Preparing for Birth - Sarah Canga

I am so excited and grateful to have our very first Guest Blogger post today, Sarah Canga. If you'd like to be featured as a Guest Blogger, please email - XO Liz

Sarah Canga is a mother to a young girl and boy trying to find humor and grace everyday with a passion for acupuncture and women's health. You can usually find her baking homemade sourdough bread or knitting. You can learn more about Sarah and read the rest of her incredible blog posts at Be sure to 'Like' her Facebook page, Empower Healthy Women for weekly inspiration on healthy living. 

Sarah wrote the following post back in 2015 when she was nearing the end of her pregnancy and getting ready for birth. Whether you've been there, or will be there some day in the future, we all call learn from her thoughtful insights. Enjoy!

Over the weekend there was quite alot of squawking coming from the bush by the garage. When I finally got around to checking in on the nest it was empty. Mama bird must have been nudging her babes out of the nest. It all goes so fast, doesn’t it?

We are about as ready as we can be for this birth. Everything is bought and anything we’ve forgotten is probably not necessary anyway. I’m in that place where I’m very much in my head and am trying to make space to get into my body to do this. My body is trying its best to help with all sorts of aches and pains that are pretty hard to ignore. I’ve slowed down quite a bit, a gentle reminder that the first weeks will be even slower.

Here’s what I’ve been doing to get ready and a reminder that this is simply what I’ve been doing because it feels right it is in no way medical advice or meant to treat, cure, any ailment or disease.

Eating dates everyday. Dates are packed with all sorts of yummy goodness and a recent study showed they can help with labor too.  Lately I’ve just been eating them but its super easy to make a homemade lara bar too.

Drinking red raspberry leaf tea. Red raspberry leaf tea is known as a uterine tonic and can also help with labor and post partum.

Yoga I admit I haven’t been as diligent about getting to pre natal yoga classes this time around but I try to get at least 20 minutes in before bed as much as I can. There’s a great podcast from Mamaste yoga that I like and of course Radiant Heart Yoga (now ohmMother Yoga) in West Dundee is the best prenatal yoga studio around.

Eating gelatin. Gelatin is a blood tonic in Chinese Medicine and helps to regulate the blood. I’ve been making jellies with my daughter pretty regularly and even sneak in powdered gelatin into smoothies and puddings. Another great source of gelatin is from a homemade soup, this is my favorite post partum soup to nourish the blood.

Sitting on the floor in cobblers pose or on an exercise ball to encourage the baby to stay in a good position. I can’t really get out of the couch these days and sitting on the ball is much more comfortable.

Acupuncture. I’ve been using acupuncture for all sorts of things this pregnancy. I’m currently following a prebirth protocol by Debra Betts that simply helps encourage the body to prepare for birth and has been shown to lessen the duration of labor and pushing.

Coloring. My daughter and I colored some really cool birth affirmations to hang in the room where the birth tub will be. If you haven’t colored in awhile get some crayons and a coloring book and have fun! Its a great way to clear the mind.

 "I can do this"

"I can do this"

 "My body is stronger than my mind says it is"

"My body is stronger than my mind says it is"

 "I surrender in confidence"

"I surrender in confidence"


Soaking my feet in epsom salts. I love Epsom salts in general but they are great for helping to relax at the end of the day.

Elevating my feet as much as possible to avoid Fred Flintstone feet.

I’ve also done a complete overhaul on my closet and donated anything that I didn’t absolutely love (which was quite alot). I did some online shopping to make a summer nursing wardrobe capsule so that I don’t spend the next year in ratty sweatpants and old stained shirts. I’m sure my shirts will get stained but it feels really important this time around to feel put together when I leave the house with 2 kids in tow. It was a little tricky shopping not being sure what size I will be and knowing that it will fluctuate but I think I did a pretty good job considering shopping and fashion are not really a joy of mine. I’m pretty excited for a fresh wardrobe and I love how uncluttered my closet is.

Trying to savor the last bits of pregnancy. Who knows this could be the last time I have this experience. I’m enjoying feeling this little one dancing around in there. I’m acutely aware of how much is about to change. Its a fascinating time. Birth and death perhaps are the only things in life we can’t completely prepare for or know exactly when they are coming maybe that is part of preparing for all of the unknowns that follow?

How did you prepare for birth?