What do I know? I’m just a blogger living with infertility. Before I was diagnosed with endometriosis and ovarian dysfunction, there were a few times when I actually thought I was pregnant. I was so excited! I knew it was too early to test, but I researched everything I could about how I should take care of myself during pregnancy. I committed to making dietary changes immediately. I was certainly surprised by the list of restrictions!
Have you ever looked at the list of foods that pregnant women are discouraged from eating? You may be aware that they’re discouraged from eating raw or undercooked food. That makes sense, as bacteria might make mom and baby ill at a time when they both need to put their energies into growing and developing.
- Unwashed fruits, veggies, and salad bars as well as raw eggs and rare meats
Okay probably not so healthy either food does need to be properly cooked in order to be safe. Not to mention the pesticides and chemical that are used for growing them. I’ll admit, raw eggs and rare meats can carry bacteria, they’re probably not the best for a mom and growing baby to consume.
- Fish heavy in mercury such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and albacore tuna
Hum? These fish are heavy in mercury. Doctors believe the mercury could damage mom and baby’s development. I wonder, what effects might this mercury have on my developing ova every month?
- Soft cheeses and cold cuts
What? Apparently they’re a breeding ground for listeria, a bacteria which can only be killed by heating it to a certain temperature. This bacterium is linked to miscarriage and still birth.
· Anything packaged in plastic containing BPA (Bisphenol A).
This chemical has recently been removed from many plastics we come in contact with. However unless a container is labeled BPA free, it probably contains this chemical. In 2010 the EPA stated that there are “substantial uncertainties” about the effects of BPA on human health. YIKES. My doctor recently informed me that BPA is also used to seal the lids of canned goods. Be careful, this chemical is everywhere.
- Anything containing Aspartame.
Aspartame which is a new name for an old product which was once called Nutrasweet. This product was once pulled from the market because of a high incidence of cancer in rats. Yes it was determined to be dangerous to rats and is the leading sugar substitute in the US. It’s everywhere! You’ll find it in yogurt, sugarless gum, beverage mixes, seasonings, cookies, diet foods, and it’s one of the first foods that doctors discourage pregnant women from eating. If it’s bad for rats it’s probably not so good for your average human either!
The doctor I see has added to this list. He recommends nothing with soy, no matter how small of an amount. This includes while you’re trying to conceive and while you’re pregnant. He says that soy contains so many phytoestrogens (the plant form of estrogen) that as a woman it puts your hormones out of balance (this is the same reason why menopausal women were encouraged to consume soy for a while, the estrogens in soy replaced the estrogen that their bodies could no longer produce naturally). If there isn’t a proper balance between your estrogen and progesterone levels, your body can’t support or sustain a pregnancy. Soy also disrupts your immune system and your digestive system. You may have heard that Asians have been consuming soy for centuries and have no negative effects. There’s a bit of an untruth to this. Asians have been growing soy for centuries and using it for animal feed. Soy was considered UNFIT for human consumption with the only exception being during times of famine when it was fermented into tofu.
I’m wondering, what are the effects of all these foods and chemicals are on those of us who are trying to conceive? It seems to me that the health of a developing ovum is just as fragile as that of a developing baby.
Avoiding all of those chemicals and bacteria is a huge task for half the population to undertake, it’s probably even impossible for some. There’s a bigger issue here. If these chemicals are proven to have negative effects on fast developing cells, why are they even used at all? They’re dangerous to mothers and babies, and they may just have something to do with our infertility, as well as the overall increase in poor health over the last few decades.
Whether you are living with infertility or you know someone who is, the causes of infertility affect us all. Demand change. Join the movement.