Pregnancy is a time of excitement for many women but also poses some degree of anxiety in terms of health and nutrition. By following general health and dietary guidelines during pregnancy, most women deliver healthy infants with little to no complications. While much has been written about the effects of lead on children, and the need to recall specific toys and associated products, there is little written about the effects of lead in pregnant women. While, in adults, lead is naturally stored in the bone structure, additional lead exposure can lead to abnormal pregnancy complications and fetal risks.
Using Supplements to Alleviate Risk
For women who are pregnant, risks associated with lead exposure are commonly advised to be avoided. However, even with the best of intentions, a woman’s body may work against her during pregnancy. It is with pregnancy that, oftentimes, a woman’s natural storage of lead may become imbalanced, leading to increased bone lead storage which can be toxic. In fact, a woman’s natural physiological change during pregnancy can change natural bone lead storage by as high as 30 percent.
If you are pregnant and concerned about lead exposure during pregnancy, there are some dietary and nutritional habits that should be considered. While you may be diligently avoiding items and physical locations where lead exposure may be a risk, even with these best intentions, your body may continue to naturally store lead in abundance. To offset this natural physiological risk, pregnant women should utilize supplements of iron, calcium, and even vitamin C. This, of course, should be under the care and recommendation of an obstetrician.
The supplements, iron, calcium, and vitamin C are considered protectors of the pregnant body. Calcium, by its almost obvious role, works to balance the lead within the bone structure. By supplementing with iron, your pregnancy is protected from lead by decreasing the amount of lead retained in your tissues. Vitamin C works to promote absorbing acid responses which involve the activity of lead retention.
Even with the best of intentions, pregnant women are at a natural risk for lead toxicity during pregnancy. Without proper management, abnormal lead retention levels can lead to premature birth, fetal development complications, and general malnutrition during the gestational period. To offset this risk, consider using dietary supplements as recommended by your healthcare professional and ask, specifically, about testing for lead concentration levels and the supplements of iron, calcium, and vitamin C in daily healthy doses by supplement and through food intake.