One thing I am amazed by is how many decisions must be made in preparation for a new life. This list actually comes from my own preparation. I made a running tally (or tried to) of all the decisions, major and mundane that had to be made. These are just the ones I took time to research and really way my options.  Even with all of this I still felt under prepared. The bottom line is you will never be completely ready for a baby.  But if you are a list lover like me this may help you get started when you don’t know where to start. This list is in no particular order, just how they came up in my pregnancy. 

  1. Cloth or disposable diapers
  2. Breast feed or formula
  3. Gender reveal or surprise
  4. Midwife or Doctor
  5. Ultrasounds or No Ultrasounds
  6. Prenatal Vitamins – Deciding on whether to take them at all and whether natural nutrition is a better fit. Also deciding on the brand of vitamins.
  7. Delivery in a hospital, birth center, or home
  8. Decide on what to drink: Alcohol once a week or none at all. Quit caffeine cold turkey or just limit consumption.
  9. Exercise routine – if you are able to exercise. Otherwise setting a date to start again in the second trimester.
  10. Diet changes, if any at all.
  11. All natural remedies for nausea or medication.
  12. When and how you will announce the pregnancy
  13. Baby name – you think it’s easy but it isn’t. We had a boy and girl name picked out and still changed it once the baby was born. 
  14. Continue working or become a stay at home parent
  15. Journal or not to journal – most mom’s want some way to commemorate this life changing event. The decision comes in when you have to decide how you are going to track your changes; pictures, memory book, social media, etc.
  16. Crib, cradle, Co-sleep. Sleeping arrangements: Co-sleeping, allowing the baby to sleep in-room, or starting the baby out in a nursery from the very beginning.
  17. Whether or not to have testing done. There are so many tests now, glucose tests, screening tests, screening tests or amniocentesis to test for Down syndrome as well as other chromosomal abnormalities, genetic disorders, and neural tube defects. Believe it or not, all of these are optional and there are pros and cons to each.
  18. Doula or no doula.
  19. Baby moon, Staycation, or nothing at all.
  20. Baby shower or Diaper pounding
  21. Method for preventing stretch marks
  22. Childbirth class or not
  23. Permissible interventions. Making a baby plan is so essential. Not so much because care providers will read it, but so you can think through all of your options before the big day. That way you and your partner can advocate for your informed choices.
  24. How you will budget for a baby.
  25. How you will prepare your pets.
  26. How you will prepare your older children.
  27. Dental care. Will you continue using floride tooth paste, will you see the dentist, how will you avoid the increase of tooth decay that occurs with pregnancy?
  28. Postpartum recovery plan
  29. Baby registry items
  30. Maternity leave, paternity leave, extended break
  31. Childproof your home or making home improvements
  32. Breastfeeding or formula
  33. Fetal kicks counting  or no. I chose not to until the very end. It just added stress to an already apprehensive mama. As long as baby moved at regular intervals I called it good. 
  34. Additional classes: CPR, breastfeeding, hypnosis, etc. 
  35. Therapy or no: Sometimes you have unresolved issues you want to handle before becoming a parent.
  36. Pediatrician – Who, what, and where. Who are you looking for, what’s their practice philosophy. Where are you willing to travel. 
  37. Vaccinations, partial vaccinations, delayed vaccinations or no vaccinations
  38. Circumcision or no circumcision
  39. Nursery decor
  40. Preparations for the babies future; i.e. Life insurance or no, will or trust, college fund now or later. 







I have gone through most of this pregnancy as natural as possible and I figured the 4th Trimester was no exception. I had a lot of recommendations for different store brand aids to help with recovery, but I decided to go the natural and home made route. Not to mention that since I had a natural home birth, most of the items were not provided for me like they would have been in a hospital.

After birth the main focus for recover is to heal you nether regions, which have just been through a life changing experience so most of these items focus on that.

  • Peri Bottle – My midwife did provide this for me and told me to fill it with witch hazel and water to help soothe me as I used the restroom. I suggest you have one in every bathroom for easy access.
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby Mama Bottom Balm — I like the company in general and had heard amazing things about this particular product as a substitute to Dermoplast. It soothes after birth.
  • Witch Hazel and soft paper towels – Some people use Tucks Pads, but this is essentially the same thing. Have a large stock prepared either way you go. Layer them on you pads.
  • Pads – I bought Depends underwear at the recommendation of veteran moms. I later downgraded to very thick pads, and then later thinner pads.
  • Ibuprofen – It helps with pain and swelling without interfering with nursing.
  • Padsicles – I made mine out of aloe Vera, lavender essential oil, and witch hazel. I then froze a few and had them ready immediately for after birth. Here is a good post with instructions on how to make padsicles.




It’s getting close to the end, so that means its time to finally complete the home birth kit. Meaning, everything I will need to give birth to our little one needs to be in a central location for my birth team. There’s actually quite a bit that needs to be gathered. We’ve also prepped our birth space. For us that mean beautiful blue Christmas lights strung up so that when the lights are off, just a soft glow will exist. We also added candles and an aromatherapy machine. I made birth affirmations using my husbands art and photography. He is my calming force and I love his photography, so it seems appropriate. I actually have two birth spaces. One in our dining room to accommodate the birth pool. Another in my bedroom. The dining room is centrally located, it allows space for me to walk, pace, or engage in a range of movements. While the bedroom is intimate and my safe space. Depending on how labor is going and how I am feeling I have prepared both locations to accommodate my labor. As a first time mom, I’m not sure which I’ll prefer, so I’d rather be safe than sorry.

As far as my supply kit, my midwife has already dropped off the pool I will use and we bought an adapter for the sink. I bought a tub to hold all of the items I would need for the birth. Here is the list of items:

  • Birthing Clothes — I have two lose fitting gowns that I bought on sale and are comfortable to walk in.
    • Warm Socks — I personally hate wearing socks so I did not include this, but it was on the list.
  • Music – I have a Hypnobirth affirmation CD a friend provided me with as well as a nature CD. I also made a YouTube play list of songs I find inspirational. Mine list is filled with Christian, Gospel, and Neo Soul songs. I made sure most do not have much of a beat. I can imagine that that would be distracting during intense contractions.
  • Focal Point — For me this is the affirmation art I created using my husbands photography. Each on also has Bible verses to help underscore whatever affirmation I was highlighting. I will create a post about creating the ambiance for the birth which will include creating affirmation posters.
  • Hair Bands
  • Snack Foods (high in protein)
  • Juice and Electrolyte drinks – I have coconut water and popsicles
  • Coffee and Snacks for the Birth Team
  • Water Bottle
  • Lip Balm
  • Hot/ Cold Packs – I made rice packs with mismatched socks, essential oils, and a cheap bag of rice.
  • Aromatherapy spray and oils
  • Super absorbent maxi pads
  • Regular absorbent maxi pads
  • Depends underwear – This was actually recommended to me by several moms in a natural birth Facebook group I’m apart of, so I added it here.
  • Old sheets and clean sheets
  • 2 Bed protectors or plastic drop cloths or shower curtains
  • 8-10 towels and 5 washcloths (preferably old, so they can get dirty)
  • Crock pot for warming washcloths
  • A jar of Tucks, or witch hazel and towels – I also included Preparation H towels and wipes
    • 1 can of Dermaplast – I chose to skip this
  • 2 bowls or buckets for the placenta and vomiting
  • 2-3 Large Garbage Bags
  • 1 gallon zip bag for placenta
  • a Digital Thermometer
  • Phone list to call relatives
  • Camera/ Video Camera
  • Extra Batteries for Camera(s)
  • Nursing or Sports Bra
  • Ibuprofen
  • Padsicles – Maxi pads wet with witch hazel (and essential oils if desired) for after the birth, frozen.

For Baby

  • Baby clothes, hat, socks, mittens
  • Receiving blankets (a lot)
  • Car seat (in case of emergency transfer)
  • Baby book ( to record information immediately)


  • Knee Pads – For extended kneeling
  • Yoga mat
  • Exercise ball
  • Back massager – in case hubby’s hand gets tired


Do you have any more tips or items that were nice to have during your home birth?

Once nausea subsided from the first trimester, heartburn kicked in. I am having a hard time not relying the go to over-the-counter medicines for relief. Most contain sodium bicarbonate and magnesium trisilicate which really isn’t healthy for pregnant women.  The go to advice is to avoid acidic foods, eat smaller meals, and avoid eating before bed. But I already do all of that. The other day, I ordered tea at a cafe. There was nothing to eat there except pastries and bread. I’m trying to reduce my sugar and anyways, bread give me heartburn. I literally had nothing but tea and… (you guest it) heartburn. So what’s a gal to do?

Here are some natural suggestions for heartburn. I’ve also added whether they worked for me:

  • Water – Basically this is the cure for everything in life. Pregnancy makes the consumption of water both necessary and difficult for me. I drink my water best in large gulps throughout the day, except when you have a growing person inside and hormones raging, consuming anything in large amounts just doesn’t happen. I sip water all day, but apparently not enough to reduce the fire in my chest.

  • Raw apple cider vinegar

  • Fresh lemon in water- This made my heartburn feel worse in my opinion.

  • Ginger tea

  • Coconut water

  • Fennel seeds

  • Peppermint

  • Yogurt or Milk

  • High Enzyme Foods

  • Fermented foods

  • HCL & Pepsin

  • Bentonite Clay – Now this is an old remedy from the south. The fact that it sells in health food stores for $10/ ounce is ridiculous to me. Especially since poor black women have been using it for years, and its use is consider low-end and almost witch crafty or superstitious. But whatever, it really does work and is good for adding nutrients to the body.

  • Aloe Vera – This is the best solution I have found. It last longer than anything else. Before aloe vera, I literally had been sleeping at. 90-degree angle. Anything less cause severe burning in my chest. I have been hard to avoid prescriptions so I am glad I finally discovered the drink I enjoyed in Korea actually is useful for my pregnancy. 

  • Almonds



Image result for baby eating in the womb

So my first trimester has been one of survival. I have been nauseous more than not and I have what feels like an unnatural tiredness. Emotionally for me this is great because it means the baby is taking my energy and thriving. Nutritionally and physically, not so great. I have been struggling to eat and by doing so I’ve been struggling to get the proper nutrients. My food regimen that seemed to work so well only weeks ago makes me sick at the thought of it; I mean salmon, yuck!

So what do I do? I cut myself slack.

I find that being overly regimented has the opposite effect on my success so I allow myself to  eat whatever I can stomach. However I make sure to focus on some basic health habits to ensure health.

  • Prenatal Vitamins every day. This was hard because it was hard to stomach them at times. Little known fact, prenatal are most effective before and during the early stages of pregnancy. This is one thing I forced on myself, especially on days I never made it through an entire meal. There are a number of prenatal vitamins on the market.
    • Look for a prenatal vitamin that includes:

      • 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid (I personally prefer folate, the non-synthetic form of B-9).
      • 400 IU of vitamin D.
      • 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) of calcium.
      • 70 mg of vitamin C.
      • 3 mg of thiamine.
      • 2 mg of riboflavin.
      • 20 mg of niacin.
      • 6 mcg of vitamin B12.
      • 10 mg of vitamin E.
      • 15 mg of zinc.
      • 17 mg of iron.
      • 150 micrograms of iodine
  • DHA supplement. The best prenatal comes as a liquid, usually a form of fish or krill oil. If you can stomach it, adding it to a smoothie is a great use of them. If not a gel cap is better than nothing.
  • Water. Early on I learned that the 16 cups (or double normal intake) recommendation for water was unrealistic and discouraging. It requires a lot of chugging of water during a time when I was only capable of sips. My solution was 2 cups in the morning, 1 cup every time I woke up from a nap, and 1 before bed. The rest of the day I sipped. This got me between 6-8 cups of water a day. It’s not ideal but it was better than nothing.
  • Exercise was pretty nonexistent. I seriously felt like I was on bed rest, I was so tired.
  • My only real food requirement was something green or raw everyday.
  • We did continue with our castor oil massages without the heat to help encourage natural detoxing.

Here are some tips from other tips, but I encourage you to be gentle with your body and expectations of yourself.

  • Smoothies: I couldn’t do it, but others swear by them)
  • Crockpot soups: They’re easy. I can tell my husband to throw the ingredients in or I can do it and leave the room to avoid smells. Also, if you add the right ingredients they are very nutritious.
  • Salad commitment: I committed to a salad a day. This helped with nutrient intake and water intake. White breads and rice settled my stomach. Rather than make myself feel guilty, I made sure to eat a large salad every day. The truly was the “better than nothing” trimester. Salads also helped me avoid the dreaded constipation of pregnancy.
  • Indulge in the good stuff: If I found a healthy food I liked, I went all in until I got sick of it. Food nutrition isn’t a cut a dry thing. Many times your body will store excess nutrients so I loaded up on foods like guacamole, lentils, carrots, apples, oatmeal because those were foods I enjoyed for a time. I didn’t force feed myself anything that made me queasy.


et cetera