A Green Guide to Pregnancy
Whether you're expecting a baby or contemplating pregnancy, now is the time to go green and pave the way for a happier and healthier pregnancy.
Test Your Home
Make sure that your home and paint are lead free. To tackle this job, call the EPA (800-424-LEAD). “Women who are pregnant, or planning to be, must be extremely careful to avoid renovations where old lead paint may be disturbed. “Lead stays in the body for three to six months after exposure,” says Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, MD, co-author of Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World: 101 Smart Solutions for Every Family.
If you are able, strive to breastfeed your baby. Pediatricians recommend nursing infants to reduce ear infections, allergies, and digestive problems, obesity, and learning problems. For the occasional bottle, stock up on glass bottles rather than clear polycarbonate plastic, which can leach bisphenol-A, a hormone disruptor.
Bad news for avid coffee drinkers—high levels of caffeine have been linked to miscarriage.
Avoid Secondhand Smoke
You wouldn’t let your baby smoke, and you shouldn’t either (nor should you expose yourself to secondhand smoke). Tobacco smoke increases the risk of low birth weight and impaired learning.
Don’t be alarmed if you had a glass of wine yesterday and found out you’re pregnant today; just be vigilant from here on out and avoid alcohol, which can cause fetal alcohol syndrome.
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