My Tools for a Natural Pregnancy

Finding out I was pregnant was one of the most exciting feelings of my life {and scariest, too!}. What I didn’t expect was that figuring what I should be doing and caring for my body and growing baby would be so challenging at first. There was so much conflicting information out there. And I had wanted a baby for so long and was almost resigned to the fact it may never happen since I was getting so old. Therefore, I was so afraid to have a miscarriage and do anything that could possibly harm the baby those first few months.

Looking back, being gripped with fear and not going with the flow was the opposite of what I should have been doing. Luckily, I finally found some resources that helped me navigate my journey to motherhood and I thought I would share so maybe it will help some other new mothers one day. Of course, every woman is different, so this is just me sharing my own experience and you have to talk to your doctor or midwife and trust yourself.

Prenatal Vitamins
I wanted to follow a more natural approach as much as possible since that is the lifestyle I lead. My baby’s father actually recommended the Baby & Me 2 prenatal vitamins by MegaFood since they were a whole food supplement and not synthetic. When I found out is was formulated by one of my most favorite physicians and herbalist, Dr. Tierona Low Dog, I was all in. Plus, I’m a huge believer in whole food nutrition when it comes to supplements as well.

What to Read
Long ago are the days of Dr. Spock and we are blessed with more information. My go-to books were The Natural Pregnancy Book by Dr. Avivva Romm and The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevieve. In fact, I could also peruse Dr. Romm’s website and podcast for more insight and Mama Natural sent me updates via Facebook Messenger.

As I prepared for the days after birth, a friend gifted me Mothering from Your Center by Tami Lynn Kent, which I absolutely resonated with as she shares the deep, spiritual connection between mother and baby. In this book, she also recommended The Aware Baby by Aletha J. Solter, PhD, so I would also have an idea of how to understand my baby’s needs from conception to 2 1/2 years of age. And I also read The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson, who really resonated with me as she combined yoga, energy, nutrition and nature in the approach to healing the body during the postpartum period.

Restless Legs, Sleep Issues, Indigestion and Iron Deficiency
My legs were restless from the start. It was awful. I tried acupuncture and practiced qigong, but they weren’t quite making the symptoms go away. Energy therapy helped the most and alleviated the restlessness for about three days at a time.

Dr. Romm’s book discussed ensuring I had enough iron and magnesium. She had an amazing herbal decoction recipe in her book that combined dandelion root, yellow dock root and blackstrap molasses that I made, which helped boost my iron stores. But the most helpful product by far was the magnesium lotion from 8Sheep Organics. I would put on my lower legs. You see, when you put it on topically, you’ll absorb only as much as you need. In my final month, I noticed my legs being more restless and added qigong back into the mix and continued sitting in hero pose to open my shins and stimulate acupressure points below my knees. When my hips went out at 36 weeks, the chiropractor suggested increasing my calcium and magnesium and adding an omega-3 supplement because baby was putting on fat and stealing mine. This helped immensely in addition to the magnesium lotion.

I also continued to take half of the recommended dosage of the Qi formula from Anima Mundi Herbals just based on a conversation with the herbalist on staff. Between this and the magnesium lotion, I slept pretty well almost every night {except when I got so huge that last month and it just go uncomfortable}.

I also had major indigestion and nausea the first trimester and some of it continued into the second and third trimester in the since that if I didn’t eat in time, I would just vomit. Or sometimes something just wouldn’t sit well. I read that if the stomach valve was dysfunctional prior to pregnancy, this could occur. And it did! Luckily, I have studied the Loomis Enzyme system and was grateful to be knowledgable about some of the enzyme and herbal formulations. The Kdy formula helped filter my kidneys and keep the nausea under control. The Stm formula contains mucilagenous herbs and helped with any stomach irritation resulting in indigestion. As I neared the end of my pregnancy and craved every fat under the sun….ice cream, lots of cheese, donuts, etc.…I knew I wasn’t digesting fats and needed to up my digestive enzyme game so I switched to the Bil formula to help break down lipids so I could absorb them. The cravings subsided.

So, for 8 months of the pregnancy journey, I felt pretty good. The last month is for another blog post. ha!

Alyssa PfennigComment