We’re being exposed to toxins like never before, from the air we breathe to food we eat. We’ve become a toxic soup swimming in chemicals. The ramifications of this daily exposure is clear cut, cancer, inflammation, oxidative stress, impaired hormone regulation, obesity, diabetes the list goes on have all been linked to environmental chemicals.
It’s scary to think that the average newborn can have anywhere between 55 to 121 environmental toxins lurking in their umbilical cord blood at birth.
With that said, pregnancy is no better time than to ditch unhealthy habits that no longer serve you or your growing baby.
Exposure to toxins is inevitable and unavoidable so how can we minimise our overall exposure to chemicals in the environment and help grow a green baby?
Filtered Water: Ample water during pregnancy aids circulation, flushes out toxins, reducing swelling, hydrates your skin and prevents dehydration which is particularly important in the third trimester as dehydration can cause pre-term labour. Water is also essential for nourishing healthy amniotic fluid, this is the stuff your baby is cocooned in during it’s time in utero. Tap water is chook full of nasties like chlorine known to kill off our beneficial bacteria and fluoride which a Harvard meta-analysis study confirmed reduces children’s IQ. It doesn’t have to be expensive Ecobud have a bench water filter that removes chlorine and removes up to 98% of fluoride and at $49.95 it won’t break the bank.
Organic Produce: I always hear the same from patients “Oh but organic food is too expensive”, and they’re not wrong. Organic produce is more expensive. What I say is “do what you can”. Think of organic produce as a long-term investment in the health of you and your family and more particularly, your unborn child. The US Environmental Working Group have listed a Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen produce sheet which is a great place to start.
Green Cosmetics: Our skin is our largest organ, so anything we slather on our skin is absorbed into our blood stream. I don’t have to tell you that conventional cosmetics are over flowing with chemicals, just think of lead in lipsticks. YUCK! I made the switch a few years ago, and as organic cosmetics are generally more expensive I gradually changed products over as they ran out. These days there is no excuse not to make the swap with such an incredible variety of natural and organic products now available. Check out Depths of Beauty for more tips on how to make the switch.
High Quality Pregnancy Multi-Vitamin: I bang on about the importance of a high-quality pregnancy multi-vitamin because pregnancy is bloody hard work. If you’re not consuming enough of the right nutrients or, in most cases, not absorbing enough of the right nutrients because of a poor gut eco system, your baby is very rude and will just take what it needs without even a please! And leaving you depleted. Not all pregnancy multi-vitamins are the same, most contain vitamins and minerals in poorly absorbed forms. The only pregnancy multi-vitamin I recommend is Thorne Basic Prenatal which contains all the right vitamins and minerals in highly absorbable forms for a healthy pregnancy.
Combine these above choices with stress management- think yoga, meditation, a nutrient dense diet, and regular pregnancy appropriate exercise, and you’ll be well on your way to giving your baby the best start in life.
Words by Megan Maitland
NATUROPATH | NUTRITIONIST | BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE