Are you pregnant? Are you saying no to your deodorant and makeup of late in a desperate bid to avoid harmful chemicals? Well, reading this post may be a good idea to know more about chemicals to avoid during pregnancy!
Pregnancy is a time when you are doubly conscious about your health and well-being.Do you want to know how you can avoid or minimize the risk of chemical exposure? Read on to learn some handy tips to reduce the toxicity in your immediate environment to enjoy a safe pregnancy!
Chemical Exposure In Everyday Life:
You may not realize it at all, but there are various ways toxic chemicals can reach you every single day. From your food to your drinks and cosmetics and even the so-called safe things in your house, chemical exposure can happen from anywhere. You can breathe in these harmful chemicals, apply them to yourself or consume them, without ever knowing.
Four Chemicals To Avoid During Pregnancy:
Here are the four chemicals to avoid while pregnant:
1. Lead: (1)
- Lead exposure during pregnancy can cause various complications like premature birth, miscarriage, low birth weight of the infant and delays in the developmental milestones.
- Very small amounts of lead can also cause potential harm to your unborn baby. It can adversely affect your baby’s learning and behavior.
How To Avoid:
- Check if the water pipes installed in your home contain lead. It could be in the form of lead solder on pipes made of copper or the brass faucets in your home (2).
- Contact your nearest health department and ask them to assess the safety levels of your drinking water.
- Older buildings may have a coat of lead paints that enter your body via inhalation or physical exposure. Do not touch surfaces where the paint is peeling off. Get a professional service to scrape away the old paint and repaint with safer options. Make sure you vacate the premises before any of this work begins.
- Other sources that may contain lead are old ceramics, crystal glassware and wicks of candles.
2. Mercury In Fish: (3)
- Exposure to mercury can affect the development of your unborn baby’s brain and nervous system. The detrimental effects can range from mild to severe.
- Mercury exposure can negatively impact your baby’s motor skills, speech development, vision, memory, and concentration.
How To Avoid:
- Avoid eating fish that contain high levels of mercury. Shark, king mackerel, tilefish, and swordfish contain very high levels of this harmful chemical (4).
- Fresh and white tuna (canned albacore) contain a higher amount of mercury than canned light tuna. Speak to your doctor about how much fish consumption is good for you.
[ Read: Prevention Of Low Birth Weight ]
3. Arsenic: (5)
- Exposure to arsenic during pregnancy can cause miscarriage and stillbirth.
- Arsenic exposure can cause high blood pressure and anemia during pregnancy.
- High amounts of arsenic contamination can also cause cancer and diabetes.
How To Avoid:
- Many outdoor wooden pieces like backyard deck, tables, and play sets contain arsenic. These furnitures are made using pressure-treated lumber that contains chromated copper arsenate, an arsenic-based preservative (6).
- Arsenic is also present in agricultural areas and near waste dumping grounds. The toxic element can contaminate water and soil.
- The harmful effects of pesticides cause the same amount of harm to an unborn baby as smoking during pregnancy.
- It can lead to premature birth and poor birth weight. Other side effects include miscarriage and other birth defects (7).
How To Avoid:
- Pesticides can be present in the food you eat or may be in popular use in the area you stay. 
- Always wash your food well before you cook or eat them. Store food in sealed containers to avoid contamination by pests.
- Seal off places from which pests can enter your home. Tend your garden well to eliminate bugs and pests.
- In case you have to use pesticides at home seek professional help and vacate the premises during a pest-control exercise.
[ Read: Painting During Pregnancy ]
You should avoid these chemicals when pregnant. Its important to know about chemicals to avoid when pregnant. Pregnancy is a crucial time for both your baby and you. Make sure you stay careful and follow these precautions. Speak to your doctor about how you can spot symptoms of chemical exposure.
Did you take any special precautions to avoid chemical exposure during pregnancy? Share your experiences here.
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