Questions to ask potential Care Providers
This is a nice list to start with (you can add and subtract and edit questions depending on your situation).
Here’s a helpful discussion of red flags to look out for in an out-of-hospital midwife.
And here is a helpful list of red flags to look out for if you have an in-hospital care provider.
If you’re interested in delving more into the research on out-of-hospital birth, you might want to check out these studies:
Pregnancy Week-by-week Guides
The Spinning Babies week-by-week guide has great tips for stretches, exercises, posture, etc. during pregnancy as well as a brief update on the baby’s development. Two drawbacks are that the number of exercises they recommend can be quite overwhelming and there are one or two off-hand remarks about pregnancy nausea that aren’t very sensitive to those struggling with it. So read this guide with a grain of salt! Pick and choose exercises. Don’t try to do everything!
Babycenter’s week-by-week guide has more information than Spinning Babies about how your baby is developing and what’s going on in your body. It also has beautiful images.
Minimizing Pregnancy Nausea
A few thoughts to keep in mind if you’re struggling with the discouragement of pregnancy nausea:
- “There might be things I have not yet tried that could help me feel better.” One of my friends got a tip from her midwife that helped her “800% better”. You never know when you’ll discover that tip.
- “This won’t last forever: at some point, it will be over.” Many women start to feel better by weeks 14-16. Some even start feeling better before that. And even if 14-16 weeks feels a long way away, or you think you might be one of the small percentages of women that feel sick all the way through pregnancy, remind yourself that no matter what, one day it will be completely over. Also, a lot of women have a pattern with a certain time of day when they typically feel better. If that’s you, whenever you feel discouraged, remind yourself that you’ll feel better in the morning or in the evening or after the next time you throw up or whatever time you typically feel best.
- Hold your friends’ babies as often as you can. This may do wonders for your morale.
Here is a list of everything anyone has ever told me helped their pregnancy nausea. It’s not an exhaustive list so keep asking friends and browsing Google for more ideas. You’ll notice some of the tips are the polar opposite of each other. You never know what might help you!
- Have a few nibbles of a cracker up to one cracker before getting out of bed in the morning (despite REALLY not feeling like it)
- Have only liquids for as long as you can stand it in the morning before eating something solid
- Never eat more than 200-300 calories, spaced at least 2 hours apart
- Separate liquid and solid consumption by at least 20 minutes
- Go and hang your head over a toilet whenever you feel like throwing up and letting yourself throw up if your body wants to
- Chew gum whenever you’re not eating/drinking/sleeping to help yourself burp. Here is a brand that has no sorbitol or aspartame (xylitol has been shown in some preliminary studies to be good in pregnancy because it is good for your teeth)
- Let yourself burp a lot during and after food and drink
- Drink sparkling drinks to help you burp
- Eat foods that seem sometimes to soothe nausea: mashed potatoes, rice, toast, yogurt, kefir, ice cream, smoothies, milkshakes, chocolate milk
- Make sure you have protein each time you eat
- Don’t worry about protein and just eat what sounds good in the moment
- Never drink more than 1/2 glass of liquid at a time, even when very thirsty
- Try acupressure, an acupressure bracelet or acupuncture
- Ginger tea, ginger chews, ginger ale, ginger powder
- Vitamin B6: try taking one 10 or 25 mg capsule each time you eat (be careful not to take too much total per day – consult with your care practitioner about a good upper limit)
- Get up and move
- Lie down for a bit
- Try this prenatal yoga video which is specifically designed to get you moving and your body feeling better without activating nausea/heartburn
- Suck on popsicles to help you stay hydrated
- Magnesium has apparently cured some mothers of pregnancy nausea altogether because they didn’t know they were deficient
- Talk with your care provider about the benefits and risks of over-the-counter or prescription medications that can help with pregnancy nausea
- Birthing Instincts has an episode on managing nausea. They start talking about nausea 41 minutes into the episode. Here are some of the tips they talk about:
- If prenatal vitamins make things worse, you could try swapping them for Seeking Health’s prenatal protein powder
- Homeopathic remedies take into account the specifics of the different types of pregnancy nausea mothers experience
- Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
- Chewable papaya enzymes (if you suspect your nausea is related to your body having difficulty digesting, try these out)
- Get fresh air
- Avoid sudden movements
- Drink a little bit of something warm before eating
- Sip lemon water throughout the day
- Let me know if you have heard or found any other things helpful!
Optimal Fetal Position/Feeling More Comfortable During Pregnancy
- The A.M. prenatal routine (part 1 and part 2) lasts 40 minutes and is a nice combination of opening, relaxing, stretching, and working muscles.
- This 15-minute prenatal routine is less of a workout but still feels great.
Spinning Babies has three main exercises called “The Three Sisters of Balance”. Make sure to note how often they are recommended and read through when it is NOT a good idea to use these exercises before you try them:
- The jiggle OR rebozo sifting with a partner.
- The forward-leaning inversion.
- The side-lying release with a partner.
Spinning Babies’ tips for resting smart.
Spinning Babies’ daily activities.
Spinning Babies’ weekly activities.
Prenatal Bellydance lesson. Note: be gentle with your hips while pregnant – your joints are more limber so it’s easier to overdo it. You’ll know you have overdone it if your hips feel uncomfortably sore a few hours later or the next day.
Another fun Bellydance lesson (not prenatal, but prenatal friendly). See the note above about how and why to be gentle with hip movements while pregnant.
Nutrition during Pregnancy
Ask your care provider for coaching in nutrition. In the meantime, Spinning Babies has some pregnancy nutrition tips.
Preparing for Labor/Useful Info on just about Everything
Birthing Instincts Podcasts (note: they usually begin talking about the episode topic about 30 minutes into the podcast)
Comfort/Coping During Labor
Book: Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition by Susan McCutcheon
Book: The Birth Partner 5th Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Partners, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin (Note: this book, especially the part that walks you through how you might feel during each phase of labor, is also helpful for expectant moms to read!)
Anxiety About Birth and/or Processing Emotions from a Previous Birth
Book: Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by Pam England
Four Sermons on the Unique Calling, Curse & Victory of Women:
Book: Healing from a Homebirth Cesarean: A companion workbook for any mother whose planned out-of-hospital birth ended in the operating room by Courtney Key Jarecki (This book is useful for anyone who has had a Cesarean, even if you originally planned to have your baby in the hospital!)
Book: Becoming a Calm Mom: How to Manage Stress and Enjoy the First Year of Motherhood by Deborah Roth Ledley
Book: The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother by Heng Ou
Five Lectures on Ecclesiastes:
Mama Natural’s article How to Find a Lactation Consultant (and Why You’d Want To)
Book: Holding On to Hope: A Pathway through Suffering to the Heart of God by Nancy Guthrie
Book: An Uplifting for the Downcast by William Bridge
A sermon on David’s confidence that his child who died on the seventh day was with the Lord.
A sermon on covenant children in the Scripture.