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Mother Essentials: Dr. Kristian Henderson

Written by Erin Feher

Are you ready for a major dose of inspiration? Today we have entrepreneurial powerhouse and clean-living expert Dr. Kristian Henderson sharing her Mother Essentials with us. Her brilliance (she holds a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a Doctorate degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health) is matched only by her passion for driving change in her community. She’s the founder of BLK+GRN, an all-natural marketplace stocked with health and beauty products by all Black artisans. Thanks to her deep knowledge of public health, Kristian recognized that the Black community was disproportionately targeted and sold products with harmful ingredients and practices, which was ultimately impacting overall health. So, she launched BLK+GRN to “meet the needs of wellness seekers who want to buy Black and live green.” And since she just became a mama herself—her sweet son August was born just two months ago—we asked her to tell us which products pass the test for her new family of three.

HypnoBirthing Class. “I had a natural, at-home water birth, and utilized HypnoBirthing techniques. I found that the HypnoBirthing class provided me with the language and breathing exercises that I needed to remain calm, despite what was happening around me. Alongside my husband, I chose to set the trajectory of my son’s life on a peaceful path.” Your Baby, Your Birth: Hypnobirthing Skills For Every Birth by Hollie de Cruz, $15.30, Amazon.

Hair and Body Combo Oil. “For multi-purpose moisturizing, this is my go-to magic oil. It’s in a spray bottle, easy to apply, and somehow it’s formulated to moisturize without being excessively oily. I’m convinced products with multiple purposes were created for moms.” Posy Hair + Body Oil, $35, BLK+GRN.

Cloth Diapers. “During my pregnancy I decided to cloth diaper! I wanted to minimize waste and live as green as possible. I’ve been using a cloth diapering service, and it’s been making life a bit easier during the first few weeks of having our little man.” Pooters Cloth Diapers, $29.99, Amazon.

Love. “My biggest tip is to surround yourself with people who love you and love the things that you love. Also, make sure your support system supports your birth plan choices, and limit negative imagery and language concerning your choices. Reducing your stress and starting to find ease is paramount to having a Black-and-green pregnancy and motherhood experience.”

All-Natural Baby Bath Goodies. “As new parents, my husband and I have learned to expect the unexpected everyday! That being said, this all-natural plant-based bath and moisturizer collection brings some ease to our day since we know at least bath time is set! My favorite product in the set is the Bum Chum to help prevent and treat diaper rash.” All-Natural Baby Bath Time Set, $63, BLK+GRN.

Wool Dryer Balls. “These are a must for my family’s laundry! There are so many toxic chemicals in fabric softeners and dryer sheets, not to mention all the waste. The dryer ball alternative not only removes these toxic chemicals from our laundry, but they are so much better for mother earth.” LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls Deluxe Starter 3-Pack, $29, BLK+GRN.

Mommy-To-Be Feminine Wash. “This specially formulated wash by Honey Pot (emphasis on special) is for expecting mamas or new moms. It balances your pH, fights odor-causing bacteria, and calms discomfort, all while gently cleansing.” The Honey Pot Company Mommy-to-Be Herbal Infused Feminine Hygiene Natural Wash for Pregnancy, $8, BLK+GRN.

Chiropractic Care. “I rarely experienced lower back pain while pregnant. I found a fabulous chiropractor who specializes in prenatal chiropractic care and went one to two times per week. I’m convinced that is the reason why my back was at ease.”

Multi-Purpose Spray and the Tub Scrub. “Since many of us live in busy urban areas, we’re constantly assaulted by car exhaust, pollutants, and other damaging chemicals. So, it’s important to avoid using cleaning products that add to your daily exposure to toxins. I love the smell and the results of the Multi-Purpose Spray and the Tub Scrub by The Green Laundress for a freshly cleaned home without the chemicals.” The Green Laundress Multi Purpose Spray, $15, BLK+GRN; The Green Laundress Tub Scrub, $10, BLK+GRN.

Charcoal Tooth Powder. “I love the all-natural tooth powder by Dirt Don’t Hurt. It not only freshens your breath, but it also naturally whitens and remineralizes them, too.” Dirt Don’t Hurt Charcoal Tooth Powder, $25, BLK+GRN.

Sleep. “Motherhood, like entrepreneurship, is full of ups and downs, so developing a sleep routine to help balance the lows is key. The no-sleep movement sounds cute until you crash. I found that I had to fight the external pressure to work constantly. And I did this by unplugging from my email and mindfully choosing when to respond—so simple yet difficult at times.”

Regular Yoga Practice. “During my pregnancy I downloaded the Spinning Babies Daily Essentials video and tried to do the yoga sequence at least two to three times a week. I found this helped my body with flexibility and relaxation. It also helped to get our little man aligned in the womb.” Spinning Babies.

For more on Dr. Kristian Henderson, check out her Instagram feed. And for more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with clean beauty expert Tara Foley, Oakland retail queen Sherri McMullen, eco-fashion designer Alyssa KerbelShahidah Zareef of Bossmom NationJoanne EncarnacionLaTonya YvetteMorgan Walker of Make.doJeanne Chan of Harlow & Grey, and more.

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