Natural Pregnancy — Toxins and Pregnancy

RSS

Phthalates during Pregnancy Cause Genital Defects in Boys 5

Here is one more reason to watch what you put on your skin during pregnancy. A new animal study has found that phthalates during pregnancy increases the likelihood of a genital defect in baby boys. The genital defect, called hypospadias, occurs when the baby boy's urethra exits the underside of the penis. Doctors have seen a near 100% increase of this type of defect since the 1960s. Phthalates are also linked to undescended testicles, smaller penises and overall feminization of males. Phthalates are so dangerous because they either mimic or block our natural hormones and male fetuses are especially vulnerable. According to "Theodore Schettler, a physician and science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, an environmental advocacy group. 'There's a huge animal database showing how exposures to phthalates during development can have effects at levels hundreds of times lower than these needed to show any impact on an adult,' he said. Timing of the exposure matters, and the most harm may occur between the eighth and 15th weeks of pregnancy, when a fetus' sexual differentiation starts, he said.
Timing of the exposure matters, and the most harm may occur between the eighth and 15th weeks of pregnancy
'If my testosterone dropped by 20 or 30 percent for a couple of days, it wouldn't matter,' he said. 'But for a developing fetus, it could matter a whole lot if there was a substantial drop in testosterone.' Phthalates fall into a group of chemicals called endocrine disruptors because they either mimic or block the action of human hormones. Phthalates interfere with the synthesis of testosterone. Bisphenol A, another controversial chemical that is found in plastics, can mimic female hormones. Consumers' concerns about bisphenol A, which has been used for years to make plastics stiff, have prompted some producers and retailers to announce in recent months that they would stop using and selling it." Physorg.com Phthalates are found in nail polishes, hair sprays, perfumes, shampoos, deodorants, soft plastic toys and much more. There is no easy way to determine if your beauty or household product contains phthalates unless it clearly states "phthalate free". During pregnancy, the safer the better so if you wont put it in your mouth, don't put it on your skin. More resources: Not Too Pretty (PDF)

More Fetal Safety Issues 1

Fetal Safety and Household Chemicals: According to the article: Household chemicals causing "silent pandemic" found at www.canada.com:

In nine months, the fetal brain grows into ''a complex organ consisting of billions of precisely located, highly interconnected and specialized cells,'' the report says.

The growth occurs within ''a tightly controlled time frame, in which each developmental stage has to be reached on schedule and in the correct sequence.''

This creates ''windows of unique susceptibility to toxic interference'' that can have permanent consequences, say Grandjean and co-author Philip J. Landrigan, a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Click here to read the full article at www.canada.com Sheryl's comment: The scary part of industrial chemicals is that you cannot see them, smell them or taste them, yet they can adversely effect fetal development and permanently alter your child. These chemicals are in your home, your air, your water, your food and your toiletries. There is simply no escaping them for they are in the atmosphere. You can only do the best you can. Detox your home prior to conception if possible. Be aware of potential dangers such as carpeting and by all means never install carpeting if ttc, pregnant, nursing or if you have crawler/toddler in the house. Use air and water filters and eat as organic as possible. Do not have metal fillings put in or taken out if a fetus or baby in any way receives nutrition directly from your body. (Ideally have them removed at least three months prior to conceiving). If you have metal fillings never chew gum while pregnant, minimize hot beverages and try to chew as little as possible (ie: forgo a bag of potato chips). Do not eat microwaved food and if you would rather not err on the side of caution, then never microwave in plastic containers or with plastic wrap unless you want a nice girly little boy. Please use organic bath and beauty products. This is very important because beauty products are not regulated. An even better solution is to get some recipes and make your own bath and beauty products with food grade ingredients from your own kitchen. It is especially important during pregnancy to remember to not put anything on your skin that you are not willing to eat. Are these scare tactics? No. I have no reason to scare you. We are talking about chemicals with unknown properties that can have permanent effects on your unborn child. Is your convenience really worth your child's IQ? Or risking autism? You make the choice.

Risks Of Smoking During Pregnancy 1

Smoking During Pregnancy We have known that the effects of smoking during pregnancy endangers unborn children for decades. Smoking is often a part of your life, whether you smoke or not. It can be a detrimental factor in anyone's life but particularly for a developing fetus. Surveys show that many mothers smoke during their pregnancy. The mothers often believe that it does not affect their baby at all. Sometimes these are mothers that do not care for their unborn child, but more frequently they simply are not educated or aware of the great dangers smoking poses to their baby. They might quit if they knew that smoking is one of the major causes of infant deaths in the world today. Mothers who smoke while pregnant run a risk of ectopic pregnancy. This is especially true when the mother is a heavy smoker during the first trimester of her pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy happens when the embryo implants outside the uterus, often in the fallopian tubes. When ectopic pregnancy occurs, the pregnancy has to be terminated because this kind of pregnancy will never go to full term. This fetus will never survive outside of the uterus where a fetus gets all the nourishment and protection that it needs. Prolonging an ectopic pregnancy will also risk the mother's life. Smoking also increases the probability that the mother will develop complications with her placenta. Reports show that placental problems occur in about 1% of pregnancies. The most common problem is "placenta previa" where the placenta is connected very low in the uterus and partially or completely blocks the cervix which obstructs the birth canal and the baby must be delivered by C-section or both the mother and the babies lives are at risk. Another problem is the deterioration of fetal growth. Smoking during pregnancy results in low infant birth weight. For many years now, reports show that there had been significant difference between babies with smoking mothers than those who have non-smoking mothers. There is a correlation between low birth weight and certain conditions like cerebral palsy and mental retardation. They are also more likely to die of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. Babies born to smoking mothers are also at increased risk of developing asthma, behavioral problems or learning disabilities. The dangers from smoking mothers does not end at childbirth. This is especially true for babies who are breastfed by smoking mothers. Studies have revealed that nicotine can be passed on to the baby through breastfeeding. There had been experiments that proved the presence of nicotine in the babies system through urine testing. It later showed that higher percentage of nicotine was found on babies who breastfeed from smoking mothers. Most experts contend that the problem lies within the mother's urge to get back to smoking right after they gave birth. They say that it is safe now because the baby was born already. They insist that they stopped smoking during their pregnancy. Babies should be given the right to live a decent, normal, and healthy life. To all smoking mothers out there: please remember that there are many harmful effects of smoking during and after pregnancy. Give your baby the very best start by simply not smoking. Author: Tina Dean About the author: For more information about how to give up smoking please visit www.giveupsmokingforever.com so that you and your child can have healthier lives. Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/superfantastic/166215927/

Dangers Of Drinking During Pregnancy 1

In 1968 French medical researchers identified a collection of abnormalities in children born to alcoholic mothers. These abnormalities came to be known collectively as the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). The defects associated with FAS are caused when alcohol drunk by the mother crosses the placenta, enters the unborn child's bloodstream, and interferes with normal biological development. Most FAS babies have distinct facial features. They usually have small heads, with small eyes, very thin upper lips, low, sunken nasal bridges, and flattened cheekbones. In addition to their distinctive facial features, FAS babies suffer a variety of other physical defects. They generally show growth retardation. They are shorter and lighter in weight, on average, than non-FAS babies. This growth lag tends to persist into childhood. FAS babies often have deformities in their bones and joints and may have certain heart defects. Motor coordination tends to be poor, also. The most devastating problems, however, center on their intellectual development. The developing brain is especially sensitive to alcohol. Prenatal exposure to alcohol appears to cause faulty arrangement of brain cells. Hence, FAS babies have reduced potential for developing their thinking and reasoning. By the time they reach school age, FAS babies typically show signs of mental retardation. Throughout childhood they will have poor attention spans and impaired learning skills. In addition to their many intellectual problems, FAS children have a range of behavioral problems. They tend to be restless, irritable, and aggressive. They are likely to have poor impulse control. Because they have difficulty interpreting and responding to social cues, FAS children often have few friends. Today we know that a mother does not have to be an alcoholic to give birth to a child who shows signs of FAS. A mother's consistent use of alcohol, even small amounts, throughout pregnancy can produce adverse effects on the unborn child. Occasional binge drinking during pregnancy can also have profound effects. It is estimated that 1 infant in 750 suffers from FAS. Perhaps another 10 infants suffer from Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). FAE refers to a condition that is somewhat less severe than FAS. The child with FAE does not show all the signs of full-blown FAS, but shares many of the same developmental defects. For example, children with FAE typically have intellectual impairments and behavioral problems that continue throughout childhood and beyond. How much alcohol can a woman safely consume when she is pregnant? Occasionally a physician will tell a woman that a drink of wine now and then will not hurt her unborn child. However, the fact of the matter is, no one knows for sure how much alcohol is needed to harm the unborn child. The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has stated that "no amount of alcohol has been proven safe to consume during pregnancy". The best advice for women, who are pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant,is to abstain from all drinking. By following this advice, the wide range of birth defects associated with FAS and FAE can be prevented. Author: Douglas Hardwick About the author: Douglas Hardwick, Ph.D., has extensive interests in issues of holistic health and human development. He is a primary contributor to the information website: Holistic Health and Healing Resources. Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/emurray/210421689/