Health is one of the best gifts we can give to our future children. Our babies’ health starts far before we actually become pregnant with them, and our health is a major contributor to their health. What we choose for ourselves, we choose for them.
Our personal toxin exposure is one of the biggest factors to consider and aim to reduce when planning for a healthy and happy baby. Through this blog series, we want to empower you to take charge of your and your family’s health in three steps. Dr. Leah Gordon, one of Needed’s trusted advisors, will help you better understand the toxins in your environment, how you can reduce your exposure, and how to support your body’s toxin elimination. Here is what you can expect:
- What are they?
- Where do they come from?
- Why do they matter?
- 5 tips to do so
- Learn the organs of elimination
- Tips to detox each one
Part One: Understanding Toxins
What are toxins?
Toxins are chemicals - natural or man-made - that negatively impact the body in some way. This is especially true when there is a high concentration of them in our bodies.
Where do toxins come from?
Toxins can be found in nature, such as mercury in fish or arsenic in soil; however, the majority of toxins are present as a result of our modern industrial, agricultural, and consumer product industries. Toxins are found in things such as our food, pesticides, herbicides, plastics, perfumes, cleaning products, car exhaust, furniture, clothing, building materials, and all of our various potions, lotions, and personal care concoctions we use on a daily basis.
Why do toxins matter prior to and during pregnancy?
Many of these toxins can impact men’s and women’s ability to become pregnant. Toxins can lead to low sperm count or quality in men. With around 40% of infertility being male factor, this is a major contributor to infertility in couples today. These chemicals also often act as endocrine disruptors, throwing off women’s hormones and contributing to difficulty conceiving or carrying a baby to term.
Toxic burden is passed on
Toxic burden describes the level of toxicity in one’s body. Once a woman becomes pregnant, a lot of her toxic body burden is passed on to her baby through the placenta and through breast milk. Certain studies show that at the time of birth many babies have at least 200 different environmental chemicals in their blood. Many of these chemicals are known to cause cancer and are toxic to the brain and nervous system. This high toxic burden can lead to unfavorable epigenetic expressions. Epigenetics is the study of how our environment and exposures influence our genetic expression. To put it simply, what we come into contact with in our lives such as the foods we eat, the thoughts we think, and the toxins we are exposed to determines if a gene for a certain disease is turned on or off. If an environmental trigger turns on a disease gene, a person could develop conditions such as allergies, autoimmune diseases, eczema, asthma, and autism, just to name a few.
With 40% of pregnancies being unplanned, it’s important to lead a healthy life regardless of whether you have baby fever right now or not. If you are wanting children within the next 12 months, it is especially important to be aware of ways to reduce toxic exposure, and how to eliminate the toxins you already have in your body through improving your body’s natural ability to detoxify. This is critical not just for your own health, but for the health of your future children, as well.