Top 10 Toxic Substances to Avoid During Pregnancy

Are You Ready To Be Pregnant?

You hear the words “You’re pregnant” and in an instant, it’s not about you anymore, there’s a tiny baby utterly and totally dependent upon every single thing you do in the important 40 weeks to come. Heavy stuff right? And sometimes it feels like the lists you encounter online eliminate EVERYthing. Should you move into a sterile little bubble, sip spring water and eat plain organic lettuce the entire time? Nah, that’s a bit much.

So let’s try and simplify this some. Here are the top ten toxic substances I personally tried to avoid during my own pregnancy, not in any diehard order:

The Top 10 Toxic Substances to Avoid During Pregnancy
  • 1) Smoking – this one is a BIG FAT DUH. Not only does it cause us, the mother a multitude of health issues, It can cause your baby a low birth weight, a premature delivery or even miscarriage.  And people, second hand smoke should be avoided as well. Get away from those stinky smokers, stat.
  • 2) Pesticides & Insecticides – Have you noticed your sense of smell heightening? Pay attention to it. Don’t hang out around chemical-ridden bug sprays in use. Seriously, gross. And toxic to your baby on board.
  • 3) Shun saccharineIt has been shown that saccharine crosses into the placenta and takes longer for the baby to process, increasing the risk of bladder problems or even cancer in your baby. This sweetener is considered toxic during pregnancy.
  • 4) X-rays – let’s just say it’s safer to avoid them. Dental X-rays, not so bad, as long as your body is properly protected. However, X-rays of the torso, such as the abdomen, stomach, pelvis, lower back and kidneys, well, they pose a greater risk regarding exposure to the uterus. Studies have been conflicting, so, err on the side of caution, and think this way: X-rays should only be done when the benefits outweigh the risks.
  • 5) Deli Meats- This comes as a surprise to many, but deli meats have been known to be contaminated with listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning, which may be life-threatening.
  • 6) Raw sushi and mercury-heavy fish–   Sorry girls, raw sushi and mercury-heavy fish are a total no no as well. Mercury consumed during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. Wondering what fish is mercury packed? Shark, swordfish and grouper are just a few. Canned, chunk light tuna generally has a lower amount of mercury than other tuna,but limit your tuna intake. Stay under 12 oz. per week, this amount holds true for all the other “safe” fish as well. As for sushi, most is raw, and raw is simply just not safe.
  • 7) Avoid Ibuprofen and Aspirin– See you later! Each can affect platelet count and bleeding time, plus both have been associated with fetal defects.
  • 8 ) Your days of kitty litter duty are over! For now at least. Reason being, kitty litter can cause toxoplasmosis, an infection that is often mild and symptomless in people with healthy immune systems, but risky during pregnancy because it can infect the placenta and your unborn baby. It’s a possible cause of stillbirth, long-term structural and neurological damage amongst other devastating effects.
  • 9) BPA, or Bisphenol, commonly found in plastic water bottles. Look for the number 2 or 4 inside the triangle on the bottom of the bottle, avoid 3, 6, 7, 8 or 9. 1s are OK, but not reusable.
  • 10) Illegal drugs and alcohol– OK, I fully believe illegal substances should be avoided at each and every stage of pregnancy. We know they harm us, imagine what they do to our defenseless unborn child! Alcohol on the other hand, is a bit more gray than black or white in my own book. Liquor, I have avoided altogether. A sip of wine or beer, here and there, I find fine. If you feel buzzed, your baby is likely drunk. So be smart.

Remember, you’re this unborn baby’s mother, hard to believe sometimes or not. Take care of him or her while pregnant with the same steadfastness you will once they’ve arrived into your life!

Thank-you for reading this post. Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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