Getting Ready for the Stork: Our Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
In this day and age, it's not just vitamins and good nutrition mom needs to worry about. Making good personal choices won't keep all toxic problems out of the womb, but will give baby the best start possible. Follow these tips for a happier and healthier pregnancy!
Growing Up Green
The most critical time of development is in the womb, and moms-to-be know that a lot goes into a healthy pregnancy. But in this day and age, it's not just vitamins and good nutrition mom needs to worry about-if she does some research, she'll find that the stork has a lot of toxics to dodge before reaching the nursery. Making good personal choices won't keep all toxic problems out of the womb, but will give baby the best start possible.
Follow these tips for a happier and healthier pregnancy!
You are what you eat!
If you don't already, eat fresh and organic as much as possible. It's a good idea to avoid canned foods during pregnancy because linings in cans leach toxic bisphenol A (BPA). And frozen foods, fast foods, and microwave popcorn may be contaminated with "Teflon chemicals" from their packaging.
Top produce items to buy only organic are peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes (imported), spinach, lettuce, and potatoes.
Fish is some of the healthiest food you can eat because it is a high-quality protein, rich with important omega-3 fatty acids, but you need to choose wisely to minimize mercury. Wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, Atlantic herring, Dungeness crab, Pacific cod, Alaskan black cod, farmed striped bass, tilapia, farmed catfish, clams, mussels, and Pacific oysters are all safer selections.
Freshen up your regular beauty routine.
Don't let your nose tempt you when reaching for lotions, body washes and cleansers-toxic phthalates often turn up in fragrances. Opt for fragrance-free products and, if possible, consider giving up perfumes. Hair dye and nail polish typically contain harmful chemicals and should be avoided as well.
Choose cosmetics and personal products from companies committed to safer products, like Burt's Bees, Avalon, Aubrey Organics, and California Baby. You can also explore safer products and ingredients on the Cosmetic Safety Database.
Go back to the basics when cleaning.
Use old fashioned soap and hot water when washing your hands. Stay away from soaps marketed as 'antibacterial.' Household cleaning products tend to go overkill on fragrances and chemicals, so save money and protect yourself by making your own. Try cleaning recipes using liquid soap, baking soda, and vinegar, or these safer brands: Seventh Generation, Bi-O-Kleen, and Country Save.
Make the nursery a healthy one.
You can create a haven for your new addition built with love as well as safe materials. By avoiding toxic paint and furnishings, you can feel more at ease knowing your family is safe. Keep these tips in mind when remodeling or putting together your nursery:
If you are painting, choose zero-VOC or low-VOC latex (water-based) paints and stains.
Be very careful with old lead paint when remodeling. Hire a contractor certified in lead abatement to remove it for you. A list a contractors in Washington is available here.
Avoid carpeting if possible. Solid wood, bamboo, cork, and linoleum (such as MarmoleumTM) are the healthiest flooring choices. If you prefer something soft on the floor, consider area rugs or carpets that are made and installed without glues.
Choose wood and metal blinds instead of vinyl blinds. Avoid plastic roller shades and wallpaper, which are typically made of vinyl (PVC).
Think twice when choosing mattresses and furniture. Wool, cotton, or latex mattresses are best. Solid wood is always a safer choice for furniture.