Dr. Zehra's Favourite Things
I have been asked by many patients, friends, and family to put together my "ultimate perinatal item list" from my recent experience of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Keep in mind that none of these items are perfect for everyone, they are simply what I loved most and found most useful during my motherhood transition.
Assembling a perinatal care team is one of the most important steps you can take to increase the likelihood of having the most positive pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period possible. Support is a must and it truly does take a village.
Here are my favourite people:
Doula - Ridge Meadows Doula Services
Midwives - Transitions Midwifery
Chiropractic & Massage - my team at MRWC
Acupuncture - Dani Foster
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy - Bump Physio & Co
Child Birth Education/Prenatal Classes - Ridge Meadows Doula Services (all online now: childbirth education, newborn prep, baby led weaning, sleep education, breastfeeding support, they really do it all!)
I follow a strict daily supplement regime of high-quality and clean products. My nutrient levels were fantastic during pregnancy as shown by my bloodwork. This was important when considering a homebirth. I also made sure I took Methylated folate of course! Here was my line up:
Douglas Labs Prenatal Vitamins
NutraVeg extra strength EPA/DHA (algae source)
Pure Encapsulations Liquid Iron
Pure Encapsulations Liquid B12
Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D
Bioclinic Naturals Probiotic 12
I take my prenatal vitamins and probiotics with dinner and all the liquid vitamins went into a daily smoothie with banana, frozen berries, raw sprouted vegan protein powder, peanut butter, almond milk, and water.
I followed this supplement regime before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and continue to do so postpartum.
We carry all of these vitamins at the clinic except for NutraVeg which I get at Roots.
I never went anywhere without my peppermint oil. Peppermint was a life saver when I had morning sickness. I also dabbed it into my mask when working to ensure that it was the only scent I'd smell to avoid any potential nausea.
I loved using the 750mL mason jars with the metal lid + straw combo. I found this really helped me keep up on my hydration. They also travel well and fit into car cup holders! When I became bored of plain water, I'd make celestial seasonings tea (peach or cherry were my favourites) and drink it cold.
I used a big, fully body length, U-shaped pillow from amazon. My favourite thing about it was that you could remove and wash the cover, and stuff more fluff into it for enhanced support.
I lived in my Smash & Tess rompers at home and my Lululemon align super high-rise crop leggings for work. They hugged my bump so well and never slipped down! This was perfect for me since my job is so physical.
This Lululemon All Yours tank top is everything. It is so easy to slip the breast out the side and stay covered everywhere else. I adore them!
Love this bralette from BaoBei. It is not a traditional nursing bra with the snap down. I like the fabric's flexibility and shape maintenance. You can be quite rough with it when getting ready to feed baby. You don't need to slip the strap off to expose the breast either.
I always wear barefoot shoes. However, relaxin really gave me a hard time with my arches and intrinsic foot strength. Combined with the swelling (my special sausage feet), I switched to Birkenstock sandals in the beginning of my third trimester. The straps can be widened quite a bit to accommodate any swelling. I love the Mayari sandals.
My two favourite self-care body items during pregnancy and postpartum were my Thumper Sport and Epsom salt baths (salts from costco). Everett used the thumper on my back during almost every contraction during birth! Loved it.
I chose La Petite Ourse ("little bear") cloth diapers based on their structure, reviews, and incredible customer service. I purchased 20 newborn all-in-one diapers and 25 bigger pocket diapers (10-35lbs). I also picked up 30 of their cloth wipes. They carry THE BEST enzyme detergent too, Rockin Green. LPO always has sales, usually around holidays! I keep all of the diapers and wipes on an ikea cart beside the baby change station in my bathroom. I love my Dekor plus diaper pail and have never had any scent issues with it! So easy to change the bag and re-fill. Get 2 bags!
Onesies: Kyte Baby bamboo onesies for sleeping
Rompers: Bonds wondersuit zippys for everything else (the two-way zipper makes diaper changes SO easy!)
Both of these companies have sales during the year. Make sure you sign up for a free Bonds account for additional discount!
SPIT UP CLOTHS
I adore these bamboo muslin cloths from OleHop. Get at least 8-10. You won't regret it. Ps: flannel spit up cloths aren't super great at absorbing liquid.
I love the Nuna Leaf. It is a non-electric mechanical seat swing and completely silent.
We went with the Evenflo Symphony All In One to fit our two-door jeep. It is an all-in-one seat, not a bucket seat.
I absolutely love the Ergo 360 Omni Mesh carrier. It allows inwards, outwards, and back carry position, all while providing excellent support for baby's spine and hips for proper development. You can purchase an infant insert for tiny babies too.
This is my favourite teether for both grip development and sensory stimulation purposes.
BABY NAIL TRIMMER
Do not waste your time with clippers! Get a baby nail dremel! So great.
On the advice from Nicole Chambers, expert in baby led weaning, we went with a bottle and straw combo. This makes baby work harder to suck milk up the straw against gravity and helps maintain a preference for the breast. I love the Pura Kiki straw bottle because it is stainless steel, safe silicon straw and nipple, has oz measurements inside, and can go in the dishwasher! Win.
Save your money. This IKEA highchair is all you need, so inexpensive, and super easy to dismantle and clean. We throw the food tray straight into the dishwasher!
Projector lights have been a life saver for us when baby is fussy. She loves watching the movement of all of the colours. A string of holiday lights along the backboard of your bed is also great for nighttime feedings. It keeps the light dim and doesn't stimulate baby awake.
BEDROOM BABY CAMERA
We use Wyze Cameras to monitor nap time. They work well and are easily controlled/monitored through a phone app.
HMF Baby B is a fantastic baby probiotic supplement. They make one for formula fed babies as well, HMF Baby F. I much prefer these over the most common probiotic on the market, Biogia, because the human gut does much better with a multi-strain probiotic. Biogia only contains one bacteria strain.
HMF Child + Multi is great. It is a tasty chewable multivitamin with a built in probiotic.
TODDLER/CHILD IMMUNE SUPPORT
Douglas Labs Vitakids Immune liquid is packed full of great vitamins, easy to give a child, and tastes great!
This is definitely not a one-product-fits-all thing, but this is what worked for us, most of the time:
Frozen teethers are really helpful. A small cloth dipped in breastmilk and frozen also works well.
Bach Rescue Remedy is a great homeopath to help with calming a sore and fussy baby.
Punkin Butt Teething Oil is soothing for gum irritation/discomfort.
Love Thinkbaby sunscreen!
FIRST SHOES (DRY/WARM WEATHER)
Check out my blog on appropriate footwear for infant/toddler milestones and development!
FIRST SHOES (WET/COLD WEATHER)
These kid couches are awesome for milestone development support/encouragement, imaginative play, and lounging. There are many brands, but we love Kiddie Couch from White Rock, BC.
This wagon is the bomb! The wheels drive over so many different terrains, it is huge, and has really high walls. Bonus: it folds up super compact!
I will update this list as I discover new favourite things as Marley grows and develops! Thanks for tuning in!