Like most first time moms, I got sucked into the vortex.
You know the one, where you read every blog post, guide book, and parenting magazine in sight. I became obsessed with french parenting, holistic hippy births, words like attachment and bonding. I somehow convinced myself that I needed a seventy-five dollar sheepskin throw so that my baby could have tummy time “naturally”.
Whatever that means.
Luckily, I never bought the sheepskin throw. I was however gifted an enormous amount of baby items without ever throwing a baby shower. My family members were so incredibly generous in their giving. Who can blame them? Babies are adorable and awesome, and shopping for baby clothes is probably the easiest way to spend an afternoon squealing and giggling in Target.
However, this post isn’t about babies. It’s about the mama’s out there who are looking for a more minimal approach to their pregnancy. If you’re anything like me, then there’s a good chance you become completely overwhelmed at the sight of overstuffed diaper bags. You dread the incredible amount of trash that comes with the “freebies” at the hospital and doctor’s offices.
After two pregnancies, I’ve learned that the tools and goodies that kept me sane, healthy, and happy, were the reusable ones. When shopping for maternity items it’s important that the items I buy are reusable not only through multiple pregnancies, but also beyond those fleeting nine months.
Zero Waste Vegan Pregnancy Roundup
The Dry Body Brush
I am entirely convinced that this handy little device has saved my skin throughout three pregnancies. Daily brushing before showers, followed by organic cold pressed coconut oil has kept my belly and body stretch mark free. It’s also a fantastic way to wind down and de-stress right before a hot shower. Not to be confused with a loofah or anything you would use in the shower. Keep it dry, and lightly brush your skin starting at your feet heading upwards. Brush in circular outward motions to stimulate your circulation. I’ve had my brush for years, but if I had to get another one I would consider a nice vegan one instead of the standard boar bristle.
The Perfect Water Bottle
Morning sickness is one of the events that most women know about before a pregnancy, but it’s not until it hits that you really understand how much it sucks. They also forget to tell you that it can also be “afternoon sickness” or “anytime you haven’t had a snack in awhile sickness”. I found that carrying around a water bottle filled with really cold water helped. I like to add a slice of lime to keep it fresh, and a bit of fresh ginger can help too. Carrying your own flavoured water bottle reduces the need to run for a Pellegrino or ginger ale every time you feel queasy. The one I carry is glass, metal, and food grade silicone, to reduce any weird metallic or plastic aftertaste…and it comes in tons of purrdy colours.
Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter
I just really like saying Earth Mama Angel Baby. For some reason it sounds like nineties pop song lyrics and it makes me happy while I apply the soothing balm. Whether you decide to breastfeed or not, this little gem of a jar is a lifesaver. It’s vegan, comes in a glass jar with a metal lid, and has a really nice, subtle, natural smell. It works wonders for early breastfeeders and works overtime as a great natural lipgloss or cuticle balm for any zero waste vegan minimalist mom.
Living vegan with zero waste goals doesn’t have to end when you get pregnant. Carrying around a natural cotton drawstring filled with raw nuts and bulk granola really helped with instant hunger cravings and nausea. Bananas and easy peel clementines are awesome too, and they travel well. Raw almonds and walnuts were my favourite go to snack for a boost of healthy fat brain food and protein.
Prepping a few vegan staples or casseroles before baby comes is at the top of my to-do list. This time around I’m buying more glass and metal containers that can easily be transferred directly into the oven and won’t leach toxins into my food like plastic. My go-to prep ahead menu usually consists of a vegan lasagna, hand made bean burger patties to throw on a bun, and vegan meatballs to add extra protein to a quick pasta night.
Reusable Hemp Nursing Pads
These are a must if you want to be able to go out in public anytime after you give birth. I wasn’t prepared with nursing pads during my first pregnancy, and I spent the first three days of breastfeeding stuffing washcloths down the front of my shirt every hour until I finally had enough. Not my classiest moment. Reusable nursing pads just plain make sense. I’ve tried the thin disposable ones that they give you at the hospital and they seemed just like an overly large semi-sticky bandaid that you stick to your bra. You hope that it will absorb something before the milk runs down your shirt. But usually it doesn’t. On a side note, the hemp ones are incredibly similar to reusable eye makeup remover pads and could easily transition to a second life once baby grows up.
I am in love with these beautiful handmade baby wraps by Kanthabae. Kantha quilting by tradition is a wonderful way to re-purpose old fabric, and I love what this shop is doing with their fair trade fabric. Wearing your baby is such a wonderful way to bond with your child and this beautiful wrap would definitely help to boost your confidence after giving birth.
Looking for more?
This roundup of zero waste vegan pregnancy items is pretty minimal for a reason. While readying our home for our new family addition it has become increasingly important to prepare in a way that makes the world a better place for our little one. For our family that means continuing to work on our zero waste goals, living mindfully, consuming minimally, and continuing to recognize the importance of living cruelty free and vegan.
In my experience, you don’t need a whole lot to prepare for a baby. I’ve found that light yoga, pilates, and mediation work wonders during pregnancy to make me feel happy, healthy, and prepared for anything.