Giving My Baby the Best Start
This summer I received life-changing-exciting news. My fiancé and I learned we are having a baby girl. She is due in March. This is our first child and we are in our early 40s. Getting to where we are was neither easy nor without complications or significant effort. Our baby was years in the making.
As we embarked upon our pregnancy efforts, we held close to a few core tenets to ensure a healthy pregnancy and ultimately a healthy baby girl:
- We wanted to minimize all possible medical interventions in the process. This means we wanted to minimize the amount of pharmaceuticals and procedures required to result in a pregnancy. Given our age, however, I have to say we mostly failed in this effort. For that reason the rest of our tenets became so much more important to us.
- We want to avoid exposure to chemicals and contaminants in our environment. Being in the water filtration business, I know how easy it is to be unknowingly exposed to contaminants in your environment – whether they be chlorine, lead, fluoride or pharmaceuticals in your water, detergents in your clothes, VOCs in your carpet or paint, particles in your air, pesticides on your lawn, or processed substances and chemicals in your food – we live in a world of chemical proliferation. It seems like we always hear about chemical spills or contamination in the news. I often think about the ones we have not heard about yet and the impact they may be having on us.
- We pay attention to our food and water sourcing. We try to buy locally grown food, and whenever possible we buy the organic option. We avoid processed foods. We read our water reports, and we filter all of our water. We even got our water tested, and yes, there were potential carcinogens in it.
- We cook and store everything in natural materials – glass bottles and containers, cast iron cookware. No plastics, no chemically modified surfaces.
- We avoid anything synthetic. All of our un-born baby’s goods are cotton. Organic cotton- unbleached organic cotton where we can. We avoid sources of elevated radiation – especially for her mom. That includes the ever-so-fun personal pat downs while travelling through airports, and no x-rays at the dentist or doctor.
We’ve done all this because we believe that the chemical exposure we have in our lives is largely avoidable. We also believe it is a major contributor to the burgeoning rates of auto-immune health maladies like increases in autism, allergies, Alzheimer’s (and those are just the A’s). While the empirical evidence is spotty for many of these connections, I believe over time it will become increasingly difficult to argue that our chemical proliferation is not causing an increase in overall health issues. We believe it is better safe than sorry.
I walk this walk at home and at work. You could say I drink the filtered water on healthy living. One aspect of my job as the Vice President for Marketing at Aquasana that I love, is knowing that when we are successful as a company, we are helping to detox the lives of others. Chemical-free living is an important part of my life and an important part of how I have started to raise my baby. We just launched a new product at Aquasana – the OptimH2O under counter water filter. This has been my “work baby”. It is Aquasana’s first product that uses reverse osmosis as well as our Claryum® technology. The reason I mention this product is that for a long time I have been searching for a product that is certified to remove organic chemicals like our Claryum® filters, but also removes arsenic and fluoride. I won’t say that the genesis of this product was the conception of my child, but it certainly helped speed things along to bring this product to market so we could start using it. Fluoride has been linked to potential developmental issues in children, and while I am all for strong teeth, I’d rather teach my daughter to brush and floss daily than have her ingest added chemicals.
There are likely many things that we have missed, and will miss, as first time parents. But generally, we feel like it’s our job to protect our little seed from undue exposure to chemicals that may alter her and her future forever, and we are doing the best job we can. We want nothing but the best for her and want her to have every possible advantage to succeed in a world full of potentially dangerous toxins. Once she is born, we will have the worries that come with raising children. Until then, we will control what we can control.