Things We’ve Read: Week Of January 18th, 2015

January 24, 2015

Pregnancy News Nine Naturals Things We've Read

I’m Not Pregnant. It’s Just My Belly (HuffPost): After being asked her due date while not pregnant, Brittany Policastro delves into various cultural and societal views on body image, and questions why so many seek validation in conforming to such standards.

43 and Pregnant (NYT): A mother of three writes on the emotions of excitement and concern she’s feeling after discovering she is pregnant with her fourth child at age 43.

Why I Hated Being Pregnant (Yahoo): Elise Solé reflects on the reasons she was physically and emotionally uncomfortable during pregnancy, and why many other expecting moms feel the same.

BPA Exposure during Pregnancy Causes Oxidative Stress in Child, Mother (Endocrine Society): A new study shows that exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical BPA during pregnancy can cause damage that may put a baby at risk of developing diabetes or heart disease later in life.

Moms With Fat Bottoms Make More Intelligent Children (Inquisitr): The fat in the lower body of a pregnant woman has been found to be the main source of brain-building nutrients in breastmilk.

Montgomery County neglect inquiry shines spotlight on ‘free-range’ parenting (Washington Post): Danielle and Alexander Meitiv are challenging an investigation they’re facing for neglect after allowing their children to walk together unaccompanied from a park a mile away from home.

9 Things To Consider Before You Give Birth: How To Create A Birth Plan

January 22, 2015

What To Consider When Creating A Birth Plan
As your due date approaches, the next critical step is start thinking about the birth. While the actual birthing process may be uncertain, it is important to become aware of what will make you most comfortable as you give birth. Creating a birth plan gives you the opportunity to become familiar with relevant terms, such as “membrane stripping” or knowing whether you’d like your placenta encapsulated. Understanding the terminology is crucial in order to avoid medical interventions you might not want later.

Here are 9 things to consider before you give birth:

  1. What kind of birth are you hoping for? Natural, spiritual, quiet, non-invasive, epidural or a planned c-section?
  2. Who is part of your birth team? Partner, birth coach (doula), your mother, your best friend? Make sure your OB/midwife is okay with having more than one birth partner in the delivery room.
  3. What comfort measures would you like? Just to name a few: would you prefer to have music, food (make sure your OB approves of snacking during labor- most don’t), no IV fluids, massage, aromatherapy or acupuncture?
  4. When would you like to get induced (if ever)? Would you prefer a week past your due date or longer? Or are you okay when your OB wants to induce you on your due date? In addition, would you like to try natural induction methods first, such as teas, membrane stripping or acupuncture?
  5. Are you okay having your fetus monitored constantly during labor? Most moms prefer to be able to move around and have only intermittent monitoring.
  6. What position would you like for the actual delivery of your baby? Some birthing options include squatting, hands-and-knees, water-birth, and side-lying. Depending on what you are hoping for, check with your OB/midwife if they are doing non-supine positions.
  7. How would you want the placenta to be handled? Delayed cord-clamping, placenta-encapsulation or cord blood banking are options to consider.
  8. Would you like to have your newborn on your chest right away? Or are you planning on seeing the baby after it’s cleaned up.
  9. Are you okay with your baby getting medications/shots after birth? Some US states require a Hepatitis B vaccination after birth. Vitamin K shots are mandatory, while antibiotic eye-cream for your little one can usually be discussed. Make sure you know before the birth what your baby will be getting.

Though this may feel like a daunting and extensive list, work through the questions with your birth team to craft the birthing experience that you want and are comfortable with.  Knowing what you want is the first step in creating the experience you want.

Stephanie Heintzeler

Stephanie Heintzeler is a German educated midwife, acupuncturist and US-educated doula. Born in New York City but raised in Germany, Stephanie found her enthusiasm for midwifery at 12 years old when her brother was born. She successfully finished her midwifery-exam in 2000 in the Black Forest of Germany. After moving back to New York in 2003, her book “New Yorker Geschichten” (“New York Stories”) was published, and she then began her own Doula business after becoming certified with DONA in 2006. For more information, visit her website:

9 Tips For A Naturally Beautiful Pregnancy: Tips From Our Founder

January 21, 2015

Pregnant with her second baby, our CEO & Founder Grace Lee  knows how important it is take care of what goes in and on your body during pregnancy. This week, Grace shares with you her 9 tips on how to “green” your pregnancy:

mind body green

A touch of makeup or a spritz of perfume can be the perfect pick-me-up when you’re pregnant and want to feel extra pampered. But are the products you’re using safe for you and your baby?

According to the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics, “American women use [an average of] 12 personal care products a day,” meaning they’re “likely to be exposed daily to 126 unique chemical ingredients in personal care products alone.”

A growing number of studies have shown that common chemicals in everyday personal care products, such as shampoo, makeup and moisturizers, are associated with developmental, reproductive and behavioral disorders, hormone disruption and cancer.

Making simple and easy changes to your beauty routine will go a long way in helping detoxify your pregnancy.

1. Switch to sulfate-free haircare products.

Products with sulfates have the risk of being contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and nitrosamines, two known carcinogens. Opt for a natural, sulfate-free haircare routine that uses natural ingredients like coconut-derived soaps like Nine Naturals Citrus + Mint Nourishing Pregnancy Shampoo and Conditioner – the products are 100% plant-based, safe for pregnancy and the citrus and mint fragrance was specially designed to fight fatigue and nausea!

2. Use 100% natural sunscreen.

Safe sun protection is especially important for pregnant women. Due to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, a woman’s skin becomes extremely sensitive to the sun, which can lead to hyperpigmentation and/or malasma. However, many ingredients in drugstore sunscreens may be harmful to use during pregnancy, so choosing the right kind of sun protection is critical.

Protect your skin by using a broad-spectrum, 100% natural sunscreen that is rated SPF 30 or higher, including Nine Naturals Natural Sunscreen SPF 32, which features the non-toxic, non-nano natural mineral, zinc-oxide, as the primary ingredient to help protect your skin naturally.

3. Treat acne naturally.

Your body is doing some hard work and going through a dramatic physical transformation during pregnancy. For many women, this can result in acne. Treat it naturally by washing your face twice daily to keep your pores from clogging, minimizing your dairy and sugar intake, exercising to help detoxify your skin and using natural makeup products.

4. Opt for aluminum-free deodorant.

Many pregnant women report an increase in body odor during pregnancy and a heightened sense of smell (which can also give the impression of increased body odor). Most over the counter antiperspirants and deodorants contain aluminum, which studies have been linked to developmental defects such as behavioral and neurological issues. Combat body odor safely and naturally by using Nine Naturals Unscented Natural Deodorant.

5. Moisturize twice daily to keep stretch marks at bay.

Dry, itchy skin is a common discomfort during pregnancy as not only bellies, but hips, thighs and breasts expand and stretch the skin. Moisturize twice a day with products that use organic and natural butters and plant oils, such as Natural Belly Oil and Vanilla + Geranium Replenishing Belly Butter. These natural ingredients have powerful moisture retention and healing properties to keep your skin soft and nourished!

6. Drink water.

Beauty comes from the inside and out, so drink up! In addition to supporting your skin’s health, drinking water will maintain hydration and help promote your energy levels and positive mood. It’ll also keep skin hydrated and help prevent those pesky stretch marks.

7. Ditch the nail polish.

Many nail polishes contain potentially harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, all of which have been linked to cancer and developmental disorders. Ditch the polish and buff your nails for shine. If you can’t part with your weekly mani/pedi, use pregnancy-safe nail polish brands that are “five-free,” meaning formulated without dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor.

8. Skip the hair dye.

The question of coloring your hair when pregnant has been a debate among mothers and medical experts for years. Hair dyes contain questionable chemicals that can be absorbed into the skin or inhaled, including coal tar, ammonia and PPD. For these nine months, embrace you natural hair color and get creative with fun hairstyles.

9. Make sure your perfume is safe.

Fragrances can contain a slew of chemicals that you want to avoid during pregnancy, including phthalates and musk. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to forgo spritzing your skin with a scent. Use an all-natural perfume that’s crafted from steam-distilled essential oils and doesn’t contain parabens, phthalates, synthetics, propylene glycol or dyes.

Prenatal Nutrition Before, During And After Pregnancy

January 19, 2015

Prenatal Nutrition Before, During and After Pregnancy

Most women start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as they discover they are pregnant, but the truth is prenatal vitamins and a balanced diet protect the health of your baby long before you even conceive.  While a good prenatal vitamin is not a substitute for a healthy diet, the benefits to you and your unborn child are many.


Ensuring your body is at its healthiest before getting pregnant will provide your baby with the best possible start in life.  It is recommended that you start taking a prenatal vitamin before getting pregnant to ensure you are getting all of the nutrients essential to healthy fetal growth and development.

The benefits of minerals like calcium, iron, and folic acid in particular cannot be overlooked, and a prenatal vitamin contains all of these in amounts that many women find difficult to gain through diet alone.

Prevention of Birth Defects

Prenatal vitamins have been proven to help prevent certain types of birth defects.  In fact, taking a prenatal before and during your pregnancy can reduce the risk of birth defects by 50 – 70%.   Folic Acid which is considered to be the most crucial of all as it helps to protect your baby from neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly.  These types of birth defects typically occur in the first 30 days of pregnancy at which point many women have yet to even discover they’re pregnant.  Again, why it’s important to begin taking vitamins containing folic acid prior to becoming pregnant.  In addition to providing protection from neural tube defects, folic acid is also thought to lower the risk of heart defects as well as cleft palate, and may also reduce the risk of preterm birth, and a condition called preeclampsia for Mom.  Recent studies have also shown that children of women with less iron intake throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding had five times the risk of developing autism than those whose mothers had sufficient levels.

Added Protection Against Miscarriage

Some studies suggest a link between iron deficiency and miscarriage.  Iron helps to build the placenta that supports and protects your baby throughout your pregnancy, and is also required to help structure fetal bones and tissues.  Ensuring adequate levels of iron may  help prevent preterm birth, and low birth weight.

Support Healthy Fetal Development and Protect Your Own Health

Minerals like calcium are required to support the development of your baby’s teeth, bones, heart, nerves and muscles.  If you aren’t getting adequate amounts of calcium while pregnant, your own stores will be diverted leading to potential health problems for you as your body will automatically supplement your baby’s calcium needs by drawing it from your bones.  This results in reduced bone density and puts you at an increased risk of osteoporosis.  Pregnancy and breastfeeding place tremendous demands on your body and can also deplete your omega-3 fatty acids.  Prenatal DHA can help replenish your levels of fatty acids which are found in high concentrations in your baby’s brain and eyes.  Studies show that infants born to mothers with higher blood levels of DHA have advanced attention spans well into their second year of life.  During the first six months of life, these same babies had attention spans that were two months ahead developmentally of those babies whose mothers had lower DHA levels.

Protect the Future Health of Your Baby

Prenatal vitamins along with a healthy diet may protect the future health of your child.  Although a definitive link has not been established, there is some evidence that suggests a lack of essential minerals during pregnancy can be linked to cognitive deficiencies, impaired growth, as well as attention deficit disorders and behavioral problems.

Lactation and Recovery

Once your little one has arrived your body will need to recover.  Since taking care of a newborn requires most of mom’s energy, it’s sometimes difficult to find the time to cook healthy meals.   Keep easy, nutritious snacks around like fruits, nuts and fresh veggies to help fill in the gaps.  For good milk production, women need plenty of water and nutrients to keep up with the demands of a hungry baby.  It may not be easy to remember to take your prenatal once you are no longer pregnant, but it is equally as important as when you first started your journey into motherhood.

While prenatal vitamins are not meant to fully replace a healthy diet, they promote good nutrition to support a healthy pregnancy and ensure the proper development of your growing baby.

Things We’ve Read: Week of January 12th, 2014

January 17, 2015

Pregnancy News Nine Naturals Things We've Read

Meryl Streep Shares 1980 Golden Globes Breastfeeding Fiasco (HuffPost): Meryl Streep recounts a breastfeeding mishap she experienced at the 1980 Golden Globes.

Woman who didn’t know she was pregnant gives birth to 10-pound baby (CBS News): Katie Kropas gave birth to a baby girl hours after discovering she was pregnant.

Kourtney Kardashian Is All About Placenta Pills (Glamour): Kourtney Kardashian and other celebrity moms are swearing behind placenta pills and the potential health benefits they can supply.

Why U.S. Women Are Leaving Jobs Behind (NYT): Since becoming a mother, Melinda Moyer has noticed a major difference in the lives of her friends in the U.S. versus her friends in her native England.

Replaced While on Maternity Leave: What’s Legal, What’s Not? (Yahoo): An explanation into when pregnancy discrimination is present in the layoff of a pregnant worker and how technicalities of large-scale layoffs mean an expectant mother is still at risk of losing her job.

North Carolina woman fights pregnancy discrimination (CBS News): When Jamie Cole was given orders by her doctor to stop lifting patients in her final trimester of pregnancy, her employer discontinued her work shifts. Now, Jamie is taking her pregnancy discrimination suit to the Supreme Court.

Why Facebook parenting can backfire (CNN): Writer Kelly Wallace questions whether using social media to help parent is a positive and effective parenting resource, or all-around inappropriate.

Phthalates and Pregnancy: The Risks of Prenatal Exposure (Seventh Generation): A new study sheds additional light on the dangers of phthalates. The research showed that the higher the levels of phthalates mothers are exposed to during their pregnancy, the lower the children’s testing scores on intelligence tests.

#PregnancyPicks: Grace’s Must Have Beauty Products

January 16, 2015

We were over the moon to announce that our CEO & Founder Grace was pregnant with Baby #2! Grace is excited to share her pregnancy journey with the Nine Naturals community – from favorite baby gear to must have beauty buys, each week Grace will share with you her favorite #PregnancyPicks to surviving pregnancy in style!

This week, Grace lets us in on the must have natural beauty products that help her look (and feel) beautiful!

Vanilla + Geranium Replenishing Belly Butter ($35): As your baby grows, your skin is doing some hard work! During pregnancy, I make sure to take extra care of my belly and nourish it with this rich belly butter. The scent is heavenly and doesn't offend my oh-so-sensitive nose!
Natural Belly Oil ($36): The perfect beauty routine to fight stretch marks incorporates both creams and oils to hydrate and heal your skin. Our Natural Belly Oil is luxurious and deeply healing. It features tamanu oil, which is rich in fatty acids and revered as a safe, natural remedy for a host of skin conditions, including dry skin, stretch marks and scars. I love that it moisturizes well but doesn't leave my belly feeling greasy afterwards!
Eminence Organics Yarrow Oil ($24): In the evenings, I love to use a combination of oils and creams to moisturize my face and body, especially during the winter months. In the evenings, after washing off my makeup, I use Eminence Yarrow Oil, before applying my face cream. It helps to re-moisturize my skin overnight and I can see the difference in the morning when I wake up!
Vapour Elixir Lip Pumping Lip Gloss in Honor ($22): I love using this all natural lip gloss in the color, Honor - it gives my lips the right hint of color and shine. I feel good applying this lip gloss knowing I'm not ingesting harmful chemicals!
RMS Living Luminizer ($38): Towards the end of a long week, I start looking a little less refreshed. I love RMS Beauty’s all-natural Living Luminizer - dab a little around the eyes and it instantly brightens up your look to  give you the appearance of a full night’s sleep!

Nine Naturals Founder Video: Watch The Story Behind The Brand

January 15, 2015

Nine Naturals is now available at Credo Beauty, an all natural beauty destination that only carries products free of known harmful ingredients or animal byproducts! Credo Beauty interviewed our amazing CEO & Founder Grace Lee on the inspiration behind the brand. View Grace’s founder’s video and learn about the Nine Naturals story!

Why It’s Important To Wear Sunscreen In The Winter

January 14, 2015

Why It’s Important To Wear Sunscreen In The Winter

You may have heard that it’s important to wear sunscreen every day, even in the winter… but is this really true? In a word: Yes!

Ultraviolet, or UV, rays from the sun damage your skin year-round, accelerating the aging process, harming the immune system and causing cellular damage that can lead to scary things like skin cancer. And believe it or not, the winter months, when the ozone is at its thinnest and the Earth — contrary to popular belief — is actually closer to the sun, are some of the year’s worst offenders. Factor in reflective glare from snow and ice, and your skin is up against a serious seasonal challenge. Even gray days don’t let you off the hook; 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays make their way through clouds, so although you might not need your summertime shades, you definitely do still need to wear sunscreen.

Unfortunately, most common sunscreens contain harmful ingredients like oxybenxone and avovenzone. They’re hard to pronounce… and even harder on your body. These toxic substances can cause allergic skin reactions, disrupt hormone balances, and even release free radicals (that’s right — cancer-causing molecules) when exposed to UV rays. What’s worse, these toxins penetrate the skin barrier and enter the bloodstream, thereby negatively affecting the entire body. For this reason, it’s important for everyone, but especially pregnant women, to avoid these harmful chemicals, especially in products that are intended to be protective.

So what’s a mama-to-be to do? Here’s the good news: Nine Naturals Natural Sunscreen SPF 32 contains just eight natural, luxurious ingredients. They’re all perfectly easy to pronounce, and, more importantly, they’ll protect — and nourish — your skin, keeping you (and your baby!) protected on the daily.

  • Non-Nano Zinc Oxide offers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
  • Vitamin E works as an antioxidant while conditioning skin.
  • Jojoba Seed Oil and creamy Shea Butter keep skin moist and healthy, so its natural protective properties can function at their best.

And because our sunscreen is sulfate-, paraben-, phthalate-, BPA-, triclosan-, DEA-, and petrochemical-free, with no artificial chemicals, dyes or synthetic fragrances, it’s a worry-free winner for every member of the family. So get on out there, mama, and enjoy that winter sun.

Natural Sunscreen SPF 32

Our Newest Product: Nine Naturals CEO & Founder Is Pregnant!

January 13, 2015

Launching new products is like birthing babies to us at Nine Naturals. But we get especially excited when an actual baby joins our team. Our founder Grace is pregnant! And we’re thrilled to meet the new baby in June! Grace is excited to share her pregnancy journey with the Nine Naturals community – follow Nine Naturals on Facebook and Instagram for her updates!


Eating for Om

January 12, 2015

6 ways that food can help reduce anxiety during pregnancy.

eating for om

Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

It’s no surprise that pregnancy can be a jumble of emotions, including anxiety and nervousness. After all, so much of the experience is in the realm of the unknown, and what to expect–especially for first-time moms–is all is quite unpredictable.

There are a variety of tools we can use when it comes to calming the mind, including yoga and meditation, sleep, time outdoors, finding and relying on support from others, and taking mental health days off work when possible. Did you know, though, that certain foods–in addition to nourishing your growing little one–could also bring a little calmness and levelness to your world?

Here are 6 tips to eat your way to a healthy body and quiet mind.

1. Eat often enough to keep your body fueled. A body that thinks it’s starving can’t keep calm: it will keep a vigilant watch for fuel, and this hyper-aware, hyper-hungry state produces many of the same internal responses as high-stress survival situations.

2. Eat non-starchy fresh veggies. Veggies are an essential part of a whole foods diet, and many of the minerals they contain (like calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc), as well as Vitamins A, B, C, E and K play a substantial role in mood regulation and emotional well-being. When the body identifies its nutritional bases are covered, it more easily settles into calmness, rather than panic that the food supply might be running out. Four or more 1-cup servings per day is a great place to start.

3. Eat quality proteins. Protein provides the body with amino acids that are the building blocks for many of the neurotransmitters circulating in our brains that control anxiety. Wild-caught fish, free-range eggs and vegan proteins like hemp, brown rice, legumes and fermented soy are great sources, as are pastured meats and organic dairy.

4. Eat healthy fats. Fats are key for the nervous system, hormonal health and many other physiological processes that underscore anxiety. Not only do these help the body absorb vitamins from other foods, but they tell the oldest part of our brain that food is plentiful: when there is fat, the body knows we are not in the middle of a famine and won’t turn on survival-panic mode. Play with coconut oil and milk, avocado, olive oil, flax seeds, walnuts and other nuts, fish and full-fat organic dairy.

5. Incorporate zinc and B-Vitamins. These play a role in balancing the body and allowing the system to feel calm. (In fact, a deficiency in either of these has been linked to depression and agoraphobia, so particularly during pregnancy when hormones are all over the place, it can pay off to be aware of these nutrients.) Great sources of zinc include grass-fed organic red meat, pastured chicken, wild-caught fish, soaked/roasted grains and nuts, pumpkin seeds, miso, mushrooms, and broccoli. We find Vitamin B in grass-fed organic meat, potatoes, bananas, chiles, carrots, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, brown rice, quinoa, blackstrap molasses and nutritional yeast.

6. Avoid sugar, caffeine, processed foods and refined grains. As much as your cravings will allow, try to stick away from these. The up-and-down effect they have on blood sugar is jarring to the system and can actually make the body feel like it’s having an anxiety attack when it’s not. An even, calm mind doesn’t run well on the erratic energy provided by processed or high-sugar foods. Swap in whole grains and gentle sugars from fruit or root vegetables.

This article is by Amy Height, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.