One of the things that I have really appreciated and loved about working at Matraea is learning about and using alternative remedies through my pregnancies, post birth and with my very young children. Our midwives and staff have created a collection of natural and homeopathic products that can relieve many ailments and illnesses with a much softer approach for the body. The more I have read and learned about the many side effects and drawbacks of mainstream medicines (especially for children) the more passionate I have become about a simplified, natural approach.
In this two part series I'm excited to share with you many of the products that have helped me as a mama. Let's begin at the start and look at some of my favourite go to products for pregnancy and birth.
PreNatal Vitamins - Many healthcare professionals will encourage the use of prenatal vitamins. Doing your research you quickly find out that many variety of vitamin supplements are chalked full of fillers and unnecessary synthetic ingredients. I would have to say, the best Vitamins are real food based, not ones that are chemical based. For example, Innate Response foundational multi-vitamin and mineral formulas are exclusively crafted from 100% whole food nutrients—which means the body can absorb and use the minerals in a way that it cannot if the vitamins are made from chemicals. My favourite, Baby and Me Prenatal Vitamins, have a higher rate of utilization than other vitamins and they retained longer in the body as well.
Iron Deficiencies- the most common situation for many women through pregnancy, Matraea offers some great strategies to boot your iron levels. Bobs Iron Capsules (Woman’s Formula) are a common go-to for mamas, as well as Matraea’s own Energizing Iron Mama Tea. (Side note: Bob was a well known and loved pharmacist/formulator working in our community). Iron Mama is the perfect combination of natural peppermint and energizing nettle. It is a delicious tea, excellent for women in all trimesters of pregnancy!
Finally I love using the Lucky Iron Fish as an easy way for my whole family to get more iron in their meals. By simply boiling the palm sized Lucky Iron Fish in any liquid or broth based meals you get a similar effect to using cast iron cookware, AND I love that the company is socially and environmentally conscious with part of the proceeds going to charitable causes. Check it out!!
Early Pregnancy Products- I have become more conscious about the beauty products I use, selecting much cleaner options for shampoos, soaps and creams. As my belly has expanded and moved through some uncomfortable stages, Matraea’s Radiant Belly Butter has been moisturizing, providing a much needed moment of massage and relaxation, while alleviating the itch and surrounding me in it lovely, light scent. Follow this with a warm cup of Baby Belly Tea and a short rest with my feet up and I feel ready to attack the next part of the day, be it kindergarten pick up or preparing family dinner. Speaking of tea, with all my pregnancies, like many women, I have experienceda general queasiness for several months. I’ve enjoyed staring my day with the comfort and soothing effects of Ginger Mint Tea—the early morning, all day through the pregnancy if necessary—digestive tea!
For Baby’s Arrival - With the upcoming arrival of our third baby, I am beginning to collect some of my tried and true products for those first few precious days and weeks. Our first delivery was planned for home, but eventually unfolded at the hospital with a cesarean section. Our second baby was VBAC at home and came with a whole different set of follow up care considerations. I was very pleased with my experience using Soothing Perineal Wash. This product helps with swelling and bruising of the perineum after childbirth utilizing an combination of herbs used from ancient times, that encourages the growth of healthy tissue. Regular washes with a peri-bottle or taking a relaxing herbal infused bath helped get me through important healing stages. You can also take your sweet new babe in the bath with you to aid in their cord healing.
My final recommendation for your shopping list to have on hand before your delivery day is the organic Soothing Nipple Fix. Made with soothing calendula and nourishing shea butter, this balm comforts and protects cracked, sore nipples. Formulated by Matraea’s midwives, this lanolin-free, soothing nipple balm is safe for baby so there is no need to wash it off before nursing. Pairing this awesome product with fantastic reusable breast pads I have been able to comfortably nurse two babes for a combination of almost four years…. and soon we will begin it all again!
Stay tuned for my next blog where I will continue to delve into the Matraea Medicine Cabinet and provide a review of my favourite products for our babes - including aids for the trials and tribulations of teething, diaper rashes, first colds and fevers!
Kristy Martin Hale is an ongoing contributor. Along with her childhood sweetheart, their approach to raising two young children has been shaped by a love of the great outdoors, adventure and a simplified lifestyle. Working at the Matraea Centre, Kristy has developed a uniquely grounded insight on pregnancy, birth and parenting. Welcoming the concept of community and parents helping parents, she writes from the heart, with the intention of encouraging and educating. Sandy bare feet, muddy garden hands, soft snuggles and the occasional rugby game fill up her free time.