Natural Pregnancy Essentials: Holistic Pregnancy Must-Have’s
It can be tough to find natural maternity options: no worries mama-to-be, I’ve got you covered. This list of my top 13 natural pregnancy essentials will help you navigate the next 9-10 months of pregnancy in a holistic way.
1. Natural Nausea Remedies
If you’re one of the lucky ones who isn’t nauseous in the first trimester, YEAH for YOU! Feel free to skip ahead 🙂
But if you’re like most women I know and have some type of morning sickness in the early months of pregnancy, you need some natural relief. I was fortunate to not have the vomiting variety of morning sickness, and just felt nauseous most of the first 12 weeks (still not awesome, but at least I wasn’t throwing up).
My favorite way to ease nausea is with Sea Bands. I wore them for my entire 1st trimester for all three of my pregnancies and think they did help.
Peppermint and ginger tea helped me as well – I like this one from Earth Mama Organics.
Pro Tip: Keep these natural nausea remedies around even after the morning (or all day) sickness subsides. Some women experience nausea again in the third trimester.
2. Prenatal Vitamins
Make sure you’re taking a high-quality prenatal with natural folate (NOT folic acid). I went with a chewable prenatal vitamin since I am already not awesome at swallowing pills, and I could just not get the giant prenatal horse pills down when I was nauseous. This is another great, high quality option if swallowing pills doesn’t make you want to gag.
3. Raspberry Leaf Tea
Have you heard about how drinking raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy is super awesome for you? It strengthens and tones your uterus, which helps to make contractions more effective when you are in labor. It can also help increase your milk supply, so go ahead and start drinking it while you’re pregnant and just keep going after the baby is born.
I drank SO MUCH raspberry leaf tea during my pregnancies; I bought it by the POUND. This is a seriously giant bag of raspberry leaf, so unless you are fully committed to drinking several cups a day for many months I’d probably go with this boxed version of raspberry leaf tea.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you’re a natural mama you probably already know some of the amazing and wonderful benefits of apple cider vinegar. But did you know if can help alleviate heartburn and is completely safe (and healthy) to take during pregnancy?
Drinking apple cider vinegar daily was the best way I found to relieve pregnancy heartburn. It is a preventative, not an immediate cure, so you have to take it every day to notice a difference.
Added Bonus: ACV is super high in vitamin C and can help boost your immune system, both things you need during pregnancy!
5. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
This is my number 1 childbirth book and the only one to make my natural pregnancy essentials list. If you are planning or considering a natural, unmedicated birth, please read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth! Ina May is the nation’s most famous midwife who has delivered thousands of babies. Her book shares a variety of birth stories from moms and has amazing advice and techniques to get you in the ‘natural birth’ state of mind.
This book also made my list of top ways to prepare for a natural birth.
6. Support Pillow for Better Sleep
Oh how I don’t miss *trying* to sleep while pregnant. I’m going to just be honest with you here: it can seriously suck trying to get a good night’s rest when you’re pregnant. And the bigger your belly gets, the more difficult sleeping is. Throw in needing to get up to pee 4 times a night, and you can expect to be pretty done by the time baby arrives. Let’s just call it preparation for those sleepless newborn nights, shall we?
A support pillow can help you sleep SO much better, especially in your second and third trimesters. I went a little non-traditional with my support pillows. I actually didn’t love the giant, wrap around, takes up the whole bed, pregnancy pillow that many moms rave about.
I preferred a regular ‘ole body pillow that I purchased from Target and this wedge pillow for added belly support. The wedge pillow was actually the one I couldn’t sleep without, and I could make do with a couple of extra regular pillows if needed. But the wedge support pillow took the weight off my belly AND it’s small so I could easily travel with it (it came on my babymoon, thank you very much).
7. A Comfy, No-wire Bra
Your boobs are about to go through a BIG transformation and they are getting prepared by being sore all the time. At least that’s what mine did. I could not ditch my underwire bra fast enough! Opt for a wire free bra that is comfortable for your future milk makers. Look for a nursing bra that will also be comfy during pregnancy, like this no-wire version from Bravado. The girls have a big job ahead of them once baby arrives so treat them right!
Wondering what else you will need for breastfeeding? Check out my breastfeeding essentials here.
8. Clothes that Last Through Postpartum
I could not ditch the maternity clothes fast enough after baby arrived. The problem with that was that my body wasn’t ready for my pre-baby clothes. My favorite pieces of clothing that got the most use during pregnancy AND postpartum were the clothes that were not maternity pieces.
I preferred to find regular clothes that worked during pregnancy and postpartum. I think it absolutely helps to be able to put the ‘maternity’ clothes away after baby is born, even if you’re not ready to wear your old clothes. Having some transition clothes that didn’t FEEL like maternity clothes was key for me.
I also love, love, loved my fold over yoga pants from Target. They had a stretchy, foldover waist, were made from a soft jersey material and had a bootcut leg. Because of the stretchy waist they fit under a pregnant or postpartum belly just fine, and they were so super comfy I would even sleep in them. Unfortunately they no longer carry them, but these from Old Navy look similar.
The one items I didn’t buy until my third pregnancy was nursing pajamas. I don’t know why I waited so long, because nursing pajamas are awesome! Get them while you’re still pregnant because they are plenty roomy to accommodate your growing belly. You will be so glad you have some nursing friendly pajamas once baby arrives!
Of course if you love your maternity clothes, feel free to keep rocking them postpartum! I kept my maternity jeans in rotation for a couple of months after baby #3, because it just doesn’t get much better than jeans with a stretchy waist.
9. A Reusable Water Bottle
You need to drink a ton of water when you are pregnant. Your body is probably already telling you that by making you super thirsty all day and night. Listen to your body and drink all the water. I carried a water bottle everywhere when I was pregnant. That, of course, meant I also had to pee everywhere I went, but oh well.
Opt for a stainless steel version like this one so you can avoid plastic chemicals leaching into your water.
Added Bonus: You’ll be even thirstier once you are a nursing mama, so you’ll need a water bottle anyway. A high quality water bottle is not only a natural pregnancy essential, but it’s a necessity for postpartum also!
10. Natural Belly Butter
When you’re pregnant your skin is stretching like it never has before. For some women this causes stretchmarks, and for most women it causes itchy skin. A natural belly butter can help lessen stretchmarks and relieve that tight, itchy feeling when your belly is growing.
This Belly Butter from Earth Mama Organics is amazing AND it is completely safe with non-toxic ingredients.
Pro Tip: belly butter also makes great foot massage lotion. Let your partner know so s/he can pamper you 😉
11. Mama Natural week by week growth emails
If you’re a holistic mama who’s planning a natural birth, you need a weekly email that reflects that! The Mama Natural weekly emails are geared just for you, with natural remedies and alternatives to standard pregnancy practices that you won’t find on the traditional growth emails. These free weekly emails are one of my favorite natural pregnancy essentials!
12. Exercise Ball
Once you’ve had a natural birth, an exercise ball is forever known as a birth ball. True fact. That’s because it is so helpful during late pregnancy and labor, it is absolutely a natural pregnancy essential! During late pregnancy sitting on an exercise ball can help open your hips. For many moms sitting on an exercise ball is far more comfortable than sitting anywhere else. I used to watch TV on my ‘birth ball’.
It’s also useful during labor. Many women sit or lay across it during contractions. I preferred to lay my chest across mine while I swayed back and forth on it during labor.
Added Bonus: My husband and I spent HOURS bouncing our first baby on the exercise ball to help her fall asleep. It was her favorite, and sometimes only, way to fall asleep. So there’s another use for it. Just go ahead and get yourself an exercise ball and you’ll find plenty of uses for it, I promise.
13. Cloth Panty Liners
Pregnancy is messy. There’s just no way around it. You’ll probably need to use panty liners or pads for some of your pregnancy….maybe even for several months. Disposable liners are not awesome for long term use. They can irritate your nether regions and who wants to have plastic in their panties every day? Opt for a more natural and comfy version!
Cloth panty liners can be washed with your normal laundry, don’t cause irritation and are a more eco-friendly option that their disposable counterpart. Pregnancy is the perfect time to give cloth a try since you will likely only need them for minor discharge or bladder leaks. There are tons handmade choices on Etsy and these are some of my very favorite options. Check out Grayson Street Emporium and Pampered Mama For high quality handmade, comfortable and thin cloth pad options.
Looking for more on natural pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding? Keep reading!
- 5 Natural Remedies for Heartburn During Pregnancy
- 14 Tips to have an Awesome Natural Birth
- Must Have Breastfeeding Products for New Moms
- The Ultimate List of Breastfeeding Resources