20+ Tips for a Zero Waste Pregnancy
Updated: Jan 15
Preparing for the miraculous journey of pregnancy unveils a world of infinite possibilities, and choosing a zero waste path through this transformative experience not only nurtures the future generation but also treads lightly on our planet. Imagine embracing those tender months with an eco-conscious mindset, where every choice made for the little one aligns with a commitment to reduce waste and cherish the environment. Join me on this empowering journey through a zero waste pregnancy, where we'll explore mindful practices, sustainable solutions, and the profound joy that comes from nurturing both new life and a healthier planet.
Sustainable Pregnancy Products
Embrace the magic of pregnancy while championing sustainability! Say goodbye to wasteful habits with a treasure trove of sustainable pregnancy products that promise an eco-friendly journey to motherhood. From earth-loving maternity wear to non-toxic personal care essentials, these mindful choices aren't just about reducing waste; they're a celebration of nurturing new life while safeguarding our planet. Join the movement toward an eco-conscious pregnancy and revel in the beauty of creating a future that's both gentle on your baby and the world they'll inherit.
Prenatal vitamins are needed for the optimal development of your baby. Ideally, you should start these even before you find out you are pregnant to make sure your body is optimally prepared to grow your baby. So, if you start trying for a little one, also start taking prenatal vitamins.
I know this is not always an option as some of us weren’t really trying when they discovered they were pregnant. Even for those of you, prenatal vitamins are still important so select a prenatal vitamin that has sufficient folic acid (vitamin B11) to prevent certain birth defects. I use a B complex vitamin that also has B12 as I don’t eat meat. I want my prenatal vitamins to be vegan so I pay attention to that as well and I want to avoid a plastic bottle whenever possible.
I know more prenatal vitamins are sometimes advised and if you feel the need to take more than just B11, please listen to this maternal instinct and take whatever you feel you need to take for you and your baby.
As your little one blossoms within, your body orchestrates a remarkable dance of adaptation. Among the many adjustments, your intestines play a vital role, accommodating the growing life and occasionally triggering discomfort through cramps that affect your regularity. Embracing probiotics amid this journey can offer a soothing relief, calming those occasional kicks and developments that might otherwise disrupt your comfort.
Drinking enough water has been really difficult for me. I used to be a real tea drinker but since I found out I am pregnant, tea no longer tastes nice. So I had to find something else to drink. Luckily, water tastes amazing right now but still, I forget to drink rather often. How do I solve this? I have a large straw bottle (0,5L or 16 fl oz) that I make myself fill 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, and evening) that I have to drink. This works surprisingly well as I somehow always empty the bottle when I put it close to me. I just need to remember to put it close by.
As your belly blossoms, the quest for a good night's sleep becomes an elusive treasure, burdened by the weight and strain on your back and pelvic floor. Enter the pregnancy pillow—a miraculous remedy for those restless nights. This wonder cushion swoops in to ease the pressure on your pelvic floor, granting you the luxury of a more comfortable rest. But its magic doesn't end there! Beyond bedtime, this pillow transforms into a breastfeeding haven, cradling and supporting both you and your little one for those precious feeding moments. Yet, its versatility shines even if breastfeeding isn't in the cards. Whether bottle-feeding or nurturing your baby, this pillow becomes the steadfast companion, ensuring a cozy and soothing feeding experience, making every moment with your newborn a touch more serene.
As the incredible journey of pregnancy unfolds, your body undergoes a beautiful transformation. At the outset, your regular clothes might still embrace you comfortably, but with time, this enchanting phase introduces a series of changes that call for a shift in how you dress and care for yourself. Embracing these changes isn't just about accommodating a shifting body; it's about celebrating every curve and swell, honoring the miraculous process of creating life while ensuring you feel supported and radiant throughout this transformative journey.
It will take a couple of months for your baby to develop in your belly before you notice your belly expanding. So switching to maternity pants might not be necessary yet. when I was pregnant, I wanted to wait a little longer before switching to maternity jeans so I solved this problem with a hair tie. I put it through the buttonhole, looped it through itself, and over the button. This gave me a couple of cm/inches of extra space to put off buying maternity clothes a little longer.
A Belly Belt pants extender might also be an option if you want something more sophisticated than a hair tie.
When you are pregnant, not only does your belly grows, but your breast also grow to prepare for breastfeeding. This means that you may need multiple different bra sizes during your pregnancy. To prevent you from purchasing a new size every few months, a bra extender is a good idea. These lengthen the back of a bra a few inches.
Caring for your skin becomes an even greater priority during pregnancy, a time when your body undergoes remarkable changes and your skin becomes more sensitive than ever. With each passing day, your skin tells a story of resilience and transformation, making it essential to embrace a nurturing routine that not only honors these changes but also caters to the unique needs of your skin. Whether it's the glow of newfound motherhood or the adjustments your skin craves, giving it the attention it deserves becomes a beautiful act of self-care and reverence for the incredible journey of pregnancy.
Even though my belly is hardly growing, I notice things are going on in that area. The skin of my belly is extremely dry and itchy. So, it is time to give some extra attention to that area. Some mommies-to-be already start using stretch mark oil and if you want to do this, that is totally fine but I want to give the skin of my belly moisture instead of only oils (which is usually in a stretch mark oil). So I do a rather similar skincare routine for my belly as I do for my face. I start with hydration with a hydrating essence, then I apply a hydrating face serum on my belly and I finish with a thick body lotion to seal in all the moisture I just applied. In my opinion, this is much more hydrating compared to just using a stretch mark oil and it has helped significantly with the itching of my belly.
It is always a good idea to protect your skin against the harmful effects the sun has on our skin. When you are pregnant there is a 40% increase in blood volume which makes a pregnant woman’s skin glow but it also makes their skin more sensitive. So it is key to be nice to your skin and give it the protection it needs. So after your daily skincare routine, finish with a pregnancy-safe sunscreen with high SPF.
Planning for Baby
Stepping into parenthood for the first time is an exhilarating whirlwind of emotions—excitement tangled with a touch of trepidation. Yet, armed with thoughtful planning and careful preparation, you pave the way for a smoother transition when your bundle of joy finally arrives. Embrace this transformative journey with open arms, knowing that each step taken to prepare not only eases the arrival of your baby but also instills confidence in your ability to navigate this beautiful new chapter.
Your second trimester is the perfect time to start thinking about your baby registry. Here you can find a list of items I recommend for a baby registry. It is a rather minimal list but a baby does not need many things. A baby needs a safe place to sleep, needs to be cleaned regularly, needs food, and is close to mom. That is all a baby needs. All other items are just convenience (which may be great but not necessary). This blog post also has a list of items I recommend you don’t need for your baby and why.
The second trimester is also the perfect time to consider a baby shower. In the Netherlands, where I live, it is not done often and I did not have one (nor did I miss it) but this differs for other countries. So the second trimester is the perfect time to give this some thought if you want to have a baby shower and how you want to have a baby shower if you decide to go for it. In this blog post, I have some tips and ideas to do this as sustainable as possible.
Large cities often offer a variety of classes for parents-to-be. Ranging from classes to help you through birth, breastfeeding, and even parenting classes. There are lots of options out there. Take a look through all the possibilities and see if one of those classes is for you (and your partner).
Plan Maternity Leave
Discuss with your boss what the possibilities are for maternity leave. Maybe you only want to take a few weeks off or maybe you want to stop working altogether. Discuss with your partner what you want, what they want, and what is financially possible for your situation.
Plan a Baby Moon
Before your baby arrives it is a good idea to plan a trip with just your partner to enjoy each other's company with just the two of you (as it may take a while before the next time happens). This babymoon doesn’t have to be far away as some pregnant women prefer to stay close to home but I recommend taking at least a weekend away with just the two of you while you still can and want to. Now you may think that finding a sitter for your baby is not that difficult but once the baby arrives your hormones may not want to part with your baby for more than a few hours meaning a weekend away with just the two of you is no longer an option.
Keep a Journal
You may think that you will remember the beautiful time of being pregnant. The reality might not be the case as our hormones are on high alert when we are pregnant which will affect our brain and there are things we might want to remember. As being pregnant is a rather special time I recommend keeping a journal for those 9 months. This way you can read back on it later (when you are maybe pregnant again) and notice how much you have forgotten about this time.
A pre-made journal is also great for the ones among us who have not to clue what to write about each week. A journal is packed with relevant questions and things to think about so you can share all your ideas and thoughts in a journal.
Most of the time I like to keep things digital but as I felt that pregnancy is a rather special time I wanted a physical book to write my memories and thoughts in. This will also make it a great gift to the child you are carrying once it is old enough to read about it (if you want to give it away).
Ensuring your peak health during pregnancy isn't just preparation; it's the ultimate gift you can give yourself and your baby before the grand arrival. Embracing your health and well-being sets the stage for a smoother journey into motherhood, equipping you with the strength, vitality, and resilience needed to welcome your little one into a world filled with boundless love and care.
Taking care of your teeth is important for your health in general but it is even more important when you are expecting. Your gums are more sensitive and bleed more often as pregnancy affects your hormones which affect your teeth/gums. So now is the perfect time to make an extra appointment with your dentist to get extra teeth cleaning so your teeth remain healthy.
Selfcare is important, both for your physical health and your mental health. Yoga can help with both as it is not overly active that there is a risk of straining or hurting yourself and you can spend some time clearing your mind of all the daily burdens.
Preparing for Labor
Labor can be a scary thing. Especially for your first as you have no idea what is going to happen and what it is going to be like. You read everything you can about it however, nothing can prepare you for the real deal. Therefore it is a good idea to visit the hospital birthing rooms when you are pregnant. For me, this helped me enormously in getting ready for labor (even though I wanted to give birth at home, I visited the birthing rooms in the hospital, just in case (I am glad I did as I, in the end, had to deliver in a hospital)). So check if your hospital has the option to visit the birthing rooms when you are pregnant.
Have your bloodwork checked
Pregnancy demands a lot of your body. When you are pregnant you are no longer your body's main priority but your unborn baby is. So you need to take good care of yourself so your body can take care of your baby. But no matter how well you take care of yourself, it may be a good idea to have your bloodwork checked during the third trimester. This is the most demanding part of pregnancy on your body and deficiency occurs often. After I had my bloodwork checked I was diagnosed with anemia which caused me to be extremely tired. I received medication to have sufficient iron in my blood for labor.
Write a Breastfeeding and Birth plan
Once the contractions have started and you know labor is starting, it is very hard for you to make your wishes known therefore it is a good idea to make them known ahead of time. It is important to tell people how you would like your ideal labor to be but you should also realize that this might not happen this way. Either way, it is important to let others know what you would like beforehand. Therefore it is important to write a birth plan. In a birth plan, you can describe your ideal labor in detail with topics like painkilling, fears, cutting the cord, and expectations regarding your partner, midwives, and OBGYN. The same goes for breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is very personal but there are several aspects you may want to take into consideration if you want to breastfeed your baby. Link to the birth plan.
Pack a hospital bag
Pack your hospital bag and have it ready before you are 37 weeks pregnant. Make sure you pack clean clothes for you to go home in and your partner, and two sets of baby clothes in different sizes (I ended up not using the smallest size due to our baby being bigger than expected). Bring warm socks for delivery. Also, bring some entertainment in case it takes a little longer than expected. Also, bring your birth plan and breastfeeding plan if you wrote one. This may be rather minimalistic but I did not need anything more than this even when I knew for my second baby I had to stay in the hospital overnight.
Fill up the freezer with healthy meals
When you are home with a newborn you are tired and you don’t feel like cooking. Ordering takeout is then very easy but often not very healthy and certainly not very sustainable with all the plastic. Therefore it is a good idea to stock up on healthy homemade freezer meals when you are still pregnant. To not only saves a lot of plastic, but you also make sure you eat a healthy meal when you have to take care of your newborn.
The big belly is very heavy on your body but is also very special so it is time to shoot a few nice pics of you with the big belly. This can be a professional photoshoot but you can also ask your partner or a friend to take a few nice pictures of you with a big belly. At the moment itself you may not feel like taking a picture but when you are no longer pregnant these pictures will be very special and bring back lots of memories.
Embracing a zero waste pregnancy isn't merely about minimizing our environmental footprint; it's a powerful declaration of love—for our growing families and the planet we all call home. As we journey through these transformative nine months, each mindful choice we make ripples into a brighter, more sustainable future for generations to come. Let's cherish the small victories—the homemade meals, the eco-friendly nursery, the conscious baby care—knowing that each step, however small, leaves an indelible mark on our world. As we eagerly await the arrival of our little ones, let's celebrate this period of intentional living, where every decision speaks volumes about our commitment to nurturing a healthier, more compassionate world—one tiny, zero waste step at a time.