You may have already heard that once you are pregnant you need avoid cat poop, raw meat and eating too much fish. But what about the chemicals found in household cleaners, sunscreen and hair dye? The obvious lifestyle factors that absolutely should be stopped, or limited, to protect your unborn baby while you trying to conceive include smoking, alcohol and certain medications.
There are other not so obvious everyday products, however, that may cause health issues and even infertility. There are hundreds of chemicals we use each day that may be toxic to your fertility and future bundle of joy. The chemicals in many everyday products we use contain toxins known to be endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are natural or synthetic chemicals that alter our normal hormonal balance. These hormonal imbalances can potentially lead to fertility problems, birth defects, obesity, ADHD and cancer.
Health experts are concerned that they may not even be limited to impacting you and your unborn baby, but even your future grandchildren. The truth, though, is that we don’t really know what side effects these chemicals may have. In the doses that we use, we may be perfectly fine.
If you don’t feel like experimenting on yourself or unborn child(ren), however, below we posted toxins that you may want to replace with natural alternatives or use a whole lot less of in your daily life.
Please note that while cleaning products are required to list their ingredients, beauty products do not. Any product, from perfumes, creams to cleaning products, that list only ‘fragrance’ on the label, may contain potentially harmful chemicals. To protect their trade secret(s), the government only requires them to list ‘fragrance’, which can indicate a combination of chemicals including phthalates. Phthalates are on the ‘chemicals to avoid’ list.
This may explain why more and more alternative household cleaning products can be found on store shelves in the recent years. Perhaps if beauty products had to label more of their ingredients, we would see the same result.
List of Chemicals to Avoid and Watch out For
[With examples of where they can be found (examples are NOT an exhaustive list)]
BPA: plastic bottles and canned food
Phthalates: make-up, perfume and plastic bags
- Mercury (thimersoal): paint
- Parabens: make-up, soap and lotions
- Organophosphates: insecticides & non-organic foods
- PVC (#3): plastic containers
- Retinoids: anti-aging lotions
- Pesticides: weeding and garden sprays
- Triclosan: soap, toothpaste, make-up
- Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs): non-stick pans
Alternative Options for Non-Toxic Products to Use While Trying To Conceive
Ok, you may be thinking,“hello sunscreen and toothpaste are essential!”What can you do? You may want to check out more natural sunscreens and toothpaste options available at most grocery stores if you are concerned about the ingredients. Sunscreens that are not mineral based typically contain one or more chemicals including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Look for mineral based sunscreens to avoid those chemicals.
Be on alert when looking at 'natural' products and foods to avoid being fooled by misleading advertising. Read the ingredients carefully.
You may find that you are attached to things like dying your hair and getting your toenails painted. You are not alone. There are many alternative products coming to the market to meet consumer demand for less toxic items. Here is a website dedicated to evaluating products and has lists of brands that they deem safe for use.
If you dye your hair, look for a vegetable based hair dye. Once you are pregnant, some experts recommend waiting until you are at least 10 weeks pregnant before dying your hair again. If you are using anti aging creams, avoid retinoids and use safe alternatives such as vit. C and glycolic acid. For nail polish, use an acetone -free remover and a toxin-free nail polish. They fortunately exist.
Lawns & Gardens
Watch out for lawns and gardens! Those pesticides and herbicides are no joke on the potential damage they can do. There are natural solutions instead of toxic ones for taking care of the lawn and garden. Check out this website for ideas: Earth Easy
Plastics are everywhere and are truly too hard to avoid. Look for BPA-Free products and try to stay away from PVC. You can see if it is PVC for it will have the #3 on the product. In general, try to avoid storing your food in plastic containers. If you still want to use plastic, use #1, #2, #4 and #5. If you can, avoid microwaving food in plastic, even if it says microwave safe.
What has your experience been like switching out chemical based products for natural ones? We would love to hear from you. Email Jackie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Resources to Check Out