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Pregnant And Green

Pregnant And Green

Since so many of our GirlieGirl readers are preggers, we thought we’d ask a real deal eco Momma for her favorite Green Pregnancy Tips.   Guest-Blogger Francesca Olivieri is a Mommazon of 3 vivacious kidlettes, and is here to offset your carbon emitting nerves as our resident Green Earth Mother!

I can’t think of a better time to make healthy changes in your environment than when you are pregnant. With all the hormones coursing through your body, you are super sensitive to all types of smells. And for good reason. Your body is protecting the baby from toxins. I wasn’t able to walk past a diner in my neighborhood when I was pregnant without gagging because of the noxious cleaner they used.

Of course you can’t do much about the outdoor air, but you can take tons of simple steps to make your home and nursery as toxic free as possible during your pregnancy and in time for the arrival of your newborn. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Beauty Products: Take a second a look at the ingredients of that favorite lotion before you slather it onto your body. Think birth control and nicotine patches. Skincare and make-up seep into your body just like medications. Ingredients like parabens and phthalates are things you want to avoid, especially when you are pregnant. Check out Environmental Working Group’s Skin deep site. It is a good way to find safe skin care products to use on yourself as well as your newborn.
  2. Crib and Mattress: Your newborn will be sleeping a lot in the early months. The crib is a great place to start making the nursery healthy. Conventional mattresses have flame retardants which many consider harmful, and cribs are often made of partial plywood which contain glues that can off-gas. Choose a real wood crib with non-toxic finishes and an organic mattress with untreated cotton cover and wool matting. The wool acts as a natural flame retardant. {Editors note: us vegan gals who are wool-free can find an excellent natural wool alternatives here} You can find all types of styles from traditional to mod. Given that eco has gone mainstream these days, organic baby bedding is so easy to find with a wide range of patterns.
  3. Painting: If painting is in the plans for the nursery, try AFM safecoat zero-VOC paints. AFM have been making non-toxic paints for over 25 years. Many of the conventional paint companies like Benjamin Moore now offer environmentally friendly lines of paints as well.
  4. Carpeting: New carpeting can also be a culprit of toxic fumes given the glues that are often used to adhere the carpets to the floor. Choose natural fiber carpets and either have it tacked down or buy area rugs.
  5. Air Purifier: No matter what you do in your own home, it is hard to control what your neighbors are doing especially if you live in an apartment. The US Environmental Protection Agency states: “most Americans spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, where pollutant levels may be 2-5 times higher, and occasionally 100 times higher, than outdoors…” Chances are there is probably some off-gassing going on in your home. I use an air purifier to help clean the air of everything from gases and chemicals to mold, pollen, dust, hair and pet dander. Also, simple things like having good ventilation,( i.e. opening a window) works wonders.
  6. Avoiding Pesticides: Lastly, one of the major challenges in my own home is to convince my apartment building coop to use an exterminator that practices Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which means using all the obvious ways to combat pests like thorough cleaning and plugging up holes before using pesticides. And if you have to use pesticide, use the most non-toxic version available. Spending a few moments on the Beyond Pesticide website looking at studies of effects of pesticide on children is enough to scare you into action. So find out what is being used in your home or apartment and speak out about it! {Editors note: Pesticides aren’t just scary toxic for you, they are mean, mean, mean to the harmless little critters!}

Don’t let these tips overwhelm you. Just take small steps and before you know it, you will have created a safer environment for your growing family.

Here our two must-reads for a healthy eco plant-based pregnancy!

See Also

Buy ’em and savor;

In 2006, Francesca Olivieri co-founded the company, sage baby an online eco-friendly baby store offering everything from organic clothes and skincare to furniture. She also writes a monthly blog for Scenic Hudson and The Family Groove as well as contributing articles to Daily Candy Kids, Citiscoop, and NRDC’s simple steps. She continues to watch her green business grow, while seeking to apply her values to her own home and family. Francesca lives in New York City with her husband and three kids, 8, 6 and 3.

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