Dr. Oz’s Tips for Pregnant Women

Nov 30, 2009 9:01am

Dr. Mehmet Oz dropped by the show today along with Dr. Michael Roizen, the chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic to talk about women and pregnancy.
Pregnant women should avoid toxins that can affect their kid while in the womb, Oz said. First, bisphenol, an estrogen-mimicking chemical, has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, liver toxicity and birth defects. The chemical is found in some plastics like water and baby bottles and certain cans. To be absolutely sure, Oz said, only consume food or drink out of plastics with a little "2" or "4" on the bottom of the container where the recycling symbol is.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, some foam trays and plastic wraps are not heat stable at high temperatures and can become harmful to your food in the microwave. The main things to avoid when reheating food are margarine tubs, cottage cheese and yogurt cartons — things that would normally store cold foods.
Phthalates are also high on the list of things pregnant women should avoid, Oz said. Studies have shown that boys' exposure to phthalates during pregnancy are less likely to choose "boy typical" toys like trucks, suggesting that phthalates can alter brain development and gender-specific behaviors. Phthalates are actually a group of chemicals that are widely used and often found in some food containers, soft toys and flooring. Many personal care products including lotions, cosmetics and nail polish also contain phthalates.
Caffeine can also limit the blood flow to the placenta, Oz said. Taking in less than 200 milligrams daily is optimal for pregnant women. As for alcohol, small amounts consumed before a woman finds out she is pregnant won't harm a fetus, but even moderate alcohol use during pregnancy seems to impair a child's sucking reflex at birth, which could cause a potential feeding problem, Oz said.
Oz also recommended supplements for pregnant women, citing new research that showed maternal nutrition is not just important for the immediate health of the fetus, but also for long-term health. According to Oz, supplements to be taken even if a woman is just thinking about getting pregnant include 400 milligrams a day of folic acid, omega 3 fatty acid found in fish oil supplements and a prenatal multivitamin.

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