Good Habits for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers from the Danish Government

Body: 

Good Chemistry

To all pregnant and nursing mothers:

During pregnancy or when you are breast feeding, you and your child are particularly sensitive. During this period you should, therefore, pay special attention to chemicals which you and your child are exposed to. The Environmental Protection Agency has formulated 9 good habits for pregnant and nursing mothers regarding chemicals in cosmetics, in products for children and in toys. If you follow them, you will be well on your way to creating good chemistry for you and for your child.

 

GOOD HABITS

For pregnant and nursing mothers:

Good chemistry for you and for your child

1. Use as little cosmetics and lotions as possible while you are pregnant and as long as you are breast feeding

- Certain cosmetics and lotions contain allergenic chemicals or are suspected of being hormone disruptors. By using as little cosmetics and lotions as possible you lessen the effect of chemicals on you and on your child.

2. Always choose unscented products, and stop using perfume during pregnancy and as long as you are breast feeding.

- Perfume can cause allergies, skin irritation, rashes or breathing difficulty.

3. Buy products with environmental labels whenever possible – look for the Swan label and The Flower

- The swan and the flower are environmental logos you can see on products made with special consideration for health and the environment – for instance by containing fewer problematic chemicals.

4. Don’t color your hair during pregnancy and as long as you are breast feeding

- Certain chemicals in hair dye can cause serious allergenic reactions or are suspected of being hormone disruptors. Also "natural hair dyes" like Henna can contain harmful chemicals.

5. Avoid using products that come in spray cans and do not paint while you are pregnant or as long as you are breast feeding

- If you paint or use spray cans you inhale chemicals that can be absorbed by your body and transmitted to your child. Avoid painting during this period and be sure to air out newly painted rooms properly.

 

Babies:

Good chemistry for your baby

6. Wash everything before using it for your baby – also clothes and toys made of cloth or plastic

- New clothing, toys, nursing bottles etc. made of cloth or plastic can contain chemical residues. If you wash everything in hot water, most of the chemicals will be removed.

7. Avoid daily use of lotion, soap, etc. for your baby

- Bathe your baby in clean water and limit the use of lotions after bathing and after diaper changes. If your child has very dry or red and irritated skin or other skin problems, speak with your doctor or health visitor.

8. Always buy unscented products for your baby – also toys

- Perfume can give your baby an allergy. Therefore, always buy unscented grooming products for your baby and avoid scented toys.

9. Only use toys especially designed for babies. Toys for children older than 3 years may contain ftalates.

- Ftalates are used to soften plastics. Certain ftalates are hormone disruptors. In Denmark, the use of ftalates in toys for children under 3 years old is forbidden.

 

Download this fact sheet as a PDF

 

If you wish to read more about good chemistry for your baby see: www.babykemi.dk

For information on nutrition for pregnant women see the website of the Ministry of Family and Consumer Affairs: http://www.fvst.dk For products containing environmental labels see the ecolabel website: www.ecolabel.dk

 

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