- 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.
- TIP: Non-organic apples, strawberries, potatoes, and spinach have high levels of pesticide residue, even after washing.
- 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.
- TIP: To find out how to your home’s paint for lead, visit "epa.gov/lead":http://epa.gov/lead/.
- 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.
- FACT: The organic baby clothes industry grew by 40 percent in 2005, with sales reaching $40 million.
You Will Need
- Organic food
- Low-mercury fish
- Drinking water report
- Lead test (optional)
- Water filter (optional)