Last week our D Moms Daily wellness expert Dr. Kate Naumes shared her guidance for optimizing your fertility. Today she continues the conversation, delving into body products, their effects on a developing baby, and what we should (and shouldn’t) be using. Here’s what she has to say…
During pregnancy, women often find that they are more mindful about the products they use every day on their skin. How can you find skin-nourishing and pampering products to enhance your glowing skin? Nature provides wholesome alternatives to the usual toxin-laden drugstore products. Choosing botanical and all-natural body products is important because most of what we apply on our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream and can have effects on a developing baby.
The cosmetics industry is largely self-regulated and conducts little to no research on the long-term safety of their products. Unfortunately, conventional body products contain some hormone-disrupting ingredients that are toxic to the reproductive system. How can you avoid these? A good rule of thumb is to choose products with fewer, more natural ingredients whose names you can pronounce. Busy moms often want to switch to natural products but don’t know how to navigate the many options in the organic body care aisle. Here are some suggestions to get you started (with minimal label-reading):
- Toss the toxic polish. Look for nail polish that is “5-free” (which indicates it’s free of 5 big-time toxic chemicals: Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Camphor, and Formaldehyde Resin).
- Avoid “fragrance.” When a product lists fragrance among its ingredients, it’s actually a potentially toxic soup of undisclosed chemicals.
- Replace fragrance-laden products with natural alternatives that use essential oils, such as lavender and orange blossom, for their delicious smell.
- Because we inhale these fragrances, be sure to avoid conventional scented candles and toxic scented plug-ins, too. Instead, make your house smell amazing by heating a spoonful of vanilla extract with some water on the stove. You can also add a lemon slice and a sprig of rosemary or some cinnamon.
- Look to oils and butters for moisture. There are so many luxurious natural substitutes for lotion, including shea butter, which is effective for preventing stretch marks and is a wonderful all-over winter moisturizer.
- Use aluminum-free deodorant.
- For soft, fresh clothes, skip the fabric softener and dryer sheets. Use some vinegar in place of fabric softener in the rinse cycle – it works!
- Choose a safe shampoo without sodium lauryl sulfate to keep your hair thick and lustrous during pregnancy.
- Check for organic certification. Companies can use the word “Organic” on the label of a product that doesn’t contain certified organic ingredients. Look for trusted organic certification such as USDA, EcoCert, and Oregon Tilth (OTCO).
Once you begin making the simple switch from toxic products to pure, simple body care, you will love the effects on your skin and overall health. You will likely discover ingredients that are more gentle, effective, nourishing, and rejuvenating than anything in conventional products. Best of all, these products are safe for the environment, your body, and your developing baby.
Dr. Kate Naumes, ND runs a Holistic Wellness practice in uptown. When she’s not doing her best to get vitamin D by playing outside with her son, she’s counseling her clients about creative and tangible ways optimize their health. She also provides pre-conception and infertility counseling, newborn and pediatric wellness education, as well as ongoing well-woman and menopause support. Learn more at naumesnd.com.
Disclaimer: Dr. Kate Naumes, ND holds a Doctorate in Naturopathy and a Certificate in Midwifery from Bastyr University. The state of Texas does not license Naturopathic Doctors. As such, she holds her license in California and acts in Texas as a wellness consultant, not as a physician.