How To Avoid Toxins During Pregnancy

Pregnant womanThere are many things that you can do to avoid toxins during pregnancy, and many of them are very simple and easy to do.

Let’s start with the most obvious one – what you eat (and why it makes a difference).  And then we’ll look at more ways of keeping toxins at bay.

1.   Diet

We are what we eat.  Instinctively we know we need to eat healthily while pregnant.  We know our developing baby needs nutrients.

But did you know that research has proved:

  • If a mother eats healthily during pregnancy, her child is more likely to eat healthily than those children whose mothers didn’t eat well.

If you’re still not convinced, here’s a fascinating statistic:

  •  Babies whose mothers drank carrot juice in pregnancy had  a preference for carrot-tasting cereal over “normal” cereal as children.

So, what you eat DOES make a difference.

All the normal suggestions for healthy eating apply:

  •  Eat a balanced diet that’s rich in calcium, iron, and folic acid.
  •  Aim for a diet of diverse, fresh, whole foods – ample fresh produce, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.
  •  Buy organic or locally grown produce.
  •  Wash all fruits and vegetables, and peel nonorganic produce.
  •  Reduce consumption of animal fats.

  Fish

If you eat fish, some are better than others during pregnancy.   For help identifying safer fish at the grocery store or restaurants, consult Healthy Child’s Safe Fish list.

And click on this link  for a very general list of better fish.

In general, don’t eat tinned fish too often due to BPA lining in the tins.

Remember though that fish is full of essential nutrients, so try not to avoid fish.

If you’re not getting Omerga-3 oil through fish, then consider a reputable supplement.

Sometimes it can be difficult to remember which fish to eat and which to avoid.  A general, easy-to-remember rule about fish is to

  1. always remove the skin,
  2. trim dark meat thoroughly
  3. cook your fillet through

Why?  Because most of the chemicals found in fish accumulate in skin and dark meat.  What’s left will mostly drain out during a thorough cooking.

Smoking

babyMost women are aware of the dangers of smoking while pregnant.  But did you know that research has shown that if a mother smokes during her pregnancy, her child is more likely to smoke by the age of 22?

If you’re a smoker, consider your baby’s health as well as your own.   Seek help if you’re having trouble quitting – for example, hypnotherapy might work for you.

Follow your nose

The sense of smell often kicks into overdrive during pregnancy.  Use your supersonic nose to avoid harsh-smelling paints, pesticides, solvents and cleaning products.  If it smells noxious, it probably is.

Avoid products designed to mask odours with their own chemical fragrances, such as air fresheners, perfumes, even shampoos.   Why?   Because chemical scents are often coupled with potent neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, phthalates, volatile organic compounds and asthma-triggering allergens.   Always opt for fragrance-free products.

Your heightened sense of smell may also lead you to stay away from gasoline fumes.  If so, try to avoid filling up your car with gas or petrol yourself, and opt for a full-service station if possible.

Other Tips:

  • Avoid exposure to other sources of smoke such as wood fires.
  • If you, or your partner work with toxic materials, discuss possible harmful exposures.
  • Ask about the safety of any medicines you may be taking.
  • Use ceramic dishes that are certified lead-free.
  • Use glass or lead-free ceramic containers in the microwave instead of plastic containers or wraps .  This is to avoid chemicals getting into food.
  • If you are having fillings done, try to avoid amalgam (silver).

 

What’s next?  Getting the house ready for baby.

 

 

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