Choosing the sustainable path during your gestation can be overwhelming but also incredibly rewarding. We learn how to have an eco-friendly pregnancy 101.
The usual guides for living a green lifestyle don’t always include tips for having an eco-friendly pregnancy. It’s a relatively short period of your life, but you still deserve to know your options to take care of yourself, your baby and the planet. Consider these tips to have an eco-friendly pregnancy without breaking your budget.
1. Shop at Local Farmers Markets
Once you get that positive pregnancy test, your diet is likely the first thing to change. You may develop aversions to things like raw meats or certain flavors. It’s also time to avoid things like alcohol and raw fish.
After making those initial dietary adjustments, you should also talk with your doctor about eating the recommended 300 extra calories per day to maintain your metabolism. They’ll likely request you get more vitamins and minerals as well, which is an excellent opportunity to shop at farmers markets. You’ll shrink your carbon footprint by buying locally. The market may even be closer to your home than the grocery store.
2. Carpool to Your In-Person Appointments
When you need to schedule your prenatal care appointments, ask your loved ones when they’ll drive around that day. You could book them based on when someone can carpool you while they’re running errands or commuting. It’s another way to reduce how many fossil fuels burn while you’re attending necessary in-person appointments.
3. Join Pregnancy Yoga Classes
All births are sacred. Pregnancy is the symbol of the start of the human being. Honour your process as a woman for reclaiming the sanctity of birth: the choice of carrying a baby, bringing in choice and education, body autonomy, consent, and self-empowerment tools. Building a conscious and intentional relationship with the baby throughout the process of pregnancy is a beautiful and empowering aspect for a healthy gestation.
What was happening in the life of your mother while she carried you? There is a depth of wisdom that starts to unfold around our scars and healing that needs to be done from that seed.
Yoga during pregnancy provides you with the tools for coping emotional wellbeing, for nurturing for system regulation, discipline of mind, step into the process of pregnancy with more confidence and more education, to navigate what can be a very scary experience.
Important: make sure to consider a yoga teacher who is certified in pregnancy training (and avoid joining yoga classes that do not accomodate your condition!)
4. Avoid Chemical-Based Personal Care Products
Chemicals in personal care products will always absorb through your hair follicles and pores, but that becomes more concerning when you’re carrying a pregnancy. Some are endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that disrupt hormone production related to reproduction, pregnancy and fertility. Personal care products will have varying levels of these EDCs, too.
Phthalates are a common type that appeared in a recent study. Researchers found leave-on hair products exposed pregnant women to more phthalates than rinse-off alternatives. These chemicals then drain into waterways and leak into the environment.
It’s easier to avoid EDCs by opting for chemical-free. Products with organic labels mean they have a minimum of 95% all-natural ingredients. They’ll be safer during your pregnancy because they’ll leave your endocrine system alone. You might even find you prefer them to what you used before getting pregnant.
5. Get Creative With Baby Supplies
Preparing for a baby is an excellent reason to visit your local thrift stores. They’ll have everything from newborn clothing to cribs. You won’t fund the shipping and transportation industry, which contributes 29% of all U.S. carbon emissions annually. Instead, you’ll get previously loved baby supplies and extend the use of the natural resources used to make them.
If you enjoy crafts, you could also maximize your creativity by sewing your baby or maternity clothes. There are many free online classes and videos you can follow if you have a sewing machine. Ship the supplies to your home, buy from a family-owned shop in town or pick up what you need from a craft store near your most frequently visited businesses to minimize your carbon emissions.
6. Design a Minimalist Nursery
It’s easy to overfill a nursery with things your baby won’t need for a while. Those toys and books look cute, but your little one’s primary concern will be sleeping, eating and getting their diaper changed.
If you want an eco-friendly pregnancy, consider designing a minimalist nursery. Reusing paint from other rooms in your home, only gathering the essential furniture you need and putting minimal cute decor up will still make the room cozy. You just won’t overspend and buy unnecessary goods that use natural materials before arriving on your doorstep.
Don’t forget the most essential tool for a minimalist lifestyle — your calendar. Schedule reminders to declutter with a minimalist mindset every few weeks or months.
7. Get More Sleep
Many pregnant people face sleep challenges, even if they’re newly pregnant. They may get more tired during the day and sleep less at night. Whenever possible, your eco-friendly pregnancy should include at least six or more hours of sleep each night. Research shows pregnant people not getting sufficient rest experienced more prolonged labor and greater risks of needing cesarian deliveries.
Sleeping also helps the environment. It means you use your lights less at night, conserving energy. You could also dim them while you unwind to reduce your home’s energy usage even more. Requiring less electricity from your power company means their facility doesn’t have to make as much, decreasing the carbon emissions from the plant.
Plan Your Eco-Friendly Pregnancy
Anyone can use these easy tips for an eco-friendly pregnancy, no matter how far along they are. Consider what you could adjust within your lifestyle to help the planet, like carpooling to appointments or shopping at farmers markets. You’ll find a routine that best suits your needs and green values.