Our Favorite Baby Sleep Products

It’s amazing how many new products have popped up since my last baby was born 6 years ago. With baby #3 and working in the baby industry, I got to try a lot of new products as well as some old favorites. I wanted to round them all up to share with you. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about any of them.

Create a Good Sleep Environment for Baby

When your baby is first born they will need SO much sleep that they can pass out just about anywhere… usually on your chest after a feeding. But as they get older, you’ll want to put some thought into creating a proper sleep environment for them.

Diffuse Essential Oils in Baby’s Room

I got really into essential oils during my pregnancy and especially found so much support from them for my sleep. So of course I was excited to try some of the gentler oils with baby. We only use Young Living essential oils because they are 100% pure therapeutic grade and honestly just work better than any other brands I’ve tried. When baby was still sleeping with us we’d just diffuse one or two drops of lavender, frankincense, or a blend called Gentle Baby right before bed. Now that he’s in his own room we do the same and have since discovered that he seems to sleep really well with White Angelica or Peace & Calming. Most of these oils come in the Young Living Starter Kit if you want more info about getting started.

crane humidifier

Use a Cool Mist Humidifier

Babies only breathe through their noses so if they are congested it’s very difficult for them to get good sleep. We love Crane’s cool mist humidifiers (the cool mist part is really important) because they are super easy to use and clean and are freaking adorable. They come in all different animal themes as well as sleep drop styles. We’ve been partnering with Crane for quite a while and they offer the coupon code BIRTH19 to my audience for $10 off +free shipping.

Make the Room Super Dark

Babies are used to complete darkness in your womb and they like a dark room to sleep in too. I know when they are brand new they can sleep anywhere and anytime but as they get older you’re going to want to create a dark room which is easy to do with some quality blackout curtains.

Use a White Noise Machine

Again, babies are used the loud white noise of being in your belly so they love a good, loud white noise machine. Not all of these are created equal and you definitely don’t want songs or nature sounds. I interviewed a sleep expert on the podcast and they actually said pink noise is best. My favorite ones are from Lectrofan.

Baby loungers

My husband and I have chosen to co-sleep with all three of our kids for the first six months or so. With our first two children we just had them in bed with us and practiced safe co-sleeping guidelines. With our new baby we tried out a couple of baby loungers. There are many brands on the market from large and small companies but the two we had were the DockaTot and the SnuggleMe Organic. We like them both for different reasons. The SnuggleMe really hugs baby and keeps their knees up with baby’s love when they are having tummy troubles. The DockATot has a bottom to it so it was more comfortable for travel with we would put baby down in it on the hard floor. We also ended up using the DockATot longer because it felt like he grew out of the SnuggleMe faster.

compare baby loungers

Swaddles and Sleep Sacks

Ok there are a million different swaddling and sleep sack options on the market so it can be hard to know what to use and they aren’t exactly cheap either. Luckily once you find one your baby loves, you really only need two. Here’s what worked best for us.

types of baby swaddles

Getting Baby to Sleep While Traveling

I discovered a couple of products to make travel more easy this time around and am excited to share them!

  • Slumberpod Blackout tent for playyard – This one is a GAME CHANGER you guys. I think of all of the times we tried to squeeze our older kids pack n plays into a hotel bathroom and wonder why it took so long for someone to invent this!? You can use the code birthhour for $10 off too! It’s on backorder a lot but they will notify you when it’s back in stock!
  • Travel blackout curtain – if you aren’t going to use the Slumberpod, there’s also a great travel blackout curtain that suctions to any window.
  • Portable white noise machine – I love this rechargeable white noise machine for on the go. You can use this next to their bed but also in the car, strollers etc.
  • Doona Carseat that converts to a stroller – This is one of my favorite baby products on the market right now. It is definitely pricey but if you are going to register for one big ticket item then I can’t recommend this enough. Or go for the $80 ikea crib (we love ours) and then spring for the Doona carseat/stroller! Not only does it make short trips in and out of the store WAY easier, it also helps baby stay asleep when you don’t have to fumble with a travel system or take them out of the carseat to put into a stroller.
  • Baby carrier – There are so many options and everyone will have different preferences here. We’ve been using Ergobaby carriers for all three kids and still love them and you can’t go wrong with a snuggly wrap for the newborn days.

Remember, All Babies are Different

It’s good to keep in mind that no two babies are going to have the same sleep habits but having some awesome products on hand will hopefully help! I also highly recommend Taking Cara Babies sleep course for newborns and older babies and the Happiest Baby on the Block.

The Ultimate Guide to Young Living CBD Oil

What is CBD oil?

Ok first that’s address the biggest question… no, CBD is NOT marijuana. Ok…Then what is it? 

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring substance of the cannabis plant. There are two primary species of cannabis, hemp and marijuana. Both contain CBD, but hemp contains lots of it while marijuana produces more THC. The stalks of hemp is where we’re extracting our CBD from, not from the buds of Willie Nelson’s favorite plant. 

Important to know: CBD does NOT produce the mind-altering effects caused by THC.

The CBD from Nature’s Ultra (part of the Young Living family) is distilled into an isolate and contains absolutely NO THC which is hard to find. Most CBD oils contain tiny trace amounts of THC. Drug test with confidence!

So instead of euphoric trips and feelings of sedation, CBD actually helps promote feelings of calmness and relaxation for virtually everyone, including kids, adults, even our pets! This is because CBD has an amazing ability to support our regulatory systems and help us achieve homeostasis or ‘balance’. Whether we are experiencing physical or mental pain, digestion issues, soreness, emotional stress, problems sleeping, and skin issues – the root causes start from some level of ‘imbalance’.

The science behind CBD is awesome – it helps direct our body to use more cannabinoids via our Endocannabinoid System, known as ECS. Ok, I know that’s a lot of science talk so here’s what that really means:

Our bodies are constantly working through a maze of tasks to keep everything in working order, including our mood, appetite, memory, stress response, immune function, and much more. All of this is regulated by our ECS. CBD just so happens to help direct our body systems to do more of the good stuff they already want to do – achieve homeostasis AKA balance.

How do you use CBD oil from Young Living?

Nature’s Ultra CBD oil is used topically on the areas that need the most support.

Topically on your skin

In some cases our joints and muscles desire some TLC, our skin is irritated, you name it. In cooperation with things like targeted exercises, healthy diet, meditation, and drinking plenty of water, we can also support some of these areas with CBD oil, Roller blends and CBD Balm.

I love using CBD topically after chasing kids around all day or after a hard workout! Also great for those on the computer a lot or with texting thumbs 😉 ! Topical CBD diffuses across your skin and reaches local targets, like muscles, inflammatory cells, and pain-perceiving nerves. Using CBD topically in a muscle rub or roller can help ease discomfort associated with sore muscles and aches. I personally use it regularly on my forearms after I’ve been typing or texting too much and then do some hand exercises.

How do Nature’s Ultra and Young Living Work Together?

Nature’s Ultra is a wholly owned partner of Young Living, meaning they own the company, but it still operates independently so Nature’s Ultra fulfills and ships your CBD oil orders. They’re also the ones to turn to when you have questions about CBD products.

According to Young Living, “One of the factors that motivated the acquisition of Nature’s Ultra is that we recognized they share many of the same values as we do. They even share our Seed to Seal® commitment to quality, which we’ve verified through visits to their farms. Nature’s Ultra and Young Living are a match made in health!”

The Young Living Nature’s Ultra CBD products are infused with essential oils and you can also enhance your CBD experience by pairing it with Young Living essential oils in your Starter Kit (plus many more). It’s important to note, the safest and most effective form of CBD is an isolate which is what Nature’s Ultra produces. By combining the CBD oil isolate with terpene-infused essential oils, you’re enhancing the potential benefits of your CBD experience with a more targeted approach. Terpenes are responsible for the unique aromas of essential oils. More importantly, smelling them directly contributes to the emotional support we get from using our essential oils. 

Pairing CBD with Young Living essential oils

You can easily pair CBD with essential oils from your starter kit for an enhanced experience.  The essential oils mentioned below have those awesome terpenes we talked about earlier and can enhance your experience for an even greater result. As always, it’s recommended that you consult a professional to create a tailored plan for your needs.

  • Frankincense: applied topically to the face with CBD oil for skin rejuvenation.
  • DiGize Vitality: applied to your abdomen with CBD oil to aid in tummy relief.
  • Lavender: applied topically to your feet at bedtime with CBD for better rest and deep relaxation.

And this is only the start! You can enhance your experience with almost all the oils in the Young Living premium starter kit along with tons of others.\

What CBD products does Young Living offer?

  • Calm CBD Roll-On: Infused with Young Living lavender, this roller creates a peaceful environment that will help relax and quiet your mind (currently loving this postpartum) and great for bedtime.
  • CBD oil cool mint
  • CBD oil cinnamon
  • CBD oil citrus
  • CBD oil unflavored (great option for your pets)
  • CBD Muscle Rub

When is the best time to use Young Living CBD products?

On the Go with CBD roll-ons

What we apply to our skin topically is absorbed into our bloodstreams. There are so many studies on how much our skin absorbs, and there are even drug delivery mechanisms designed to exploit this. Some studies state that 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream within 26 seconds. We want to be aware of the things that are bad for our health, but we can also utilize this for things we WANT to absorb like CBD roll-ons!

When you’re feeling stress

You can use the same method of applying a roll-on or for speedy delivery to the bloodstream and then take some deep breaths or try a guided meditation.

Before bedtime

One of my favorite combinations is applying lavender essential oil topically to your feet at bedtime with CBD for deep relaxation. Try a relaxation exercise like tightening each muscle one by one and releasing.

How do you order Young Living CBD products through Nature’s Ultra?

If you aren’t already a member with YOUNG LIVING, let’s start there! To become a member you just need to buy a starter kit. You can get the premium starter kit which comes with 12 of the most popular essential oils and a diffuser or the basic starter kit which simply gets you your membership and comes with Stress Away oil.

Once you become a member, you will be all set up to order CBD with wholesale discount of 24% off that all Young Living Members enjoy on products. As we discussed earlier, many of the oils compliment CBD usage and are a perfect start to plant-based wellness.

Step #1:

Use our referral link to get your starter kit and gain access to our team resources. More about that here!

Step #2:

Connect your Young Living Account to the Nature’s Ultra site by clicking Natures Ultra CBD under the ‘Quick Order’ tab when logged in to your Young Living account.

Step #3

Click start shopping and you will be taken to the Nature’s Ultra site to shop CBD at a discounted price! 

FAQ: Is CBD oil safe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

Unfortunately there isn’t much research in this area yet when it comes to CBD. There are studies regarding marijuana and pregnancy/breastfeeding and use of marijuana should definitely be avoided. More info here.

However, several of the main concerns with marijuana use including impaired ability to properly care for your baby and second hand smoke, are not concerns with CBD oil. The main question is how much CBD is transferred to your baby and what effects will it have and that’s where the research is lacking still. Many women find that the benefits they get from CBD oil are keeping them from needing pharmaceuticals and the trade off is worth it for them.

This article is only referring to Young Living and Nature’s Ultra products which have very high standards of quality and zero THC. Please do not apply what you read here to other brands. As always, talk to your care provider and use your own judgment. 

DISCLAIMER: The information is for informational purposes only and it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here.

Sources:

  • https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/lifestyle/marijuana/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5938896/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5852356/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6100014/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/
  • https://echoconnection.org/cbd-absorbed-body/
  • https://www.livescience.com/63452-what-is-cannabis-oil.html
  • https://www.health.com/pain/what-is-cbd
  • https://www.health.com/pain/what-is-cbd

Perifit Pelvic Floor Exerciser Review

I love that we are discussing pelvic floor health more and more especially with moms postpartum. In many countries it is standard practice to visit a pelvic floor therapist after having a baby and while that isn’t the case here in the United States, there are more and more therapists available. I’m always happy to get the message out that if you are experiencing symptoms related to your pelvic floor after having a baby, you do not need to just ‘deal with it’.

I recommend looking for a pelvic floor therapist and doing some of your own at-home therapy as well. I’m always recommending the MUTU system for an at home program and I myself have really loved it. Recently, I also had the opportunity to try the Perifit Pelvic Floor Trainer as the company sent me one to review.

From their website, “Perifit is an FDA-approved medical device that is recommended by doctors to prevent prolapse and incontinence, eliminate the need to wear pads permanently, aid quick recovery from childbirth and surgery, regain core strength and bladder control, and enhance confidence in the bedroom.”

From my own personal perspective, it’s also just fun to use compared! You insert the device into your vagina and then it connects with an app that you play games with your pelvic muscles to move your “player”. It’s kind of hard to explain but go here to watch how it works. I’m not even someone who typically likes video games but this was surprisingly really satisfying to advance to the next level on—maybe because I know that I’m actually doing something good for my body in the process.

perifit

Kegels aren’t all that great for you

Many of us have always heard to do kegels… the way I learned was to practice the feeling of stopping the stream of urine but it turns out that that isn’t all that good for strengthening your pelvic floor, plus it’s boring! So, the difference with the Perifit is that you also work on the action of relaxing your pelvic floor muscles and contracting them. Plus, the device can tell you the difference between the use of your deeper muscles versus the superficial ones.

My favorite part is that you get real-time feedback so you know how you’re improving. It really helped me to better understand how to do pelvic floor exercises since you can try different things and then see in the app whether you’re improving or not rather than just listening to someone describe what to do.

Programs for your stage in life

They have a few different programs to choose from including: postpartum, stress/urge incontinence, intimate well-being and preventative. I’m working my way through the postpartum program right now and feel quite the sense of accomplishment when I move up to the next level! I only spend about 10-15 minutes a day doing the games and noticed an improvement within about 3 weeks (I may have missed some days in there but I TRY to do it every day). You can set the app to send you reminders to play the games too!

I definitely recommend the Perifit if you’re struggling with any pelvic floor issues and think it would benefit just about any mom postpartum. Of course it’s always a good idea to consult with your care provider if you have any questions.

You can use the coupon code TheBirthHour10 for 10% off your purchase. I was gifted the Perifit to review and was not compensated in any other way. I only recommend products to you that I truly love and all opinions expressed are my own.

Young Living Starter Kit – How to Sign Up!

What’s included in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit?

1. Diffuser

Your starter kit comes with a diffuser and you get to choose which one. I love the desert mist diffuser which can run up to 10 hours and has a candlelight flicker that’s so cozy. The aria diffuser is an upgrade but is so unique, every time someone sees mine they ask about it!

2. 12 Essential Oils

You get the 12 most popular essential oils with your premium starter kit and the value is insane! Lavender, Stress Away, Thieves, Frankincense, Peppermint, Lemon, Valor, Peace & Calming, Digize, Citrus Fresh, Raven, and Panaway. These 12 oils alone will support sleep, focus, digestion, emotions, wellness, muscles, rough days, head tension, relaxation, kids, mama time and the men in your life.

3. Ningxia Samples

NingXia Red supports immune function, liver function, and eye health and is reported to increase energy. I can tell you it’s more than reported to increase mine! I can tell within minutes how different I feel after drinking it! It’s my daily pick-me-up and I’ve cut my afternoon coffee fix since I started drinking NingXia.

4. Thieves Goodies

You’ll get some extra goodies from the Thieves cleaning line including the hand sanitizer which you’ll quickly fall in love with. It smells amazing and doesn’t dry your hands out because it’s made with aloe.

5. Roller Fitments

You’ll get two roller fitment tops so you can turn a couple of your essential oils into roll-ons right away. Favorites for this are usually Valor, Peace + Calming, Stress Away and Thieves.

6. Sample bottles

Premium starter kits come with 10 tiny bottles so you can share your essential oils with a friend or keep a smaller portion in your purse or take when you travel.

7. Product Guide

The Young Living product guide that comes with your premium starter kit is so informative and will help educate you on how to use the essential oils in your kit. It also has details on Young Livings other products like cleaning supplies, personal care products, baby and kids line, and makeup!

8. Essential Oil Magazine

This changes seasonally and is a great place for DIY recipes and inspiration for diving into the world of essential oils!

9. Member Resources

This is my favorite part and why it matters who you sign up with! We have a huge community group dedicated to teaching you and your team about every Young Living oil, supplement, Thieves product, remedy, guideline, success story and life hack! We have classes, books, live facebook hangouts & search functionality that will help you navigate through any questions you might have. I use the search bar in our groups every single day to get questions answered because I’m always learning too and there is SO much knowledge there! It really does matter who you sign up with and the FB groups are a huge perk of joining my team!

How much does the Young Living Starter Kit cost?

The premium starter kit from Young Living is $165 dollars and includes your membership, a diffuser, 12 of the most popular essential oils. The value of all of the products you get with the starter kit is more than $400 so the starter kit is the most cost effective way to get started with Young Living essential oils!

How do I sign up with a young living starter kit?

The Premium Starter Kit is how I recommend everyone get started with Young Living. It’s the most bang for your buck, and how you get the Young Living wholesale membership + access to all of our team resources, groups. etc!! You’ll get a diffuser, 12 of the most popular oils, and some great, useful samples like Ningxia pouches and Thieves goodies! 

I’ll also send you beautiful art print that you’ll want to frame! Then the same day you sign up, I will send your Welcome email, add you to our FB groups, and you’ll have started on this whole wonderful new journey.

young living starter kit

There’s so much to learn and you will love having so many resources at your fingertips, and I’ll be with you every step of the way! Non-toxic cleaning for your home, the best diffuser blends, overall wellness for you and your whole family, etc. We also have team exclusive resources like free ebooks, monthly online classes, mentorship and amazing groups including one specifically for pregnancy, nursing and babies as well as fertility. 

Does it matter who you sign up with?

Definitely! YES. It matters who you sign up with. I get messages everyday from people (who have signed up with someone else) asking to use our team’s resources and if I can help them with their oils. Do your research before you sign up, and pick an enroller and team you WANT to be a part of and that gets you inspired and excited! With our team you get all the resources, all the amazing DIYs, all the support, all the FB groups…all the fun!

I LOVE sharing and educating, and would be honored to do this with you. And one of my favorite things is all of the new friendships started with the women who sign up with me! Come link arms with me and let’s get it going. I’ll be with you every step of the way. And you’ll also be a part of @caseyleighessentials@grapefruitandgold and @goldendropsociety! Best team ever!

What Does it mean to be a Young Living Member?

Becoming a Young Living member does not mean that you have to sell the products, it’s simply how you get access to the Young Living Virtual Office so you can shop with a wholesale discount (24% off). There’s no commitment beyond getting your Premium Starter Kit. It’s like a Costco membership except instead of just getting the card, you’re getting $400 worth of goodies!

You will get a referral link that you can share with friends and every time someone uses your link you’ll earn $50—a great way to pay for your starter kit right away!

How to sign up for your Young Living Starter Kit in 4 steps

1. Click this signup link

Follow these steps: Be sure the member number 15023809 is listed as the enroller and sponsor so you’ll be on our team. Also make sure to check Wholesale Member to earn your 24% off any future orders. (You never ever have to buy or sell anything in the future). Click Continue. 

2. Select the Premium Starter Kit (PSK)

Choose the diffuser you’d like if you’re going the oils route! Desert Mist is my favorite. The candlelight flicker is so good! The Aria is also gorgeous but does cost more.

3. Sign up for essential rewards (if you’d like to)

You can get right on Essential Rewards if you want! This is our monthly autoship program where you get points back, freebies every month etc. To do this you must select your PSK, then click the box below, reading, “Use the selected Premium Starter Kit as my first Essential Rewards order and sign me up for an Essential Rewards subscription.”

If you are going this route, you can then set up your order for next month! To be on Essential Rewards you simply need to spend $50/month on anything you’d like. Some of my favorite things to add right away are the Tranquil and Deep relief roller, Gentle Baby and White Angelica essential oils, any of the Seedlings baby products, and Inner Defense and Multigreens capsules. I recommend doing this even if you plan to cancel the next month because this way you will get a FREE promo product and you’ll get 10 points back (equivalent to $10 back) to spend on something else! 

4. Follow the prompts

Then follow the process all the way through to the end….yay! You did it! Once you’ve completed your order, you will receive a confirmation email and I will be in touch within 24 hours to get you all plugged into our free resources and send you your free gift!

Should you sign up for essential rewards?

  • Enroll at any time!
  • Your monthly order has to be 50PV or above, 50PV usually equals around $50
  • Earn points back on every order! Points can be used like dollars when placing a Quick Order!
  • Every month Young Living releases that months exclusive promos, you can qualify for the freebies by placing your Essential Rewards order or Quick Order, there are ER exclusive promos that you don’t want to miss though!
  • You can cancel at anytime, there is no contract or scary commitment!

Transfer buying!

Okay I get it, if you’re like me, you’re thinking “I don’t have an extra $50/month in my budget right now” and I thought the same thing!! But, I was actually already buying products like toothpaste, deodorant, dish soap, supplements, etc. elsewhere and wasn’t receiving money back, free products or any of the amazing benefits of essential oil infused products that I can get on Essential Rewards. You aren’t spending more money, you are transferring your budget from Target and other places and choosing Essential Rewards instead! It also saves a lot of time to not have to research and wonder if you’re buying things that are good for your health or not!

Again Essential Rewards is totally optional and you can start/stop whenever you want but I definitely recommend at least giving it a try so you can earn points back on every purchase, snag free oils and products to try, and kick the toxins and chemicals from your home!

Ready to get started? Click on the link here, or on the Get Started button below.

Essential Oils For Breastfeeding: What Oils to Use and Avoid

If you’ve been using essential oils during pregnancy, you may be wondering which essential oils are safe to use while breastfeeding, or which ones to avoid. Breastfeeding can be a wonderful bonding experience with your baby and many moms love knowing that they are giving their baby such amazing nutrition no matter how long they nurse their babies.

I’ve breastfed all three of my children and each time came with its own challenges which resulted in different lengths of time breastfeeding. Having essential oils in my mama toolbox with my most recent baby has been such a game-changer. It is so great knowing that I have one more way to address any challenges that come up.

3 things to consider before using essential oils while breastfeeding

1. Not every oil works the same for everyone

As with any use for essential oils, different people have different success with the wide array of options. In this post, I’ll share what has worked for me as well as other women. One of the great things about my Young Living team (more info on joining here) is that we have a private Facebook group specifically for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and babies. It’s my go-to place to get tips and questions answered!

2. Other factors affect your breastmilk supply

The main factor that affects your milk supply is how often you are emptying your breasts, either by nursing your baby or pumping. Your supply will work hard to meet the demand that you are putting on it. So the best thing to do if you are worried about your breastmilk supply is to nurse more often or pump after nursing sessions. That being said, there are some things that many women swear by, myself included, for giving a little extra boost to your milk supply.

3. Always consult your care provider

When it comes to pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor, midwife and/or lactation consultant before using any new medications, supplements, or essential oils.

6 essential oils that are safe to use when breastfeeding

1. Fennel Seed

Fennel is the most commonly known galactagogue, which is something that increases milk supply. One of the great things about Young Living oils is that they have essential oils that are safe to ingest. These oils are labeled differently and are referred to as Vitality oils. To increase your milk supply you can take two drops of Fennel Vitality a day for up to 10 days. You can put it in a vegetable capsule and swallow or you can add it to your food or tea. Many people will do two drops in a teaspoon of honey. Please do not ingest any other brands of fennel essential oil. 

You can also apply fennel topically, just one or two drops on your chest mixed with a carrier oil like coconut, olive, or jojoba oil, being sure to avoid the nipple area. If it gets near your nipple, just clean the area before nursing your baby. Fennel should be avoided during pregnancy.

2. Basil

Basil is another essential oil that is thought to be a galactagogue and can be used to increase milk supply. It also comes in the Vitality version from Young Living. You can either ingest it, I’d recommend using it in cooking because it’s delicious (a drop or two to your spaghetti sauce is amazing!) or can be applied to your breasts. You can mix one or two drops with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil and rub it onto your breasts, away from the nipple. You can also apply it to your spine around your bra line area. Basil can be used for longer than 10 days if desired. 

3. Dill

Dill is another essential oil that is thought to be a galactagogue and can be combined with basil or fennel. Dill is considered a milder galactagogue so it may be a great option to start with and see how it goes. Young Living has a Dill Vitality option so you can try it in a vegetable capsule or try cooking with it. I especially love a drop of it in a chicken salad mixture! 

4. Lavender

Lavender is probably my most used essential oil because it has so many amazing uses. Many of my favorite uses for lavender are especially great during postpartum and breastfeeding. Most especially, lavender helps promote a good night’s sleep and relaxation. A common cause for the reduction of milk supply is stress because it inhibits the release of the hormones that promote milk production. 


Simply roll some lavender on your wrists at bedtime or whenever you’re feeling anxiety or stress and take some deep breaths. You can also diffuse it at bedtime to help you, and baby, sleep well. If diffusing in a room with a newborn start slow with just one drop. Again, this is why I love Young Living so much—because I trust the sources of their essential oils and know that there aren’t any harmful fillers in there. Read more about their Seed to Seal process here.

5. Peace and Calming

Peace and Calming is a really special essential oil blend that will aid in stress relief as well. It’s super potent, so just a couple of drops in your diffuser will feel your living room with the best calm vibes ever. Even just opening the bottle helps me feel more at peace—clearly they named this one well! It also now comes in the starter kit from Young Living which is so awesome!

6. Stress Away

Stress away is another blend that smells so good and helps with emotional support and stress relief. I kept a roller of this on me at all times during pregnancy and continue to do so while breastfeeding. Stress Away smells like vanilla and citrus combined and is so uplifting (also great as a perfume!). Again, anything that can help you relax, especially when pumping milk, is going to be good for boosting your milk supply.

4 essential oils that are not safe for breastfeeding moms

1. Peppermint

Just like there are some essential oils and herbs that help increase milk supply, there are also essential oils that can decrease your milk supply. These are great to use when you are wanting to wean your baby but should be avoided until then. Peppermint was one of my favorite oils to use during pregnancy, but I stopped using it after my baby arrived. Some women even avoid it during the 3rd trimester because they are worried about its effect on their milk supply. I used it right up until my baby’s birth and had an abundant milk supply, so use your judgment and consult with your care provider.

2. Oregano

Oregano is another oil that is warned against using while breastfeeding for its milk decreasing properties. Obviously, eating the oregano herb is fine because it is much less concentrated than the essential oil. On that note, the website KellyMom mentioned that generally topical applications are going to affect your milk as much as taking something internally so if you use Oregano EO in a roller blend and are applying it topically to the bottoms of your feet, for example, it’s most likely not going to have any effect on breastfeeding.

3. Clary Sage

According to the book Gentle Babies, Clary Sage can be ingested and applied to your breasts to decrease milk supply. In contradiction, I’ve seen Clary Sage listed on certain websites as an essential oil to increase milk supply. However, Debra Raybern’s book Gentle Babies is widely respected in the essential oil community so I personally will be avoiding Clary Sage while breastfeeding. I’ve seen the power of Clary Sage first hand when it jump-started my labor!

4. Wintergreen

It is generally considered okay to use wintergreen as part of a blend like my favorite, Deep Relief, because it is diluted and used topically. The Deep Relief roller is seriously life-saving when it comes to sore neck muscles from breastfeeding. It’s probably a good idea to use Wintergreen in moderation though, even in a blend.

Safety tips for oils around Baby

Be aware of when and where you are using your essential oils around your baby. If using any hot oils like Cinnamon, Clove, Lemongrass, Oregano, Thyme, and Peppermint be sure to apply them to areas that won’t be touching baby (your feet are a good option) and don’t diffuse them in a small, enclosed space where baby will be. This is another good resource regarding using essential oils with a baby. 

Essential oil recipes for nursing Moms

Create a more milk blend for nursing Moms

  • 4 drops fennel + 2 drops Geranium in a 10ml roller ball + carrier oil. I prefer jojoba oil as sometimes other carrier oils will make my chest break out. You can see all of my favorite essential oil DIY products here.  
  • 2 ounces of Ningxia Red each day

Another tip that I learned from our team Facebook group is to drink 2oz of Ningxia Red every day. Ningxia Red is an antioxidant drink made from goji berries. So many women told me about the combination of taking or applying fennel essential oil and drinking Ningxia Red boosting their supply in a big way that I tried it when I had a dip in my milk supply due to a virus I had and sure enough, I experienced so much support for my milk production from those two things together.

Recipe for Clogged Ducts and Mastitis

  • Create a blend of two drops Melrose, 2 drops Lavender, and 2 drops carrier oil. Rub this blend on your breasts, avoiding the nipples, twice a day. I got this recipe from Betsy Bosom’s Baby Book
  • Other good things to try when dealing with clogged ducts are heat, massage, and frequent nursing.

Get started with essential oils

The way I got started with essential oils, was with a premium starter kit from Young Living, which comes with 12 of the most commonly used oils + your diffuser (I recommend the Desert Mist which has an amazing candlelight flicker).

It’s such a great value & provides you with everything you need to get started. You’ll get over $400 worth of product for only $165. You’ll get lots of reading material with your kit and you’ll also get access to our exclusive facebook community full of amazing resources like how to use each oil in your kit, which oils to avoid around kids or while pregnant/nursing, and all of the dilution ratios for individual oils.

We have free online classes, ebooks, live facebook hangouts & search functionality that will help you navigate through any questions you might have. I use the search bar in our groups every single day to get questions answered because I’m always learning too and there is SO much knowledge there! It really does matter who you sign up with and the FB groups are a huge perk of joining me! I also send all of my new members this beautiful hand painted art print that you’ll want to frame in your home!

young living starter kit

Conclusion

So many women stress over their milk supply while breastfeeding and it can be hard to know if you have a low supply or not because each baby empties the breast at a different speed and not all women are able to pump as much as their baby can get when nursing. The amount of milk that you get during a pumping session is not necessarily a good indicator of your supply. The best way to know how much milk baby is getting is to consult with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and do a weighted feeding where they will weigh your baby before an after a nursing session with a highly sensitive scale. You can find an IBCLC at ilca.org. I know how hard this can be, I’ve been there too and I’m cheering you on. 

I’ve found so much support from my oils community in all things pregnancy and postpartum and would love to answer any questions you have about getting started. You can always reach out to me through the contact form on this site or on my oils Instagram account, @brynessentials.  

The content shared on this site, is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. It’s always best to check with a qualified health provider for questions you might have. Moreover, this information has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


Pregnancy Supplements: What’s Safe to Take and What’s Not

Pregnancy is one of those times in life when you definitely want to pay attention to your nutrition and vitamin intake. You may find yourself experiencing symptoms you’ve never had before and you may be suffering from a lack of energy. For me, it was really important that I add some specific supplements to my routine during pregnancy and postpartum and I felt so much better thanks to some specific high quality supplements during pregnancy.

Why take supplements during pregnancy?

Taking supplements during pregnancy serves two main purposes—supporting your own health and ensuring proper fetal growth for your baby. Your baby needs specific vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in order to grow and you are much more likely to become depleted in certain areas during pregnancy and postpartum. Ideally, we could all get the proper nutrients from the food we eat but it can be hard to maintain a well-rounded diet when you’re experiencing morning sickness or nausea or you just aren’t the best about eating your veggies! In order to feel your best and know that your baby is getting what they need, there are a few things to keep in mind. Of course, you should always talk to your care provider when taking new vitamins and supplements. 

10 supplements that are safe to take during pregnancy

1. Prenatal vitamins

All women of childbearing age should be taking a prenatal vitamin. It’s important to be taking a prenatal vitamin before you even become pregnant because your body needs certain vitamins in the very early stages of pregnancy, namely folate. There are many different varieties of prenatal vitamins and most only require one pill per day. Experiment with different ones if you find that yours is upsetting your tummy.

2. Folate

Folate or Folic acid is a B vitamin that is extremely important for fetal development and taking it before you get pregnant and in early pregnancy has been proven to prevent birth defects in your babies brain, called neural tube defects. There is also evidence folate can reduce the risk of heart defects and cleft lip/palate. You should be taking at least 600mcg of folic acid well before you become pregnant. If you are pregnant and haven’t been taking folate, start immediately. Your prenatal may have this amount already in it.

MTHFR is a gene mutation that affects the way your body processes folate. Most people don’t even know they have this gene even though it’s estimated that 40% of individuals do. For moms with MTHFR, it’s important to take a prenatal vitamin that uses methylfolate instead of synthetic folic acid.

young living super B

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D affects your body’s nerves, muscles, and immune system. It is also important in helping your body absorb calcium. Vitamin D is crucial in the development of your baby’s bones and teeth. During pregnancy, you need 600 IU of vitamin D each day. During postpartum, and if you are breastfeeding, you should actually up your Vitamin D intake to 6400 IU or be giving your baby a Vitamin D supplement. Here’s a postpartum multivitamin called Lactation One that has 6400 IU of Vitamin D.

4. Fish Oil

Fish Oil is a great source of DHA which stands for docosahexaenoic acid. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is super important for your babies brain and eye development. During pregnancy, you need 200 milligrams of DHA and not all prenatal vitamins have DHA, so you may need to add a separate DHA supplement. Many women prefer to take a DHA supplement derived from algae instead of Fish Oil due to concerns with mercury.

5. Calcium

Your baby is going to need calcium to grow and if you aren’t getting enough calcium daily, your body will take it from your bones and give it to your baby. Sounds fun, right?! Luckily, most prenatals will have the recommended 1,000 milligrams of calcium. Other good sources of calcium include dairy, broccoli and kale and fortified orange juice.

6. Magnesium

Magnesium works in conjunction with calcium and is important during pregnancy. While magnesium serves the purpose of relaxing your muscles, calcium causes them to contract. There is research that shows that taking magnesium during pregnancy can prevent premature labor caused by uterine contractions. Magnesium also plays a part in growing your baby’s teeth and bones. In my personal experience, taking a magnesium supplement before bed helped with my charley horses and leg cramps. My favorite magnesium and calcium supplement is called Super Cal Plus.

7. Iodine

Iodine is a mineral crucial to your baby’s developing nervous system and is used to make thyroid hormones. During pregnancy, you need 220 micrograms of iodine every day. Iodine isn’t always included in prenatal vitamins so be sure to check the label and consider adding an iodine supplement. Iodine is also found in iodized salt, dairy, fortified cereal, and bread as well as fish.

8. Probiotics

Probiotics help your digestive system work properly. They are comprised of the good bacterias that help gut health. They can be particularly helpful if you are prone to yeast infections as many women are during pregnancy. My favorite probiotic is called Life 9 from Young Living.

floradix

9. Iron

Iron is a very important mineral during pregnancy and something many women end up being deficient in. I personally bordered on anemic with all three of my pregnancies and needed to add an iron supplement in addition to the iron in my prenatal vitamin. In fact, your blood volume increases so much during pregnancy and your baby is busy making their own blood, that you need twice as much iron when you’re pregnant!  Most prenatals will have the recommended amount of 27 milligrams of iron but if you are finding that your energy is low or that you’re frequently dizzy, you should get your iron levels checked and consider adding another supplement or upping your intake of iron-rich foods. My favorite supplement is a plant-derived iron called Floradix.

10. Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is found in green vegetables but can also be taken as a supplement. Chlorophyll has similar properties to hemoglobin which essential to your blood cells and carries oxygen through your body. My midwife recommended I take Chlorophyll at the same time as my iron supplement as they work well together. I currently take a supplement called Multigreens which is a chlorophyll formula made from spirulina, alfalfa sprouts, barley grass, bee pollen, eleuthero and Pacific kelp.

young living multigreens

3 supplements to avoid during pregnancy

1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is actually really important for fetal eye development but the problems occur when too much Vitamin A is consumed as your body will store excess amounts in your liver and can cause liver damage or birth defects for your baby. Your prenatal vitamin will have the right amount of vitamin A in it and you shouldn’t consume any additional Vitamin A supplements.

2. Black and Blue Cohosh

These herbs are often found in the form of a tincture and are used by many midwives to augment labor when a woman is past her due date or has premature rupture of membranes. I’ve personally done a black and blue cohosh regime for two out of my three births. Since these herbs can cause uterine contractions, they should not be used during pregnancy as they could lead to early labor. If using them to augment labor, only do so under the supervision of your care provider.

3. Dong Quai

Dong Quai is a very popular herb in Chinese medicine and similarly to black and blue cohosh, can cause uterine contraction so should be avoided while pregnant.

Here are some other herbs to avoid in pregnancy:

  • Saw Palmetto
  • Goldenseal
  • Passion Flower
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Pennyroyal
  • Ephedra
  • Yohimbe
  • Pay D’ Arco

Take the following precautions when taking supplements during your pregnancy

Inform your care provider

It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor or midwife before taking any new supplements during pregnancy.

Start slow

When using supplements during pregnancy or breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to start with a small amount and see how your body reacts. You are likely dealing with many symptoms that you aren’t used to and while supplements can often help with these symptoms, you certainly don’t want to make any of them worse.

Read the labels

One thing to keep in mind is that herb and vitamin supplements often are not evaluated by the FDA the way prescription drugs are. Many times the labels will say “avoid use if pregnant or breastfeeding” even though your care provider may have recommended it. This is because there is no official testing done to prove that they are safe for pregnancy so the company is required to include that disclaimer. Another thing to keep in mind is that the quality and strength of supplements may vary between different products or brands.

3 places to buy pregnancy supplements

Local pharmacy

Your local pharmacy will have many of these supplements and vitamins. Most large box stores like Target or Walmart also carry many supplements these days.

Health food stores

Your local co-op or Whole Foods will have a very large selection of supplements and these will often be organic and of higher quality than ones you may find elsewhere.

Online through Young Living

I personally prefer to order the majority of my supplements through my wholesale membership with Young Living. I get 24% off everything I order and they have very high standards for quality control. Several of the supplements I mentioned above are from Young Living and you can find out more about getting your own wholesale membership here. I’d love to help you learn more!

Pregnancy is a time of many changes physically, emotionally and mentally. Some vitamins like your prenatal, folate and DHA are essential for your baby’s development. Other supplements mentioned here may give you more energy and make your pregnancy a little easier. Consult with your care provider and find the supplements that are going to be best for you.

The content shared on this site, is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. It’s always best to check with a qualified health provider for questions you might have. Moreover, this information has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.