Going green during your pregnancy doesn’t have to be a totally overwhelming — or outrageously expensive — experience. And while it’s best to be as green as possible during your pregnancy, simply following just one of these tips will make a difference for you, your Little One, and the earth.
But be sure to leave the guilt at the door if you can’t manage to accomplish all of these tips. Do what you can, ladies! Even if that’s just sharing this info with the pregnant women in your life.
::What eco-friendly advice do you have for expectant moms? Did you have a green pregnancy? Tell me about it!::
Go Green for Your Pregnancy 1 of 14
Click through for 13 smart and easy ways to have a green pregnancy!
Original photo: iStockphoto
Go for Natural Cosmetics 2 of 14
Ditch the Plastic Food Containers 3 of 14
Glass food containers (Pyrex is my favorite!) are way better than plastic containers that often have BPA, a chemical that "can have some kind of a feminizing effect on fetuses and babies since it mimics estrogen. But that's not all plastic production is also responsible for large amounts of pollution from emission and recycling," according to Eco Child's Play.
Postpone Home Improvements 4 of 14
You're expecting a baby and you want the house to be perfect before he arrives. BUT, you might want to consider postponing home improvements. Major projects might uncover old lead paint, which is highly toxic. But even smaller improvements like painting the nursery or installing new carpeting bring harmful toxins into your home. If you just can't resist becoming a DIY weekend warrior, opt for eco-friendly paints and natural-fiber carpets.
Eat Organic — Or as Close to it as Possible 5 of 14
According to Eco Child's Play, "When aiming for a green pregnancy, you should try to eat organic foods because the fewer pesticides that go in your body, the better it is. Vegetables and fruits such as spinach, potatoes, celery, bell peppers, strawberries, apples and peaches are the most common foods that get contaminated by pesticides. However, fruits like oranges and bananas have a lower chance of getting contaminated since they have a tough peel." Organic foods can be expensive, so be sure to check out the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen and Clean 15!
Clothe Yourself in Eco-Friendly Fibers 6 of 14
Look for ethically made, eco-friendly maternity wear for your green pregnancy. Cotton is best, especially organic! Avoid synthetic fibers, like polyester blends, which are made with plastics -- unless it's from an awesome company like Eco-fi, which uses recycled plastic bottles to make its polyester. Even still, it is difficult for skin to "breathe" in anything but natural fabrics.
Forget the Air Fresheners 7 of 14
Air fresheners -- including air sprays, plugins, and even scented candles -- contain toxins. The use of air fresheners have been linked to diarrhea in infants and headaches in mothers. Instead, opt for natural room deodorizers, or simply boil orange rinds and cinnamon sticks in a pot on your stove for an easy DIY home scent.
Test Your Water 8 of 14
Know what's in your home's water (you can easily find out by visiting the Environmental Protection Agency's website), and then be sure to use a purification filter, like Brita or PUR. High levels of contaminants have been linked to miscarriages. And don't be fooled by bottled water! According to Fit Pregnancy, bottled water is " seldom cleaner than tap, it's not as well-regulated, and some brands are municipal water with a fancy label. Worse, in the U.S., only a quarter of those bottles are recycled!"
Clean Green 9 of 14
This one seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, you'd be surprised how many cleaning products in your home are all-out toxic. Listen to the experts: "Anything that is labeled as 'flammable' or 'caution' is to be strictly avoided. There are many organic/natural cleaners out there that have greatly improved in efficiency over the years. You no longer have to depend on anything toxic for cleaning purposes."
Just Say No to Canned Food 10 of 14
Keep Your Car Parked and Walk When You Can 11 of 14
Walking is considered the "perfect prenatal exercise," and if you are able to ditch your car and walk for your evening errands -- or daily commute -- you should seize the opportunity! According to Fit Pregnancy, "a four-mile round-trip walk will keep about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air. Some studies have found that if people nationwide got their recommended daily exercise by walking instead of driving, we could reduce our oil consumption by up to 38 percent. So once you've found your route, get outside regularly for a brisk walk. Sunshine will boost your vitamin D levels (very important during pregnancy), and believe it or not, outdoor air is less polluted than the air inside the average American home." Walk on, ladies. Walk on.
Get Houseplants 12 of 14
Register Green 13 of 14
Babies require a lot of stuff. Figure out what you really need -- and what you don't. Ask other moms, check out blogs, and avoid buying anything that's not a necessity. And if you're going to register for baby goods, be sure to include eco-friendly products!
Use Your Boobs 14 of 14
Countless studies continue to find that breastfeeding is healthiest for baby and for mother. And according to Fit Pregnancy, "Your choice to nurse also takes a load off the planet's shoulders. The manufacturing of infant formula is an industrial process, and its distribution involves trucking nationwide. Canning the prepared formula requires the resource-intensive use of steel, and the cans may be lined with resin that can leach BPA into the formula. Powdered formula is safer, but you need to decide what kind of water to add. Some bottled waters contain phthalates or BPA, and depending on where you live, tap water may contain pesticides, disinfection byproducts or pathogens."
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