Ohh, the many joys of being pregnant, where do I even begin? There’s so much to love about growing a tiny human! Everything from feeling more feminine, confident, grounded, and, of course, the undeniable pregnancy glow!✨ But then there’s the not-so-fun parts of being pregnant, like, when you can’t seem to hold down food for the first three months, insomnia, mood swings, swelling, constipation, unexpected medical scares, shall I go on? Pregnancy is serious work, which is why pregnancy self care is vital!
One word, in particular, comes to mind when I think about pregnancy, and that is intentionality. These nine months are all about being intentional in everyday choices, which leads me to write a post about pregnancy self care items, resources, and techniques that nourish mama’s mind, body, and soul. So grab a warm cup of raspberry leaf tea, and let’s talk pregnancy self care! ❤️
Vitanica Maternal Symmetry, Prenatal Vitamins: Okay, I love this prenatal vitamin blend! I first heard about it on a birth podcast and then again from my midwives at the birth center I was attending. It has the highest quality nutrients and vitamins for you and your growing baby!
Floradix Iron and Vitamins: Most mama’s need to consume more iron than usual during pregnancy. I recommend not waiting until your test results show low iron, and instead, just up your iron game as soon as you find out you are pregnant! This product is a high-quality iron source. It comes in liquid form. You can find it at just about any local health food store. The cheapest place I found this product was at Sprouts Farmers Market. They always seem to have it on sale!
Tip: Pair iron with orange juice 30 minutes before meals (2x daily) to help your body absorb the iron more effectively.
PROBIOTICS: Gotta love gut health! Probiotics balance the good with the bad and improve our digestive and immune systems. I’m a huge proponent of probiotics! #morningroutine
MAGNESIUM: Wonderful mineral for muscle relaxation and your nervous system. It helps with insomnia too!
COD LIVER: If you ask your grandmother, she will probably tell you she took cod liver during pregnancy. It was the trendy and advisable thing to do back in the day. It’s known for helping a baby’s developing brain. I took Cod Liver during the second trimester of my pregnancy as I was way too nauseous in the first trimester to hold down anything, let alone cod liver.
PLANT-BASED COLLAGEN (GARDEN OF LIFE BRAND): Collagen is a great nutrient to integrate into your diet, whether you are pregnant or not, but especially if you are pregnant because your skin will be expanding. Collagen supports skin elasticity, hair/nail growth, healthy joints, ligaments, mobility, and flexibility in tendons & tissues. I add collagen to my smoothies and oatmeal. There are all sorts of flavors to choose from.
Raspberry Leaf Tea: Ohhh, the beloved Raspberry Leaf Tea! Straight from mother earth made for mothers! I began drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea at the beginning of the second trimester (medical professionals do not recommend it during the first trimester). I made giant batches of this tea and stored it in a mason jar in the fridge, and sipped on it throughout the warm summer days. Mom’s swear by this tea to help with labor and delivery, and I will say my delivery went pretty smooth, so maybe the tea had something to do with it! 😉
Aurora Organic Pitted Prunes: I eat three prunes every morning to help with inevitable pregnancy constipation. A friend of mine got me hooked on this brand of Prunes. They sell it at whole foods and amazon.
Anti-Nausea Wristband: These bands are a lifesaver, seriously!! I wore my wristbands everywhere during the first trimester to ease the morning sickness.
Earth Science Unscented Shampoo and Conditioner: Certain smells (especially garlic and onions) always had me running for the nearest bathroom. Also, strangely enough, the scent of shampoo and conditioner made me queasy! That’s why I love this brand of shampoo and conditioner because it is UNSCENTED and just the best! I use it all the time (pregnant or not), and it’s super affordable!!! I initially found it at my local health food market, but I’m pleased to see they sell it on amazon, too!
Ginger Tea: I grate fresh ginger and put it in these cute little sachets and then let the ginger steep in hot water. Ginger helps with digestion and nausea, so it’s a double win for pregnant mamas. You don’t need to peel the skin off of the ginger. You can simply rinse and grate the ginger as is and put a handful in the sachet.
Excellent Reads & Resources During Pregnancy
The Mama Natural Week by Week Guide Book: I read this book religiously every week! I wanted to know every new milestone my little one was conquering inside, as well as how best to take care of the two of us. This book has a holistic approach to pregnancy which I deeply appreciate. I also adore the birth affirmations on each page. 🙂
Ina May Guide to Child Birth: Ina May’s books truly comforted my anxieties and fears around giving birth. The text is full of rich birth stories and insights about labor and delivery. I read 1-2 birth stories every night before going to bed, which solidified for me that birth was a natural and normal process that women are designed to do!
Spiritual Midwifery: This book was the first book Ina May wrote. I almost enjoyed it more than the Ina May Guide to Child Birth because of its rawness. It was written in 1976, but everything feels 100% relevant to today. I love that the author doesn’t conceal any truths or knowledge around the birthing process. The birth stories are written in a very matter-of-fact way about the birthing process, with hints of blissfulness and magic behind each woman’s unique birth story.
The Birthful Podcast: You’ve probably heard me talk about this podcast in several other posts, but it honestly changed the course of my whole pregnancy and guided me through the journey of having a home birth. It helped ease my anxieties around natural birth and equipped me with so many resources and tools to feel safe going into labor and delivery. I highly recommend this podcast!
Spinning Babies Website: I enjoy this website and all the daily exercises! They have many great activities to help the baby get into the proper position for birth. My baby was in a breech position, but I started incorporating these daily exercises, and the baby turned into the appropriate position by the beginning of my third trimester.
Additional Helpful Resources For Mamas
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding Book: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding was my breastfeeding bible in the beginning days! My only regret is not reading it during pregnancy. I was so unprepared for all the demands of breastfeeding, but this book saved me!
Tip: If I could give a pregnant mom two suggestions, I would say, start doing your research on breastfeeding early on, like now. And second, find a lactation consultant in your area and put her number on speed dial so that if latching difficulties occur with the baby, you are one call away from getting assistance.
The Whole-Brain Child Book: I didn’t discover this book until after giving birth to Naomi. It was one of my assigned books in a Child and Adolescent Counseling class during my master’s program, but HOLY MOLY, the book is so freaking good!!! I wish and desire every mama to read The Whole-Brain Child book. The authors explain everything about our little one’s brain, its various functions, and how best to support them when dysregulated. What I gleaned most from this book was the in-depth explanation of the brain’s right hemisphere (emotion) vs. left hemisphere (logic) and how to help our children integrate the two hemispheres through everyday experiences.
Pregnancy Self Care Products
Labor/Yoga Ball: I worked up until the last few days before giving birth (not something I’m proud of), and lemme tell ya, this yoga ball helped a ton! I used it for different pregnancy exercises as well as a chair. Using a yoga ball as a chair is great for sedentary jobs.
Clary Sage Essential Oil: I looooove me some Clary Sage! I am reminded of giving birth to my precious Naomi every time I smell it. Clary Sage is known for helping mama’s transition to labor and helping them feel grounded.
Badger – Pregnant Belly Oil, Rose & Vanilla: I lathered myself up in this gorgeous oil every night. It was my way of feeling connected to myself and the baby. This practice was less about preventing stretch marks and more about taking care of myself and feeling centered.
NOSE STRIPS: This may be just a “me-problem” but I had difficulty breathing out of my nose at night when pregnant. My midwife recommended nose strips, and sure enough, they did the trick! I rocked dem nose strips every night (sorry husband for killing the mood)! I found some nice ones at rite aid.
Stitch Fix: Not gonna lie, I struggled with finding things to wear throughout my pregnancy. I was so glad when I discovered that Stitch Fix had a maternity line. Some of the most adorable and comfy clothes I’ve purchased are from Stitch Fix. It’s a little pricey, but it’s quality, nonetheless.
Pregnancy Self Care Techniques
BIRTH AFFIRMATIONS: Throughout my Pregnancy, I collected birth affirmations, wrote them out on little heart-shaped pieces of paper, and hung them up on string lights around the birthing space in our home. These affirmations were reminders that everything would be okay and that giving birth was something I was made to do! ❤️
PREGNANCY JOURNAL: I journaled every morning about my anxieties, concerns, and my aha moments! I wrote letters to my baby, and I just allowed my thoughts to spill out onto the pages unapologetically. It was my mini therapy session each morning so that I could move through my day with less junk in my brain. I call it my “Morning Pages” (adopted this practice from The Artist Way book). Journaling can help prepare the heart for motherhood.
HYPNOBIRTHING: Now this is a little woo woo, I know, but youtube has some rather cool hypnobirthing soundtracks to prepare your mind for labor and birth. I even found some faith-based ones (obviously less Hypno woo woo, and more deep relaxation and intentionality) Either way, find what works for you to get in the right headspace.
PRENATAL YOGA: You can search Youtube for prenatal yoga by trimester. But I’d say doing some intuitive yoga stretching (especially outside) is the best! That’s where I feel most connected and integrated.
Tip: Take off your shoes and let your bare feet touch the dirt, sand, or grass. This is a fabulous grounding activity for your mind, body, and soul!
More Ideas for Pregnancy Self Care
I hope you incorporate some of these self-care practices and feel deeply connected to yourself and your baby within! I’d love to hear any pregnancy favorites you have! Please share in the comments below so all mama readers can benefit.
Written with love,