In one of the first blog posts I wrote for Natural Supply Co I mentioned a study conducted by an environmental working group that found 200 industrial toxins in newborn baby’s umbilical cords. You can read more about this study here. I found these results truly scary. I hadn't realised that chemicals and pollutants could be carried through the umbilical cord and it made me appreciate how harmful chemical exposure can be even when the bub is in the womb.
But don't worry, I'm not here to freak you out - instead, I want to talk about the easy ways that you can reduce your every-day chemical exposure and still enjoy some pampering during your pregnancy.
My pre-pregnancy research
As some of you know, I started my pre-baby researching and planning over a year ago! I have nearly every book under the sun about how to conceive naturally, how to breed healthy babies and what to expect during pregnancy. By far the book I've enjoyed reading the most is the classic 'What to expect when you're expecting' by Heidi Murkoff. I love it because it's so balanced. Heidi is reassuring but firm in her advice, particularly when it comes to healthy eating and lifestyle choices. For instance, she provides a great pregnancy eating guide but then consistently tells the reader not to beat herself up if she succumbs to any not-so-great craving choices. Love it. She also provides some wise words about pampering and foods to stay away from so I credit the rest of this post to Heidi, with love and gratitude.
Spas and saunas
It is recommended that when you're pregnant you don't do anything that raises the body temperature over 37 degrees, so if you want to take a bath it's best for it to be warm but not boiling hot (damn!). It is thought that this is particularly important in the early months of your pregnancy.
The good news though? You can soak your feet in hot water for as long as you want, yippee!!! We highly recommend Soak Society soaks for this purpose - just pour some granules into a bath or bucket that will fit your feet and away you go. Sit back and relax that body of yours.
Many of my pregnant friends have had massages regularly during their pregnancy and particularly enjoyed them during the later stages. The dos and don'ts are pretty well known now too, but here is a simple set of rules to follow:
- Choose a therapist that specialises in pregnancy massages
- Avoid massage for the first three months - it's not dangerous but may be uncomfortable
- Avoid spending a lot of time on your back after the fourth month of pregnancy and choose a therapist that has a table for your belly or massages you on your side with the comfort of pillows
- As aromatherapy oils might trigger contractions, choose unscented lotions or oils during your massage
- Apparently direct pressure on the area between the anklebone and heel can trigger contractions so unless you're trying to bring on labour it's best to stay away from that area (but a good masseuse should know the pressure points to steer clear of)
Know any good therapists to recommend? Please post a comment below, we'd love to know :)
There doesn't seem to be solid research on the use of aromatherapy and pregnancy, but it's widely recommended that pregnant women steer clear of full-strength essential oils. It seems that the effects of many plant oils are unknown so best to tread cautiously with this one. However, most scented lotions or beauty products are fine because the scents aren't concentrated. As always, do your homework and read the ingredient list on the products you're using. If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - Sarah, who has already had a beautiful bubba, will be well placed to help you.
Tanning beds, sprays and lotions
Fake tanning is obviously a big no-no, unless you're using our Eco Tan range which is made from natural Cacao (chocolate, mmm!), herbs, flower and fruit extract and chamomile. Eco Tan is free of synthetic food colouring, parabens, petrochemicals, phenoxyethanol or artificial dyes so it's safe to tan up this way during your pregnancy.
Manicure and pedicure
As your feet and hands swell up you'll most likely feel like some pampering and it's good news that you don't need to give up this form of relaxation just because you're pregnant. However, if you're going to go to a salon, it must be a well ventilated one as inhaling those strong chemicals is never a good idea. The only salon we go to is called Missy Lui because they use only the best nail and skin care products which are free of the most harmful known toxins. Say goodbye to heavy fumes, drills, and contaminated nail files and buffers. Celeste and Sarah recently visited Missy Lui and loved the experience so check it out.
Doing your own mani pedi? We highly recommend choosing products that are 5 or 7-free, such as the Kester Black or Butter London range which you can shop here. We also stock low toxic nail polish remover which won't burn your nostrils when you take the paint off!
My top tips for safe pampering at home?
You can check out our whole pregnancy range here but these are my top three recommendations:
1. Salus Eucalyptus & Rosemary Body Scrub - this scrub is divine to use in the shower and contains bamboo and pumice to stimulate cell renewal and restore a youthful glow. The natural scent is perfect to soothe an upset tummy if you're suffering from any morning sickness.
2. Jacqueline Evans Olive & Macadamia Firming Oil - containing a certified organic blend of floral essential oils and carrier oils, the Jacqueline Evans Olive & Macadamia Firming Body Oil is designed to smooth and support your skin, and help to prevent stretch marks and keep skin firm and supple. Perfect to help keep your skin smooth as your belly blooms!
3. MAHALO Skin Care Pele Mask - MAHALO Pele Mask is a concentrated, intelligently detoxifying bioactive mask that transforms problematic, tired skin to unveil a radiant complexion. Activated by water, this astute formula metamorphs from dull powder to satiné noir mousse, swelling and sizzling as it brings to life the luxurious botanicals. The mask is supercharged by “botox-plant” Hibiscus, anti-inflammatory Turmeric, collagen-boosting vitamin C, anti-aging Neem leaf, oxygenating Cayenne, sebum-balancing Witch Hazel, wrinkle-fading Guava, acne-fighting Holy Basil, toxin-magnet Volcanic Ash Clay and bacteria-absorbing Activated Bamboo Charcoal. The ultimate luxury for a tired mum-to-be.
What do you recommend for a pregnant mumma in need of some pampering?