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Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby - 7 Tips from Pregnancy through Infancy

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-Look for healthier personal care products for the whole family, from makeup and shampoo to diaper rash cream and baby wipes. See EWG.org/skindeep for suggestions and ratings on popular brands. Affordable options exist at major retailers, including Burt’s Bees, Babyganics, Seventh Generation and specialty brands such as Poofy Organics and Weleda. Avoid products listing “fragrance” as an ingredient, as this can refer to a long list of possible toxins.

-Avoid serving food in plastics when possible to avoid BPA, phthalates, PVC and other toxins. (Items labeled “BPA-free” may contain substitute chemicals that may not be any healthier.) Avoid microwaving food in plastic or placing plastic in the dishwasher as the high heat contributes to releasing toxins. Consider stainless steel or glass for baby bottles, sippy cups, and lunch containers. Buying re-usable containers (and labelling them with your child’s name!) means spending less on throw-away baggies and disposable table ware.

-Avoid products containing flame retardants, identified by the product label. Opt for flame-retardant free nursing pillows, car seats, crib mattresses and kids pj’s. For a list of car seats, see www.HealthyStuff.org.

- Choose organic whole foods when possible, for you and baby. Nutritionally-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and antibiotic-free meats will keep you fuller longer than processed foods full of empty calories. Save money by signing up for coupons, shopping local farmers markets, and buying in bulk.

- Avoid using pesticides in and around your home. Look for pesticide-free pest sprays at major home improvement stores, or see www.BeyondPesticides.org for specific tips for any type of pest problem. Avoid chemical lawn treatments and nurture your outdoor space using organic methods.

- Clean up your cleaning products, which typically contain toxic ingredients. Look for brands such as Seventh Generation, Method and Arm & Hammer that minimize or eliminate all toxic ingredients.

- Be mindful of wi-fi and other radiation. Keep electronics away from your body and your child’s as much as possible. Use airplane mode and text or put your phone on speaker (when possible) instead of holding the phone to your ear. Limit time that older kids can be on their devices, and consider unplugging wi-fi at bedtime. Belly Armor (for pregnant moms) and Pong (cell phone and iPad cases) offer products specifically for shielding wi-fi.

 

Resources - websites:
- The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center at Hackensack U. Medical Center: www.ImusEnvironmentalHealth.org
- Environmental Working Group: www.EWG.org
- Healthy Child, Healthy World: www.healthychild.org
- Beyond Pesticides: www.BeyondPesticides.org
- Environmental Health Trust: www.ehtrust.org
- Baby Safe Project (to reduce wi-fi exposure): www.babysafe.org
- Baby Non-toxic Shopping Guide (2014) from Women’s Voices for the Earth: www.WomensVoices.org 
- Ecology Center: www.healthystuff.org
Books:
Growing Up Green! Baby and Child Care by Deirdre Imus. NYC, Simon & Schuster, 2008.
Treatment Alternatives for Children by Lawrence Rosen, MD and Jeff Cohen. NYC, Alpha/Penguin 2012. 

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