I feel like the guinea pig of natural products and home remedies for pregnancy related issues. I will try anything. I must tell you that a lot of them are just not working for me. When I found out I was pregnant at thirty seven I knew that I was already at increased risk for genetic issues just because of my age and wanted to try to keep things as basic and as natural as possible. We are so fortunate that thus far all of our genetic screening has come back positive- so far so good. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for everyone. I have a family member who is autistic that has really given me a different perspective. Her family has some very strong beliefs on diet and vaccines and shared a lot of information with me that I had previously been unaware of. I know that there are a lot of controversial theories out there and even though I am not sure where I stand on all of them it is definitely on my radar screen because I am in a high risk category. There does seem to be a common opinion that there are an increased number of children diagnosed with it. Even though I am not certain, I don’t take any of the information lightly when thinking about my pregnancy and how I want to raise my own children.
What I have found out is that there is no right answer. There aren’t a lot of facts because women do not want to sign up for scientific studies when they are pregnant- no one wants to put their pregnancy at risk- so a lot of research is done on animals and what is “considered” to be safe and what should be avoided is not absolute. Personally I am a “what iffer”. Tylenol is considered safe- but what if it isn’t? High fructose corn syrup and unnatural sweeteners like aspartame are said to be safe by most- but what if it isn’t? Benedryl was once considered not safe but now is…but what if it really isn’t? Many holistic practitioners would recommend otherwise. The information is so confusing! I mean my god it was once acceptable to drink and smoke when you were pregnant! I think every expectant woman and mother needs to do what she is comfortable with and that is the right thing to do. For me I am trying to find a balance. Do I eat everything organic? No. (wish)- do I have high fructose corn syrup from time to time? Yes but I try to avoid it. Will I take a sip of a diet coke every once in greatwhile- sure but no more. In the case of medication I am not there yet- I am scared to ingest anything other than my PNVs- Tylenol, prescription pills, herbs you name it. I may be making this pregnancy harder than it needs to be in dealing with these maladies…but I just keep thinking what if? I can deal with a lot to keep this baby healthy. I realize that I am the extreme and am totally ok with it. I figure though that I should use some of my crazy for good and put the word out on some of the products and remedies that I have tried during the second trimester so far:
- Burt’s Bees- Sun block and After Sun- – not so much- they seemed to work as a sunscreen but would not absorb into the skin. Acne solution did not work for me at all. Hand Cream- smell you later- not really a fan of any of these products- wish I was because they are everywhere!
- Yoga – Helps with back pain, and relaxation. Would recommend Yoga for Pregnancy DVD but hey I started out already enjoying yoga.
- Jane Iredale – Cleansing Mitt- Sucksville. Their claim- it is supposed to clean your skin without soap and thus no chemicals. The fact- I tried this for a few days and immediately broke out. Say hello to the new heater on my chin! It is also hard to get the make up off the mitt. The solution- it does remove make up effectively so I think I am going to use it for that only but not regularly.
- Simply Divine Botanicals- Amazing. Their claim- chemical free skincare- The fact- ingredients are natural and they work. I have oily skin and use the following: You Can’t Zit Here – AM and PM- Pack Your Bags- Skincredible (daily)- Baby Face- every other night. I will use these long after I am pregnant.
- Moroccan Method Shampoo and Conditioner- hates it- it was like washing my hair with dirt. It did not feel cleaned or conditioned afterward and took forever to dry. It left my hair stringy and not very manageable. I am so glad I got the samples only- because I will not use these products again. The conditioning spray was ok but not great. I am sticking with ABBA- still a few chemies but vegan and much more accessible- you can get it at Ulta.
- Bare Escentuals Vs Jane Iredale Make Up- I have now used both products and don’t really notice a big difference in the foundations except the Jane is much more expensive. Jane Iredale Lip Gloss however is amazing and lasts a lot longer than BE that is a keeper.
- Avalon Organic Soap- has some chemies but still gives a lather and smells good. I will continue using this until I find something better- available at Trader Joes and Whole Foods and not too expensive.
- Salt water rinse – supposed to help with bleeding gums and sore throat- been doing this the last few days….seems to help a little but not a cure- will continue and keep you updated.
So what works for you? Tell me the good the bad and the ugly – anything helped you with stretch marks or what about the god awful swelling I keep hearing so much about? I would love to hear any suggestions from real people- not the paid advertisements I read online all day- what is the skinny?