As I was going through my training, I was horrified when I kept hearing story after story of people being told that it is perfectly safe to use essential oils indiscriminately. For example, a few drops of an oil on your tongue or in your drinking water; using essential oils for pregnant and/or lactating women, children and infants; essential oils in eyes, ears, and nose; undiluted on skin. This is remarkably irresponsible. And by the way, it has nothing to do with any particular brand. It has to do with chemistry and biology.
So, you want to give birth naturally? Wonderful! The benefits of a natural, unmedicated birth affect not only your baby, but you as well. In general, natural births boast of faster recovery rates for mom, and an easier time starting breastfeeding for mom and baby. Naturally born babies are more alert at birth and often are calmer.
However, there is more to giving birth naturally than showing up to the hospital in labor, or calling your midwife for your home birth. The more preparation that you do before hand, the more likely you are to successfully give birth naturally.
1. Vitamins: Take prenatal vitamins with folic acid and essential fatty acids, starting 2-3 months before conception (when you start having unprotected sex in order to get pregnant). Take at least 800 micrograms of folic acid per day. Folic acid prevents open neural tube defects such as spina bifida. The neural tube closes approximately day 24 of pregnancy. Also take a supplement of essential fatty acids (omega-3, 6, & 9) each day. Essential fatty acids can be found in many foods, but have been added to most prenatal vitamins. They have been shown to be good for babies’ brain and eye development, as well as moms.
2. Dental Health: Have a dental check up prior to conception to make sure there are no infections in your mouth. This is important because bacteria in your mouth may cause preterm labor and preterm delivery (premature baby).
3. Clean Living: Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or use street drugs. Cigarettes expose the embryo/fetus to over 200 toxic chemicals which can interfere with the growth of the baby, causing the blood vessels to constrict. This constriction of the blood vessels causes an increase in blood pressure and a decrease in oxygen and nutrients going to the developing fetus.
4. Sleep: Once pregnant, rest as much as possible. During pregnancy you should not take any sleeping medication, but you can have a glass of warm milk to help you relax. 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep every night is usually sufficient, although sometimes your body wants more sleep. A nap during the day or late afternoon will provide a wonderful “pick me up.”
5. Stay Hydrated: Drink lots of water. At least two quarts of water a day is recommended. If dehydration occurs during pregnancy, it can cause your mouth to feel dry and your uterus may cramp, which is very concerning when pregnant. Also, avoid adding salt and sugar to anything you eat or drink....