RECIPE – Say no to Gatorade! Say yes to Labour Aid!

Here is a recipe that is so easy to make and store, allowing you peace of mind that you’ll have your super juice ready for your birth!

Labour Aid Drink


Say no to Gatorade! 

This amazing drink replaces electrolytes and hydration, which is important as dehydration can slow labour! It also provides energy during the birthing process, taking small sips after every contraction. 


*TIP* try to pee every hour to make space in the belly, making it easier to push baby out!


Course Drinks
Keyword Birth Juice, Electrolyte Boost, Hydration for Birth, Labour Aid
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 jug
Author Christina Zvicer, be loved nutrition

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water *or more, depending on how strong you want the taste to be
  • 3 cups coconut water *you can choose flavoured or unflavoured
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice *lemon juice is delicious too
  • 2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
  • ‘Calm Natural’ magnesium powder supplement *this can be purchased at your local grocery store

Instructions

  1. Add magnesium powder to BOILING water to ionize, creating a more absorbable form of magnesium. 

  2. Let this cool and then add to the rest of the mixture to it. 

Recipe Notes

Store in fridge/freeze in water bottles or ice cube trays until needed.

 

Christina Zvicer, RYT, RHN | be loved nutrition. Support that goes beyond food ingested and incorporates the person as a whole, physical and spiritual being.

In the Beyond

We mamas carry a lot on our shoulders, guilt, worry, fear, confusion…and I wish I could tell you to put it all aside, but I personally know that it isn’t easy. What I can offer you are breathing and movement techniques to…help take the edge off. Building in some of these simple practices into your everyday routines can be beneficial to you and your family.


Gate Flow to Kneeling Bow
  • Start on your knees with your leg extended to the side (toes facing forward).
  • Slide your hand down your extended leg and reach your opposite hand up.
  • Plant your raised hand on the ground (adjust your bent leg, drawing your foot towards the centre line).
  • Raise your extended leg up into Kneeling Half Moon.
  • Lastly, bend the knee on your raised leg. Grab a hold of the top of your foot.
  • Push your foot into your hand and extend it upwards.
  • Continue this for 2 cycles.

*repeat for opposite side


Simple Lunge Flow
  • Start in low lunge with your front knee stacked over your heel.
  • Tent your fingertips on your mat and settle your pelvis towards the ground.
  • Lift your heart towards the sky and settle your shoulders down.
  • Take a deep inhale.
  • Exhale and start to flow back settling into modified splits, taking your nose towards your knee.
  • Continue this for 5 cycles, flowing with your breath.
*repeat for opposite side

You & the Bump

I’ve always said that pregnancy is a wondrous journey. It’s rattled with joy, fear, wonder and excitement. Below are some breathing and movement exercises to help you manage through each passing wave. Check out some simple flows that you can do in your living room to help ground you!


Chair Pose with Heel Lifts
  • Start in mountain pose.
  • Stack your ears over your shoulders, shoulders over your hips, hips over your heels.
  • Root all four corners of your feet into the mat.
  • Place your hands on your hips.
  • On your next inhale, draw your sit bones back, attempting to keep your knees stacked over your heels, settling into chair pose.
  • Lift your heels, while keeping your heart lifted and your shoulders settled down and away from your earls.
  • Continue this for 5 cycles.


Warrior 1 Flow with Arm Circles
  • Start in warrior 1 with your arms overhead.
  • Bring your hands together into prayer.
  • On your exhale, slowly ripple forward. Dive down only as low as you feel comfortable.
  • Circle your arms as wide as possible as you slowly start to raise up back into warrior 1.
  • Continue this for 5 cycles, flowing with your breath.
*repeat for opposite side
.

Wide Knee Child’s Pose Flow
  • Start in kneeling with your knees wide and your big toes touching.
  • Raise your arms up overhead, palms to touch in prayer. Gaze up.
  • On your exhale, slowly bring your hands onto the mat, allowing your head to settle in between your arms into wide knee child’s pose.
  • Inhale up through rag doll, stacking vertebrae upon vertebrae until your head is the last to arrive at the top.
  • Continue this for 5 cycles, flowing with your breath.
*repeat for opposite side

Tips + Tricks…coping tools for birth

Birth Tips + Tricks

Birth…what an astronomical journey, ride, rush…whatever you call it, your baby’s birth is a momentous time! Without the use of certain coping strategies that I learned prior to delivering, I am not sure I would’ve managed as well. I’ve personally explored the following tools during my past three births and, holy cow, they DO really work! Whether it’s to take the edge off of your next contraction or to simply tune inward, pushing through the distractions in and around you.

Explore, practice and OWN them because, when you’re in the thick of birth, and you don’t think you can possibly get to that next contraction…maaaaaaaaaaybe a Mantra will get you there! It’s worth a shot. So, will you choose to fight or flight? If you choose to fight, read on! 

Body Melt

This scan from head to toe allows to to tune into the areas in your body that frequently cling to stress. Take note of those places so you can quickly access them during your birth. Here’s how to do a body melt. Close your eyes to help tune inward. Start from your forehead and scan all throughout your body, releasing anywhere that is clinging to stress. Spend a lot of time in your face (tight jaw, furrowed eyebrows, flared nostrils). These areas connect to your bits, which you only want to be open during your birth! Spend a lot of time scanning your vagina! We women can hold a great deal of stress in there and in the pelvic floor muscles. Continue scanning through to your tippy toes. Let it all go with each loooooooong exhale, feeling the tension and stress melt away.

Mantra 

A mantra is filling that inner voice inside your head with the right words. Birth brings challenge, there’s no doubting that. Sometimes those words of encouragement or strength can help tremendously. Repeat positive affirmations to yourself to find the fight within! Choose words that bring you power, strength, courage and peace. Some favourite examples I’ve heard over the years are, “There is an end, There is an end” or “Strength, Serenity” or “I trust my baby, I trust myself”. Find words that have an impact for you, then share them with your birth partner so they can remind you when times get tough! 

Movement

Always remember this tip…dance your baby out! Movement is an incredible and effective way to get baby moved down into the optimal position for birth. While pregnant, your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which helps your joints become more loose and open. Your pelvis is made up of four bones, which need to open up as baby progresses down during birth and for the pushing stage. Your movement helps the pelvis open up and get baby nicely positioned. Also, studies show that upright birthing positions can reduce your labour time…nice, eh? So move, walk, climb stairs, squat, lunge and dance that baby down and out! Also, try to change positions every 30 mins, if possible. This also helps move things along. Giddy up!

Visualization

Close your eyes. This immediately mitigates about 30% of distraction into the brain. Take your focus inward and imagine yourself in a safe place. It could be anywhere…somewhere real, like your big cozy bed or someplace totally made-up, like the top of a rainbow! Experience this place with all of your senses, looking, touching, smelling, hearing and maybe even tasting things around you. Spend as much of your time there in that place of complete safety and serenity. Visualization has a powerful effect on a stressed brain. You may practice it at home and think there’s not much power there, but when you’re moving through each stage of labour, visualization can sometimes be the tool to help you escape and focus that energy inside to get the job done. 

Third Eye Focus

The Third Eye is also referred to as the Sixth Chakra. It is located on the forehead, between the eyebrows. Start by rolling your eyes into back of your head, focus there in the middle of your forehead. This sensation can help invite a calming sensation to the muscles surrounding the eyes. It’s a powerful and simple meditation to maintain your energy and focus inward. 

Birthing Breath

Practicing, what I like to call the Birthing Breath, will likely become one of your most powerful tools during birth. The breath has the capacity to reduce pain and relax the body/mind. This tool is about connecting your breath down to your bits during your contractions in both early and active labour. Remember, you want your bits, or pelvic floor muscles, to remain open through each rush, or contraction. The breathing techniques below will help achieve this. Here’s the dilly:

Firstly, focus on loooooooooong out-breaths, which is an exhale that is longer than an inhale. Imagine for a moment, that someone cuts you off in traffic…you let our a big, hard, maybe noisy sigh! That’s your body’s intrinsic way of inviting calm and peace inside when in a stressful situation. Secondly, you’ve probably seen many Hollywood films portraying birth via mom on her back, legs up and screaming at the top of her lungs. Nope, try to avoid that scenario! Besides the unhelpful position of being on your back, which we will get into in another Blog, the high-pitch screaming is also not useful during birth. So what should we do instead?

Try different out-breath sounds that promote an open jaw and relaxed frame. Horse lips is a great example that you can practice. I like it because it helps to keep your jaw open/loose, which also speaks to your bits. Clenched jaw = clenched bits (says, Ina May Gaskin). Another sound you can try is, chhhhhhhhh. Remember, draw that exhale out as long as you can! And, the last, but most powerful sound you can practice is the low moan (from the chest). This sounds similar to an Om in yoga…or an orgasim sound. Ha, yes indeed! Labour and orgasims are related too, if you can believe it! But I digress. Always try to vibrate the sounds from deep within your chest. This action helps keep your bits open during the contraction. Take a slow inhale, then let out an audible exhale, nice and long! These vibrations help guide baby down into that optimal position for birth. Don’t be afraid to be noisy now, because sounds will come out of you during labour that you did not know you could make! So rock this birth like the powerful goddess you are! You got this!

My final note here is to say that if you went into your birth with a vision of how it should end up, but it didn’t go that way, that’s ok! It’s more than ok. If you feel you owned every decision during your birth, that you were supported and that you were informed, then that detour in the plan is, well, is how your baby was meant to come into this world…whether that be at home in the water or at the hospital by cesarean! It’s all part of the journey!

Lots of sweet baby love,

Salina