5 Maternity Products You Must Have!
There are so many things to think about during pregnancy that sometimes it can be easy to forget or forgo taking care of momma’s needs. With the additional new expenses of clothing, diapers, and other baby supplies, you may be one that has a hard time spending the extra money on some of your maternity and nursing needs that may seem unimportant. Here are five areas I encourage you NOT to skimp on and the health reasons why.
1. Healthy Pants
Trying to avoid buying maternity clothing? Trying to get away with the “expandable waistline gadgets for your favorite jeans? Believe it or not, there is a health benefit to purchasing maternity clothing or simply wearing clothing designed to stretch around and support your belly. Wearing clothing that is too tight can restrict lymphatic and venous flow. With all the added fluids building in the body, this is the last thing you need. Tight and poorly fitting clothing can also lead to poor posture, promoting a tucked pelvis that is contrary to the ideal alignment of your body and baby. (See our blog on exercise and proper alignment during pregnancy.) Not to mention, you will be thankful you invested in something you enjoy wearing that you can easily put on the weeks following the birth as your body transitions back to your previous size. If finances are a concern, try borrowing a friend’s stash of maternity clothes or look for consignment sales either online or in your area that usually have a maternity section for moms.
2. Healthy Bra
Plan ahead and get a nursing bra, so you aren't scrambling to the store after the baby is born. But stay away from underwire as it also constricts lymph flow around the breasts. Poor lymph flow is affiliated with mastitis, chronic breast lumps and in general, poor long-term breast health. There are wireless nursing bras available that have adjustable straps and fasteners for an ideal fit. For more information about bras and good breast health, read Dr. Mercola’s article discussing underwire bras and the risks they pose to women who wear them.
3. Healthy Underwear
Did you know polyester is made from coal tar? Synthetic polyester is made using a chemical reaction involving coal, petroleum, air and water. In other words…it’s synthetic to the core and it does not breathe, keeping free-flowing oxygen from accessing the body. This does not help momma in her efforts to maintain an ideal environment in the vagina for baby to come into the world. Oxygen is critical to life and especially important in keeping alive the beneficial bacteria that mother will pass to her baby upon birth. It can be hard to navigate the polyester world our clothing and textiles are turning towards, but looking for alternatives like cotton, bamboo, wool, and linen are great places to start, especially for your undergarments as they allow oxygen flow and come with a much lighter chemical footprint. Here’s a quick list by Donna Gates at Body Ecology about what materials you should try to avoid.
4. Healthy Potty
Believe it or not, most cultures have historically squatted to use the bathroom, and it was not just normal, but healthy! In our modern world, we have created toilets to properly “sit” rather than “squat” when nature calls. One company decided to change this. Squatty Potty has been featured on Dr. Oz, NPR, Men’s Health Magazine, and the Washington Post because they believe the ideal way to eliminate is in the squatting position. You can even read the studies on their website showing that “the greater the hip flexion achieved by squatting, the straighter the recto-anal canal will be, and accordingly, less strain will be required for defecation.” In efforts to create the squatting position, they designed a footstool that simply fits under the modern toilet. The Squatty Potty works great especially during pregnancy to help relieve any unnecessary strain on the pelvic floor. Any footstool or small step can be used as an alternative, but the Squatty Potty is nicely designed to slip under the toilet when not in use. They also come in handy for little legs during potty training!
5. Healthy Makeup, Hair & Personal Care Items
This area alone would be worth putting any available resources you have towards replacing the standard chemical laden products we find on most store shelves. 90% of what goes on the skin is directly absorbed into the bloodstream. We have a saying at Spirit of Health. "If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin." This includes your hair! The cosmetic world is full of damaging toxins that can not only affect you but the health of your baby as well. Unfortunately, the placental barrier has been hyped up. In a 2005 study done by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) on umbilical cord blood, they found over 200 known toxic chemicals and pollutants freely circulating to the newborn. The placental barrier can be helpful for protecting the baby against major viruses and illnesses, but it is no match for the inundation of toxins and chemicals found in a mother’s bloodstream. If you are ready to start swapping out the synthetic chemicals for clean personal care items, try some of our favorite brands:
- Logona Naturkosmetiks for organic makeup and henna hair dyes (safe even during pregnancy!)
- Alaffia for soaps, lotions, bath gels and hair care
- Smoky Hills Farm for therapeutic salves, sunscreen, and body butter
We wish you and your baby a healthy pregnancy and hope you find these tips to help along the way!