Hold the stork paraphernalia - the baby shower’s been cancelled. Perusing the baby stores on the weekend? Off the agenda. For lots of us, even our birth classes have been cancelled – suddenly this rite-of-passage time is looking a whole lot less social. And, especially if it’s your first pregnancy, you may be feeling a little apprehensive at what the future holds.
It’s completely understandable. Birth prep is as much about emotional and mental preparation as it is practical, so to watch it dissolve in front of your eyes can be a little disconcerting.
Thankfully, there are benefits to living in a digital age. And I’m not just talking about Uber Eats – although, go on then!
The online world just happens to be home to a wealth of incredible resources for pregnant women. And having exhausted just about all of them personally (I know, I need a technology detox, but this is clearly not the time), I’ve compiled the very best of the best, with a couple of special offers for our readers. Prepare to nest.
1. Australian Birth Stories
If there’s one thing isolation can do, it’s make you feel a little, um, isolated. This is the last thing a pregnant woman needs – at your most vulnerable, you need connection, support, and a sense of community and kinship. If you’re anything like me, you might be craving the stories of other women’s experiences, to help you prepare and get into the headspace of birth.
Australian Birth Stories is the place to find them. This podcast is hosted by Sophie Walker, who has built an incredible library of stories from women who’ve birthed in just about every circumstance imaginable. You can search for stories about particular types of births (VBACs, natural, inductions, the works), or conditions (premature, breech, or multiples). You can even hear our founder Georgie Abay’s birth stories in episode 22. There’s something incredibly comforting about hearing mothers tell their own stories, and it’s the perfect way to prep while hanging the washing out, doing laps of the garden, or hiding from the kids in the pantry.
ABS have also released two postpartum series which interview experts in the fields of breastfeeding, weaning, sleep, women’s physiotherapy, and more – the ultimate package to help you navigate these areas if you’re unable to attend in-person consultations.
2. Eunoia Soul Rituals
Any hope of a pregnancy massage or spa day went out the window when social distancing protocols came into place. Unfortunately it’s a little difficult to get pampered from 1.5 metres away. But if work, school, and exercise can come home, so too can a little self-care. Enter Eunoia Soul Rituals, a unique fusion of skin care, perfume, crystals, affirmations and rituals.
Eunoia’s mission is to take the skincare routine and turn it into a ritual practice. Their beautiful products all come with an oracle card which walks you through how to apply the products, while also practicing mindfulness and affirmation. Their newest release, the Mama pack, contains a nourishing belly and body oil (the only one I’ve ever tried that doesn’t leave your skin greasy), along with the most heavenly perfume roller (free from nasties and safe for pregnancy) and rose quartz crystal, the stone of self-compassion. Let’s just say it’s a lot more indulgent than slapping on some moisturiser while you try not to trip on a bath toy.
Eunoia are kindly offering 15% off store wide for The Grace Tales readers, with the code GRACETALES.
3. The Memo
In the lead up to my daughter’s birth, I visited Baby Bunting so frequently I earned a VIP card and had a preferred parking spot. It seemed as the weeks ticked by I needed more and more ‘stuff’ – and once you step foot in the gargantuan space of a baby superstore I can almost guarantee you’ll find yourself panicking that you don’t have a crucial parasol attachment for your pram, or a nappy bag that disposes of the goods for you (still waiting on that one). Thankfully, since my daughter’s birth, The Memo has arrived. The ultimate online baby store, you don’t have to think twice about their range – they’ve done the research and compiled the ultimate edit of baby goods (with none of the duds). Offering speedy delivery, free returns, and a 30 day trial, it’s a no-brainer. Plus, they offer a registry service. So if you had to cancel that baby shower, maybe you don’t have to miss out on the gifts. We’re never leaving the house again.
4. The Pregnancy Posse
Do you know how to activate your pelvic floor correctly? Are you sure? And what about exercise – do you know which workouts are pregnancy safe, and how to modify them if not? If you had been planning on seeing a women’s health physiotherapist to help you out with these burning questions, you can now do that from home. Laura Callea is a pelvic floor physiotherapist specialising in pre- and post-natal care. She’s also a mum, so she’s got the knowledge and the experience. That’s probably how she knew that time-poor mamas (let alone mothers trying to self-isolate) needed an accessible resource that they could consult at any time of the day or night. She created The Pregnancy Posse, which is an online program taking you through your pregnancy week-by-week, with home workouts suitable for your stage of pregnancy, Q&A sessions, step-by-step guides to your pelvic floor exercises, and regular emails that are full of helpful information. No hand sanitizer required.
5. She Births
Image: Jerusha Sutton
If you were booked into a hospital birthing course which has now been cancelled, I’ve got good news: something even better is available for you. She Births is the only scientifically verified childbirth education course in the world. Boasting a 65% reduction in epidural rates, a 44% reduction in caesarean sections, a 50% reduction in medical augmentation using artificial means, and a 53% reduction in resuscitation of babies with oxygen and/or bag and mask, the results speak for themselves. She Births founder Nadine Richardson puts the current situation perfectly when she says that “as the universe yawns and we are forced into retreat, the opportunity lies for pregnant families to discover their own innate ability to birth as a loving connected empowered family unit.”
She Births classes are still running, with virtual interactive workshops running via Zoom and the full course available via the She Births app. Best of all, the team are fully understanding of the fallout from job losses and the economic chaos of Coronavirus – and they’re putting parents first. “We do understand that some families are doing it tough, and everyone should have access to birth education, so we have created a special affordable course called Birth Basics.” Perhaps it’s this thoughtful approach that means 98% of She Births mums describe their births as beautiful.
She Births are generously offering 10% off their Full Online Program for The Grace Tales readers with the code thegracetales10.