Preparing for Motherhood: To-do list!
Getting ready for the arrival of a new baby? As well as setting up your new baby’s bedroom, you need to prepare yourself physically to ensure you and your baby stay in optimum health. Here are our tips for preparing for motherhood.
1. Avoid chemical-based cosmetics and fragrances
What you ingest is what your baby ingests. The make-up we wear – especially lipstick – contains artificial colours. The perfume we wear, meanwhile, contains hundreds of allergens. It’s believed that these toxins can increase the risk of newborns having eczema and other skin or health problems. Don’t want to give up lipstick and perfume entirely? No problem – replace your go-to lippie and scent with natural choices. Naturaglace has an excellent selection of natural make-up, while Abel offers natural perfumes that are safe for mum and baby, so you can still show the world your style and your beauty.
2. Give junk food a miss; get nutrients instead
When you’re pregnant, the bulk of your nutrients go to helping your baby grow. If you’re eating junk food, this means you’re going to be starved of good stuff and what little good there is will go to your baby, leaving you weak and fatigued. If you choose to eat nutritious, wholefoods, you’re more likely to feel strong and healthy throughout your pregnancy.
As an extra boost, consider taking vitamin supplements. Ogaenics offers wholefood supplements derived from natural, plant-based sources, and their pregnancy-focused lines can help you replenish folic acid and zinc – both of which are vital for pregnant women and for the brain and spine development of growing babies.
3. Choose natural stretchmark creams
Stretchmarks are one of the biggest woes of the pregnant woman! It’s no surprise, then, that there are plenty of creams on the market, all promising to keep those pesky stretchmarks at bay. Be careful, though, to read the ingredients list before you grab that supposed miracle cream off the shelf. It takes as little as 26 seconds for chemicals from the cream you put on your body to enter your bloodstream – something to bear in mind when you’re choosing your lotions and potions. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid stretchmark creams altogether; just choose wisely. We recommend Primavera’s Prevent Stretch Mark Enhance Formula, which uses a unique blend of fatty oils to keep skin smooth, soft and elastic.
4. Give your skin a collagen boost
When you’re pregnant, you may find that your hair gets thick and lustrous, and that your skin gets glowy. Some pregnant women, meanwhile, can experience inflamed skin, redness and irritation. Once that baby is born, however – and particularly once breastfeeding is done – many women find a lot of that beautiful hair falls out and their skin suddenly feels lacklustre. You can prepare for the fallout by eating collagen-boosting foods like kiwifruit, berries, carrots, avocados, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and leafy, dark-green vegetables.
An essential protein found in every human body, collagen is the number one building block when it comes to forming connective tissue (skin, bones, muscles, blood vessels, cartilage – and it helps hair and nails, too). Reduced collagen production is often associated with the signs of aging: wrinkles, joint pain and hair loss.
As well as eating natural, collagen-boosting food, you can also apply regenerative skincare products: these will go the extra mile to correct skin irritation problems that can occur during pregnancy, and the dry, dull skin and hair loss that are common in the post-partum period. Take a look at Amala’s Rejuvenating series, for example: they’re made from high-potency, organic plant ingredients, using seed oils, plant peptides and natural proteins to fortify skin, restore its elasticity and fight inflammation.
5. Last but not least, do things that make you happy
Pregnancy brings with it major mental and physical changes. Hormones rage, bodies bloom and change, bones shift. While nutrition is important, the most valuable action you can take is to manage stress and enjoy a balanced life. Do those things that make you happy, from spending time with friends and treating yourself to spa visits to getting enough sleep. Studies have shown that getting seven to nine hours of sleep can improve mental well-being, as well as reducing depression and anxiety. Sleep also affects hormone regulation, something that’s already out of balance when you’re pregnant. So rest up – and good luck!