concerns are ancient history, that may not be the case or there may be new questions that have come up.  You need to talk with your TRUSTED birth team about all of these - or you need to speak with the individual that these concerns are hinting.  If there is stress at work, take some time off... or ask for a different task... or ask for help... or take some meditation music to work with you and use all of your breaks to listen, pray, and just breathe.  YOU can MAKE this WORK.  You having gotten here in this life, you can get to the next step, too.

Step 1 Recap to Induce Labor Naturally:

  • Learn – Join a Birth Series or Schedule Mentoring Sessions (online or locally)
  • Relax
  • Reduce the must-do’s and want-to’s

STEP 2 – How to Induce Labor Naturally

Build oxytocin.  This goes along with relaxation, in a sense, but let's think about this a little deeper for a moment.

During your pregnancy, building oxytocin is THE relaxation "method" that I encourage here at Esali Birth.  It is the safest most natural and productive relaxation method.  Why?  Because not every technique works for every mom and because it is with oxytocin that our uterus will contract and progress labor (provided baby is ready).

Keeping STEP 1 in mind, do more eye-gazing, skin to skin touching and abdominal massaging, flirting with/loving our birth partner, building a RELATIONSHIP with our birth team. Stay intimate with your partner throughout pregnancy and in the end.  This doesn't have to mean sex - it just means keeping that relationship strong - or making it stronger - so that it is enhanced during birth and mind blowing through the parenting stages.  At the same time, intercourse does increase oxytocin - especially when it includes breast stimulation and results with orgasm (high levels of oxytocin are created to orgasm) and ejaculation internally.  Semen is an incredible prostaglandin (i.e. something that "ripens" the cervix, or makes the cervix soft and stretchy to encourage dilation) and orgasm creates the highest amounts of oxytocin in our body, apart from the moment after a biological birth.  Yea... biological birth is that amazing.  This does NOT mean just go have sex.  This is more about the connection - the relationship - the joy - the trust that you're creating with this person you've chosen to spend your life with and be a 50/50 partner on parenting.  You NEED that trust and building this relationship now makes you that much more confident to bring a baby into this world.

Therefore, we are increasing our oxytocin naturally by the trust.  THEN, we are getting adequate sunshine (for Vitamin D and all that hormone-balancing and happiness it creates as well as building stores for our baby during the first year of their life).  We are eating balanced wholesome and whole foods meals and snacks that have been properly balanced.  We are getting enough water and of course enough physical activity.  We are going to bed at a decent hour and ensuring we are sleeping well.

You see, oxytocin isn't the only player in the labor game.  There are so many hormones, but particularly with this contracting-hormone, we need dopamine (our happy hormone) and melatonin (our sleep hormone) to be at their peak.  These hormones are at their correct levels with all of the mentioned above.  Yes, yes, this is often why we see so many labors peaking at night.  Sometimes this is because the only time a mom relaxes is during the night.  This brings me to our next step.

Step 2 Recap to Induce Labor Naturally:

  • Build Oxytocin
  • Be Intimate & Connected
  • Get sunshine
  • Eat wholesome whole foods with a variety of colors
  • Stay hydrated
  • Move
  • Sleep

STEP 3 – How to Induce Labor Naturally

Your gestating and laboring body craves a quiet, calm, and dark space.  Dark allows those labor hormones to work.  Dark mimics your night - relaxed - state.  Dark makes everyone walk a little quieter and speak a little softer.  Quiet allows your logical brain to rest and your instinctual brain to take over and work with your baby.  Sometimes most importantly, calm, allows you to feel safe which is key to reducing adrenaline.

Adrenalin and oxytocin are antagonistic hormones.  When one is high, the other is low.  So when stress and particularly caution, question, and distrust is high then adrenaline will be high and labor will not progress.  I don't know how many moms I've talked with that have convinced themselves that they're "such a calm person" or "totally relaxed" or any rendition of being at peace with birth when their actions, schedules, and questions clearly show otherwise.  A kiss can be "stressful" - as stress is not simply a negative feeling, it is the body exerting more energy routinely without balanced rest that causes hormonal stress - whether you're happy with your life or not.  The great thing is, though, they're talking about it.  Sometimes, it does help to admit that to your birth team, however.

When a provider scares you, questions your birth, changes your EDD because of an [often inaccurate] ultrasound scan, or has routine practices you don't agree with - adrenaline will constantly be higher than it should be, even if you aren't feeling completely stressed.  Whether hospital or home, don't convince yourself your choices are the best when they aren't jiving with your birth view or you're not receiving support from your birth team.  This is especially prevalent in births where many moms may actually be friends with their birth team, used that team or provider for a previous birth, or in the case of home birth they assume "home" and "midwife" actually mean they're receiving the best care they should simply because of the title - same goes with an obstetrician.  Titles are irrelevant here.  You have to be honest with yourself.  Every ounce of question, concern, or confusion might be one more day baby stays in when they're actually ready.  But all this has to come naturally  - you can't stress yourself into relaxation!  Let it be.

Likewise, any projects that are ongoing, filled-schedules, and various things that "need done" will not allow this progression.  Get away for a bit.  Put the screens away.  Put the work down.  Let it all go for long enough to feel a sense of release.  At some point during pregnancy, closer to 41-42 weeks for most, mom's brain does tend to override these thoughts and goes. "OK, enough of that, get all this stuff together we need to have this baby."  This is otherwise referred to as the nesting instinct.  Often in our culture with all of our modern technologies and house cleaning help...etc., this is seen in mom as having a surge of energy where she feels amazing and totally different from the last few weeks of complaints and ready to be done with pregnancy thoughts.  But, those little thoughts of complaints - that little doubt that someone may be giving you in the back of your mind is saying, "Stay in there baby."  So, if this is the case, refer back to STEP 1 and read a little about the Art of Relaxation.

Step 3 Recap to Induce Labor Naturally:

  • Be quiet
  • Be calm
  • Be in dark spaces (keep it balanced, of course) – but definitely during labor
  • Be honest about your comfort level and make decisions that support it

 

STEP 4

Get baby and body aligned.  Now, ideally we would be doing this constantly through pregnancy with our physically-oriented lifestyles.  Our shoulders would stack over our hips and our hips would stack over our ankles and our pelvis wouldn't be tilted and... and... our entire body would be aligned.  Our core would be toned and ligaments flexible and myofacia supple to properly support our body structure and uterus and growing baby.  We wouldn't have a lot of back pain because of this physical health.  We wouldn't be sitting at a desk 20-40 hours a week rocking our pelvis in the wrong position and shortening our leg muscles causing pelvic tilt.  We wouldn't be leaning back on the couch with our feet up.

We likewise wouldn't be overworking ourselves physically in any way.  We would naturally walk a lot, maybe gathering foods or just for relaxation.  We would have quality social time with positive people in our lives that help us feel empowered and don't add stress to our body.  We would be barefoot and squatting (with our glutes, not a tucked pelvis) in the garden and the woods pulling [edible] weeds and nurturing our growing plants.  We would be eating well and feeling energized.  We’d also be receiving abdominal massages that encourage oxytocin release comfort and baby’s position while enhancing the tone of the uterus.

Whether we've been doing this or not, making sure baby is in a good position for birth and our body is aligned to allow this good positioning will help us not only to encourage spontaneous labor but also create a smoother labor and birth for you and baby.  Often when all of the above is good to go but labor still isn't happening, doing optimal fetal positioning, seeing a physical therapist, visiting a massage therapist and maybe a chiropractor helps us to realign our spine and pelvis and get baby in the optimal LOA position.  There are of course so many births that are wonderful and smooth and amazing without this optimal fetal position, and that is typically because mom feels safe - which is why I place this down a little further on the list.

Step 4 Recap to Induce Labor Naturally:

  • Get aligned
  • Move aligned
  • Stay aligned
  • Stretch
  • Bellydance, get abdominal and whole-body massages and move the pelvis
  • Work with a doula prenatally for optimal fetal positioning, like spinning babies techniques

 

Final thoughts

 

There are incredible amounts of information for various herbal or OTC "natural" induction methods.  Though, the internet, particularly blogs, and most western medical providers are not always the best place for this information sharing with so much misinformation being shared.  But let's remember, an induction is an induction whether you do it at home or your midwife at home does it or your midwife or OB does it in the hospital or birth center.  Induction of any kind increases the risks of birth for you and baby.  In many cases, baby and mom aren't physically OR mentally ready for labor and herbal induction methods just cause some pretty significant uncomfortable side effects at best and increase risks like meconium staining for instance.  Take castor oil, for instance, which might work because it is a very strong laxative that causes diarrhea which can stimulate uterine contractions.  Not only would diarrhea be uncomfortable to experience during labor - but would also increase infection risks especially with a birth team really focused on vaginal exams.  At the same time, it often just causes diarrhea but not labor because in fact, mom and baby aren't ready.

Now, there are some herbal "tonic" teas that you may see around encouraged to be used as induction agents, such as Red Raspberry Leaf (RRL).  While we're not going to go into specifics here - I do want to talk about what a tonic herb means.  People think of RRL as "the" pregnancy herb.  If they don't drink it during pregnancy, they often drink it at the end.  The thing with tonic herbs is they don't actually contract, rather, they provide immense amounts of nutrients.  They are toning because they are a true statement of "let thy food be thy medicine."  If a mom has used a tonic herb to "induce" labor - it likely had nothing to do with an "induction," rather, she was likely providing her body with necessary vitaminerals like calcium, magnesium, and b vitamins to name a few that many of these tonic herbs contain.  Without adequate levels of [properly assimilated] vitamins and minerals in the body (which don't come from most Rx or OTC supplements), the body can't work as intended.  This is another common reason for prodromal labor aside from misalignment and stress (see above steps).

Now, this is not to say that herbs are not used to induce - they most certainly are, but these are herbs categorized as emmenagogues, abortifacients, and more specifically oxytocics - otherwise known as uterine contractors/menses promotors and strong uterine contractors.  Some oxytocic herbs like Black & Blue Cohosh, and various formulas from Wish Garden Herbs and other Midwifery supply stores should NEVER be used without the guidance of a knowledgeable herbal midwife.  Others, like castor oil, can pose a number of risks, such as hemorrhage, that I would especially discourage you from using at all, and especially not without the guidance of an educated herbalist midwife.  Likewise, you've now made your birth a medical event which now has no place at home (whether you were planning to birth at home or planning to avoid going into the hospital for a medical induction).  Remember that reading a list of "this herb is good for this" is nowhere near being an herbalist and often not at all explaining the way it should be used or if it would work with your situation and body type.  There is an incredible amount of misinformation about herbs on the internet and also in books.  From "do this" with herbs that need more caution to "this herb is poison" for herbs that have hundreds and hundreds of years of safety and herbalist usage but modern medicine extracted one constituent out to study it alone in copious amounts and often on animals, instead of with the other constituents in typical amounts with humans - and this totally changes the way something works.

So, if you're considering induction…  Remember that induction doubles your risk of cesarean.  If your risk of cesarean is 30%, for example, just by having a certain care provider or walking into a hospital - how could an induction change the course of labor for you and baby?  Have you researched induction and whether it is necessary and do you know that studies are pointing to the safety of cesarean over the long-term risks that induction may cause, like ADHD?  Is this induction actually necessary and do the risks of induction exceed the risks of not inducing?  Is your induction scheduled for days later or are you going in right now?  If it is scheduled days later, do you think this is really a true medical need or is waiting a good idea?

Lastly, I would love to talk to you!  If you have questions, concerns, or even a possible previous birth that you haven't quite worked through yet - I'd love to chat with you through my mentoring sessions - online or local in the Mid-Ohio Valley.  Just send me a message at mdbergum - at - esalibirth - dot - com.

So, I have something super exciting for all of you!  It's a new year and we're rolling out a new adventure.

This is a project, while recent in fruition, has a long history.  From the beginning, Esali Birth has been a way to connect modern families with basic approaches to birth by bringing simplicity and positivity into something that is normally portrayed as scary and complicated.  Connecting us to biological birth through modern methods.  The western culture has made birth complicated.  Let's stop that today... now... here.

I want to share with you something amazing.

The Baby Basket

The Baby Basket is a unique approach to childbirth prep that feeds the modern family's lifestyle while getting down to the nitty gritty of what birth prep really means.  Not only is it complete perinatal education, but you'll join a monthly subscription project box delivered right to your door.

First and foremost, you'll receive access to the Esali Birth Complete Online Birth Series that will walk you through the beginning stages of pregnancy, through birth and into postpartum and breastfeeding.  Complete Perinatal Education at your finger tips - anytime and anywhere - until your subscription is complete or you birth your baby (whichever comes later).

You'll also receive access to a monthly Q&A webinar with a Perinatal Mentor.

Here is what is really exciting and fresh.  Each month members will receive a project box in the mail that uplifts, energizes, and urges the mom, dad, and family to look at her pregnancy with positive eyes and be involved in her health and happiness.  Each box includes journal pages designed to add to a baby book, or personal scrap book, filled with reflection prompts for both mom and her birth partner.  She'll blend her own nourishing teas - learning an ancient tradition while getting her on a healthy path for parenting.  She'll partake in bonding activities to enhance the relationship with her birth partner which makes birth more calm and parenting more connected.  You'll make belly balms, a baby carrier, amber charms, and postpartum kits.  You'll partake in creating all the things you'll love as a mother for no more than a traditional independent birth class.

Each month will bring you more well-rounded emotional care that you need and the western culture lacks so much.  Some birth classes can even feel overwhelming with information and question answering that sometimes the most important relaxed activities are pushed to the side.

The Baby Box is balance.  It is the hands-on holistic childbirth education the western culture is missing.  In a modern format.

This is birth in our culture - self-made.

Multiple subscription options are available to help accommodate joining at various stages during your pregnancy as well as single project boxes that make amazing gifts.

photo from freedigitalphotos.net

In many cases, nausea may be the first sign of pregnancy.  While sometimes nausea comes on with fluctuating hormones, most of nausea is a protective measure against toxins and there is a lot we can do to prevent and soothe prenatal nausea.

REDUCE TOXINS FOR PRENATAL NAUSEA

Your liver must process all the toxins in your body, and your baby's body.  Your blood health is crucial to keeping you and baby healthy and thriving.  Your body tries to purge toxins through bowel movements, the skin, and in more extreme cases, through diarrhea and vomiting.  Eliminate (or significantly limit) synthetic foods, synthetic vitamins/supplements, unnatural and harsh cleaning products, and anything that makes it harder for your liver and digestive system to purge toxins that may harm your baby (or you).  In our modern culture, we are accustomed to ingesting and utilizing MANY toxins that should not be in, on, or around our body but are otherwise deemed as safe for consumption and use.  In the essential oil trend of the modern health movement, it is important to note that ingestion of any essential oil should be avoided unless under the direct care of a licensed aromatherapist, and really, essential oils are meant for aromatherapy.  However, even through diffusion, the constituents in these oils have to be processed by the liver and it can be very taxing on the liver to do so, especially when other internal and external toxins may already be heightened.  There are plenty of whole foods, whole herb, and lifestyle choices that can help you feel amazing for birth.  Stick to real, whole foods, eating all the natural colors of the rainbow, and a diet that is plant-centered with minimal and all natural beauty and cleaning products.

BALANCED NUTRITION FOR PRENATAL NAUSEA

Prior to conception we need to get our nutrition balanced, ensure we're living an active lifestyle, and include beneficial herbs in our daily routine through cooking and/or teas.  There is never a better time to get healthy than before we become pregnant.  Chances are, though, you're reading this and already pregnant and it is never too late to do a week food and lifestyle journal to see what you're really missing.  If you'd like some guidance, schedule pre-conception or early pregnancy Wellness Consult, take an Esali Birth Class, or join the FREE Birth Prep Course.

LEMONS FOR PRENATAL NAUSEA

After conception or when we start noticing nausea a great first step is storing a lot of fresh, organic, lemons.  Each morning start with a tall glass of water and a nice lemon squeezed in and drink up.  The tartness of the lemon not only soothes an upset stomach, the lemon helps to rid the body of toxins and increase heart health.  Avoid adding sweeteners as this can increase nausea.  You can also cut a wedge and suck on it anytime nausea strikes.  Vitamins A and C help to curb nausea feelings and boost the immune system to protect you and baby.

GINGER FOR PRENATAL NAUSEA

Whole, organic, ginger root aids digestion and helps reduce cramping and gas.  A thumbnail size piece of fresh ginger root in 1.5 cups of water, bring to a low simmer, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Sip slowly, about 1/4 cup every 30 minutes or so, or until the nausea subsides.
You can also make ginger candies with honey and water.  Mix 2 parts honey with 1 part water, add about 1/4 C of ginger root, chopped and bring to hard crack stage. Quickly pull out the ginger root and pour out on buttered glass or wax paper and cut into bite size pieces.  Roll in a little slippery elm powder and/or marshmallow root powder for a soothing treat to keep in your purse.

PROTEIN FOR PRENATAL NAUSEA

You'll want to be sure you're getting adequate protein and especially not overdoing high gluten and processed foods that slow digestion and increase nausea.  While it is common to be drawn to these types of comfort foods during this time, they will exacerbate the issue.  Stick with warm nourishing bone broth and miso soups which are light and filled with vitamins and minerals needed for you and your baby.  Don't overdo the meat and be sure you're getting started (or continuing) to eat dark leafy greens and a variety of colorful plant foods properly prepared (steaming vegetables where necessary to aid in digestion and nutrient assimilation).

HERBS FOR PRENATAL NAUSEA

Include herbs that help to safely rid the body of toxins and nourish the blood like milk thistle seed (incredible for improving the function of the liver - take about 1 tablespoon crushed up daily in salads or smoothies or nut balls), nettles & red raspberry leaf (2-3 cups daily of tea), yellow dock root, and dandelion root.  These dark greens are full of B vitamins which are another common remedy for nausea and should be a part of the daily routine.

SMALL MEALS FOR PRENATAL NAUSEA

Don't go too long without eating.  Eating small and easily digested meals will encourage smooth digestion and ease nausea.  Keep some nuts and granola on hand so you never go without a good source of protein and a small snack.  Likewise, be sure you're drinking enough water and walk in the fresh air to avoid feeling stagnant.

Many moms find that with a healthy diet (of whole, natural, and properly prepared foods that are balanced with many dark greens and nourishing vegetables) they experience little to no nausea.  Other mothers only experience nausea for a few weeks in the early stages.  The healthier you are and the more natural your diet is, the more likely you will be to not experience adverse effects of hormone changes and your body encouraging toxin release.

VITAMIN B6 FOR PRENATAL NAUSEA

Vitamin B6 is really important for digestion and metabolism, particular for harder to digest foods like protein, fats, and carbohydrates.  Getting enough Vitamin B6 during pregnancy when you're nauseous may be difficult because it is found higher in foods that often cause food aversions, like fish and organ meat, but you can also find this in dark leafy greens.  Nutritional Yeast is a great source of Vitamin B6, but be sure you read labels and only purchase types without synthetic additives including folic acid.  Eating a balanced diet prior to pregnancy, and after conception of course, can help to prevent nausea, but when you're in the middle of it, there are a few things you can do.

Improving digestion is key to preventing and healing nausea.  Eating lots of fruits and vegetables with healthy fats is beneficial, and Vitamin B6 is found in dark leafy greens, squash, and other non-citrus fruits.  If you can handle it, fish is an excellent go-to.  There are also Prenatal Vitamin B6 supplements (both natural and prescription) that can help for prenatal nausea as well.

BODYWORK FOR PRENATAL NAUSEA

Bodywork entails multiple methods of aligning the soft and hard tissues in the body.  When the body is aligned, the neurons can function well, and this correlates to your circulation and digestion - both which are imperative for removing toxins from the body.  Like many modern expecting mothers, you may have been prescribed a prenatal vitamin, usually full of many synthetic supplements including high amounts of iron.  Iron is highly constipating, which only exacerbates the issue.

The "I Love U" massage is wonderful for improving digestion and easy to do on yourself (and a great tool to have for your parenting bag); otherwise any licensed massage therapist should know this technique well.  Osteopathic manipulation and neuromuscular therapy gently helps the body to reconnect.  Massage, yoga, stretching, and even chiropractic care can be great as well (keep in mind though, chiropractic care is temporary and the soft tissue and lifestyle habits need to be adjusted for continued alignment).  Move well, walk well, and care for the soft tissues in your body for a full functioning, and less nausea.

REST FOR PRENATAL NAUSEA

Last but certainly not least, remember to rest!  While you need fresh air and an active lifestyle, you also need to listen to your body and get enough rest.  If you feel low on energy, let your body work on gestation and take a nap.  Learn to say no often and don't overbook your schedule.  Take some time to start reading some great books or start in a birth class.

For more information on staying healthy and preparing for a happy and healthy perinatal experience, take a local or online Esali Birth class!

photo from freedigitalphotos.net

Heartburn and indigestion in pregnancy is common.  Your digestion slows to allow better assimilation of nutrients, and your organs become a little compressed with the growing baby.  What we also need to understand is that many modern mothers also have stagnant digestion due to food selection and lifestyle.  Let's start there...

The key to fixing an ongoing problem is removing the initial source of complication.  Anything symptom relief is only that - symptom relief for in the moment.  Here are a few ways you can prevent and ease heartburn and indigestion:

  • Encourage digestion through daily food selection. Bitter foods, greens, balanced plant foods, and only a hint of meat will help digestion.  Don't overdo the dairy and certainly don't overdo dry foods.  Be sure you're drinking enough water, but not too much water with your meal.  Bone broths (stock), healthy fats, and properly prepared foods will help assimilate nutrients and move food through the body.
  • Encourage digestion through elimination.  Don't ignore the urge to have a bowel movement after every big meal or you'll increase constipation (increasing risks for hemorrhoids) and slow digestion overall causing stomach acids to overproduce.
  • Encourage digestion with posture.  A poor posture not only puts baby in a poor position and increases back pain, it also further compresses the GI tract hindering digestion.  Sit up tall, walk tall, add some Pilates and/or yoga into your daily routine.  Tailor sit and gently twist your body to the left and then to the right.  Get off your desk chair and use a stand up desk.  If you need to sit, sit with your knees below your hips.
  • Encourage digestion with activity.   Exercise encourages energy use and gets the body systems flowing.  Walk at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Discourage heartburn with neutralizing celery.  About 30 minutes before a meal, eat a rib or two of celery to neutralize stomach acids.
  • Discourage heartburn with a soothing herbal chai.  After your meal enjoy a warm cup of herbal (decaf) chai tea.  Chai is traditionally blended with herbs that encourage digestion and sooth the GI tract.  Talk with your local herbalist to select a chai blend for pregnancy.

Learn more about taking care of yourself and your baby throughout the perinatal stages in a local or online Esali Birth class!

Bottom line, remember that everyone has the birth they need for their own spiritual journey. There is a rhyme and reason for all things. Births are life changing for the mom and baby, and we all want this experience to be as healthy and happy as it can be – but ultimately, no matter how this plays out, this event is significant to challenge you in your faith and relationship with God. Maybe you are becoming a stronger mother, a more loving care giver, a more patient person, a more carefree individual, understanding for the next phase of your life, meeting someone that you’ll impact in the future… the reasons are endless. So, let’s join together in our advocacy and not fight with one another for the sake of which one has it right. They are all necessary – let’s just work to make birth normal again for everyone and the birth experience empowering.

Best Perinatal Articles

I’m consistently referencing a list full of articles that I find to be the most fascinating and helpful during the perinatal stages (on top of my blog, of course, lol). I wanted to start a list for myself, rather than just bookmarking, and decided a blog would be the best way to share this with others – and for future reference. I will continuously update this as I find new, impressive, articles – and if there are any that you love, please message those to me and I will review and add as I see fit! Enjoy and happy learning!

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