I’m a major researcher and question asker, especially when it comes to my pregnancy questions. In general, I want to read about something to death before forming an opinion and as an #AspiringMom, there’s a LOT of questions floating around in my head. Many of us have heard of doula’s and heard their praises sung by experienced moms. I decided to reach out to one to start establishing a relationship in case I decided that was the best route for us. I also wanted to get some questions answered by someone whose been there for a bunch of different moms and babies. After a good deal of research, I landed on Albuquerque and East Mountain doula, Kim Racette of Angel Touch Doula.
She was so generous to answer some of my most pressing pregnancy questions.
1. What’s the number one thing you advise 1st time moms to do throughout the pregnancy to prepare for delivery?
Hydration is a big problem for people in such a dry climate as New Mexico, but it is especially difficult for pregnant moms to stay hydrated, and even more important! I also suggest drinking something with electrolytes in it, EmergenC makes a powder that is just electrolytes, and there is also Smart Water, Coconut Water, lots of ways to get your electrolytes.
2. What do you say to ladies who are worried about miscarrying?
Most women who hire me are past the 12 week mark and are past the worry about miscarriage, if they do have that fear I would want to know more about where that fear stems from, did they have a prior miscarriage, or do they have a family history of late term miscarriage? The fear of miscarriage is one I understand all too well as I had 7 of them myself as well as 4 healthy children. I believe talking to someone about your fears is the start of getting on the other side of them.
3. In your experience, do products like sea-bands/psi-bands work for relieving nausea?
I haven’t had anyone who has used them and said they work, doesn’t mean they don’t work for some people though. Usually eating small meals throughout the day, getting enough protein every day and keeping food by your bed to eat before you raise your head off the pillow in the morning can help with normal morning sickness. Peppermint or Ginger oil or tea can also be helpful. If it is acute nausea and these don’t help, I would suggest acupuncture with someone who specializes in pregnancy related issues.
4. What advice do you give to 1st time dads who want to be supportive partners throughout the pregnancy?
I am thrilled! I encourage Dads to be at the prenatal appointments so that I can show them ways they can help alleviate some of the discomforts in pregnancy and labor. During labor they can help keep oxytocin, the love hormone, flowing in mommas throughout labor. Oxytocin is the hormone that gets labor going and keeps it going, it also is a natural pain reliever!
5. What are ways to prevent tearing?
• Hydration – Staying hydrated during pregnancy and labor will help your tissues be nice and supple.
• Good Nutrition – Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause the tissues of your cervix and perineum to become extremely thick and elastic. Crucial to this process is an adequate intake of protein, vitamin E, and short-chain fatty acids, which consist of two types of ‘good’ fat, Omega-3 and Omega-6. Vitamin C is also very beneficial for cellular elasticity and regeneration. It’s in citrus foods, most readily, but also in dark green vegetables.
• Squats – squats will ensure that the PC (pubococcygeous) muscle remains a long, sinewy muscle, keeping it elastic and not bulky and rigid.
• Sex – Women who have sex throughout pregnancy have well oxygenated, more toned and conditioned PC muscles, as well as have good control of this muscle.
6. What can I do now to help with the postpartum period?
Make sure you have a good support system in place, people you can call on to run errands for you, people who can bring you meals, maybe set up a meal train. Join a Mommy Support Group! There are so many out there, find one that you feel comfortable with while you are still pregnant, it will make the transition easier to already have that support group picked out.
7. What are some benefits of placenta ingestion? (This is something I’ve been reading a lot about and Kim specializes in placenta encapsulation)
The placenta is composed of a combination of hormone and healing components and can be prepared for smoothies or dried and encapsulated. I am kind of a big geek about how healing this can be…**