Safe Pregnancy Beauty Products

You asked and you shall now receive. It’s only fair for us to share all of this stored up knowledge about having a baby and what is going on with your body during those nine (really ten) months. We now will answer, in a very public forum, all of those burning questions about having a baby. Each Monday, we will tackle a commonly-asked-question from the point of view of an expectant parent. Chiming in to give feedback will be an expert (you know someone who does this for a living). Earmark, share and add your own input to today’s question; it’s good karma.

What are some good resources for buying natural pregnancy beauty products?

For this question reached out to an expert in the natural products field, Maia James, founder of Gimme the Good Stuff, a free online resource that gives busy moms peace of mind by helping them easily navigate the confusing world of “natural” products. Maia’s words of wisdom…..

As you probably suspect, many beauty products advertised as “natural” contain lots of questionable ingredients, even those products marketed specifically for pregnant women. Sure, we should all learn to read and understand cosmetics labels the same way we do food labels, but this can be an overwhelming endeavor, especially with pregnancy brain. Follow the tips below to easily mitigate your exposure to the worst chemical offenders.

Five Tips for a Safe Prenatal Beauty Routine

Avoid fragrances. If you cut out just one unhealthy ingredient while you’re pregnant, make it synthetic fragrance, which unfortunately makes an appearance in nearly all beauty products and sometimes shows up on the label as “parfum.” Why does fragrance stink? Because it often contains phthalates, those nasty chemicals implicated in early puberty, autism, obesity, and birth defects. Opt for unscented products or those that specify that they contain only natural essential oils.

Go to the pros. Visit the EWG’s Skin Deep cosmetics database to learn more than you ever wanted to know about the ingredients in all of your beauty products. Surfing this site is an overwhelming experience, which is why I created Gimme the Good Stuff, where I strive to provide quick and easy info on the safety of a range of products, without sending you into a full-blown panic.

Use less stuff. Take advantage of your full, shiny pregnancy hair and wash it less frequently (or, if you’re really brave, become a no-pooer). Skip the expensive anti-aging eye cream. Of course, you can’t be expected to go 40 weeks without wearing makeup or moisturizer. My advice? Be particularly discerning about products that you use on your whole body on a daily basis (the lotion you smear on after every shower), as opposed to special occasion products that cover a small surface area (smoky eyeshadow for your sister’s wedding.)

Get healthy on the inside. To lessen the potential damage of chemicals in your beauty products, boost your body’s immune system. Load up on organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and grass-fed dairy and meat. Keep exercising once you get your doctor’s go-ahead. A healthier body is better able to handle the blast of phthalates you encounter whenever you walk through the cosmetics floor of Bloomingdale’s.

And lastly,

Stay sane. Stress and anxiety are bad—for both you and your growing baby. Your kid is super lucky to have a conscientious momma, don’t turn a good thing into a negative one by bugging out about how toxic your shampoo is (easier said than done, I know).


Expert: Renee Sullivan

Renee Sullivan, parent coach and Founding Director of Babybites support groups, works with moms each week to create their own personal parenting plan that is right for them, while making sure that each mom gets the support, resources, and community they need for their parenting journey. Drawing from her experience as an birth coach and educator, she guides moms – new, seasoned and expectant through the never – ending array of decisions that come with having a child. Weekly sessions that are “nurturing, informative, and fun” and her “calm-laid back personality” has made her a “dynamic resource” to the parenting community since 2006. Renee’s positive, warm and enthusiastic personality relaxes and guides new and expectant moms to enjoy the journey and her personal attention to detail allows all parents that work with her to quickly get the resources they need to feel at ease to make informed and educated decisions. Before launching the groups, she narrowly escaped the trenches of Corporate America where she was a Senior Project Manager for The New York Times, Morgan Stanley and Pfizer. She lives in New York City and is the mom of one happy kindergartener.


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