PLASTIC FREE BABY – THE IMPACT OF PLASTICS ON FERTILITY, BABIES & CHILDREN
Guest post by Laura Callaghan founder of Plastic-Free Baby
Plastic Free Baby and SuperLooper are joining forces to offer a truly practical and sustainable baby shower/Christmas gift!
The Plastic Free Baby & SuperLooper New Baby Bundles are perfect as a gift for your favourite new family or as a practical plastic-free purchase for your very own little one. Plastic Free Baby’s bundles are thoughtfully curated and give at least 10% savings over buying products individually. Now including SuperLooper’s award-winning gift cards so planet-conscious families can try renting rather than owning their baby clothes to keep them in circulation longer!
But why Plastic-Free? Read on for Laura Callaghan’s introduction on why it is so important to consider the materials our children come into close contact with and the impact of plastics on fertility, babies & children.
Rewind the clock a bit to a couple of years before I conceived Finn, when I was married to my then-husband. There were many months and years of conception struggle before I finally became pregnant naturally with a much yearned-for baby. I was so desperately sad when I lost the baby a few weeks into pregnancy; I then had several months of miscarrying. I conceived my next pregnancy more than a year later and happily I gave birth to a happy and healthy little baby boy, and called him Finn.
During this desperate and emotional time, I was trying to research things that could be having an impact on fertility, in order to maximise my chances of conceiving a baby, and to reduce the risk of miscarriage. I wasn’t looking for “just think positive”, “relax and it’ll happen” type of self-help approach to fertility and conception; I wanted facts evidenced by research!
I’m Laura. I’m a 37-year-old single mum, and I live in Brighton UK, with my 3-year-old son Finn. I am the founder of Plastic Free Baby, an online plastic-free shop and eco blog. I am going to be sharing the impact of plastics on fertility, babies & children.
I came across a book that would change my life in this period, called “It Starts With An Egg” by Rebecca Fett. The book looks at how improving egg quality can significantly impact various aspects of fertility. It determines some of the key strategies for improving egg quality, and one of them, amongst others, was avoiding toxins in plastics that can harm developing eggs and embryos.
I was bowled over by the research in this book, pointing to the harmful toxins in common household plastics being a risk to human fertility, to developing embryos and foetuses, to babies, infants and children, and to all humans in general. It was mind-blowing!
We all know the well-publicised environmental damage being caused by plastics in our oceans and the need for society to ‘choose to reuse’ single-use plastics for the sake of the health of Mother Earth; but the horrendous impacts that plastics can have on human development is something that is less talked about and less well-known. It really needs to be shouted about!
The main issue with plastics is that the toxins leached from them can be toxic, and these toxins can in some cases be endocrine imitators or interrupters; that is to say, chemicals that can disrupt our bodies endocrine system, the system that produces, stores and secretes hormones. Endocrine disruption by these toxins can lead in some cases to negative impacts on growth & development of foetuses/babies, weakened immune systems, reproductive issues, metabolism issues, and many more impacts besides. Pretty alarming stuff!
Just in the last couple of months a study revealed that for the first time microplastics have been found in the placentas of unborn babies. Quite a shocking revelation. “Due to the crucial role of placenta in supporting the foetus’s development and in acting as an interface with the external environment, the presence of potentially harmful plastic particles is a matter of great concern. Further studies need to be performed to assess if the presence of microplastics may trigger immune responses or may lead to the release of toxic contaminants, resulting in harm.”
I am not a scientist, but I am a concerned mummy who wants the very best and very healthiest of starts for her child (and any future children), so when I was trying to conceive I started cutting back on everyday plastics, and began finding out more and more about ‘hidden’ plastics and where to avoid plastics during the conception (‘pre’ prenatal) phase, and into prenatal stage and beyond.
When I was pregnant with my son I began searching around the internet for plastic-free baby products, as natural alternatives to plastic baby goods, so that my baby could be introduced to a plastic-free environment from the get-go. I found this so incredibly hard! There was no one place that I could source plastic-free baby goods, and items were really hard to research and source. In many cases, the products just didn’t exist. We are so used to plastic being the ‘king’ of materials (it doesn’t break, it lasts forever, it’s super cheap to produce, it’s lightweight, etc, etc) that most common baby and child goods are made entirely of plastic, or at least contain plastic parts at the very least.
So this is when Plastic Free Baby was born!
Plastic Free Baby is my plastic-free shop and eco blog which I started to help other parents like me, who hope to avoid plastics for themselves and their children. I hope that it is a helpful resource to other eco-minded mums and parents, either those hoping to conceive, or those who are pregnant, those that have newborn babies, or children. In time I hope that this and other similar shops and blogs will put pressure on the industry to develop innovative new non-plastic products for babies. My intention isn’t to worry or scare parents (who, let’s face it, already have their hands pretty well full!!), it is to provide alternatives and information…..
Shop Plastic-Free New Baby Bundles here: https://superlooperlife.com/gift-card/
Read the full blog here: http://www.thatmamaclub.co.uk/sustainability/the-impact-of-plastics-on-fertility-babies-children/