Tips On Having A Healthy Pregnancy Through All-Natural Foods And Non-Toxic Products

Protecting your baby is a natural instinct for any expectant mother. But, a newer, more natural step could be protecting your baby from toxins in the environment. Having a “green pregnancy” isn’t about morning sickness. During the nine months of pregnancy, more women are paying attention to what’s going on outside of the womb, in an effort to protect the health of their baby inside the womb. How can you have a more natural and green pregnancy?
By Jessica Levco

Katherine Sutherland, a practicing OBGYN at the Women Physicians OBGYN Medical Group in Mountain View, CA said that it’s important for a mother to think about having a green pregnancy because it establishes a healthy and conscientious long-term way of life.

“Going green is what will save the future environment which, in the long run, is the best thing we can give to our children,” says Sutherland, who is also a mother of two. “It is also a good time for couples to raise their awareness of what is important in their lives. They will be making many lifestyle changes with their pregnancy and the birth of their child, so it is an excellent time to include a long term commitment to the health of our world.”

What can pregnant women do to stay “green?"
Elizabeth Davis, a licensed chiropractor and licensed acupuncturist in Chicago, says more clients are asking her what they can do to make sure they are staying environmentally safe during pregnancy. “You can’t have a sweet, healthy baby if you are poisoning it from day one,” Davis says. “It’s not a hobby to be green. It should be a lifestyle. We don’t get to survive independent of our environment. If the terrain is toxic, than we get toxic. If it’s clean, we can hope to be clean.”

A Green Diet
A mother’s diet is important for one simple reason: “The baby’s nutrition is completely dependent on its mother’s eating habits,” Sutherland says. “Some chemicals are even concentrated in the placenta.”  Sutherland recommends buying organic products because it reduces the number of insecticides and toxins in the foods consumed. She also encourages pregnant mothers to visit local farmer’s markets because eating fresh fruits and vegetables is a healthy part of pregnancy.

“Minimize fish intake which may be contaminated with PCBs or mercury,” Sutherland advises. “Protein is important in pregnancy, but including non-meat sources like beans and tofu will be healthier and have less impact on the environment.”  Davis recommends that her clients avoid foods with hormones and antibiotics. Complex carbohydrates are a must, along with fresh, clean vegetables. But, Davis said her biggest advice is to drink clean water. “Don’t just drink water that is out of the tap,” Davis says. “Get bottled or distilled water.”

Green Cleaning
Now is the time for soon-to-be “green dads” to learn how to do some cleaning around the house. “I feel any cleaning product with a strong ammonia odor is getting in to the air and being breathed into the lungs and should be avoided in pregnancy,” Sutherland says. “It's a good time for the spouses to learn about helping with the cleaning.”

Skin is your body’s biggest organ and Davis advises to be careful as to what it comes in contact with. “If you touch AJAX and it gets on our skin, you might as well drink it,” Davis says. “Our skin absorbs it.”
Lifestyle Change
Besides eating and drinking healthy, Davis urges clients to pay attention to their lifestyle. She urges mothers not to sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day and to get plenty of exercise and relaxation. “An expectant mother shouldn’t run herself ragged,” Davis says. “If the mother is worn down, there’s the threat she might not have enough ‘umph’ to make a healthy fetus.”

Sutherland agrees, and says a green pregnancy is a commitment for the family. “Disposable diapers are easier than reusable, but are filling up our landfills,” she says. “Going to an organic market and cooking from scratch is more time consuming than buying processed foods in the local supermarket, but not as healthy. Our children's behaviors are largely modeled on our behaviors. They do what we do, not just what we say.  Our values become their values.” Your “green” baby might thank you for your commitment later on in life, she says.

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