Mommy Maintenance: Nutrition and Toxin Prevention Tips
As an expectant or new mom, there has been and continues to be so much to worry about. From having to avoid caffeine to quitting certain types of exercise, it can feel like you’ve had to give up some of the things you love the most while pregnant. Hidden toxins in food, skin products, and even the candles you are burning in your home can potentially be dangerous for you and your little one but they are usually hard to spot.
As an expecting mother, you know how nerve-racking it can be!
Besides controlling the environment you’re in and what products get applied to your skin, managing nutrition intake and preventing sources we may absorb toxins from is also very important. This blog post (coauthored with Booby Boons) aims to provide some practical tips and tricks in each of those areas.
A well-balanced diet with a combination of protein, fats and carbohydrates is essential for baby’s growth and development. There are a few things that you probably want to pay more attention to as an expectant mama.
- Folate: Prevents birth defects and can be found in prenatal vitamins
- Iron: Helps with the growth of the placenta and the fetus
- Calcium: Promotes bone growth
- Fiber: Decreasing diabetes risk, preventing constipation, as well as reducing risks of preeclampsia risks
What happens after we have the baby? What kind of nutrients does a postpartum body need? A mama’s body is amazing, but it still needs all the nourishment and help it can get to heal and recover. Here are a few things that you should focus a bit more on postpartum:
- Staying hydrated: Especially if you are breastfeeding. Your body needs energy to produce milk and to adjust to some sleepless nights
- Probiotics: To help promote gut health
- Vitamin D: To support the immune system, brain, and nervous system and reduces risk of postpartum depression and anxiety
- Fiber: To help with bowel movements and also stay fuller in between meals to keep your energy levels up!
For those mamas who are breastfeeding, remember that what you feed your body can be passed through the milk and affect baby’s growth. Eating smaller and more frequent meals can also help.
Keeping healthier snack options in the diaper bag, by your baby’s changing table, or nursing station can help as well.
When it comes to toxins, it is perhaps well-known to limit alcohol and caffeine intake through pregnancy and breastfeeding, and perhaps slightly less well-known to avoid soft cheese and cold cuts (to minimize risk of listeria bacteria that could make you quite sick!).
Beyond ingestion, however, there are other less considered sources of toxins that you should know about – particularly from respiration. If you, as many expectant or new mamas do, enjoy running yourself a hot bath, grabbing your favourite book, and lighting a candle to relax in your bathroom - you should take a moment to look at the toxins hiding in your favourite Bath & Body Works lavender-scented candle first!
Have you taken a look at the long list of additives and chemicals of said candle? If you’ve tried, have you found it tough to understand? Here are some of those details, decoded.
Traditional candles are made with paraffin wax, which is a by-product of petroleum, and they release toxins into the air that can be harmful to you and your baby. When burned, paraffin wax emits carcinogens like benzene and toluene, and they produce soot, which can settle on your surfaces and pollute the air in your home. Burning paraffin wax candles in an unventilated space can cause respiratory and skin irritation because of the long list of chemicals found in the wax.
Beyond the candle material itself, you should also pay attention to the material of wicks inside the candle and make sure they are lead-free. Some candle wicks are dipped in a lead solution, which is poisonous, and these toxins are released into the air while burning. Lead poisoning is extremely dangerous as it has caused lung and brain damage in both adults and children.
Now you know how some candles might be dangerous. But before you fret having to extinguish your candle-burning habit for the next nine months or beyond, and wondering how else you can relax… fear not! You have options.
- Consider using soy and coconut wax candles, which are a much safer and cleaner alternative - so you can still bask in the amazing scents of vanilla and lavender, without worrying about the effects it will have on you and your baby.
- Make sure the candle that you purchase uses a cotton wick. Cotton wicks are super easy to light and relight, and you can avoid sending toxins throughout the air with every burn.
All in all, we know that planning to start a family is a big decision and mamas, many companies including us – Everly and Booby Boons - are out there trying to make life better and easier for you. The key is to do your research and consult your gyno and doctor if you have any questions or concerns about all things pregnancy and post-baby.
For those who have any questions about our products or anything in this post, we are here to help!