As I near the end of my second pregnancy, I wanted to take some time to document and catalog all the incredible resources I have found and enjoyed. From pregnancy to labor prep, and even postpartum prep – it’s never too early to start researching and diving in. I am no expert, but I am a passionate mama who loves to share my personal story with you! So, disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice.
If you’ve been around here a while, you know our story includes 7 LONG years of infertility, two years of international adoption, IVF, loss, and one full-term pregnancy. You can read more about our infertility + adoption journey here on the blog. On February 10, 2017, we welcomed Rivers Glory into the world via vaginal delivery at the hospital. You can read her birth story here. Let me just preface this by saying, I was terrified of birth my entire life. I distinctly remember junior-high Wynne saying, “I am terrified of having a baby, I think I’ll just adopt one day.” That was NOT me having “a heart for adoption,” but me having so much fear around labor and delivery.
I also distinctly remember confirming with my OBGYN that no, I did NOT have any shame around getting an epidural. With Rivers, literally, my only plan was to go to the hospital and get an epidural. I didn’t read any birth books, didn’t take a birth class, didn’t have a birth ball, didn’t listen to birth stories, and besides one long walk around the mall a few days before her induction date – I did nothing physical to prepare for her birth.
Rivers was healthy when she came into the world. But towards the end of our laboring, my epidural was wearing off, and we were very close to needing a C-section. She had to be removed via vacuum, I had a 3 (or 4?) degree tear, and recovery was brutal.
On January 29th, 2020, we found out that our very last embryo took, and we were pregnant again. I just knew this pregnancy and delivery would look different. I wish I could say there was “one thing” that shifted it for me, but it was a string of conversations, observations, lifestyle changes, and stories I had heard. This pregnancy has been a 360-degree shift, and I’m excited to share with you some of the resources I found most helpful, starting with pregnancy.
Let’s talk about having a “natural” pregnancy and birth. Now, I know that alllllll birth is natural. But, being “naturally minded” to me means using products that are plant-based/from the earth, choosing a natural option over drugs/medication, and living a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to delivery, I’m going to call it “unmedicated birth,” meaning having as low of intervention birth as possible.
What I’ve found
When I first started doing my research about having an unmedicated birth, these were the conversations and resources we were looking at…
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. This was probably the first book that was recommended to me over and over. Ina May is THE OG MIDWIFE, and this book is half childbirth education and half childbirth stories. I poured over this book night after night. If you are considering this birth route, I would highly suggest this book!
- The Business of Being Born. We watched this documentary (from the suggestion of friends who have had low intervention births). It blew our minds. This is where we really learned about “the cascade of intervention,” and our eyes were opened to why some of the choices might have been made during our L+D with Rivers. Just like anything else, there’s some good and some weird – so just be warned, haha.
- Choosing your provider. When we chose to have a low intervention/unmedicated birth, I knew we probably needed to look at changing our provider. I did a video on IGTV that would be super helpful for you to watch (here). But, I will say I started the process by talking to like-minded local friends. I went into my first appointment with my midwife thinking about it more of a “trial” or “interview.” I knew if I changed my mind, it was still early enough, and I could change, BUT! I immediately fell in love with the kind of care a midwife provides.
- Knowing where you will give birth. Again, I cover this in my IGTV video, but there are options here: at home, birth center, or hospital. We are actually giving birth at the hospital in what they call a “low-intervention” birth suite. It’s basically like a birth center set up but inside a hospital. This was the best option for us.
- Know your why + commit!!!!!! The advice from friends I got right away was to know WHY you want to have a natural/unmedicated birth. For me, I wanted a different experience than before. I didn’t want as many interventions, and I wanted to be more of a part of the birth decisions.
- Hire a doula! I did a post on Instagram about this and even shared some questions to ask when I was interviewing. But our doula has been such an integral part of our support team! Whether you have a home/birth/or hospital birth, you have the opportunity to hire a doula. Think of her as your personal birth coach.
Classes + online resources I used
- Mama Natural Online birth course. With being pregnant during COVID-19, it was a little harder to get to an actual birth class. Plus, with three kids at home, online was a great option. The online nature allowed me to watch these over the course of a few months. I’d watch in the bath, after the kids went to bed, on the weekends. I made one big “note” on my phone, and honestly, I have referenced it over and over again. I HIGHLY recommend!!!!! It also came with a set of affirmation cards that I loved.
- Spinning babies. A friend introduced me to this site, and I found it very helpful. I purchased the $16 “daily essentials” download (video) and learned so so much. There are so many practical tips about how to properly sit, move, stretch, etc. during pregnancy to have the best position for your baby. Plus, if your baby is breech or needs to “flip,” there are lots of great tools. The download also comes with a prenatal yoga flow.
- Miles Circut. This is something I started doing towards the end of my pregnancy. Again, this will help your baby get (or stay) in the optimal position for birth. This takes you through a series of positions and movements. It was very helpful.
- Christian Hypnobirthing app. So hypnobirthing is totally a thing, and you should definitely look into it. I tried but couldn’t really ever get into it, but I did love the Christian hypnobirthing app. It was $7 on the app store, and it takes you through some breathing techniques, visualization, affirmations, scripture, and prayer. I would make it a point to listen to a birth affirmation track every day for the last 2 months or so. I also loved the one that comes with the mama natural online course.
Other Books + resources I loved
- The Mama Natural week by week guide to pregnancy and childbirth. I wish I had bought this book before I found out we were expecting, or at least right when we found out. It’s a comprehensive week-by-week book that gives you the info, tools, reminders, to-dos for having a “natural” pregnancy.
- Gentle Babies. If you want to have a natural/wholistic pregnancy, labor, and baby – get this book! This is the oily handbook of all oily baby handbooks. It’s been my go-to resource for years. I read it like a textbook, but it also is topical. It has every “issue” or “symptom” you might want to look up in alphabetical order where you can see what essential oils / natural products they recommend. This book is geared towards Young Living Essential Oils (the only oils we use).
- Betsy Bosom’s Baby book. This is another great natural/oily book for pregnancy and babies! Full of helpful information, stories, tips, recipes, etc., this is a great tool for pregnancy and beyond to have in your mama arsenal.
- The Birth Hour podcast. I loved listening to empowering birth stories.
- Birth Tube. I loved watching empowering birth stories. You can also just google “empowering natural birth stories” on youtube.
From me to you……..
- Labor + Delivery playlist on Spotify – I created this for the big day, but I’ve also been listening on walks, in the shower, and in the kitchen
- Oils I used during my pregnancy + prepping for labor via Whimsy and Wellness blog post – so many recipes, cute accessories, and a peak into my pregnancy and labor prep
- Insta story highlights for pregnancy, postpartum, hospital bag, baby care – these are FULL of amazing information straight from me to you!
It’s so important that you have a good support team around you. Something I’ve learned over the years is sometimes we need to TELL our closest people what we need (they can’t read our minds!). So here’s a note I sent to family and good friends about how they could support me in the last few weeks of pregnancy…
+a lot of encouragement
+grace for my pregnancy hormones and emotions
+reminding me how strong & capable my body is for natural delivery
+talk about the baby by name
+praying over an easy and non eventful delivery including it to happen in the perfect timing
+praying for Camp, Asher, Rivers as we all make transition to family of 6.
+listening ear and occasionally asking how I’m doing / feeling/ preparing for baby #4
Pregnancy is such a beautiful gift. If you are currently pregnant, or wanting to become pregnant, I want you to know I’m so happy for you and I’m cheering you on. Your body was MADE to carry and birth life. While all these resources will help you feel equipped and empowered in the process, there is nothing YOU are doing to CREATE that life. Isn’t that so amazing? God is so good!
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.Psalm 139:13-16
Alright, friends, I think that about wraps up my favorite resources for pregnancy. Coming up, I’ll share some labor + delivery preparations, and postpartum essentials! Thanks for following along.
I’d love to know more about YOUR birth story, and what resources you would add. You can always reach out and email me!
Hey, I'm Wynne!
Hi, friend! First, I truly am so giddy that you are here. I want you to know I believe in you and all the ways you are growing towards living a more intentional life. I genuinely hope you are encouraged from our time together here.
A little about me, I’m a type 7 on the enneagram, a total extrovert + people lover, entrepreneur, connector, storyteller, people gatherer, and passionate wife, mama + friend. I feel most alive when I’m exploring new places and surrounded by people I love. Give me a day in the outdoors disconnected from wifi, and I am a happy girl. I run on oat milk lattes, Jesus, gratitude journaling and kitchen dance parties with my four kids.
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