Thursday, November 1, 2012

Congratulations Your Pregnant! Now what? A Non-Toxic Munchkin's Guide to a Green and Pure Pregnancy.

I think most mothers, if not all, understand  that pregnancy is a time to be healthy.  Many of us become preoccupied with researching all things organic in what can seem like a sometimes overwhelming push to become healthier as moms to -ultimately- offer a healthier beginning for our babies.

Is this non-toxic living thing a hormone induced exaggeration?   Is it a passing trend?  Not really.   The science is clear:  pregnancy is considered a 'window of susceptibility' - a period of time when we are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals (the other windows include, fetal development, infancy, childhood and adolescence) More and more studies are showing links between exposure to certain common chemicals during pregnancy to everything from preterm births and higher  risk later in life to birth defects,  childhood behavioral problems, diabetes, cancers and the list goes on.


However well intentioned you might be, sometimes those first few weeks of pregnancy are some of the hardest, longest and most miserable days of your life.   Everything from nausea to morning sickness to extreme exhaustion can jeopardize even the most dedicated green moms intentions.   Sometimes you have to resort to pre-made meals or just bread and crackers because you feel so crappy that cooking is. Not. An. Option.  

So what is a pregnant mom to do?  We know that the first trimester is when our babies are undergoing the most rapid development.  We have heard about the many studies that have found high levels of toxic chemicals like flame retardants in the umbilical cord blood of the majority of Americans (over 200 never tested chemicals have been found in umbilical cord blood!) .   We know we want to make changes and keep our munchkins as pure as possible.

The key is to keep it simple.  

  1. Now is the time to choose organic fruits and veggies.  At a minimum, prioritize and buy those most contaminated fruits and veggies organic only. For a more detailed list read EWG’s Shoppers Guide  to Pesticide in Produce 
  2. Sometimes you can only hold down light quick meals like soup.   Canned soup will spike your BPA levels and BPA has been proven to be quite the harmful chemical for babies (read more about how harmful BPA is for munchkins) so, if you are not eating home cooked soup, do not resort to buying canned soup (or canned anything).  Choose soups (or meals) that come in glass.
  3. Even I , who HATE using the microwave, used it a whole bunch to reheat food on days I was just too tired to make dinner.  If your microwave becomes your sous chef of sorts, just make sure you don’t reheat your food in plastic containers than will leach nasty chemicals into your food.   Instead choose glass.

Now is the perfect time to hire a maid.  Seriously, if you can afford it, it is not only a huge convenience, but the reality is that pregnant women should not  expose themselves to fumes that many household cleaners give off. 

On a related note, now is the time to throw out your toxic mainstream “pine or lemon fresh” house cleaners. The air inside of our homes is usually much ore contaminated than the air outside because of the cleaners that we use.   Usually I recommend finishing up what you have at home and then switching to less toxic cleaners but if you are pregnant, the fumes from those mainstream cleaners could potentially be so harmful for your developing baby that its best to throw them out and start buying the purest cleansers you can find.   An excellent source is EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning .  

If you want to go the really natural and safe route make a 50% white vinegar and 50% water spray and use that as a natural disinfectant all around the house.  This is what I have been using  for years.

If you prefer pre-made cleaning products?  Check out my approved ones on my Amazon Store


Think of it this way:  anything you slather on your body gets absorbed by your skin and will eventually make its way to your developing baby..... do you really want to expose him or her to a super long list of hard to pronounce mystery  ingredients that have never been tested on humans for toxicity?  Do we want our munchkins to be a laboratory test for these ingredients?  Probably not... which is why now is the time to keep it simple in the bathroom.

  •  Less is more.   I would never tell a pregnant woman to give up her makeup.  I mean, sure some pregnant women have that natural glow but I certainly did NOT and I definitely needed my makeup!  But, the key is to use as little products as you can.   You are exhausted anyway, so you should welcome an excuse to streamline your routine.   Use only what you need.  Same for your hair care routine.... do you really have to shampoo, condition, deep condition, use styling cream, frizz control AND hair spray?  Less is more; do it for your baby. 
Having said this, there are so many amazing and high quality non-toxic cosmetic companies producing truly great makeup and personal care products today that this is a great time to try them out and make that switch!   I have a couple of my favorites listed in my Amazon Shop
  • Belly Cream/Stretch marks: There are tons of, sometimes pricey, products that promise to keep a pregnant woman’s skin soft and stretch mark free.  But why slather on all these ingredients that have never been tested (and others that have been and are proven endocrine disruptors)?  One of the easiest and most efficient solutions that I swear by is using pure almond oil (my fav), Vitamin E oil or coconut oil  all over you body after you shower. Shea butter, cocoa butter, and grapeseed oil also work well.

  • Acne:  I had never had acne in my life but got some acne during my first pregnancy.   It was terrible and i would never wish it upon anyone... not even my worse enemy.   Unfortunately it is a reality that many pregnant women have to deal with, triggered  by an increase in certain hormones during pregnancy.  Most mainstream acne medications,  like salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide, are not safe to use (and really don't help much when hormonal acne is concern) you can try using lemon juice or apple cider vinegar as an alternative to toner if your skin is really oily.   Really, hormonal acne in pregnancy sucks  and the reality is that there is very little you can do.... the good news?   it WILL disappear as soon as you give birth or, at the latest, a couple of months after giving birth when your hormonal levels balance out.

  • DRY CLEAN: Open some closets and you will find tons of dry cleaned clothes- sometimes still hanging in the plastic wrap.   If this sounds familiar, it is important to know that PERC - a common chemical used in dry cleaning, was recently listed as a top chemical linked to breast cancer.  What to do?  Look for an organic dry cleaner and make sure they do not use PERC (since some cleaners claim to be organic and still use the chemical).  When this is not an option reduce your dry cleaning and make sure you air out the clothes you bring home before putting it in your closet or on your body.   

1 comment :

  1. 3 Studies SHOW Why Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    The meaning of this is that you literally get rid of fat by consuming coconut fats (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from big medical journals are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world upside down!