The mammoth episode many of you have been waiting for. This is part 2 of our childbearing series, and the one where Tahnee and myself dive deep into the practices, philosophy, diet, herbalism and more that went into creating the year in which Tahnee was childbearing little Aiya. This podcast was recorded during the first week of the bubba's life, so the sharing experience of the birth is fresh; something Tahnee was wishing to be able to infuse into this intimate sharing of how she chose to approach nourishing her body during pregnancy.
Here’s briefly what we cover in the episode plus some more extensive notes than usual from Tahnee for those who are on their own pregnancy journey:
* Pregnancy + Home Birth Plans
* How did I know?
* We found out at four weeks, basically I was very aware that something was different in my body!! We’d both felt the baby come in November, and exactly three months later we were pregnant, and I’ve heard that’s common
* Our Pregnancy diet
* we don’t follow a dietary plan, more intuitive
* generally vegetarian, though we do include meat in our diet, probably once or twice a week? fish, buffalo, occasionally organic chicken and beef, other wild meats (rabbit, goat, boar), broths/stocks
* more mindful of eating a variety of foods and definitely eat more quantity, smaller meals, regularly
* organic and local as much as possible - farmers market and Santos/Source keep us fed
* fridge/freezer is stocked
* wild foods, high mineral content
* fermented foods
* Best supplements during pregnancy
* I didn’t take a lot of vitamins or anything like that, apart from lipsomal vitamin C
* lots of herbs, mostly tonics, plus raspberry leaf and nettle, slippery elm occasionally, yellow dock, dandelion, milk thistle, ginger
* lots of probiotics
* iodine until I saturated
* personally most concerned about losing minerals as bubbas drain mamas (for every baby a tooth, is an old saying!) so been keeping up the minerals
* estroblock when we had it, just one cap per day of the pro
* clays and charcoal (you might’ve heard of pica - desire to eat clays - common in pregnant women)
* DHA, EFA: fish oil, also raw seafood, fish and oysters
* sea minerals
* The best tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms during pregnancy
* best suggestion is reishi, but I took everything in the SuperFeast range at various stages, kidney jing herbs lately (postpartum) to heal and boost recovery
* Best herbs during pregnancy
* avoid steroidal herbs, emmenagogues
* check out Susun Weed’s book and Aviva Romm
* Symptoms of pregnancy
* been lucky, apart from tiredness and needing to eat a lot more, I’ve had very little to complain about. Have felt body change, but that’s been fine, I’ve enjoyed being pregnant. Heartburn when my uterus got really big (apparently babies with lots of hair give their mamas heartburn…), but that stopped when baby dropped, ‘growing pains’ around my ribs (like when I was a kid), car sickness if I had an empty belly
* Pregnancy cravings / changes
* started eating meat again, pretty mindfully
* needed lots of simple carbs in the first trimester, regularly. Like, every two hours. Bilbo Baggins style - breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoons I wasn’t a hungry, but at least one snack and then dinner. And often needed to eat in the middle of the night. So I did. 😃
* waking up starving - that’s new for me!
* generally more calories
* haven’t put on much weight, I don’t think, except for boobs and belly and in third trimester around my bum and hips. I haven’t weighed myself
* Exercise during pregnancy
* yoga - only consideration, IMO, is how the mother feels and to listen to her body - if you’re a regular yogi, you will be less flexible in certain areas, this is OK, it’s not about extreme ROM it’s about being mindful about what needs support during the transitions — for me, pecs (chest - boobs!!) and lower traps, rhomboids, hip flexors, quads, glutes and lateral body (QL and thoracolumbar fascia) - I have avoided a lot of ‘hip openers, they made my pelvis feel unstable (deep hip flexion, ext rotation, e.g. pigeon), though I’ve loved square…
* Used a lot of props, have not gone deep but have stayed in poses for a long time. Early pregnancy I wanted to be very active, so preferred more active, mobile classes, teaching ashtanga etc lots of Embodied Flow with Tara Judelle on YogaGlo.
* WALK! I think this is the best thing you can do - I TRY and walk daily (an hour, in nature, but that’s changed as I’ve gotten bigger) - most ‘traditional’ women walk on average 5 kms per during their pregnancies, so I tried to do about an hour a day…that’s dropped off lately, as I get crazy contractions when I walk
* swimming - though mostly just a dip
* stay active - most important, I think
* Lots of additional pregnancy tips
* Vit D on boobs, belly as much as possible = naked sun time
* saunas in winter (short, until I felt too hot, not forced), hot tub
* massage, moxa
* yoga nidra
* Home birth prep and planning
* really just made sense to me, was only option as far as I was concerned. I did not want to be travelling during labour or after birth
* super lucky to have access to the midwives program, through the Byron hospital
* two experienced midwives and one student attended birth, Daddy delivered
* birth pool hire - Birth Afloat (small heated pool)
* spring water - Wild Oasis (filled and added Crystal Energy and sea salt)
* placenta encapsulation
* other tips - buy lots of old towels from op shop!!!
* herbs for post-birth - jing herbs (cordyceps, deer antler, eucommia bark), reishi, lion’s mane, placenta, daily tonic tea: schizandra, raspberry leaf, nettle, vanilla, rhemmania, chaga.
- Ina May Gaskin: Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding
- Aviva Romm: Natural Pregnancy
- Sarah Buckley - not so much her book, but her interview with Daniel Vitalis about hormone cascades was awesome, ReWild Yourself podcast
- Susun Weed: Wise Women’s Herbal for the Childbearing Year, and her blog
- Jeannie Pavarti Baker - all her books
- Tami Lynn Kent: Wild Feminine, Mouthing from Your Centre
- Jane Hardwick Collings: Ten Moons
- didn’t get to read this, but it looks good, Jenny Blyth: Down to Earth Birth
- Penny Simkin: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn
- Roy Dittmann: Brighton Baby
The current landscape demands us to work, work, work. To go harder, faster. More is everything. Rest is for laggers.
We keep on banging on about it here at SuperFeast HQ - we are huge on slowing down. On getting back to the basics, on taking time to breathe, feel and just be. The effects of stress are not worth it!
Sure, maybe it IS easier living and working from one of the most beautiful places in the world - Byron Bay ;P, but we came across this list and had to share it with you. We promise, there will be something in here for you!!