Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life, and it’s often overwhelming as well. Those nine months can be an adventure, between making sure you take your vitamins and avoiding certain things that can harm your baby. For example, did you know that plastic bottles can pose a risk to your baby’s health?
Dr. Inga Zilberstein is an obstetrics specialist who helps you through all of the ups and downs of your pregnancy. She works to keep both you and your unborn baby safe and offers tips for a smooth pregnancy. Following is a guide for what mothers to be should know about BPA found in plastics.
BPA, or bisphenol-A, is a chemical that’s been used since the 1950s. It’s usually incorporated in the making of plastic bottles and resin materials.
Polycarbonate plastics are the main type of plastic that BPA is found in. This specific type of plastic is used in making containers, drinking bottles, and other consumer items. BPA is also abundant in epoxy resin, which is found in the coating of metal cans or containers.
So why is there such an uproar about this specific chemical? BPA in the plastic or resin containers has been shown to leak into the food or liquids that contain them. If you’re constantly exposed to this chemical, you could experience problems over time, such as an increased risk for high blood pressure and heart problems. However, the real risk comes when you’re pregnant.
Exposure to this chemical during pregnancy may result in problems with your unborn child. BPA has been linked to negative effects on the brain of human fetuses. It can affect your baby’s prostate gland as well.
Should you avoid BPA during pregnancy?
Any kind of unknown chemical should be avoided, especially when you’re pregnant. While research is constantly going on, there just isn’t enough information available to know the full effects of BPA on your unborn child. However, some research has shown these possible complications:
- Birth defects
- Low birth weight
These complications may occur if you’re exposed to a high level of BPA during your pregnancy. However, this isn’t common, as many manufacturers are now making water bottles and other daily-use items without BPA.
But the concern is real, so it’s a good idea to limit your exposure while you’re pregnant. So how can you effectively do this? Some steps you can take to ensure you and your baby’s health include:
- Decrease your use of canned foods
- Don’t put plastic in the microwave
- Use stainless steel or glass containers
- Look for BPA-free products
The best way to tell if something contains BPA is to look at the recycle number on the container. If the number is a 3 or a 7, the container likely contains BPA. If the number is a 1, 2, 4, 5, or 6, it’s much less likely that the container contains the harmful chemical.
To learn more about how you can protect your unborn baby and yourself during pregnancy, call us today at 646-601-6351 to schedule an appointment with Inga Zilberstein, MD. Or book a consultation using our online tool.