Before Life Begins

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post entitled, “It’s Never Too Late….Or Too Early”. I was just reminded that by “early”, we can mean before a life even begins.

Several articles that I read this week really brought this subject to the forefront of my attention. This article from The Huffington Post is a great example of how people are starting conversations about the importance of healthy habits from the very beginning. Picture this, ladies: You are waiting for your annual OB-GYN exam (sorry men, but bear with me for a moment here, and just imagine it’s a woman you know in this siutation). He/she is asking about your cycles, your birth control usage, whether or not you routinely do breast self-exams, and what brand of shampoo you are using.

What???

Yes, you read that right. The Huffington Post article states: “In an unprecedented move, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) issued a joint Committee Opinion on the threat of environmental chemicals, including those in our personal care products, and the need for chemical policy reform to protect reproductive health.

Why are OB-GYNs speaking out about the dangers of chemicals in our everyday environment and urging providers to educate their patients about it? Because they now know too much to stay quiet.

Babies are born pre-polluted with 200-300 chemicals already in their bodies; infertility among young women is on the rise and has doubled since the 1980s; sperm counts are lower than ever; around 50% of eight year old girls have begun puberty; and 1 in every 2 men and 1 in every 3 women are expected to have cancer in their lifetime. Expert findings reveal that the chemicals in our everyday environment are contributing to the prevalence of these issues at a troubling rate.”

I find this very interesting. Could increased education about the chemicals that are found in our personal care products help reduce some of the health issues that people have, from the very start of life? In addition, I read this article from Medical News Today. The researchers referenced in this article found that pregnant women who ate certain foods during their pregnancies had children with some specific behavioral problems. The article lists suggestions for alternative snack foods to consume during pregnancies that would be healthier.

I know there is some debate out there about what specific chemicals are harmful to us and how, and what foods can effect the overall health of babies. However, I would be willing to say that there are some choices we could make that certainly wouldn’t hurt us, but that would potentially keep us safer. There are safer alternatives available for personal care products, or you can make some of your own. And by sticking to real foods, you will be safer than gambling on those made with artificial food-like substances. However you choose to do it, look out for your own health. Even as others are starting to try to help, YOU are your own best advocate.

 

 

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