We were delighted to be included in Jem + Bea's journal, on our guide to a less toxic pregnancy.
I have always been conscious about what I put in and onto my body, trying to keep life, food and products as simple as possible. I became even more interested in this when I moved to Sydney, Australia and was so impacted by the lovely ethos around scaling things back, being outside in nature and just how the simple, small things in life can add so much.
Fast forward to falling pregnant with my first child and my whole outlook on being more mindful about the products I used definitely extended to those in and around the house.
One of my favorite things in the world was coming back from a busy day’s work, dimming the lights, lighting a candle and having a bath. But having been researching candles, I had discovered they were actually full of some pretty nasty chemicals, not just in the wax and wicks, but also the fragrance. I found it fascinating and slightly terrifying that some of my most favourite candle brands were using synthetic fragrances and chemical boosters which I quickly realised whilst burning in enclosed spaces with little ventilation was not good news!
I started researching natural candles and found that a lot of candles said they were “natural” when in fact they just used a natural wax like soy, but still synthetic fragrance. There were very few 100% natural fragrance brands out there, so alongside my husband Sam (who, being very opportune is a graphic designer) , we decided to try and create our own!
Essential oils were key; the beauty about them is that not only do they smell incredibly clean and pure, the aromatherapeutic benefits have such a positive effect on emotional wellbeing, a hugely important factor as candles have always been such a part of my day and night time routines and more recently, my children’s! Not only do they support, lift and calm me when needed but I also burn a calming blend to help my children settle – they create moments that we all enjoy and look forward to.
Around the home, I also try to keep cleaning products as non-toxic as possible – luckily there are so many great new brands to choose from that are low on chemicals and better for you and the planet. I recently came across Spruce – they make products that are free from harsh chemicals, pesticides and synthetic fragrances, as well as having a sustainable, plastic-free approach to refills.
Eat organic food as much as possible to avoid pesticide residue. If this is not possible, try to eat the Clean 15 and avoid the Dirty Dozen. Swap chemical-leaching plastic for glass containers to store food, particularly if microwaving. !
As well as around the home, I also changed my skincare and deodorant to cleaner formulations: I swear by RMS makeup, Aurelia London’s Botanical Cream Deodorant and Balance Me’s Rose Otto Face Oil.
I think by generally reducing and simplifying your skincare routine to a few products, you can cut out a number of chemicals and reduce the inadvertent mixing of chemicals from different creams.
When you’re shopping for products check the ingredients and avoid the ones with synthetic fragrances, parabens, phthalates, or triclosan.
On the go
For hot drinks and water, there’s really no need to carry plastic (whether single use or not) with the plethora of glass and stainless stain options on the market these days.
I’m never without a stainless steel water bottle for me and the kids – like this one from onegreenbottle. The stainless steel bottles clean up really well and never have that odd smell or after taste that you get with plastic bottles. OGB also do these fantastic and incredibly cute stainless steel baby to toddler bottles which are great for those in the baby stage. They come compete with different teats and tops – so can take you from newborn right up to toddler, so hugely sustainable.
Transporting food and baby stuff when your on-the-go with little ones can be problematic from a non-toxic point of view as often most containers and food carriers tend to be heavy on the plastic! Jem + Bea have cleverly come to the rescue on this front with their eco-friendly baby accessories and bags – like Eco Snack Pouch for example, which is both made from recycled nylon which use less chemicals and water in their making but as well the interior is lined in non-toxic PEVA – so handily wipe-clean, but without the chemicals.