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  1. Your pregnancy diet

    It’s often said that you are what you eat, and while you’re pregnant this is also true for your baby. What you eat while you’re expecting impacts directly on your baby’s development in the womb and, ultimately, to his health as an adult. Studies have shown that a diet high in salt, sugar and fat (all the things we know we should be avoiding anyway!) during pregnancy can lead to overweight infants with long-term health problems. So, normal healthy eating rules apply, although you may want to modify the way you eat through the day.

    Your appetite will probably increase from early pregnancy, and it’s a good idea to eat when you feel hungry, as it’s one of the best ways to combat queasiness (sounds crazy, but it’s true), so go for five or six smaller meals a day, rather than two or three large ones. This will also ensure that your energy levels remain stable through the day (as long as you keep it healthy).

    The greatest temptation when you’re pregnant is to ‘eat for two’, but beware! You don’t actually need any extra calories in your normal daily diet until the last three months, when an extra 200 per day will suffice. Most women gain 8-15kg (18-32lb) during pregnancy, but do bear in mind that this is just an average. If you gain too much weight, you may be at risk of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, but if you gain too little there is an increased risk of low birthweight and prematurity.

    What to eat

     Carbohydrate-rich foods for energy, eg, bread, pasta, rice, couscous.

     Protein-rich foods, eg, fish, lean meat, beans, pulses.

     Fresh fruit and vegetables, for their vitamin and mineral content – choose a mix of colours to ensure a good mix of nutrients.

     Fish contains proteins, minerals, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids; try to eat two portions a week, and make one of them an oily fish, such as mackerel or salmon (but don’t eat more than two portions of oily fish per week).

     Iron-rich foods, eg lean meat, dried fruit, nuts, to help ward off pregnancy anaemia.

     Vitamin C-rich foods, eg, citrus fruit, blackcurrants, broccoli, to help your body absorb the iron in your diet.

     Calcium, for your baby’s development as well as the health of your bones and teeth; find it in dairy products, green vegetables and fish with edible bones.

     Foods rich in omega 3 and 6, eg, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, linseed, flaxseed, hemp oil and oily fish. These oils are essential for brain and nerve function in your baby as well as preventing allergies.

     Keep rehydrated by drinking plenty of water, herbal tea and juice throughout the day.

     

    What to avoid

     Too much tea and coffee: caffeine affects your absorption of vital nutrients such as iron; some research has also shown a link between caffeine and low birthweight and miscarriage. Try to restrict your intake to two cups of tea or coffee per day – and beware of hidden caffeine in chocolate, some medication and energy drinks.

     Too much alcohol. Some experts recommend abstaining completely, others say that 1-2 units, once or twice a week, is safe. All agree that getting drunk is an absolute no-no.

     Too much salt: excess salt intake can cause fluid retention and high blood pressure, both bad news during pregnancy. It also increases the amount of calcium secreted by your body. Try to keep your total daily intake to 6g (1 teaspoon) – do check labels on prepared foods as these tend to be high, and if you need a flavour boost, reach for the herbs and spices, not the salt cellar.

     Soft, unpasteurised and blue-veined cheeses, eg, Brie, Camembert, Stilton. These can harbour bacteria that can cause food poisoning and stillbirth, miscarriage or severe illness in newborn babies. * Bagged salads and ready meals may also harbour bacteria, so wash all salads and reheat ready-made foods thoroughly.

     Raw or partially cooked eggs may harbour salmonella, so should be avoided, but as eggs are an important source of protein, don’t cut them out completely, just cook them thoroughly.

     Liver (including pâté and liver sausage) contains the retinol form of vitamin A, which can cause birth defects.

     Shark, swordfish and marlin contain high mercury levels, which can hinder your baby’s development.

     Raw seafood such as oysters or sushi that has not been made with previously frozen fish.

    Further information

    Feelgood Foods for Pregnancy by Lyndel Costain and Nicola Graimes (Ryland, Peters & Small)

    Healthy Eating for Pregnancy by Amanda Grant (Mitchell Beazley)

    The Yummy Mummy Pregnancy Cookbook: Healthy Food for You and Your Baby by Hope Ricciotti (Dorling Kindersley)

    Natural Pregnancy by Zita West (Dorling Kindersley)

    www.babycentre.co.uk

    www.babycenter.com

    www.eatingforpregnancy.co.uk

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  2. Plastics and harmful substances in a nursery

    In a nursery the bed can hold and let go of hazardous chemicals. The mattress might contain flame retardants and a mattress cover in plastic terry may contain harmful phthalates. Foam may contain solvent residues from production. Try to avoid composite wood products in a nursery that might contain formaldehyde. It can cause nose and throat irritation, breathing trouble, and other health problems. 

    lf the vinyl flooring or wallpaper in the nursery is made of PVC it can contain harmful substances such as phthalates and other sub­stances that make plastics soft. Vinyl may encourage growth and give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

    What you can do:

    Air the mattress before use.

    Since many chemicals get caught in the dust it is important to vacuum regularly.

    Choose a paper-based or natural-fiber wallpaper variety.

    More tips can be found at: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/features/give-your-baby-best-start#1

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  3. Making the journey to preschool more eco-friendly

    Did you know that clothes and shoes labeled as waterproof are often made of plastic treated with chemicals to resist rain and bad weather? In addition to this, school bags in imitation leather may contain harmful phthalates that make plastic soft. The same applies to t-shirts with prints that contain PVC.

    Plastic can also be found in the car when you give your child a ride to preschool. The instrument panel is usually made of plastic foam covered with PVC and can contain both phthalates and flame retardants. The upholstery and cushions can also be treated with flame retardants.

    What you can do?

    Walk or bike to preschool if you are able to do so.

    If you go by car, run the first minute with open windows.

    Avoid parking your car in direct sunlight. The chemicals inside your car is more toxic once exposed to extreme temperatures.

    Avoid clothes, shoes and bags made of PVC.

    Choose eco-labeled garments.

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  4. Composting the Eco by Naty diaper

    Today, bio-based materials are of huge interest due to global warming. We want crops and plants to grow and we need reduced CO2 emissions. By using renewable materials and avoiding fossil based materials, we can ensure both. Many disposable diapers on the market consist of fossil based materials with little to none renewable material. Our disposable diaper is made of 51% renewable materials.

    Our diaper has components that are biodegradable and each of these components will biodegrade in an industrial compost. A biodegradable product is capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms resulting in biomass e.g soil.

    The Eco by Naty diaper is as such not fully compostable. If you decide to compost the diaper in a home compost be sure to remove the non-biodegradable parts and you will get perfect soil for flowers. The diaper should not be thrown in the designated bin for industrial compost even though a major part of it will biodegrade. The non-biodegradable material will end up at the composting site which will jeopardize the process.

    Thankfully there are good alternatives appearing in different countries that can properly compost our diapers. Two examples are www.gogreenbottom.com/home-nappy-recycling/ and www.soileddiapers.ca/. They use technology to split and make use of the diaper. The useful polymers will be recycled and the compostable parts of the diaper is broken down to soil. By increasing the renewable content, less CO2 will be in the air either way the material goes.

    That’s the Eco by Naty philosophy.

    We go green without giving up performance! 

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  5. How to avoid flame retardants in your living room

    Furniture and carpets can be treated with a so-called perfluorinated chemical that makes the fabric less sensitive to dirt and water. Your furniture can be treated with flame retardant in both the padding and the fabric. Remnants of this chemical often end up in the household dust and air and is linked to a number health concerns. This chemical can later be found in the breast milk.

    In addition, the television or the computer's plastic casing can contain flame retardants and old appliances may contain the most dangerous varieties. The plastic around the wires can contain hormone-disrupting phthalates. 

    What you can do

    Ask in store for furniture without flame retardants.

    Avoid furniture that is impregnated with perfluorinated chemicals.

    Consider repairing furniture that have holes that are exposing the foam stuffing.

    Natural materials such as wool have fluid-repellent properties without impregnation.

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  6. 6 steps to a plastic-free dining room

    Bisphenol A is a common plastic chemical that children ingest through food. Crushed tomatoes, canned corn and caviar are some examples of metal containing chemicals. Even in fish, meat and other food there are often chemicals that spread with the help of plastic items. Oil cloths may be made from PVC and contain harmful substanc:es that soften the fabric. lf the floor in the school kitchen and dining room are made of PVC, substances accumulate in dust and can be inhaled or swallowed.

    Avoid PVC-packaged food

    Use cast-iron skillet and utensils of wood or stainless steel for cooking

    Avoid storing hot food in plastic containers - more chemicals are released by heat.

    Serve food and beverages on porcelain, stainless steel and glass.

    Avoid canned foods from metal.

    Clean and ventilate the dining room regularly.

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  7. Our eco-friendly clothing line

    When we decided to extend our product range with children's clothes we also decided not to take any shortcuts. Being an environmentally conscious company it was a natural decision to use only 100% certified organic cotton that confirm to the world's toughest eco-lobeling "Good Environmentol Choice". But being eco-friendly was not enough; our clothes are of course also practical, comfortable and very appealing.

    100% Certified Organic Cotton

    Prewashed and Non-shrinkable fobrics

    Swedish Design

    European Production

    Good Environmental Choice

    GM-free

    Fabric made in Sweden

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  8. Eco-friendly products in the baby room


    Most children spend a lot of time in their room - during play and when they sleep. Besides that children are sucking and biting on toys and other things in the home there are also secreted chemi­cals from toys and gadgets that the child is get­ ting through air and dust. Soft plastic figures often contain PVC and can leach substances that make plastics soft.

    Some­times there are heavy metals such as lead in toys mode of PVC plastic and electric toys. The plastic casing of video games and stereos can contain flame retardants. Old appliances may contain the mast dangerous varieties. Lead can be found in the soldering inside the electronic gadgets and wires are often softened with harm­ful phthalates.

    What you can do:

    Buy eco-labelled toys, furniture and electronics when you can.

    Recycle discarded electronics such as cell phones instead of letting your child play with them.

    Have separate playrooms and bedrooms if possible. Keep toy boxes in another room.

    Avoid electronics in the children's room.

    Ventilate and clean regularly.

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  9. 5 steps to an eco-friendly baby shower

    Baby shower

    Are you planning on hosting a more environmental friendly baby shower? Sometimes it can be a bit tricky to know where to start. That’s why we have gathered all our favourite ideas in one post to help you. What’s better than welcoming future babies with a cleaner planet and brighter future? Together we can all make a difference. In this way you can spread the word about green living and celebrate life in a safe, clean and healthy way.

    1. Start with a unique invite

    The most environmental friendly way to send out invites is probably to do it digitally through, for example, email. It is an easy and affective way to spread the word and keep track of all replies. Check out Evite to make the invites more special. However, some want physical invites. Then a seeded card might be right for you. It is a great way to reduce paper waste. When the card is planted it composts leaving only wild flowers and soil. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Your guests will also be able to keep a nice memory.

    2. Give eco gifts

    In the invite, encourage the guests to wrap their presents in recyclable paper, newspaper or baby blankets. Also, inspire them to buy more green baby products like for example organic clothing or wood toys.

    3. Decorate more environmental friendly

    Let’s skip all those plastic decorations that just end up on the landfill not doing much good. Instead, use real flowers to decorate with. A baby shower is a celebration of life so what’s a better way to symbolise that than with real flowers?

    The centrepiece of the baby shower is of course the nappy cake with Eco by Naty nappies. Since we make the most environmental friendly disposable nappies on the market it is the obvious choice if you want to focus on an environmental friendly baby shower.

    These nappies are the best choice for the coming baby since they are free from toxins, allergy friendly and better for mother nature. Another tip is to use organic baby clothes, that are gifts to the expected baby, as a décor.

    4. Cook delicious fresh food

    First of all, skip the plastic tableware. Instead, use your nicest china or environmental friendly alternatives to disposable cutlery. Also, when making the delicious food, keep these simple rules in mind:

    • Buy as much organic food as possible
    • Buy in season fruits and vegetables
    • Serve less meat, cheese and milk
    • If possible, eat more food raw to save energy
    • Eat locally produced
    • Buy food with as little packaging possible

    5. Make memories

    To get a good and fun atmosphere some activities are always appreciated by the guests. If the expecting parents have a garden a tree could be planted in the baby’s honour. What a great way to make an impact.

    The nappy cake guessing game is also a hit.

    How many nappies is the cake constructed with?

    What baby items are hidden inside?

    What nappy brand is cake made with?

    Another fun game is to ask all the guests to bring a baby photo of themselves. Then all the photos are placed on a board, the fridge or table for the guests to match the right baby photo with the right guest. In the end ask all guests to share their most memorable story from their own childhood. This will unquestionably make people at the baby shower shed a few tears of joy and make your eco baby shower memorable.


    Read more at:

    http://www.growinstyle.com/shop/custom.aspx?recid=5

    http://www.parents.com/baby/shower/themes/earth-mama-have-a-green-baby-shower/

    http://www.justmommies.com/pregnancy/third-trimester/eco-friendly-baby-shower-ideas

    http://www.greenchildmagazine.com/eco-friendly-baby-shower/ 

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  10. Your Family, Nappies and the Environment

    Where does all the nappies go?

    Did you know that 6 percent of all the total waste on landfills comes from nappies? 6 percent!

    One baby contributes to as much as one tonne of nappies per year. The scary part is that no one knows how long it takes for the nappies to decompose, but it is estimated to take about 250-500 years.

    Do you really want to be part of this terribly stinky garbage collection? On top of that, the ingredients in conventional disposable nappies could harm humans, animals and nature. Some examples are plastic, which ends up in the oceans harming sea animals. Fossil fuels causing environmental change and dioxins, which are linked to causing cancer.

    Disposable nappies are a parent's best friend but one of the Earth's worst enemies. 

    Is Eco by Naty the best choice for the environment?

    We aim to use renewable resources as often as possible while also focusing on performance. Today, Eco by Naty nappies is one of the most environmentally friendly disposable nappies option available on the market with 51% renewable materials. Our competitors in the “green” category of nappies only contain an average of around 30% renewable materials. 

    Eco by Naty believes in going green without giving up performance to simplify your life and minimize the impact on the environment and your family's health. We voluntarily undergo strict, rigorous environmental inspections of our products. Both Eco by Naty and our raw material suppliers have been independently tested and successfully complied with a number of strict conditions regarding the environmental impact of their production. Read more about our independent certifications here.

    For example, the conventional plastic outer sheet has been replaced with a biodegradable material made from maize starch and cellulose fibre, both biodegradable materials. Also, the chlorine free wood pulp is derived from sustainable forestry; where more trees are planted than felled. We also strive to always use natural material for all of our packaging and for our use of fuels. By investing a major part of our resources into Research & Development we continue to improve the materials we use.

    This is why Eco by Naty is the best alternative for conscious families and for mother nature.

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