As your baby bump grows, so, too may your awareness of what you put in, on, and around your body. Your womb is your little one's very first environment—so naturally, you want to keep it as healthy as possible.
For the ultimate maternal inspiration, look to Mother Earth: What's safe for the planet is generally good for you and yours, too. Whether you're already versed in eco-friendly practices or just getting started, these eight ideas and helpful tips will plant the seeds for a sustainable pregnancy:
The skin dilemmas of pregnancy are twofold. On the one hand, you may start experiencing unexpected developments (pregnancy acne, facial skin pigmentation, even—potentially—gingivitis) that you want to treat. On the other hand, one glance at the label of a conventional beauty product will have you scrambling to look up every unpronounceable ingredient to see if it's safe for baby.
The solution? Stick with personal care products that are formulated with naturally-derived ingredients (like our Puracy Natural & Organic Personal Care Set).
Tip: Avoid products whose ingredients include the catch-all label "fragrance." Such blends are considered a trade secret, and often include phthalates, which research suggests may disrupt the development of male reproductive organs.
The urge to nest gets complicated pretty quickly when you realize all your go-to cleaning products are potentially hazardous for your little bean.
Your best bet might just be to mix a DIY cleaner, or stick with natural cleaning products that have been thoroughly vetted for maximum safety. Launder your clothes (and your baby's!) with a natural laundry detergent formulated with biodegradable ingredients.
Tip: Even when you're using gentle cleaning products, you (and your newly heightened sense of smell) may still have a reaction. Try to avoid heavily-fragranced cleaning products, as they might smell offensively strong, especially to soon-to-be moms. This is one of many reasons why we always use gentle, subtle fragrances in all of our products here at Puracy.
Whether you're storing excess dried oats or making your own nut butter, glass provides a safer alternative to plastic. Scientists have expressed concerns for years over the dangers of leaked chemicals from plastic. Plus, 91% of plastic isn't recycled. Glass, on the other hand, presents a safe, non-toxic, highly-recyclable alternative.
Tip: When bringing your own glass containers to the bulk section of your local grocery store, pre-weigh—or "tare"—the container. Write the tare on your jar in permanent marker, so the cashier can subtract that amount from the total weight of your purchase.
Settled on a color for the nursery? Now's the time to settle on a safe paint, too. Ask for a water-based product, which should contain zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds). If possible, reduce chemical exposure even further by selecting a paint that doesn't need a primer layer, either.
Able to splurge a bit in the nursery? Your money will be well-spent on an organic crib mattress pad. According to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, crib mattresses and other upholstered products often contain flame-retardants, which can "harm health and affect a child’s brain." Look for foam products labeled as "flame-retardant-free," or naturally flame-resistant materials like wool.
Tip: Consumer Reports breaks down the many components behind the "organic" and "natural" labels in baby bedding, and what to look for when shopping.
You're sleeping for two now—so make sure you get a solid eight hours in dreamy linen. If possible, avoid synthetic, conventional, or permanent-press materials; the manufacturing of these linens requires heaps of toxins like formaldehyde and dyes. Opt instead to fit your bed in organic materials, especially if it's cotton (cotton is one of the most heavily-sprayed crops in the U.S.).
Tip: Drift off faster to dreamland with the help of a DIY pillow spray. Mix 1 oz of witch hazel, 1 oz distilled water, and 12 drops of pregnancy-safe essential oil (e.g., lavender, sweet orange, and roman chamomile) in a spray bottle, and spritz directly onto your pillow.
When you're pregnant, it's easy to be discouraged by the foods you can't have (sayonara, sushi!). But by focusing on the healthy ones you can have—and making a concentrated effort to support local vendors in the process—you'll keep your diet diverse and sustainable. Whether it's shopping at your local farmers' market or starting small with an herb garden, opting for organic, in-season picks whenever possible will leave you, baby, and the planet more nourished.
Tip: If you have downtime during your parental leave, try to prep food to freeze ahead (for you and baby). When the time comes, you'll be grateful for all those nourishing, home-cooked, BPA-free options.
Planning a baby shower? When putting together your registry, consider green options, too. Whether it's specifically stating a preference for eco-friendly baby items, or registering with a site that has green options (such as Target), it's a great way to gift the planet, too.
Tip: Some registry sites, like SoKind, allow friends and family to donate alternative gifts, such as designated babysitting time.
The very act of carrying another life is exhausting, so you deserve some good, old-fashioned pampering. Steep an indulgent herbal tea, draw up a natural bubble bath, and let yourself relax. Right now, taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for your little one.
Tip: Avoid lighting paraffin-scented candles, which can release carcinogens. Use natural blends, like those made of soy or beeswax, instead.
"Going green" reaches a whole new level of importance when you're expecting; you want to ensure a bright, healthy tomorrow for your little one. We hope these tips inspire and inform your sustainable journey for the next 40 weeks (and beyond!).
And as you look to support and nurture your growing family, it's worth knowing that Puracy is different from the large global conglomerates that own many of today's natural product companies.
We're a small, family-owned (and family-oriented) company based right here in Austin, Texas. And our two co-founders, Paul and Sean, are going through this crazy "new parent journey" right alongside you. In fact, they started the company to provide safe, natural products for their own families (and newborns!) to use at home.
Along those lines, we're thrilled to announce the two latest additions to our own little family here at Puracy. On November 8th we were blessed with the birth of fraternal twins—Lawson Tracy (boy) and Holland Tracy (girl), pictured below. Both mom and babies are happy, healthy and ready to relax in a nice, warm natural bubble bath.
From our family to yours, we hope you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving! We have so much to be grateful for, and we'd like to thank you for your support of our small business.