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What I’m Using This Pregnancy & How I’m Getting Prepared

on March 2, 2015 by Jami Balmet 15 comments

Here I am in the middle of my second pregnancy (my second twin pregnancy to be exact) and this pregnancy has been a lot rougher. I’ve been talking to a lot of my friends about what vitamins they take, how they deal with heartburn, etc. and I thought it might be helpful to share what I’m taking this pregnancy and how I’m preparing to meet my twin boys in July.

What I'm using and doing differently in my 2nd pregnancy

As a note: We order most of our vitamins, supplements, and other natural things (like deodorant and toothpaste) from Vitacost. We have found their prices to be consistently lower than anywhere else on most things. There are a few things like this that I get from Amazon or Costco, but 90% of our household things come from Vitacost. You can get $10 OFF your first order too if you go through this link. You can also read my personal review of Vitacost.com HERE.

What I’m Taking

Mama’s Red Raspberry Brew

Mama's-Red-Raspberry-BrewThis is a special red raspberry tea blend from the Bulk Herb Store that also contains alfalfa, nettle, and peppermint. Red raspberry tea is so important in pregnancy as it helps to strengthen the uterus for pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum. In my second trimester I’ve been trying to drink at least one large cup a day and will increase that to two cups a day in the third trimester.

As a note: Some doctors and professionals are cautious about taking red raspberry tea in the first trimester. So do your own research and talk to your doctor. I personally took it occasionally in the first trimester and increased that to one cup a day during the second trimester. You can read more about what red raspberry tea does during pregnancy from Wellness Mama. Also, I really really don’t like the taste all that much but I know the benefits are so worth it. The more I’ve been drinking it though, the more I’m coming around to the taste.

Prenatal Vitamin

Rainbow-Light-Certified-Organics-Prenatal-Multivitamin-021888800216During my last pregnancy, I just went to the store and found any old prenantal vitamin that looked good. Since learning more about vitamins and how synthetic vitamins are often not absorbed or used by our bodies, the fillers, additives, and chemicals used, and how certain vitamins block the absorption of other vitamins (i.e. calcium and iron), I’ve become a lot more picky about my vitamins. Especially during pregnancy.

During this pregnancy, I’ve been really happy with Rainbow Light Organic Prenatal Multivitamin. This is a whole food supplement that actually comes in a clear softgel so you can see the herbs, minerals, and vitamins inside instead of those hard pills that you have no idea how they are made. I did a lot of research on what vitamins and minerals should be in a prenatal and in what quantities, and Rainbow Light really stacked up well. Plus, it’s organic! You can also find it on Vitacost.

Cod Liver Oil

Twinlab-Norwegian-Cod-Liver-Oil-027434012065My family takes cod liver oil as a daily supplement anyway, but I wanted to mention it specifically for pregnancy since I think it’s so beneficial. Cod liver oil is a fish oil that supplies your body with essential Omega-3 fatty acids that many of us are lacking in western society. It’s packed full of vitamin A and vitamin D. You can learn more about the benefits of taking cod liver oil from Keeper of the Home.

My husband and I take this brand in capsule form (my husband refuses to drink it) and I add this brand to our toddler’s milk. I have found that Vitacost consistently has lower prices but you can also find them on Amazon: cod liver oil capsules and cod liver oil for kids.

Probiotic

Garden-of-Life-Primal-Defense-Ultra-Probiotic-Formula-658010114103A good probiotic is really important to me for pregnancy. Probiotics are good bacteria that live in your gut and fight off the bad bacteria which cause yeast infections and a decline in over all health. Probiotics are found naturally in fermented foods and in things like yogurt and kefir. So I try to make sure to eat plenty of those during pregnancy but it’s nice to be able to up your probiotic intake as well.

For a while my family has taken these PB8 probioics that our pediatrician recommended. We really liked them and they are very affordable. But a few of us have been having trouble with yeast and tummy issues so we decided to invest in a heavier duty probiotic for a few months to help boost our immunities and build up all that good bacteria. We are on our second bottle of the Garden of Life primal defense ultra probiotics and love them! We started noticing a difference right away. Note: These are currently cheaper on Amazon as of today, but the price frequently fluctuates.

Desiccated Liver

Liver capsules to increase iron in pregnancy Eeeeew. I know right? It’s actually not as bad as it sounds. It’s basically freeze-dried liver in capsule form. I’m not currently taking the liver as my last blood-test showed that my iron levels are doing really well but I did take it very regularly before getting pregnant and early on in pregnancy.

I had low iron in my last pregnancy and most iron supplements are from a form of iron that your body cannot absorb or use. So if my iron levels get low again, I will start taking the liver daily again. Because I would much rather take liver capsules than actually eat liver. Anyone else with me? I order mine from Amazon.

Ginger Chew Candies

ginger chews for morning sickness in pregnancyMy morning sickness has been a lot worse with this pregnancy than with my first. I felt like I tried everything and nothing gave me relief in that first trimester. I had tried hard ginger candies and teas in the last pregnancy but I’m really not a fan of how ginger tastes and nothing really seemed to help. Until one of my friends gave me a big bag of these Reed’s original ginger chew candies.

I don’t say they were a miracle or anything, but they really help to stave of the morning sickness a bit. I kept a baggie of them in my purse at all times until 15 weeks or so. We found them at a local health store but you can also order them on Amazon. 

Heartburn Tea

LOVE this heartburn tea for staving off pregnancy heartburn!This is my newest discovery. I’m in that part of pregnancy where heartburn is attacking each night. I’ve tried everything and nothing seemed to help very much. I stumbled across this Earth Mama Organic hearburn tea at our local healthy grocery store and I figure it was worth a try!

It has a wonderful pepperminty taste to it and seems to really help calm down the heartburn. I love this brand and I’m already ready to order another box. Amazon has got a good price!

How I’m Getting Prepared During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Workout DVD’s

Lindsay Brin's Workout DVD's for Pregnancy

I got this 4 DVD set from Lindesy Brin when I was pregnant with my first set of twins and it continues to be my go-to workout video for pregnancy and post-partum. I love that I don’t have to think about which exercises are safe for pregnancy since there is a separate disk for each trimester as well as exercises built in that are helping to prepare your body for labor the entire time.

I have read some reviews though that women who had a really rigorous workout schedule before pregnancy found these DVD’s too easy. Not the case with me. I found them to be a good pace and actually challenging at times.

Reading my Pregnancy Books

I guess it’s time to break out my old pregnancy and baby books to get re-acquainted with deliver and those newborn days. I feel like I’ve forgotten everything! Here’s what I’m re-reading/studying:

The Bradley Method

We took the actual Bradley class with our first pregnancy and I was so glad that I did! It helped me to feel so much more prepared and ready for both pregnancy and delivery. I’m going to go through my old class notes and our Bradley Method Workbook. I’m also going to go back through and refresh on Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way and Husband Coached Childbirth.

Preparing for Twin’s Book

As this is our second set of twins, I’m largely more prepared this time than I was the first time around. But I am going to go back through my twin books to see if there are any new ideas that jump out to us or things we forgot about those early days!

Here’s what I read last time: Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More!, Twins-101Ready or Not…Here We Come! The REAL Experts’ Guide to the First Year with Twins, and Expecting Twins, Triplets, and More: A Doctor’s Guide to a Healthy and Happy Multiple Pregnancy.

Freezer Cooking

How to save money freezer cookingI am really wanting to get a jump start on baby preparations by doing a lot of freezer cooking now in the second trimester. Freezer cooking is one of my favorite ways to stay on top of my kitchen anyway, to save money on groceries, and to eat healthier. And this year, I’m hoping that freezer cooking helps me to keep my sanity with 4 little boys under two and a half years old!

I will post my freezer cooking plan later next week as well as all the recipes I’m going to use. But my plan now is to get as many things stocked in my freezer as possible. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks! I was on bed rest for eight weeks last time with my twins. Lord willing I won’t be on bed rest again, but I want to prepare ahead just in case.

 

What do you use during pregnancy and beyond? I’m always excited to find new things to try!

Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

  • Do you want to discover more joy, peace, & tranquility within your home?
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  1. I agree with probiotics, and one thing I learned this time around is that taking them on an empty stomach (first thing in the morning & right before bed for me) has really eased the nausea. Wish you blessings as you prepare. I’m currently 10 weeks with my 3rd.

    • That’s funny that you mention that! This new probiotic that I started taking said on the bottle to take it on an empty stomach (which can cause more nausea with some vitamins/minerals) and so I started taking it first thing in the morning before breakfast and it’s been great 😀

      Congrats!! That’s so exciting!

  2. i took many of the same things or similar. For my last prefnancy, our 5th, I used FCLO/BO for the first time. When baby was born, the nurses could not get over how thick and healthy the imbelical cord was. Good nutrition makes such a difference!!

  3. I have fallen in love with the Earth Mama Angel Baby teas. Their Morning Wellness Tea was fabulous during all three of my pregnancies (and I still use it anytime anyone in the family has an upset stomach). I also liked the Heartburn tea and absolutely LOVE the Monthly Wellness Tea postpartum.

    My other favorite pregnancy items are the Earth Mama Angel Baby Happy Mama spray (for nausea…and I used postpartum to help alleviate baby blues). And my all-time favorite postpartum product is the Motherlove Rhoid Balm for awful hemmorrhoids…TMI I know, but alas, sometimes those things happen after birth.

    P.S. You look absolutely adorable in the picture. Beautiful mama-to-be. I have been following your blog for about a year now after reading your ebook A Heart Prepared. I want to thank you so much for encouraging me to begin memorizing Scripture. Since reading that book (shortly after the birth of my third child), I have memorized a TON of Bible verses, which have helped me meditate on the Word throughout my busy days with three little ones underfoot. I can truly say Scripture memorization has been the key to me drawing closer in my relationship with the Lord during these sometimes difficult days of motherhood.

  4. I’ve made a lot of changes with each pregnancy it seems. I’m now (5th baby) doing my own pregnancy tea blend (red raspberry, dandelion, rose hips), I drink ACV for heartburn (and before sweets), I “try” to get my squats and planks in, Hypnobabies is my birthing method and I love it, I say no to a lot of routine tests/procedures now lol…. Probably a lot of other things have changed as well, but those are the big ones.

  5. This is really helpful! I’ve been looking for whole food prenatal vitamins, and I might have to try these! I was told to be careful about getting too much vitamin A while pregnant- do you think the combination of cod liver oil and desiccated liver, on top of prenatal vitamins and food with vitamin A would be too much?

  6. I have that workout DVD set and love it! I used it mostly with the postnatal bootcamp as I was on serious light duty for 7 months due to some bleeding issues. But I’m looking forward to using it with my next pregnancy.

  7. I highly recommend making “padsickles” for postpartum, (SO nice). Simply drizzle witch-hazel on disposable overnight pads and store in the freezer and wear as needed to help with healing and soothing after delivery.
    Also, build up your stamina with exercise before birth! We used the Bradley method at first too, but I did not exercise enough AND we didn’t take seriously enough the calming/relaxation practice ahead of time. You really need your husband to know how to help you relax. Teach him now so that he can help you later. The breathing in deeply and exhaling in a concentrated fashion helped me too part of the time.

  8. Every woman’s pathway is different and milestones strike us all in marvelously serendipitous ways. Sounds great? Yes! that’s how I appreciate pregnancy. You’re really blessed Jami. Having twins means a double blessing. How wish I can have twins too.

  9. This article worries me because here in the UK we are warned not to eat liver and avoid vitamin A when pregnant!
    The NHS website states Having large amounts of vitamin A can harm your unborn baby. Therefore, if you are pregnant or thinking about having a baby, do not eat liver or liver products, such as pâté, because these are very high in vitamin A. It also states cod liver oil also contains high levels of the retinol form of vitamin A. You shouldn’t take supplements containing the retinol form of vitamin A when you’re pregnant, because large amounts of retinol can harm your baby. There’s no official recommendation that pregnant women should take a fish oil supplement
    Lovely article other than that but I was worried when i read that x

    • Hi Alison, thanks for the question! Of course each person needs to do their own research and unfortunately, you could probably question 10 doctors and get about 10 different answers. Personally, I’ve done a lot of research on cod liver oil and vitamin A and D and feel quite comfortable taking cod liver oil during pregnancy, but I am not a licensed doctor. So please do your own research!

      This is a good article on the subject: http://natural-fertility-info.com/cod-liver-oil-essential-for-healthy-fertility-and-pregnancy.html Here’s a quote from the article:
      “Getting the Facts Straight About Vitamin A and Birth Defects
      Some studies have shown that consuming too much vitamin A may cause birth defects. This only happens with synthetic forms of water-soluble forms of vitamin A, when consumed in very high amounts. High quality cod liver oil contains fat soluble vitamin A, in its natural form. When vitamin A is taken as a whole food source like it is in cod liver oil, it is not toxic to developing babies. When vitamin A is combined with vitamin D, it has been shown that the vitamin D protects the body from vitamin A toxicity. This allows the human body to withstand higher levels of vitamin A. That being said, it is still important to not exceed dosage of cod liver oil and to always follow recommended guidelines on the product label.”

      And this article has more research and studies on it if your curious: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/cod-liver-oil-basics-and-recommendations/

      But again, talk to your own doctor, follow your Mama instinct and do what you gotta do! 🙂

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