Postpartum Eco-Friendly Essentials

It’s a few months before your due date and nesting is setting in. While getting the house ready for baby is important don’t forget about necessities you’ll need too. Eco friendly alternatives can keep your wallet full and help protect the earth from waste.

  1. Reusable Nursing Pads

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If you are breast feeding or pumping you’ll need these. There will be times where your breasts will leak milk unexpectedly. It could be while calming your new bundle of joy, or while out grocery shopping for the first time. Milk leakage is real! Last week I took my daughter to the hospital for her one month check up and I looked down and saw my shirt had milk on it from where my milk leaked through. It was totally embarrassing and luckily my husband quickly noticed and wrapped his sweater around me. Now, I was wearing a padded bra and nursing pads and still leaked through. It happens. And honestly, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s super common and nothing to be ashamed of. The nursing pads will help though. The also will provide a soft barrier between your nipple and your bra. This is important because sometimes your nipples get sore or chapped after breast feeding. The soft barrier is relieving. Disposable nursing pads cost about $25 for around 250 pads. The amount you use in a day is really up to your body. Every woman is different. Some use multiple sets in a day others use to just one. These can get pretty expensive and most can not be composted or are not very biodegradable. I like the reusable ones because I can use just one pair a day, I only paid $12 for a 14 pack (7 pairs). So I have one pair for everyday of the week and that’s all I use. I bought organic bamboo pads so that I know what material is going on a sensitive part of my body. Mine also came with a wet bag and wash bag. I actually keep the clean one in the wet bag and but the dirty ones in the wash bag. I then just wash them with my regular laundry. They have saved me a ton of money and they feel so soft and comfortable. They don’t itch or rub like the disposable ones (only hearsay, I’ve never used disposables). You can find the ones from the picture above here (These are the ones I bought and use daily).

2. Reusable Pads

Period waste contributes a lot to the world’s waste problem. It’s tough being a woman sometimes and there’s nothing you can do to avoid the after birth blood flow. It last between 4 to 6 weeks! I know, because 9 months of pregnancy wasn’t enough. But that precious bundle of joy is totally worth it! With that said there is a ton of controversy around feminine care. Since, many woman can not use vaginally inserted products during this time most woman are recommended to use pads. Now, I’m going to be honest. Someone bought me disposable pads so I used them so they wouldn’t go to waste. And I was thankful for their thoughtful gift because honestly it didn’t even occur to me to buy after pregnancy period products. But with the concern of period waste, the tainted production of cotton, and the chemical exposure from scented products using reusable pads is a good alternative. They also have products like the period panties and period leggings. And then their is always the Diva cup the doctor clears you for vaginal products. I have a lot of friends who use the reusable pads and they love them!

Personally, I don’t really use pads. I find them uncomfortable. I prefer organic tampons and I had just purchased the Diva cup right before I found out I was pregnant. But since, I am not cleared for vaginal products while I’m healing from childbirth I had to use pads. And many of you will most likely find yourself in the same situation. Reusable can be expensive if you buy them online. They are an investment that will save you money in the long run. How many you need to buy will depend on your flow and how much laundry you want to do. And yes, I understand doing laundry is water waste but water waste is less harmful than plastic waste…as of right now at least…to my understanding. *Also, there are eco-friendly ways to do laundry. So with that said, you can also make your own from old flannels.

All you do is wash the old flannels in hot water to sanitize them. Find a pattern—- there are a ton on Pinterest. And crack open that sewing machine! This is way cheaper and allows you to up-cycle old clothes you would otherwise get rid of.

I had a friend who was in the Peace Corps years ago and she taught the women in the tribe how to make reusable pad and the woman loved them! I’m really excited to try them out. I have heard that you need to make quite a bit at least 10-15 so you don’t have to do laundry so often. You can also spray them with vinegar or tea tree oil for extra sanitation and use dark fabrics if blood stains bother you.

You can find these reusable pads on Amazon and on Etsy.

3. Organic Nipple Butter in a Glass Jar

61FYhgiq0FL._SL1000_Nipple butter will be a life saver if you are pumping or breastfeeding. Your nipples can become dried out, sensitive, and cracked. Nipple butter will keep them moisturized and healthy. There are a ton of options when it comes to which nipple butter to use. I chose to use Earth Mama because it’s Non GMO and Lanolin free. Lanolin is found in sheep and there can be some side effects from using it but they are very rare. You can find out more about Lanolin here or ask your doctor. I just wanted a vegan option because the Lanolin uses more natural resources to produce than plant based ingredients. So the Earth Mama butter doesn’t have Lanolin in it. So it’s more eco-friendly than Lanolin based products. It’s also safe for the baby to ingest. So if you don’t want to wipe it off before using or if you do choose to wipe it off and don’t get all of it off before nursing; you’re baby will still be fine. It’s also not sticky so it doesn’t damage my bras or nursing pads and it also doesn’t stick to them either. I absolutely love it! It’s about $12 on Amazon and will last you a seriously long time. It also comes in glass jar and is packaged in cardboard so you are reducing plastic waste with your purchase.

4. Jojoba Oil & Reusable Face Wipes

After I had my little girl my hormones went crazy! As a result I developed acne on my face. During pregnancy I didn’t use any chemicals on my face or hair because I was afraid of how they would interact with my child. I wish I had known about Jojoba when I was pregnant. Jojoba oil is a safe carrier oil and is used in a lot of baby lotions because it is so gentle. It’s a natural cleanser. If you want to learn more about Jojoba Oil you can read my blog post about it here. I like using Jojoba because it’s safe for my skin and by replacing it with other cleansers you are reducing the amount of harsh chemicals put into the earth and reducing plastic waste because Jojoba comes in a glass amber bottle to keep it potency. It can also be used to take off make-up.

My husband bought me reusable makeup remover pads from Amazon and I really like them. They save us a ton of money and reduce waste. I recommended buying ones made from organic bamboo cotton and not velvet. The velvet don’t stain as bad but they aren’t as durable and the fibers shed on your face. I mean, who really cares if the fabric is stained, right? As long as it works. As a result of the shedding, the velvet ones don’t last as long. They last about a year but the organic bamboo cotton ones will last much longer if taken care of properly. These vary in price from $10-$20 and you can find them on Amazon. Looking for a pack that comes with a wash bag is a good idea. They tend to get lost in the wash.

5. Glass Water Bottle

You will definitely need this if you are breast feeding. As a new mom, staying hydrated is important. You’ll need your energy. And breast feeding makes you super thirsty. I keep a glass water bottle or mason jar on my night stand next to my breast pump. That way I can drink while I pump. Using a glass bottle or mason jar instead of using plastic bottles reduces plastic waste. You can also use metal ones. Some of those even keep your water cold all day! I just prefer the glass.

6. Essential Oils

There are a few essential oils I highly recommend using right after pregnancy. You do have to be careful because some essential oils, like mint, can reduce your milk flow. Others can be too strong for your baby. So if you have any worries or hesitations ask your doctor before using any new oils. Also, always buy oils from trusted sources and always buy Organic and pure oils. Oils that do not follow these guidelines can contain harmful chemicals. Also, use therapeutic grad not fragrance grade. Always store essential oils in amber glass so they keep their potency.

DoTerra’s On Guard blend. This oil boosts your immune system. I put a little bit in a warm bath. (Consult your doctor before bathing after pregnancy.) Be careful using too much as it can take your baby’s breath away if it’s too strong.

Jojoba. I use this for moisturizing my skin, cleansing my face, and also in my hair to keep it soft and shinny.

Peppermint. I put a few drops of peppermint in a bath to relax my muscles and to help easy breast pain after pumping. This isn’t something you want to do on a daily basis because it can reduce your milk production. Do not but too many drops in your bath because it can take your breath away.

Tea Tree (Melaleuca). I use this as a natural sanitizer. It cleans well. Do not use if your baby is under 6 months old. If your baby is between 1 and 5 months opt for lavender as it is also a natural sanitizer. Once again, consult your doctor before using.

Using oils instead of other cleaners and beauty products can reduce chemical exposure to you and the earth and can reduce plastic waste.

 

Disclaimer: Information expressed in this article is solely the opinion of the writer. The writer is not held liable for any damage or health concerns resulting from information or endorsement from this article. If in doubt, always contact a health professional before using a new product on yourself or others.

*Article not sponsored by suggested companies.

 

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