Guide to choosing the best deodorants and perfumes for pregnancy

You don’t just wear perfume and deodorant to smell good, but you also do this to feel good. The scents that you prefer during pre-pregnancy may not be the best for you and your baby, however. As not all regular commercially available fragrances and deodorants are not made equal, you won’t be getting the same benefit if you opt for a scent won’t do you any better in the long run. Choose the right products to use, whether it be the best deodorant for pregnancy, fragrances, or just about anything that will touch your skin or get absorbed through your skin.

The process of selecting which would be the best perfume or deodorant for you does not end at each product packaging, however. Remember that the label may not say it all. Moreover, commercially made scents are normally formulated with toxic chemicals. These harmful chemicals can be absorbed through the bloodstream and other body organs and may lead to pregnancy complications, so you need to be very careful when choosing the best scent or deodorant from those that are available for you to use.

The length the exposure to these toxic ingredients also counts. Since fragrances and deodorants are applied every day and remain on the skin throughout the day, it is quite easy for the substances that touch your skin to go deep into your system. In addition to this, pregnancy makes one heavy with a baby to have a very sensitive sense of smell. This oversensitivity to certain scents can cause nausea and headaches whenever they apply strong fragrances and deodorants.

Does it mean that you should not use fragrances and deodorants while you are pregnant?

Pregnancy symptoms vary from one woman to another. Majority of pregnant women show some aversion to certain scents just as they do have a tendency to dislike certain taste and experiences. Even then, the use of personal hygiene and beauty products, such as fragrances and scents, are considered generally safe during pregnancy. Most doctors agree that the chemicals contained in the deodorants and perfumes just stay on the epidermis or the skin’s surface. Most health experts also agree that not enough toxins may be absorbed through the skin even in the presence of minor cuts on the skin’s surface, hence cannot cause any substantial damage to either the expecting mom and her baby.

If you are pregnant, you still need to be cautious of the products that you use since there could just be one or two that may cause an allergic reaction when applied on your skin. It is best to go with products that are made from organic raw materials. If you have any questions about a particular ingredient indicated in a product label, seek your doctor’s advise before buying or using that product.

Fragrances and Deodorants that You Should Not Use

Here are some of the products that you should stay away from while you are pregnant: camphor, aniseed, pennyroyal, birch, wintergreen, and sage essential oils.

Chemicals like parabens, BHA, silica, sodium lauryl sulfate, petroleum by-products, propylene glycol, coal tars, triclosan, polyethylene/pegs, and formaldehyde are also considered unsafe during pregnancy.

What fragrances and deodorants should you use?

Go for deodorants that are labeled as aluminum-free since aluminum-based compounds have been linked to a higher risk of neurological problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease, gene instability, as well as breast cancer.

It will also be best to opt for unscented perfumes and deodorants instead. Fragrances, as well as those labeled as synthetic fragrances, are known to be hormone disruptors and may cause potential harm to you and your baby.

It is also safer to limit your use of fragrances and deodorants. Always go for products that are made of all natural ingredients to stay on the safer side.

Some of these alternative natural fragrances are as follows: cinnamon, cucumber, balsam, cocoa butter, hibiscus, cranberry, passion fruit, citrus oil, peach, lilac, cherry, lemon mint leaf, tea tree oil, rosemary oil, honey apple, chamomile, and spearmint.

Don’t take chances, consult a doctor if you see these signs

Even when you use products that contain natural ingredients it will still be possible that you may experience an allergic reaction, a headache, choking, or see rashes on portions of your skin where the product was applied or sprayed on. Don’t take chances. If you experience any of these adverse reactions, consult a doctor right away.

As always, it is better to be safe than sorry. Don’t take the risk. Consider these recommendations to stay safe during your pregnancy.

Chelsea Levy

BIO Chelsea is the co-founder and creator of MY OM, an interactive yoga study app. After graduating from Lafayette College with a dual major in Art History and French, she pursued her creative passions working first in New York as a gallery representative at a prestigious Madison Avenue gallery, and then as a rights administrator representing copyrights for various artists and artist’s estates. Her desire for a more direct relationship with her community and a vision of helping others find more contentment in their careers and personal lives, led her to leave the arts in 2012 to pursue her second passion, practicing and teaching yoga. In 2014, she found the opportunity to harness both her creativity as well as her desire to empower others through the philosophies of yoga. During her own advanced teacher training, she noticed a void in approachable and accessible learning tools for the 36 million yogis (and growing) in the U.S., many of whom are pursuing teacher certification. MY OM seeks to fill that void by providing access to knowledge in a place that is with most of us all of the time: our phones. Chelsea’s understanding of visual influence, the psychology of color and design, afforded her the ability to approach the development of the app with a discerning eye, while also contributing to much of the app’s content. She has overseen every step of the process from concept and development to launching and marketing of the app. Never one to back down from a challenge, she has embraced an ever-changing path that led her from the arts to yoga and now to the world of app development. She lives in Venice, California with her husband and baby daughter on the way.

WHAT BIG PROJECT ARE YOU WORKING ON? MY OM officially launched in the App Store in February 2016. We are thrilled with the positive reception that app has received thus far, and are looking forward to watching our community grow as we continue to market the app.

HOW HAS PREGNANCY AFFECTED YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS? Being pregnant with a baby girl, who will one day grow into a woman with her own dreams and desires, I feel a special responsibility to her and her future as a contributing member of society. I feel fortunate to see so many examples of women breaking boundaries and making gender gaps smaller and smaller every day. I hope that by the time she is an adult, she won’t have to pick and choose between her dreams based on the perceptions placed on her by society. With my own desire to become a mother, there was also always an underlying necessity to find a career that gave me the flexibility needed to be present with my child. For me, that meant becoming my own boss, and leaving the arts where I saw many colleagues unable to balance happy careers with motherhood. Even still, I felt (and still do feel sometimes) a certain amount of pressure to reach a particular level of personal success before becoming a mom. I am grateful to have an incredibly supportive partner who reminds me to feel proud of myself on even my most insecure days, and understands that parenting with respective careers and professional pursuits is a team effort.

ADVICE FOR OTHER CAREER-MINDED WOMEN WHO LOVE “THE HUSTLE” & WHO ARE ALSO THINKING ABOUT STARTING A FAMILY? When I finally decided I was “ready” to get pregnant it took quite some time, and money, and many fertility consultations in order to actually conceive. It was a roller coaster of emotions and with that came many moments of regret wondering if I had selfishly prioritized my own personal and professional goals ahead of motherhood, as well as worry that now it was too late. Thankfully, there are many ways to get pregnant and I will become a mother in 2016. I will say, as many have before me, you’re never “ready.” During the time I was trying to get pregnant two of my close girlfriends, both of whom are in the prime of their careers, got pregnant very unexpectedly and I’ve watched them each figure out the balance with grace and intelligence. So if you know becoming a mother is a part of your life plan but aren’t quite ready, you might want to consider freezing your eggs to take the pressure off, or just take the plunge!

Jeana McDonough

BIO Jeana is currently the Senior Director of National Events at entertainment giant iHeartMedia. She started with the company when iHeartRadio was just beginning, and a large part of her role was to create the platforms that would bring the new brand to life to consumers and clients alike. Four and a half years later, Jeana has been instrumental in the success of iHeartRadio’s growth and exposure. On a daily basis, she is responsible for conceptualizing and producing all of the ancillary events that take place around iHeartRadio’s original events on a national level. She produces the company’s B2B event activations as well. Prior to her current job at iHeartMedia, Jeana was with MTV Networks for nine years where she grew within the company coordinating events and experiences at the MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Movie Awards, CMT Music Awards, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and BET Awards, to name only a few. Jeana is incredibly passionate about events, and when not planning them professionally, is planning them personally for family and friends whether be bridal and baby showers, or birthday celebrations. When Jeana isn’t planning events, you can find her in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn where she lives with her husband. Their first baby is due in August.

WHAT BIG PROJECT ARE YOU WORKING ON? iHeartRadio’s biggest event of the year, the iHeartRadio Music Festival, takes place annually in September in Las Vegas, NV. My role in the Music Festival is to plan and execute all of the ancillary events that take place around the festival weekend. I have been working on it for months and will be doing so right up until my baby’s anticipated arrival time at the end of August. After that, I will have a team that will take over in my absence to execute onsite. In addition to the pre-planning, it’s my job to set that team up for success.

HOW HAS PREGNANCY AFFECTED YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS? Short term speaking, pregnancy has forced me to work ahead in a way I’ve never been able to. With an incredibly busy work schedule, it is often impossible to work ahead on projects as one would typically prefer. However with a due date in sight, that thought process changes, and while it’s still difficult to work ahead you must find the time to make it happen in order to remain successful in your role. It adds pressure for sure. But it can be done. Long term speaking, pregnancy has forced me to look at the larger picture of juggling a career and a family. I haven’t had my baby yet, so this question might be better suited for after I do. However, the way I’m viewing it is that I’ll be sorting priorities differently. If a large event and the timelines surrounding it were considered critical and/or a priority before, those will take a back seat to the ability to be present at home before anything else. That won’t make me any less committed or successful to my job, there will just be a switch in priorities.

ADVICE FOR OTHER CAREER-MINDED WOMEN WHO LOVE “THE HUSTLE” & WHO ARE ALSO THINKING ABOUT STARTING A FAMILY? A career helps shape you as a woman, but starting and building a family will define you as a woman. They can live in harmony together as long as you can keep your priorities in order. Or at least that’s the attitude I’m entering this next phase of life with. Ask me in 5 years 🙂

Matilda Sung

BIO Matilda leads the digital media strategy group at the National Football League (NFL) where she oversees the business planning around the League’s core US digital initiatives. Matilda specializes in digital strategy planning, growth acquisitions, turnarounds, and digital transformation; her expertise lies in digital portfolio optimization, e-commerce strategy and new venture investments. Matilda started her career in investment banking in London and then New York and eventually moved to the West Coast to obtain her Masters in Business Administration from UC Berkeley. Since graduation she has honed in on a technology and digital focus, working at McKinsey and Co. where she served clients across various industries (technology, pharmaceuticals, financial services, retail) on their digital needs. Beyond her business strategist persona, she is also a philanthropist, and a mom. As a former ballerina she maintains close to the dance community as both a dance instructor with the Manhattan Beach School of Dance & Music and a regular at Los Angeles Ballet’s events. Matilda also leads the fundraising committee within the women’s group at the Southern California Golf Association Junior. As a working mother of (almost) two boys, she is extremely passionate about maintaining a healthy work/life balance and believes there is much more that corporate America can do in support.

WHAT BIG PROJECT ARE YOU WORKING ON? Currently pulling together the NFL’s 5 year strategic plan for digital media!

HOW HAS PREGNANCY AFFECTED YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS? I am certainly conscious of being pregnant while at work and am acutely aware of the stereotypes and biases that can come with that. At first this recognition made me self-conscious and at times overly anxious. I have learnt to take this opportunity to break those stereotypes by continuing to be a star performer but also using this time to educate people on the challenges that our work environments can pose to pregnant women and working mothers. It’s not just about us leaning in but also our colleagues, our leaders, our government leaning in.

ADVICE FOR OTHER CAREER-MINDED WOMEN WHO LOVE “THE HUSTLE” & WHO ARE ALSO THINKING ABOUT STARTING A FAMILY? There will be compromises and tradeoffs in life and more so when it comes to balancing family and career. Be honest with yourself and your partner and family about what the tradeoffs are and make sure you are ok with them. It’s ok to see your values change over time – we are humans and we change and grow daily. Just make sure you are attuned to your own self regularly and communicate often to those around you as to what is important to you.

Talia Goldstein

BIO Talia is the CEO and founder of Three Day Rule. After studying communication at Tulane University, Talia worked as a TV producer at E! True Hollywood Story, where she quickly became the office dating expert, setting up many co-workers with matches and handing out insightful dating advice from her cubicle. Recognizing her hidden talent for matchmaking, Talia quit her full-time job and began hosting popular singles events and offering personalized matchmaking services. Three Day Rule was officially created in 2013, allowing Talia to turn her lifelong hobby of matchmaking into a thriving business. After receiving an investment from Match/IAC in 2014, Talia has also secured partnerships with OkCupid, JDate, Christian Mingle and The League. Talia has appeared on Good Morning America, and has been featured in Fortune, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post and more. Leveraging her extensive network of successful, attractive singles, Talia has found matches for hundreds of clients, including top executives, entrepreneurs, celebrities and everyday young professionals. She has made it her mission to help clients on their quest to find true love, and is thrilled that her work allows her to make a difference in people’s lives. Talia lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

WHAT BIG PROJECT ARE YOU WORKING ON? Three Day Rule is currently in seven cities and we’re adding more matchmakers to scale!

HOW HAS PREGNANCY AFFECTED YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS? I’ve been pregnant twice while running Three Day Rule and both times I did not have one free minute to rest. Aside from my massive belly, I acted like every other member on my team. I hustled, attended events and fundraised. I have had the luxury of fundraising twice pregnant. The first time I hid my pregnancy by wearing trench coats in 90 degree weather and closed my funding quickly. The second time I decided to own my pregnancy, wear tight dresses and not be ashamed. I had investors ask me to stand up and twirl around and others who spent an abnormal amount of time asking me baby related questions. Of the nine investors who invested in that round, not one put money in while meeting me pregnant. They all met me before or after I had the baby. There is a very real and unfair stigma today about pregnant female founders. Being a mother and a founder should not be mutually exclusive terms.

ADVICE FOR OTHER CAREER-MINDED WOMEN WHO LOVE “THE HUSTLE” & WHO ARE ALSO THINKING ABOUT STARTING A FAMILY? There will never be a good time – EVER. If you want a family, do it. You will find a way to make it work.

Jamie Filipovic

BIO Jamie is an NFL Agent and a Partner at a boutique law firm in Chicago. After putting herself through school at The University of Michigan she moved to the Windy City to pursue her passion for the law at The University of DePaul Law School. Although she married her college sweet-heart, a then Punter in the NFL, in her mid-20s she and her husband put off having children until her late 30s so that she could focus on her career. She joined her current firm in 2008 and made partner within two years. She is a Certified NFL Agent and has built her law practice around Employment Law. She successfully defends and advises management on employment matters such as hiring and firing practices, wage claims like equal pay and retaliation and discrimination, including pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. She has been named to the Illinois Rising Stars list, an honor reserved for only 2.5 % of attorneys in Illinois for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice. She leads a Women’s Marketing Group and mentors female associates in an effort to get more women to stay in the practice of law.

WHAT BIG PROJECT ARE YOU WORKING ON? With a baby due in early February and a trial scheduled for late October and another in early March (an Equal Pay Act case in federal court), I am busy preparing for trials while working my remaining caseload and managing those Associate attorneys working with me. As an NFL agent, since this is football season, I must also stay on top of the game (literally), and hustle to get my free agent clients on a team.

HOW HAS PREGNANCY AFFECTED YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS? This is my second pregnancy and both pregnancies have encouraged me to focus more on the future of my career and have helped me to figure out that the key to being a successful law firm partner is developing my own book of clients. This helps me to excel in my firm and also creates independence and more flexibility for me. This is one of the reasons I became an NFL Agent. I don’t want clients to pass me over because they think “Oh, she will soon be on maternity leave.” In the grand scheme, it is such a short time that we are out of the office and I want people to understand that pregnant or not, I am in this for the long haul. As such, I focus more of my efforts on marketing and building on the client relationships that I have. Being pregnant and having children has helped me relate more to my clients with families, but also to the workplace culture and its relationships with pregnant and working women. I can better advise and defend businesses on these relationships and policies because I have been there myself. And finally, it has made me want to be a better mentor for the women in my office – to show them how you can be successful in this career and have a family. Too many women are leaving the law, especially law firms, and I want to help change that.

ADVICE FOR OTHER CAREER-MINDED WOMEN WHO LOVE “THE HUSTLE” & WHO ARE ALSO THINKING ABOUT STARTING A FAMILY? With the right help, you really can do it all. Surround yourself with those that support your decisions to have a successful career and family – friends, colleagues, mentors and family. It really does take a village, so do not be afraid to delegate and ask for help, both at home and at work. I am very fortunate that when my husband retired from the NFL, he started his own business training other kickers and punters which has led to a very flexible schedule where he can stay home with our daughters three days a week and carries a lot of the load. Ask for help, but also continue to help and support other women – it will come back to you, I promise. I waited until my late 30s to have children because I wanted to become a partner and establish myself in my career before starting a family, and that worked for me, but it is not for everyone. You have to figure out the timing that is best for you, but remember sometimes the timing is not always in your control. If you wait until later, it may take a lot longer than you anticipated, as it did for my husband and me. Rather than waste my energy on guilt, I focus on being a role model for my daughters. For them to grow up seeing a mother that has balance and loves going to work every day is an invaluable lesson. Although it is hard, make sure to take some time for yourself each day – even if it is 10 minutes to exercise, meditate, read or whatever it is that you like to do. You will be a better mom, wife and business person if you do. Stay grounded and don’t sweat the small stuff – be flexible but stay focused on the big picture. If you love what you do and surround yourself with supportive people, you will be successful at work and at home.

Allyson Downey

BIO Allyson Downey is an entrepreneur, MBA, writer, and parent who has built a career on the power of trusted advice. In 2013, she launched weeSpring, a Techstars-backed startup that helps new and expecting parents collect advice from their friends about what they need for their baby. weeSpring has received accolades from TechCrunch, Mashable, CNBC, and the Daily Mail, and it was heralded as “Yelp for baby products” by InStyle magazine. She is also the author of Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood (Seal Press, 2016). She’s written for publications like Time, Fast Company, and the Wall Street Journal about women, work, and family, and she’s been a speaker at NYU Stern, Columbia Business School, and Women 2.0. She has appeared on ABC World News Now, Power Pitch on CNBC, and other outlets. Allyson has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, and a BA from Colby College. She serves on the board of Democracy Prep Public Schools, one of the country’s top charter management organizations, and lives in Boulder with her husband and two children.

WHAT BIG PROJECT ARE YOU WORKING ON? Coming soon!

HOW HAS PREGNANCY AFFECTED YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS? Coming soon!

ADVICE FOR OTHER CAREER-MINDED WOMEN WHO LOVE “THE HUSTLE” & WHO ARE ALSO THINKING ABOUT STARTING A FAMILY? Coming soon!

Jennifer Siegert

BIO Jennifer Siegert is Head of Sales for The Coveteur, the leading destination for a luxurious, behind-the-scenes look at all things fashion, lifestyle and culture. With over a decade of experience, Siegert oversees the sales team and leads in building out sales and integrated partnerships for the brand. Prior to joining The Coveteur, Siegert was the International Fashion Director at InStyle, where she significantly increased digital revenue through buys with high fashion brands. She also has previous sales experience working at reputable magazines and newspapers, including Details, Travel + Leisure, The Wall Street Journal, and Teen Vogue, where she was awarded Sales Person of the Year in 2013.

WHAT BIG PROJECT ARE YOU WORKING ON? The Coveteur hired me last September to create and scale a dynamic sales team. Over the past year, we have grown our sales team significantly, over doubled our revenue year over year and have broken many of the best known luxury brands in the world. As we head into 2H, my main focus is on scaling the business even further, setting ourselves up for major growth in 2017. I am also spearheading some big initiatives around NYFW, The Coveteur’s coffee table book launch in October, and a major Art Basel activation in Miami this December in partnership with BFA.

HOW HAS PREGNANCY AFFECTED YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS? It is more important to me than ever that I have a job where I am passionate about the brand, respect and truly enjoy the people I work with, and feel that I am making a difference. I have no doubt that going back to work is going to be hard (and I know I will feel guilty at times for not staying at home with my daughter) so having a job that fulfills me and where I know I will have the support of the people in my company and flexibility is absolutely essential. I am also fortunate and grateful to have a very involved husband whom I know will help make this work/life balance possible. I have always been a planner and highly motivated, but more so now than ever as I count down the weeks to my maternity leave. My focus is planning for the next 6 months and making sure that my team is fully ready and prepared during my absence so that our goals through the end of the year and going into 2017 are met.

ADVICE FOR OTHER CAREER-MINDED WOMEN WHO LOVE “THE HUSTLE” & WHO ARE ALSO THINKING ABOUT STARTING A FAMILY? As I get closer to my due date, I have anxieties on how I am going to do it all – be a great mom, continue to be a successful business woman, have time for my husband, see my friends and keep up with my normal workout schedule. I think understanding that there is no perfect formula to work/life balance while always prioritizing each day around what’s most important is essential. Be kind to yourself and remember that you are doing the best you can.