Abdominal Support During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Support Band at bynature.ca

Once you add an extra 30lbs of weight right up front during pregnancy, your body needs extra support. Abdominal exercises can give you that support, and a pregnancy support band can give you more help when needed.

Ideally, exercises throughout your pregnancy will build your abdominal muscles to support the weight of your growing baby. It only takes a few minutes a day to tighten your abdominal muscles while you are sitting or standing. For a specific workout, consult an expert. You do need to avoid lying on your back after the first trimester, avoid certain exercises if you are experiencing diastasis, and be particularly careful if you are carrying multiples. Your trainer can help you assess your specific situation and suggest helpful exercises.

Your body was built to support your baby, but you need to work the muscles designed to do the job, and you may need to adjust your posture as your weight changes.

Whatever workout to decide on, you may still feel some lower back pain. Especially late in your pregnancy, when you are probably carrying an extra 25-35lbs, you might find that you need extra support to prevent back ache.

Abdominal support belts for pregnancy have become very popular. If you decide to use a support belt, use it sparingly—no more than a few hours a day. Your own muscles need to support your baby and all of the extra fluid you are carrying, and you use those same muscles that support you during pregnancy as you push your baby out during labor. The more efficiently all of the layers of your abdominal muscles work in both cases, the better.

When you choose a pregnancy support belt, make sure that it gives overall support without putting extra strain on your back.

Seamless Pregnancy Support Band

We carry the Pregnancy Support Band, a medical, seamless compression band that you slip into. When you wear this maternity band, you will feel immediate relief for lumbar and abdominal pain. The flexible fabric has tri-dimensional support zones for the most comfort, and it stretches to adapt to all shapes and sizes. And, the Pregnancy Support Band is Made in Canada.

Build your own body’s support system for your pregnancy then you will only need to rely on a belly band or maternity belt in exceptional cases. Be strong!


More resources for a well-supported pregnancy

Ready, Set, Push workout from Fit Pregnancy

“Back Pain During Pregnancy: 7 Tips for Relief,” Mayo Clinic

Reusable Lunch Bag Supplies

Mimi the Sardine Reusable Lunch Bag for Kids

Have you packed that first school lunch yet? Many schools now require a waste-free lunch. At bynature.ca we carry a variety of reusable supplies you can choose to replace the throwaway lunch bags and make your child’s lunch waste-free.


Reusable Lunch Bags & Boxes

Laptop Lunch bento boxes

Start with the bag or lunch box itself.

Replace paper bags with a bento box for cut up lunch in the tidy little boxes of the Laptop Lunches Bento System or freeform lunch of any shape in a colorful Mimi the Sardine bag?


Reusable Sandwich Containers

Stainless Steel sandwich container

Next, containers for the food. If you chose the Bento Box already, congratulations! You already have the box and the containers.

Replace baggies with Planet Wise Sandwich Bag with a window or put the sandwich in a stainless steel Lunchbot Uno.


Reusable Water Bottle

Clean Canteen reusable bottle

Then, the drink.

Replace a juice box or a canned drink with a stainless steel Klean Kanteen or a glass, flip-top bottle from Lifefactory?


Reusable Utensils

Reusable Bamboo Utensils

Finally, what utensils will your child use?

Replace plastic utensils with lightweight, reusable bamboo To-Go Ware or just send finger foods.

More on School Lunch and School Supplies

Back-to-school Backpack Supplies

Young children wearing SoYoung Mother Backpacks

Are you getting ready for school? I just bought school supplies today. Tis’ the season of sharpened pencils, and I have a few suggestions for eco-friendly back-to-school supplies.


Backpack

First, your child will probably need a backpack.

We love the colorful characters in our Dabbawalla collection of children’s backpacks. This season, we also have a new backpack from SoYoung Mother. The coated linen exterior is PVC-free. The interior is nylon lined with a zippered mesh pocket to keep gear separated. The best part about the SoYoung Mother backpack is the fully detachable, matching lunch box. It fits inside the pack, if the child has little to carry, but it can attach to the outside of the pack to give more carrying room. The pack is small (9″ x 11″ x 5″), so it isn’t overwhelming for a young child.

SoYoung Mother Linen Child’s Backpack
SoYoung Kid's Backpack at bynature.ca


Pencils

Next, pencils are one of those iconic basics every student needs.

Our favorite pencils are made not from wood but from recycled newspaper. The unpainted pencils are great because you can see the newspaper the pencil is made from. They sharpen easily, and the 12-pack comes with a sharpener. These are premium pencils from Earthzone, a Canadian company. (Pencils are made responsibly in China.)

Earthzone Recycled Newspaper Pencils
Pencils made from newspaper


Water Bottle

Also, it helps to have a water bottle.

Most kids won’t need to carry a lot of water if there are drinking fountains at school, but it helps to have a water bottle in the backpack for the walk to and from school. A small, 12-ounce Klean Kanteen water bottle is the perfect size. On a warm day, you can add ice cubes easily with this wide-mouth bottle. On a cold day, a hot drink will stay warm up to 6 hours. Leakproof and easy to clean.

Klean Kanteen 12oz Reusable Water Bottle
Reusable Water Bottle Klean Kanteen


Snack Bag

Finally, a snack in the pack might leave your child less tempted to ask for the expensive, unhealthy snacks that a lot of schools have in vending machines.

There are a lot of great snack bags available now. Our newest is the Sling Sisters Snack Bag. These zippered snack bags have cute, cotton prints on the outside with nylon (laminated to be waterproof) on the inside. The 4″ x 6″ size is perfect for a cut up apple or a handful of grapes. These bags are also a good size to fit crayons or a cell phone. Clean in the washer on cold.

Sling Sisters Reusable Snack Bag
Zippered Snack Bag at bynature.ca

I’ll come back next week with reusable lunch boxes and lunch bags.

How Is Your Garden Growing?

Child picking berries in the garden

Is your garden not really what you expected this year? A bit neglected? Don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes (well, a lot of the time) ambition runs ahead of capacity. It’s great to have that big, beautiful goal of a sustainable life to keep you inspired, but you don’t reach your goal in one season. Each of us needs to take our own eco baby steps.

I asked a few of my friends, including our own Nature Mom, how their gardens have been growing this year. Everyone I asked is a bit like me: juggling work, kids, volunteering, and a yard full of good intentions. No one was eager to answer me because no one managed to plant the garden they intended this year. Me? I have persistent herbs, berries, and grapes. I have bed after bed of flowers that my mother planted at least 10 years ago. They all grow no matter what I do, and I love them for it. When my friends and neighbors offer me peppers and tomatoes from their gardens, I make sure they go away with hands full of mint and fennel. It’s not much, but it is what my juggling allows. And, it’s wonderful!

Did you have big plans for your garden this year that didn’t quite work out? Don’t worry about it. Love what you have and figure out how to take the few hours next year to take another eco baby step toward the garden that you aspire to have.

Don’t let slip your mind that one step to improve your garden next year, though. Write it out in a bright color and put it next to you desk or on your refrigerator. Put it where you and others will see it. Commit to that one step, whether it’s replacing a dying vine or digging a new bed for tomatoes. Then, let that one step be a source of motivation to you. You can do it.

Image © Tiziano Casalta | Dreamstime.com

Summer with Baby Roundup

Mother and baby outside in the summer

If you are planning to go camping, hiking, or just walking around town with your baby, you will find some helpful tips in our round-up of posts from Eco Baby Steps.


Camping

Your Camping with Baby Checklist
Are you ready to jump in? Check your packing list and make sure you have these basic items before you go camping with your baby.

Camping with Cloth Diapers
Long post on using cloth diapers while camping covers what to take, how to wash, and what to do when you run out. Fun personal experience resources as well.


Hiking

Hiking with Baby
Start out hiking with your baby, and you end up with toddlers and children who can’t wait to explore the outdoors. Tips for safety, gear, and other considerations.


Flying & Other Travel

Using Cloth Diapers on a Plane
What you need and how to make it work when you are flying to your vacation and you want to keep your baby in cloth diapers. What works depends on your needs, but this list is a great start.

Travelling with Cloth Diapers
If you haven’t travelled with cloth diapers before, it might seem a bit of a mystery. A lot of parents do use cloth diapers while they travel, though, and they have created very helpful resources for you.


Closer to Home

Daycation Exploration with Toddlers
Whether money, time, or the stress of travel has you wanting to stay closer to home this year, you can still create that vacation feeling for children with short explorations. Includes ideas how to make day-long vacations work for you and your children.

5 Tips for Non-toxic Sun Protection for Babies
If you are going to be outside with your baby, especially if your baby is less than 6 months old, you need sun protection. The basics of non-toxic protection from the sun.

7 Tips for a Successful Picnic with Kids
You can still improvise summer fun if you know you have the basics covered. Just a little planning and preparation will help you and your child avoid a hot, sticky meltdown.

Cool Summer Babywearing
Basic tips for keeping cool(er) while wearing your baby in the summer, plus a few recommendations for carriers depending whether you have dry heat or humid heat.

3 Steps to Summer Babywearing Success
Another post on staying cool while babywearing. Walks you through three basic steps for you to find a baby carrier and a carry that will work for you.

Summer in Nature for Your Children
How to give your child enough structure that they get curious about nature and start to explore on their own. Great list of resources.

Image © Evgeniya Tubol | Dreamstime.com