Why TV host Sara Snow doesn't worry about germs.
Sara Snow, 33, is the TV host of Discovery’s Get Fresh with Sara Snow and Living Fresh and the author of Sara Snow’s Fresh Living (Bantam Dell). Snow grew up green, in a family devoted to organic and sustainable living, long before it was popular (her dad, Tim Redmond, co-founded Eden Foods). She and her husband, Ryan Snow, are expecting their first baby, a girl, in June. Snow spoke to Fit Pregnancy from her home in Indianapolis.
Q| How happy are you to be pregnant? I know you two have been trying for a while.
A| We started trying about six years ago, but we took breaks because it’s hard on a relationship when that becomes a single focus. It really came down to me making some lifestyle changes. I was doing live TV news and getting up at 3 a.m. every day. Three different doctors (including my OB-GYN) told me I wasn’t getting pregnant because I was lacking sleep and energy, so I left that job. I’d worked hard for it! But then I got the idea for the green living show for Discovery. It was such a peaceful transition, it felt like what I was supposed to do.
We went through all the fertility testing, and both checked out OK, but I had some wacky hormone levels. So I turned to acupuncture and herbal remedies to regulate what was going on inside my body. All the while I was trying to get pregnant, a sage acupuncturist friend told me: “Meditate on the spirit of your child and tell her or him that you are ready.” So, every morning during my usual meditation time, I pictured this blonde baby girl; that was the image in my head, always.
I was starting to think my body just wasn’t meant to be pregnant. I knew I wouldn’t do the synthetic hormone treatment, so we planned to adopt within a certain time frame—and that’s when it finally happened. When I got my first positive pregnancy test I knew that baby girl had finally decided to come to me. I was ready—my body was ready, and she knew that we were ready for her. I believe it was a big thing in my ability to finally get pregnant.
Q| Have you had any cravings?
A| It’s kind of boring, because I have really healthy ones—I crave cooked vegetables! Zucchini, spinach—something cooked and green with every meal. I know people want to hear that I’m dying to go to McDonald’s. I have had a wicked sweet tooth, but having a little dark chocolate or a piece of hard candy or a fruit Popsicle has been enough.
Q| Are you exercising?
A| I was walking on the treadmill; now I’m mostly doing yoga and going to the gym and doing the bike and elliptical. I do something every day, even if it’s just walking my dog.
Q| What seems even more important to you now that you’re pregnant?
A| I’d say probably the products that are used around my body and on my body. As I’m nesting—cleaning out cupboards, painting—I’m making sure that the cleaning products are free of nasty chemicals and the paint has no VOCs. I’m so aware that everything you use on your body ends up in your bloodstream and can affect the baby, so my skin and body products are free of parabens and phthalates as much as possible.
It’s interesting: I was raised this way long before it was common knowledge, so we were kind of radical then. But now I’m not so radical. I’m not going to be that preachy mom who wags her finger at anyone not using cloth diapers. We were raised knowing that we were part of this movement that was better for the planet and for our bodies. But my parents never said, “Don’t have a cupcake.” It was, “Go ahead and see how you feel.” And that’s how I plan to do it: to help my kids understand the how and the why, so they will live that way for themselves. Because otherwise, as soon as they are out of the house—having sleepovers or going to college—they’ll go crazy.
Q| Do you have a birth plan?
A| We’re going to have the baby in a hospital, but we went back and forth about it. My mom had her first two at home, but with an OB. She feels that you can give birth in a hospital and still have the birth you want; if the hospital affords you some feeling of comfort and safety, that’s great.
I have an OB-GYN who is cool with the idea of a natural birth. We’re taking Bradley Method classes. I know the birth is going to hurt, and that’s OK as long as I know what the cause is and what’s happening. I’m excited about it. And it’s been a cool process taking the classes together. My husband and I sit and giggle like two school kids. I think people can miss out on the bonding experience of the birth process, the beautiful miracle that we can grow this being inside of us.
Q| Will you breastfeed?
A| Yes, definitely. It’s just so important for the baby—our bodies are designed to create the perfect food. And it’s a bonding experience, too. When I was really struggling with whether I would get pregnant and we thought we might adopt, breastfeeding was what I was anticipating missing the most.
Q| What have you decided not to worry about?
A| I’m not a germophobe. I know you are supposed to be extra careful, so now I wash my hands more. But we need to be exposed to germs so we can build up resistance to them. I still have a bit of spicy tuna at a sushi place we go to, still have the turkey from the Whole Foods deli. It’s all about moderation. And I’m not reading all the pregnancy books; you get this stack of them, and when I started to read I just found the information was either, “Well, duh!” or terrifying. The first trimester, it was making me feel sick. I’m also pretty much staying off the Internet.
Q| How about baby stuff?
A| I’ve bought some stuff. I am being intentional about avoiding overconsumption, though. Anything I can borrow, I will. We’ll see what she needs after she arrives.