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Phthalates
Pregnancy Jan 23, 2020
3 Minutes

If you’re pregnant: this is a VERY easy win for your baby’s health!

There has been mounting research around the potential negatives around Phthalates. Particularly on developing people and hormones. What on earth is a Phthalate I hear you ask? Good question! They are in quite a few things including food containers, but they are most commonly found in cosmetics and personal care. Specifically in the form of added fragrance (they add odor). A new report – click here – has added to this. Arguing that greater exposure during pregnancy can impact the development of fine-motor skills. So, in this article we go through what the science says and a really easy way we can greatly reduce this exposure. Particularly important during pregnancy! All about using the science for positives…. 

Phthalates

What does the research say about Phthalates and their impact on our babies?! 

So, we know a few things already. We know that Phthalates can cross the blood-placenta barrier. We know they get into our bodies from breathing them in (perfume) and from the skin. There have also been links to things like cognitive function and behavioural issues in children as well as reproductive development. The Endocrine Society (Endocrine = hormones) has long talked and researched their actions. Click here for much more.  

So, this is something that should be taken seriously.

What’s new? 

Data taken from the Columbia Centre for Children’s Environmental Health Birth Cohort has shown ‘significantly lower fine-motor scores for females prenatally exposed to Phthalates during pregnancy’. Click here to read the study for yourself. 

And: baby girls are more impacted it seems…. 

But how do these Phthalates have such an impact? 

There are a few theories as to why and how this happens. Research has shown alteration of a baby’s thyroid hormones (click here for why the thyroid is so crucial). In short though, we know that Thyroid hormones are crucial for brain development. Especially the development of the cerebellum (which is in part responsible for co-ordination and fine motor movements).

They have also shown an impact on dopaminergic neurons which are associated with the development of fine motor skills.

Ok so not good, what’s the easy way to avoid Phtalates then?!

One VERY simple way is to avoid anything with added fragrance! Phthalates are commonly present if ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ is on the ingredient list. One question that frequently comes up is why if this is so bad is it used so prolifically through the cosmetic and personal care industry? Well, firstly that market is very unregulated and actually policed by itself! True story.

Secondly, the argument goes that the amount in most cosmetics is very small. For sure, the odd exposure now and again is going to do no one any harm. The trouble is that most of us apply cosmetics and personal care items sometimes multiple times a day, that adds up. Click here for more. 

So: key take-away, if you’re pregnant to avoid Phthalates just go fragrance free. It’s very easy! 

We’re not saying don’t use any product. We are saying just use product that has no added fragrance as an easy win. Cuts out a big chunk of potentia Phthalate exposure. Particularly as many of us use these products many times a day. One of our personal favourites at The Journey is the specific fragrance free range by Green People. No, we are not sponsored by them. We just like what they do. Click here to check out the range. For kids too!

Remember. You smell sweet enough!

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This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.

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