Archive for the ‘expectant mother’s health’ Category

Chemicals in Mom’s Body Can Pass to Babies – Even If You Switched to Organic Some Time Ago

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011


detox before pregnancyMany women stop eating certain foods, smoking, drinking alcohol, and so on, after they find out they’re pregnant. They want to make sure they’re doing the best for their baby. But chemicals that we ingest, inhale or absorb can actually stay in the body long after mom has started making healthier choices. Sometimes just changing your lifestyle isn’t enough.

Here’s the story of Molly Gray: After several miscarriages, Molly switched to organic food, avoided fish high in mercury, stopped using plastic food storage containers, and switched to non-toxic cleaning products. But despite these radical changes, high levels of 13 toxic chemicals were found in her blood when she tested during pregnancy.

In fact, some of these chemicals could stay in your body for your entire life. And there may not even be a big difference in how much is in there over very long periods of time – many years.

So, what can a mom-to-be do about this?

Really, the best solution is probably a detoxification program. Detox programs flush toxic chemicals, and a few other things you don’t want, out of your body.

There are many different detox programs. They use different methods, different substances, and some focus on specific parts of the body. It’s important to do the right one(s), in the right sequence for your particular situation. So, really, the only right way to do a detox is with the help of a professional.

We checked with Debra Lynn Dadd, whose journey to Queen of Green started with her attempts to get rid of toxic chemicals in her home and her body, to find out which professionals really know about detox.

Here’s a list of the types of practitioners she recommended, along with websites where you can find out more about each type of practitioner and find someone in your area.

Note: Not all of these docs know about detox, but they are more likely to know about it than others. Ask them; they’ll tell you if they can help you.

A naturopathic doctor: Naturopathic doctors use diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and cutting edge natural therapies along with modern medical science to restore health. To learn more about Naturopathy or find a practitioner in your area check the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

A doctor who practices environmental medicine: Doctors who practice environmental medicine are medical professionals who treat illnesses that are related to toxic chemical exposures. See the American Academy of Environmental Medicine or Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics.

A doctor who practices functional medicine: Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what are sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques. Check the Institute for Functional Medicine for more information.

A doctor who practices anti-aging medicine: Anti-aging doctors use advanced scientific and medical technologies for early detection, prevention, treatment, and reversal of age-related diseases and a prolonged healthy lifespan. See the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.

A Certified Clinical Nutritionist: A Certified Cliniical Nutritionist uses nutrition to achieve normal physiological function. More info at The International & American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists.

A Chiropractor: Doctors of Chiropractic focus on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. However, many also offer other complementary natural remedies including nutrition and detoxification. Check the American Chiropractic Association or American Chiropractic Council on Nutrition.

A biologic dentist: Biologic dentists work closely with other healthcare professionals—nutritionists, chiropractors, bodyworkers, naturopaths, and environmental doctors—to reduce the toxic burden to the body as a result of toxic materials used in dental work. Check Consumers for Dental Choice, Holistic Dental Association, International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, or the International Association of Mercury Free Dentists.

I know that’s quite a bit of information, but if you’re concerned about what your baby will inherit from your body – which you should be; see more info on Molly’s story at US doctors say chemicals can cause cancer – check out getting tested for toxicity and the possibility of doing a detox program.

Which Chemicals Should You Avoid to Prevent Behavioral and Learning Problems?

Monday, September 27th, 2010


Are food additives making your child sick?

As you may be aware from some of our other blogs or research you’ve done, several studies have shown links to exposure to toxic chemicals and the symptoms known as ADD, ADHD, autism and hyperactivity in kids. Unfortunately, the chemicals in question are not esoteric – they aren’t the kind of chemicals you’re only exposed to if you work in certain industrial environments, for example. They are chemicals our kids come into contact with every day – in fact, they eat them, play with them, sleep in them, are dressed in them and, in many cases, are actually born with them in their body.

ADHD and the other symptoms I’ve mentioned are perhaps not the only side effects of toxic chemicals, but they do present a special set of difficulties. These include low self-esteem, nervousness, being disruptive or aggressive with others, and even reading and comprehension problems. These difficulties can really disrupt the lives of those involved and make it very difficult for kids to have a happy childhood.

Also, if your kids do have these symptoms, they may be exposed to even more toxic chemicals – drugs – which may bring on a whole new set of symptoms.

What can you do in addition to avoiding toxic chemicals in crib mattresses, kids toys, clothes, and the home environment?

Eat organically grown foods, including meat from animals grown without antibiotics or hormones, reduce sugar intake and make sure your kids are getting a balanced diet with eggs for breakfast instead of frosted cereals, and really watch out for food additives as covered in the Feingold Diet.

The Feingold Diet consists of a list of artificial colorings, flavorings, preservatives and other food and packaging additives that have specifically been determined to cause the symptoms you want to avoid. Some of these chemicals are even disguised, on the labels, as things that sound good for us. The term ‘anti-oxidants’, for example, which also includes healthy substances like Vitamins C and E and Essential Fatty Acids, can sometimes be used to describe chemicals that prevent the fats in food from ‘oxidizing’ – meaning ‘becoming rancid’. This is a far cry from the role nutritional anti-oxidants play.

In addition to ingesting, absorbing and inhaling untold amounts of chemicals over the last few decades – things we rarely had to contend with in earlier times – food additives have become part and parcel of our everyday diets. Here’s a sampling of Feingold’s take on the differences between what our kids ate in the 1940’s, compared to the present:

In the 1940s kids brushed their teeth with white toothpaste, ate oatmeal, corn flakes or toast and butter with jam for breakfast. Now they brush with multi-colored toothpastes (attained with the use of food colorings), instant oatmeal with additives that can even make the oatmeal turn blue when milk is added, colored cereals and pop tarts. All made with artificial flavoring and coloring. Even cocoa with whipped cream isn’t safe – today it’s topped with Cool Whip.

Is it any wonder that so many kids are having trouble?

If you want your kids to sleep easy and grow up happy and healthy, start with avoiding chemicals and eating well yourself (the chemicals can pass from parent to unborn child), green your nursery with non-toxic materials and a crib mattress that’s certified as not emitting harmful chemical gases, and eliminate food additives as recommended by Feingold Diet. All the info you need is on the Feingold site, including the research.

Are You Going to be a Mom Soon? Protect Your Baby’s Health by Making Changes Now.

Monday, September 20th, 2010


It used to be a usual thing that soon-to-be moms would quit drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. A wise choice. But these days we have much more to worry about in terms of toxins. In fact, study after study has shown traces of toxic chemicals in breast milk and the blood and urine of pregnant moms. And we now know that these chemicals transfer to the baby. What can you do to protect your child from the chemical onslaught?

In addition to getting your baby a crib, crib mattress, changing pad, clothing, linens and food that is free of toxic chemicals, it’s time to change other things in your household to help you stop accumulating toxins in your own body. Here’s a list of simple things you can do to remove general toxins from your environment.

Get rid of your PVC vinyl shower curtain. These shower curtains off-gas toxic chemicals. Instead, switch to cotton or hemp. They work just as well, although you do have to make sure the ventilation is good and they are washed frequently. You could also consider a glass shower door. They’re relatively easy to install and cost less than $100.

Start eating organic fruits and vegetables and meat from animals fed the way they used to be before commercial feeds became popular. For beef and lamb, for example, that was grass. Also, make sure they haven’t been fed antibiotics or hormones. Those substances go straight into your body, and into your baby’s.

Change your cleaning products to something non-toxic or, better still, use old-fashioned remedies like baking soda and vinegar. In fact, you could pretty much clean your whole house with just these two products. Whatever products you choose, make sure they do not contain fragrance. Synthetic fragrances are high on the list of toxic chemicals.

Do the same with your personal care products and cosmetics. A lot of chemicals are absorbed through the skin.

If you’re not yet pregnant, but there’s a chance you might become pregnant, all the same things apply for your husband. His body influences the baby’s, too.

Make sure your indoor air is clean by removing toxic chemicals from the household and using an air purifier. Did you know that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor? You can change that.

Remember, whatever’s in your body might pass through to the baby. If you would like more information on that, watch 10 Americans, a very interesting video about a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group.

These few changes will help protect your baby, and you. It can take a while to get toxins out of your body so whether you’re planning on motherhood in the near future or far, now is a good time to start.

Mom is Baby’s First House. Is Your Body Kid-Safe?

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010


non-toxic chemicals in MomCouples hoping to start a family or have a new baby often start planning well into the future. Moving into a new place that has room for the baby, is in a safe, family environment, decor, clothing, even what school the kids will go to are sometimes decided years in advance. Prospective parents who are in-the-know would also be searching for the best organic crib mattress and other non-toxic furniture. But sometimes we forget to make sure the baby’s very first house – Mom – is up to par.

Many recent studies have shown that kids whose Moms’ bodies contain chemicals are born with those chemicals in their body. One study found 287 chemicals in newborns’ umbilical cords.

Many experts believe this is a real health hazard because children’s under-developed bodies are especially susceptible to toxins. Even the President’s Cancer Panel suggests that both parents should avoid exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and known or suspected carcinogens prior to conception, during pregnancy and throughout a child’s early life.

How can you safeguard your baby?

The first order of business would be, of course, to eliminate chemicals from your environment as much as possible. You can do a lot with just a few changes in:

Personal care products and cosmetics,
Household cleaning products and laundry items, and
Food that contains chemical additives or was grown (like chicken and beef) with added hormones, antibiotics, and so forth.

But it is also a good idea to see a health practitioner and get tested for the chemicals in your body and, if needed, do a detox. There are many different types of detox programs – your health care specialist can recommend one that’s best for you.

A chemical-free environment for your baby to come home to is important – everything from clothing to crib mattresses. But a good detox for Mom and Dad gives your baby an excellent start right from conception.

How the Chemicals in Your Life Are Affecting Your Unborn Children

Sunday, May 30th, 2010


eliminate toxic chemicals if you're pregnantIf you’ve been reading our blog, or keeping up with news items (including a piece on 60 Minutes that aired just a week ago), you will know that many of the items in our everyday lives contain potentially harmful chemicals. This is even more of a problem for kids than adults, because kids’ bodies are still developing. But the problem starts long before the kids are born. In fact, it’s immediately after conception. Check out this resource that shows you exactly when and in what part of the body chemicals affect your unborn child.

The resource is a chart on the website of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX). TEDX is a non-profit organization that studies the effects of low-dose exposure to endocrine disruptors, chemicals that effect fetal development and human health. These chemicals include, but are not limited to, bisphenol A (BPA), dioxin, and phthalates.

The chart is called Critical Windows of Development. It lists the various systems, organs and so on within the body and shows the stages of development during each weeks and trimesters in the womb. On the upper right of the chart, it shows checkboxes for ‘All Chemicals’, ‘Bisphenol A’, ‘Dioxin’, and ‘Phthalates’. Check ‘Phthalates’, for example, and red lines appear on the chart that show you which systems they affect, and at what period of pregnancy.

There are also little triangles on the chart that provide the names of studies that support the information.

One thing is clear: If we want to give our kids the best chance at being healthy as children and throughout their lives, expectant Mothers need to be free of these chemicals.

Pass this on to anyone you know who is pregnant, or may be in the future, so they can start doing something about it now.

What do they do about it? Eliminate the chemicals from their lives as much as possible. Many of our blog posts show you how to do that, and Debra Lynn Dadd’s book Home Safe Home has a wealth of information on what chemicals are in what products and suggestions on healthy alternatives. But, basically, just go organic, go toxin-free.

And once your baby is born, make sure you continue your toxic-free life. Get the baby a safe crib and baby crib mattress, made with non-toxic materials, swaddle them in organic cotton, feed them organic food, get them glass baby bottles and diapers and toys that are not made of harmful plastics or other potentially harmful chemicals.