There are a lot of anxious and overwhelmed pregnant and thinking-about-being-pregnant women out there right now, and I don’t want you to be one of them. If you’ve heard the recent news about the opinion paper written by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, I want you to know that I’ve got your back. This is exactly what I’m here to support you with. So take a deep breath and give yourself a few minutes to read what I have to share with you.
“Robust scientific evidence has emerged over the past 15 years, demonstrating that preconception and prenatal exposure to toxic environmental agents can have a profound and lasting effect on reproductive health across the life course.”
This was the opening sentence in the ACOG Committee Opinion NO. 575 and a concept that I am very familiar with. The fact that the evidence has been growing is a positive, because it highlights another area where you have power and control over your health and the health of your family. From the time before you conceive your baby, you can create change that will impact your health and your future baby’s health for the rest of your lives – and that may even impact your grandchildren’s health (I wrote more about that here).
Some of the key points that are important for you to know and that I want to talk to you about a bit more:
“An analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2003-2004 found that virtually every pregnant woman in the United States is exposed to at least 43 different chemicals.”
Women use an average of 12 personal care products every day, and most of them contain numerous chemicals, many of them toxic. We turn the hot water on, open our pores, and welcome these toxins into our bodies. A study conducted by the Environmental Working Group in 2004 discovered that babies still in utero are exposed to almost 300 different chemicals before they are even born!
This is important but doesn’t need to feel hopeless. Many of the chemicals can be avoided by swapping out what you’re currently using for healthier products and by learning a few key tips that will protect your family’s health for generations to come.
“Prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals is linked to various adverse health consequences, and patient exposure at any point in time can lead to harmful reproductive health outcomes.”
The last few decades have seen a significant spike in incidences of birth defects, autism, infertility, cancer and more. In some cases, these have been linked to the chemicals in our products. I’m not suggesting that reducing your toxic exposure can completely reduce your risk of these occurrences to zero, but it will help you know that you are doing all that is within your control, and that’s huge. I wrote more about this over on mom-blog just last week. Taking action as soon as you can (whether this is before you conceive or during pregnancy) can help you and your family stay as healthy as possible.
“Patient-centered actions can reduce body burdens of toxic chemicals (ie: the total amount of chemicals present in the human body at any one time).”
This is so important! This is all about what you can do, and it’s true – there is so much that’s in your control, and that’s what I’m here to help support you with. It’s easy to become easily overwhelmed but when you have someone to take your hand and guide you through what steps you can take to systematically reduce your body burden, it becomes empowering and fun. Knowing what actions you can take and getting the support you need to make them happen is an incredible gift that you can give yourself and your family.
“When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”
We don’t need to wait until all of the evidence is in, because we’ll be waiting for a long time and by then it will be too late. When the EWG tested blood samples of the babies in utero and discovered the presence of almost 300 chemicals, many of them had been banned 30 years before the samples were tested. These chemicals hang around in the environment for a long time and the sooner we can do what is within our control to reduce our exposure to them, the better. There’s no better time to start than right now.
Stay tuned for some exciting ways that you can take action with ease and support! Be the first to know by clicking here.
Remember – “We do what we can as we move forward, and we release any guilt of what we didn’t know.” Let’s move forward together.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
I’m glad to see this important data coming out of and published by an accredited college like this. It’s not often that they admit those things, and these are frigtening stats.
Me too Gina! Hopefully this will lead to more empowered mamas and policy change.
This is very interesting and also scary. I think I try to be aware of toxins in our house but there are so many things to take into consideration.
Caitlin, while it does seem scary, it doesn’t have to be when you know how to take control where you can.
Xandra, I love your words to remember at the end. You are so very right. What a great job you do:)
Thank you so much Lauryn!
It can be overwhelming to think about all the things I should change but I’m thankful I have typically been a simple girl – and avoid using a lot of personal care products.
Carrie, when you take it step-by-step and room-by-room like we’ll be doing in the upcoming class, it becomes much less overwhelming. You see how to take leveraged action and do what works best for you and your family. It sounds like you’re off to a great start.