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Letters to the Editor Issue 43

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 43 - August 1999

Preconception Care Seminar

I recently attended a one day seminar in London on Preconception Care, Pregnancy and Weaning for health professionals. I found it a fascinating day and was heartened to find a mixture of orthodox and complementary medicine practitioners amongst the experts addressing the seminar. As a nutritionist and Foresight practitioner I was pleased to hear the scientific evidence backing up the importance of good nutrition pre-conceptually, as well as during pregnancy, lactation and weaning.

I don’t believe there is yet enough awareness amongst prospective parents of the importance of good nutrition pre-conceptually to improve the long term health of their children. It takes approximately 116 days for the sperm to reach maturity and 100 days for the ovum to reach maturity, yet the majority of people wait until they get pregnant before turning their attention to health! These 100 plus days prior to conception are possibly the most crucial for a number of reasons. The healthier the egg and sperm are the more likely it is that conception will be successful (25% of couples have fertility problems and the sperm count of men has dropped by 50% in the last ten years), the pregnancy is more likely to be uncomplicated and the delivery normal. Pre-conceptual Care can help to avoid adverse and heart breaking outcomes such as miscarriage (1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage), still births, abnormalities, peri-natal mortality, as well as major health problems in later life, such as coronary heart disease.

Greater awareness about Preconception care would allow prospective parents to make better choices about how they can manipulate their diet and lifestyle to improve their chances of a healthy pregnancy and the long term health prospects of their children.

Midi Fairgrieve

For information, enclose an sae to Foresight (Association for the Promotion of Pre-Conceptual Care), 28 The Paddock, Godalming, Surrey, Gu7 1XD.

How much Deodorant do you Feed your Baby?

“None”, I hear you all say. I breast feed my baby! We all know that breast feeding gives a baby the best possible start in life with the added benefits of being cheap and convenient. There is nothing more satisfying than snuggling up with your little bundle happily sucking away knowing you are doing the best you can for your baby.

But are we really doing our best? What is on our skin could affect our babies. Have you read the ingredients list on your squirty can or bottle recently?

You’ll find a selection of alcohols, propellants, emulsifiers, fragrances and Aluminium Chlorohydrate. Aluminium Chlorohydrate is the ingredient that is used  to block the pores and stop you sweating. Manufacturers will tell you that it stays on the outside of your body and does no harm. I shall leave you to draw your own conclusions as there has been no research done, as far as I know, into the long term affects of applying Aluminium Chlorohydrate daily to one of the body’s most absorbent places.

Remember the PE changing rooms at school when you couldn’t see across the room through the haze of spray anti-perspirants? Your lungs and throat were being filled with chemicals. Just what damage the emulsifiers, propellants and fragrances will do in the long term we don’t know but it has been accepted for some time that aluminium is a contributing factor in Alzheimer’s Disease. If you spray on an anti-perspirant anywhere near your baby your baby will be breathing in Aluminium Chlorohydrate too. Spray on an anti-perspirant when you have no clothes on and a certain amount is bound to cover the breast and nipple area. Very young babies spend a bit of time rooting around for the nipple before they start to feed. A frightening thought!

Wearing a bra while you spray on your anti-perspirant will help to a certain degree and so could using a roll-on but how many of us have been tickled under the arms by our feeding babies? Their little hands go everywhere as they feed and soon afterwards those same little hands end up in their mouths.
So choose the safest sounding product. Apply it carefully only to the necessary area. If your baby’s hands do come into contact with the area where you have applied your deodorant and you are unsure about the ingredients make sure you wash their hands before they put them in their mouth.

Although there does not appear to have been any research done into the effects of anti-perspirants on breastfed babies, swallowing a cocktail of chemicals from the minute you were born doesn’t really sound like the best start to life. Anti-perspirants have only been on the market since the 1960s. This means that the first batch of babies who have been breastfed by mums using anti-perspirants would only be in their 20s or early 30s. Alzheimer’s Disease is affecting younger people now. It will be very interesting to see if the rate increases and the age decreases as this group of the population gets a bit older. In the meantime think before you squirt.

Angie Marynicz
The Deodorant Stone (UK) Limited
Malmesbury, Wiltshire

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