Updated: Apr 17
Congratulations, you are pregnant! This is such a magical and wonderful time but it can also be very wasteful when you are not careful. As I was pregnant a few years ago when I was not fully into zero waste yet (and the raging hormones did not help) so my pregnancy could have been more sustainable. However, I did learn a lot during my pregnancy and I hope some tips with you.
Pregnant women need extra folic acid. Try to find a brand that sells those in a glass bottle. Maybe even find a multivitamin for pregnant women with folic acid, iron, and B12 if you are vegetarian or vegan.
First, check your wardrobe for stretchy sweaters, shirts, and sweatpants. These will likely fit your pregnant belly so you don’t need anything new. Your other maternity clothes (like jeans) do not have to be new. Most pregnant women wear those clothes for only a few months and then they go back to their normal clothes. I bought all my clothes in a second-hand online market place (a Facebook market place is also a good one) saving me a lot of money. Some people even sell whole maternity wore robes all at once saving you also a lot of time.
The largest cravings I had were chocolate (even worse than normal) and salt (probably because of my low blood pressure). I strongly believe that when you have a craving for something, it is your body telling you that it needs a certain mineral present in that food type. However, instead of just giving in and buying the first thing you find, wait for a second and consider the most sustainable option. Do you crave dairy? Maybe a vegan alternative is an option. Do you crave apple pie? Maybe you have the energy to make your own or bring your own container to the store.
This is my biggest wasteful part. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was ok with the carpet that was in there (from my old dorm), the cute second-hand crib and the closet (from his previous home). At some point, hormones kicked in and everything had to be different… Only the crib got to stay. The closet was sold and the old carpet was given away. Everything had to be clean and new. Luckily we only bought a new baby changing table and new floors (my man still had a functioning brain) which makes my pregnant brain happy enough. I also ended up up-cycling a few storage shelves with cute boxes that satisfied some of my nursing instincts.
When you are pregnant and care for our environment, you probably have read about cloth diapers (no? Read more here). Please give it a go as it can save so much money (check my calculations here) but don’t buy a whole set during your pregnancy. Cloth diapers come in different types (as you can read here) and sizes and you don’t know yet what you will like and what will fit your baby. Buy a few types (maybe even second hand) and start testing them once you feel fit enough.
A baby does not need a whole lot. Read here about a minimal baby registry. A big company might convince you (unfortunately, a pregnant woman is very susceptible to these things) that you absolutely need XYZ but use common sense before you purchase 30 onesies in size 50 (NB).
I hope these tips will help you with the arrival of your little one as sustainable as possible.