How to Have a Green Pregnancy

Start protecting your baby before they're even born by making green choices during your pregnancy that are good for both of you.

You will need

  • Organic food
  • Low-mercury fish
  • Drinking water report
  • Houseplants
  • Lead test (optional)
  • Water filter (optional)

Step 1 Eat right Eat organic fruits and vegetables to limit your exposure to pesticides during pregnancy. Choose grass-fed, organically raised cattle and free-range, organic chicken and eggs to avoid hormones. Eat low-mercury fish like trout, tilapia, and sardines.

Step 2 Forgo home improvement If you live in building built before 1978, don’t undergo any home improvement projects where lead paint may be disturbed; it’s highly toxic. Only use no-VOC paint, which stands for no volatile organic compounds. Don’t use wood finishes, glues, or spot removers.

Step 3 Test the waters Request your water provider’s annual drinking-water report for your town, or find it on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website at “epa.gov”:http://epa.gov/. If the test reveals high levels of chemicals known as trihalomethanes, install a water purifier; high levels may be linked to an increased risk of miscarriage. Install a filter in your showerhead, too, to be really green.

Step 4 Don't use air fresheners Don’t use commercial air fresheners; one study found that high exposure to them is associated with infant diarrhea and an increase in headaches in mothers.

Step 5 Green your home Improve the quality of your indoor air by adding lots of houseplants during pregnancy. Your home will be cheerier and healthier when your baby arrives.