Let’s face it: if you’re choosing to go the holistic route, the journey through a healthy pregnancy and motherhood can feel isolating. It can feel like everyone else is going the traditional medicine route and you’re all alone! I’m here to tell you don’t worry – you’re not alone. There are so many people who choose to live a more natural lifestyle and you can find them right here on the internet! I’m going to guide you through everything you need to know for a happy and healthy pregnancy & into motherhood – the holistic way. These tips aren’t only for when you’re pregnant, however: use them into motherhood to continue seeing benefits!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice.
Why Choose an Unmedicated Birth?
Holistic pregnancy aims to have the healthiest, most natural embryo-to-birth-through-childhood experience while avoiding the use of unnecessary technology and medicines. The overall goal here is to make sure mama and baby have the best possible health and wellbeing from day one of pregnancy to the day baby is finally here! Traditional medicines have side effects and a lot of times are completely unnecessary. Western medicine intervenes in births much more frequently than is actually necessary.
Many women have been led to believe they won’t be able to give birth without an epidural. Whether you’ve seen it on a tv show or your Aunt Sally has told you her horror story about how shed “would have died”…I get it. Medicine is absolutely necessary sometimes. But let’s talk about the majority of the time when it’s not necessary. I’ve had three natural births myself & I wouldn’t do it any other way. Want more proof? You can read my natural birth story of my son Grayson here.
Finding a Midwife
Choosing your midwife is one of the most important things you can do! I have an entire blog post dedicated to questions to ask your midwife or OB here. The goal is to ensure that you are going to get the care that you desire for you and your baby. With many mothers wanting a more natural healthy pregnancy and birth experience, some OBs or Midwives will lead you to believe that the care you’re expecting is standard. Be sure to ask specific questions and not just assume that they will do everything you want them to do.
I highly recommend grabbing my pregnancy journal that I hand-designed for a healthy pregnancy. This is going to give you the opportunity to check boxes every single day to make sure you’re getting the correct dietary needs, water intake, supplements, movement, mindfulness, etc. I wish I had this when I was pregnant, so I created my own! Write down everything you eat throughout the day so you can be more aware of what you’re eating. I quickly realized that I wasn’t getting enough protein and I actually wasn’t eating enough. When you’re a pregnant mama who already has a toddler running around, it can become hard to find time to eat. Actually scheduling things, documenting them and checking them off of a to-do list became extremely helpful.
Creating a Plan
Take the time to research birthing centers in your area. Take time to research what procedures you’ll allow during birth, during well visits and thereafter. Research what you will do in the case of sickness. Make sure you are well versed in breastfeeding, homeopathy and holistic pain relief options.
But Aren’t Unmedicated Births Painful?
This is a myth and we are stopping it dead in its tracks right here! You can have a (mostly) comfortable pregancy without medication. Everyone’s perception of being pregnant is “being uncomfortable” and everyone’s perception of being a mom is “being stressed”. But it doesn’t have to be. Find your peace. I read a quote somewhere that said “A home without peace is the ultimate prison.” and I felt that in my core.
There are ways to reduce pain without turning to traditional medicines – one thing that helped me tremendously in my home birth was the Jovi patch. I also recommend acupuncture, massage, and a light exercise plan recommended to you by your doctor and midwife.
There is evidence that choosing holistic pain management options lead to quicker recovery for mom, less chance of exposure to dangerous side effects for both mom and baby, and increased readiness for breastfeeding. And not only the way you physically feel about having no side effects, but the way you are mentally equipped to take care of baby due to a quicker recovery.
Improved Postpartum Mental Health
When I had Grayson (my second unmedicated birth), I was so overwhelmed by the switch from one to two kids, so I started to experience postpartum anxiety. I would feel like my stomach was in knots and I was dizzy and so overwhelmed all the time. It was really then that I decided to take my mental health by the horns, the holistic way. So many who are experiencing postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression are told that there is no other way to cope with it than using prescribed drugs. While, yes, that is great for some people, but I want you to know that you can totally handle it in a holistic way as well.
Anxiety Regimen for Holistic Motherhood and Postpartum
Here is the regimen that I followed after doing deep research into healthy pregnancy and healthy postpartum habits:
- Young Living Essential Oils: I saved all the oils I use for anxiety regularly here
- GABA supplement. My midwife recommended this to me. It’s essentially the natural, herbal version of what you’d get prescribed to you. This is otally safe to take while nursing (note: this is not medical advice)
- Take 5 minutes of time to yourself to have silence. Believe me, I know this is easier said than done. I’m not sure if I get 5 minutes to myself in an entire day unless I intentionally make an effort and carve out the time. My recommendation is to wait until everyone is sleeping or occupied and then close your eyes and take your time to breathe.
- Diaphragmatic breathing. Did you know that when you inhale with your diaphragm, it actually activates a portion of your body that reduces stress in the brain?
- Practice gratitude.
Vitamins and Supplements
I’m a huge advocate for vitamins and supplements all the time, but they’re especially important when you’re pregnant! Like you should do with anything you put in your body, please thoroughly research products before taking them and consult with your doctor. Everything that I’ve taken has been thoroughly researched and recommended by multiple midwives. Read my deep-dive into prenatal vitamins and supplements here.
It’s super important to focus on healthy pregnancy snacks and beyond, but you can’t guarantee that you’ll get everything you need every single day. This is why I take supplements. Remember, this is to supplement a healthy diet, not to replace it. These are the supplements I take regularly for a holistic, whole foods approach. I have a few brands that I’m loyal to for their small batch, purity standards and organic practices. It’s just an extra perk that they’re all small businesses. If something is out of stock, you can usually find a good replacement on one of these other brands’ websites.
Perfect Supplements (KAIT10 for 10% off)
Smidge Supplements (KAIT10 for 10$ off)
My Supplement Regimen
Beef Liver Capsules from any of the above brands. At Paleo Valley, it’s called “Organ Complex”.
Evening Magnesium: We want to take multiple forms of magnesium throughout the day to have optimum levels. Magnesium is responsible for over 300 functions in the body to keep things running smoothly & these two blends do just that.
NAC (this is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown in peer reviewed studies to prevent cancer and improve many other functions in the body). This is a perfect supplement for a healthy pregnancy.
Collagen Powder (from Perfect Supps above): I typically get my collagen powder in my morning coffee or I make bone broth hot chocolate for my mid-afternoon sweet craving.
MCT Oil (from Perfect Supps above): MCT oil supports healthy body fat/weight loss and evensupports cognitive health (think alzheimers and parkinsons prevention). It can help manage diabetes, promotes cardiovascular health and so much more.
Healthy Pregnancy Snacks
- Greek yogurt and fruit
- Eggs and toast
- Avocado toast – here’s a tip to level up your avocado toast!
- Bone broth hot chocolate
- Whole food meat sticks from Paleo Valley
- Perfect Bars
- Apple and almond butter
Find a Holistic Community
It’s funny because when I first got pregnant and made the decision to have a healthy pregnancy and holistic motherhood, I had no idea where to look. I had no idea that there was a huge community of other mothers out there like me. They wanted the best for their children and their family and refused to believe that Western Medicine was the only way. I have found community on Facebook in multiple facebook groups. Go search and type in something like “crunchy” or “holistic pregnancy” and you’ll find plenty of mamas.
There is also the “freedom keepers” community of mamas who are extremely holistic and focus on root cause & immune system support during these crazy times. Finding a local community is more important than ever in the times we’re living in. You want to know that if you have a question or a concern, that you have someone to ask. Where would you go if you needed help? Who would you ask for local recommendations for milk, farmers, herbal remedies, etc? What would you do if you needed community?
Build your holistic motherhood and healthy pregnancy community deep and wide. Make friends. Make connections. In the long run, going to the grocery store for the immediate source of food and necessities isn’t going to be sustainable. We need to make community & care for each other as much as we can! The effort starts with you. Send that text, make that friend, make that connection with your local farmer. You’ve got this!