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Non-toxic pregnancy tips

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Green your pregnancy

What steps should you take to have a healthy, non-toxic pregnancy? For some pregnant moms, taking steps to live a more environmentally friendly life is a natural step when expecting. So, how can you green your pregnant life?

Green Pregnancy

When you are just you, with no one else to worry about, it can be easy to just grab the popular, mainstream brands of products that you've always seen and used. But when you decide to have a baby, suddenly you can become hyper - aware of all the potential for harsh chemicals around you.

That's what happened to Colleen Levine of FoodieTots.com. "I had remained in my blissfully ignorant bubble about (cancer/asthma/allergy-causing) toxins in our environment until finding out I was pregnant with my son," Colleen said.

"Realizing I couldn't control everything he would be exposed to, I resolved to clean up my diet and switched to green cleaning products, to ensure he wasn't exposed to unneccessary toxins in the womb and that our home was safe from toxic chemicals when we brought him home," Colleen said.

So, how can you green-up your pregnancy?

Green fashion

Face it. Those maternity clothes? They are a short-term use thing. And if you want cute ones, they can cost a bundle. I am talking Big Bucks.

Fortunately, you don't have to hit up Destination Maternity to look cool while you are expecting. Instead, moms who are greening up start by shopping their own closets.

Look for empire waist tops, long maxi dresses and pants and skirts with a drawstring or stretchy waistbands that will fit throughout your pregnancy. Products like Bella Bands, which are stretchy bands that fit over your pants allowing you to wear them unbuttoned without giving the world a show, can help you extend your wardrobe.

You can also buy gently worn clothes at consignment stores or online. Or, better yet, borrow them. "Before I buy anything new I try to find it used. I have been able to borrow lots of clothing and now that my feet are growing, shoes too," says Jessica Russell of shoptumbleweed.com.

Clean green

No one likes to clean, but if you want to bring fewer unnatural ingredients into your life, then making a switch to greener products is a great place to start. While standard cleaners might not be dangerous, living a greener life that is less harmful to the planet can have far reaching benefits for your baby-to-be

According to the March of Dimes, women who are pregnant should avoid toxic solvents during pregnant (for instance, some oven cleaners contain them) and just avoid anything labeled toxic in general.

But for many moms, the chemicals and unnatural cleansers found in many cleaning products is just a turn-off. So they turn to green cleansers to keep their homes clean (such as Method or Seventh Generation). "My husband (AVP player Casey Jennings) and I are just starting to exchange our traditional household cleaning products w/ the "green", organic brands that are baby safe," says AVP Olympic Gold Medalist and pro volleyball player Kerri Walsh, who is seven months pregnant.

Eat clean

Organic, not organic. Which is best? "When I was pregnant with my second child in 2006, the green movement was well underway. I ate almost 100% organic and used organic cleaning and natural beauty products products in my newly green home," said Mara Stern of Mama Mio Skincare.

Well, whether you choose organic or not (FYI - organic is best for thin-skinned fruits and veggies since those are most likely to suck up the pesticides), eating fresh, whole foods is the an important place to start. That's exactly what Latham did. "During my pregnancy I supported the local green market in union square and shopped for my produce three days per week, everything I ate was super fresh," she said.

Avoid processed foods, as they are likely to leave some unpleasant surprises behind (fat, bloating, etc).

Eco-beauty

Cosmetics are an important area to seek green alternatives in. Many cosmetics contain substances that aren't good for your body -- or your baby's. To make sure that you are using the safest cosmetics possible, be sure to check out www.safecosmetics.org.

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