How to Nutritionally Prepare for a Homebirth 

I’ve given birth 6 times. The first 5 times I had a home birth, the last baby, number 6 was a hospital birth attended by a midwife. My husband caught all but two of our babies (number one and number five). I found good nutrition was essential in having a healthy birth outcome. Here are some of my favorite ways to naturally boost the body for birth.

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Alfalfa

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After giving birth your placenta naturally detaches from the inside of your uterus and like losing any part of your body it causes blood loss. After the energy you spend giving birth, the last thing you want is to lose too much blood or even lose enough to make you feel icky or more tired then you would. 

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A great solution is to boost your vitamin K before giving birth. Vitamin K is what helps your blood clot which will aide in not losing so much blood after birth. I get my alfalfa in pill form from my local health food store. I take a few pills throughout the day for about 5 weeks before my due date. I keep up with them for a few weeks postpartum as well.

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Smoothies

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Who doesn’t love a smoothie just for fun? The great thing about smoothies is they are a neat way to hide whole foods that are more difficult or unappetizing to take on their own.

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My typical daily smoothie includes:

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-1 cup of milk (nut, seed, coconut or dairy) and a few cubes of ice

As a base

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-1 tablespoon of full fat yogurt

For pro-biotics

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-A handful of frozen, organic, berries

For anti-oxidants, potassium, and B-17 in the seeds

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-1 tablespoon of coconut oil

A high quality saturated fat used by your body to keep muscles strong, hormone levels steady and functioning. It also helps keep skin healthy and regulates your metabolism.

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-Sometimes a banana if I have one

For extra sweetness, vitamins and minerals

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-A liquid calcium-magnesium-zinc supplement (strawberry flavored)

To build strong bones and prepare my body for breastfeeding

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-Liquid Source multi-vitamin from sea vegetable, cherry flavored

To get an extra boost of vitamins 

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-One or two raw egg yolks from our chickens, yellows only

These are high in vitamins A, D, E and K. They also contain B vitamins, calcium and zinc and a good dose of cholesterol which is essential for your body to make Vitamin D from the sun. They also have essential fatty acids in the correct ratio.

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Tea

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Tea is such a calming and lovely way to nourish our bodies. My birth prep tea includes;

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Red Raspberry Leaf

Nettle

Chamomile

Rose Hips 

Horsetail

Ginger root

Dandelion leaves

Spearmint (lots! Yum!)

Oatstraw

Red Clover Blossoms

Cramp Bark

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I blend these all together in equal parts, except of the red raspberry leaf and the spearmint, I do about 5 times as much of those as the other ingredients. I steep about 1/8 cup of the mix in about 2-3 cups of hot water for at least 10 minutes, strain and then drink. I drink on this tea throughout the day. 

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These herbs boost nutrients, help tone the uterus and surrounding tissues, improve circulation, help prevent varicosities, and promotes kidney and bladder health. It even helps if there is a hemorrhage at the time of birth.

 

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Sun Bathing

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Vitamin D is essential to good health. Period. There is no getting around it and there is virtually no other way to get it than the sun. Supplements rarely work or can be toxic and most foods that use to be high in vitamin D are so low due to soil erosion that even organic vegetables have low vitamin D counts these days.

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People use to live in the outdoors and get huge doses of sunshine and hence vitamin D. These days we travel from building to car to another building. It’s important to take some time to soak up the sun!

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The top benefits of soaking up the sun for vitamin D include:

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1. It helps the intestines absorb nutrients. Super charge what your getting from your tea and smoothies by making sure you have enough vitamin D 🙂

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2. It’s helps your body balance calcium and build strong bones.

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3. Vitamin D regulates blood pressure, reduces stress and tension, relieves body aches and pains by reducing muscle spasms, reduces respiratory infections, helps in differentiation of the cells, aids in insulin secretion, helps fight depression, improves overall skin health by reducing wrinkles, makes skin soft, strong, and smooth, and improves cardiovascular strength by providing a protective lining for the blood vessels. Source
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How long you need to sit out depends on your skin’s coloring. Less time for lighter skin and longer for dark skin. I’m VERY fair skinned and I spend about 15-25 minutes per day in the sunshine. I usually wear a swim suit or have that amount of skin covered/uncovered. If you have very dark skin you may need to spend up to two hours in the sun.

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Black Strap Molasses and Lemon Juice

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 Blackstrap molasses is a wonder food. I cannot praise it enough! I was anemic for most of my life. Nothing I tried could boost my iron levels and I tried everything! Success for me only came when I began taking Blackstrap Molasses with lemon juice.

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Blackstrap molasses is high in absorable iron and B vitamins. It’s a great way to regulate your period and make it more comfortable and before giving birth it helps your body build up it’s blood and gives you mood uplifting B vitamins to help with the hormonal drops after birth that can cause postpartum depression.

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Taking it with lemon juice, or another source of vitamin C, helps your body maximize this miracle food!

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Meditation

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 I use meditation throughout my pregnancy but toward the end I especially need it! Getting our bodies in shape is great BUT we must also remember to tune our mind. Reading your scriptures will help with that and so will meditating. From about 8 months on I meditate everyday on the PERFECT birth.

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My perfect birth usually goes a little something like this …

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I start having contractions while still in bed one morning. I sleep through the gentle ones for about an hour and then I feel the urge to get up. I hop in the shower and clean up and then head down stairs. I get breakfast on the table and set to cleaning my house. I totally engross myself in cleaning as long as I can possibly stand. Soon the contractions are coming strong so I go into my den, lay out some towels and get my birth skirt on. I dance, I pace, I sing – whatever keeps me happy and distracted. Finally I’m swept away and the urge to push begins. I get over my blankets and begin working with my body to ease the baby out. I keep my face relaxed and I do not scream, grunt or shout. I take long slow breaths and recite scriptures in my head. After a few minutes of pushing the head crowns. Out the heads pops. I take a slow deep breath and out slips the body peacefully. I cuddle my little girl close.

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 Your thoughts become reality! Make them the best you can 🙂

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Blessings on your way to vibrant, beautiful, full body health!