Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

advice, news & freebies

Pollution Undermines YOUR Ability to Breastfeed June 20, 2009

Filed under: Breastfeeding,Pregnancy — Rachel @ 5:43 pm
Tags: , ,

When I was pregnant with my first child, I read “Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood“.  Having been raised with little concern for the environment, this was THE book that opened my eyes to exactly how significantly environmental pollution effects my life, and the life then growing within my womb.  Sandra Steingrabber shares the story of her pregnancy, birth and new motherhood, with complete honesty about the bumps along the way and with humour that really carries the story along.  Meandering throughout the tale are scientific insights into the way the environment effects pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.  I’d venture to say that most mindful mamas would love the book!  It’s an inspiring and empowering story.

I was reminded of “Having Faith”  this morning, as I considered sharing with you some depressing news.  Scientists have recently learned that dioxin exposure during pregnancy can reduce growth of breast tissue necessary for breastfeeding by about 50%.  According to the report, it gets worse:  dioxin alters milk-producing genes, resulting in fewer mature lobules and ductal branches which make and deliver milk.  So, that means less breast growth and improperly developed milk ducts.  Sigh…  And we wonder why so many well-meaning mothers struggle to produce enough milk for their babies.

What is dioxin?  It’s a chemical bi-product of many manufacturing processes (like bleaching paper and fabrics) and of waste incineration at factories, municipalities and homes.   During such processes, dioxin is released into air and water.  Humans are exposed routinely when breathing and in some of the healthy foods we eat.  Specifically, dioxins tend to build up in the fat of livestock and fish and in the fatty portion of dairy products.  But, pregnant women are NOT to attempt to reduce their intake of these healthy foods!  Dioxin exposure is also a concern with the use of bleached tampons.

Basically, scientists and health experts are saying there’s little any pregnant woman can do to reduce her personal dioxin exposure immediately.  What we CAN do is support legislation that regulates industries and municipal waste incinerators that contribute greatly to the pollution.  Also, don’t burn garbage at home, avoid buying bleached products (tampons, disposable diapers, sheets, etc), and reduce waste by recycling and composting. 

To read more about the effects of dioxin, see Chemical Stops Breasts from Growing Bigger.

Advertisements
 

3 Responses to “Pollution Undermines YOUR Ability to Breastfeed”

  1. Bethany Says:

    Thanks again, Rachel! I’ve added the book to my library list, and I’m glad to have a concrete reason to give when people ask my why I’m buying the organically and humanely raised chickens and eggs….

  2. Bethany Says:

    Rachel,
    I LOVED this book! It was definitely eye-opening. Thank you for recommending it!
    Bethany


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s