Congratulations! You’re a new mom, and we know you have your hands full. We also know you want to provide the very best care for your baby and yourself. That's where this new mom's guide to organic products comes in. One way we can care for baby and ourselves is by becoming aware of the ingredients in common baby products and avoiding those that contain chemicals of concern. These concerning chemicals can be found in maternity pads, nursing pads, baby wipes, and diapers.
Where do you begin? Focusing on certified organic is a great place to start for all-natural, pesticide-free products for you and your baby. An infant’s skin is very sensitive and permeable, so avoiding fragrances (which are usually chemically-based or synthetic), pesticides, detergents, and preservatives is the best way to go.
We know sometimes new motherhood can be overwhelming and we don’t want to add to that feeling. Breastfeeding provides your baby with the best nutrition designed especially for their needs. What mon is exposed to can get passed onto your baby, both good and bad. Fortunately, there are many things you can to do to minimize this and there are several excellent products on the market to help. Let’s examine a few of them.
Baby wipes are up close with your infant’s skin on a daily basis several times a day, so choose products that are ultra-safe. When shopping for baby wipes, look for ones that are free from detergents such as sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium dodecyl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and sodium lauryl ether sulfate.
Other ingredients to be aware of are parabens, synthetic preservatives (e.g., methylisothiazolinone) and other types of formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, as well as alcohol. Alcohol can dry out baby’s skin and alter the balance of good bacteria that’s there to protect.
Ideally, the wipes would be made of 100 percent organic cotton and may be infused with essential oils for fragrance or choose fragrance-free options for very sensitive skin. When you read the label, you may also see a few ingredients marked as “naturally occurring essential oils,” such as limonene. Limonene is known to cause skin reactions in some people so maybe best to avoid aw well. Some of the more common essential oils used in organic baby wipes that are generally safer are apricot, chamomile, and sweet almond.
Maternity pads are generally used for the first week postpartum. These long, thick pads are specially designed to handle the heavy bleeding following birth. Women typically need to change their pad every hour or two after giving birth and then every three to four hours over the next few days.
Postpartum bleeding is typically heavy, bright red, and contain clots. The blood tends to accumulate inside the body and can be released in a gush when moms get up or change position in bed. All of this is completely normal, however, if you have concerns please check with your medical professional.
To deal with postpartum bleeding and vaginal healing, you need reliable as well as safe and comfortable pads that will not irritate sensitive postpartum skin.
A great option is 100 percent organic cotton maternity pads that are chlorine-free, plastic-free, and use non-toxic glue. These pads will help provide the type of protection you need without irritating your skin.
Breastfeeding moms know how sensitive their breasts can be, so they need the softest as well as the safest pads available. High-quality nursing pads keep the skin and bra dry between breastfeeding and pumping sessions.
The best nursing pads are 100 percent organic cotton, which means they are free from harmful residues that can be found in conventionally grown cotton, such as dioxin or other pesticides. Also be on the lookout for glues, fragrances, dyes, polyethylene, and chlorine.
New moms you are going to need a lot of diapers—an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 the first year! The sure is a lot of diapers. This means sensitive baby’s skin will be exposed to materials 24/7 for many months. Therefore, the diapers need to be ultra-safe, ultra-soft and also provide effective protection.
Today’s moms can get all of this and more with eco-friendly diapers, available as both disposable and non-disposable. Note that although marketers often use “organic” and “eco-friendly” interchangeably when referring to these types of diapers, “organic” diapers consist primarily of plant-based materials but are not completely organic or free from unnatural ingredients.
When shopping for eco-friendly disposable diapers, look for those free of latex, petroleum-based plastics, fragrances, lotions, and chlorine. A core of 100 percent wood pulp, preferably from sustainable sources (look for diapers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council).
Two other certifications to look for are EcoCert, which means the diapers are composed of 95 percent or more of plant-based materials, and the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 test, which says they are free of more than 100 undesirable substances.
If you want an eco-friendly disposable diaper with odor control, look for those with liquid chlorophyll and/or citrus extract.
Reusable cloth eco-friendly diapers are available in 100 percent cotton and unbleached. Several types are available, so moms need to study them to determine which one or ones are best for their baby. Some are simple, like old-fashioned diapers; others are designed to be more convenient in terms of how they are shaped. Some need a diaper cover while others do not.
The various types of organic cloth diapers include flats, pre-folded (some folds are already sewed into place for easier placement on your baby’s bottom), contours (more folded than pre-folds), and fitted, which are probably the easiest ones to use of the organics.
Yet another option is pocketed, which are not 100 percent organic. They consist of an outside layer of water-resistant fabric and an inner layer of stay-dry material. You can, however, use a 100 percent organic cotton liner with the pocket type.
New moms have several organic choices when it comes to caring for their infants and themselves. Organic maternity pads, baby wipes, diapers, and nursing pads are available that are safe for both baby and mom, as well as the environment.
[Editor's Note: Our trusted brand for maternity pads, nursing pads and baby wipes is Natracare. Visit their website to learn more.]
Sign up for our newsletter for all the latest healthiest tips for you and your family.