October 30, 2009
Two problems I remember being plagued by during both of my pregnancies was acne caused by hormonal changes and itchy skin caused by the big belly stretch. Belli Pregnancy has safe solutions to these problems.
- BELLI Acne Clearing Facial Wash: This product uses lactic acid to treat blemished skin, as well as cucumber and green tea. This is not a soapy wash, but a smooth, lemony scented cleansing wash. It is important to note that most acne treatments are not recommended during pregnancy, except for Belli's product.
- BELLI All Day Moisture Body Lotion: This is a wonderful lotion that uses lemon oil, chamomile, and shea butter to provide lasting relief for itchy skin. When I was pregnant, I was plagued with an itchy back from my growing, stretching skin, and no lotion could provide relief. I am not pregnant now, but this lotion did a wonderful job on my dry fall/winter hands. This product received a score of three out of ten for toxicity by the Environmental Working Group.
Belli Pregnancy is safe during those pregnancy months because:
Belli Pregnancy has set a higher standard for prenatal safety, as the only skin care line in the world that is teratology screened. We search through over 16 million medical research articles in over 5000 international journals, and use this information to exclude ingredients with even remote links to birth defects or other problems with pregnancy. Belli Motherhood is LactMed screened to avoid ingredients linked to harmful effects during breastfeeding. Belli Baby is screened for xenoestrogens--chemicals which can act like hormones that interfere with normal development of the reproductive system.
Of course, you don't have to be pregnant to enjoy these products.
Disclosure: I was sent free samples of the above products in order to write an authentic review. I did not guarantee a positive or negative review in exchange for the samples.
June 24, 2009
We've been fortunate enough to review beautiful natural fiber clothing by Hessnatur
before, now we have discovered their organic baby apparel line! Super sweet, soft, and adorable, Hessnatur's organic baby line
means everyone in the family can dress in eco-fashion. Hessnatur is always fair trade, organic, and sustainable, which is exactly what baby deserves against their fresh, delicate skin.
What our clothes are made of and with
- Pure, natural
fibers- organic whenever possible. Made from renewable resources:
Vegetable (cotton, linen, hemp, ramie); Animal (wool, specialty wools
such as angora, cashmere, alpaca, mohair, yak; silk).
- No PVC or Teflon, anywhere.
- Natural materials for buttons, like ivory nut, wood, horn, or mother-of-pearl
- Trims and linings are made from natural fibers, usually 100% organic cotton or 100% natural silk
metals used for zippers, buckles and buttons are nickel- and
chrome-free. Other materials are only used for these accessories in
the rare cases when natural materials or metals are not functional
- Our only exceptions: we sometimes use up to 8%
of elastane/spandex for the stretch in some lingerie and socks. All the
spandex we use is covered in cotton so no synthetic touches your skin.
What our clothes aren't made of or with
- Synthetic fibers: made from chemical substances derived from petroleum, like nylon, polyester or acrylic
fibers: chemically treated and re-processed fibers made from natural
materials that cannot be used for textiles in their original form, like
viscose, modal and acetate. Their manufacturing causes significant
water and power usage.
- Azo dyes which can give off dangerous, carcinogenic and mutagenic amines
- Dyes and dye procedures that include toxic heavy metals, which are known carcinogens
- Optical brighteners, which are probable allergens
- Chemical finishes, such as moth-proofing, anti-microbial, easy-care, wrinkle-free finishes, made with synthetic resins
- Chlorine bleach, which harms the environment
Hessnatur also offers maternity clothes from moms to be! I wish I would have had these organic maternity clothes during my pregnancies! Unborn babies deserve the best against mommy's skin too!
October 29, 2007
Thinking about throwing an eco-friendly baby shower? Get tips from Wee Generation, a collaboration between Seventh Generation, Baby Style and Healthy World Healthy Child.
The site features a video of party planner Traci Phillips talking about how she planned a green baby shower for Sheryl Crow's son Wyatt. Among the tips:
- Use local foods
- Avoid paper products or use recycled, recyclable tableware
- Wrap presents in reusable grocery bags or cloth diapers tied with a bow
- Have guests sign an organic baby t-shirt instead of a guestbook
Get more tips and check out the video at Wee Generation.
October 2, 2007
BPA-free drinking vessels aren't just for babies and grown-ups. Check out your toddler's sippy cups to make sure they don't contain the dangerous chemical compound found in hard plastics. (Here's how to tell.)
We first started paying attention to the risks of Bisphenol-A earlier this month when we realized the bottles we were using for our baby were made of the hard plastic associated with the chemical. We've since replaced our hard plastic baby bottles with BPA-free soft plastic bottles and recycled our old Nalgene bottles in favor of Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles. Next up? BPA-free stainless steel sippy cups.
The Klean Kanteen stainless steel sippy cup is safe and non-leaching, with no epoxy coating on the inside of the bottle. It comes with a non-leaching #5 polypropylene adaptor and #5 polypropylene sippy spout. (The Klean Kanteen Sippy Cup also works with the Avent Sippy Spouts - two of which are included - and is dishwasher safe. ) When your child outgrows the sippy spout, you can replace it with any other Klean Kanteen cap.
Available at Klean Kanteen.
September 7, 2007
The folks at Erbaorganics just sent along a care package containing samples of their mommy-to-be and baby skincare products. The company's products are worth checking out because they're free of parabens, pesticides, artificial colorings and fragrances and many are USDA-certified organic. Look for our reviews in the next week or so!
Get more info at Erbaorganics.
May 30, 2007
In the first trimester of my pregnancy, I was bothered by the scent of almost any moisturizer I tried. All my old standby lotions suddenly smelled like petroleum (not surprising since petroleum is a major ingredient in many skin creams).
Wish someone had told me then about Lily Organics and their all organic line of lotions, creams and other facial products. Founded in 1986 by Lily Morgan, the Colorado-based company is one of the only skin care companies to make all their products from 100% non-synthetic organic ingredients grown fresh on an organic farm.
I like the sound of their Unscented Sensitive Skin Moisturizing Cream, which is made for folks with sensitive skin that reacts to ingredients in other moisturizers. The ingredients are all vegan -- purified water, sweet almond oil, shea butter, kosher vegetable glycerin, tincture of lily flower, xanthan gum, lecithin, soy protein, hectorite mineral, citrus seed extract.
Check out Lily Organics.
May 25, 2007
As folks know from previous posts, we're reading all we can about natural childbirth methods. (Check out our recommended reading list and also our post about Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.)
The latest book on our bedside table? Marie F. Mongan's Hypnobirthing Guide. Taught in classes around the country, HypnoBirthing is gaining in popularity as more and more women try to reduce their chances of having an unnecessary C-section by trying for a natural childbirth. Developed by Mongan, a mother of four, the HypnoBirthing method is designed to help women and their partners get through (and escape) the pain of childbirth through self-hypnosis.
HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing includes a full introduction to the HypnoBirthing concept, the science and history behind the movement, how it should be practiced, and practical instruction for pregnancy, labor, and the birth itself. It's not meant to take the place of Mongan's classes and tapes, but it provides an excellent taste of the HypnoBirthing Method, and a great introduction to useful techniques and exercises that any woman interested in natural childbirth can employ.
Buy HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie Mongan.
May 11, 2007
Has the baby bootie knitting bug bitten any other pregnant women out there? I've been itching to start knitting something adorable for my baby-to-be.
Luckily, I've got a co-worker who works at a Yarn Store, and she just brought me Itty Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson. It's full of easy-to-knit patterns for all kinds of cute-abulous baby hats. The photos are terrific and the instructions are easy to follow.
I picked up some Manos Del Uruguay cotton Stria yarn and am on my way to a striped stocking cap in itsy-bitsy size. Can't wait to meet the little person whose head it's going to fit on.
Buy Itty Bitty Hats.
May 10, 2007
And to go with all the natural childbirth books and the birth ball? Well, personally, I've been enjoying a nightly cup of Yogi Mother-to-Be Tea.
It's made with organic raspberry leaf, which midwives, herbalists and granola-crunchy friends recommend to strengthen and prepare the uterus during pregnancy. But I've found the taste of straight raspberry leaf tea can be too strong for me, especially at night. Mother-to-Be Team also spearmint, peppermint and anise, which add a soothing quality to the flavor (and evidently can help with indigestion). The tea also includes dandelion and nettle leaf.
I like it because it tastes good.
Buy Yogi Mother-to-Be Tea.
May 9, 2007
Another natural childbirth essential? The Birth Ball aka an exercise ball or yoga ball. According to several of our friends who've recently gone through childbirth, these little babies are essential.
We've heard folks recommend using them before, during and after labor. Personally, I like sitting on mine at work -- both for the ab and balance workout and for the soft cushion (vs. a hard chair seat).
BodyTrends sells a birth ball for $15.95 that includes a pump and an exercise video. (Good for getting in shape after the birth?)
Buy a birth ball.
May 8, 2007
We went to our first natural childbirth class today at Isis Maternity. Susan, the teacher, was terrific. A midwife by training, she'd planned a homebirth for her own child, but , after three days of labor, had ended up delivering at the hospital and having a C-section. (Oddly, I found her story incredibly reassuring - further confirmation that babies come out in all different ways despite the best planning, training and intentions.)
Anyway, here are Susan's recommendations of some of the best natural childbirth books. Some -- like Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and The Thinking Woman's Guide -- were familiar to me; others were new. We'll have to check 'em out.
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin - So many of the books on pregnancy and natural childbirth are focused on the mother's experience. This book is written for her partner -- spouse, significant other, friend -- and focuses on preparing for the birth, helping labor get started, early labor, the stages of labor, strategies for special situations, the medical side of childbirth, and ways to assist after the birth.
Birthing from Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz - England is a registered nurse and certified nurse midwife. She developed the "birthing from within" approach in a series of birthing classes to help mothers reclaim and celebrate the spiritual, emotional, and psychological aspects of birth as a rite of passage. Her book is a collection of methods that have been used for class participants. A lot of folks recommend this book in conjunction with Ina May.
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin - I blogged about Ina May last month and am so grateful to Julie for telling me about her. The first half of the book is dedicated to women's birth stories -- positive, empowering stories -- the exact opposite of what you're probably getting from well-intentioned friends and family and depictions of birth on TV. If you're at all worried about what childbirth will be like -- what it's actually like -- and want to read something that will give you positive images to inspire you, get this book immediately.
Continue reading: "Natural Childbirth Recommended Reading"
May 1, 2007
Our friend Miriam, a terrific cook, is always looking for ways to make recipes healthier. Here's a low-fat brownie recipe she adapted from Cooking Light
. It uses prune puree instead of butter, so the brownies are, well, almost good for you. They're also a great source of fiber -- an added benefit if you're looking to add some fiber to your diet.
Miriam's Low-Fat "Magic Brownies"
1/3 cup Prune Puree (see Note below)
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso granules
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
6 egg whites
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Vegetable cooking spray
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine the first 5 ingredients; stir well, and set aside. Combine cocoa and next 4 ingredients (cocoa through salt); stir well, and set aside.
Combine sugar and egg whites in a large bowl; beat at high speed of a mixer 3 minutes or until mixture resembles marshmallow creme. Add Prune Puree mixture; beat at low speed until well-blended.
Sprinkle flour mixture over egg white mixture, and fold in. Fold in chocolate morsels. Spread batter evenly into a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until brownies spring back when touched lightly in center. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
Makes 35 brownies. I suggest enjoying them with a big glass of skim milk!
Note: To make prune puree, combine 1-1/3 cups (8 oz.) pitted prunes and 6 T water in the container of a food processor. Pulse on and off until prunes are finely chopped. Makes 1 cup.
April 16, 2007
Continue reading: "Lush Massage Bars - Sleepy Head and Wiccy Magic Muscles"
LUSH products look funny - more like gourmet foods than skincare products - and I have to admit, that's a big part of what drew us into the store. But I'm a convert to their massage bars, which rank high on my list of favorite moisturizers for my itchy pregnant belly.
April 13, 2007
You won't be surprised to learn that Russ and I are hoping for a natural childbirth. Other than pre-natal massage, my best discovery so far (thanks to Erin and Julie!) is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.
Ina May Gaskin, author of Spiritual Midwifery, is one of the country's best known midwives. She practices on The Farm, a Tennessee commune where she and her colleagues have attended more than 2000 births. Their cesarean rate is among the lowest in the country; they're also one of the only places that delivers breech babies vaginally.
But that's not what makes Ina May's Guide to Childbirth so fantastic.
Continue reading: "Weekend Reading: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth"