Birth is one of the most physically taxing, emotionally depleting, and spiritually rewarding things a human being can endure. But despite having birthed for thousands of years, most of us prepare for labor in completely the wrong way. We decorate our nurseries, pack out bags, and sit and wait (because that’s what we’re told to do). And when our pregnancy ticks past the 40-week mark we throw every folk induction method we can find on Pinterest at it with hit and miss results. But what if I told you that the fundamental error that we’re all making is waiting? That you can and should make diet and lifestyle changes in the months before birth? And that if you make these changes, studies have shown that: You’ll have an earlier spontaneous onset of labor You will have a shorter labor You will have a more comfortable labor You will have a more comfortable postpartum recovery And you will have more balanced hormones in the postpartum period All it takes to get these benefits is shifting how we talk about the marathon of birth and take our focus off of the race and put our effort into the proper training. Featured photo and cover image by Ilzy Sousa from Pexels

7 Ways to Prepare for Labor (and why forgetting this crucial step is a mistake)

Birth is one of the most physically taxing, emotionally depleting but simultaneously invigorating and spiritually rewarding things a human being can accomplish. But despite having birthed for thousands of years, most of us prepare for labor in completely the wrong way.

We decorate our nurseries, pack our bags, and sit and wait (because that’s what we’re told to do). And when our pregnancy ticks past the 40-week mark we throw every folk induction method we can find on Pinterest at it with hit and miss results.

But what if I told you that the fundamental error that we’re all making is waiting? That you can and should make diet and lifestyle changes in the months before birth? And that if you make these changes, studies have shown that:

  • You’ll have an earlier spontaneous onset of labor
  • You will have a shorter labor
  • You will have a more comfortable labor
  • You will have a more comfortable postpartum recovery
  • And you will have more balanced hormones in the postpartum period

All it takes to get these benefits is shifting how we talk about the marathon of birth and take our focus off of the race and put our effort into the proper training.

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Check out these blogtober posts to understand more about how I approach women's health, acupuncture, doula work (and other birth work), herbalism and more!

Sunday Roundup: RSV, Vaginal Steaming, and Sphincter Law

There has been something I have wanted to try for a few months and because of how the clinic was growing and how my life was changing I didn’t have the right kind of time. But that time is now.

All week I come across podcasts, articles, memes, and stories about doula care, midwifery care, motherhood, kids and health in general. While I can share these to my Facebook page (and often do) I wanted to take some of the coolest ones and share them here.

So, I’m going to do an experiment: I’m going to start collecting the best ones throughout the week to put them here on the blog. I’m hoping that these small but deeper dives will allow spur future blog post ideas (like this one did) and allow you to find out what’s going on in the natural health world.

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Single serving iced red raspberry leaf tea. Photo by Wahid Hacene via Pexels

A More Refreshing Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

As with many natural interventions there’s a bit of controversy on whether or not red raspberry leaf tea has any impact on labor. Some studies show it can shorten labor and lessen the need for interventions. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Nurse Midwifery found some 63% of certified nurse midwives used red raspberry leaf as part of their natural labor induction plan.

Other studies show that at the highest levels it can actually inhibit contractions, lengthening labors. It’s important to point out for this study the doses “at the highest level” are at a level no human would consume with a mug of tea a day. At worst you have a tasty tea that has no effect. Also note that rats are not humans and their physiology will handle things slightly differently.

Conventional and folk wisdom treat it as a “women’s herb”. It’s great to help menstrual cramps, keep the uterus healthy and may help with fertility. The only caution I regularly see with red raspberry leaf is to not consume it in the first trimester.