Dear SafeMama: Greener Pregnancy

By Kristie Turck •  Published 02/25/09 •  3 min read

Last updated on August 20th, 2022 at 12:19 am

I just found out I’m pregnant with our second child. I’ve been trying to be more educated about toxins. I’ trying to cut out everything possible that’s plastic (BPA, phthalates, PVC), eliminating foods with HFCS where possible, I got organic HBA items, but what else should I be aware of during my pregnancy? Any advice on pre-natal vitamins? I read that there was lead in them back in 2007 and not sure if that’s changed or not?

Ahhh, pregnancy.   I don’t know that there’s anything other than pregnancy and children that make you more wrought with anxiety and guilt.

Our first son was a product of In-vitro Fertilization.  I was just so happy to finally be pregnant.  At the time, I had no idea about toxins in my home, or even what a paraben was.  It’s amazing to me, that my son was born healthy.

When I found out I was pregnant with our second child, both my husband and I were every form of shocked you can think of. We had achieved a natural pregnancy.  After going through infertility treatments, it’s a very bizarre feeling to have your reproductive system get its butt in gear and do what it’s supposed to. Everything happens for a reason and once the shock wore off, it became an amazing gift.

I truly believe my “going green(er)” played a part in my getting pregnant the second time.  I won’t say it could happen for everyone, but after overhauling my chemical lifestyle, I wind up pregnant all of a sudden, it does seem to be more than coincidence.

People are always asking us how to go about living a healthier lifestyle in the home.   I always tell people to do things one step at a time, And now, one of my favorite organizations, the EWG, has put out a printable guide to help parents cut down on toxins in the home.   I think this guide is also great if you’re currently pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant and are looking to live a healthier life.   Along with the book from another one of our favorite organizations: Healthy Child Healthy World.  These have some really great invaluable tips to help you get rid of chemicals in your life.  This book also has a tendency to be very overwhelming, so take from it what you can.   It’s better to do what you’re most comfortable with and know that you’re at least making a difference.

(Kathy interjecting here: Another great book/resource: Going Green With Baby from our friends at Itsabelly.  Book covers everything a new green parent needs to know!)

As for vitamins, my personal thought is that organic and natural vitamins are largely unregulated, and therefore, might be more harmful than they are good.  It seems that all vitamins and supplements contain lead, but you’re going to probably have better luck with prescription vitamins, as they’re heavily regulated.    They also have unfavorable ingredients in them (such as dyes and other things that we like to avoid), but they’ve also got very strict regulations forced upon them and therefore you’re going to get a product that’s consistent.

Unfortunately, you can’t avoid all chemicals and with vitamins you’re just trading in one set of concerns for another.  So you have to weigh what’s most important to you in this case.

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