Vegan Pregnancy Products I Love!

This is the time that I pimp a bunch of great vegan products that I have used during my pregnancy. I am not being sponsored by any of these products or companies (at least not yet anyways…hit me up!). These are just things that I have found helpful that I think other women might find helpful too!

Natural Stretch Oil (Earth Mother Angel Baby):
This is a light oil that you rub on your belly and breasts to help prevent stretch marks. Again, as I wrote about in my stretch marks post, there are no guarantees that any product out there will ensure you don’t get stretch marks. What I will say about this product is I have been using it my whole pregnancy and if nothing else it makes me feel like I am doing something proactive. It is also a great moisturizer and will relieve the itchy feeling you get from your skin stretching as your belly and breasts grow.

Hemp Pro 50 Protein Powder:
Let me start this off by saying I am not a fan of flavored protein powders. I know people love to drink “chocolate” and “vanilla” flavored protein shakes but I can’t deal with them. The over powering sweet fake flavor gives me the creeps. That is why I love this hemp protein powder because it is flavorless. I can simply add it to my smoothies and forget it is even there. It is plant based, raw and has omega 3 and 6.

Stainless Steel Drinking Straws:
These are not necessarily a vegan product but they are not a non-vegan product ether. I originally ordered them for an arts and crafts project I was doing with my boyfriend but I ended up using them all the time. It is so important to stay hydrated when you are pregnant and I found drinking through straws really helped me take in more water with every sip. Plus, it makes it easier to drink from a glass when you have aches and pains and are laying on the couch.

Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap:
I have always used bronner’s in the shower as a body-wash because it is vegan and cruelty free. I recently started also using it as a household cleaner. Once I got pregnant I stopped using my regular cleaning products because they contain chemicals that are not pregnant lady safe. Some bronner’s and water in a spray bottle is a great all purpose cleaner. You can also mix a paste out of bronner’s, water and baking soda to use as a soft scrub for bathtubs and sinks.

Weight Gain

This is a subject that I have been struggling with a lot in the past few weeks. I have hit the point in my pregnancy where the amount of weight that I have put on is really starting to effect me. My legs, knees, ankles and especially my lower back are feeling the effects of the extra 20 lbs I have on my frame. But in addition to the the aches and pains the weight is showing up in places I didn’t expect, such as my legs, hips and face. There is just more of me everywhere and as zen as I am trying to be about it, it is hard. I keep reminding myself that I am growing a human and it is all part of the process but I still can help but hide from the mirror.

So, what is healthy weight gain during pregnancy supposed to look like? Well according to WebMD if you start at an average weight (whatever that is) you should put on between 25 lbs to 35 lbs. In your first trimester you are not going to be putting on too much weight, only a few pounds in the first few months. In the second and third trimesters you are looking to put on roughly 1 to 1.5 lbs per week. According to my midwife there may be some weeks I put on .5 lbs and other weeks I put on 2 lbs. You are just aiming for a healthy average across the weeks. But! we are all different and when and where we gain the weight is going to change from person to person. At the end of the day no matter what weight gain is hard on all of us. I just keep reminding myself it is all part of the process. Plus! I am getting a baby out of all of this

Stretch Marks

Healthily Fat: Almonds
Healthily Fat: Almonds

I think every woman who is pregnant lives in some sort of fear of stretch marks, I know I do. We all hope that we will be part of the lucky 10% of women who are spared. But the truth of the matter is that most women get them and if your mother got them you will probably get ’em too. Even with all the lotions and balms on the market there is no surefire way to completely prevent them. I know the out look seems bleak.

The good news is that diet can play a roll in minimizing stretch marks. The first line of defense is slow and steady weight gain. Stretch marks are caused by your belly and breasts growing faster then your skin can keep up.

So eating 5-6 smaller meals a day and choosing healthy calories instead of empty ones, such as sweets, are both good ideas. The other contributing factor is skin elasticity. So make sure your skin is nice and stretchy by drinking lots of water and getting your healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado and nuts.

Now for a word about lotions and balms. There are lots of products on the market that are going to make all kinds of claims about preventing and treating stretch marks. It is important to keep in mind that there is no scientific evidence behind these claims. That being said, keeping your skin moisturized certainly isn’t going to hurt. Just be super careful of what is in the products you use. There are all kinds of harmful chemicals in lotions and balms, even the ones that say “natural” on the label. My recommendation is to keep it simple. Some women swear by plain ol’ coconut oil. I really like a product called Natural Stretch Cream by Earth Mother Angel Baby. If you are reading the ingredients and you don’t know what something is or you can’t pronounce it, it is probably better to stay away. Consult with your doctor if you have any questions about what products are safe to use.

The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book Two)

The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book Two): Skinny bitch Bun in the Oven
The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book Two):
Skinny bitch Bun in the Oven

Hello my fellow vegan-parents-to-be, here is my second reading recommendation. I found this book while wasting time on Pintrest one lazy afternoon. The name of the book is Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. You are probably somewhat familiar with the their very popular first book Skinny Bitch. But! please do not be fooled by the provocative title. They make it very clear in the book that this book, unlike Skinny Bitch, has nothing to do with loosing weight and everything to do with having healthy weight gain during your pregnancy. This book is definitely written for women who are not yet vegan but are interested in becoming vegan during their pregnancy. However, even long time vegans will learn a lot from reading it. The two authors are really good about making this book a fun and easy read. Even in the chapters that have a drier subject matter, you will find yourself laughing out loud. They cover a range of topics including healthy eating, skin care, breast feeding, and much more. The only warning I have is ignore the online reviews. There are a lot of people out there that seem to be put off by this book and it’s vegan message. We know that veganism gets strong reactions out of people and vegan pregnancy can get even more. That being said, I found this book to be helpful, funny, and inspirational.

The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book One)

The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book One): Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide
The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book One): Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide

I am really big on doing my research. So needless to say, I have been doing a lot of reading in the past 17 weeks that I have been pregnant. One of the first books that I picked up on amazon is still my favorite by far. So it seem appropriate to also make it the first book I am recommending for expecting vegan parents. The book is called Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide by Sayward Rebhal and it is a wonderful straight to the point little guide book. The book covers everything you want to know about nutrition, supplements, morning sickness, aches and pains, and awkward social situations that may come up as a result of being a pregnant vegan. A lot of the book is in short paragraphs and list, which I really appreciate because it is easy to refer back to parts you want to reread. This book will save you hours of googling. I will be buying a copy for all of my girlfriends that decide to get pregnant.

Live Fast Dye Your Hair

Like a lot of girls growing up in Northern California listening to Black Flag, Minor Threat and the Circle Jerks I have always bleached my hair platinum blonde. This was a bit of a problem when I first found out I was pregnant. Harsh chemicals and developing life forms do not mix. Most dyes, not just bleach, contain harsh chemicals and when applied directly to the scalp can enter your blood stream, which is also now your baby’s blood stream. This can be especially harmful during your first trimester when your baby is developing.

This is where you call in the experts your doc. and a knowledgeable hairdresser. I first consulted with my doc. and she pretty much told me what I expected. Bleach when applied directly to the scalp is bad for the above mentioned reason(it can get into your blood). Highlights, that do not touch the scalp, can be an option but there is still a small risk involved. Most women choose to wait until the second trimester to highlight their hair, when there is much less risk involved because your baby has developed and is now just growing. The best and safest option is to forgo all the chemicals and go with a semi permanent that has no ammonia or peroxide. This option is safe at any stage of pregnancy. So I talked to my wonderful hair dresser and she confirmed that this was the safest option. Since I could not use ammonia or peroxide there would be no way to lighten my ever growing dark roots. So good bye Marilyn hello Betty! I went from almost white blonde to a medium brown to match my roots.

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I strongly believe selfies are only ok if there is a dog involved

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure you choose a hairdresser that you trust and that knows what they are doing. The woman I go to is the mother of two so she knows whats up. You always need to let them know you are pregnant and what your needs are(no ammonia or peroxide) because some semi permanent dyes still have the harsh chemicals. Also make sure your hair dresser knows about your cruelty free lifestyle and is willing to work with you to find products that fit your morals. I live in California so most people are pretty understanding. If you live somewhere else you may have to call around a bit more.

As far as home dying I can’t really speak too much to that. I tend to err on the side of caution and go to a professional. Keep in mind that some semi permanent dyes still have the harsh chemicals. If you do decide to dye your hair at home make sure you are using semi permanent with no ammonia or peroxide. I would even call a salon or beauty supply store and ask for recommendations. Again lightening will not be an option. You are limited to your shade or darker if you choose this route.

At the end of the day as hard as it was to give up being blonde I felt like I made the right choice with the least risks possible. Talk to your doctor and they will help you make the right decision for you.