So.... I was just wondering what everyone is doing out there. Are you making an attempt to avoid chemicals? If so, what are you changing? I got my hair dyed (probably not the best decision) and I haven't changed my shampoo over to a natural kind (b/c, quite frankly, I tried that and my hair looked dis-custing). Besides that, I've made an attempt to be healthier, but haven't focused on the chemical nature of pregnancy and those hidden dangers.
What are you lovely ladies doing with chemicals.... are you thinking about them? Avoiding them? Forgetting about them? I sometimes forget what chemicals may/can do to the LO's.... I would love to hear your thoughts on chemicals!!
I'm trying my best to stay chemical free. A friend gave me the book The Complete Organic Pregnancy, it had all kinds of things in there that I should be avoiding. But mostly it just made it seem impossible to avoid all the toxicity. I did change my shower curtains (which was a big deal in the book because of plastic toxicity) and I've been using organic hair and body products mostly. I dyed my blonde hair red right before I found out I was pregnant and I'm afraid to do anything about it now so I just look like bozo the clown from the months of fading and root growth! My sister is a hair dresser and she keeps telling me that highlights won't touch the scalp so won't get into the bloodstream but I'm still a scaredy-cat. I've been using Intellignet Nutrients shampoo and conditioner. I think it works pretty well. it's hard to tell with my hair, it's always frizzy and wild no matter what I use! It smells really good though and I use it as a body cleanser too.
The place I live has a leak in the roof and has created some major mold problems in one closet. I stress about that all the time. We've bleach sprayed the area and then just duct taped the door shut all around the seams. We're moving in a couple of months so hopefully it will do for now.
I'm just doing what I can and hoping for the best!!
That's a really cool book. At the very least it's quite eye opening and educational, so even if you don't change everything maybe next time you buy something you will have information to help you buy/use the more natural option. It's great.
Personally, I do as much chemical avoidance as I can. I do dye my hair, but my hairdresser is very careful during application, and I usually just do highlights anyway. I have found that I can only use regular, non-natural, shampoo and conditioner. The natural kinds make my back break out in the most insane way. Not sure why because I use natural face cleaner and moisturizer and body lotion with absolutely no problems. I avoid fragrance unless it's natural, "fragrance" seriously freaks me out. I use glass containers when I can but that's not always practical. I avoid parabens pretty much entirely. I eat organic when I can, but I don't stress about it. There's other stuff that I do, but these things are standard for my life, and have been for a few years.
Any move away from using unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals is better than no change at all.
ahhh to be able to think well enough to create a clever signature. someday i will have enough sleep to accomplish this task...
Janae, mama to X (1/09) & X (7/11) and wife to J (since 9/96!) Homebirthing, cloth diapering, baby (and toddler) wearing, co-sleeping, lactivist, intactivist.
I switched over to natural shampoos and conditioners a few years ago and found that the transition was tough. You have to find the brand that works for your particular hair--many are too drying or too moisturizing (leaving your hair sticky and causing break-outs). Aubrey works for me.
I had a few weeks of gross hair when I was making the switch before my hair calmed down. It seemed like my scalp took a while to adjust to the new cleaning agents. Now when I have to use a non-natural shampoo (while traveling, for example), I find that my hair reacts badly to them. So I recommend experimenting with brands and giving your hair a month or so to calm down, if you can stand it!
I have coarse, curly hair that's not color treated, and the Whole Foods 365 shampoo (phthalate, sulfate, and mostly chemical free and biodegradable) works for me. I think the key is rinsing really well.
I try to wash my hair every 3 to 4 days. In between I use a dry shampoo by pravana that works really well. There's a store in Dallas called Shambhala Body Works and they sell chemical free, minimally processed bath stuff. I love their soap, too, and that's what we use at home.
As for eating organic, we do it when we can. Dr. Weil has a good guide here about what foods are least likely to pose a pesticide risk.
Cleaning products, though, can cause a lot of problems because they can be inhaled. Yoga Journal has an article about cleaning products you can make at home, but I can't find it online. Basically, it's mostly distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, essential oils, and baking soda. I also use Dr. Bronners for washing delicates and handknits, and as a body wash when I travel.
We've been anti-chemical for a few years now. I use Organix shampoo and safe soaps. For cleaning things like countertops, table tops, and the bathroom sink, I use a solution of vinegar and water (50/50). The toilet gets cleaned with straight vinegar. The bathtub needs more scouring power so I use baking soda and my vinegar/water solution. It fizzes up nicely and eats through the grime. I make my own laundry soap using castile soap, borax, and washing soda. I use mineral makeup without parabens etc. It's been so long since we started that I had a hard time listing all of that. It's so common place for me now.
Edited to add: I also use a fluoride-free, sls-free toothpaste (Tom's of Maine). You have to be careful with Tom's though. Some of their stuff has sls in it, some has fluoride. Read the labels carefully!
Mom to (12), (7), (5), (4), (born 7/8/11), , and
I was totally OCD about all of this in my last pregnancy, and when I still ended up having a baby with a birth defect, I gave up on it.
I am mostly chemical-free though anyway, mostly just because it's cheaper. I make my own soap and use that for all of my body/hair care. I also make my own laundry soap and other cleaners. Pretty much the only thing I buy is dish soap/dishwasher soap, just because I haven't found a good solution I can make myself that works well. I do buy those natural though.
I think it is important to do whatever you can to avoid chemical exposure, but also to realize that you're pretty much never going to be able to completely eliminate exposure. The only known contaminant associated with my daughter's birth defect is present in ground water, and just living within a certain distance of water that has high levels greatly increases your risk of having a baby with that defect. I struggled so much with guilt after we found out about our daughter's defect, thinking there must have been something else I could have done to prevent it, or that I had done something to cause it. But the reality is, you can't prevent most birth defects, because unfortunately, no one knows what causes the vast majority of them.
I'm super tired and losing my train of thought, but my point is, do what you can, but know that sometimes things happen, even when you do everything right. I hope this doesn't sound wrong/bad, I'm not trying to be that way at all, I'm just trying to prevent someone else from feeling the way I felt...