Family planning is an exciting time for the whole family. But as you prepare for your baby’s conception, growth, development and delivery, you’re bombarded with environmental toxin exposure, which can make this journey very challenging.
The cumulative impact of these toxins can wreak havoc on your conception plan, your baby’s development and your overall health.
Environmental toxins are cancer-causing chemicals and endocrine disruptors, both human-made and naturally occurring, that can harm our health by disrupting sensitive biological systems.
There are anywhere from an estimated 100,000 – 150,000 chemicals registered for use around the world. But thanks to loopholes in United States federal policy, only about 86,000 of these chemicals are registered for use.
Of these 86,000, roughly 62,000 of these chemicals were grandfathered in when the Toxic Substances Control Act was passed. This gives these 62,000 chemicals a free pass and automatically labeling them safe with no requirements to actually prove their safety.
We have a policy in the U.S. designed to regulate chemical use in certain products called The Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. But it hasn’t been updated since 1938.
Research has identified over 200 man-made chemicals circulating inside the average person. But the worst part is that many of these toxins can be found in umbilical cord blood. Which means our babies are exposed to countless toxins before they are even born.
When our bodies cannot properly eliminate all of the toxins we are exposed to, they begin to build up and cause damage and disease such as:
- Cancer: 90-95% of cancers are caused by environmental and lifestyle factors.
- Hormonal imbalances: Many toxins can mimic the natural hormones produced by your body – essentially tricking your body into responding to these toxins as though they are your own hormones. This can throw any number of hormones out of whack causing anything from estrogen dominance to low thyroid function.
- Autoimmune conditions: An accumulation of toxins can burn out your immune system. This can cause your immune system to begin mistakenly launching an immune attack on itself.
- Fertility issues: Fertility is declining worldwide at least in part due to exposure to environmental toxins. These toxins can damage fertility by decreasing men’s sperm count, disrupting women’s cycles, impairing implantation, and even increasing the risk of miscarriage.
- Brain and neurological malfunction: Environmental toxins can hinder your brain’s ability and impair things like your ability to learn new things, your mood, and the overall health of your brain. In fact, environmental toxins are speculated to be one of the primary causes of intellectual disabilities and progressive neurodegenerative conditions like dementia. As your baby grows, it’s important to protect their brain development.
- Preterm Birth / Low Birth Weight: While we cannot avoid 100% of environmental toxins, an increased exposure leads to increased risk.
Reducing toxic exposure isn’t just Mom’s responsibility. Dad has to be incredibly intentional as well. Studies have shown that a man’s sperm can be affected by chemical exposures and that the effects on pregnancy are most likely to occur from exposures in the three months before conception.
This is because sperm matures in the testes over several months. A father’s exposure to chemicals, such as some pesticides, has been linked to miscarriage and premature babies.
Safe Swaps For You And Your Baby
The goal is to minimize the influx of toxin exposure to give your baby the cleanest growing environment as possible. Considering environmental toxins are literally everywhere, trying to reduce your exposure can feel overwhelming at first.
But making small swaps can add up in a big way over time and can go a long way in lowering your toxic risk to you and your baby.
- Choose Whole, Organic Foods – eat minimally processed foods with few or no additives, preservatives, pesticides, hormones, or other chemicals.
- Choose Supplements Wisely – Big box store supplements with flashy labels are notorious for including toxic material such as artificial food dyes, Titanium Dioxide, Soy Lecithin and other hexane-extracted additives, Mono- and Diglycerides, BHT, maltodextrin. We only carry supplement companies (like Orthomolecular) that ensure quality and safety through specific sourcing and testing measures.
- Swap your skincare products for FarmHouse Fresh – Every one of FarmHouse Fresh’s products are made in the USA using natural ingredients and just-harvested botanicals that are grown fresh right on their farm – supplying your skin with a concentrated dose of revitalizing nutrients.
- Stay Water Wise – It’s important for pregnant and nursing women to stay hydrated, but some water sources can be full of impurities such as chlorine, perchlorate and lead. Avoid drinking straight tap water, instead choose a quality water filter, such as Berkey. If you filter water with a Berkey, >99.9% of all toxic herbicides and pesticides will be removed. Use a stainless steel, glass or BPA-free plastic reusable container.
- Filter Your Air – Air Doctor is different from other purifiers because it not only captures the smallest most dangerous particles like smoke, bacteria and viruses, but it also captures toxic gasses and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)– some of the most common forms of indoor air pollution.
- Swap Harmful Chemical-Based Cleaning Solutions – An aqueous ozone cleaning solution is a versatile all-purpose cleaner, sanitizer, and deodorizer that’s effective, eco-friendly, non-toxic, and is made with plain tap water. An even more basic cleaning option is vinegar. Diluted with water to about 5 percent acidity, distilled white vinegar is a natural, nontoxic cleaning agent, killing bacteria, dissolving hard-water deposits, and cutting through grime at a fraction of the cost of brand-name, toxic cleaning products.
- Filter and Protect Your Digital Environment – In 2011, the World Health Organization classified EMF radiation as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’, and negative biological effects associated with it include cellular stress, fertility issues and even cancer. Anything you can do to minimize your exposure and practice good digital hygiene should help to fortify your body’s natural detox systems.
The fertility and family planning journey looks different for every woman, and every couple. Our goal is to provide recommendations and resources to make conception and the birth experience as easy and joyful as possible.
If you’re wanting to give your baby a clean start to life it’s vitally important to assess your current environmental toxic load. While you cannot eliminate 100% of toxic exposures, you can make deliberate decisions to reduce big bundles of risk for your little bundle of joy.
If you’re needing additional support through family planning, pregnancy and other women’s health concerns, consider working with an Integrative Women’s Health specialist.
At Kare Health & Wellness we prioritize women’s health and provide empowerment and support as your life and health changes. Connect with our team for additional information and to establish as a patient.