How to choose personal care items for you and your new baby

Photography: Marijke Smith

During pregnancy, we are naturally more aware of and concerned about the health and care of our bodies. It is during this time that we might begin to read labels more closely and question ingredients lists. Knowing what is in the products you are putting next to your skin and equally important, on your new baby’s skin is essential.

Many products available to new mothers shockingly contain among other things, synthetics, super absorbents and chlorine bleached materials, all of which can have a negative impact, both on health and the environment.

The not so trusty Baby Wipe
With countless nappy changes in a day (grubby fingers and sticky faces!), baby wipes are a staple for most parents and understandably so. The bad news is, baby wipes are often the worst offenders. Many of the widely available wipes contain harsh foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), preservatives such as phenoxyethanol – linked to dermatitis, and Parabens, flagged up as a concern for health. Parabens such as methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl paraben, are just one of a large group of questionable toxic chemicals to be concerned about since very little is known about the long term effects if they are used every day on the skin.

It seems that many manufacturers are allowed to put a range of nasty chemicals into their baby wipe formulations, so it’s up to parents to read labels and buy with caution.

Chemicals to avoid
Products to be used on baby (that will easily allow the transfer of chemicals into the body) should exclude the chemicals listed above. It’s also recommended to actively avoid propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol (PEG), Isopropyl myristate, and formaldehyde releasing preservatives such as imidazolidinyl urea.

What about mum?
Things aren’t much better for mum either. Conventional maternity and nursing pads are likely made from synthetic materials and are bleached with chlorine, both of which can be irritating next to skin, which let’s face it, is at the most delicate it’s ever been! To make things worse, inside the pads you may find super absorbent polymers; these are tiny little crystals that absorb huge amounts of liquid, much more than is required for post-partum bleeding or breast feeding. These super absorbents can be harsh on delicate skin adding to discomfort. As far as our children’s future is concerned all those plastic laden pads are clogging up landfill and doing the environment no good.

What’s the alternative?
It’s reassuring to know that there are natural alternatives out there! Natracare award-winning Nursing Pads, Maternity Pads and Baby Wipes are specially designed for new mothers and their babies using only totally chlorine-free, plastic free, organic and natural ingredients. The pureness of Natracare products can provide women with the necessary reassurance that is so important at this time of their lives.

Baby Wipes
Natracare organic cotton baby wipes are made from beautifully soft yet strong 100% organic cotton cloth, which is subtly infused with organic essential oils and are free from parabens, SLS, alcohol, petrochemcials and synthetics. They are chlorine free, 100% biodegradable, and clinically tested (on humans only).

Every ingredient has been carefully chosen to be kind to baby and safe for the environment:

  • Apricot oil is rich in essential fatty acids; oleic acid (omega-9) and linoleic acid (omega-6). It also contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals, and has moisturising, nourishing and revitalising properties. It is particularly helpful for inflamed, dehydrated, and delicate skin.
  • Chamomile oil has gentle cleansing, relaxing and soothing effects and has a delicious scent of fruity apple and straw. Chamomile is often used to treat skin problems such as dermatitis, rashes, wounds, burns, blisters, and dry, itchy skin.
  • Linden oil is extracted from the Linden Blossom, which is a flower with clusters of yellowy-white blossoms which carry a beautiful fragrance. Linden is highly regarded as a relaxant and is often used to soothe tension headaches, migraines and insomnia.

Natracare Natural Maternity Pads
Natracare high quality maternity pads are made from organic cotton and natural materials that are not chlorine bleached giving new mothers an untainted choice.

Natracare maternity pads are extra-long and comfortably padded to give confident and secure protection for the natural blood loss experienced after giving birth. The soft, fluffy, absorbent core, made from totally chlorine free pulp, quickly absorbs and locks away the fluid so that the soft, certified organic 100% cotton cover allows your skin to breathe whilst at the same time keeping you dry and free from contact with synthetic materials.

All Natracare pads are free from plastics, synthetics, perfumes, and super absorbent polymers (SAP) made from petrochemicals, which can have a negative impact both on health and the environment.

The maternity pads and the packaging are 100% plastic-free, biodegradable and compostable so you are also taking care of your child’s future environment too.

Natracare is the global #1 ranked ethical brand of feminine care, offering a full range of high quality feminine care products since 1989: certified organic cotton tampons (with and without applicators), natural pads and liners, certified organic cotton Intimate Wipes and Make-Up Removal Wipes.

Available at all good supermarkets, health stores and selected pharmacies as well as online.

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