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Bottoms Up Big Bellies!, the FDA, BPA and other Scary-isms

Talk about trick or treat.

This week a study came out revealing that when the FDA, the biggest drug pushers in the government, tried to tell us a few months ago, that BPA is not harmful to our babies and that all those chemicals in the plastic of our bottles and food storage items won’t hurt our little ones at all–had ignored, as it turns out, some pretty blaring evidence. Trick!

Then today a study comes out from across the pond stating that drinking one or two glasses of alcohol per week by pregnant mothers does not increase the risk of behavioural difficulties or cognitive defects. Treat?? Well…I don’t think so.

First, on the study from University College in London which says “light drinking”– one or two glasses of alcohol per week–doesn’t have negative effects on the child. I mean it’s all pretty vague. Is that two glasses of Patron or two glasses of red wine? Is that two shot glasses or two 8 oz highballs or 16 oz mugs? Hey, I’ve got a serious alcoholic uncle who swears he only drinks two glasses a day. One man’s “light” is another man’s heavy. Besides, I think there’s a scary push to make pregnancy less of a life changing event and more of a “business as usual” 40-week project.

People don’t like change, and the more you tell people that they can have a baby without changing their habits the better…I don’t think I like where this is going. Pregnancy is a life altering event. Period.

Secondly, I lived in London for many years, and if there was ever a country where drinking was the national pastime, it’s England–don’t let those tea and crumpets fool you. They’ll drink to anything! So the whole study is suspect as far as I’m concerned.

Yes, I know our moms drank wine during pregnancy, some smoked during pregnancy and the French are still puffing away…but pregnancy is still risky business and it’s one of those areas of life (and creating life) where I’m just not willing to roll the dice. Sure, I had a sip or two during pregnancy. Hey, it’s stressful. But everybody’s metabolism, body weight and tolerance is different. Such blanket generalizations, as in, you can drink any alcohol on any regular basis just don’t sit well with me.

Not to mention the previous gazillion studies proving just the opposite.
Don’t believe the hype moms-to-be!

Which brings me to the FDA. A few months ago the FDA tried to tell us that we were just hysterical moms with nothing to worry about when it stated that bisphenol A or BPA was actually safe at the levels where it appears in most consumer products. This week, an independent group of scientists said that the FDA’s findings ignored key evidence, like underestimating how much BPA is actually ingested over time due to use of several different types of products. That’s sounds like a biggie error.

Another government agency, the National Toxicology Program, concluded last month there is “some concern” that BPA alters development of the brain, prostate and behavior in children and fetuses.

The bottom line is, as Black mothers we know better than most, not to solely rely on the government to tell us what’s safe. We know how they’ve done our people. Like all mothers, we have to use common sense and reasonable caution when it comes to avoiding risky behaviors, dangerous products and giving our babies the best chance for a healthy life–our infants already have enough stacked against them.

Click here to read more about the new findings regarding the FDA study: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2008-10-28-bpa-fda_N.htm

Click here to read the University College of London study on drinking during pregnancy. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/08010/08103101

In motherhood,
Kimberly

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