In pregnancy, there are two bodies, one inside the other. Two people live under one skin.”
– Joan Raphael-Leff
2020 is the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife and the bicentennial year of Florence Nightingale. Pregnancy and birthing practices have changed so much since then but one truism remains the same ‘every pregnancy is different!’ Whether you are expecting your first or fourth baby – pregnancy can be a confusing and sometimes terrifying time. When you are feeling vulnerable it is difficult to ignore the horror stories and baby myths but staying strong is the best way to cope.
Choosing organic pregnancy products and concentrating on keeping you and your baby healthy and safe will help you enjoy a positive pregnancy. Here are a few tips to avoid unnecessary toxins at home and at work.
Keep washing your hands
One of the best ways to rid your body of unwanted toxins is to rinse them down the drain. Frequent hand washing also reduces the likelihood of picking up colds and viruses. If you need a refresher on the best way to wash your hands, have a look at this advice from the NHS
Choose organic unscented products for body care, beauty and home
Increasing numbers of women are aware that a lot of products we use every day can contain a cocktail of synthetic chemicals – many of which have been linked to reproductive and synthetic hormonal effects. Knowing what chemicals to avoid and how to read labels can be a minefield so we always recommend to pregnant women that you choose certified organic products. This way you know that chemicals of concern and methods like GM are not allowed.
Look for The Soil Association label in the UK and Ecocert in Europe – there are others but choosing products made in the UK is always a good choice. Here is the list of health and wellbeing products which are certified by the Soil Association. Using organic products is the safer choice but you will also find they are just as effective and lovely to use as conventional ones full of nasty chemicals! Here at Greenscents we have our own ‘No Nasties Guarantee‘ which shows you which toxic ingredients you will be avoiding. Many of these are also included in beauty and personal care products.
Artificial fragrances, made from a mix of hundreds of synthetic chemicals are also included in many things we need. During pregnancy it is wise to read labels carefully and avoid ‘parfum’ or any other unnatural fragrance. Playing safe and choosing the fragrance free option is the sensible path to take during pregnancy.
Preparing the nursery
Getting the nursery ready for your arrival is a really precious time and there are things you can do to make sure that you create the healthiest environment for your newborn.
- If you decide to decorate, make sure you use non-toxic paints with low VOC’s. They have virtually no odour and are not respiratory irritants.
- Choose natural flooring such as organic cork with organic cotton or wool rugs for soft play.
- Organic cotton is probably the best fabric for baby-friendly areas. Curtains, blinds & furnishings can be found in organic cotton and this material is best for baby clothes and bedding too. There is a global standard for organic textiles called GOTS.
Invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter
Keeping the inside environment healthy is just as important as outside. Trapping small dust particles is important to avoid spores, moulds, bacteria and car emissions. HEPA filters can also remove any Hormone Disrupting Chemicals (HDC’s) such as phthalates and florinated chemicals that may be lurking in the atmosphere.
Reduce your plastic use
This is especially important for food. We all know that cutting back on plastic is good for the environment but it helps keep pregnant women healthy too. To avoid BPA’s in plastics swap plastic food containers for glass or stainless steel ones, choose beeswax coated cloth or paper bags instead of cling film and give plastic water bottles a miss as well.
Almost 400 pesticides are used in conventional farming and many of these are used together without any understanding of the cocktail effect. Organic farmers are permitted to use just 20 pesticides, derived from natural ingredients including citronella and clove oil, but only under very restricted circumstances. So it makes sense during pregnancy to lighten your pesticide load and eat as much organic food as you can afford.
Just look for the Soil Association or the European green leaf symbol. Choosing a veg box scheme can be an easy and economic way to introduce organic food into your life. Abel and Cole are one such scheme and they also offer a small range of our products.
Choosing organic pregnancy products as recommended above is easy to do and will ensure that you enjoy a healthy, natural pregnancy. And you will be giving your baby the best start in life too.