The first few months with a new baby are an exciting time. In doing so, you should make sure that you are not exposing your child or yourself to harmful chemicals. These substances act in a similar way to hormones and can therefore disrupt the human hormone system. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of stress for you as a chemist and your baby.
As an expectant parent, you are already aware that you have to avoid many things during pregnancy. But you may not yet know the dangers that damaging chemicals can pose to you and your baby.
You are exposed to many different chemicals in your daily life. They can be found in everything from food to cosmetics to furniture and clothing. Infants and young children are also exposed to these chemicals. In fact, they are particularly at risk as their development is not yet complete.
Chemist: This is how endocrine disruptors affect child development
Babies in the womb are particularly at risk from endocrine disruptors because their brains and other vital organs are not yet fully developed. Anything that disrupts development in this phase can lead to long-term health impairments.
The main concern here is the impact that harmful chemicals can have on babies’ brain development. The human brain is only fully developed in the third decade of life. Hormones play a crucial role in this development. For example, the thyroid hormone system, which plays an important role in brain development can be unbalanced by endocrine disruptors. The child’s brain only has this one chance to develop healthily. If it is disturbed, it can mean problems for the rest of their life.
Exposure to chemicals in the womb has been linked to increases in behavioural problems in children and adolescents, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), developmental disorders, emotional disorders, and abnormal social behaviour.
Pregnancy and the “nest-building phase” before birth: How to avoid harmful chemicals
Chemicals that impair brain development and the reproductive system can be transferred from mother to child in the womb and also during breastfeeding. In this way, the development of the baby can already be disturbed in the womb. This is not the only reason why it is advisable to avoid certain harmful chemicals during pregnancy.