I always try to make sure my column has some general interest but this time, I can’t help but make the topic about myself. As you may or may not know, I recently found out I’m pregnant. Yep, 15 weeks and 1 day as I write this. Did I mention I’ll be 41 by the time this baby arrives? This baby wasn’t exactly planned, nor did I ever think I’d be a new mom at 41. So there’s some anxiety about this, especially since I had already embraced being the mom to two fully sufficient daughters.
If any of you have ever embarked on pregnancy later in life, you’re aware of the potential complications that can occur over 35. These issues compound once you hit 40. Feel free to read the statistics here. Yikes. I’m sure you can imagine where my head has been. So now more than ever I feel it’s important that I continue to do what I can to make sure I live as ‘clean’ as possible to improve my odds of having a healthy child. But now that I’m hyper-sensitive to a) the risks I face and b) doing all I can to stay as healthy as possible, I’ve become really paranoid about everything around me. Feel free to comment that this is normal so I’ll feel better Here I am thinking I’m doing as well as I can for myself and my family from a health/organic standpoint but yet I’m still finding things that could pose potential risks to my baby.
Hair dye: There’s no way this sister can go 9 months without coloring her hair. It ain’t gonna happen! But how safe is it? There are no tests that have been done to determine the safety of hair dye on pregnant women. Doctors recommend not coloring your hair in your first trimester to be on the safe side. On the other side of the spectrum, the ‘safe’ alternatives seem like a total nightmare. Talk about a dilemma! I’ve spoken to many women who are both for and against coloring their hair during pregnancy (in addition to my hair stylist who is also pregnant) and I’ve decided to continue with it. But don’t think I don’t kick myself every time I do it.
Sushi: This is a similar to the hair dye issue. Doctors mostly say to stay away from it although a few, including my doctor, say it’s fine if you’re going to a reputable restaurant. Knowing that women in Japan make sushi a staple during pregnancy, this has me wondering why it’s ‘outlawed’ for women here. I’ve cheated and had sushi once in the last 4 months but was careful to eat something with the least amount of mercury possible. I guess this is my excuse to become a regular at Nobu
Cell phone: There’s been some press lately about the risks of cell phone exposure over time. I’m not one to buy into any ‘hype’ especially stuff that appears on the news but, again, even if there’s a small amount of truth to this, we’re all in trouble. It’s not uncommon for me to lay in bed watching TV with my cell phone on my stomach but not anymore.
Odd smells: This relates to my previous post about environmental toxins. A lot of typical ‘summertime smells’ can be harmful: gardeners spraying pesticides, neighbors painting their houses, smoke from a BBQ. Now every time I smell something out of the ordinary, my brain goes into overdrive wondering what it is and if it will cause me to have a two-headed baby.
Vitamin supplements: For a year and a half, I’ve taken high quality supplements to make up for any potential deficiencies in my diet. A regimen of probiotics, greens powder, digestive enzymes, fish oil, calcium and B complex vitamins have become part of my daily landscape. Upon finding out I was pregnant, I read the labels and all of them recommended that pregnant or nursing women need to consult their doctor before taking them. Insert screaming sigh here. Geez, what can I do while I’m pregnant? After a quick chat with a nutritionist friend, I found out my organic, food-based prenatal vitamins contain similar amounts of the supplements I was taking. So while I’ve cut back on the greens powder and fish oil (primarily because the smell of these make me heave), I continue to take probiotics and digestive enzymes and my prenatal vitamins cover my intake of both calcium and B complex.
I’d love to hear from any of you who can sympathize with my worries! Even once my baby arrives in early December, these same issues will be a concern while I’m breastfeeding so I have many months of worry ahead. In the meantime, I’m learning to relax so that I don’t drive myself completely crazy. I guess doing my best is all I can do. Until next time…
Category: Well-Being & Beauty