Q: Now that I’m pregnant, I want to go green for my baby’s sake, but I’m overwhelmed by all the stuff I’m supposed to avoid and do. What are the most important things I should do now?
A: Protecting yourself and your developing baby from toxins doesn’t have to be terribly complicated or expensive. here are the most important steps to take:
• If you smoke or drink alcohol on a regular basis, quit and do your best to stay away from secondhand smoke.
• Focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods with minimal additives, as well as brightly colored vegetables and fruits that are high in antioxidants. For details, go to drweil.com and search for “the anti-inflammatory diet.”
• Opt for organic or locally grown produce whenever possible. Find guidance from the Environmental Working Group on the foods you should always buy organic.
• est your home water supply and, if necessary, install a water filter that removes any harmful compounds present. Visit NSF International for information about different types of water-filtration systems.
• Consider placing a hEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter in your bedroom. Further limit your exposure to air pollution by observing air advisories; visit AIrNow (airnow.gov) for air-quality reports.
• Be cautious about using plastic products, especially those marked with the numbers 3, 6 or 7, which are harder to recycle.
• When you start decorating, paint the baby’s room with low- or non-VoC (volatile organic compounds) paint, and use hardwood or washable area rugs instead of carpeting.
Have a question for Dr. Weil? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Answers are not intended to replace advice from your doctor; always consult your health care provider before making any changes in your prenatal routine.