Motherhood

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When I became pregnant with my first child a sense of panic washed over me. I am now responsible for growing another human! Pregnancy perfection became my mantra as I took a long hard look at everything I put into or onto my body. All of the junk and toxic chemicals had to go!

Next, I dove down the internet rabbit hole of information overload, only to come out even more confused. So much information to sort through, which is the correct blog post or ebook to follow? So, I started reading books recommended by my crunchy Mama friends and soon I started to get some real direction.

Now after having four amazing natural births, I want to help others navigate all of the information too. I have a close group of friends who are crunchy like me and they have been an amazing support and source of information! I wanted to put the “best of” on one page so other Mama’s and Mama’s-to-be would have resources right at their fingertips.

If you want to see one of my births, check out My All Natural Hospital Birth

*Update to this page: I suffered a loss of a 4th pregnancy and decided to share my story HERE. I want everyone who has suffered a loss to know that my heart goes out to you Mama, you are not alone in your grief. Love yourself.

Important Info

Before I dive into all of my favorite tips/tricks/finds/favorites, I want to give to give you a checklist to start with, to make things easier!

1. Follow my Real Food Pregnancy Pinterest Board

2. Check out these birth courses, that REALLY helped me to have the natural births that I dreamed of:

✿ First Course: A natural birth online course that my friend Genevieve over at Mama Natural put together. Let me tell you, she is amazing! Her birth program is amazing! Everyone needs to take her course!

  • Here is what her course is all about: Over the course of eight classes (that you can watch as quickly or as slowly as you like), we walk you through the entire process of preparing for a natural childbirth. From the initial reality check of what a natural birth looks like (hint: it’s not like the movies), all the way through newborn care, breastfeeding, and placenta encapsulation (if that’s your thing).

✿ Second Course: Another natural birth course that focuses a lot on the preparation for birth through movement, breath, relaxation, and the whole mental game. The course was created by another crunchy nurse too! The course is called Kopa Birth.

  • Here is what her course is all about: We believe that for most women and under most circumstances, natural childbirth is the safest way to have a baby. With this in mind, Kopa Birth instructors are committed to providing couples with the coping tools and communication skills they need to achieve an empowering birth experience. This includes the knowledge to make informed decisions about their birth and guidance to build a relationship of mutual trust with their doctor or midwife.
  • This one really helped me set a game plan for labor! GO HERE to learn more.

✿ Third Course: this one is for strength and body mechanics for birth! I did this program throughout my 4th pregnancy and I really think it helped keep my hips and pelvis in good working order for an easy natural birth! The course is called One Strong Mama

  • Here is what her course is all about: Enter your guess date (the word we use for estimated due date!) in and the program automatically gives you content relevant to where you are in the journey. In addition to the exercise videos, mamas get to learn about everything from pelvic floor and core to back pain and SPD. We also have you covered no matter what type of birth you have planned with our Beautiful Birth section.
  • Keep the core strong, and your entire body functions better! GO HERE to learn more.

✿ Fourth Course: this one is also for strength, but it focuses on the core and pelvic floor. I had diastasis recti after my births bad, I mean really really BAD! I tried to correct it myself with strength training and yoga, but found out I was doing it all wrong and actually making things worse! A blogger friend of mine recommended MuTu, saying it was the only thing that worked for her. So I gave it a go!

  • Here is what her course is all about: you will start to feel the difference after 4 modules and really start to see changes within 6-8 modules, provided you are following all the program guidelines mindfully and consistently. The support forum will help you stay motivated and on track.
  • GO HERE to learn more. They also have a free pdf with more info HERE
Let’s first start with nutrition during pregnancy, because this is the foundation. You cannot make a healthy baby if you don’t put healthy foods into your body! You and your baby literally are what YOU eat! Grab these books and start reading. There are also recipes further down the page. If you need help actually finding some of these healthy foods at affordable prices, If you need help actually finding some of these healthy foods at affordable prices, HERE is my favorite healthy online shopping resource that is catered specifically to Moms! They have the absolute best prices around (believe me, I have checked many times!) plus free shipping!!!

Click on the images and links below to learn more.

Nutrition to Grow Healthy Babies

The Ultimate Guide

Detoxing Your Life and Your Home

 

Next, it’s time to get rid of the chemicals that you put onto your body. Your little one soaks these right up! Studies have shown that babies are born with over 200 chemicals in their cord blood. That’s alarming! So, I started making my own stuff. You can find my recipes HERE.  I also threw out all of my makeup that is filled with so many bad ingredients! I did my homework on this one because I had tried the “natural” make ups and they didn’t work as well.

I started a Safe Skin Care Facebook Group where we talk about this in great detail and offer solutions, you can join the group HERE.

 I started making my own cleaning products too. Everything went into the trash and I basically started to clean with three things: vinegar, baking soda, and coconut oil! You can find my DIY recipes HERE. You can also get the step by step on removing the toxins in my book “Detox Your Life

Great Guides to Detox Your Home of Toxic Chemicals

Detox Your Home Guide

Another great natural guide

Navigating Pregnancy & Labor

First, there are a few essential items that I could not have survived pregnancy without:

  • Pregnancy pillow — this is the only way I could sleep at night!
  • Belly band — you won’t need to buy pregnancy pants if you have this, just unzip your regular pants and use this over top!
  • Pregnancy belt  — I wore this every morning on my run, without it I would not have been able to run my entire pregnancy
  • Labor ball — when your hips hurt, bounce on this and miracles will happen
  • Cozy Bump — so you can lay on your stomach, oh sweet relief!!!

Here are the posts that I highly recommend reading:

For Labor:

First, pack your suitcase early so you are prepared. When labor starts you can easily forget important things. I pack two bags: one suitcase for everything I need to stay overnight in the hospital, and one bag that is strictly for labor — all the essentials! Here is what I packed:

Labor bag: 

  • Homeopathic remedies (I packed everything that Genevieve recommended for labor in her amazing book)
  • Tennis balls for my husband to use on my lower back to ease labor pains. I put them in an old pair of pantyhose and tied them together like this
  • Gentle Babies book along with an entire case of essential oils. My favorite oils for labor: lavender, clary sage, valor, peace and calming, and ylang ylang
  • An oversized scarf to use as a rebozo in labor
  • My birth plan
  • Hair clips and binders
  • A strapless bra top that I wear for every labor. Easy for immediate nursing, but keeps me covered during the labor.

Suitcase: 

  • Pajamas
  • Clothes to wear home
  • Essential oil diffuser 
  • Baby book to write in, we always get these baby books because they are so beautiful! I also bring a journal to write to my babies in
  • Slippers with grip on the bottom
  • Chocolates for the nurses, ALWAYS treat your nurses well
  • Large comfortable underware
  • Pads for you, diapers for baby
  • Baby’s outfit to wear home, plus blankets and hats if it’s cold outside
  • CARSEAT! You can’t leave the hospital without this!
  • Toiletries, makeup, brush, blow dryer, glasses
  • Sleep mask
  • Your pillow
  • Nursing bras, nursing pads, and nursing shirts

Postpartum

Postpartum is a magical time and also very terrifying! You are now responsible for a little human who is completely dependent on you! Not to worry, your instincts will kick in. But, it can’t hurt to be prepared. I learned so much from these books and still reference them regularly. I highly recommend reading them BEFORE baby arrives though. This way you will not be scrambling for information if you run into issues with breastfeeding or making decisions about vaccinations when they are new and you are tired and sleep deprived!

Books About Caring For Your Baby

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding

Vaccines

Here is my list of must have items for when your little bundle arrives:

  • Moby wrap — definitely my favorite wrap for new babies, it keeps them snuggly and warm, while you can be hands-free
  • Ergo Carrier — this can be used from newborn up to toddler. We used the Moby first and then graduated to the Ergo
  • Witch hazel — squirt this on a maxi pad and put it into the freezer. Voila! Padsicle. Put this in your undies for your first few days postpartum. It helps with bruising, pain, and bleeding. These are nothing short of a miracle! I also bought Claraderm spray that I used on the girl parts. Another miracle! You can order that HERE
  • Co-sleeper — the easiest way to sleep with your baby, without the fear of rolling over on them. This makes night feedings a breeze, you will get so much more sleep this way!
  • Coconut oil — I used it on everything from cracked nipples to circumcision incisions. So gentle, and also helps heal tissue!
  • Nursing pads — if you plan to breastfeed, there will be milk everywhere. You will leak. These little pads help you out, they also serve as quick clean up wipes if someone should spit up a little. They go in your bra.
  • Cloth diapers — outside of being used as a diaper, these come in handy for so many things.
  • The Baby Susher — this amazing little gadget shushes your baby to sleep. It’s pretty awesome!

If you want to try samples of a ton of different “crunchy” mom and baby items, I HIGHLY recommend getting your hands on monthly Ecocentric Mom boxes! Each month you get to try out new items for yourself and for baby. I have learned about so many different products via my monthly boxes! Check them out HERE

Here are some great posts to read:

Here are some of the DIY recipes and remedies that I make:

Troubleshooting

I can’t tell you how many messages and emails I have gotten from Mama’s who are having difficulty breastfeeding and are ready to give up. No, don’t give up! Troubleshoot. I have some of the most resourceful friends on the planet, and let me tell you, they seriously know how to navigate motherhood and all of it’s up’s and down’s. Here are some of their best resources.

Breastfeeding:

Sleep:

Caring for Your Newborn:

Shopping For Baby

  • Safe Mama
  • Thrive Market — we order tons of stuff here because the prices are very competitive and, let’s face it, heading to the store can be a total nightmare with kids. This comes right to my door with free shipping! CLICK HERE to shop their “Mom” category!
  • Perfect Supplements — we get our crazy crunchy supplements here, things like fermented cod liver oil and desiccated liver. They were even nice enough to put together a “Family Basics” package for my readers. If you use coupon code: REALFOOD10 at checkout, you will get 10% off your entire order too!

Recipes for Real Food

(pregnancy, all the way up to first foods)

 

Foods for Mama when growing a baby

Real Food for busy Mama’s (if you need help with meal planning, go HERE)

Breastfeeding recipes (lactogenic foods)

First foods (the books I listed above go into this in detail too)

Click HERE to pin this page.

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Detox Your Life

In this step-by-step guide you'll learn exactly what common household products contain harmful toxins and how you can replace them with effective, safer, and chemical-free alternatives!

Includes Effective & Toxin-Free DIY Recipes for:

Baby and Kid Products

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Laundry Detergents

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Multi-Purpose Cleaners

I am an RN, not an MD. The information on this blog is not intended to be taken as medical advice. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. You can find out more in my Terms of Use & Disclosure.