I apologize for the morbid title of this post. This post has been on my mind for some time now and I’ve been trying to find the words to put it together.
I have recently discovered that Nalgene water bottles are dangerous, especially to pregnant women. Now, as I have been using my Nalgene bottle EVERY SINGLE DAY since I’ve been pregnant – filling it up at least twice a day – I was quite ready to dismiss this “warning” and chalk it up to the countless other ridiculous, alarmist warnings that seem to come out of the woodwork during pregnancy.
Unfortunately, as it turns out, the Nalgene scare is real and it is one worth heeding. It has been shown that Nalgene bottles made of #7 plastic do indeed cause harm. A substance called BPA leeches from the plastic and, once in the body, mimics the hormone estrogen and may cause hormone imbalance for the mother and the fetus. Side effects can range from miscarriage, birth defects and genital/sexual problems for the babies, and all sorts of cancers once the children reach puberty and adulthood.
There are numerous factors that can accelerate the leeching of BPA out of the plastic, including letting the water sit in the bottle for long periods of time, exposure to sunlight and washing in the dishwasher (which I have done every week with my bottle). It is also worth mentioning that BPA isn’t limited to Nalgene bottles; you can also find it in a zillion other food packaging-related plastics, almost all “large water cooler bottles”, as well as virtually every canned food in some amount. Studies have shown that something like 93% of every man, woman and child has traces of BPA in their systems.
The reason I post is because I’m finding myself extremely frustrated lately. There are SO MANY foods, activities and items that pregnant women are told to avoid. Some of them are common knowledge, some of them are not. Some of them are truly dangerous, while some warnings are simply overblown, under-researched, alarmist scare-tactics. I learn about a new dangerous “something” I’m supposed to avoid every week it seems and wading through the fact and fiction is tiresome, frustrating and sometimes I just want to cry. All I want to do is take care of this precious life inside me, and it’s proving more challenging that I thought. It isn’t as simple as “eating right” anymore. There are levels of complexity to being pregnant and friends, I am utterly daunted.
Here is a brief list of some of the foods/activities/items I’ve heard or read we’re “supposed” to avoid as pregnant women. Some of these are real, some not so real.
-Soft Cheese (Unpasteurized)
-Raw Meats, Raw Eggs, Raw Fish
-Non-Organic Dairy and Meats
-Salad Bars, Packaged Salads
-Soft Serve Ice Cream
-Smoked Fish, Smoked Meat
-Sleeping On Your Back
-Paint Fumes, Chemical Fumes
-Lifting More Than 20 Pounds
-Sitting In The Hot Sun
-Ripe Green Fruit
-Lotions Containing Vitamin A
-Close Contact With Sheep
-Aspartame and Other Sweeteners
-Aspirin and OTC medication
-Nail Polish/Nail Polish Remover
-MSG (Monosodium Glutimate)
Which ones do YOU believe?
What other pregnancy no-no’s have YOU heard?
I am beyond frustrated to the point of just having to laugh at this whole thing. It seems no matter how hard I try, I am always doing something wrong. I not even 5 months into this parenting thing and I’ve already screwed up more times than I can count. It seems impossible that I could have a normal, healthy baby with all the packaged salad, Doppler sessions and Nalgene water I’ve subjected this poor kid to. It’s overwhelming separating fact from fiction and I just can’t keep up.
I ASK YOU: Are we, as pregnant women, supposed to live in a glass case existing on nothing but organic broccoli and boiled tap water? I certainly don’t know the answers, but I can tell you that in the meantime, I’m ditching my Nalgene bottle and buying a stainless steel one.
I’d love to hear your opinions on this subject, as well as any other real or ridiculous pregnancy no-no’s you’ve heard.