There’s a line in the charming 2000s rom-com Knocked Up about how pregnancy is just a long list of fun things you “can’t do.” Of course in reality there is a lot more nuance, but the idea at the core of this remark, that pregnancy is a time to take stock and to reassess our routines, is valid.
Sure, it’s always wise to be aware of the nasties in your beauty products, the ingredients in your meals, and the makeup of your daily vitamins, but nothing prompts you to step up and scrutinise your behaviour quite like a pregnancy.
At your desk or on the job, try and compartmentalise. Our obsession with multi-tasking isn’t always a plus. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey likes to structure his week in chunks: Mondays are for meetings, Tuesdays are for product development, and so on. Such a rigid structure might not be realistic for every job, but there is definitely something to be said for starting one task and then seeing it through.
At its core, stress arises when we lose control, or when we don’t take action. So fire off that first email, answer that niggling phone call, or write out the bullet notes. Often once you start something you realise it isn’t as insurmountable as you previously thought and the very act of addressing it dramatically reduces your sense of dread.
Add to that, digital fitness doesn’t necessarily have to be a solo experience. Find friends who want to login to the same class. It’s surprisingly easy to recreate that community feeling online.
Your beauty routine is a great place to start. Scour the ingredients listed on all your bottles. Look out for formaldehyde (found in hair-straightening treatments, nail polishes, and eyelash glue), aluminium chloride hexahydrate (found in antiperspirants). If you colour your hair, try an ammonia-free glaze to hide those greys. There are also some everyday products like salicylic acid-based acne treatments and retinols that should be avoided. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a place to start.
Along with learning to be a savvy reader of labels, cosmetic treatments like Botox and lasers are discouraged during pregnancy.
It’s not all nos, either. There is also some adapting. Instead of applying your mascara at the root, just brush it onto the ends of your lashes. Don’t use any department store perfumes; switch to essential oils and dab them onto your hair.
In 2022, this is an easier ask than in decades before. There is no shortage of skincare brands and beauty experts focusing on pre-and post-natal product lines and general support.
And when it comes to information and resources, there is an abundance. From Britain’s Mumsnet.com, a pioneer in this area, to American favourites like BabyCenter.com and WhatToExpect.com. All of these sites have forums where you can chat with like-minded women, as well as expert resources. Beyond the web, there are also a host of new apps, such as WebMD Pregnancy and Peanut, a social network for women at every stage of motherhood, including those trying to conceive.
If you want to go high-end, there is no shortage of options. Gugu Guru is a one-stop shop of curated baby content and products. Upon registering, you select a mood board that matches your personal style. Using that information, the site then suggests products and as you accept or reject the selections, the