Study encourages pregnant women to stay away from household chemicals

During pregnancy, women are given a list of orders to follow from their doctors to ensure that they aren't putting fetal development at risk. In between avoiding certain foods and tobacco products, women are expected to stay away from alcohol, secondhand smoke and certain types of physical activity that may put stress on their unborn children. Now, mothers-to-be are receiving even more warnings from the medical community when it comes to making sure their babies are born healthy.

A new study released by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is recommending that expectant women avoid household chemicals just to play it safe. While there is no definitive evidence that these items can have a negative impact on the development of babies, experts claim that it's better to be safe than sorry. This puts additional stress on women who are already concerned about balancing life as expectant mothers and breadwinners in their households.

"The reason for the growing concern over everyday chemical exposure effects is because many of these chemicals have the potential to interfere with one or more hormone systems in the body, which play key roles in normal fetal development," the authors wrote in the study. "These so-called 'endocrine disruptors' ... have the potential to mimic/block endogenous endocrine hormone action and therefore disrupt normal fetal development."

But what is really worth avoiding during pregnancy? Is it just certain foods and environmental factors, or is there more?

Maintaining a healthy pregnancy
If you're concerned about the well-being of your child during your pregnancy, there are a few ways you can alter your daily lifestyle and give yourself peace of mind. First, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor about your worries. He or she can give you insight into how to keep your baby healthy during all nine months of your pregnancy.

Next, make sure you're eating healthy meals that have nutrients that are beneficial to both you and your baby. Consuming small meals throughout the day can help you maintain your energy level as well. Finally, don't forget to give yourself an opportunity to rest. Relaxing and sleeping can combat fatigue and prevent putting stress on your body as a whole.

How have you ensured the health of your unborn child while pregnant? Do you have any tips for expectant mothers with concerns? Leave your feedback in the comments section!