Pregnancy is a great time to start protecting and mothering your child within. A person could make themselves crazy trying to avoid all the toxins in today's world, since toxins are everywhere — from the air we breathe and the food we eat, to the clothes we wear and the water we drink. The best place to start making the world a healthier and safer place is inside your body and in your home.
Here are 10 tips to help you have the happiest, healthiest and greenest pregnancy you can have!
1. Eat local and organic foods.
Organic foods are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge or GMOs. When buying meat, organic assures that the animals have not been given antibiotics or growth hormones. When you buy your food locally, your food is fresher, it supports family farms, and reduces carbon dioxide emissions and packaging materials.
2. Use non-toxic cleaning supplies.
Always look for non-toxic or green cleaning supplies that are biodegradable as well as petroleum, phosphate, VOC, and solvent free. You can also make your own cleaning supplies out of common household ingredients like baking soda , kosher sea salt, lemon juice and vinegar.
3. Stay away from plastic water bottles and containers.
If you do use them make sure they say BPA free. BPA is a chemical found in hard plastics and the coating of canned foods and drinks. BPA mimics estrogen and it may disrupt normal hormone levels and development in fetuses and babies. A healthier choice for canned foods would be to buy fresh, whole foods. Instead of using plastic water bottles, use glass or stainless steal bottles filled with filtered water.
4. Use organic, fragrance-free skin products.
Make sure the products you buy are phthalate, paraben and fragrance free. The reason to make sure your products are fragrance free is because phthalates and other chemicals can hide under the word "fragrance" as they're added to products to help the fragrances last longer. Organic coconut oil is a great skin moisturizer to use on body after the shower. The Environmental Working Group has a great resource to show you how safe your products are.
5. Naturally filter the air.
A great way to filter the air in your home is with plants. Gerbera daisies, chrysanthemums, English ivy, spider plants and bamboo are a few great plants and flowers for in-home air purification.
6. Avoid nail polishes that have the toxic trio.
Many nail polishes have these three toxic ingredients: formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). All of these ingredients can cause skin irritations and birth defects.
7. Make sure your shampoo is sulfite and paraben free.
Sulfites are a harsh cleansing agent that can irate the skin and cause hair loss. When coloring the hair best to wait until after your first trimester is over, and be sure to use an ammonia free color thats low in P-phenyleneaiamine (PPD). If you're going to color your hair, highlights would be a better choice, as the color doesn't touch your scalp.
8. Remove your shoes in the house, and wipe pets' paws.
While you're out and about walking around, your shoes are collecting pesticides and heavy metals. Leaving your shoes outside the door and cleaning off your pets' paws before coming into the house helps minimizes the amount of toxins in your home.
9. Borrow, share, or go second-hand for maternity clothes and baby gear.
Not buying new maternity and baby clothes, which you and your little one will quickly not need or outgrow, will decrease carbon emissions and cut back on environmental resources.
10. Wear and sleep in organic cotton.
In standard cotton production, pesticides and fertilizers have been applied to cotton clothing. When we wear them, these toxins can seep into our bodies. Organic cotton is made without the use of any harsh pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. In addition to the potential toxic content of cotton clothes, most mattresses these days contain toxic flame retardants which can interfere with baby's brain development. If you've been in the market for a new mattress, now might be the time to upgrade to a non-toxic version.