Pregnancy + Birth, Resources

Resources for Naturally Minded Pregnant Mommas

There is no shortage of advice about pregnancy, birth, post-partum, breastfeeding, and those early newborn days online. However, for naturally minded mommas, it can sometimes be difficult to find quality information that is in line with their ideals.

Below you will find an organized collection of articles written from a holistic & natural perspective on a variety of pregnancy, birth, and post-partum related topics — everything from remedies for morning sickness, to nourishing your body during pregnancy, to preparing for birth + post-partum, to herbs for breastfeeding, and so much more.

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Baby + Child, Pregnancy + Birth

A Deeper Look at Prenatal Ultrasounds

It’s easy to take prenatal ultrasounds for granted. They are such a deeply ingrained part of birth culture in Western medicine, that most women don’t even think twice about going in for several scans during the course of a pregnancy.

While routine ultrasounds are now considered a part of standard prenatal care in most developed countries, this technology is not as helpful, or benign as we have been led to believe. In her article, “Ultrasound Scans — Cause for Concern,” Dr. Sarah Buckley states, “Although ultrasound may sometimes be useful when specific problems are suspected, my conclusion is that it is at best ineffective and at worse dangerous when used as a ‘screening tool’ for every pregnant woman and her baby,” (2005).

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Pregnancy + Birth

Placentophagia: Eating Your Placenta

Photo Source: Monet Nicole
Updated February 27, 2022

“Placentophagia is not such an unusual behavior for most mammilian mothers in the perinatal period. Animals of all the mammilian groups […] most all will injest the placentas of their newborn young. Animals are not aware of the biochemical benefits, yet instinctually they find the placenta extremely palatable immediately after giving birth,” says midwife & author, Robin Lim (120).

There are many wise women, doulas, mothers, and midwives, like Lim, who believe in the benefits of placentophagy. However, there is also a lack of widely accepted scientific evidence proving these benefits. This being said, it is important to note that very little scientific research on placentophagy in humans exists.

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Baby + Child, Pregnancy + Birth

Honoring the Placenta After Birth

Photo Source: Tribe de Mama

Updated February 27, 2022

In most of the developed world, once a baby is delivered and their umbilical cord has been severed, the placenta, or “afterbirth,” is thoughtlessly disposed of as medical waste. However, many traditional cultures have beliefs and customs that honor the placenta and its important role in the bringing a child into the world.

“In Bali, for example, the placenta, or ari-ari, is said to live on in spirit as one of the child’s four siblings or guardian angels, which can be called on in times of need. A Balinese child greets his or her placenta on rising in the morning and prays to it for protection at night. Every new moon and full moon, and on each holy day, offerings are placed at the burial site of the placenta.

After death, the placenta is believed to accompany the soul of the deceased to heaven to testify as to whether the person fulfilled his or her duty in this lifetime,” says Dr. Sarah Buckley (191).

There are many different and beautiful ways to honor the placenta after birth. The following are a few ideas.

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Baby + Child, Pregnancy + Birth

Severing the Umbilical Cord: Preparing for your Baby’s Separation from their Placenta After Birth

Photo Credit: Monet Nicole
Updated February 28, 2022

The placenta plays a vital role in the well being of mom & baby throughout pregnancy and the immediate post-partum period. “During pregnancy and after birth, the placenta makes maternal and child survival possible. It provides for our nutritional needs and aids in our development. It acts as a barrier guarding us against harmful bacteria and most foreign molecules,” says midwife, Robin Lim [1].

After the birth, the baby and plancenta will eventually separate. There are several ways to go about this. I like the advice Lim gives in her book Placenta: the Forgotten Chakra. “Remember to choose what is the gentlest path that feels right for your family and the sweetest way you can imagine; your baby cannot choose, but depends on you to be wise” [1].

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Holistic Healing, Pregnancy + Birth

Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness

Updated February 28, 2022

Morning sickness is one of the most common issues that pregnant women deal with during their first trimester. For many women, morning sickness occurs anytime or is an all day problem, not just something they experience in the morning.

Herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar, explains, “a combination of factors, including sudden hormonal changes, shifting dietary needs, an insufficient amount of B vitamins, and/or low blood sugar, give rise to morning sickness. In particular, a rapid increase in the hormone chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) during the first few months of pregnancy is thought to be a cause of the complaint.”

Thankfully there are many safe natural remedies that can be helpful for easing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

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Baby + Child, Pregnancy + Birth, Resources

My Favorite Books About Pregnancy, Childbirth, & Post-partum

Photo Credit: Milk and Hannah

Updated March 1, 2022

When you’re pregnant for the first time, it can be really hard to know what to expect over the next several months of pregnancy, during the birth, and once you are responsible for raising a newborn. Even if you’ve had a child before, every pregnancy and baby are different, so you may be having new issues this time around or you may want to be better prepared for this birth.

Thankfully there are plenty of excellent resources to help be more informed about your pregnancy, more educated about your options for birth, and better prepared to raise your baby.

Below are some of my favorite books for pregnant and new mommas. Get ahold of some of these books in early pregnancy so that anytime your body is telling you to slow down and take it easy, you have some reading material on hand.

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Baby + Child, Pregnancy + Birth

Herbs to Promote Breastfeeding

Photo Credit: Milk and Hannah

Updated March 1, 2022

Herbs are a natural, gentle way to support and nourish a breastfeeding mom and baby. Certain herbs, called galactagogues, actually help to encourage and increase breast milk. Many of these plants also provide essential vitamins and minerals to help keep mom healthy and relaxed through the stresses of breastfeeding and infant care.

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Pregnancy + Birth

Herbs for Childbirth

My daughter & I, shortly after she was born

Updated March 2, 2022

Herbs are a safe, natural way to support new moms emotionally and physically during labor. If you plan on having a natural childbirth, or just want to reduce the medications that your infant is exposed to during the birthing process, herbs are a great, effective alternative to pharmaceuticals.

The last few weeks of pregnancy are a great time to start putting together your herbal birthing kit. Having everything in order can help set your mind at ease as your due date approaches. The following preparations are helpful to have on hand for a smooth, natural child birth.

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