Becoming pregnant can be a launching pad into the natural world. What might have not worried you pre-pregnancy may now be very concerning with a growing baby inside. This is a great time to make some changes in your life. I wish I had known more about the natural world when I was pregnant with my first. Perhaps I did know, I just wasn’t all that receptive to it. I wish I had been. Had I started my crunchy journey when I was pregnant with my first child, I could have started living better a whole 2 years earlier! Perhaps those of you who are newly pregnant will learn from my mistake. I’ve learned a lot of natural changes to make once pregnant and I’m sharing them with you!
Before getting into the changes you can make, I do want to clarify that I’m not trying to paint a picture of doom if you haven’t made these changes. You don’t want to get caught up in the “what if’s”. Trust me, there will always be what if’s. You can’t change the past so stop worrying and make the changes you can today so that you don’t have more what if’s in the future.
Natural Changes to Make Once Pregnant
Green your Clean –
Cleaning products are generally full of many toxic ingredients. Even the most liberal pregnancy books will warn you of cleaning with bleach and other “normal” cleaners. There’s a reason for that! What you breathe in can affect you and what affects you can affect that little baby. Make the switch to more natural cleaners
. The best (in my opinion) is homemade; usually baking soda, vinegar, and castile soap are the main stars in a natural cleaning cabinet. If however, you just aren’t up to cleaning with super natural products, then at least switch to the more natural commercial brands.
Personal Products –
I know it doesn’t seem like it but what goes on your skin is actually absorbed by your bloodstream. When pregnant, what your bloodstream absorbs can actually pass onto your baby’s bloodstream. Therefore, whatever ingredients are in your personal products can easily end up in your baby’s system. Shampoo, make-up, toothpaste, deodorant, perfume; all of these can potentially contain some not-so-nice ingredients. To see where your current products rank, check out Skin Deep
. This site ranks products by their ingredients. It’s not perfect but it’s definitely a starting place to finding out if your current products are harmful and for finding healthier products. You can also check out how I make my shampoo/conditioner
if you are so inclined to make your own.
Food is good. You need food and baby needs food. However, the types of food you eat can definitely be important. Basically now is the time to get rid of anything artificial in your diet. High fructose corn syrup
, artificial sugars, processed foods, canned food (don’t want to add BPA
to your diet). These items are the ones that most pregnant women do not think twice about and yet these items have valid reason to be avoided. Just like with personal products, what you eat can transfer over to your baby. This of course is great when it comes to vitamins and nutrients but not so great when it comes to chemicals. There are of course the usual recommendations that even the standard doctor will tell you to avoid such as high mercury fish, soft cheeses, lunch meat, caffeine, etc. These I think are good to avoid. Granted you might not be able to avoid them all the time but it’s best if you try. Even I however, will cave in and have a sandwich with lunch meat and a caffeine-laden frappuccino. I try to avoid it all but sometimes it’s best to not go crazy for the sake of one drink.
Ditch the Plastics –
If you’ve relied on tupperware for storing food, now would be the time to look into switching over to glass or stainless steel. Plastics contain chemicals (namely BPA, Phthalates, etc) that can leech into food and personal products. This is especially concerning if you heat up food in plastic or freeze in plastic as it is these temperature changes that really cause the chemicals to leech. There are some “safer” plastics
but even some plastics that are BPA free have been found to leech hormone changing chemicals. I recommend just going extra safe and ditching plastic altogether.
Limit Sugar –
Sugar at least is natural but it’s not really good for you. The less sugar you have the better. Now would be a good time to cut back and find some other natural alternatives like honey or stevia
Ditch the Alcohol, Cigarettes, etc – Even the most conventional of doctors will tell you to cut these out. They aren’t healthy for you and they aren’t good for the baby. These are probably the hardest things to cut out as they are very addicting but they would be worthwhile to give up.
Take Prenatals –
Any woman of childbearing age should really be taking prenatals, pregnant or not. There are a few natural people who say that vitamins aren’t necessary and I can see their point. If you eat a really good and varied diet then no, you shouldn’t need vitamins. However, most of us do not eat that well and when pregnant (especially if you deal with morning sickness) it’s hard to get all those vitamins and nutrients in. That’s why I like to rely on a prenatal. I don’t mean rely as in, I can eat poorly because I take a prenatal, I mean rely as in I take a prenatal to fill in any gaps that I’ve missed. I do recommend a natural prenatal
as the closer to a “whole food” vitamin you get the better. Synthetic vitamins have been shown to not absorb very well and why try swallowing a pill if you won’t be absorbing it all?
I’m sure there are many, many more natural changes you can make when you get pregnant. These are just a few of the big ones that always come to mind. As I mentioned before, don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t made these changes yet. Do not worry about the past. Just make the changes you can and that’s all you really can do. If this list feels overwhelming, as I know many crunchy changes can feel daunting remember to start small. Every little bit helps even if you can’t make all these changes all at once.