Why you should be eating Organic Food during Pregnany!

After my sister visited Holland in July, Daniel and I were inspired to “Go Organic!” My sister lives in Minnesota and has a subscription to a local organic farm where she gets fresh fruits and veggies delivered to her house every week! How cool is that! Daniel and I don’t have access to something that awesome here in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, we decided to give Organic food a shot anyway! We hit up google for some more information on Organic food and we were blown away by the amount of research there is about consuming organic foods.Organic foods during pregnancy

When we initially decided to take the plunge, we were a little bit worried about how much extra money we would be spending! But, we actually found that we don’t spend any more money per week on groceries than we did before. I think most of this is due to the fact that we started planning our weekly meals and doing all of our shopping at once (check our Our Weekly Meal Planning for more info on that!) which cuts down on the cost of all that extra junk we would buy every day just because we were hungry!

Now for the fun stuff. There are actually a ton of proven benefits of eating organic food during pregnancy!

1. Reduced rick of male birth defects

This study  found that women who ate organic food during their pregnancies were less likely to give birth to a male child with hypospadias! This is a developmental abnormality where the opening of the urethra is located lower down on the shaft of the penis (or more generally speaking, it’s not where it is supposed to be!)

Hypospadias

Note the picture on the left is where the opening of the urethra should normally be!

Why does this happen? The hormones in pesticides consumed during pregnancy can interfere with the hormonal development of the fetus. This can lead to “feminization” of male reproductive organs!

Not having a baby boy? There are still other reasons to consume organic foods as well!

2. Link between Organic food and Higher IQ

Organic food during pregnancy

If you read Can Breastfeeding make your Baby Smarter? | The Link Between Breastfeeding and IQ, you know that there is a significant correlation between breastfeeding and cognitive development. But there is also a correlation between eating organic foods and intelligence! This study found that there was a link between the prenatal consumption of pesticides and a lower intelligence among 7 year olds! The study found that exposure to pesticides prior to being born were associated with poorer scores for Working Memory, Processing Speed, Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Reasoning, and Full-Scale intelligence quotient (IQ). Children with the highest exposure had an average IQ of seven points lower than those with the lowest exposure! That’s pretty significant!

Did you know eating Organic foods during pregnancy can make your baby smarter? Click To Tweet

3. Lower Risk of developing ADHD

This study  found a link between food additives and artificial food coloring and an increased chance of developing Hyperactive disorders. The study looked at a group of 3 year-old boys and a group of 8-year-old boys and found that those who were exposed to food additives and artificial coloring were more likely to express hyperactive behavior!

Not convinced? Check out the links to the studies provided for more information!

The Dirty DozenDirty Dozen Organic Food List

If you are ready to take the plunge into the world of Organic foods, there is some important
information to know! Not all foods are the same and there are some that contain more pesticides than others. This list from the Environmental Working Group explains the Dirty Dozen foods that have the highest amount of additives and pesticides! Check out this ideographic for a complete list of which foods you should defiantly buy Organic!

Now, I can’t say that going organic has changed my life, or that I have seen any health benefits from cutting out non organic foods. To be honest, I don’t feel any different than I did before. There is also absolutely no way of knowing whether there is an actual impact on my baby girl after she is born. But so far, incorporating organic foods into my diet has been a completely easy transition! If you can find a way to incorporate (at least the dirty dozen) into your diet I encourage you to do so!

Be sure to comment and let me know if you have tried going organic throughout your pregnancy! Have you found it difficult to incorporate eating organic foods? Does it fit into your budget? I would love to hear from you!

Until next time, Enjoy your fall weekend =)

Sources:

  1. http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/new-study-organic-food-during-pregnancy-can-reduce-the-risk-of-certain-birth-defects/
  2. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Organic_Food_Reduces_Birth_Defects.php
  3. http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1003185/
  4. https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17825405

Whats the deal with Pregnancy Hormones!?

Do you find yourself going from super excited mom-to-be to to a complete emotional wreck? Do the little things, like burning your morning toast make you burst into tears? Thats your pregnancy hormones talking!Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy Hormones!

I know that when I first became pregnant back in February my emotions were ALL OVER THE PLACE! One minute I was my happy self and the next I was sitting on the couch sobbing uncontrollably (and for no reason!) Although these things seemed to disappear in my second trimester, they are making a comeback in my third! Ive been super emotional lately. One minute I am so excited for the baby come and the next I am a nervous and anxious wreck. Not only that, but it seems like the teeniest little thing can make me breakdown into tears! Some of this is due to the motherhood anxiety I am experiencing, but it also has a lot to do with my hormones.

Not only are my emotions out of whack, but my heartburn is raging, my hips are hurting, i’m experiencing some pregnancy constipation, and i’m even getting some varicose veins! All these pesky little symptoms can be explained by the crazy hormonal changes we go through during pregnancy!

I decided to do some investigation on pregnancy hormones and this is what I found….

HUMAN CHORIONIC GONADTROPIN (hCG)

You probably heard a lot about this one when you first got pregnant. This hormone kicks in as soon as your egg is fertilized and it is responsible for that little pink (blue, black whatever!) line on your pregnancy test that tells you that you are pregnant! The hormone is usually at its highest around weeks 14-16 and then begins to plateau and eventually decreases as our other hormones kick in. Its primary function is to signal to the body to start making the placenta (your baby’s life support during pregnancy) and to get this whole pregnancy thing underway!

Morning sickness? Your raging hCG levels could be to blame! Women with higher levels of hCG often have worse morning sickness compared to those who have lower levels. Once your placenta has been made and is all ready to go, it takes over the production of hormones (instead of your body) so this is why morning sickness often subsides by your second trimester!

PROGESTERONE

This hormone is responsible for relaxing all of your muscles and joints in preparation for labor. It relaxes your smooth muscle tissues which helps your belly expand. Progesterone also relaxes blood vessels, which helps explain those varicose veins and your lower blood pressure. It is the cause of all of our gastro-intestinal problems such as heartburn, acid reflex, nausea, and constipation because it relaxes and slows down the digestive track! In addition, it also explains all that extra body hair you may be seeing because it encourages hair growth! On the bright side, you are probably sporting beautiful locks during your pregnancy due to this hormone =)

Pregnancy Hormones driving you crazy? Learn what they are and what they do! #pregnancy #hormones… Click To Tweet

ESTROGEN

We have all heard of Estrogen, the quintessential female hormone and it is the hormone that controls puberty! It encourages breast growth, the start of menstruation and all the other experiences we have as we go through puberty. Estrogen also plays a very important role during pregnancy. It stimulates hormone production in your growing baby and is responsible for the development of many organs and bodily systems.

Glowing skin? Estrogen can be held responsible for your glowing pregnancy complexion or, if you’re not so lucky,  your bad case of pregnancy acne! It is also responsible for your increased appetite, nausea, increased blood levels and so many of the other changes you experience during pregnancy!

RELAXIN

You can probably guess by the name but this hormone is responsible for relaxing your ligaments in your lower abdomen and pelvis. As your due date approaches your pelvis softens and widens to accommodate for the watermelon sized baby you are about to push through it! It is also responsible for those pesky ligament cramps you may feel as your belly expands. Relaxin (combined with Progesterone) is the culprit for many of the most uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms.

OXYTOCIN

This is what helps induce labor! Although your oxytocin levels don’t rise during pregnancy we become more sensitive to it so when our baby is ready to come out, this hormone is what triggers our first labor contractions! It is also responsible for moving milk into the breast during breastfeeding. We stimulate oxytocin production when we are feeling happy so cuddling up to your partner at night is a good way to bring on labor! (This is actually why many women begin labor at night)

Pregnancy Hormones

PROLACTIN

This is the big hormone when it comes to lactation. It stimulates the breast to produce milk glands and prepares the breasts for lactation. It is also responsible for how your body naturally responds to your baby when they cry or when its time to feed. My mother in law always tells me that when she was breastfeeding, just the sound of her baby crying would make her breasts spew out milk!

AFTER PREGNANCY

After pregnancy your hormone levels will drop. This can cause the ‘baby blues’ or it can even cause postpartum depression. Your hormone levels will eventually level out (normally around the time you begin menstruating again) and you should be back to feeling normal both emotionally of physically. If you suspect you are suffering from postpartum depression it is very important to seek help!

I hope all of your pregnancy symptoms aren’t bothering you too much! Until next time, happy pregnancy!!

Sources:

  1. http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-life/emotions/understanding-pregnancy-hormones/
  2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/280626-the-role-of-hcg-in-pregnancy/
  3. http://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/womens-health/what-is-estrogen
  4. http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/pregnancy-hormones/estrogen-progesterone