Yard work is great exercise for moms-to-be, but don’t drink from the hose! Researchers screened 179 gardening products, including tools, gloves, kneeling pads and hoses, for such toxins as lead, phthalates, chlorine, cadmium, flame retardants and Bisphenol A (BPA), all of which can harm the fetus. Two-thirds of the products had levels of “high concern,” and all the hoses tested high for lead and phthalates, a plasticizer linked to hormone disruption and birth defects in boys. While the Safe Drinking Water Act regulates residential water fixtures, the unregulated garden hoses may leach chemicals.

Description: Buy a lead-free or natural rubber garden hose.

Buy a lead-free or natural rubber garden hose.

Modern labor runs longer

Giving birth today may mean spending more time in labor than women did 50 years ago. A study found that childbirth now takes 2.6 hours longer for first­ time moms than it did in the 1960s. This could be due to increased age—moms now average four years older—and higher body mass index, which now aver­ages 24.9, up from 23 (25 is considered overweight). Older and heavier women tend to have longer labors.

But the researchers suspect that the more likely cause is changes in delivery room practices and labor management.

Plan ahead, nurse happier

Description:  plans from an industry leader who can deliver peace of mind

plans from an industry leader who can deliver peace of mind

If a woman’s pregnancy was planned, she’s more likely to breast­feed exclusively for six months, as recom­mended by health experts, according to Brazilian researchers. In contrast, moms whose pregnancies were unexpected are times more likely to feed the infant some­thing other than breast milk by 12 weeks. Women in low-income Sao Paulo neighbor­hoods with unplanned pregnancies reported more emotional and physical discomfort with breastfeeding, while mothers who had planned the preg­nancy were more likely to take pleasure in the nursing process.

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