I just had my third baby, Síofra, 6 weeks ago so thought I’d write about all the vegan things I packed in my labour and hospital bags. As well as all the usual things, like pyjamas, big comfy underwear, baby clothes, etc. I needed a lot of toiletries and things that are often tested on animals or contain non-vegan ingredients.
Figuring out what products are suitable for vegans can take a bit of time, when you’re newly vegan, but you get used to it quickly enough. Health stores usually have a good selection of vegan products, which will often be marked as vegan and not tested on animals. Some supermarkets don’t test their own brand products on animals, and more and more companies are stating on their packaging if the product is suitable for vegans. You might have to do a quick internet search or email the company to be sure though. One sure way to know is if the product has the Leaping Bunny symbol or Vegan Society symbol.
So these are a few of the things that I found useful.
I like the Superdrug own brand range. Superdrug are against animal testing and the products are really good value. Most of their products are suitable for vegans, and this is stated on the packaging, though not every product, so you have to check. I don’t get there often because there isn’t one where I live, but you can order on their website and they have free delivery if you buy over a certain amount, so that was really handy for me.
I got all the basic things from Superdrug like shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and toothpaste. They have travel size bottles, which was handy. And these refreshing hand wipes were nice and cooling during labour.
Superdrug’s My Little Star range of maternity and baby products are all not tested on animals, and mostly vegan apart from the nipple cream, nappy cream and baby SPF50 sun lotion. I’ve tried a few of these before, and stocked up on a lot of them this time for the hospital and after the baby was born.
I got these My Little Star maternity pads and breast pads, which were really good value. Another vegan option, which would be more environmentally friendly, would be to use reusable washable maternity pads and breast pads like Lunapads and Bamboobies. With three kids and already endless laundry to do, I chose to go with disposables for convenience.
I’ve recently heard that some nappies contain animal fat. (Is there anything they can’t put unnecessary animal products in?) So I stocked up on a lot of these Superdrug nappies, as well as baby wipes and cotton wool pads. You can also find nappies in health food shops that are environmentally friendly and vegan, like Naty nappies. Another great option for vegans, is to use cloth nappies, which are usually vegan (some are made of wool though), and are much more environmentally friendly, can work out chaper, and are really cute!
In the first few weeks with a newborn, I like to use just water to clean them, which works perfectly fine and is more gentle on their skin. But I got this baby wash because it was such good value. I’ve mostly used it for the boys, but use a little of the soft wash for washing Síofra’s hair. They’re really nice and smell lovely!
I’ve heard so many times in vegan parenting groups that Earth Mama Angel Baby products are amazing. I emailed the company who assured me that all their products are vegan and not tested on animals. A lot of brands of nipple cream are lanolin based (from sheep’s wool) or otherwise not vegan so it’s great to be able to get a vegan nipple cream. They also do baby products like nappy cream. I didn’t find that my babies needed nappy cream much, so didn’t buy any, but it would be useful to have too. I didn’t end up needing to use the spray (thankfully!) and just used the nipple butter a little in the first week or two. But they say the nipple butter can be used on any dry skin, etc. so I’ve used it on my hands which have been really dry since I’m always cooking and cleaning and feeding animals so wash my hands a lot. And it has been really great for my hands! I would have loved to have these two products when I had my first baby, so really think they’re worth having just in case.
Batiste dry shampoo is suitable for vegans and not tested on animals, and could come in very useful if you need to refresh your hair a bit in the hospital but can’t wash it for some reason. And it definitely was useful for me in the early days with a new baby, when it’s not always easy to find the time to wash your hair! It also comes in travel size cans, which would be useful for bring to hospital.
I love Crystal Spring Salt of the Earth deodorants, which are suitable for vegans and not tested on animals. They are great for sensitive skin, and I find my skin is more sensitive when I’m pregnant. They are also natural, and so I don’t mind using them around a new baby, whereas I wouldn’t like spraying regular deodorant near a baby when they’re newborn. This solid deodorant is very useful for travelling or bringing to hospital. You simply use it on wet skin or wet it and rub it on your skin. Then dry it off with a towel and put the lid back on.
Lip balm can be great to have during labour because your lips can get really dry. Maternity wards can be very hot too, which can be drying for your lips, so it’s a good idea to have a good lip balm. I got this gorgeous one from Lush, which smells lovely and works really well. It was such a nice treat to myself that I packed it for the hospital, because we all need something nice when we’re in labour or have just had a baby! All Lush products are not tested on animals, and most are vegan, which will be stated on the packaging.
Lavender oil can be good to help you relax during labour. You can use it in a diffuser, put a few drops on your pillow to help you sleep, smell it or rub it on your skin. I find it quite hard to sleep in the hospital with all the noise and lights and being in a strange bed, so find lavender oil really relaxing.
Coconut oil is really useful to have for all kinds of things, as a light moisturiser for you or your baby, I’ve heard of people using it as a nappy cream or nipple cream. And of course, it’s completely vegan! It’s a bit expensive but a tub of it lasts me for ages.
And that’s pretty much it! I don’t think I even used everything when I was in hospital but I guess it was good to have just in case I needed it.
Looking at all the things now, I think I could have used more environmentally friendly and all natural products, but I was also trying to not spend too much money. I want to start trying to make a few products for me and the kids soon, so will post about that when I do!
If anyone has any suggestions for things they found useful for their hospital bag, or any recommendations for baby or maternity products they like, let me know in the comments.