I get this question a lot- what are pregnancy safe skincare products I can use? After having 3 babies, I've become aware of what ingredients to avoid during pregnancy to keep baby safe. While I don't subscribe to fear when it comes to persuading somebody to not use a product, I do think it's important to be informed as a consumer. This is the best way to protect you and your baby. The more informed you are, the better choices you can make for you and your growing family.
It can seem daunting to know what to avoid when you first get pregnant. You hear so many things. Don't use this, stop eating that, the list goes on. I find most people actually are way more cautious then not. I found while I wanted to avoid any potential harmful products or ingredients I also still wanted to be able to continue a skincare routine that I loved and felt good about.
Right after having my third baby- pure bliss!
It's obvious that there are some products we should avoid in general when it comes to pregnancy. These might seem common if you've been living a natural lifestyle for a while. But for many people not as common if they're just starting to consider what's in their products they put on their body. Often I've found people start to really consider what they're putting on their bodies when they get pregnant. So if that's you- I couldn't be more excited that you're here and wanting to learn!
I'm going to share some ingredients that are definitely wise to avoid in pregnancy specifically, and I'm also going to share some ingredients that don't have as much evidence to support that they should be avoided and are up to your discretion. A lot of pregnancy is doing what feels right for you and your baby. This list also can be used while nursing too. I am even going to cover essential oils. Again, essential oils are a category that can be very gray. There are people who think all essential oils should be avoided, and those that are more carefree and don't adhere to any strict guidelines. I'm more in the middle. While I do avoid some essential oils based on evidence that they are harmful, some essential oils don't have as much evidence to support such claims so I use sparingly. Ultimately it is up to you to decide what you deem is safe for you and your baby.
The biggest consideration I also want to point out when it comes to anything to avoid in pregnancy is the amount at which you are taking or applying to your skin. As with anything the dose matters! If you're applying something everyday to your skin I would question what is in it. Also, taking something internally is different then externally. While we do absorb what we apply to our skin, it is not as intense as if you were orally talking it. Many studies that have been done on deeming ingredients unsafe have been done on large doses- amounts people often wouldn't even be close to. Always consider the amount when taking in things to avoid.
Also, from what I read health experts often say to avoid essential oils in the first trimester more than any since this is the stage where the fetus is growing most rapidly and could be more fragile.
Last thing- As always I am not a doctor, please always consult with your physician before taking on any new regimen that you are unsure of.
9 month belly!
First I want to share some ingredients to avoid in pregnancy and why:
Retinol, Retin-A, Retinoic acid, and Tazaratene- These are all ingredients I would definitely steer clear of in pregnancy. There has been scientific data that proves these are not to be used when you're expecting(Source). These are all a form of Vitamin A and have been shown to cause birth defects when used in large amounts. This also includes oral vitamin A treatments used for acne like Accutane or isotretinoin as it's often called now(Source). Retinols are in the same family of Accutane and while there is more evidence to suggest Accutane is harmful during pregnancy- (most doctors won't even prescribe it if you're pregnant), most doctors agree that since retinol is closely linked to Accutane it is wise to avoid it as well.
Salicylic Acid- This is often used for treating acne. While the oral salicylic acid has been the ingredient that has shown the biggest negative impact on growing baby, many health experts would suggest avoiding the topical form as well(Source).
Benzoyl Peroxide- This is also used for treatment of acne. While there have been no definite studies showing it can cause negative impact while pregnant, health experts have said the body has a high rate of absorbing the ingredient and could affect the growing fetus.
Willow Bark- This is also used often in natural skincare products for acne. This is where salicylic acid is actually derived. Often people take willow bark as an aspirin as well since it's anti-inflammatory. While there is not much evidence on it, since it is part of the salicylic category, health experts have advised to avoid it.
Beta Hydroxy Acids(BHA) and Alpha Hydroxy Acids(AHA)- These should be avoided in pregnancy. They are often used in skincare to help treat specific conditions, like acne, skin inflammation, or other inflammatory skin conditions. The issue is the salicylic acid found in the acids. Studies have shown oral acids to be harmful but there is no concrete evidence on BHA's or AHA's, however health experts advise to avoid them as the skin does absorb small amounts. This could include glycolic acids as well. Personally I think in small amounts they're fine when used topically but again it's up to you. Do what is comfortable for you and baby.
Thyme- This is an herb that has caused miscarriage when taken in large amounts while pregnant.
Licorice Root- Unclear of the effects on unborn baby.
Dong Quai- This herb should be avoided as it causes bleeding.
Goldenseal- This herb should be avoided during pregnancy.
Yarrow- May contribute to miscarriage or preterm labor when taken internally.
Ashwagandha- May contribute to miscarriage or preterm labor.
Calendula- May contribute to miscarriage or preterm labor.
Borage- Potential negative affect of growing fetuses liver.
Dill Seed- It has been known to cause abortions.
Juniper- Can cause abortion.
Lemongrass- It has been known to cause irritation when used in pregnancy.
Oregano- Can cause skin sensitization.
Rosemary- Can effect the baby with it's specific compounds.
Tansy(different than blue tansy which is safe during pregnancy)- avoid because it is a neurotoxin.
Aniseed- Has been shown to raise the estrogen levels.
Cinnamon Bark Oil- Has been shown to lead to kidney or liver issues in fetuses and even contractions later in pregnancy.
Clove- Some said it was safe, others said it can cause contractions which lead to miscarriage. It also has been shown to slow down the clotting of blood, which isn't good for later in pregnancy. Consult with your doctor.
Bitter Almond- Can increase birth defects in babies.
Sage- Should be avoided as it can stimulate the uterus.
Wormwood- Can affect the uterus and endanger pregnancy.
Pennyroyal- It has shown in high doses to cause abortion.
*There may be essential oils I missed but in my research these were the ones that came up over and over. Just because I didn't include it doesn't mean it's safe. Make sure and check with your doctor first.
A word of caution when using essential oils during pregnancy.
Don't ingest them internally.
Always dilute them or do a patch test on yourself first. Skin and sensitivities can change during pregnancy.
Always buy oils that are stored in glass.
Buy oils that are the pure essential oisl, no added fragrance, etc.
Talk with your doctor if you're unsure about an essential oil before you use it.
Pregnancy Safe Skincare Brands
Below I'm going to share some of my favorite tried and true natural pregnancy safe skincare brands. These brands I've vetted myself and have personally used when I was pregnant. As always, if you're uncertain about a specific product or ingredient do a patch test or consult with your doctor before using.
The Beautycounter Countertime line is making waves- results driven skincare!
At Beautycounter they take their ingredient sourcing and ingredients in general very seriously. They test all of their products for 23 distinct safety endpoints to make sure they meet skincare safety when it comes to pregnancy. However, they also share that if you're still hesitant about a specific ingredient to check with your doctor. That being said I feel comfortable recommending and using Beautycounter products when I am pregnant or nursing.
A few of my favorite Beautycounter products:
Skin Twin Foundation- This foundation is the perfect consistency. It feels hydrating but offers the coverage I still crave. A great medium coverage overall. It looks like your skin but better.
Countertime Line- This is Beautycounter's Ant-aging line. They use a plant-derived retinol in the products, as well as antioxidants and peptides. After researching plant derived retinals I feel great about using it, but if you're not sure feel free to talk with your doctor.
Eye Makeup Remover- I love this eye makeup remover. It quickly gets rid of all your eye makeup.
Face Wipes- These are so nice to have around when you're pregnant and you don't feel like doing much. They make removing your makeup or cleansing your skin so easy.
All Bright C Serum- A great serum to use in the morning to help brighten your complexion and hyperpigmentation, protect your skin from the elements and even skin tone.
Resurfacing Peel- This is great to use at night for a light exfoliation. You wake up to brighter, glowing skin!
Primally Pure's Blue Tansy Deodorant and Charcoal Deodorant have won my heart!
This is another amazing natural skincare line that is pregnancy and nursing safe. Of course I will always include a disclaimer to check with your doctor as each person is unique. I love so many products from Primally Pure and used their line extensively when I was pregnant with my third. They offer simple, pure products. They even have a baby line!
A few of my favorite Primally Pure Products:
Deodorant- (Just avoid the lemongrass scent) I love the blue tansy scent, and charcoal scent.
This Pai Rosehip Cleansing Oil is hydrating and soothing on the skin.
This is another brand that I falls into the pregnancy safe skincare category. They have a whole page on their website dedicated to the discussion of pregnancy. I so appreciate this! Often brands when asked this question will not answer the question and just say to consult your doctor. I appreciate the brands that are digging a little deeper into the conversation and doing the leg work for the consumer. Pai is one such brand. You can view the full pregnancy safe skincare conversation on their website here. The founder used the line in both of her pregnancies. I really love Pai skincare for sensitive skin that needs hydration. Often both of those traits can be true of skin when pregnant. Pai even has some essential oil free products that I'll list below. The only two products that should be avoided are their Living Water and Viper Gloss.
A few of my favorite Pai Skincare products:
Middlemist Seven Cleanser- This creamy hydrating cleanser removes makeup and impurities but doesn't leave your skin feeling stripped.
Love this Marie Veronique Everyday Coverage SPF 30!
This is another skincare line that is safe for use during pregnancy except the Gentle Night Retinol Serum and Treatment Retinol Serum. I love Marie Veronique's products because they are not only safe but effective. They are results driven natural skincare products. Many of them are essential oil free as well, another perk to the line. They do a great job of bridging the gap between natural skincare and science.
A few of my favorite Marie Veronique Skincare products:
Pure + E.O. Oil Cleanser- This has long been one of my favorite natural cleansers. I love that it is an oil and feels hydrating to the skin but then suds up just enough and emulsifies when you add water. Not too mention I love that it comes in a glass pump bottle. The best of all the worlds.
Soothing B3 Serum- This serum is so good. I love anything with niacinamide in it and this has 10%! Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B. This helps to keep your skin balanced and soothed whether you're dealing with really cold or really hot climates. It helps prevent your skin from becoming sensitive and contributes to an overall glow.
Barrier Lipid Complex- This is perfect for keeping the skin's moisture intact. It contains ceramides, biomemetic fatty acids, and cholesterol- all responsible for maintaining proper skin health.
Love these Osmia Nectar Vital Rose Drops- so hydrating!
This is another brand that has a really well thought out answer when it comes to pregnancy safe skincare. The founder of Osmia is Sarah Villafranco. She is an emergency doctor turned natural skincare expert. I love her stance on pregnancy safe skincare. She wrote a whole blog post on the topic and offers recommendations for products that are completely essential oil free, plus a product list for skincare that does have essential oils in it but are deemed safe and products you should avoid all together. Check out the blog post and the lists here.
A few of my favorite Osmia products:
Body Mousse- This is SO decadent and feels like a serious treat when you apply it on your body. It's like frosting- but you can't eat it! The perfect treat for any pregnant mama.
Naked Body Oil- I'm obsessed with this body oil! It melts into your skin upon application and leaves it hydrating for days. I also love that they offer an essential oil free version- perfect for pregnancy safe skincare.
Bar Soaps- This is Osmia's signature product IMO and so good. They look like works of art, but are actually bars of soap. I love the coffee mint scent- wakes you up in the best possible way.
Nectar Vital Rose Drops-This is a hydrating facial oil and feels so moisturizing on the skin. If you have very dry, sensitive skin these may be just what you need. I love how rich the oil feels on the skin.
This is a skincare brand I've been a fan of for years. I love knowing that their products are also pregnancy safe. Here is a quote from their website explaining the product: “Aleavia products are alkaloid based bio-stimulants which actually feed a wide variety of friendly microorganisms on the skin causing the healthy bacteria to go into a feeding frenzy. This ultimately results in much higher activity levels of normal friendly bacteria. Over a short period of time, the “good guys” will completely overwhelm any harmful bacteria, virtually eliminating skin disorders of many types. Our skin care products accomplish this on a molecular level using a combination of 100%-natural, organic, and environmentally safe ingredients.” They also help balance the ph of the skin, all while conditioning it. I was amazed at their success stories found here on their website. People's skin literally transformed! For more info. on the exact science behind Aleavia-check out their website here. Now, you may be thinking they must put a ton of ingredients in their products…but that's not the case! They use just a handful of ingredients and all completely natural.
A few of my favorite products from Aleavia:
Body Wash-My whole family uses this! I love that it's a prebiotic body wash and isn't getting rid of healthy beneficial skin bacteria as well.
Hand Wash-They have a brand new hand wash that you can feel good about using while your pregnant too!
Facial Cleanser- This is a great basic everyday facial cleanser that will keep your good bacteria in check on your skin.
This Goop Himalayan Salt Scrub Shampoo had me after my first use!
The more products I've tried from Goop the more I am totally sold on them! They really do perform so well. I found an entire blog post dedicated to the topic of Goop pregnancy safe skincare written by a doctor- it's a good read. She shares a lists of products that are safe and products that aren't. I even found the comment section underneath the blog post to be helpful as readers asked thoughtful questions. Check out the full post here.
I hope this helps you when you're searching for pregnancy safe skincare products. It can often seem daunting to know what to avoid in our products when pregnant on top of all the other factors we are facing. Hopefully this list helped eliminate some of the confusion and stress!
What are some of your favorite pregnancy safe skincare products?
If you liked this post, check out past posts below:
My natural baby/child gift guide is here! I hope it helps you get some ideas on gifts for that special baby or child in your life. I have everything from toys, to bedding, and practical items. Leave me a comment on what you love getting baby or kids as gifts. Would love to hear!
I got these as a gift for Finley, Gracie and SJ and absolutely love them! They love them too. They are handmade in Peru and for every doll purchased they feed 10 children. Pretty awesome! They are so intricately made and have so much character. The perfect doll your kids will love for years to come. Check them out here!
We love Pottery Barn's organic kid's bedding. We have their organic crib sheets, their organic twin size sheets and organic duvet covers. I love how they are all organic and still so cute with their fun designs and prints to choose from. Also, they're always having sales, making them a great deal too! Check them out here!
We have an organic twin size bed from White Lotus Home for one of my girls and we love it! It's super soft and comfortable and will grow with them as they grow. We also have all of their pillows from White Lotus Home too. Each of my girls have their kapok pillows. We also had their toddler pillow when they were younger. I love knowing they're not exposed to toxins as they're sleeping. Especially since they sleep a lot! Use coupon code: GGG25 for 25% off! Check them out here!
I couldn't not include these in my natural baby/child gift guide! Minted makes the cutest monogrammed aprons. I swooned over these this year! They come in small sizes for even toddlers. Every year we do a baking day with my sister and a gingerbread house day with my mom. These are perfect for wearing as they're baking. The prints are too cute and designed by an artist. I love how Minted showcases the artist and really promotes supporting artists around the world. Can't think of a better gift for kiddos! Especially getting them in the kitchen! Check them out here!
I love these plates, bowls, cups and utensils for everyday use! They have toddler size utensils and then bigger kid utensils. No plastic leaching! We've had ours for over 4 years and they're still in great condition. Get it here!
I got these for my girls a couple months ago and haven’t looked back! I love that they come with a lid and a silicone straw. We take these with us when we get drinks at places and we also use them for smoothies. I like that they can’t take the lids off! Get it here!
These booties are the best for babies! They actually stay on their feet and keep their little tootsies warm. I tried socks and little shoes but nothing stayed on my girls feet. These booties are a game changer! Can’t recommend them enough. Get them here!
My kids still go outside even when the weather gets wet- I mean we live in Washington state so we don't have much of a choice! 😉 We love how durable Hunter boots are. My oldest gets a new pair every year and then we pass them down to her younger sister. They are still in such great condition! They're having a sale right now too. Check them out here!
I've gotten the girls these organic jammies the last couple years and love them! They even have family organic jammies. So not only your kids can get them but even the adults too! They have some of the cutest prints too. Even baby jammies! I love how they are a little less expensive then other organic jammies too. Check them out here!
I didn't realize all the new products Ergo has since my last baby! I've been using the new Embrace Carrier and absolutely love it! Even my hubs is obsessed. It can fit infants from 7-25lbs. It's so soft and comfortable for them as newborns. It's also not as big and bulky as the Omni 360. I love the Omni as they get older but the new Embrace has quickly become my new favorite for when they're smaller. It's similar to a wrap but not as cumbersome to put on. You just use the buckles to snap it on- so easy! Trust me if you have a friend or relative that's having a baby they need this! Check them out here!
This is also a great toy that helps kids to use their minds. It comes with cards that have designs on them and you create the design with the magnet shapes. It's also a great travel one in the car too. Get it here!
We love our Uppa baby Infant flame retardant free car seat! I love knowing that my baby isn't being exposed to harmful flame retardants and that it still looks sleek. We have this one and we also have this stroller! This Cruz stroller is awesome because it makes it so easy to pop into places easily. It also folds up and lays flat. The car seat just attaches right in. No additional attachments needed. Love them both! Get them here!
I got these for Gracie and now I got a pair for SJ. They are the perfect little booties to keep their feet warm and yet look stylish still. They come in a variety of colors. When you buy a pair of Toms, then they give a pair of shoes to someone in need. Check them out here!
I've been wanting to get one of these for years and I think this year I'm finally going to do it. My kids will use chairs in the kitchen to help me but I would love a tower like this because it's so much safer. Such great thing to have for kids to be able to help learn their way around the kitchen. Check it out here!
This toy is awesome! It helps kids learn to count with lady bugs. The lady bug has a number on the bottom of it. Also comes with a carrying bag. A great way to get kids to have fun while learning! Check it out here!
This backpack is perfect for helping kids gain fine motor skills. Gracie was obsessed with it and still loves it! It's great for car rides or travel in general. Keeps them busy but learning! Check it out here!
These really make a playroom standout but are also super practical. They help keep the room a little cleaner. Sometimes things spill and it's nice to be able to just wipe it up, especially if the room has carpet. Plus, my kids like to take them apart and put them back together. It's like one big puzzle. Check them out here!
I want to get one of these for Finley! I love that they are reversible. One side works for when she is wearing something nicer and the other side is great for just play. I always feel like I need two jackets for her but this solves the problem! Plus, I love North Face quality. We have a jacket from them when she was younger and Gracie still uses it now! Check it out here!
My girls love their scooters! They are such a great investment. I love that it keeps them active but also is easier to bring with us instead of a bike. We got Gracie one when she was 2 and she still loves it! We love the brand we have too. Super durable. Check them out here!
Hope my natural baby/child gift guide was helpful! If you need more ideas for gifts when it comes to natural beauty- check them out below!
So excited to share my Nest baby diaper review. After having 3 babies I've learned what a good diaper is and what it isn't. Being in the green community and living a natural lifestyle most people might think I cloth diaper. I don't and never have! While I think it's amazing if you do and more power to you, it just hasn't been for my family. I definitely entertained it but my husband was adamant that he was not going to cloth diaper. I realized he's made so many concessions in other areas when it comes to a natural lifestyle for me, I wasn't going to push him into something he wasn't for. Plus, from what I've read you want both parents to be on the same page when it comes to cloth diapering!
I've tried ALL the natural brands when it comes to natural diapers. Literally. There weren't many options 5 1/2 years ago when I had my first daughter. But they have definitely improved since then.
Today I want to share my full review on Nest diapers. I had actually first heard about them from a follower and when I looked into them knew I HAD to try them out for myself.
*Nest did gift me the diapers, however, thoughts and opinions are my own.
These eco-friendly diapers are changing the disposal diaper game for good!
So what makes Nest diapers different?
Unlike most diapers that sit in a land fill forever, Nest diapers do the opposite! They degrade- how cool is that. They are made from plant based and sustainable materials. The ingredients are environmentally friendly and renewable. I love that they clearly list their ingredients on their website. Check out the full ingredient list here.
They are also independently tested by a laboratory and are Oeko-Tex 100 & SGS certified. Most diapers are made with fragrance, chlorine, and who know's what else- but not Nest. They are free of all of those chemicals. Nest diapers are even tested to ensure they are not irritating and hypo-allergenic. I love knowing that the diaper I'm using is squeaky clean!
SJ is a fan of the Nest diapers!
My Experience with Nest Diapers-
I was impressed first of all by the packaging. Nest isn't just concerned about the diaper itself but also the environment as a whole. The diapers come in a paper bag that has a thin film polypropylene. This creates a packaging that is not only recyclable and great for the environment but also that stops the plastic use epidemic.
The diapers themselves are simple and white. Nothing written on them or logo. Just the diaper, which I appreciate. Sometimes I think we need to come back to simple times when things were basic. Nest achieves that beautifully.
Upon first glance at the diapers I noticed that they appeared larger and wider than other brands of the same size. I wanted to share the sizing chart below so you could see the different options. They do allow for a little more growth than typical diapers in my opinion.
I really love how wide they are. It helps to keep everything inside the diaper. The diapers don't smell at all. Another thing I love! We have had two blowouts using them but both times it was when my husband had changed him. I'm not pointing blame but he didn't pull the diaper sides out like I usually do. 😉 I mean all you moms can feel me on this! I love how they are softer than some other natural brands that I've used in the past too. They mold to the baby's body instead of being stiff and scratchy.
They come by bag, case or you can even order a sample. I love that they offer samples! Such a great idea. Get a sample here. I got the case of size 1 diapers and it has lasted me for almost a month! They also have training pants too- something I'm excited to try for my 3 year old.
I asked my hubs what his thoughts on the diapers were and he said great. That he would definitely recommend. I feel the same! I'm so excited to finally have a diaper that feels good on my baby, works and is good for the environment.
Sharing my 7 postpartum recovery tips for you in my latest video today! All about what has worked for me postpartum with my third baby. I finally feel like I know what works after having 3 babies. I'm giving you the full scoop in the latest video!
This has been the smoothest transition so far after 3 babies. Sometimes I think we don't consider the postpartum season and how that is going to look or how we want it to look. In this video I'm diving into boundaries I've set up, preparations I made before having my third baby that helped me and practical things that go a long way when welcoming a new baby into the house. I hope this video helps you have a clearer idea of what kind of postpartum season you want and parameters you can set up to make the transition as smooth as possible.
*Also, if you're interested in more natural mama content, check out some of my past posts all about pregnancy below:
I wanted to share how to prep for baby with you and what I did to make sure I was ready. This is my third baby and I've learned a lot with the last two. So far this postpartum season has been so much better than my last two. I definitely credit it to having some experience with my first two. You know what to expect the second and third time around and you're more aware of what you really need and what you don't.
I'm going to share what I prepped before the birth and how it's helped make the transition so much smoother. This is essentially a little of what I would have in my hospital bag, but since I have home births it's more what I have on hand and ready to go after the birth. But if you are having your baby at a hospital or birth center, this would still apply.
Some of the things I had prepped were products and some weren't. I found having all of these things on hand has helped me so much in the transition. I don't have to think about frantically ordering things or having my hubs run and get me something since I know what I will need. I hope if this is your first baby or even if it's your third or fourth baby this will help you when prepping for your new bundle! Keep reading to find out all the essentials I had ready to go when baby was born.
*I'm going to first outline items to have ready to go for mama and then what to prep and have ready to go for baby.
Me and my little man!
How To Prep For Baby:
Prepping For Mama-
Chic Bathrobe- This might sound a little funny but for me I knew I wanted to have a maternity/nursing robe that I could wear right after the birth that was chic looking. There are so many pictures taken initially and I wanted something that I could feel comfortable in but also looked pretty. I found just the robe! This would be a great gift for a new mom too. Check out the robe here!
Wish Garden Cramp Tincture- This is an herbal remedy for after birth pains. Usually this happens more after your first baby, not that it can't happen with your first. But it tends to happen the more babies you have. I had read really good things about how this helped soothe after birth cramps for many women. I love that it's just herbs. I actually didn't end up using it because I had lost quite a bit of blood…SJ was 10lb. and 7 oz and so the midwife didn't want me to take it because she said it actually causes the uterus to relax more and she wanted mine to not relax, since that could cause more bleeding. I still would recommend it from what I've read though. After birth pains definitely are uncomfortable. Get it here!
Breast Pads- I use some disposable breast pads in the first month or so as my milk supply is evening out and then I transition to reusable breast pads. I use disposable pads and then once I transition to reusable breast pads I use Marley Monsters. I find I have a lot of leaking the first several weeks when my milk production is just starting and the reusable ones I always end up leaking through. Get the disposable pads here and the Marley Monster pads here.
Pads For Down Under- Yes, after you have a baby you will bleed for a bit. Some women bleed less and others bleed more. I usually bleed for the first couple weeks. In the beginning you tend to bleed a lot more. Especially the first 48 hours or so. I actually used Depends the first several days and they were amazing! I can't recommend them enough. As silly as it may seem to put on a Depends they work amazingly well. You don't have to worry about leaking anywhere. I also had some pads on hand for after the first several days. You'll still be bleeding but not enough to where you'll need to wear a Depends. Get Depends here and pads here.
Breastmilk Storage- I found it's best to have all your breastmilk storage equipment figured out beforehand. So have the breast pump, figure out how you're going to store the breast milk and make sure you have all the products, etc. Your milk usually comes in around day 3 and it typically comes in with a vengeance! I love being able to pump right away to help establish my milk production and to find some relief from engorged breasts. I found for me having my system of pumping and storing my breast milk figured out has helped me a ton. I use this pump, but use these glass bottles to attach to the pump as I'm pumping. Then I store the breast milk in these silicone cubes and then once frozen store them in mason jars. I also would invest in a Haakka. This has literally changed my life this time around! It collects all the let down from the side you're not pumping on. Making it so easy to collect breast milk without even pumping. It's pretty amazing. Get it here!
Nipple Balm- This is definitely a necessity for the first several weeks. I always tend to get sore nipples and having an organic nipple cream on hand really makes the difference. I rub this on after feedings to help prevent cracked or dry nipples. Get it here!
Mother's Milk Tea- This is a definite must in my book when it comes to keeping up my milk supply. I always have this on hand right after I give birth. It helps to promote healthy lactation. Plus, it's such a soothing drink I've found after birth. I drink it everyday. Usually putting two tea bags in a mug of hot water. Get it here!
Water Bottle- This might sound like a silly one but it's actually really important in my opinion. Staying hydrated is super important when breastfeeding and after birth helping to flush out excess fluids. Finding a water bottle that you love and makes it easy for you to get your daily water intake in is essential. Find what works for you. For me it's as simple as getting a 32 oz size mason jar and silicone straw. I find I drink more water from a straw. Get a water bottle that holds a decent amount of water and have it ready to go after you give birth. It will make getting your daily water intake in so much easier! Check out what I use here and here.
Nursing Bras and Tank Tops- Having these ready to go and washed is also another great things to have prepped. As I said earlier your milk production comes in around day 3 so it's nice to have nursing bras and tank tops all ready to go since you'll be living in them. I found you need to have several too, since the night sweats after birth can leave you smelling less than pleasant and leave your clothes feeling grimy. Plus, sometimes you're covered in spit up by the end of the day. I really like Target's options for nursing bras and tank tops. They're effective but budget friendly. Check out the nursing bras I have here and the tank tops here. For the nursing bras I would tend to size up. You will get a lot larger in the chest then you realize and I always think nursing bras tend to run a bit smaller.
Supplements- Now is not the time to stop your supplements just because the baby is out. In fact it's even more crucial to continue taking your prenatal and anything else your doctor may have recommended during pregnancy. From what I've read you should continue supplementing up until 6 months after birth. Your body is going to be depleted from just having a baby and needs the extra nutrients. Plus, you are still giving out so much if you're breastfeeding. I also would recommend seeing a Naturopathic Doctor or Functional Doctor right before having baby and getting a blood draw. This will help you to see where your levels are right before birth and then you can get your blood drawn again in 6 weeks to make sure you are not getting depleted in a certain area. Mom's tend to not take care of themselves and focus on the baby. You still need to take care of yourself! Find a functional medical doctor in your area here. I love Seeking Health's Prenatal Supplement and B Complex, Probiotic, and Magnesium. I take Elite Fuel's Vitamin D3+K2.
Meal Prep- It might seem obvious but it's definitely something most women I find don't do in prepping for baby. I didn't with my first two. I shared how I meal prepped and planned for baby #3 in this video. I went over the recipes I made and how I did it, plus how I didn't store in plastic. This has been one of the best things I did! Not having to think about what I am going to make for dinner and having things I can easily reheat that are nutrient dense has been a game changer. I can't recommend meal prepping enough! Ask a few family members or friends to help and make a day out of it. Check out my meal prep video here.
My third little nugget- SJ!
Prepping For Baby-
Onesie- Having some onesie's or clothes on hand that are washed and ready to go is definitely good. Since I didn't know the gender of the third baby I just made sure I had some of my girl's old onesie's and then I bought a boy onesie's. Knowing I had at least one outfit made me feel at ease. This is the onesie I got for SJ.
Bouncy Ball- This is what we've used with our last two and it's been so clutch. It's just the big balls you use for working out but instead we just use it to hold and bounce the baby when they're a little fussy. You know the witching hour that tends to happen during the day. Well, this comes in handy for those exact times. Instead of having to stand and rock them, you can sit and bounce on the ball. The baby loves it! We always make sure we have ours filled with air and ready to go before baby arrives. Check them out here!
Pacifier- I know some people don't like giving their kids pacifiers but I've found it's been nice to have one on hand for our kids. Sometimes you can't just keep feeding them and they still want to suck and so these come in handy. I'm ok giving them to my baby as long as they seem like they have a good latch when nursing. It hasn't been a problem for me. These are the ones I got for SJ.
Swaddle- You can either swaddle them in a swaddle blanket or get a specific swaddle product. They have so many swaddle products now to help make swaddling babies easier. I found the swaddle blankets are ok but not as effective as the swaddle products. I love the Ollie Swaddle. My friend gave it to me and it's been amazing. It's super easy to use and really helps them to sleep so well! Check out the Ollie Swaddle here.
Baby Bed- Figure out what you're going to put the baby in initially. How is the set up going to be, etc. It can seem silly but having something to put your baby in that's ready to go makes all the difference in the beginning, especially when sleep can be harder to come by. I have used this for all my kids on my bed for the first 6 weeks or so and it's been great. I put it on my bed in the middle. I love that I can see them easily and that they're elevated a little. Check it out here.
Night Light- Another thing you might not think about but I find is nice is a night light. Whether you use your phone's light, have a bedside lamp, a literal night light or even a salt lamp, it's nice to have something for those late night feedings. No one wants to turn on a bright light in the middle of the night. I have a salt lamp that I used in the beginning but now I've been using my phone's light. It still works even when you're phone is on airplane mode.
Boppy Or Breastfriend- I had the poppy with Finley and the breast friend with Gracie and I like the breast friend better. It makes nursing so much easier, especially in those first several months when they are smaller. It can be hard to get the right position and you can feel like you're becoming a hunchback but with the breast friend it helps to bring the baby up to you and give you just the right position. It will make breast feeding more enjoyable. The boppy tended to move around a lot on me. I prefer the breast friend. Get it here!
Wipes- Obviously you want to have wipes on hand. These are my favorite wipes. They're ingredients are amazing and they aren't too wet or too dry, just the perfect consistency. Plus, I love that I can buy them by the case from Amazon! Get them here.
Diapers- Another obvious is diapers. I really like Bambo Nature, and Pamper's Pure. Honest diapers are good too, I find they aren't as soft. I have a new brand that I've been testing out and really loving called Nest. They are completely compostable. My guidelines for a diaper are they must be fragrance free and chlorine free. The face that the Nest is compostable is definitely a added bonus! Check out the Nest diapers here.
Wrap- I think a wrap is really nice to have, especially in the early months. Sometimes the only way they will sleep is on you and mama has to get things done. I really like the Boba Wrap and the Sakura Ring Sling. They both have been awesome for wearing baby. I also have the Ergo Carrier and love that as well. It works with newborns too but I find I use that as they get a little older. Check out the Boba Wrap and the Sakura Ring Sling here.
Blanket- Shocker you need a blanket! I love having a couple on hand in case one gets dirty or has spit up on it. I recently bought this one from Amazon. It's 100% organic and jersey knit. I love the print options they have as well. Check them out here.
I hope these prep tips have been helpful for when you're getting ready for baby! Obviously there are a lot more things you could have but I've found these are the essentials when I'm thinking about how to prep for baby. Sometimes less is more too.
What are some of your favorite things you prep for baby?
Sharing my third home birth story of my baby boy on the blog. This is my third baby and our last. 😉 I wanted to share my home birth story in hopes that it would help anyone reading this who wants to do a home birth or natural birth. I think a lot of times having a baby can be made out to be something that isn’t natural. When really our body was created to do it. I also know that home births are not for everyone and at the end of the day you just have to do what’s best for you and your baby.
I love home births because that’s where I feel most comfortable. I know a lot of people feel better in a hospital. As the phrase goes- you do you! I had Finley and Gracie at home and it only felt right to have my third baby at home.
Ok, on to my third home birth story.
My baby boy SJ! 🙂
This pregnancy was so different than my last two. I was super uncomfortable, and felt lots of pressure the whole time. It makes sense now that I know how much my baby weighed! A whopping 10 lbs. 7 oz. I felt like the whole pregnancy he was just sitting on my bladder. If you would have told me I would have a 10 lb + baby I would have laughed! Finley was 9.05 lbs. and Gracie was 7 lbs. 12 oz. so I thought if I had a boy he could be 9 something but not 10. Little did I know!
So I had SJ on Monday night but I started the labor and birth process on Saturday. I lost my mucous plug on Saturday and had some bloody show. I didn’t start having contractions until Saturday early morning around 2 am. They would come every 20-30 minutes. Nothing crazy. Then they stopped Sunday morning. I would still have one every hour or so but it definitely wasn’t progressing. I walked up and down my stairs throughout the day trying to get my body to progress. But nothing really happened until later that night. Around 8 pm I started to have contractions again but they were 20 minutes apart. Some were 15 minutes apart. My two sisters were over and we were just chatting it up on the couch timing them.
Proud parents of a baby boy!
Then that night I woke up around 3 am and started to have contractions again every 20 minutes. Some were closer. It went on like this all night until the morning. Then they died down in the morning again. I was determined to get some things done before the baby came so I worked all morning until 1 pm. I was having contractions throughout the morning and could tell that I was going to have the baby that day. They still weren’t super close together. Then around 2:30 pm they started to pick up. They were happening every 10 minutes and then every 5 minutes pretty quickly. I knew I was going to have my baby that night!
This little boy completes our family.
I called my family and told them. My mom came over and my two sisters and then my other sister came later on. Thankfully she made the birth! This really was so cool because I wanted my sisters to all be there and they were able to make it. My sister in law came over too and my midwife got to my house around 4:30 pm. I was having contractions every 5 minutes. But when I started to stand up and move around they would happen quicker. More like every 3 minutes. I knew I needed to keep walking in order to keep things progressing. I started to bear crawl up my stairs. I’ve heard many people say this can help keep things moving in labor. They were coming on faster. I was still able to talk to my family or midwife at this point in between contractions. Then finally it was around 6:30-7 when things started to get more intense. I wasn’t talking to anyone but just focused on getting through the contractions. I would go to the bathroom and swaddle the toilet for a bit and then move back to being on my knees on the floor and my hands and elbows on the couch. I was also standing for many of them and leaning against the counter.
For me my favorite position when getting through contractions is on my knees and my arms and elbows on the couch or a bouncy ball. I know everyone is different but for me it always feels the best. Not that it still feels good. Finally it got to the point where they were coming on really quick and I wasn’t getting much breaks. They were also getting really intense. More intense then with my other two babies. It finally got to the point where I felt so much pressure and wanted to push. My midwife said push if you feel like it. So I started to push. It felt like it did nothing though. There was just so much pressure I thought how am I going to get this baby out?! It was way more intense than with my other two.
Proud daddy catching his son!
When I pushed again my water broke. It was crazy. I had never had it happen like that. It was like an explosion of water went everywhere. My midwife later said that I had got her pretty good! I continued to feel an immense amount of pressure the contractions were getting so strong. I kept thinking to myself push with the contractions. So when the next one came on I gave it all I had and pushed when it peaked. They started to say they could see the head and boy could I feel it! I knew I had to keep pushing with the contractions to help get this baby out. The next contraction I gave it all I had again and the head came out. By this time I knew I just needed to keep going with the pushes and the contractions. I felt so tired though and again the pressure was so intense. I was wailing at this point as I pushed. We were all surprised after that my kids didn’t wake up from it. I just kept thinking I have to get this baby out- the pain was intense. I gave another huge push with the contraction and out came my baby! I had SJ right on my living room floor.
Meeting my son for the first time!
My husband caught him and announced it was a boy! We named him SJ- Stephen Judah. We hadn’t found out the gender and it was so fun hearing him say boy. In my heart I thought it was a boy all along. Just so many things pointed to boy. My whole family thought boy too. But it could be the fact that a boy hasn’t been born to our family in 38 years- since my brother. I had two girls before SJ and my brother has 5 girls. I mean we love girls for sure but it was definitely time everyone thought for a boy. It was pretty special seeing my dad meet him for the first time too since he's named after him. He came about an hour after he was born. We asked him if he thought it was a boy or a girl and he said he didn’t know. When I said it was a boy, he excitedly said YES! My sisters and mom were all crying as he was being born. It was just so sweet. My sister in law is a naturopathic doctor and has had 5 kids herself naturally and 4 at home. She always helps me through each labor, she's amazing and I don't know what I would do without her at my births. Her and my hubs switch on and off rubbing my back and putting pressure on it. This pregnancy I had so much back labor compared to the last two as well. It felt better when someone would put pressure on my back as the contractions were happening. Up until it got really intense I was still timing the contractions on my phone with the Contractions app. Well I wasn’t timing it, my sister was. I would just say it’s coming and she would start it. This helped me to see how far apart my contractions were. It also helped me continue to stand and move because I could tell my contractions would pick up when I did move and slow down when I sat down.
Finley loves holding her little brother!
It was such sweet relief the moment he came out. There are no words! I felt like I had just climbed a mountain, or basically ran up the mountain. I remember just saying I did it! My midwife said I pushed for 9 minutes. Felt like so much longer than 9 minutes! They handed me SJ and it was just the best feeling in the world. I couldn't believe how big he looked and that he came out of me. When she weighed him and it said 10 lbs. 7 oz. I was in disbelief. I just didn’t even know what to say! My midwife said he could have weighed more even but he did pee right after he came out. How in the world did I just deliver a 10 + pound baby?! It’s just amazing what the human body can do. I did have a small tear but it wasn’t big enough to stitch up. This happened with Gracie too. Where I had a small tear but not big enough to stitch. I just have to rest up and be careful to not do anything to over exert myself. No stairs for a little bit! I also bled way more than with my other two babies. So much so that the midwife had to give me a shot of something to help stop the bleeding. It totally helped ease it up. 10 lb babies don’t mess around! I took a shower after giving birth in my shower and then crawled into bed with my new bundle. That’s my favorite part. Getting to take a shower in my own shower and sleep in my bed. Feels so good.
I definitely feel so different with this baby compared to the other two as far as recovery. The whole birth just felt a lot more intense. I’ve been laying in bed the last several days just giving my body the rest it needs to heal. I felt pretty swollen down under and sore all over. Which makes sense after hearing how much he weighed. They say that for every baby you have you should literally lay in bed after for that many days. With Finley I tried moving around way earlier than I should and got mastitis. I learned my lesson. I know it’s only going to help my whole family if I rest up and heal. My mom has been awesome helping me out with my girls and making me meals. Also, my hubs has been a rockstar at doing everything for me. We haven’t had to dig into our meal prep quite yet. So thankful we did meal prep a ton for this baby. I can tell it’s going to be clutch.
Still looking 6 months pregnant after 4 days.
I still look like I’m 6 months pregnant, but really embracing my body and all that it’s accomplished. I have stretch marks, a bulging belly and I have more love in my heart than I’ve ever had. There’s no high I always say like having a baby gives you. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with challenges but the reward is SO sweet.
Have you had a home birth? Would love to hear about it, leave me a comment below. Hope you enjoyed reading my third home birth story!