A pregnant mama’s guide to non-toxic living
Most mothers-to-be understand that it is important to stay healthy during pregnancy. This, however, goes beyond just eating healthy and doing exercise.
The average baby is born with over 200 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood.
Essentially, our babies are born pre-polluted. How? It’s us, the moms, who unknowingly expose our unborn children to these chemicals – but it is also us who have the power to protect our unborn children from these toxic chemicals.
Everything you expose yourself too, ultimately, your developing baby will also be exposed to; this includes the air you breathe, the food you eat, and even the products you use every day. Your unborn child is especially vulnerable to toxins. In fact, an increasing number of studies show links between exposure to certain common chemicals during pregnancy to everything from preterm births and higher cancer risk, to birth defects and childhood behavioral problems. So, what is a pregnant mom to do?
How To Detox Your Diet, Home + Body While Pregnant
- Eat organic. High levels of pesticides have been associated with developmental delays and lower IQ. When possible choose organic produce, protein and dairy products.
- Choose glass over plastic. Never reheat food in plastic containers since these can leach hormone disrupting chemicals into your food. Opt for glass containers when possible.
- Stop cooking with Teflon coated non-stick pans. Teflon releases perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) when exposed to high heat. PFOA is linked to developmental harm and cancer. Cook with cast iron or stainless steel pans.
- Pregnancy is the time to stop using conventional cleaning products. Certain chemicals in cleaning products are linked to reduced fertility, birth defects and asthma. Even if someone else is cleaning your home, the fumes from conventional cleaners can linger for days. Consider making your own cleaning solution (a 50% vinegar and 50% water mixture in a spray bottle makes a safe all-purpose cleaner).
- Be careful with dry cleaning. That sweet smell that comes from dry cleaned clothes is a chemical called PERC. PERC is considered as a top chemical linked to breast cancer. What to do? Look for an organic dry cleaner and ask if they use PERC (some cleaners claim to be organic and still use the chemical). When this is not an option, reduce your dry cleaning and air out the clothes before hanging in your closet or wearing them.
- Stop using air fresheners. Instead, open the windows. Most air fresheners contain fragrance chemicals that mimic hormones and affect the reproductive system of unborn babies.
60% of what you apply on your body gets absorbed and goes into your bloodstream, eventually making its way to your developing baby. Ingredients to avoid include: fragrance/ parfum, chemicals ending in -paraben, retinol/vitamin A, oxybenzone, sodium laureth sulfate, chemicals ending in -phthalates, aluminum in antiperspirants, amongst others.
In the US, cosmetic companies do not have to disclose their ingredients (many of which have never been reviewed for safety), so it is best to:
- Use less. Streamline your daily beauty routine and use only what you need when it comes to makeup, showering, and before bedtime.
- Switch to safer products. Consider trying some non-toxic cosmetic and beauty care products. Chances are you won’t go back to the toxic stuff once you find a ‘clean’ product you really love!
- Wash your hands frequently, but not with antibacterial soap or hand sanitizing gels. Many of these contain triclosan – a hormone disruptor that accumulates in our body, and has been found in breast milk. It is no more effective at removing germs or preventing illness than plain soap and water, so opt for a natural soap instead.
The Tot’s Non-Toxic + Pregnancy-Safe Product Guide
Just like heating food in plastic containers, it’s best to avoid drinking out of plastic water bottles because of the potential for hormone disrupting chemicals to leach into your water. Both sleek and durable, we love this pro-grade stainless steal bottle from PlanetBox.
Available in more colors
Stasher is making it their mission to eliminate waste and toxins when it comes to food storage. Super easy to clean, light and safe – their reusable silicone bags make pregnancy cravings while out and about a total breeze.
$9.60 – $12
The Objecto H4 Hybrid Humidifer is a great way to help soothe a cough or cold as well as help you avoid bloody noses and dry lips.
Available in more colors
The Everden Mama Collection includes a fragrance-free Multi Purpose Healing Balm, Nourishing Stretch Mark Cream, and a Lifting and Firming Lotion. Made in the USA, it’s accepted by the National Eczema Association.
The Kate McLeod Mama Stone is an innovative body lotion bar that melts when rubbed onto skin. Featuring only five ingredients and free of essential oils, it’s packaged in linen and bamboo and is the truly non-toxic and sustainable option you’ve been looking for.
As your belly begins to grow, your skin can feel tight and itchy. Erbaviva has a fantastic oil option that we love using in the evening for a soothing and relaxing bedtime ritual.
Easy to apply and gentle on both your skin and clothing, Erbaviva’s Organic Stretch Mark Cream can be used every morning on your belly, breasts, back and thighs.
- What we’re reading: Can You Dye Your Hair During Pregnancy?
- Planning a trip? Here are 5 Important Things To Know If You’re Flying When Pregnant.