BPA FREE: What Does It Mean & Why Is It Important For Moms-to-be?
Are you pregnant or planning to become pregnant and have been worried about the BPA in plastics? Here is some information that can help you stay BPA Free and protect you and your baby before, during and after pregnancy.
What is BPA anyway?
BPA is a chemical called Bisphenol A and is the main component of polycarbonate, the hard, clear plastics sometimes used to make baby bottles, food storage containers, water bottles and much more. It can also be found in the lining in canned foods, filters of cigarettes, contact lenses and it even may be in certain “carbonless” receipts, where it coats paper to prevent ink smears.
How Can This Affect Moms-to-be?
- Baby girls who are exposed while in the womb to BPA’s may develop behavior problems as children.
- Children of mothers who have the high levels of BPA during pregnancy are twice as likely to wheeze in early childhood, than the children of mothers with the lower BPA’s.
- Some studies suggest that possible effects from BPA could be most pronounced in infants and young children. Their bodies are still developing and they are not as efficient at eliminating substances from their systems.
- BPA is an endocrine disruptor. It changes the way our body’s hormones function, mimicking our own natural hormones, estrogen being the main culprit.
- Two studies have found that adults with the highest levels of BPA in their bodies seem to have a higher incidence of heart problems
- Women with higher levels of BPA are more likely to have fertility issues. Studies show higher risk of miscarriages as well.
*Please remember although this list of possible BPA risks is frightening, keep in mind that nothing has been established. The concern about BPA risks stems primarily from studies in animals – more studies need to be done. I don’t know about you, but as a mom I would rather be safe, and use products that are BPA free, than sorry.
What can you do to stay BPA Free?
- If you are planning a family, to get ready for the baby and a healthy pregnancy, go through your house and toss out anything that contains BPA’s, this will help limit you and baby’s exposure to the chemical.
- Start using glass water bottles instead of plastic.
- Limit and or avoid canned foods (Eden Foods claims to use an alternative to BPA)
- If a mother is unable to breastfeed her child use glass baby bottles or switch to polypropylene bottles that are labeled “5” on the bottom.
- Can your own vegetables and fruits in glass mason jars.
- Look at the bottoms of plastic containers, if you see a 1 or a 7 it is most likely BPA, avoid those.
- Read your plastic products (toys, bottles, food containers etc) make sure it reads, “BPA free” on the package.
- Ask your cashier to throw away your receipt.
- If you wear contacts make sure they are made from BPA free ingredients.
- When grocery shopping buy whole foods instead of canned foods.
- Buy BPA Free Toothbrushes.
I hope these tips will help ease your mind and give you steps towards living a life with less BPA. What have you done to limit use of BPA’s?