On finding out I was pregnant one of the first things I researched was what you can and can’t eat. We all know the obvious ones like certain cheeses and raw eggs but I made sure I was aware of all the current recommendations. The NHS website was certainly the most helpful for this.
Having had a missed miscarriage at 10 weeks last year I was definitely more cautious this time around and from quite early on I started to think about other things that could affect me and the baby. I started to have a look at my toiletries a bit closer and then did a bit of research into the safety of the chemicals in these products. We come into contact with so many chemicals every day and these chemicals enter our bodies through our skin, when we breathe, eat or drink. These chemical then pass into our blood stream and through the placenta. When you consider this it seems quite reasonable to think more carefully about what you rub all over your skin each day!
From the research I did there currently appears to be no real consensus about which common household chemicals are harmful and which (if any) need to be avoided. To be honest the advice is very conflicting. The NHS sums it up very well in their 2013 article entitled ‘Controversial advice on chemicals in pregnancy’. This article was in response to a report written by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). In their report they discussed the potential risks from a whole range of chemicals including those in household products, food packaging, skincare and medicines. If you took all their advice you would probably have no choice but to wrap yourself in bubble wrap and lock yourself in a padded room (except bubble wrap is plastic so you probably should not use that and you should only use a room that is padded with natural materials of cause!).
Now one thing to bear in mind is that all cosmetic products are covered by strict laws which require full safety assessments which must take into account that the product may be used by pregnant women. If any risks were identified then the law requires this must be indicated on the product. This is reassuring but one of the clear conclusions that I drew from the multiple articles I read was that although there was no evidence to prove that risks existed there was also a lot of uncertainty as assessing the risks is very difficult.
It is for this reason I decided it would certainly not harm if I looked for more natural products to use in my daily skincare and household regimes. After all, considering my plan is to become more balanced and well-rounded and I think anything that could benefit my health can only be a good thing. I shall be posting more posts about my search for these products and reviews of ones I have been using in the relevant sections above.
Selection of Articles read: