5 tips for a green pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time to embrace new habits to make you healthier and feel more in control of your life. All the pregnancy howto books will urge you to get more sleep, keep hydrated, and eat healthier. And that’s great advice. But you should also consider your pregnancy as the perfect motivator to reduce the number of toxic chemicals you use in your daily life.
It’s hard to hear, but toxic chemicals like BPA, mercury, and phthalates have been found in the bodies of pregnant women. More than 200 chemicals have been found in umbilical cords from newborn babies. While it’s not possible completely eliminate toxic chemicals from your body, there are steps you can take to reduce chemical exposures for you and your baby.
A recent scientific study showed a pregnant woman’s exposure to pesticides posed risks to a developing fetus similar to those associated with smoking tobacco. Learn all about the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 before heading to the grocery stores.
2. Watch your intake of animal fats
Toxic chemicals like dioxin PCBs, and pesticides accumulate in fat, which means that when you eat certain fish or meat, you transfer those chemicals into your body. Look for lowfat options, trim the fat from fish and meats, and eat organic meat and wild seafood whenever possible.
3. Be smart about plastics
Plastics seem benign but they can harm health, especially the health of developing fetuses. Vinyl plastic is everywhere despite its composition of a carcinogenic core and dangerous additives, like phthalates, to make it soft. Avoiding vinyl is a good rule of thumb, whether it means ditching the plastic shower curtain and cling wraps or choosing nonvinyl building materials for your home.
Another plastic to avoid is the hormonedisrupting chemical Bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in some water bottles, cash register receipts, and canned foods. To limit your exposure to BPA, say “no” to receipts, carry glass or stainless steel bottles, and eat fresh or frozen foods.
4. Ditch the toxic cleaners
Bombarding your counters, tubs, and floors with toxic chemicals doesn’t make them cleaner, but it does cover them with nasty chemicals. Why do that? Stay away from products with warnings: “hazardous” “poison” “danger.” Instead, choose cleaners
Do you know how many personal care products you use on your body every day? It’s likely to be ten products, containing as many as 126 unique chemicals according to the Environmental Working Group. Those lotions, creams, shampoos, soaps, lip balms and more may contain chemicals that threaten to disrupt your baby’s development.
Pregnancy is the perfect time to start a new personal care regime with safer products. Read labels to avoid harmful chemicals like phthalates, parabens, and triclosan. And check out the Skin Deep database or Healthy Child Healthy World’s Trusted Partner list to shop healthy.
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