Why to Go Nontoxic During Pregnancy

the words "why to go nontoxic during pregnancy" over an image of a pregnant woman standing with her hands on a kitchen counter in cleaning gloves and an image of a basket with a spray bottle, scrubber, and lemon

When you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, everything your body comes in contact with has the potential to pass to your baby. That goes for the good and the bad. For me, there’s no better reason to go nontoxic during pregnancy.

Keep reading to learn why you should go nontoxic during pregnancy, as well as my top 10 tips to have a nontoxic pregnancy.

(The contents of this post do not constitute medical advice. This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read our disclaimer.)

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Why You Should Go Nontoxic During Pregnancy

These days, babies can’t even avoid toxic chemicals while they’re in the womb. A report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found 232 chemicals in 10 samples of human cord blood. These chemicals included BPA, a toxic flame retardant, synthetic fragrances, a solid rocket fuel component, and one that is part of the Teflon chemical family.

The chemicals listed in the report are found in common consumer products present in many households – cleaning supplies, skincare products, and food packaging. 

EWG did not test for toxins that would have resulted from smoking or consuming alcohol. All of the chemicals they found would be present in a baby’s cord blood through unintended exposure to common environmental contaminants.

The reality is that toxins are hard to completely avoid in today’s world, and we all carry a toxic chemical burden. But it’s crushing to know that your baby can be exposed to toxins before they’re even born.

So if you can minimize the harm to your unborn child by avoiding toxic chemicals while expecting, why wouldn’t you try to go nontoxic during pregnancy?

Related: DIY Nontoxic All-Purpose Cleaner

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10 Tips to Go Nontoxic During Pregnancy

Going nontoxic during pregnancy can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! You don’t have to keep a list of the cleaning chemicals or skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy. Instead, you can make a few simple changes that will help you steer clear of chemicals while you’re expecting (and for the rest of your life!).

Below, I’ll cover a few key areas to focus on detoxifying while you’re pregnant. Each area has my best tips to go nontoxic during pregnancy.

Nontoxic Pregnancy Diet

The food we eat is one of the main culprits when it comes to ingesting toxins, whether through how they’re grown or how they’re packaged.

Follow these 5 tips to detoxify your diet during pregnancy.

1. Avoid packaged foods. BPA is present in many types of food packaging, such as metal cans and bottle tops. The BPA in food containers can seap into the food they hold. Instead of purchasing packaged food at the grocery store, consider if you can make it at home with fresh ingredients instead.

2. Eat organic. If organic produce is available and affordable for you, choose it as much as possible to avoid pesticide residue.

3. Wash your produce. Even with organic produce, some pesticide residue may exist because of toxins blown by the wind or carried in water runoff from other farms. So whether you buy organic produce or not, make sure to wash it thoroughly before consuming it.

4. Focus on the Clean 15. Each year, the EWG makes a list of the 15 fruits and vegetables with the lowest amounts of pesticide residue. When you’re meal planning and shopping, try to work these 15 in. 

5. Avoid the Dirty Dozen. Similarly, the EWG makes an annual list of the 12 fruits and veggies with the highest amounts of pesticide residue. As you strive to go nontoxic during pregnancy, try to avoid these 12 fruits and vegetables. 

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Chemical-Free Cleaning Products for Pregnancy

If you’re trying to avoid harmful chemicals during pregnancy, another area you can focus on detoxifying is the cleaning products you use in your home.

These 3 tips will help you detoxify your cleaning products.

6. Stay away from conventional cleaning products. Many conventional household cleaning products contain harmful chemicals. Inhaling chemicals while pregnant can detrimental to both you and your baby. For this reason, it’s best to bypass using conventional cleaning products while you’re pregnant.

7. Make you own household cleaners. One way to avoid cleaning products with toxic chemicals is to make your own! Many household cleaners can be replaced with just two or three ingredients, so making your own isn’t difficult at all. To get started, try making my DIY Nontoxic All-Purpose Cleaner!

8. Be selective about the cleaning products you buy. If you do choose to purchase cleaning products instead of making them, be really picky. Instead of keeping a list of chemicals to avoid during pregnancy, download an app like Think Dirty, which lets you scan products to learn how safe they are. Or shop at stores like Whole Foods, which has banned more than 100 ingredients from the cleaning products it sells.

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Clean Beauty and Skincare During Pregnancy

Your skin is your biggest organ, and it can absorb anything it comes in contact with, including your beauty and skincare products. For this reason, it’s best to seek out nontoxic products while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Follow these tips to incorporate nontoxic pregnancy products into your beauty and skincare routines.

9. Streamline your routine. Personal care products are kind of the wild west toxin-wise because so many chemicals can be hidden under the label “fragrance”. To keep toxins out of your daily routine, start by streamlining what you use. Get rid of any products that you don’t really need to use and see if there are any that have more than one function so you can use fewer of them.

10. Make the switch to cleaner products. Use EWG’s Skin Deep tool to look up your current products and see how clean they are. If they don’t rate well, no worries. Skin Deep will suggest cleaner alternatives to what you already use so you can detoxify your personal product stash. I highly recommend doing this for all of the baby products you’re adding to your baby registry so your little one can start out with clean products, too!

These tips aren’t an exhaustive list for detoxifying your home and routines. But they cover a lot of ground and are a great way to start, especially during pregnancy when you have so much to think about.

Which tip are you going to try first to go nontoxic during pregnancy? Tell me in the comments!

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