• Relieve Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy - PROnatal Fitness

    nine naturals pronatal fitness pregnancy back painIt probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that back pain is the #1 most frequent complaint during pregnancy.  What you may not realize, though, is that there are actually different types of back pain, and understanding what type of pain you have is the key to appropriately addressing it – and getting some relief!

    Lower back pain, one of two primary back pain types during pregnancy, is defined as pain felt in the lumbar area only.  This is the area in your lower back where your spine curves inward toward your abdomen (below your bra line and above your hip bones).

    What causes it: As your belly grows, it tends to tip your pelvis forward and essentially pull your back into an excessive lower back arch, which puts a great deal of pressure on your back.   

    How to prevent or treat it: The following tips can help prevent and/or soothe lower back pain:

    • Strengthen your inner abdominal and glute muscles!  These muscles are responsible for supporting your back, and helping you resist that lower back arch. Practice Belly Breathing & TVA holds for your inner abdominal muscle (your TVA), and perform Floor Bridges to strengthen your glute muscles.
    • Watch your posture: If you notice yourself sitting or standing with that arch in your back, try to correct for it by tucking your tailbone under a bit.  The goal is to make sure the bottom of your ribcage is in line with your hip bones when sitting and standing.  
    • Avoid slouching, and use good back support: Slouching also places excess strain on your back, so practice sitting tall with your feet flat on the floor and the bottom of your rib cage in line with your hip bones.  If you sit for long periods of time -- like at work -- it is best to set your chair up with proper back support to help you stay upright, yet comfortable.  
    • Keep weight gain in check: Excess weight puts more strain on the back.
    • Wear proper footwear: Both high heels and no heels put increased strain on your back.  It is best to wear either a 1-inch heel, or cushioned rubber sole shoes with good arch support, to keep your body in proper alignment.
    • Sleep on a firm mattress: Or, if you don’t want to invest in a new mattress, you can try placing a board under your current mattress.  Another option is to invest in a pregnancy body pillow (at least 5 feet long) to help minimize stress along the back during sleep.
    • Perform gentle stretches: Gentle mobility exercises to release tension in the lower back can provide some temporary relief.  The common “Cat/Cow” pose is a great exercise to relieve low back tension.  To perform, go into the all 4s hands and knees position,and then inhale as you arch your back slightly, and exhale as you slowly round your back up.    
    • Use cold or warm for soothing: If back pain is bad, try applying an ice pack on your lower back in 10-15 minute increments.  Taking a warm bath can also help.  Just ensure the water is not too hot, especially during the first trimester, as you must avoid getting your body temperature over 102° F.
    • Consider a massage, chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture: All these treatments have the potential to provide tremendous relief.  Just ensure the professional is certified to work with pregnant women, as this does require special training.

    Written by Brittany Citron, a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, and a pre/postnatal exercise specialist. She is also the founder of PROnatal Fitness,  which offers prenatal and postpartum group fitness classes, personal training, and Diastasis Recti rehabilitation — all developed with input from experts in the fitness, medical, and healthcare fields. Brittany lives in Manhattan with her husband and 3-year old son, and a little girl on the way!


  • 5 Solutions for the Commitment-Phobe Mom

    Bookmark these new mom must-haves before you change your mind.

    Article & Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Having a baby’s just about the most permanent thing you can do out there. But deep breaths, mama. That doesn’t mean you have to change your commitment-phobic ways. For the wishy-washy among us, we’ve rounded up 5 ways you can keep on flip-flopping through motherhood, in the best way possible.

    Chasing Paper for Nursery
    1. Nursery Decor: Chasing Paper Removable Wallpaper If the thought of decorating your nursery is leaving you paralyzed in fear (of changing your mind, that is), try Chasing Paper’s removable wallpaper on for style. No need to decide between pink or green, hearts or unicorns, woodland cool or desert chic — now you can peel, stick and then remove to your heart’s content. We’re also pretty obsessed with the whimsical prints, including collections from some of our fave baby designers like June & January and Gingiber.

    pley rental toys

    2. Baby Toys: Pley Rental Library
    We know you want your babe to have the latest and greatest, but we also know that no matter how much space you’ve got, you don’t want it overrun with baby toys. Avoid having to decide which ball or blocks or singing books make the cut with a toy rental service like Pley. Just set your preferences, pick your plan and get toys delivered to your door on the regular. Send them back when baby’s bored and get a new array of toys that meet baby’s developmental stage.


    3. Baby Activities: Kidpass Membership
    There’s so many cool baby classes out there, but dang are they rough on the pocketbook! Still, how can you enroll in just one? What if your babe was destined to be a professional aerialist, if only you enrolled her in that baby acrobatics class? Or a world-class DJ, if only you had him spinning at 6 months? Kidpass lets you pay one monthly fee and hit up tons of different classes around town. Options include thousands of activities from arts & crafts classes to indoor playspaces, from sports to music lessons, from ballet to museums and zoos, and more.

    Mac & Mia

    4. Baby Clothes: Mac & Mia Clothing Boxes
    If you’re spending way too many naptimes hemming and hawing over which bonnet would just make the perfect Instagram-worthy outfit for your baby, you’re gonna love Mac & Mia’s handpicked kids’ clothing boxes. Think LeTote for kids — a personal stylist chooses 6-8 items just for your little one, and you keep what you love and send back what you don’t. Which means less time wasted shopping and more naptime….for mama.


    5. Mama’s Night Out: Sitter Babysitting App
    After all that decision-making, mama, you deserve a night out. But as usual, you couldn’t quite decide what you wanted to do or where you wanted to go until the very last minute possible. Which didn’t leave you much time to find a babysitter. The Sitter app will help you find a babysitter on demand by sending out a request to all your sitters to figure out who’s available for your much-needed (but last-minute) jaunt. Sitter also helps you build a network of possible sitters through your friends, and books and pays those sitters right through the app.

    This article is by Jessica Pallay, 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.

  • Things We've Read: Week of April 25th, 2016

    Things We've Read | Nine Naturals

    Why We're Obsessed With Ogling New Moms (The Cut): "The truth is that we're still not that comfortable with the realities of childbirth, nor are we that comfortable with actual women's bodies."

    Simplifying Childhood May Protect Against Mental Health Issues (Raised Good): "Childhood serves a very real purpose. It’s there to protect and develop young minds so they can grow into healthy and happy adults"

    For A New Mom, Relentless Fatigue Could Signal A Thyroid Problem (NY Times): "If you don't start to feel normal once the baby's sleep schedule stabilizes, it's worth getting your thyroid checked. A simple blood test can make all the difference."

    In IVF, Questions About 'Mosaic' Embryos (NY Times): New high-resolution, next-generation sequencing shows that about 20% of embryos have both normal and abnormal cells.

    Why Becoming Parents Makes People Better Employees (Fast Company): "A new mom has superpowers and tremendous advantages as a result of this new identity - it’s why hiring managers should be looking at new moms as prospective MVPs."

    The Right To Privacy For Children Online (NY Times): There are no specific restrictions concerning what parents share about their own children.

    Generation X's Parenting Problem (Huff Post): "And like the generations of parents that came before us, we’re all making it up as we go along."

    Here's One Thing That Chrissy Teigen WASN'T Expecting After Having A Baby (Brit+Co): and what push present she bought for herself.

    16 Years Ago, A Doctor Published A Study. It Was Completely Made Up, And It Made Us All Sicker (Upworthy): "After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up."

  • Safe Ab Work For Pregnancy - PROnatal Fitness

    Written by Brittany Citron, a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, and a pre/postnatal exercise specialist. She is also the founder of PROnatal Fitness,  which offers prenatal and postpartum group fitness classes, personal training, and Diastasis Recti rehabilitation — all developed with input from experts in the fitness, medical, and healthcare fields. Brittany lives in Manhattan with her husband and 3-year old son, and a little girl on the way!

    safe ab work for pregnancy

    Thinking you should avoid any sort of core work during pregnancy because of that bump? Actually the opposite is true. Proper core training during pregnancy can be the key to less pain and injuries during pregnancy, an easier labor, and faster recovery! There is a right and wrong way to train your core, though. Follow these tips to help you strengthen your core in the most effective way during pregnancy. Of course, as with any activity during pregnancy, always check with your doctor first!

    What to Focus On
    The key to proper core training during pregnancy is to focus on your innermost core muscles – with the #1 most important muscle being your transverse abdominis (AKA your body’s “inner girdle”). This muscle wraps around your entire mid-section — literally like a girdle — and is responsible for supporting your back (which means less low back pain!) and stabilizing your entire body (which means less chance for pregnancy-induced pains and injuries).

    It’s also the muscle you’ll use to push your baby out (which could mean an easier labor with less chance of needing a C-section). Beyond all this, the stronger your transverse abdominis (TVA) muscle is, the less likely you are to develop Diastasis Recti (a separation of the rectus abdominis muscle that can often occur during pregnancy).

    The other important core muscles to strengthen are the often forgotten muscles of your pelvic floor (AKA, the “floor of your core”). These muscles form a sling at the bottom of your core and are responsible for not only controlling when you pee, but also for holding up all your pelvic organs — including your uterus, which will expand to about 500 times its original size! Obviously your pelvic floor muscles get a great deal of pressure placed on them over 9 months, which can weaken them — leading to things like incontinence (that accidental peeing during coughing, laughing, or sneezing), or not-fun pregnancy pains like sacroiliac joint pain, sciatica, or pubic symphysis dysfunction. Strong pelvic floor muscles help to stabilize your hips and back, prevent pains and injuries, and of course, prevent that annoying accidental peeing.

    What to Avoid
    During your first 3-4 months of pregnancy, you can typically maintain any traditional abdominal work you had been doing prior to pregnancy, as long as it feels ok. However, once you begin to develop an obvious belly (usually around the 5th month), you should avoid the following 4 things:

    1. Crunching or twisting movements: These movements place excessive pressure on your outer abdominal wall and could increase your chance of getting Diastasis Recti. This means not only avoiding those sit-ups and crunches, but also avoiding crunching or twisting movements in your everyday life! So, try to remember to sit up straight (slouching is crunching!), role to your side first when transitioning from sitting up to lying down (and vice versa), and strive to keep your back flat when you bend over.
    2. Lying flat on your belly: Ok this is a pretty obvious one. You probably don’t need to be told this, as it would be pretty uncomfortable anyway!
    3.  Lying still and flat on your back: Your doctor has probably told you this one. You can always use a wedge or stability ball to place you at more of an angle.
    4.  Full planks (once belly is larger): Planks can be a great core exercise IF you have the strength to keep your core properly engaged (belly button drawing into the spine) the entire time you hold them.  If you perform planks without proper core engagement, they do more damage than good — putting a lot of strain on your back.  If you have good core strength, you may be able to perform full planks for a while into your pregnancy.  However, once your belly is large, it becomes extremely hard to engage your core in a full plank (not to mention your belly gets in the way!).  To modify, try placing your knees on the ground, or pull back to the All 4s hands and knees position.  HINT: When doing any abdominal work, be on the lookout for a vertical “torpedo-like” protrusion (almost like a mountain) down the center of your abdomen.  If you see this, this is a sign of Diastasis Recti, so you’ll need to pull back from whatever movement that causes you to see this (and instead focus on exercises #1 and #2 below!).

    Here’s one exercise to try now: Belly Breathing & TVA Holds.

    Before you begin any core work, it’s important to first master the technique of how to engage your TVA muscle (because any core exercise performed without engaging your TVA is ineffective at best, or potentially even damaging). To practice the technique of engaging your TVA, try this move (or actually combination of 2 moves).

    How to do it:

    • Sit up tall in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, shoulders rolled down and back.
    • Take a deep inhale through your nose, allowing your belly and your rib cage to expand with air (not your chest!). Then, exhale through pursed lips as you draw your belly button back in toward your spine as far as you can – staying lifted and tall.
    • Repeat this “Belly Breathing” technique a few times through slowly (taking 2-3 seconds to inhale and 3-4 seconds to exhale).
    • After about 5-7 slow breaths, take another inhale, but this time on the exhale, hold your belly button into your spine for 15 – 30 seconds. Continue to breathe lightly through your nose as you keep your belly button engaged and pulled into your spine.
    • Work to where you can hold this position up to 30 seconds. This is a “TVA Hold.” As these holds get easier, you can progress to doing them standing, and even while walking.

    For more details on this technique as well as a progression of 6 other highly beneficial prenatal and postpartum core exercises, try these moves for a stronger core!


  • Feng Shui In Your Nursery

    7 ways to create a soothing environment for baby.

    feng shui for baby

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    It is our job as parents to provide baby with a soothing environment, and we can easily achieve creating a serene space by utilizing Feng Shui. Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese philosophy and art of understanding and harmonizing the energy surrounding us. The term literally means “wind-water” and aims to invite positive energy into a space, allowing it to organically flow. This is so important in the nursery because the energy your baby is surrounded by effects their mental, physical and social development .

    One way to achieve this is by incorporating the nursery with a balance of the five Feng Shui elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. The incorporation of these elements can be done with clutter clearing, colors, furniture placement, fresh air, soothing lighting, pleasing scents, and the introduction of auspicious objects. Of course, the most important consideration in creating a positive, peaceful nursery is filling it with your presence and love.

    Here are 7 ways you can incorporate Feng Shui into baby’s living space.

    1. Clutter-Clear. Clutter sucks our energy. If you don’t love it, or use it regularly- release it. We want all your belongings to make you feel good. Find a home for everything- this prevents the “random stuff” pile that stagnates energy. Do a “stuff sweep” at the end of every day. Turn on some music and return all belongings to their home. You’ll sleep better and wake up energized for the day ahead.
    2. Carefully Choose Color Scheme. Skin tones are peaceful and provide a clean canvas for fun pops of color. If neutrals are too boring for you, select a soft tone of your favorite color. The most important consideration is that the colors in the space make you feel good.

    Here’s a colorful breakdown:

    • Soft yellows promote cheerfulness and a sense of connectedness.
    • Light greens and blues represent nature and growth. Green inspires mental development while blue inspires calm. The two colors are beneficial to the child’s development throughout all stages of growth.
    • Pink hues encourage curiosity and creativity.
    • Red is very stimulating. Only bring it out during play-time.
    1. Consider Furniture Placement. Wood is the best material for nursery furniture as it is the symbol of life and growth. It is also very grounding. Aim to avoid placing the crib flush against a wall (unless the wall is directly behind baby’s head) so the energy can circulate around baby. This also helps to prevent baby from accessing cords from blinds, or other hazards. Finally, have minimal furniture in the room to promote spaciousness and exploration.
    2. Promote Good Air Quality. Fresh air is ideal. When the weather is nice, open the windows. If baby is mobile, place a guard in the window to prevent falls. Tabletop rock fountains (placed out of baby’s reach) can humidify and cleanse the air. Opt for a small palm—they are great air purifying houseplants.
    3. Happy Lighting. Natural lighting is optimal. In the evening, it is best to have three sources of lighting at three different levels. For example, two small table top lamps and a secure floor lamp. When it’s bedtime, turn on a gentle night-light. (Pink Himalayan Salt Crystal lamps provide a nice glow and calming energy.) Steer clear of overhead and fluorescent lighting.
    4. Utilize Essential Oils. Place an essential oil diffuser in the nursery with a mixture of lavender and chamomile essential oils when it’s bed-time (3 to 6 drops of each). Use peppermint, or another stimulating scent of choice, when it’s playtime. You can also mix a few drops of essential oil with carrier oil like Jojoba or coconut oil and massage it on the soles of baby’s feet. A few drops of orange essential oil will quell unpleasant odors coming from a diaper pail.
    5. Incorporate Mirrors, Chimes, and Crystals. These three items promote a positive free flowing energy:
    • Mirrors enhance natural light and baby’s social development. If it’s going to be on baby’s level make sure it is baby-safe.
    • Windchimes hung near a window stimulate the positive energies in the nursery, along with baby’s curiosity.
    • Hanging a small light refracting crystal in a window invites magic, kindness, and warmth into the nursery.

    This article is by Bailey Gaddis, 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.

  • Things We've Read: Week of April 18th, 2016

    Things We've Read | Nine Naturals

    The C-Section Problem Nobody Talks About (Refinery29): "When offered the choice between risk to their unborn baby and risk to themselves, they chose taking on the risk in an effort to protect the baby. If that isn’t the essence of motherhood, I don’t know what is."

    Flu Shot During Pregnancy May Reduce Risk of Stillbirths (NY Times): A new study suggests the risk of stillbirth was lower in vaccinated women than in the unvaccinated.

    Moms Of Twins' Viral Crib Safety PSA Offers Important Warning (Huff Post): Be careful with the crib arrangement!

    For New Parents, Dad May Be The One Missing The Most Sleep (NPR): "The women didn't think the men were as sleep deprived as the men felt, and the men thought the women were moodier than the women felt."

    John Oliver Uses 'Sesame Street' To Explain The Irreparable Damage Of Lead Poisoning (Mic): "America didn't take the concept of lead poisoning seriously enough until the '70s and '80s, when irreparable damage was already in place."

    Chris Hemsworth Explained Gender Fluidity To His 4-Year-Old (Refinery29): "You can be whatever you want to be."

    Before-And-After Photos of Kids Show Why Organ Donation Is So Important (Huff Post): In awareness of April as National Donate Life month

    Where's The Magic In Family Dinner? (NY Times): The advantages and effects of family mealtimes

  • How to Baby-Proof Your Life -- Brought to You By Ovia


    Ovuline is helping millions of women and families take control of their healthcare. Our mobile apps and health programs offer personalized support for each user's unique journey from fertility to pregnancy and parenting.

    When Baby starts crawling or walking, anything in your house is fair game. They love exploring, touching, and tasting everything your home has to offer. Everyday items you never gave a second thought to become hazards. Here’s a guide to keeping your home safe from the moment your little one comes home from the hospital:

    Start with the basics. Double check that your home has all the basics that keep everyone in the home safe: A functioning fire extinguisher, smoke alarms, and carbon-monoxide detectors in case of emergency. Then create safe spaces by gating off stairs, ensuring all electrical outlets are covered, and keeping any toxic substances up high and out of reach.

    Reorganize your kitchen. Cooking can be distracting, so making sure that there aren't hazards within Baby's reach while your back is turned is so important. Safe items like plastic containers, paper towels, and sponges can live on lower shelves, while anything sharp or suffocation (think sharp utensils, plastic bags) need to be placed out of arm's reach. Appliances that aren't in use should be kept unplugged, with their cords kept on the counter. Consider plastic latches for cabinets or covers for stove knobs so she doesn’t play with fire!

    Secure your furniture. While baby's playing around the house, keep in mind all the surfaces she could accidentally bump! Any table or chair with a sharp corner should be covered with a cushioned guard. Shelves, frames, and TVs should be mounted so as not to fall. Any electrical cords or pulls for your window blinds should be out of reach as well.

    Prep the bathroom. This is a place where baby should be watched at all times. A vital safety mantra to remember is simply to never take your eyes off of her while you're both in here. Water, slippery surfaces—it all requires your attention.  Consider latches for your medicine cabinet as well as a toilet seat lock.

    Double check everything in the nursery. Keep in mind that while toys may be cute and snuggly, they do pose a hazard to those under 6 months old. Ensure that there aren't stuffed animals left in the crib and that sheets are fit as tight as possible to keep from suffocating your little one. A mobile hanging over the crib is fine as long as no small parts are able to fall into the sleeping area. And as for the crib itself, although vintage cribs may fit into your nursery's aesthetic, some may not meet new safety guidelines! Double check to ensure there are no dangerous openings or faulty side drops.

    Don't forget the little things. So many things float around our homes that we don't give a second thought to: paperclips, bobby pins, thumbtacks… and once baby comes they all need their place! Being cognizant of this and using care to make sure these items aren't loose will eliminate the dangers of baby getting her hands (and mouth) on them. 

    Take a little time during your pregnancy to look around your house in the mindset of a crawling or walking toddler. Every item is a new discovery that needs to be investigated! You should create a forgiving environment for all your little one’s epic journeys around the house. 


  • TODAY Style: Nine Naturals - Beauty Products To Save Your Pregnancy Skin

    today.com beauty pregnancy

    Pregnancy glow is not as magical as it sounds. As Rachel Greenberg from TODAY Style says, "not everyone is blessed with this prenatal perk" as she described the skin ailments she faced. In her list of the 15 beauty products she recommends to create your pregnancy glow, she included our very own Nine Naturals' Simply Natural Lip Balm.

    Natural lip balm

    This was what she had to say about our lip balm: "Trust was essential for a product that I used multiple times a day, and I felt totally comfortable with this pregnancy beauty brand's natural lip balm."

    Thanks Rachel and TODAY Style - glad to hear you loved our lip balm! Head over to TODAY Style to see her other recommendations to achieve your own natural, dewy pregnancy look.

  • 12 Eco-Friendly Baby Feeding Products

    12 eco-friendly feeding products that are gentle to baby and the earth.

    eco-friendly baby feeding

    Article & Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    It’s not easy being green, especially when there’s a baby in the house. Our little ones may be small, but they often end up leaving a big carbon footprint. At the dinner table, baby can have a big impact on Mother Nature, and it is up to us, parents and eco-friendly consumers, to lower the environmental cost of having a tiny mouth to feed.

    So what’s a mama to do? Four words: when possible, avoid plastic. Plastic is light and cheap, and there’s a lot of it in the baby feeding aisle. It is also durable and doesn’t just go away. It ends up in landfills, invades natural habitats, and injures wildlife. Plastic isn’t too kind to baby either. It contains chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA) – a plasticizer that is known to disrupt our hormone system and be linked to a long list of serious health problems. In 2012, the FDA banned the use of BPA in children’s food products. This move basically solidified a practice that many manufacturers had already adopted; and the regulation still doesn’t guarantee that we are in the clear. In fact, studies have shown that BPA substitutions aren’t automatically safer.

    It’s a lot to take in, but not to worry. There are many eco-friendly products out there that can help you green up your parenting act. Here are 12 picks that we think will allow you to feed your baby, sans toxin, while doing some good for the planet.


    baby food prep

    1. Stokke: Tripp Trapp Chair Stokke‘s Tripp Trapp has been an all-time mommy favorite since its launch in 1972, and for good reasons. While it is on the expensive side, the high chair is highly adjustable and designed to grow with baby. Once he is done using it, you can convert it into an adult chair or a stool. The Tripp Trapp is made of beech wood and comes in a variety of colors. The brand uses only water-based, nontoxic paint and BPA-, phthalate-free materials. The Tripp Trapp baby set, which allows your littlest one to join the family table, is made of environmentally friendly plastic and is recyclable.

    2. The Laundress: Dish Detergent How can such a small human being contribute to so much of the yuck piling up in the sink? Luckily, you don’t have to fight dirty dishes alone. The Laundress has a dish detergent that you can use when you hand wash dishes or in the dishwasher. It is soft on our skin but is tough on all the gunk caked on baby’s dinnerware. The soap is unscented and doesn’t have any artificial coloring or dyes. It doesn’t contain any petroleum, chlorine bleach, ammonia and more; and like all of The Laundress’ detergents, it is biodegradable.

    3. Baby Brezza: Glass One Step Baby Food Maker Even if cooking isn’t really your thing, Baby Brezza makes it easier to bring wholesome, homemade baby food at the dinner table. The brand recently launched its Glass One Step Baby Food Maker, which can automatically blend the food after steaming. All you need to do is prep and place the food in the container, wait for the nifty machine to finish its deed, and serve. Plus, the mixing bowl is made of glass, which minimizes food contact with plastic.

    4. Modern Twist: Bucket-Bib Here’s a bib that puts up a good fight against mealtime messes. Modern Twist bucket bib sustains tantrums and actually catches food that misses baby’s mouth. The brand uses food-grade silicone with no BPA, no PVC, no lead, no latex and no phthalates. All of Modern Twist’s products (bib included) are silky to touch, easy to clean, reusable and recyclable. The packaging, too, can be recycled, and the brand has a program to help you dispose of silicone properly.

    5. Oxo: Mash Maker Baby Food Mill If you are on a tighter budget, Oxo offers an affordable and eco-friendly way to cook for baby. The Mash Maker can purée any grown-up food into a dinner for your wee one. Not so thrilled about plastic? The truth is, plastic is hard to avoid altogether since it’s everywhere on the market. But you can shop it and still be on the safe(r) side. Case and point: Oxo’s mash maker is made of Polypropylene (PP) and is free of BPA, phthalates and PVC, which makes it one of the safer plastics out there. Not to mention, it’s much more ecological than having to continuously stock up on pre-packaged food. For advice on plastics and plastic use, go here.

    6. Boon: The Forb, Silicone Bottle Brush This is a flower like no other. It’s called Forb, and it is made of sturdy silicone to clean baby’s bottles (and nipples) without a scratch! This is important because harmful chemicals may leach more easily if the plastic is worn down. Boon‘s products are BPA, PVC and phthalate free. This is a small investment that will last you a long time, without mold or rust, and that can even get cleaned in the dishwasher.


    Feeding Baby


    1. Bamboo Studio: Kids Dinnerware Set Turn over a new leaf in green eating with the ever popular bamboo dishware. With Bamboo Studio Kids Dinnerware Set, baby can have his cake and eat it too without feeding the waste stream. The reusable kid line, which features all sorts of fun animals, is lightweight and sturdy all at once. Handcrafted from the sheath of the growing bamboo plant, bamboo tableware is biodegradable, making it one of the most sustainable options out there. Do we need to add that it is dishwasher safe?

    2. Lollaland: Glass Baby Bottle Lollaland glass bottles have a certain je ne sais quoi that takes us back to our childhood. Maybe it’s the old-school birds looking like they were taken out of a Nintendo video game. Or maybe it’s the glass, breaking us free from a world of plastic. Made of premium quality glass, Lollaland baby bottles are gentle on both baby and earth. They do not leach toxins, are thermal-shock resistant (you can heat them, even when they are cold), and are recyclable. Lollaland’s nipples are made of durable, medical-grade silicone.

    3. ThinkBaby: The Complete BPA-Free Feeding Set If baby has graduated to solid foods, it’s time to invest in some sturdy, eco-friendly dinnerware. ThinkBaby strives to create safe products while having the least possible impact on the environment. The complete feeding set is lined with medical-grade stainless steel and wrapped in polypropylene plastic. The set is also free of BPA, phthalate, lead, PVC, Melamine and more (review here the complete list of chemicals that ThinkBaby has shunned). Stainless steel itself can last a long time and is 100 percent recyclable. Most stainless steel products are made of about 60 percent recycled material.

    4. Green Sprouts: Glass Sip & Straw Cup The Sip & Straw Cup has glass on the inside, and plastic on the outside. This means that whatever baby drinks never touches plastic, which in this case is made of polypropylene. The cup is free of PVC and BPA and is hypoallergenic. It has two drinking options: a straw and a spout that are both made of silicone. Green Sprouts strives to maximize the life cycle of its products while minimizing the impact they have on the environment. With that in mind, they try, when possible, to use resources that are renewable and recycled. Buying products that are made of recycled materials saves natural resources, energy, and water.

    5. Beaba: First Stage Silicone Spoon When it comes to baby’s first munchies, you want an ergonomic spoon that will keep mealtime stress free for everyone. Enter Béaba’s First Stage Silicone Spoon, which happens to go easy on baby’s gums and on the environment. Béaba’s spoons are BPA, phthalate and PVC free and dishwasher safe. For the most part, silicone is recyclable, although you’ll likely need to go through a private recycling facility (like this one).

    6. Comotomo: Silicone Bottle Comotomo may be a little bit of a splurge compared to other brands, but it’s worth it, especially if your little one is getting ready to transition from breast to bottles. The bottles and their extra-wide nipples are made of squeezable silicone that mimics mom’s skin, giving baby a close-to-nursing experience. What’s more, silicone – a synthetic material made of sand and oxygen – withstands heat without leaching harmful chemicals. Comotomo bottles do not break or crack and are safe in dishwasher, microwave and boiling water.

    HONORABLE MENTION: MOMMY’S BOOBIES  If you want to get baby off to a non-toxic, earth-friendly start, breast is best. For moms who can nurse, breast milk is the only food that provides baby all the nutrients he needs without having to worry about harmful chemicals. It also protects both mom and baby against a host of illnesses and diseases. Breastfeeding, which the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends we do for at least the first six months of baby’s life, is also kind to the environment. It’s a renewable resource that doesn’t need to be packaged or transported. It saves energy and is virtually waste free. How is that for reducing your carbon footprint?

    This article is by Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis, 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.


  • Things We've Read: Week of April 11th, 2016

    Things We've Read | Nine Naturals

    In One Letter, A Teacher Sums Up What Test Scores Can't (Upworthy): "The scores you will get from this test will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything."

    Does Exercise During Pregnancy Lead to Exercise-Loving Offspring (NYTimes): A growing baby's body and DNA may be changed by the environment it experiences in the womb.

    Watch This Baby's Ridiculously Cute Reactions To Seeing His Mom Clearly For The First Time (Huff Post): This tiny tot is witnessing the world around him in focus for the very first time.

    Comedy Central's The Glass Ceiling Game Gets Way Too Real (Upworthy): Tackling the realities of workplace inequality.

    For Families In Flint, A Daily Struggle To Avoid Tap Water (NYTimes): "It presents an especially daunting challenge for pregnant women and parents of young children, who absorb more lead and are especially vulnerable to the effects on their developing brains and nervous systems."

    Satirical Baby Food Brand Warns About Dangers of Gender Stereotypes (Huff Post): This new line of baby food is making a statement about harmful gender stereotypes.

    Sweet Photo Series Reveals What's In A Preschooler's Pockets (Huff Post): See “the magic of discovery in a child’s imagination.”

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