Tips for a blissful birth and baby by Rita Balshaw….
Pregnancy was the beginning of a whole new journey of self-nourishment and inner connection. I was so blessed to have such a beautiful pregnancy with few problems or discomforts and I whole-heartedly believe it has much to do with the healthy and holistic lifestyle I consistently embrace.
While some women cruise blissfully through each trimester in radiant health, others are faced with a myriad of discomforts that leave them physically ill, depleted and emotionally drained. We know that all pregnancies are different, all people are different and there are many activities and remedies that can be employed during this time to support the health of mum and bub!
Read on for my holistic tips and tricks to help you through your pregnancy and some information on how to use aromatherapy once bub is born!
My holistic pregnancy
Aromatherapy and essential oils
Aromatherapy and the application of essential oils had a profoundly comforting and emotionally supportive influence on me as a first-time expectant mum. Gentle self-massage, filling my home with delightful and therapeutic fragrances and taking warm baths helped me remain happy and calm.
Which essential oils will help during pregnancy…
Geranium Oil – Beautifully herbaceous, emotionally stabilising and comforting, Geranium essential oil comes to the rescue when hormonal mood swings get the better of me! When added to the diffuser, geranium helps to balance emotions. To relieve fluid retention and breast tenderness, try adding it to your bath in the form of our Relax Body Wash.
Lavender oil – A natural anti-depressant that helps alleviate stress and anxiety, lavender is the mother of all essential oils. It’s a natural multitasker that helps with insomnia, inflammation, headaches and much more! I often added our Happy and Calm Bubble Bath,or a couple of drops of lavender essential oil and one cup of epsom salts, to a warm bath for a relaxing evening ritual!
Mandarin oil – This citrusy delight promotes a happy and jubilant mood and encourages me to feel joyful and enthusiastic about pregnancy. Each morning I added three drops of mandarin oil to one tablespoon (25ml) of apricot kernel oil to massage into my arms, chest and belly – alternatively, try our New Bloom Pregnancy Body Oil or New Bloom Pregnancy Body Cream to help to prevent and treat stretch marks and even out skin tone. It can also be used as a belly rub to alleviate digestive issues and flatulence.
Neroli oil – This precious oil has a calming and uplifting fragrance that greatly assists with anxiety, depression and insomnia. It’s great to use on sensitive skin, to restore elasticity challenged by a blossoming belly. 100% pure neroli essential oil can be expensive, so a wonderful alternative is our Neroli Pulse Point which is diluted in a jojoba oil or try these Beautiful Baby goodies.
Peppermint oil – Peppermint is perfectly cooling and helps to relieve exhaustion and nausea. For the ultimate refreshing indulgence, try using our Cool Mint Aromatic Mist on the back of your neck – it works miracles! It is also a lovely idea to enjoy a big glass of iced cucumber mineral water to add to the cooling effect.
Roman Chamomile oil – Relaxing, calming, soothing, this sacred oil relieves frustration, disperses anger and alleviates aches and pains. Chamomile is great for relieving bodily tension and digestive discomfort. Its fruity aromatic notes are uplifting and playful, creating a joyful mood. Along with lavender, sandalwood and orange essential oils it forms our calming and comforting Beautiful Baby Hush Blend (which is perfect for helping you rediscover the bliss of quiet time with your little one when he or she arrives!).
Pregnancy can be like one big glorious food safari! Include in your diet lots of fresh organic fruit and vegetables, whole grains and zinc-rich foods such as tahini, pine nuts, lamb and pumpkin seeds. Also stock up on foods high in vitamin C, like red capsicum, lemons, broccoli and grapefruit. A varied and balanced vegetarian diet will offer enough nutrients for you and your baby during pregnancy. However, pregnant woman must ensure they consume enough iron, folate, zinc and vitamin D, C and B rich foods.
A typical day for me looked a bit like this:
- Breakky: quinoa, blueberries, slivered almonds and coconut milk yoghurt porridge
- Lunch: grilled tempeh, asparagus and free range egg omelette, garnished with avocado slices and nutritional yeast flakes.
- Dinner: brown rice, black bean, steamed pumpkin and minted pea stir fry, topped with a boiled egg, scoop of hummus and squeeze of lemon juice.
- Snacks: fresh fruit, raw vegetables, activated nuts, seeds, fresh dates, brown rice crackers with natural spreads and little bowls of raw granola and chia seed pudding to preserve blood sugar and energy levels.
- Herbal teas: Herbal teas and tinctures recommended for morning sickness and nausea include chamomile, cinnamon, fennel, ginger, lemon balm, liquorice, lemongrass, valerian and yarrow.
A varied and balanced wholefoods diet will ensure enough nutrients for you and your baby during pregnancy.
A Labour of Love…
Red raspberry leaf is a favourite herb of pregnant women due to its ability to tone the uterus and make labour easier. In the weeks prior to labour I drank loads of it!! Raspberry leaf contains Vitamins B, C, E and A as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
To help ease the process of labour and contractions, try the beautiful Full Bloom Body Oil a blend of jasmine, clary sage and frankincense essential oils in a base of almond oil to be applied to the body.
The Five R’s During Pregnancy
Rest, Release, Repair, Recharge and Rejuvenate
Complete health is not possible without relaxation. To effectively relax we must unplug. When it comes to electronic devices we plug them in to recharge, when it comes to ourselves we need to unplug from the external world and its distractions and plug into ourselves in order to properly recharge and rejuvenate. Practicing yoga, spending time each day in nature, therapeutic massage, listening to relaxing music, reflective meditation and making a consistent rule to turn off electronic devices at least one hour before sleep and one hour after waking are all effective ways of reducing stress for enhanced health during and after pregnancy.
Yoga is wonderful during pregnancy because it is gentle way of balancing both body and mind. Certain yoga poses in particular can be really beneficial during pregnancy. Check out a local prenatal class with a qualified instructor.
There are certain foods and herbs throughout the world that play a huge role in a woman’s diet after childbirth and while breastfeeding. In the Middle East, for example, many nursing mothers drink fenugreek seed tea to aid in the increased flow of breast milk. Oats, alfalfa, dandelion, garlic, almonds and sesame seeds are also known to help promote milk production.
Soothe tender breasts and nipples and stimulate blood flow by creating a daily breast massage ritual with a diluted blend of calendula and lavender essential oils in a vegetable oil base. Apply New Bloom Pregnancy Oil or Cream throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding stages to help keep the skin supple.
Aromatherapy for bub…
Aromatherapy can provide a natural, gentle and effective way to look after your new baby! Create a haven for some sacred bonding time and welcome your bub into the wonderful world of aromatherapy massage. Beautiful Baby Massage Oil is a calming and comforting body oil to massage all over bub’s skin – the pure essential oils of lavender, mandarin and chamomile in a base of apricot kernel and calendula oil keep delicate new skin soft and smooth.
Protect bub from cradle cap and nappy rash using
Beautiful Baby Balm, rich in shea butter it’s great for protecting baby bottoms and sensitive skin.
DILUTIONS SHOULD NEVER EXCEED 1% FOR BABIES
1% = 10 drops of pure essential oil in total in 50ml of carrier oil