Mamas on Bedrest: The Truth About Chemical Ingredients During Pregnancy

April 13th, 2012

I love it when other bloggers create well written blogs about really pertinent information. So it is with The Truth about Chemical Ingredients During Pregnancy. Aremisa May-Hailey, a doula, peer breastfeeding counselor and herbalist. In her post on, Aremisa gives great information about the effects certain chemicals found in cosmetics can have on your unborn baby. Citing information regarding Kourteny Kardashian having her hair dyed while pregnant, Aremisa provides the following information about potentially harmful chemicals for unborn babies.


Parabens which are commonly used as a preservative in skin care products, have been linked to having adverse affects on the reproductive systems of baby boys. Although this research is fairly new, parabens should be avoided.


Phythalates, also listed as DBP (diputyl phathalates), is an ingredient used in nail polish. Absorption in the mother’s blood stream has been linked to genital changes in baby boys.


Toulenes is another ingredient used in nail polish. The constant inhalation of these fumes is believed to cause developmental damage to the fetus.


In 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 33 popular brands of lipstick. Out of those tested, 61% of them contained unsafe levels of lead. The issue here is that lead exposure can crosses the placenta very easily and can interfere with fetal development.


Retonoids is a form of Vitamin A commonly used in acne treatments and wrinkle creams. High doses of Vitamin A are known to be harmful to the fetus.

Hair Dyes

The Organization for Teratology Information Specialist (OTIS) reports that low levels of hair dye can be absorbed through the skin after application. It is also known that the dye is excreted through the urine. Therefore, there is no significant danger that has been proven as of yet.

Aremisa’s post contained many of the same chemicals we mentioned in our post where we relayed the recommendations and warnings from the American Academy of Pediatrics on chemicals and their effects of pregnant women, unborn babies, infants and children. Many chemicals, though not ingested orally are in fact absorbed through the skin, our largest organ. Once in a mama’s system, the chemicals have access to the unborn baby via the placenta. While the placenta acts as a filter for many substances such as nutrients, blood, oxygen and fluids, many other particles (chemicals) are able to penetrate the protective barrier. For some chemicals, such as those found in cosmetics and personal products, the amount of the chemicals in the products may be small, but because the products are used repeatedly (sometimes 2 and 3 times daily) the effective exposure can become significant. So as Aremisa, the American Academy of pediatrics and others have pointed out, mamas need to be aware of the ingredients in their personal products,  avoid those products that have the harmful chemicals listed and use care when using products so as not to produce a cumulative effect.

For more information on pregnancy and chemicals visit and or

Aremisa May-Hailey, Dallas Pregnancy Health Examiner

Aremisa May-Hailey is a full circle doula (ICTC), breastfeeding peer counselor, and acting state rep for International Center for Traditional Childbearing. She also owns and operates Indigenous Doula Services as well as Indigenous Remedies, which is a resource for herbal and holistic sciences….

One response to “Mamas on Bedrest: The Truth About Chemical Ingredients During Pregnancy”

  1. Darline says:
    Submitted on 2012/04/20 at 11:27am

    Check out this great and FREE service I found for expecting or nursing mothers!
    The Texas Pregnancy Riskline Information Service will counsel and give you potential risks if your baby has had any toxic exposures! Check out their website:
    or call 1.800.733.4727

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