Two Surprising Things Every Mom-To-Be Should Do
April 1, 2014
Expectant parents understand that life is about to change in a big way—or at least they think they do. These 40+ weeks are a crash course in all things baby. There is so much information to take in. And many pregnant moms are surprised to learn about some of the more unusual things they can and should be doing to keep their developing baby safe in the months before birth. Here are two important—and unexpected!—steps every mom-to-be should take:
1. Don’t touch cash register receipts.
The thermal papers used for cash register, ATM, and other receipts as well as in fax machines and similar devices often contain the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A (BPA), which is easily absorbed through the skin. According to various studies, fetal exposure to BPA can disrupt development, impair growth, cause behavioral and emotional problems, and trigger asthma and breast cancer later in life. BPA has also been linked to a greater risk of miscarriage. If you don’t need a receipt, don’t take it. Ask cashiers to place necessary receipts in your bag. Don’t store them in your wallet. Wash your hands well after handling both receipts and money, which constantly rubs up against receipts in others’ wallets—and especially before eating. Resist the urge to use hand sanitizer after handling receipts—studies show it boosts BPA absorption.
2. Dust with extra care.
Household dust is the final resting place for many of the toxins introduced into our homes. One study identified 35 pollutants in tested samples, including alkylphenols linked to altered sexual development, organotin compounds suspected of affecting brain development, perfluorinated chemicals, pesticides, phthalates, and flame retardants. To safely remove these hazards, vacuum regularly with a HEPA vacuum, damp mop hard floors, wipe furniture and other surfaces with a microfiber cloth or damp rag, and carefully maintain the filters on HVAC and other climate control equipment.
These are just the tip of the gestational iceberg! To see more of the unique and important ways you can protect your developing baby from harm, check out our new e-book, Easy Steps to a Safe & Healthy Pregnancy. It’s free to download!