Nine Green Months: Your Healthiest, Eco-friendly Pregnancy
Author: Melanie Kozlan
Pregnancy can be overwhelming and stressful, despite how Octomom or Angelina Jolie might make it seem. Luckily our guide to a green pregnancy will settle concerns about what to eat, what to do and what to avoid. Many women use pregnancy as an excuse to adopt a greener/healthier lifestyle, and really, what better excuse is there? Read on and see how to make the most of your body, mind and wallet during the next nine months.
RULE ONE: Avoid all toxins
Quitting smoking and avoiding second hand smoke is a good start, but it is not enough. A healthy pregnancy entails avoiding unnatural cleaning products and cosmetics. Forget toxic hair dyes and nail polishes and even perfumes! Most perfumes and air freshners contain “Phthalates”, a chemical which can be toxic to your unborn baby.Stick to essential oils, and healthy alternatives. You might even consider making your own natural cleaning products and doing laundry the eco-friendly way. Many woman use pregnancy and an expected baby as a good time to invest in air purifier, to ensure the safest environment.
Worried about your complexion or developing pregnancy acne without chemically-clad products? The best thing you can do is avoid pore-clogging make up and washing your face with a very mild soap and patting it dry. Coconut milk is a great alternative to moisturizer, as well as occasionally using a cup of olive oil to deep condition your hair the natural way. Also make sure that any cans or plastic you buy is BPA free, especially when shopping for new baby gear.
RULE TWO: Eat as healthy as possible!
Pregnancy is free reign to eat as much as you would like, (it’s normal to gain 25-35 lbs, up to 6lbs the first trimester followed by 1lb every consecutive week), so long as what you’re eating offers nutritional value! The best thing you can do is pick produce that is free of, or low-in pesticides, and stock up on whole unprocessed foods, as well as aiming for whatever is organic and local. It is also important to make sure you are eating foods high in folic acid on a daily basis (broccoli, spinach,citrus fruits…) to help prevent neurological defects in your baby. Fill your cravings with some of our healthy, vegetarian recipes.
RULE THREE: Stay Hydrated!
Nine months without alcohol also means nine months making sure you have eight glasses of water a day. This will help regulate your body temperature, help the nutrients flow through your body and avoid random, sporadic contractions.
RULE FOUR: Avoid Morning Sickness!
Morning sickness is your body’s way of fighting off any harmful toxins you may ingest. Everyone is different, but if you don’t experience any kind of morning sickness (even if it’s in the afternoon or middle of the night) it could be a warning sign of defect or that your baby isn’t fighting off dangerous substances. Luckily you will have millions of visits to your doctor who will settle your nerves and make sure everything is normal. Here are your best bets for avoiding morning, noon and night nausea:
- Start your day slowly.
- Opt for multiple small meals rather than three large ones throughout the day.
- Snack on crackers when you start to feel a little queasy.
- Suck on ice cubes or lollipops
- Eat fruits high in water, lemons, watermelon.
RULE FIVE: Get some (light) exercise!
Even if it’s just taking one small walk every day, exercise is helpful to both your body and mind. It will help you stay free from stress and minimize moodswings. Perhaps try a pregnant-yoga or water-fitness class at your local gym or community center. Kegels, the ‘holding your pee in’ exercise is also said to be helpful and benefit your delivery as well as recovery- the best part is you can do it while you’re watching TV, eating dinner or even at work!
- Hint to your friend’s for a Green baby shower: Gifts that are eco-friendly, homemade or second hand. If you don’t know anyone who can offer you hand-me-downs, be sure to check out second hand stores and sites like Craigslist: you’ll be saving the environment as well as a lot of money!
- Know your options! There is so much information and resources available to today’s pregnant women, so be sure to check out your local library and online forums to know what to expect and what’s happening to your body. It’s also a great way to research how you wish to deliver your baby: Whether you decide to give birth in a hospital or with a midwife. It’s important to decide what’s right for you and how you will feel safe and comfortable.