If there’s ever a time to make healthy decisions for your lifestyle and your body, it’s during pregnancy. This is the time when nearly everything you do physically has an effect on the baby, often even after the baby is born. Making natural choices can do great things for having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, and there are plenty of tips to help steer you in the right direction.
Living minimally means living with less. It’s about downsizing and learning to live in a way that isn’t so dependent on possessions. There are plenty of reasons to practice minimalist living, and those reasons include having additional funds, a clearer mind, and better mental health.
However, you can also practice minimalist living in a way that can help you to live more naturally. For one, the simpler the ingredients in your food are, the better they are for you. Focus on fresh foods that are natural during pregnancy, and for the baby when the time for solid foods comes.
Downsizing your possessions can mean that things are easier to keep clean. Your baby doesn’t need a ton of stuff, just stuff that’s natural and good for them. Focus on what you really need in your home without buying the extras.
Read Your Labels
When you first start working towards living more naturally, you’ll have to begin by reading a lot of labels in order to avoid certain ingredients and chemicals that are harmful. Work on reading your food labels, researching toy brands, and being knowledgeable about plastics. Some specific ingredients to avoid include:
- Parabens: Parabens are synthetic preservatives found in many personal care products.
- Dyes: Dyes are an unnecessary addition to many foods and products.
- VOCS: VOCS (volatile organic compounds) are a class of toxic chemicals found in cleaning products and personal care products.
In terms of plastics, BPA is problematic, and regulations are still moving slowly. Make sure your food containers, bottles, and other plastics are BPA free. It’s great when you can understand each ingredient in your food, and be careful not to blindly trust foods or products that say “natural” or “enriched.” Organic foods can help steer you in the right direction when you’re searching for natural choices.
Adjust Your Budget
Many people find that eating healthy and leading a more natural lifestyle can be harder on their wallet, which has its truths. Organic foods, all-natural toys, and other products with minimal chemicals tend to be more expensive. However, other options tend to be less expensive. Going for a walk outside is cheaper than going to a movie, cloth diapers save money in the long-run, and breastfeeding is a lot cheaper than buying formula.
However, if you’re trying to focus on natural choices that cost more, you may need to reevaluate and set up a household budget — which is often necessary with a new baby anyway. Though your grocery costs may be more by eating a more organic diet, you can save more by choosing natural and healthy options in other ways.
Keep Things Clean
Being pregnant or having a new baby may mean that cleaning sounds like the last thing you want to do, but it can be better on your health to live in an environment that is kept clean and tidy. And, if you’re too tired to accomplish your cleaning tasks, your partner should step in to help.
Just remember to make all-natural choices when it comes to your cleaning items. This means multi-surface cleaners, floor cleaners, laundry detergents, and personal hygiene items. Find household cleaners with natural ingredients, or make them yourself. Some great natural ingredients for cleaning include vinegar, baking soda, and lemon. Unscented items often have fewer unnecessary chemicals as well. Some cleaning products you should avoid include:
- Stain removers
- Oven cleaners
- Toilet bowl cleaners
Many of these types of products contain VOCS, and leave you with limited ventilation while cleaning, which can be especially problematic when you’re pregnant.
Breastfeed if You Can
Breastfeeding is a great, though sometimes painful, aspect of bonding after the baby is born. There are many amazing properties in breastmilk that help your baby stay healthy, and it helps to reduce costs on formula. When it comes to all-natural ways to feed your baby, breastfeeding is on the top of the list. However, it’s not so easy for all mothers. If breastfeeding is hard for you, don’t be afraid to seek out lactation help and to reach out to other mothers for advice so that you can take advantage of this amazing all-natural food for your child. You can also look into using donated breast milk if breastfeeding has proven to be difficult for you.
If you do end up needing to use formula, you can still do your research to find the best options. Some studies have found certain formulas to cause health problems, so make sure you’re finding the best formula you can if you can’t breastfeed.
Having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby is the most you can ask for when bringing life into the world. This is why all-natural choices can be extremely helpful during this time, as many products on shelves today aren’t the safest options out there. These tips can make it easier to make natural choices during pregnancy and after the baby is born. It may take research, trial and error, and some learning, but the end result will mean a healthier mama to take care of a healthier baby.