As soon as I verified (and re-confirmed with several ClearBlue tests and a Ob/Gyn appointment) that I was pregnant, I became acutely aware that I needed to make a lifestyle shift. It’s not that I was so “unhealthy” before pregnancy, but I guess I never really paid much attention to the ingredients in the world around me. Suddenly, my favorite cold cuts (potentially) harbored listeria, runny eggs were a no-no, spicy tuna rolls were a mercury hazard, and many soft cheeses were deemed un-safe. My daily five cups of coffee was a real hazard. Everything seemed toxic and slightly scary! Why hadn’t I ever really paid attention to the lurking bacteria before?
Changing my diet also extended to changing my beauty routine. Subscribed to Birchbox, a Sephora Beauty Insider, and a drugstore makeup addict, my options for slathering on lotions and glossing my lips seemed limitless. Yet, my night creme, filled with retinol was now potentially harmful to my unborn child. That hydrocortisone cream I used occasionally for seasonal eczema? Off-limits in high amounts. My favorite high-gloss topcoat for nails? Filled with formaldehyde! Because some topical ingredients get absorbed into the bloodstream, expectant moms needs to be cautious. This is especially true because we are not entirely sure what could affect a fetus. Studies are lacking, methodologies are weak, and pre-emptive testing on momma-and-child is often amoral. So, lots of conclusions are from after-the-fact reported issues. Pretty biased.
Deciding to not even engage in the “is it safe or not” game, I went almost entirely organic, vegan and herbal with my entire regiment! There are plenty of watchdog sites out there that help consumers to make informed decisions like Environmental Working Group (EWG), SafeCosmetics, Good Guide.
Here’s what worked for me:
P.S. I owe so much of my ability to unique during pregnancy to baths complete with epsom salts, oils and a soy candle. However, stay AWAY from Sweet Basil essential oils. I had an extreme adverse reaction complete with bright red skin, rashes and burning!