Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Preparing your body for pregnancy

A reader sent me an email the other day asking for some help on preparing her body for pregnancy. She's planning on getting pregnant in 5 - 6 months and wanted to know which toxins to avoid and what to get rid of so she's not harboring dangerous toxins that could potentially affect her baby.

I cooked up a quickie list of things that I would do if I could do it all over again and I thought I'd share them with you.

Top 10 Toxin-Free Tips for Getting for Your Body Ready for Baby

1. Don't eat anything remotely containing mercury or arsenic, which means pretty much all fish.
2. Eat as much organic as possible (especially meat and dairy), and strictly avoid the pesticide-laden "Dirty Dozen" and avoid anything with artificial colorings
3. Drink filtered water and install a shower filter to reduce inhaled chlorine exposure
4. Avoid any cosmetics of questionable origin, particularly any nail polishes, even if they don't contain DBP, tuolene and the other well known nasty ingredients - there are still plastics and solvents
5. Avoid any body care product that contains parabens or fragrance or parfum
6. Get rid of anything containing a non-stick coating or PVC in the house, that includes wrinkle-free, stain resistant and water repellent clothes
7. Try to get only organic baby clothes and bedding. I know it's expensive but recent studies showed there are a ton of formaldehydes in the products that don't wash out and that's not even including the required flame retardants in children's sleepwear.
8. If you're planning on painting the baby's room or otherwise remodeling, choose non-toxic paint, flooring, non-vinyl shades, etc. for you and the baby
9. Choose baby furniture made with real wood and not off-gassing pressboard materials
10. Finally, once the baby is here, be vigilant about the baby care products you use - even the "clean and natural" stuff can contain nasty ingredients. Also avoid soft plastic toys - they all invariably contain PVC

A few extra notes - if you are planning on losing weight or doing some sort of food detox program now, just know that these actions will mobilize toxins out of your body tissues (mostly fat) and circulate them where they'll hang around for a while before being excreted or reabsorbed. So, if you do either, give your body enough time to process the extra toxin load in your blood before bombarding a baby with it.

And, yes, that is me, pregnant with Emma back in 2003.


Pony said...

I love, love, love this list! The only thing I would add is that if trying to achieve this while trying to get pregnant/pregnant is causing much stress, than forgive yourself and do what you can. As a woman who has been trying for baby for a year and a half, I know I have made myself feel guilty at times for food I have eaten, or chemicals I have been exposed to.

Thanks for the awesome list, Crunchy! And, of course, you look beautiful pregnant :)

Anonymous said...

I would add, read "Deep Nutrition"

Anonymous said...

How about smaller footprint all around:

used (well washed, pre off-gassed) clothes and bedding?

no own room/furniture for baby

Emily said...

I would become a Nazi-like label reader, and not buy or use anything with any suspicious ingredient.

And this doesn't have to do with toxins, but avoid soy and don't shun saturated fat.

Mrs Mallard said...

Start exercising now and don't stop when you get pregnant (unless, of course, the doctor tells you to sit quietly for one reason or another). It'll help you sweat out the crud prior to pregnancy and you'll have so much more endurance during your pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

And cloth diapers for any wee ones you happen to produce! Doesn't make much sense sense to work toward a toxin-free pregnancy and then wrap your baby in a dioxin-laced, endocrine-wrecking disposable bunch of bad stuff.

Philip Rutter said...

Good advice. One other crunchy thought- please don't let any of these concerns drive you crazy. Sure; "this" may be better for you and the baby than "that" - but; the overwhelming likelihood is that you will both be fine; particularly since you are making all the efforts you can.

Just don't let what you can't manage to do cut into your enjoyment of it all. Joy is hugely important for health.


Robbie said...

I have to agree with Phillip, you can drive yourself crazy with worry under normal circumstances when you're pregnant, let alone if you're concerning yourself about toxins that we often aren't even aware that we're exposed to! That stress is probably worse on our bodies and babies than a few things that slip through our best intentions.

Bob said...

Wow! People would write you for pregnancy tips - I had no idea you were a health professional.

Your list is fabulous - it is just astounding that our children lived and flourished without adhering to your guidelines.

I am certainly breathing a sigh of relief 24 years later.

I guess they can sue in their later years b/c I wore fingernail polish.

Marie-Josée said...

Great list. 150 hours in a far infrared sauna will remove the toxins of a lifetime. The toxins are sweated out - you need to shower after each session. I will suggest this regimen to my 24 year old daughter who wants to eventually bear children.

chicken coops said...

It's so exciting when you're planning a pregnancy. Sadly my husband wont let me have any more :( I would just say to add to this list, don't just stop at pregnancy, make sure you feed your babies well when they're born too!