The Non-Toxic Pregnancy: How to Give your Baby a Healthy Head Start

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read terms of use/disclaimer here. 

We used to believe that our womb was a barrier that protected our babies from outside elements. We now know that isn't true. 

There are multiple studies coming out showing babies are being born with hundreds of chemicals already in their system! Like this study from EWG that showed over 200 chemicals in the blood from the umbilical cord. Or this study that showed over 150 chemicals!

"We know the developing fetus is one of the most vulnerable populations, if not the most vulnerable, to environmental exposure," said Anila Jacobs, EWG senior scientist. "Their organ systems aren't mature and their detox methods are not in place, so cord blood gives us a good picture of exposure during this most vulnerable time of life." (source)

The toxins that our unborn children are being exposed to lead to issues such as developmental delays, hormonal and infertility issues later in life, cancer, mental health issues, asthma and more.

 
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Some of the common toxins we and our unborn children are being exposed to are:

BPA. BPA is usually found in plastic products (ie food containers, water bottles, baby bottles), receipt paper, lining of cans. "In adults, BPA is eliminated from the body through a detoxification process in the liver. In infants and children, this pathway is not fully developed so they have a decreased ability to clear BPA from their systems. Several recent studies of children have found levels that exceed the EPAs suggested safe limit figure. A systematic review published in 2015 found that "based on the current literature, BPS and BPF are as hormonally active as BPA, and have endocrine disrupting effects" (source)

Flame retardants. Flame retardants are most often found in most conventional clothing and mattresses. They can also be found on car seats, strollers, nursing pillows and lots more baby items. Flame retardants lead to decreased fertility, thyroid issues, neurodevelopmental delays, and more. "Research has shown that PBDEs have no problems crossing the placenta and can transfer harmful effects from mother to fetus...Observations of children with higher levels of PBDEs in their blood revealed greater incidences of hyperactivity and decreased learning and memory." (source)

Lead. Lead can be found in makeup, ceramics, dishes, paint of older homes, pipes and more. Learn more about where lead can be found here. According to the EPA, "Lead is particularly dangerous to children because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. A pregnant woman's exposure to lead...is of particular concern because it can result in exposure to her developing baby." (source

Pesticides. Pesticides are most commonly found on conventional fruits and vegetables, conventionally farmed meats, local schools and playgrounds from city's spraying. Anyone has access to use pesticides. Pesticides destroy our gut which is the hub of our overall wellness (learn more about having a healthy gut here). Pesticides are linked to behavioral issues, asthma, cancer and more.

Perfluorochemicals. PFCs are most commonly found in non stick coating. I hate to say this because I used to be a fan of non-stick pans, but once I learned how toxic they ALL are, I got rid of mine. It takes years for our body to get rid of PFCs. "The EHP study finds that young children exposed to these contaminants are more likely to suffer from decreased levels of immunity against diphtheria, tetanus, measles and influenza, even with prior vaccination." (source)

As with most toxins, an exposure here or there is not harmful.

However, the harm comes because we're exposed to so  many low doses of a variety of toxins all day every day. It's so important to eliminate what we can so that we don't worry about the toxins we don't have control over. My goal as a mom and healthy human is to eliminate toxins where I can so that I don't worry about the times I am exposed. As a health coach, I have the same goal for you.

 
 

So what can you do to protect yourself and your unborn child from being exposed to too many toxins?

Use glass instead of plastic. I use these food storage containers because they also have glass likds and we drink out of these water bottles. You can also use glass baby bottles! When you're buying food from the grocery store, try to buy fresh food or food that it's glass. Unfortunately, even if something claims to be BPA free, it can still contain toxic BPS or BPF.

Avoid products that have lead by using glass dishes like these, clean makeup, and have your paint and pipes checked. A great resource is Tamara Rubin who is a lead poisoning prevention advocate. On her website, she shares results of lead tests on common household items and what to use instead.

Eat organic! Pesticides can not be washed off of produce so the only way to reduce exposure is to eat organic produce. Also, invest in clean meat. My favorite clean meat provider is ButcherBox (click link for $10 off and extra meat). If you have pests in your home look up natural methods to get rid of them.

Instead of non-stick cookware use Cast Iron pans like this one. They're very easy to use and clean when they're seasoned properly. They also help to improve thyroid function because some of the iron transfers from the pan to your food.

Learn how to reduce common chemicals in your home here. Buy an organic mattress. After hours and hours of research, we purchased Avocado mattresses.

Our children count on us to make the best decisions for them.

Eliminating common toxins is important from pre-conception until....forever! Non-toxic healthy living is a lifestyle. Make one change at a time so that you don't get overwhelmed, and if you need extra support I'm here for you!

Peace and wellbeing -

Bri

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