Navigating Pregnancy Safely: Understanding and Minimizing Exposure to Harmful Toxins

Navigating Pregnancy Safely Understanding and Minimizing Exposure to Harmful Toxins

The unborn baby needs nine months, 40 weeks or around 280 days, to develop in the womb – a long time in which the placenta, also called the placenta, takes care of the growing life. Day after day, the mother absorbs nutrients but also dangerous, unhealthy or even toxic substances. Mother and child share everything, even what doesn’t suit them, such as cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and many medicines. This is how substances reach the unborn child that can harm it.

Avoid alcohol and cigarettes.

Alcohol is the number one dangerous substance: in the first three months of pregnancy, embryos are highly susceptible to even small amounts of alcohol; they often pay a high price if they have to “drink” alcohol regularly or copiously. They are born with physical and mental disabilities or disabilities that doctors are often unable to repair. The so-called “alcohol embryopathy” affects babies with varying degrees of severity, e.g. heart defects, facial deformities, hearing disorders, hyperactivity or brain damage.


The placenta cannot differentiate.

The placenta is not a filter that distinguishes between harmful and valuable substances – and so the unborn child gets its share of toxins, for example, from smoking: Cigarette smoke contains around 4,000 different toxic and carcinogenic substances such as arsenic, benzene, hydrocyanic acid, lead, cadmium and carbon monoxide and tar.

All unborn babies react to cigarettes with developmental problems and slight weight gain. Because with every puff, nicotine gets into the joint circulation of mother and child. The blood vessels constrict, interfering with the baby’s oxygen supply. In addition, it is loaded with poisonous carbon monoxide, which also worsens the oxygen supply.

It can then be born prematurely or perhaps at the right time, but as a “defective baby”. In both cases, babies usually have a lot of trouble catching up on their developmental deficits. According to medical studies, children of smoking mothers have a 30 per cent higher risk of developing allergies and asthma . Incidentally, according to numerous studies, passive smoking is just as dangerous as active smoking.

Luxury foods: coffee and tea in moderation

A study by Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark (source: British Medical Journal 2003, Volume 326) investigated whether drinking coffee during pregnancy increases the risk of stillbirth or infant mortality in the first year of life. Scientists had gained this suspicion by examining monkeys. They analyzed the data from more than 18,000 pregnancies about coffee consumption: it was shown that those women who drank at least eight cups of coffee a day had a threefold increased risk of stillbirth compared to those women who remained caffeine abstinent.

Surprisingly, those women who drank one to three cups of coffee a day experienced a slight, but not significant, risk reduction compared to pregnant women who abstained entirely from coffee. Four to seven cups increased the risk slightly. The study leaders conclude that the “threshold value” for the harmful effects of coffee should be around four to seven cups per day. There was no connection between coffee consumption and infant mortality in the first year of life. The same applies to black tea. However, herbal teas are allowed and even encouraged.


environmental pollution

This is where the problem begins: Certain pollutants, such as heavy metals, have been in our food for decades and are still found in almost all foods today. Fruit and vegetables should be washed and peeled thoroughly. In the case of organically grown food, at least no pesticides are guaranteed, but the pollutants from the soil and air are also stored here. Doctors have proven that environmental toxins damage the reproductive organs. Even before the start of pregnancy, doctors recommend carrying out appropriate tests and having your home and workplace checked.

Heavy metals are among the most dangerous environmental toxins. When mothers are exposed to high levels of lead, their children can develop deformities, and premature births and stillbirths are more common. Old lead pipes pollute the drinking water in many old buildings. Lead is also found in many paints and foods grown in urban areas. The same applies to cadmium: it accumulates in the amniotic fluid and disrupts the baby’s growth. It is found in high concentrations in haddock, liver, and cigarettes.

Mercury that enters the body through tooth fillings containing amalgam can cause brain damage in the unborn child. Teeth should not be cleaned immediately before pregnancy because the substances can still be detected in the blood for months—selenium and vitamin C help to support elimination.

medicines and vitamins

Bitter pills are, above all, headache pills, tranquillizers and sleeping pills, slimming pills or laxatives that you take out of sheer habit “just like that”. The side effect: mental and physical damage – here, too, the first three months of development are particularly explosive. In the case of acute or chronic illnesses, the pregnant woman does not have to do without medicines such as antibiotics, but her doctor must advise her.

Painkillers can also be taken for severe symptoms such as severe headaches. Above all, tablets containing paracetamol are recommended – acetylsalicylic acid (including aspirin) should no longer be taken, especially in the last third of pregnancy.

In the case of vaccinations, the doctor should find out about pregnancy. When travelling to countries where preventive vaccinations are recommended, one should carefully consider whether this trip is necessary for a pregnant woman. Travel prophylaxis with live vaccines ( cholera, measles, mumps, rubella) is not recommended. You should not be vaccinated against diphtheria, FSME (tick-borne encephalitis, transmitted by ticks), meningitis, pneumococci, tuberculosis, rabies and typhus. Malaria prophylaxis can be performed with some, but not all, medications.

Vitamins are essential, especially during pregnancy. But Be careful with vitamin A, which is found in animal foods (and as a provitamin beta-carotene also in plant foods). If it is missing, it leads to growth disorders and night blindness. Too much, for example, if you take it in tablet form or if you consume too much animal liver, can lead to congenital disabilities in the unborn child.

nutrition during pregnancy

A healthy diet can do a lot for the baby. Medicine-Worldwide recommends that pregnant women consume 10 per cent protein, 35 per cent fat and 55 per cent carbohydrates. The fats should be of vegetable origin and high in fibre (wholemeal bread, fruit, vegetables).

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