It was during pregnancy that I first really woke up to the environmental crisis. I cared about the environment before but discovering that there were over 200 known chemicals in my cord blood added a new dimension. And learning that my toxic load was not just related to what I did or did not ingest, breathe or touch during pregnancy was alarming.
Stored away in my fat were chemicals from decades past. There was nothing I could do about that. I was angry. Why is everyone harping on about deli meats when we should just clean up this nasty planet already?
I have since become more active in my environmental efforts. And though it mostly comes down to changing laws to protect us and protect the planet, I try to do my part to protect my family from toxins.
No shoes in the house, get houseplants, use air purifiers and green cleaning products, use plastics with care, get rid of nonstick pans, minimize dust, use filtered water, avoid stain-guard materials, opt for natural fibers, avoid pest control, use nontoxic products in the garden, no plastic wrap on the dry cleaning, and have checks done for carbon monoxide and radon levels.
But he cautions, “Don’t let this become an obsession which can cause so much stress that it creates more of a negative impact on your health than the toxins themselves.”
I couldn’t agree more. For my family it’s been a slow build. I have not moved to an eco pod in the wilderness. We are most definitely on the grid. But each year we make a change—get an air purifier, some house plants, switch to more eco-friendly products.
There’s such a burden on a pregnant woman to do “everything she can” to protect the fetus. I don’t think you need to run out and buy a room full of ficus trees so you’re breathing optimal air. Tying to take it all on at once might on make you sick in other ways. So educate yourself, be realistic and do what you can.