Chemicals for Baby (and Baby Mama) to Avoid

So the big talk in my house before I delivered my daughter was ‘strollers’!  Let me tell you how much fun that was (and please note that if you could hear my voice, it would be dripping with sarcasm).  While I LOVE to shop, the process of choosing which car seat, stroller, or any of the million baby products out there was more than a bit overwhelming.  Further, the issue of dangerous chemicals present in many products added a whole new level of excitement to the process.

Therefore, because of what I like to call “my librarian tendencies,” I did quite a bit of research into the health and safety of various products.  So, I present to you, my friends, family and followers, the culmination of that research.

Top Chemicals Baby and Baby Mama Should Try to Avoid:

  • Parabens – Found in many soaps, lotions, etc.  Basically, they seem to mimic estrogen, which may contribute to early puberty in girls and boys.  Possibly not such a big deal for us adults, but it’s probably good for the kiddos to avoid.  The verdict it still out on any connection to cancer. For more info, see this article from Livestong.com.
  • Bi-sphenol-A (BPA)- Found in hard plastics.
  • Phathalates –  Could also be listed simply as “fragrance.”  Found often in nail polishes, and is released from plastics when they are microwaved (so use a glass container to re-heat your leftovers!)  They are identified as code 3 in a triangle on the bottom of an item.  Again, this is a hard one: we all have traces of phathalates in us, and this is a chemical that is present in many things! Overall, this all goes back to avoiding plastics, particularly anything that your baby puts in his or her mouth (which is pretty much everything!).  In 2010, “the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, put phthalates on a list of chemicals that “may present a risk” to the environment or human health… because they disrupt hormone activity and some preliminary studies show that they may be causing a slow and steady demasculinizing of men” (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/phthalates-are-they-safe/).  So, whatever that may mean, I prefer to avoid them during pregnancy as well.
  • And speaking of plastics (see my post on it here!), the Healthy Child, Healthy World website recently posted a good article on which specific plastic products to avoid: http://healthychild.org/take-a-pregnant-pause-when-it-comes-to-plastics/
  • Triclosan – Found in many anti-bacterial products and toothpastes.
  • Brominated Flame Retardant (BFR) – Used on many products to, well, make them flame retardant.  (This is particularly bad if it’s on the baby’s mattress!)
  • Lead and Mercury

Additional Things to Avoid While Pregnant:Untitled design

  • Cat poop
  • Paint/paint thinner fumes – If you are painting, make sure it is latex paint that is free from ethylene glycol ethers and biocides.
    (For more information see the American Pregnancy Association’s article on Pregnancy and Paint Exposure.
  • Pesticides
  • Anesthetic gases
  • Excess radiation (from X-rays and (frequent) long flights)
    (For more information, see the American Pregnancy Association’s article on Pregnancy and X-Rays)

I know. This stuff can be crazy-making.  I feel like every other day we’re told something else is going to make us sick, or give us some horrible disease. So, just do your research, and try to focus on articles and information from reputable sources.

And once you’ve done your research, always do what works best for you and your family… and let yourself relax a little. 😉

Recommended Books:

Recommended Websites:

American Pregnancy Association – For pregnancy-related questions in general.
Consumer Products Safety Commission – Gives notices of toy and product recalls.

Skin Deep Cosmetics Database – This is my favorite website to look up specific cosmetics and cleansers!  They break down the ingredients so it’s easy to see what you are using on your body and in your home.

Finally, the Healthy Child, Healthy World website has some great articles on many of these issues:

http://healthychild.org/healthy-living/resources/e-guides/

Sleep-deprived and don’t feel like doing any research?  Well, here are some of my favorite companies that make healthy products for baby and mama:

Earth Mama Angel Baby – I used their Stretch Oil everyday during my pregnancy… felt great and smelled wonderful!

Burt’s Bees – They have a lovely gentle facial cleanser that I use daily!  And a great tinted lip balm.

California Baby – I love their baby soap/shampoo!  And I know many people who also like the sunscreen they make.

Seventh Generation – I love their diapers (if you do disposable), and cleaning products.  And they are sold all over, so easy to find.

Honest Company – For all sorts of stuff.  And they are sold now at Target! (You all know how much I love Target!)

BTW, a little dirt here and there is actually a good thing (http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/early-exposure-pets-dirt-germs-are-good-babies) 😉


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