Healthy babies: eliminating toxins and stress
My last blog post featured the work of Jan Roberts, author of Great Stuff to Know before you Conceive. I interviewed Jan on the Inspired Children Radio Show and she shared her extensive knowledge and insights on the topic of preconception, conception, pregnancy, birth and babies. She had so much to say I had to summarise it in a three part series. In part 1, Jan talked about preparing for conception (the preconception period) and shared her insights into helping parents conceive and raise healthy and happy babies. In part 2 below, there is more on conceiving babies by eliminating toxins and stress in order to prepare for the body for conceiving and a growing a healthy child. The final part in the series is on pregnancies and childbirth.
There's more than just nature in our food
Sadly, chemicals are now a part of our food supply. Long gone are the days when our meals were predominantly home-cooked with produce grown in nature. Thousands of artificial dyes, flavours, preservatives, and conditioners may be added to cans and other packaged foods and thanks to complex food labelling laws, many of these are never actually reported on the product's packaging. As such, future parents can easily be exposed to a variety of chemicals that are harmful to their own bodies and their unborn children.
But our food supply isn't the only thing loaded with dangerous chemicals. Many household products and items that we use without a second thought are filled with artificial stabilisers and additives that may be safe in small doses, but our dependence on these items inadvertently exposes us to large quantities of harmful toxins. Shampoos, deodorants, other personal care items often contain parabens and other chemicals that are known to increase the risk of infertility, but because these items are usually in small quantities, they are considered safe for human consumption by most governing bodies. While this may be true, consider the fact that the simple act of getting ready for work in the mornings can expose both future parents to large quantities of parabens from the soap, shaving gels, lotions, perfumes, and hair products being used.
The Solution: Reducing the risk to yourself and your unborn child can be as simple as going ‘green’. Certified organic products, home grown foods, and a few simple solutions from Grandma's pantry (like baking soda and vinegar) contain little or no preservatives or additives, which minimise the exposure of would-be Mums and Dads to harmful chemicals.
Our technology addictions are harmful too
In the fast paced modern world that we all live in, staying connected on the go is crucial. But the longer future Mums and Dads stay plugged into the grid, the higher their exposure is to electromagnetic radiation. Placing mobile devices in pockets and handbags or laptops on laps, means they are near reproductive organs, which exposes vulnerable gametes (eggs and sperm) to harmful radiation and this can have a negative impact on the health of an unborn children.
The Solution: Although unplugging completely is virtually impossible, minimising exposure (especially during the preconception period and pregnancy) by cutting down on your online time, reheating food on the stovetop instead of the microwaves, or simply placing your laptop on a table instead of working with it in your lap can reduce the impact of electromagnetic radiation on your most vulnerable ones.
Take a break from your prescriptions
Prescription medicines can directly affect the health and viability of eggs and sperm, thus causing a plethora of issues for conception and an unborn child.
The Solution: Long before their planned timeframe for conception, future Mums and Dads should consult medical practitioners to explore where they can cut back or eliminate prescription medicines and where possible find natural alternatives to treat their ailments. This is especially true when it comes to oral contraceptives, since it can take up to three months for a woman's hormone levels and egg production to return to normal.
Stress and sweating the small stuff
It's not science fiction; various experiments in the emerging science of Epigenetics have proven the effects of emotional trauma and poor life style choices on genes and how this damage can be passed down through the generations. Stress depletes the body's reserves of nutrients and energy, and weakens the immune system, which results in the production of eggs and sperm that aren't of optimal quality.
The Solution: Mums and Dads-to-be need to invest time into discovering new ways to relax and unwind long before having children. Learning breathing techniques having a regular relaxing massage or taking a yoga or medication class are some of the many options for reducing stress. De-stressing boosts the effects of good nutrition and proper exercise, leading to the best conditions for conceiving healthy babies. Unwinding with a massage encourages the release of the feel good hormone of love, Oxytocin, which is normally released when a mother breastfeeds. This hormone helps mothers bond with their babies and makes mothers feel happy, which in turn counters the effects of stress.
Hit the gym
Ready to exercise? Taking the time to exercise gets the heart pumping efficiently, which enhances circulation and improves the delivery of the healthy nutrients to vital organs and systems, including the reproductive organs.
The Solution: Hitting the gym or any form of regular exercise is good for both parents and their future babies. Remember to consult your health practitioner before incorporating exercise into your daily routine. As part of a preconception program Mums and Dads-to-be can share and encourage each other to stay with the exercise routine. By sharing the experience together they can form positive emotional bonds with each other - promoting a sense of togetherness and stability within the household – perfect setting for a baby.
Increasing the chance of bringing a healthy, happy baby into this world is the responsibility of both parents. Although this may seem daunting, keeping it simple is the best way – simple regular exercise routine, simple, nature and healthy foods and minimising stress go a long way!
In the final part of this three part summary of my interview with Jan, she shares more of her insights into pregnancy and child birth. Stay tuned!