Does Pregnancy Have a Dark Side?

Pregnancy…it’s the biggest miracle of life right? I remember going through Nursing School, and learning how a baby develops in each stage of gestation was MIND BLOWING! It truly is a miracle how two people can make another human being in 9 months. A PERFECT tiny human being!

Growing up I always thought I would be a Pediatrician. I love the way kids laugh, their innocence, the way they play, how nothing is too serious, their vulnerability, I’ve just always loved kids. As I was going to school to become an RN, I was drawn to pediatrics and OB. Their hospitals were always bright, with fun colors, and you get to try and cheer up the sick kiddos and play games with them, which I much preferred over the white walled hospitals they stuff us adults in. My point is, usually when we think of babies and kids, it’s happy, exciting, playful, colorful, and full of smiles.

Thinking of getting pregnant can make a woman’s heart flutter. The thought of carrying another human being inside of you and starting a family is no doubt an exciting thought! Well, for those who are ready for that sort of thing of course! When someone announces they’re “expecting” at family gatherings, usually everyone bursts with joy, excitement, tears of happiness, and anticipation for the little one to arrive.

Pregnancy IS a beautiful thing and such a perfect miracle. This, we all know. Unfortunately, pregnancy can have a dark side. This is the part many do not know and it is crucial to get this information out to women AND men before they start a family to ensure the health of both mom and baby.

Baby = A Mom’s Trashcan???

Today I was listening to some of the recordings from Kevin Gianni’s “Healing Cancer World Summit” and I heard Marcus Freudenmann, founder of “Cancer is Curable Now”, give an incredible talk on his findings on cancer prevention and one of his points was making others aware of the toxicity a woman is exposed to goes directly to the baby. He explained that when a woman becomes pregnant, that baby becomes like the woman’s trashcan. All of the materials entering her body go straight to the baby.

The problem is that we are no longer dealing with an “eat your fruits and vegetables” issue. The chemicals that are entering our body through our skin are one of the huge dangers to not just growing babies, but us adults! Here is a quick quiz for you…

“What is more detrimental to the body, the average drugstore shampoo, or nitrate and hormone filled greasy bacon?”

What was your answer?? You probably guessed, it’s the SHAMPOO!! Can you believe that? If you knew what was actually in all of the bottles we put on our skin daily and the PROVEN effects they have on the human body, you would stop immediately.

The problem is that when we eat something it goes through a heavy filtration process before it is absorbed into our intestines. You have the crazy strong stomach acid, the liver, bile, enzymes…all of these factors. When we put something on our skin, it goes through our pours into our blood stream and lymph. Nice huh? So, as a woman who is pregnant, all of those toxins in one’s body go straight to that baby. It has been shown that baby’s born these days have an incredible amount of toxic chemicals in the umbilical cord blood. Check out this study…

In a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in collaboration with Commonweal, researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of these 10 children, collected by Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage. (Resource Here)

Chemicals and pollutants detected in human umbilical cord blood

class icon Mercury (Hg) – tested for 1, found 1
Pollutant from coal-fired power plants, mercury-containing products, and certain industrial processes. Accumulates in seafood. Harms brain development and function.
class icon Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – tested for 18, found 9
Pollutants from burning gasoline and garbage. Linked to cancer. Accumulates in food chain.
class icon Polybrominated dibenzodioxins and furans (PBDD/F) – tested for 12, found 7
Contaminants in brominated flame retardants. Pollutants and byproducts from plastic production and incineration. Accumulate in food chain. Toxic to developing endocrine (hormone) system
class icon Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) – tested for 12, found 9
Active ingredients or breakdown products of Teflon, Scotchgard, fabric and carpet protectors, food wrap coatings. Global contaminants. Accumulate in the environment and the food chain. Linked to cancer, birth defects, and more.
class icon Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and furans (PCDD/F) – tested for 17, found 11
Pollutants, by-products of PVC production, industrial bleaching, and incineration. Cause cancer in humans. Persist for decades in the environment. Very toxic to developing endocrine (hormone) system.
class icon Organochlorine pesticides (OCs) – tested for 28, found 21
DDT, chlordane and other pesticides. Largely banned in the U.S. Persist for decades in the environment. Accumulate up the food chain, to man. Cause cancer and numerous reproductive effects.
class icon Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) – tested for 46, found 32
Flame retardant in furniture foam, computers, and televisions. Accumulates in the food chain and human tissues. Adversely affects brain development and the thyroid.
class icon Polychlorinated Naphthalenes (PCNs) – tested for 70, found 50
Wood preservatives, varnishes, machine lubricating oils, waste incineration. Common PCB contaminant. Contaminate the food chain. Cause liver and kidney damage.
class icon Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – tested for 209, found 147
Industrial insulators and lubricants. Banned in the U.S. in 1976. Persist for decades in the environment. Accumulate up the food chain, to man. Cause cancer and nervous system problems.

Source: Chemical analyses of 10 umbilical cord blood samples were conducted by AXYS Analytical Services (Sydney, BC) and Flett Research Ltd. (Winnipeg, MB).

As you can see, toxins are a pretty big issue that is critical to address before getting pregnant.

Think About the Building Blocks

Let’s take a step back and just look at this from a “building” perspective. If you are building a house, what kind of materials do you want to use? Pretty darn good ones right? You want to use the best of the best to make sure this house lasts forever! So, now think of a baby, a tiny human growing at an exponential rate from the very moment conception happens. That baby is thriving off of the materials available to them. All of their tiny organs, systems, tissues, muscles, bones, brain, etc, is being built from the quality of nutrients the mama has available. It only makes sense that  a mom would want to be conscious about every bite and sip going into their mouth and subsequently into their baby’s body, right?

If you already have children and were not aware of these factors before you got pregnant, please do not be down on yourself. We cannot do anything about the things we do not know. The great news is that now you do know and you can change future pregnancies and educate your kids in the same way.

Hormone Imbalance = Disaster in the Making

Hormonal imbalances are spreading like wild fire! I can’t think of one of my friends who actually have a regular healthy menstrual cycle and hormonal balance. That’s crazy! So, what happens to our hormones once we get pregnant? Let’s just say, it is definitely NO way to fix your messed up hormones! Your hormones during pregnancy are pretty jacked up…lol. Your progesterone levels skyrocket and many different processes and changes take place in order to get your body prepared to carry this baby to completion. This is why pregnant women usually have morning sickness (also has very much to do with the liver), are an emotional time bomb, and have hot flashes.

Once baby is born, many women who start with hormonal imbalances, depending on the severity, can end up with postpartum depression and this varies on multiple levels, some being extreme. After pregnancy, many women lose their libido, become extremely stressed and irritable, depressed, anxious, can’t lose weight, have zero energy, and the list goes on. The GOOD news is that through balancing your hormones, all of these symptoms would be addressed!

It is important that you know, hormonal imbalance for multiple reasons is the driving force behind many cancers. This is not anything you want to mess around with. Balancing your hormones out before pregnancy is critical for both you and the baby. Infertility and miscarriages are on the rise, and imbalanced hormones is one of the major factors causing this epidemic.

Babies Inherit YOUR Gut Ecology for Life

Master of gut health, Donna Gates, from “The Body Ecology Diet” is passionate about educating mom’s how to restore their gut ecology before starting a family and all during pregnancy. What does “gut ecology” mean? It’s the ratio of good to bad bacteria you have in your intestines. If a woman has candida yeast overgrowth and she gets pregnant, hands down, her baby is going to be born with candida yeast overgrowth and may have a wide range of issues due to that.

“Our inner ecosystems are established at birth. This is CRUCIAL for doctors, midwives, and women who will give birth to learn. A baby born with flourishing healthy bacteria around and in them will have a much stronger immune system and all around health then a baby born into antibiotics, immune suppressing vaccinations, and with no probiotic support. We can literally change the world with this information.” Donna Gates stated this in a powerful power point presentation she gave and I loved it! This information truly can change the world and how strong we bring babies into this world! She also quoted a study where there were 2 groups of gestational fed mice. 1 group was given healthy probiotics and the other was not. The group that was not given the probiotics were hyperactive whereas the other group was normal acting. What was interesting was that even after the hyperactive mice were given the probiotics, when they grew up they were still hyperactive! Interesting huh? “The data suggests that there is a critical period early in life when gut microorganisms affect the brain and change the behavior in later life,” says Dr. Rochellys Diaz Heijtz, first author of the study.”

This is powerful information! This study showed that some of the foundation that is set in our gut ecology before we are born is set that way, and cannot be completely changed. That being said, we still can to some extent change the inner ecology of our gut if we are eating cultured foods frequently. But as a woman, we have the power to give our babies the strongest ecosystem’s ever by making sure we get rid of candida overgrowth and pounding the cultured foods during pregnancy. This is proven to affect their brain structure and nerve function! For more info from Donna, check out her website. Here is one of her great articles on this topic-

Are Men Off the Hook?

Most attention and awareness is directed towards women to prepare their body for pregnancy, however, men are just as responsible for how they take care of themselves in order to prepare their bodies to make a baby. A man’s diet and lifestyle absolutely affects the baby he makes with his partner. A man’s nutritional choices can have an impact on the baby’s DNA, genes, physical structure, emotions, cells, and just about every area. I think Mike Adam’s put it perfectly when he said, ” The day will soon come that informed women will refuse to date, marry or have children with men who follow poor nutritional habits. “You eat junk foods? Put your pants back on and get out!” Check out his article where he talks about the link between men’s lifestyle habits and genetic integrity here- 

Mike goes on to state, ” A man who pursues an unhealthy diet, it turns out, not only increases the risk of numerous diseases in his direct offspring (cancer, diabetes, infertility, etc.), he also increases that risk for multiple generationsof offspring.” This is nothing to take lightly and something we really need to raise our awareness about so we can really shift the trend of health for future generations.

I know this is alot to take in, but it is critical to get this information out there to give moms, dads, and babies the best resources to have a healthy pregnancy, baby, and family.

Now that you’ve learned a little bit more about what not to do, stay tuned for Part 2 to this article where I talk about some of the most beneficial things you CAN do  before getting pregnant and while carrying your baby.




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