Nature is amazing. Women are amazing. Growing a tiny human being inside your body is a pretty incredible experience. Even if you love being pregnant, there are challenges. You want to do your best to keep yourself and your baby safe. Here are three toxins to avoid during pregnancy, and three things to embrace, to start the new life inside you off the right way.
For many women pregnancy is a change point.
When you find out you’re pregnant you become more open to learning new information. You’re willing to change your mind about your beliefs, and eager to learn better, safer, healthier ways of doing things. After all, your body is going through profound and fascinating changes. So it’s only expected that you would start taking a natural history of yourself.
Some of those pregnancy changes involve aches and pains. Your back might start to hurt. You may feel sharp pain in your pelvis, especially in the last trimester. And you may start getting headaches, even migraines, for the first time in your life.
You’re growing an entire human being, complete with tiny eyelashes, inside your body. During nine months you are going through massive physiological and psychological changes. I’ve never met a single woman who didn’t feel some aches and pains during pregnancy. Even those who swear they “loved every minute” of being pregnant.
I recently spoke about how to have an empowered pregnancy and toxins to avoid during pregnancy with midwife Augustine Colebrook and lawyer Kesha Chiappinelli.
Your developing baby is especially susceptible to toxic exposures. Although the baby has the placenta, as well as your liver, to protect it from toxins, its brain and body are vulnerable during gestation. Which means the more you can avoid toxins the better. Avoid toxins so your baby can survive and thrive.
3 toxins to avoid during pregnancy:
- Acetaminophen. Your doctor may tell you it’s safe to take Tylenol. Your doctor is dead wrong. If you’re in pain during your pregnancy, get a pregnancy massage, go to a chiropractor who can help put you back in alignment, and consider trying acupuncture. Those interventions will get to the root causes of your pain. You can also try taking turmeric, which is a powerful and effective anti-inflammatory. But Tylenol is dangerous for pregnant women and even more so for newborns and small babies. The good news is that many safer alternatives abound.
- Antibiotics. Broad spectrum antibiotics kill indiscriminately. They affect both the harmful and the beneficial bacteria that live inside your body. Taking antibiotics can literally be deadly. Do everything in your power to avoid antibiotics during pregnancy. The best way to do this is to start making simple but very effective lifestyle changes before you conceive.
- Aluminum. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin. This toxin’s harmful effects are now well documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and it seems like every week another scientific study comes out showing the harms of aluminum. As much as you need to avoid acetaminophen and antibiotics, you also need to avoid aluminum.
Okay, fair enough. No Tylenol, no antibiotics, no aluminum-containing preventative medicine during pregnant. These are all the negative toxins. So what should you be embracing while you’re pregnant? What will help you stay ache and pain free, happy, and healthy? Glad you asked.
3 things to embrace during pregnancy:
- Lovemaking. Mutually consensual lovemaking is a balm to a pregnant woman’s soul. No, it won’t hurt the baby. Yes, you may need to get creative, especially during the last trimester. Try being on top. Try doggie style. A lot of women find their libido increases during pregnancy because of all the extra blood flow to their genitals. Other women don’t feel randy, especially during the first trimester. If you’re not in the mood, don’t force it. But hugging and kissing and extra skin-to-skin touch has a variety of health benefits.
- Kindness. Pregnancy is a time of great physical and emotional upheaval. Be kind and loving to yourself.
- Patience. If you’re a Type A personality like me it can be very hard to slow down during pregnancy. But if the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s that most of what we thought was “urgent” can wait. Allow yourself to slow down. Allow yourself to do nothing. Nap during the day if you need to (you will need to. Growing a human being is hard work). Be patient with yourself. You may be a hormonal mess, flying off the handle at small stuff, crying over TV commercials, irrationally terrified, frantically nesting. You aren’t the easiest person to live with right now. So try, also, to be patient with others.
Pregnant or trying to conceive? Listen to this hour-long podcast about the toxins to avoid during pregnancy and the ways to make your pregnancy more enjoyable and empowering.