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BPA AVOIDANCE IN PREGNANCY
WORTH THE EFFORT

Pregnancy can be such a joyous time in a woman’s life and with that joy comes much anticipation, excitement, anxiety and concern. Building new life is an extremely big responsibility and thus the choices made during this time of development are crucial ones. It can be extremely intimidating to think about the impact you will have your baby’s life based on the things you do in nine short little months. Our first choice as parents would be to build a baby free from all toxins, but that is- unfortunately- impossible to do. Amongst the traditional toxins such as lead, pesticides, formaldehyde and the like are other toxins that are found in everyday personal care products. These are products we should feel safe to purchase at the store because the FDA is regulating them, but in reality many little chemicals sneak on through that maybe shouldn’t have been given the go-ahead. We have recently become aware of the possible dangers associated with parabens, phthalates, PVC, lead and BPA. All of these chemicals mentioned have been linked to things such as behavioral problems, problems with fetal genital development and brain development and also increased risks of cancer.

I wanted to focus on the impact that BPA or Bisphenol-A has been found to have, specifically in the case of pregnant woman and their babies. Since the womb is your baby’s haven for their first nine months I think it is our responsibility to make sure it is the safest it can be. Let us start by keeping BPA and its hormone disruption out of their cozy little home. BPA has been found to have many possible effects on a fetus including abnormal development of male genitalia, earlier onset of puberty in girls, it may also increase the incidence of reproductive organ cancers later in life. Because children and fetuses have such a small body weight and have such a high metabolism they are more susceptible to the effects of BPA.

Now that we know that there is a cause for concern regarding the ingestion of BPA it is important to know how we can most effectively avoid it. BPA is a chemical used to harden plastics and is found in many baby bottles, children’s toys and the linings of food and beverage cans. Another startling source of BPA that many people have not heard about is cash register receipts. Cash register receipts that are printed on thermal paper contain BPA that when handled can be absorbed by the skin. It was recently found that 40% of cash register receipts from major businesses in the United States contained the chemical BPA. (Any pregnant cashiers may want to check with their employer to see if they are handling thermal receipts) To know if a receipt is printed on thermal paper you can rub the paper with a coin, if discoloration occurs it is thermal paper.

I feel the best way to avoid BPA for the health of ourselves and our children is to take certain everyday precautions. My suggestions, that I take care to use myself each day, are to avoid excessive handling of cash register receipts and paper money (they both contain BPA), wash hands with soap and water after handling cash register receipts and paper money (especially before eating), do not use alcohol based hand sanitizer after handling cash register receipts (these have been found to increase the absorption of BPA into the skin), buy fresh or frozen foods when possible to avoid canned goods, purchase food in cardboard or glass packaging instead of cans, do not microwave food in plastic containers (especially if marked with a 7 on the bottom), use glass, porcelain or stainless food storage and cookware, if you must purchase a plastic container look for those that are labeled BPA-free.

I genuinely hope this article has helped open some eyes to the possible detrimental effects BPA can have on our precious babies. Nothing is more satisfying that knowing you have done all you can to build and raise a healthy and happy child.

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Written by: Kristen Rogers


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