Monthly Archives: July 2021

Everyday Essentials to Help Your Pregnancy

Waiting for a baby to arrive is such an exciting time, but it’s also a time when an expectant mother could use some extra help to make pregnancy easier, safer, and more comfortable. Here are a few suggestions:

Use prenatal vitamins

These contain all the nutrients the body needs for both mom and baby. Especially important is folic acid, an essential nutrient in the B vitamin family that helps to prevent a type of birth defect. Be sure to get at least 600 micrograms of folic acid during pregnancy. Ideally, a woman would be getting at least 400 micrograms before becoming pregnant.

Use pregnancy-safe skin products

The skin is the body’s largest organ, and many substances can be absorbed through it. With this in mind, it’s best to use natural, organic products for skin care, hair care, and makeup. Specifically, avoid the following:

  • Retinoids
  • Hydroxy acids
  • Acne products
  • Chemical hair removers
  • OTC steroid creams like 1 percent hydrocortisone

All of these have the potential to penetrate the skin and cause a possible problem for a growing baby. The risk may be small, but it’s there, so just avoid the problem by avoiding the product. If acne breakout due to hormonal changes is an issue, ask the obstetrician for a safe solution. Sunscreens are typically safe for use during pregnancy. For a sunscreen that doesn’t penetrate the skin to work, check labels for the ingredient zinc oxide.


The Bellaband is a versatile device allowing the expectant mom to comfortably and easily transition the clothing gray area when regular pants still fit but not properly. The clever Bellaband allows the pregnant mom to wear regular pants unbuttoned or unzipped, while still keeping the area covered. The result just looks like the clothes have been layered. The Bellaband helps to save money on maternity clothes, too.

Belly butter

Few things are more annoying than a persistent itch. As the skin stretches more and more across the belly area, it will tend to itch. Look for itch lotions and creams intended for use during pregnancy. Especially helpful are jojoba oil and natural plant butter like shea butter and mango butter.

This article was originally published on

Why Expecting Mothers Need Paid Maternity Leave

Many countries in the developed world offer paid maternity leave to mothers. In the United States, though, that’s not always an option for women who work. Sometimes, they are put on state temporary disability programs. Even when employers do offer paid leave, they may require someone to have a certain length of service with the company before making it available. That can pose a challenge to women who are just starting out in their careers.

Another issue is the length of the leave on offer. Many women are able to step away from work for just a handful of weeks. In fact, research shows that mothers often benefit from spending more time than that at home with their baby. Women with lengthy paid maternity leaves are less likely to suffer from physical illness or post-partum depression. Their children seem to benefit, too. In fact, their babies have a lower chance of dying of SIDS.

In the US, everyone is able to take three months’ unpaid leave. This is a stark contrast to countries like the United Kingdom, which offer 12 weeks of paid leave. This alone may make a huge difference to a new parent’s mental health. A new baby also brings many new expenses, from follow-up doctors’ appointments to diapers, food, and clothing they will rapidly outgrow. Other countries do even better. Japan offers 36 weeks, and Estonia pays new mothers on leave for over a year.

Many activists and politicians, especially on the Left, would like to see the US join the ranks of these other nations. They believe that a national paid maternity leave would make a big difference in the family lives of millions of Americans. This is particularly true for the middle and working classes. Many executive-level women are able to take the time they need, and they can afford highly qualified nannies. The average American family, however, may struggle to juggle work schedules and vaccine schedules.

While maternity leave remains controversial in some circles, all the evidence points to benefits. A national maternity leave program is expected to remain an issue in Congress and at the state level. Of course, not every mother wants these benefits. But they would not be mandatory, rather just available.

This article was originally published on