Thursday, April 9, 2020

Pre-Labour & Delivery Tips

So, I did a lot of research when it came to this. I wanted to be prepared - shocker right! - and be sure to have all the necessary products. Even though I didn't know what the final outcome would be, I figured I would have it regardless and then just pass them along to another mom friend if I didn't end up using any of it!

I had a list of things I wanted to have prepared; a lot of these things came from the information I received from Healthy Birth Choices and from my friend Lucy who is a wealth of information! So I plan to share some of these things with you but I cannot take credit for any of it!

Labour & Delivery Tips
Have Water within Reach!
At Healthy Birth Choices we were told to have water near by during the first stage of labour. It is important to keep hydrated between contractions in order to keep your bladder active so that it does not stay full which could actually become a challenge when you are in labour and trying to push the baby out. Many times, women can go into an emergency c-section because the baby does not seem to be progressing into the canal. There have been cases where women actually have had a full bladder which caused a block and the baby was unable to get things progressing in order to start the descend. By drinking water after every contraction (like a few sips from a straw) and then trying to pee, it will keep you hydrated and help maintain an empty bladder!

Tip: have some sort of sip type cup, I got mine from Starbucks! 

Ener-C Drink & Popsicles
Once you are in active labour, drinking water on its own won't do much nor will you have the desire to be drinking water. During this time however it is still important to keep hydrated but also important to remember you will be burning energy. By this time, you will not by very interested in food either so having some water with Ener-C mixed in or making some Ener-C popsicle sticks will assist in keeping hydration up as well as giving you a little boost of energy.

You could find Ener-C at your local health food store and/or in the health food section at your grocery store.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea & Evening Primrose
At about 34 weeks you could start drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea  and at about 36 weeks you could start Evening Primrose. Both of these methods are encouraged by Midwives and always be sure to confirm with your midwives and other healthcare practitioners when it is safe with your pregnancy to take these items and/or if recommended. Everyone is different and therefore may require different timelines and guidance. The timelines above were given to me by my midwives, and I am sure based on my appointments with them. The red raspberry leaf tea is good to drink as it actually helps to prepare your uterus for birth. You may experience some contractions - not real ones! - as this tea will get your muscles moving. If the contractions are too strong, then of course either refrain from drinking (if you're only doing one cup a day) but you could drink up to 3 cups a day. I actually pre-made a bunch and had it in the fridge. I added a little bit of honey to sweeten it a little and it was nice especially when it was super hot!

With the Evening Primrose, you ingest one pill in the morning and in the evening you poke a hole in the gel capsule and insert the pill vaginally. This will help to soften your cervix and start preparing your body for birth. This helped me tremendously, and helped to soften my cervix even leading up to delivery. When I went for my appointment at 38 weeks, I was already about 1 centimeter dilated already! During delivery I believe having done this really helped speed the process for me with dilating and maintaining a soft cervix. Again, make sure to speak to a health practitioner about both these products before using!

Tip: You can find the tea at many grocery stores in the natural food section; I purchased the primrose from as the brand has great reviews and I couldn't locate it elsewhere. 

EZ Birth 
So, EZ Birth, so much I could say about this product, and so much others have said. All good of course! This item was also recommended to me by my midwives. I had heard about this product before my midwives had recommended it as I had a number of friends who went with midwives. This item also helps prepare your body for labour and allows for labour. I have nothing bad to say about this product as I do find it helped and probably played a big part in the positive experience I faced with labour.

Eating is Actually Important!
My midwives and many moms who took the midwifery route actually discuss and express that eating until you lose the urge to do so - usually when you're in active labour - is actually good because you will have an energy reserve that you will definitely need when you're delivering the baby! I have to share that while in first stage of labour, I ate an entire meal consisting of chicken, salad and some sort of carb! It was glorious and actually never tasted so good! In my mind I think it was thinking or knowing it would have been my last real meal before learning to scarf down food once the baby was in the picture! With this mindset, think quick, easy and something that is still tasty! My friend Lucy gave me a recipe for some energy bites which I ate during labour as well as after delivery as a snack whenever I was hungry.

- Energy Bites Recipe - 


  • 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup organic peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup almond butter 
  • Alternatively; I used 1.5 cups of Nuts for Nature: Nut & Seed Butter
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (when you're in labour it is totally okay to have this as well as post delivery)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut + extra for coating
  • large handful of dates (I would have the dates sitting in warm water for a few minutes first I found this helped when putting them in the food processor)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup organic coco powder
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
Super easy! Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse. Then roll them out into whatever size balls you would like and rolled them in the shredded coconut. I used Ziploc bags to portion out and to keep them fresh and stored them in my fridge. 

Where to buy?  
All the items I either bought at Costco or Bulk Barn. I found it was easier and cheaper to buy in bulk quantities as I would actually double or triple this recipe so I didn't have to worry about making them again for a few weeks! 

'Oil Pads' are not just for Post-Birth!
I had heard of using padsicles for post-birth recovery, however my friend Lucy actually advised me to make some non-frozen pads with the same ingredients to use 30 days prior to my due date. Using these 'oil pads' will help your perineum stay lubricated and stretchy which could help with tearing during birth!

- 'Oil Pads' Recipe -


On each pad you will spray with witch hazel plus add each of the oils listed above. The smell will be strong so make sure to make these in a place where you could open a window! 

Additional Information
The oils you buy cannot be a low grade oil. You must purchase a higher grade essential oil as they will be in contact with your skin  and in this case your vagina. The products I have linked above are great items and are safe to be used for this purpose! Please purchase the items wherever you see fit; I supported local health food stores and if I could not find it there, then I did purchase from as they are a Canadian distributor out of Ontario!

Other Helpful Tips

I am sure you have heard this a lot but REST as much as possible the days leading up to your due date or delivery. I cannot stress enough how much this helped me! I made sure to be in bed by 8:30/9pm every day and I would take a nice warm bath every night to help me sleep better at night. I could sometimes be a night owl but honestly I really had to change my mindset and force myself into this new routine and I am so thankful that I did!

Another helpful tip that I have which was offered to me by my midwives is the use of "hot compresses". It sounds complicated but literally NOT! If you are planning for a home birth, all you'll need is a crock-pot, some small cloths, water and coconut oil! You keep these in the crock-pot and when you're ready and are crowning you apply the cloths with the water and coconut oil and hold it to maintain lubrication. If you are planning a hospital birth, it won't actually be difficult. You are more than welcome to travel with your crock-pot although I am not sure how many would do this haha. Essentially every room under the sink will usually have a metal-like bowl - otherwise ask for one. You can get the water as hot as possible and then do the same thing with the oil, water and cloths. Now the only difference is you may have to put in more water and redo it as the water could cool off quickly. But totally still doable! Again, another difference is at the hospital they will NOT offer this and you will have to have someone do it for you; so make sure to in advance ask someone who will be in the room during delivery who could provide this service haha!


Now, of course I am sure there are so many things out there that could work or have worked for you. However, these are the things that worked for me and I truly believe provided me with a successful home birth. My entire labour was only about five hours and I confidently will say these things played a part I am sure. Again I am not able to take credit for any of these things as I had amazing women in my life who provided me with these great tips and tricks that they have used or provided to other women. Know that if you use these, and they work to praise the amazing women behind these ideas because they were my wealth of information!