What a magical time it is to be expectant. The wonders and changes in the body will require tweaks to everyday routines. We've put together a collection of tried-and-true swaps to keep your growing family healthier.
Every body and pregnancy is different so if you're planning to make a change to your lifestyle, always check in with your doctor or midwife first. Many things harmless outside of pregnancy can become questionable once you are and it helps to double check. A big goal of these tips is to minimize exposure to harmful things, like chemicals and stress, to your changing body and your little one. Another goal is to help deal with difficult pregnancy symptoms.
For healthy skin, a two-prong approach is important—being thoughtful about what goes in and on the body. Eating whole, healthy, less processed and organic foods works from the inside out. For example, drinking bone and vegetable broth is a wonderful way to get nutrients in to your body when appetite is low and eating plenty of fresh produce helps nourish while providing a myriad of antioxidants and vitamins. Topically, choosing natural products to care for skin is important. Being mindful about products like soap, makeup, lotions and haircare can make for a healthier pregnancy. After all, our skin is the body's largest organ and acts as both barrier and sponge for what we lather on.
Switching to natural soaps formulated with gentle ingredients is an easy move. Choosing artisan bar soap is a wonderful way of minimizing plastic waste without breaking the bank. We offer vegan and goats milk options to help skin look and feel its best. Some find that pregnancy brings itchy skin, choosing soap made with soothing ingredients like chamomile, oatmeal and shea butter can help keep skin happy. Following up with a rich natural moisturizer helps lock in moisture and minimize itchiness and stretch marks as the belly expands. Double check for essential oils in products as some may not be suited for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Oral care is important at every phase in life, but especially so while pregnant. Seeing your dentist for a cleaning is recommended. Tip: you may need your doctor/midwife to issue a letter clearing dental procedures so check before you get in the dentist's chair.
During pregnancy, gums and taste buds can become more sensitive so taking good care of your mouth is ultra important. We recommend gentle flossing daily. We like to ditch harsh plastic-packaged mouth wash and choose to make a 100% natural mouth rinse with pink himalayan salt and warm water to keep gums and teeth feeling clean. There's no need for measurements—a small spoonful mixed well in a small glass of warm water is all you need.
Some ladies report a lingering sour and metallic taste on the tongue while pregnant. To deal with this common symptom of pregnancy, invest in a tongue scraper to keep the mouth fresh and help when food aversions occur. Scraping the tongue is an ancient ayurvedic health practice that freshens breath and many find it helpful in improving the taste of food. If you're new to scraping, start slow. Don't scrape too far back on the tongue to start. I also personally found mint-flavored toothpastes to taste disagreeable. Our solution is to swap in a natural paste made with baking soda or otherwise containing a 'saltier' flavor rather than mint. Children's toothpaste often come in more palatable flavors like bubble gum.
Another important thing to factor in are cleaning chores. Have loved ones help with the most strenuous tasks. Choose cleaning products made with less harmful ingredients. If you can make a cleaner yourself, that can be helpful as some 'natural' cleaners aren't as harmless as we'd like to believe. (Caveat: do proper reading before mixing and concocting your own cleaner. Some natural ingredients can be harmful when mixed together.) Nix any cleaners that make you feel lightheaded as you clean. If possible, open a window for ventilation and use rubber gloves. Check labels. If you're in a bind, turn to vinegar and baking soda. They are safe enough to eat which settles worries. I clean happier knowing I'm not exposing babe, skin, or lungs to unnecessary harshness.
Running around town means you'll experience odors that come up on you fast. This is especially true during warmer months. Some women swear by having a fresh lemon to scratch and sniff to fight nausea while out and about. Tart hard candy can also work to distract the olfactory senses.
Some of us enjoy to a cocktail or glass of wine at the end of a long day pre-baby. While pregnant, we need to turn to new methods of unwinding. Meditation, exercise, music, journaling, prenatal yoga or a laugh session with friends are terrific alternatives to decompress and unwind.
Pregnancy has a huge physical component but there's as much to prepare mentally. Anxiety and worrying is normal but arming yourself with information whether it's in the form of books or classes is a wonderful way to prepare for the months to come. How have you adapted to the changes that come with growing your family? Do you have any healthful tips to share?