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  • Eating rice raises risk of arsenic exposure

    Sometimes it just feels like we should give up eating, particularly if "we" are "pregnant women." A new study links rice consumption with higher levels of arsenic in the bloodstream, which can increase the risks of infant mortality and low birth weight. Most arsenic exposure comes from water, and the study found that 10 percent […]

  • High BPA levels in pregnant moms may change their daughters’ behavior

    It's not just hippie paranoia that should keep pregnant women from eating too much BPA-laced canned food. A new study found that 3-year-old girls were more likely to show symptoms of depression and anxiety if their mothers had tested higher for BPA levels during pregnancy. (There didn’t seem to be a correlation for boys.) The […]

  • Ask Umbra on birth control, single-serve coffee, and sanitizing countertops

    Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, In light of Lisa Hymas’ current series on GINKing, can you fill us in on the most eco-friendly forms of birth control currently available? Keeping It Kid FreeSeattle A. Dearest Kid Free, Indeed the “green inclinations, no kids” (GINK) posts have caused quite the stir. I’ve only […]

  • Fish for Thought

    Editor’s Note: Anna wrote this post (and several others) before leaving on maternity leave. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl in December. To eat fish, or not? If you’re pregnant, nursing, or even thinking about becoming pregnant, it’s a Catch-22. Seafood is the best possible source of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA, […]

  • Chemical Soup for the Soul

    Editor’s Note: Anna finished this post (and a few more) before she went on maternity leave. She gave birth to a healthy girl, Audrey, on December 13. My husband Gus and I have been lucky. I’m 36—and therefore considered an “elderly primigravida” on my charts at my doctor’s office (that’s “pregnant old-timer and first-timer” in […]

  • Let it snow … baby clothes

    Editor’s Note: Anna finished this post (and a few more) before she went on maternity leave. She gave birth to a healthy girl, Audrey, on December 13. One year ago, just before Christmas, it snowed in Seattle. Not our usual short-lived dusting, but a real dump that lasted a few solid days and, because we’re […]

  • Sugar and Spice and…Lead and Mercury

    Sandra Steingraber is my hero. Her book, Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood, chronicles her own pregnancy from both a scientific and personal perspective. It’s beautifully and lovingly written—yet for a pregnant woman it’s also a tough read. Trained as a biologist, Steingraber meticulously documents the toxic hazards we live with every day, and […]

  • A womb of one’s own

    Photo: Mahalie via Flickr So, why is my response ire and not panic? I guess I’m over the panic. During my pregnancy, I’ve been reading a lot about the toxics in my body and their potential effects on the fetus (and I’ll be writing a lot more about this stuff in this blog series). I […]