Pregnancy is such a unique time in a woman’s life. Her body is busy building tissues of her developing fetus so the foods she eats are, in part, fueling her baby’s growth and development. This fact makes the quality of the mother’s diet very important.
Fresh fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Unfortunately, many farmers use harmful chemicals to treat their crops in order to control weeds or deter other pests from destroying their harvest. The CDC states, “Some pesticides have been linked in human studies with problems including miscarriages, birth defects, and learning or developmental disabilities in children. Some pesticides also may pass into breast milk.”
It is advised that pregnant women eliminate pesticide exposure whenever possible. A good way to minimize this chemical exposure is to purchase organic produce. When purchasing from local farmers, be sure to ask if the foods were chemically treated.
Though pregnant women must be careful to avoid contact with cat feces because of the risk of toxoplasmosis, organic gardening is a great way to grow your own fresh vegetables and fruits. Not only can this save money, but is a great way to stay active and get exposure to the sun for vitamin D absorption.
In our modern world, it is impossible to completely eliminate exposure to harmful chemicals and pollutants so any opportunity to reduce contact with them is wise for the health of both mother and baby. The placenta does a great job of filtering out many elements that may cause harm to your baby, but unfortunately cannot protect your baby against industrial chemicals and pesticides.
It makes me so happy to see more grocery stores today offering organic options. Feed your family organically whenever possible. If that isn’t possible, stick to the clean fifteen, and avoid the dirty dozen. Environmental Working Group website is a great reference!