By now it should be quite clear that what’s best for the planet is also what’s best for our health. Polluted air, water, and soil eventually lead to polluted people because, like every other creature on this big blue globe, we depend on air, water, and soil for survival. Unfortunately, we’ve hit a point of planetary overload. Now, every corner of the Earth is contaminated to some degree and every single person carries a personal body burden of industrial chemicals, most of which didn’t exist two generations ago. Worst of all, babies born today have over 200 toxic pollutants pulsing through their delicate, tiny bodies.
What is this doing to our health? We don’t know for certain, but strong scientific evidence tells us many diseases and disabilities have direct links to contaminants in our environment. In fact, our children may be the first generation in two centuries to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. This is largely due to the obesity epidemic, which is increasingly tied to our daily exposure to chemicals.
Many people start living a more conscious, greener life after they become parents. They try to reduce exposure to risky chemicals and buy safer alternatives, even if it costs 15 cents more. I see that extra cost as an investment in my child’s “health savings account.” The obvious fragility of your offspring triggers an uncontrollable need to be the protector, and to ensure a decent planet for their future. But in reality, if you wait until you first hear the heart beat or hold your tiny newborn child, then you’ve missed a critical period of protection. Family planning in a polluted world means becoming eco-conscious and detoxifying your life long before you start getting re-“productive”.
Human Development 101
Since most of us forget the lessons of our high school health class roughly three and a half minutes after it’s over, here’s a mini refresher:
Human reproduction is a delicate and startlingly quick process. Most women don’t even know they’re pregnant until they have been for a month or so, but during that short period a baby is going through some of the most dramatic changes of his or her life. In just a few short weeks, even though the developing baby is still tiny, it has a heartbeat and the nervous system, stomach, lungs, liver, and pancreas have all started to form.
Because so much is happening so quickly, these first weeks are a particularly vulnerable period in human growth; the most hazardous period in your life. Each development relies on precise, successful development in the previous stage. If an environmental factor, such as a chemical contaminant in the mother’s body, interferes with growth during a critical period of development, the child may be permanently affected. All this responsibility, and you probably don’t even know you’re pregnant yet.
What Can You Do?
Since nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended, living an eco-conscious, healthy lifestyle may be the best thing you can do to prepare your body for having children, planned or not. This goes for the gentlemen too – toxins are known to affect the health and mobility of sperm. Start now to prevent birth defects or other unintended long-term ailments and consequences in the future. Give yourself at least three months to detoxify your body before you begin trying to have a baby.
Remember, no matter when you start, use Healthy Child Healthy World’s 5 Easy Steps to make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time. And if you are pregnant now, I strongly encourage you to start today. The little happy faces in your near future will thank you.