I often get asked what I recommend having on hand for the big day. No, not your wedding. I’m talking about the day you go into labor. And if you’re planning a natural birth there are a few essentials for your birth bag that can help everything go smoothly.

I learned so many things from my first labor and can’t wait to do it again so I can change some things.

For example, I can’t stress how important it is to replenish during labor whether you are planning a natural birth or not…. and I know, it’s the LAST thing we want to do but it’s so vital. I went nearly NINE hours without food/drink, which only made things worse. I will never forget when my doula gave me some apple juice and the change that took place. All of a sudden I had ENERGY. I had glucose running through my veins and an instant boost to my delivery. So, I will be sure to drink lots of fluids during labor next time… I think liquid nourishment is probably better than a lot of food since it’s easier on the body and we’re pretty preoccupied to stop and eat anyway.

Natural Birth Essentials

So, whether we give birth at home, in a birthing center or at a hospital, here are 10 helpful tools which can promote a natural birth and smoother delivery.

1. Honey sticks

Think Pixie Sticks for crunchy mamas. These are a great form of natural sugar that’s super convenient to suck down mid-labor. (where to buy honey sticks)

2. Dates

I’m eating these suckers the month before and during labor based on this study. Can’t hurt as they’re another form of natural sugar, plus they have calming properties due to their mineral content. (where to buy dates)

3. Bone broth

Nothing replaces electrolytes and soothes the soul like a mug of bone broth. Put in a large thermos and make yourself sip throughout labor. Your body will thank you!

4. Red raspberry leaf tea

RRL tea is a superstar! It helps to tone our uterus and pelvic wall muscles, which is very important for birth. Most midwives recommend drinking it in the 2nd trimester on. Check with your healthcare practitioner on when to consume for your individual pregnancy. (where to buy tea)

5. Fresh fruit juices

I personally like OJ for its vitamin C, potassium and magnesium content and coconut juice is wonderful for potassium, magnesium, and electrolytes. You can add gelatin and a little cream to balance out your sugars. (where to buy)

6. Progesterone mixed in coconut oil

This can be used as a pain reliever (YES!) during labor. Rub on belly and back to relieve cramping. Here are a bunch of progesterone products to choose from.

7. Magnesium oil spray

Another form of pain management, squirt on body to help muscles relax during labor which helps promote a natural birth (where to buy spray)

8. Homeopathy

Bring. On. The. Drugs. (Natural, of course 🙂 ). Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor so consult with your health care provider before using any of these remedies.

  • To help your cervix dilate, try Caullophyllum 200C or Cimicifuga 200C.
  • Taking Gelsemium 30C and Pulsatilla 30C every few hours can help keep labor progressing nicely.
  • During the pushing phase, Arnica – 200C can help with pain and fatigue.
  • For back labor, try Kali Carb 200C.
  • For overall exhaustion, use Kali Phos 200C.
  • Additionally, Arnica 30C every few hours or even every 1/2 hour after labor helps with soreness.
  • Gelsemium and Pulsatilla can also induce labor or help breech babies flip.

9. Water.

Yes, hydrotherapy is one of the best pain relievers out there. The tub felt good but the shower was my bestest friend during labor. The hard pellets of water falling down on my back felt like manna from heaven. Be aware, however, that water *can* slow labor, particularly the bath.

10. DOULA.

I think this is probably the most important “tool” to have at your birth. These angels from heaven give you the support, confidence and coaching to have your natural birth… wouldn’t do it without one of these 🙂

Are you pregnant? Planning a baby shower?

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How about YOU?

What would you recommend to have on hand during labor for a natural birth?