I am not a doctor, midwife, herbalist, or anything of the like.
The information in this post is just that - information.
This is simply what I have learned and what I tried in my pregnancy.
Do your own research before you take any supplements or herbs.
probably because I was too consumed with trying to find a way to combat the acne I suffered!). This time, however, I made a vow that I would be religious in taking whatever vitamins and herbal supplements I felt was necessary to make my pregnancy and, more importantly, my delivery as smooth and as healthy as possible. And I'm so glad I did!!
For my prenatal, I simply took Spring Valley's Prenatal Multivitamin. Later, I also tried the Rainbow Light Prenatal Multivitamin tablets. Next time around, I plan on using Rainbow Light again.
Vitamin C is essential for tissue repair, bone growth, healthy skin, and helps your body fight infection. It also helps the body absorb iron and, in pregnancy, it keeps the amniotic sack strong. It is suggested that pregnant women take at least 85 mg of vitamin C per day.
Calcium is, of course, essential for bone health, but it also benefits the kidneys, blood pressure, and can even prevent certain type of cancers! When I was little, I developed an allergy to milk, so drinking milk has never been a part of my diet. I would enjoy a little ice cream here, and a few slices of cheese there, but I was always careful not to overdo. As I grew up, I learned how to handle milk products more and more but I never could develop a taste for straight milk. So suffice it to say, Calcium is very important for me to take. In this pregnancy, I found myself craving ice cream, cheese, yogurt, and chocolate milk often and my husband was always intentional in reminding me that I needed as much calcium as possible. I took Calcium supplements every day and allowed myself to indulge (not gorge!) in whatever "calcium cravings" I acquired.
Evening Primrose Oil
Once I hit the 37 week mark and was considered full term, I began taking Evening Primrose Oil. Many midwives and dulas suggest taking Evening Primrose Oil to help prepare the cervix for labor. Some take it before they are full term, but I tend toward the cautious side because the oil has been proven to induce labor in some women. So I began taking one, sometimes two, 500 mg pills a day, beginning at 37 weeks. It took only a little over one week for my cervix to be completely ripe and ready.
Red Raspberry Leaves
I honestly think this was the most important thing I took. After clearing it with my OB/GYN, I began taking Red Raspberry Leaf supplements once I was full term. I chose Natures Way Raspberry Leaves and after reading that you can take up to 4500 mg of Red Raspberry a day, I began taking four a day and increased to six a day, taking two at breakfast, two at lunch, and two at bedtime. Red Raspberry Leaves have an abundant supply of calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese. Some women use raspberry leaf for painful periods, morning sickness, preventing miscarriage, and easing labor. I had read numerous stories of women who had all-natural births that were easier than previous births and contributed it to red raspberry leaves. I also bought Raspberry Leaf Tea. I'm not a big tea drinker, but I enjoyed sipping this tea every day. What Red Raspberry does in pregnancy is prepare and strengthen the uterus for labor. With your uterus stronger, each contraction is able to achieve more. It also helps the uterus clamp down easier and deliver the placenta without much help (massaging, etc). Another benefit of Red Raspberry Leaves is that it aids in milk supply, eases postpartum pain, and contributes to the female system in its entirety. Does it sound like I'm a believer?? I am. This was my first all-natural birth and, though painful, it was unbelievably easier than my previous, MEDICATED birth.