Preconception Wellness

How can Build Your Best Bump help me before I get pregnant?

Recent scientific studies demonstrate that toxic chemicals we are exposed to every day (household cleaners, BPA plastics, artificial colors and sweeteners in foods, etc.) significantly increase the incidence of early puberty, certain childhood cancers, infertility, and learning and developmental disabilities. Our body’s detox mechanisms are overwhelmed. We need to help our systems eliminate these chemicals. Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that exposure to toxic chemicals begins in the womb. Most pregnant American women have numerous toxic chemicals in their bodies, some of which are already known to have adverse impacts on the health of their developing babies. If our body burden is high then our future offspring will also be absorbing these chemicals in utero. Toxins run interference with our neurological, endocrinological, immune and digestive systems, not to mention those same systems developing within your baby’s body.

 

The Recent Rise in Childhood Disease

If you don’t have children yet, you may be unaware of the current rise in childhood diseases. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that 1 in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States. In 2006, the estimate was 1 in 110.(1) Although broader diagnostic criteria may contribute to this increase in prevalence, it is believed that other factors are also at play. Aside from ASD, other childhood disorders are also on the rise. The CDC reports that the rates of ­diagnosed ADHD increased an average of 5% per year from 2003 and 2011 (2) The EPA reports that there was a statistically significant increasing trend in age­-adjusted annual incidence of cancer in children between 1992 and 2009. (3) Even childhood asthma and allergies are on the rise. (4, 5) What could be contributing to these devastating illnesses? Although many factors may be at play, it is hard to ignore the role of environmental toxins. In fact, many studies are now showing links between these conditions and the highly toxic and polluted world in which we live.

A Vulnerable Group

Can a rise in childhood disease be the result of chemical exposure? Many experts believe the answer is yes. Children are much more vulnerable to toxins than adults. Their immune systems are immature, meaning they are not capable of processing and excreting toxins at the same levels as adults and more chemicals are capable of reaching their organs. In addition, the blood brain barrier is not yet fully developed which means toxins can cross and be exposed to the brain. (6) When you begin considering toxic exposure and fetuses, the information gets even more unsettling. First off, it is a fact that toxins can enter the womb. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental health research and advocacy organization, has examined this topic. Through their tests they have found that the average newborn baby has 287 known toxins in his or her umbilical cord blood. In addition, they have found that the umbilical cord blood they tested contained 242-319 of 430 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals tested. Some of these chemicals are known to adversely affect the brain, nervous, immune, and reproductive systems and lead to fertility problems. (7) These studies led EWG’s president Ken Cook to claim that babies are born pre-polluted with as many as 300 industrial chemicals in their bodies. (8) Other studies have shown BPA appearing in breast milk, saliva, urine, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood as a result of the widespread use of BPA in food and beverage packaging. (9)

Toxins can affect the health of your baby

Many studies have emerged indicating the risk and potential association between prenatal toxin exposure and the health of the child. The Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Study found that high phthalate exposure measured in the urine of third trimester pregnant women was associated with behavioral disorders such as ADHD in later childhood. Phthalates, invented in the 1930s, are industrial chemicals used in a diverse range of household and beauty products. Some uses include making plastic more pliable, making nail polish chip resistant, and enhancing moisturizers. (10)

Recent studies have found:

  • A pesticide chlorpyrifos, used in agricultural settings, has been linked to structural changes in the brain of children whose mothers were exposed during pregnancy. (11)
  • Prenatal and childhood exposure to organophosphate pesticides (OP), have been linked to behavioral difficulties in children including memory impairment, and mental development or pervasive developmental problems. (12)
  • USDA pesticide data program found 52 pesticide residues on the blueberries they tested. Eight of the pesticides are known or probable carcinogens, and 14 are developmental or reproductive toxins. (13)
  • Tylenol use during pregnancy has been linked to ADHD in kids. (14) 

A Silver Lining

Although children are being exposed to more brain harming chemicals than ever before (15), there is something you can do. Many people dismiss the fact that simple lifestyle changes can reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives in Feb. 2006 showed that dietary organophosphprus pesticide metabolite markers in urine decreased when the children in the study switched from conventional to organic diets. (16) If diet alone can affect exposure, think about how a comprehensive lifestyle and diet plan like Build Your Best Bump can help facilitate detoxification, build up nutrients and prepare your body before conception.

 

 

References:

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6302a1.htm?s_cid=ss6302a1_w
  2. http://www.help4adhd.org/en/about/statistics
  3. http://www.epa.gov/ace/health/childhood_cancer.html
  4. http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2011/p0503_vitalsigns.html
  5. http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2008/r081022.htm
  6. http://www.panna.org/children
  7. http://www.ewg.org/sites/humantoxome/participants/participantgroup.php?group=in+utero%2Fnewborn
  8. http://www.ewg.org/news/videos/10-americans
  9. http://www.ewg.org/news/news-releases/2012/03/30/fda-keeps-toxic-plastic-chemical-food-infant-formula
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2854736/
  11. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-30/pesticide-exposure-in-utero-linked-to-brain-concerns.html
  12. http://versita.metapress.com/content/g4470858487t28u4/fulltext.pdf
  13. http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/food.jsp?food=BB
  14. http://articles.latimes.com/2014/feb/24/science/la-sci-sn-tylenol-pregnancy-adhd-risk-20140224
  15. http://time.com/7930/children-exposed-to-more-brain-harming-chemicals-than-ever-before/
  16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1367841/

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Build Your Best Bump products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Build Your Best Bump preconception wellness products do not guarantee pregnancy outcomes and should only be part of a prenatal care program discussed with your doctor.