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Pregnancy Essentials: Our Founder, Leah, Shares!

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I was overwhelmed when I found out I was pregnant. Not only was I not mentally ready for this huge shift in my life, (is anyone, ever?) but I felt ill-prepared to suddenly transition my fast-paced, work-centric life into one of rest-centric and nourishment. The big ‘woah’ moment that I was suddenly caring for someone in addition to myself hit me hard!

But, this transition into mommahood has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Yes, running Shop Good is still all-encompassing each day, but I’ve slowly found new habits, best practices and resources to help prioritize my body (and my growing baby!) and practice critical self care like never before. 

The daily products and rituals we choose to practice that self-care are important.  In an Environmental Working Group (EWG) study, researchers found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in babies umbilical cord blood. Pregnancy is such an important time to ensure the products and daily habits we incorporate are good for you…and good for baby too. 

While I feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing all-natural products and community of experts, it still took me a little while to sort through and find my favorites for pregnancy. So, whether you’re expecting or even planning ahead, I hope my top list of all-natural prenatal support saves you some time, energy and overwhelm, momma!

INTERNAL SUPPORT 

Immune Boosters: 

Moving through my second and third trimester during this nasty flu season, I was forced to swap out my fast-acting, super-protecting oil of oregano or lysine for safe and gentle yet effective immune protectors. 

I’ve really leaned on Homeopathics, and Borion’s Oscillococcinum for Flu-Like Symptoms has saved me multiple times. Any time I feel a tinge of aches or an itch in my throat, I’ll pop a capsule every 4-7 hours until symptoms subside. Daily doses of LivOnLabs Liposomal Vitamin C (*find only on our shelves at both stores*and mugs of homemade Bone Broth have also been in heavy rotation. 

Beverages: 

I’m drinking Traditional Medicinals Pregnancy Tea on the daily — raspberry leaf and nettle are incredibly nourishing for uterine support and healthy labor.  When I make myself a green smoothie or treat myself to a half-caf iced americano (my fav) I’ll always toss in a heaping scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. Collagen is amazing in support of skin elasticity as it stretches and grows, helping to prevent those pesky stretch marks. It’s also supportive of reducing muscle and joint pain as your body changes throughout pregnancy. 

Additional Supplements:

It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider on what daily supplementation is right for you and your bio-individuality, but I believe every pregnant momma should be on a probiotic! I am obsessed with our Ora Organics Trust Your Gut as a daily, shelf-stable punch of good bacteria, helping to prevent Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and avoiding any last minute need for antibiotics before baby moves through the birth canal. I’ve also found them to be helpful in combating any constipation! 

I love Simris Algae Omega-3 for Mothers as a beautiful plant-based marine DHA safe for pregnant and nursing mommas. An optimal level of Omega-3’s in your daily diet has been shown to prevent preterm labor and delivery, lower the risk of preeclampsia, and may increase birth weight. Fish has been tough for me to stomach over the past 7 months and Simris has helped me to supplement!

SKIN

While some women experience that pregnancy “glow” due to major increase blood flow, others (about 70%!) may experience darkening of the skin due to an increase in estrogen simulating pigment production and leading to darker scarring, age spots or brown patches on the face.  Due to my acne scarring from past breakouts, I am definitely seeing a need to do everything I can to prevent these from darkening. So, lately I’m focusing on nourishing and anti-inflammatory plant ingredients that promote high cellular turnover and safe brightening of my skin! 

Sharing my current pregnancy skincare regimen below! 

Cleanse: May Lindstrom Pendulum Potion – rich in macadamia seed oil, avocado oil and camellia seed oil, this oil cleanser serves as a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory as it gently melts away my makeup, debris and any congestion from the day, and leaves my skin feeling so soft and nourished.

Tone: Botnia Juniper Hydrosol – this skin balancer is the key tool that has finally controlled my breakouts! Juniper is an amazing antiseptic, clarifier and wound healer, so it’s great at keeping new blemishes and bacteria at bay while soothing past breakouts and scarring. 

Brighten: Agent Nateur’s Holi(c) activated by May Lindstrom’s Jasmine Garden Mist –  the activated ascorbyl phosphate in the Holi(c) powder creates a potent antioxidant which helps neutralize free radicals, reduce dark spots and evens skin’s texture and tone. I use this 1x at night and have noticed major results in brightening old pigmentation. 

Mask: I swap between May Lindstrom’s Problem Solver and Botnia’s Weekly Digest Mask 1x a week. These help to gently and chemically exfoliate my skin without anything physical or harsh that could scrape my delicate and more sensitive skin while pregnant. If I’m not feeling the pregnancy glow that day, both these masks automatically do the trick!

Hydrate: I’m finishing all my skincare rituals with the most amazing hydrator, soother, and healing around. Just a pea sized swipe of May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon locks in all the amazing botanicals along with blue tansy’s aromatherapy benefits. My favorite nighttime treat!

BEAUTY

I’m keeping makeup simple these days. After all, I won’t have much time for anything more than concealer in a few short months! Am I right!?

I swear by Ilia’s True Skin Concealer. I dab over areas of discoloration and then use my clean hands to blend outward into a light full-face foundation. A little cream blush from Kosas and a pop of red from Alima Pure in Iris and I’m brightened and ready for the day! Since repeated exposure to toxic chemicals and endocrine disruptors can add up in the makeup department, I feel so confident knowing all ingredients are safe and natural for baby… and super effective for me, all day long!

DAILY MUSTS

Dry brushing has become an important ritual for me. Due to my historically sluggish detoxification system, my body craves high-intensity, liver detoxing sweat sessions as workouts. As I’ve adopted a more gentle approach to my exercise routine, I’ve needed extra lymphatic drainage support. Our Shop Good dry brush is small enough to keep on my sink counter to remind me to brush each morning before heading into the shower, keeping my lymph moving and toxins flushing out of my body. 

I’ll immediately follow my dry brushing with a lukewarm shower, lathering up in our Shop Good Body Wash in our Eucalyptus scent. Hand Crafted in San Diego, I know each and every ingredient is safe and never over-drying. It’s important to steer clear of body washes with harsh, drying agents while pregnant since dried-out skin can feel tighter, itchier and more prone to stretch marks!

I’ve been obsessed with Osea’s Undaria Algae Oil for… pretty much everywhere on my body, morning and night! Because skin should be damp or moisturized before applying any body oil for optimal absorption, I’ll apply over still-damp skin after my morning shower (focusing on giving that baby bump a nice and nourishing massage!) Before bed, I love using Erbaviva’s Stretch Mark Cream on belly, boobs, thighs and butt before then applying a generous layer of Undaria Oil all over. The combination of the marine algae (rich in iodine, iron, potassium, calcium and B vitamins) in the body oil and the cocoa butter and sea buckthorn in the Erbaviva’s cream is a-maz-ing for keeping skin nourished, hydrated and elastic! I love the feeling so much that I haven’t skipped a night yet!

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

I’ve done a lot of research in order to find experts, resources and guide books that align with the type of birth I am working towards and a more holistic approach to the prenatal period. Here are a few incredible resources I am spending most of my brain space in!

Blog and Online Videos: Spinning babies

Books: Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth, The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Childcare

Birthing Techniques (if planning for a natural birth): Birthing From Within classes. We loved Janine’s class near Sports Arena in San Diego! 

PARTNERS

I have taken the process of building my birth team very seriously. Two healers that have been absolutely critical and essential to supporting my body’s balance and strength are my Chiropractor, JJ of Radiant Family Health and Alina of Pivotal Acupuncture.

I see JJ once a week to realign my back (I have scoliosis), reduce pain in my pelvis and sciatic, and open up my uterine ligaments, which I want nice and relaxed for birthing! Alina treats me with acupuncture bi-weekly to nourish my system and ensure there’s an optimal flow of energy and my vitals are kept strong .

I highly recommend building a self-care team to hold you accountable to carve out time for healing during pregnancy (and, of course, beyond!)

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Every momma’s journey is different and remember to always filter others’ advice or recommendations through what feels right for you and your baby. More questions on prenatal nourishment? Have a tip or resource you’d like to share? Follow us on Instagram and send me a DM! This month is all about supporting each other, mommas!

 

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