Why Switch to Organic When Planning a Family

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about organic food is that it’s expensive. But there’s a very good argument for spending the extra cash, especially if you are planning to have a family. Pesticides, antibiotics and other chemicals found in non-organic foods can be endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors can impact your fertility while planning to conceive, the developing reproductive system of your fetus while pregnant and of your new born baby through breastmilk.


So what are endocrine disruptors anyway? Let’s step back and talk about hormones, which are the messengers of the endocrine system. Hormones are released by various organs in your body, including (but not limited to) the pituitary gland, the thyroid and adrenals, and the reproductive organs. They essentially send a message to another part of your body and tell it what to do next. For example, there is a hormone that tells your ovaries to release an egg. There is another hormone that triggers the uterine lining to thicken in preparation for the implantation of that egg. All the way along a woman’s reproductive cycle, there are hormones telling the body what to do next.

Endocrine disruptors, in simple terms, either mimic a hormone, creating too much of a signal or sending incorrect information; or they may block hormone activity, meaning the message doesn’t get to its destination. The hormones that manage the reproductive cycle are extremely sensitive and any sort of disruption can keep you from getting pregnant or interfere with the development of your fetus.

So, if you want to increase your chances of conceiving naturally and ensure that your baby develops normally, it’s best to buy organic when you can. If it’s difficult to go whole hog right off the bat (for affordability or availability reasons), there is lots of information out there on web about which products are most contaminated. If you want to start somewhere, my personal opinion is to try for organic meat, fish, dairy and produce without peels (e.g. strawberries, leafy greens).

Going organic requires a change in the way you shop for groceries, where you shop and sometimes, what you eat. And it may take some time to find organic products that you enjoy (though in my experience, organic has almost always tasted better). But I encourage you to stick with it. Your body, and that of your unborn baby, will thank you.

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