We wouldn’t let our children go to school in a leaking nuclear power plant or near a prison with notoriously easy to break security measures. We know that a person’s surroundings and the toxins within them impact their health–mental and physical. A mother’s body is a child’s first place of residence, and when they’re in the mother’s body is when most of their fundamental growth happens. They go from egg and sperm, combine to form something altogether new, and then grow into the baby placed in the mother’s arms after they’re born.
This first home is one of the most important to keep clean and healthy, because it not only affects the mother, but the baby as well. The baby gets their nutrients from the foods the mother eats. If the mother comes into contact with toxins, so does the baby. According to the NHS, the mother even shares antibodies with the baby in the last few months of pregnancy. This is why–though it’s always important to make sure we’re taking care of the one body we have–it’s especially important for a mother carrying a brand-new life.
Eating Right for Two
The Wellness Way’s first advice will always be for someone to choose the right foods for their body. Get your allergies tested, cut out things like sugar and dairy that are doing more harm than good in your body, and cut out naturally inflammatory foods.
The human body can only function to the quality of the fuel it’s given. When we demand something of our bodies like growing another human, our bodies are going to need more and better fuel than we would normally think about. Stay away from things like pesticides, GMOs, and food dyes, and find out what your body in particular needs to thrive.
Be Aware of Endocrine Disruptors
The NIH defines endocrine disruptors as:
Many chemicals, both natural and man-made, may mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones, known as the endocrine system. Called endocrine disruptors, these chemicals are linked with developmental, reproductive, brain, immune, and other problems.
Endocrine disruptors are found in many everyday products, including some plastic bottles and containers, liners of metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides.
Some endocrine disruptors you may not know you have around your house are:
- BPA (often found in plastics)
- Fire retardants on fabrics
- Phthalates (often found in flexible plastics such as kitchenware and some medical supplies)
- Perchlorate (can be found in drinking water)
- Certain components in non-stick cookware
Purifying the Essentials of Life
Air and water are essential to life. Unfortunately, a lot of the toxins the human body takes in in a day can be found in them.
Remember the endocrine disruptor phthalates mentioned above? They can also be found in artificial air fresheners. And that’s not the only poison these seemingly helpful little machines carry. In fact, the Children’s Environmental Health Network has this to say about artificial air fresheners.
The word “fragrance” covers dozens, sometimes even hundreds, of chemicals on product labels. Many common household products and personal care items contain fragrances. Examples include cleaners, air fresheners, scented detergents, hand lotions, candles, incense, and felt-tip art markers.
Children are exposed to fragrance chemicals primarily through the inhalation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that readily evaporate from the scented product into the air or direct skin contact.
Many synthetic chemicals in fragrances are petroleum-based and can be harmful to human health. Chemicals found in fragrances include phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens benzophenone and styrene. In addition, some children and adults have allergic reactions to fragrance chemicals.
The EPA defines VOCs as follows.
Volatile organic compounds are compounds that have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility. … Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.
Instead of spraying chemicals and toxins around your house, try opening a window. Or, if you’re partial to pleasant aromas, get a diffuser and do your research on good, healthy essential oils to diffuse in your home.
Many household cleaners also carry toxins that aren’t healthy to breathe in. Check out our list of suggested healthier cleaners, instead.
Hey, Pretty Mama!
Even if an expecting mother is eating correctly, she may still be taking in toxins and other harmful, foreign substances. Items that we think make us look better and feel better like beauty products, hair products, and even deodorants are full of harmful toxins and chemicals that aren’t good for adults, let alone growing and developing babies. Instead, try healthier options for things like nail polishes, face scrubs, foundations and creams, deodorants, body butter, lotions, and even a detoxifying coffee mask.
Introducing a new human into the world is a big responsibility, and that responsibility starts from conception. A parent’s responsibility is to care for their children, and how better to start out than by making sure their parent and safe place is taken care of? Give the immune response a break by decreasing the number of things it has to respond to, so it can respond to the right things. This will help the mother and the baby’s immune responses to fight off actual pathogens and keep them both healthy and growing in all the right ways.
To get your allergies tested and find out more about how to keep both mother and baby healthy and safe from toxins, contact a Wellness Way clinic today!