Tip 15 - Healthy Pregnancy
Reports & Consumer Guides
Healthy Home Tips: Tip 15 - Healthy Pregnancy
EWG's Guide to Healthy Pregnancy
Pollutants in a pregnant woman's food, air, water or consumer products can cross the placenta from her body to her child at the most vulnerable time of life. Follow these tips to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals.
Fruits and veggies – Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Buy organic when you can to reduce your pesticide consumption. Check out EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, especially the Dirty Dozen list of high-pesticide fruits and vegetables.
Meat and dairy – Eat low-fat dairy, lean meat, and meatless protein-rich foods to reduce exposures to pollutants that build up in animal fat. Choose brands without added antibiotics and growth hormones. Learn more at EWG's Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change & Health
Ditch the can – Choose fresh food over canned, packaged and processed food to avoid bisphenol A, a synthetic estrogen, and other artificial additives and package coatings that can leach into food. Read labels to find foods with natural ingredients and lower sugar, sodium and trans fats. Learn more about BPA.
Safe seafood – Choose low-mercury fish such as salmon, tilapia and pollock, rather than higher-mercury tuna and swordfish. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can damage the developing brain and nervous system.
Iodine – Use iodized salt for home cooking. It counters perchlorate and other chemicals that can disrupt the thyroid's growth hormones critical to a baby's development.
Storing and cooking – Store food in glass containers. Don't microwave in plastic, since plastics additives can migrate into food. Check out our tips about picking plastic.
Drink Plenty of Good Water
What's in your water - Get your water quality report from EWG's National Drinking Water Database or your local utility. Test your water for lead.
Filtered tap water - Skip bottled water, which costs more and isn't necessarily better. Filter your tap water instead.
Filter choices - Choose a filter that's certified to take out your water's pollutants. Carbon filters are affordable and remove lead and toxic chemicals created by treatment processes at municipal water utilities. Reverse osmosis filters cost more but take out substances that carbon can't, like arsenic, chromium and perchlorate.
Reuseable containers - Drink from stainless steel or BPA-free plastic containers when you're on the go, and check out EWG's Safe Drinking Water Guide for more tips.
Choose Better Products, Avoid Chemical-Heavy Chores
Cosmetics - Cut out non-essential personal care products. Choose fragrance-free products with the fewest ingredients possible. Find safer products in EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
Clothing – Wash maternity clothes before wearing. Clothing is often coated in the factory with chemical treatments.
Green cleaning – Leave shoes at the door to avoid tracking dirt and dust-bound pollutants into your house. Clean with fragrance-free brands. Don't use unneeded, harsh and caustic products, such as bleach discs for toilet bowls, air fresheners (open a window instead), harsh oven cleaner (use baking soda) or drain cleaners (use a drain snake). Use a wet mop and a HEPA-filter vacuum cleaner to avoid breathing in dust. Find greener cleaners at EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
Remodeling - Avoid remodeling if your house was built before 1978, when lead house paint was banned. Dust from sanding old paint is a common source of lead exposure. If others do the work, make sure they wet-sand chipped areas.
Pumping gas – Don't breathe gasoline fumes. Ask your partner to fill the gas tank, or use full service.