23 to 27 Weeks Pregnant (part 1) - 23 WEEKS PREGNANT - CREATE A NONTOXIC ENVIRONMENT

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
WHAT IS CUTER than baby toys, baby clothes, and baby furniture? Nothing, except maybe Baby! Right about now you are probably feeling the desire to feather your nest even more intensely. Let’s capitalize on this hormonal phenomenon with well-timed organizing projects. (You might as well be focused in your quest rather than finding yourself scrubbing walls at 3:00 a.m. because it seemed like a good idea.) This month we move to what is perhaps my favorite organizing project: getting your baby’s room ready. Even if there will not be an entire separate room for your child, you can adapt the tips to whatever space you are turning over to him or her. From paint for the walls to finding the best changing table, I’ve got you covered—in ways that can save you time and money.

This month you’ll also be out in the world looking at many items that your emotions will urge you to buy. Don’t do it. After all, I’m sure there’s a baby shower in your future, not to mention a few friends who could loan you some key items. You don’t have to purchase everything you need. And if the item isn’t on your list, press the pause button and wait forty-eight hours. See if you still want it two days later. Ask your experienced mom friends if they know anything about this item. Is it worth the price? Work on your budget and shop within the sane parameters it sets for you.

In 2008 the United States Department of Agriculture calculated it would cost a family $221,190 to raise a child born that year to the age of eighteen. This figure did not include college. And of course you’ll have to adjust for inflation. But don’t panic: About $70,000 of this study was housing expenses and you’ll have those with or without Junior. You are in control of how much you spend in many areas, like toys, clothing, and entertainment. You don’t have to fall down this slippery slope.
In fact, that’s why I chose the quote from Helen Keller for this month. Yes, Baby needs “stuff,” but more importantly, he needs many intangible things, like a loving home that’s filled with peace and calm. You can create a sanctuary for Baby without going overboard. I promise you’ll have the right furniture and enough onesies and diapers.

Baby isn’t the only one who deserves a sanctuary. Mom and Dad do as well. Sometimes I enter a bedroom that’s a chaotic mess; I’m never surprised when everyone tells me they have trouble sleeping at night. Now that we’ve cleaned out the closet, we end this month with a return visit to your bedroom. We need to be sure it functions perfectly, welcomes you at the end of the day, and is dedicated to sleep and fun. Ideally your home is your sanctuary from the world—and your bedroom is the ultimate respite from the turmoil, trouble, and strife you may encounter from time to time.
Keep Romance Alive
Are you shocked to see a note about romance in a book designed to keep you organized? Remember that Zen Organizing isn’t just a system of tips and tricks to get organized. As a philosophy it goes much deeper than that. The goal of Zen Organizing is to help you create an environment that nurtures and supports you at every turn so you can fulfill your life’s purpose. When the home is calm, organized, and peace filled, it’s easier to consciously nurture your relationship with positive words and actions. When hormones are flowing, tempers can flare. And then there are all those unconscious fears floating around: Will I be a good parent? Do we have enough money for a down payment on a house? What about college? We drive ourselves crazy with “what if’s” during normal times. Now everything is heightened.
Remember to embrace the person who made this journey possible. It’s so easy to take the people we love the most for granted. Say please and thank you. Leave surprise “I Love You” notes around the home. Plan a regular date night, and aim to keep this tradition alive after the baby is born. (Interview prospective sitters now, and plug their numbers into your speed dial.) In the not-too-distant future you will be teaching your daughter or son the importance of manners. Start now to consciously demonstrate what manners look like. They are, after all, a way of expressing love.


Make Baby Feel Welcome: Transform His Room or Living Area

This week, you can
• Become more aware of contaminants in common household products and items, and investigate healthy options

• Clean out the room intended for Baby

• Decide on what improvements are necessary

T HE GOOD NEWS about this week is that most people won’t be saddled with a big, renovation-style makeover of a room for Baby. For most of you, it will involve simply moving some types of furniture out and purchasing a few baby-geared pieces in their place. But while you’re doing so, it’s good to consider the pros and cons of various types of paint, carpet, wood flooring, and area rugs, especially when it comes to environmental toxicity. The goal this entire month is to help you create a welcoming space for Baby that will adapt to his needs over time without breaking your bank. Let’s get started.


Before you purchase paint and furniture, be aware that some new materials may emit toxic volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs. The issue is called “off-gassing”—but Beano can’t rescue this situation!

The fumes we smell, like those from fresh paint, varnish, or wood stain, tell us that VOCs are present. The volatile organic compounds being released can be hazardous to your health, especially if the area in question is enclosed (new car smell, anyone?). Breathing the chemicals in, as well as absorbing them through the skin, are the big concerns. Keep in mind, however, that some harmful compounds may emit no odor.

I had never been really conscious of this phenomenon until a few years ago when I painted my apartment, got new carpet, and purchased new furniture. Because I rent my apartment, unfortunately I had to go with the carpet the management wanted. The fumes were toxic and noxious. As far as new furniture, the smell coming from the mattress and box spring alone was overpowering. There are petroleum-based by-products used in the manufacture of these products.

At the time, I had an old golden retriever and several birds. They were all shipped to a friend’s house until it was safe to come home. I was with the various workmen all day but slept at my friend’s house with my pets. When I came home, I bought an air purifier, which saved the situation.

Your baby is developing quickly and every day counts. Over the next month, his brain development will be particularly rapid. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency among others, the gases that paint and other solvents release over time can cause a variety of problems. The list is long and includes nausea; eye, ear, and nose irritation; damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system; and of course cancer (http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.htm and http://www.nrdc.org/thisgreenlife/0905.asp).

While no studies have been performed to date to determine the possible effects of exposing pregnant women to VOCs, I think it’s safe to assume that the less off-gassing you’re exposed to, the better. Let’s keep your home environment as clean and pure as we can.

Read the labels of any new products you plan to use, especially during preparation of your baby’s room. The first line of defense is to purchase products that are as pure as possible, such as paints marketed as “low VOC” or better yet “zero VOC.” Begin with a visit to your local paint store and use your favorite online search engine to find the latest in these products. Famous makers like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams each have lines of low-VOC paint. I also found a company called Baby Safe Finishes (www.babysafefinishes.com) that specializes in safe products for you and your baby.

Next, be sure to keep the area well ventilated. Wear protective clothing including gloves, a mask, long pants, and a longsleeved shirt. If you begin to have any unusual symptoms like burning eyes or difficulty breathing, leave the area immediately. If you aren’t able to purchase non-toxic furniture or low-VOC paints (yes, they can be expensive), consider going out of town for the weekend while the painting is going on and/or while new furniture is being installed. Leave windows open if possible and/or run an air purifier to eliminate some of the gases from the air.
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