by Ling Wong, Thoughts For Foods Holistic Health, www.thoughts4foods.com
Substances that you come into contact in your immediate environment during pregnancy can be absorbed into your tissues and bloodstream, eventually making their way to the fetus. Since most of the fetus’ organs are still developing, it does not have the capability to process the onslaught of toxins that passes through the placenta. A lot of these toxins can do damage to the developing baby.
Although it will be close to impossible to avoid every single harmful substance, there are ways to prevent exposing yourself to a large dosage of the more damaging ones.
Cadmium – the primary source of exposure of this potent neurotoxin is from food sources. Many leafy plants absorb cadmium from the soil, especially if sludge-type fertilizers are used. Organ meats and shellfish can also contain a significant amount of cadmium. Inhalation of cadmium released from factories, landfill incineration, and cigarette is the second major source of exposure. Second hand smoke is dangerous as well.
Lead – commons sources include soil, cans, paint, plaster, pipes, solder, newsprint, ceramic glazes, and some herbal products that have not been fully inspected.
Aluminum – aluminum utensils, cans, aluminum foil, and other aluminum containers pose a risk as aluminum is absorbed by the food. It is known that dark-colored utensils contain more aluminum than light ones. Cooking foods in aluminum foil leaches the metal out of the foil and into the foods, especially into meat gravies and tomato gravies.
Mercury – Most human contact with this toxic metal comes from man-made sources such as dental amalgam, beauty creams, mirrors, medication, vaccination, coal-burning, and other industrial uses.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and have dental amalgam, do not undergo the procedure to remove the filling as the removal process releases some mercury. In fact, the mercury level in the blood will actually spike initially. If you are having your teeth cleaned, ask the dentist to work around your dental amalgam to prevent the release of mercury vapor.
Avoid vaccines that contain thimerosal, which is an organomercury compound. Thimerosal has been largely phased out in most vaccines. However, it is still used in mutli-dose flu vaccines. If you are getting a flu shot, be sure to ask you doctor – it’s safer to request one that comes as individual dose.
PVC, BPA, and Phthalates
All these chemicals are used in the manufacturing of plastic products. Use the recycle number on the product to help determine if they contain these chemicals. Most number 3’s contain PVC, and number 7’s contain BPA – both a hormone disruptor. Phthalates are used to soften plastics. They are also used in some personal products – they are usually listed under the umbrella term “perfume” so it’s hard to know if a product contains this toxic hormone disrupter. It’s best to use products that are “fragrance free”, or scented with natural oil, whenever possible.
Ling Wong, founder and owner of Thoughts for Foods Holistic Health, specializes in preconception health and prenatal and postpartum wellness. She became passionate about the subject during her own fertility journey and decided to apply her knowledge and her personal experience to support women in various stages of their motherhood journeys. Walking her talk, Ling was able to recover very quickly from the delivery of her first child and is currently breezing through her second pregnancy. Learn more about Ling and her work at www.thoughts4foods.com, and her prenatal wellness program at http://thoughts4foods.com/super-pregger.