The Dangers of Drinking Contaminated Water During Pregnancy
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Pregnancy is like “a dream come true” for many women. It is a period of immense joy and excitement. The feeling of new life growing inside you is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. It’s magical.
But during this time, you must pay keen attention to your health and try to stay away from anything that could harm you and the baby (or babies if you have more than one on the way). Most medical professionals suggest that you should avoid getting injured and stick to healthy foods. However, they sometimes forget to mention one important thing: staying aware of the quality of your drinking water, knowing that you’re drinking for two or more.
You’ve probably heard about the water contamination problems that have plagued and are plaguing some cities. The main concern here, however, is that polluted water is unsafe for people in general, but it’s especially toxic for pregnant women and young children. For this reason, many cities are issuing warnings to moms-to-be and parents of young kids to avoid contaminated tap water at all costs.
During pregnancy, it is more important than ever to stay hydrated with clean drinking water. After all, water absorbs and delivers essential nutrients and transports vitamins, minerals, and hormones to the blood cells. These nutrient-rich blood cells then nourish the placenta to help meet the developmental needs of your growing little soul – all with the help of clean H2O. While water offers certain health benefits, drinking contaminated water during pregnancy can cancel out those benefits and can even pose severe risks to you and your unborn child.
In this article, we’ll go over seven water contaminants to watch for during pregnancy and the complications they can inflict on you and your baby.
7 Dangerous Water Contaminants to Watch for During Pregnancy
Most homes in America get their water from municipal sources. If you also use city water, chances are you are confident that your tap water is safe to drink. Well, the reality is that, as crystal clear as the water looks as it pours from your tap, there’s a good chance that it contains specific contaminants that you cannot see.
A few of these contaminants include:
Lead is a potent neurotoxin that is especially harmful to pregnant women and young children. This metal usually enters drinking water as the water passes through old corroded lead pipes, plumbing pipes, and household fixtures. Fetuses, infants, and young children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead. Even at low levels of exposure, this harmful metal can cause damage to the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system in children. It can also pass quickly from a mother to her unborn or breastfed baby. Should this occur, the mother will be at risk of having a miscarriage, reduced growth of the fetus, or having a premature birth. Lead can also cause damage to the baby’s brain, nervous system, and kidneys.
Arsenic is a naturally-occurring mineral often found in rocks and soil. This contaminant can enter your home’s water supply from natural deposits in the earth’s crust, or through industrial pollution. High levels of arsenic in private wells may come from agricultural pollution. Pregnant women who consume excessive amounts of arsenic are at risk of miscarriage, congenital disabilities, and preterm birth.
Organic chemicals such as glyphosate and atrazine may enter the water from agricultural pesticides and runoff from crop production. Studies show that water that contains atrazine, glyphosate, or other similar chemical increases the risk of reduced fetal growth.
4. Bacteria and other microorganisms
E. coli bacteria, Giardia, noroviruses, and other pathogens can potentially infiltrate an entire city’s water supply or even your private well through sewage or animal waste contamination. Once exposed, the pathogens can suppress the immune systems of pregnant women, causing them to experience severe gastrointestinal illnesses.
5. Nitrates and nitrites
Nitrates and nitrites often end up in water through human sewage runoff, livestock manure, and fertilizers. Evidence link high levels of nitrates with thyroid dysfunction in pregnant women. However, experts need more research to make a definite link. Thyroid problems in pregnant women can lead to complications such as reduced IQ scores and other neurodevelopmental issues in their kids later on in life.
6. Disinfection byproducts
When chemical disinfectants react with the naturally-occurring matter in water, it can lead to the formation of chloroform. Some studies show that the disinfection byproducts in water can result in an increased risk of congenital disabilities, particularly cleft palates and neural tube defects. However, most experts believe that there’s not enough evidence to be conclusive.
7. Industrial chemicals
Industrial chemicals can enter water supplies from factories and manufacturing runoff. These chemicals can result in a slight increase in miscarriage and other pregnancy complications.
Don’t fret. Do a water test.
Now, before you start panicking, we advise that you test your water for contamination ASAP. Most water quality tests can give you a clear insight into the quality of your drinking water as well as the specific contaminants that are potentially present.
Here are three common ways to determine the quality of your drinking water:
- Purchase an affordable home water test kit and do it yourself
- Contact your local water provider and ask for the latest water quality report. (Make sure you know how to read a water quality report.)
- Send a water sample from your home to a local laboratory for testing
If your water tests negative for specific contaminants, good for you! However, if the test results give you a scare, don’t worry. Just continue reading.
My water test results are poor. How do I keep myself and my little angel(s) safe?
Pollutants can enter your drinking water in many different ways. Therefore, you must take proper measures to protect yourself and your family from any possible harm.
Purchasing a premium whole house water filtration system is the best way to safeguard your household from the toxic effects of water contamination. Springwell Water Systems manufactures some of the best whole house water filtration systems on the market. These systems can eliminate poisonous pollutants such as bacteria, chlorine, heavy metals, chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, sulfur, chloramine, haloacetic acids, debris, VOCs, and many more.
Moreover, Springwell’s whole house water filtration systems use the latest technologies to produce the highest level of water filtration and purification. Their systems are also affordable, easy to install, and require little to no maintenance. Besides, the systems are super-compact, so that you can install them almost anywhere in your home.
If you’d like to learn more about our water filtration systems or you need some help selecting your perfect unit, please visit our website at www.springwellwater.com or speak directly to one of our tech-savvy and friendly customer care agents.
Pregnancy can be a beautiful experience for many women. But during this time, you must make sure that your drinking water is clean and healthy. Drinking contaminated water can put you and your unborn child at risk of severe illness and other complications. Thankfully, Springwell Water Systems offer a unique line of quality whole house water filters to eliminate contaminants from tap water and make your home a haven for you and your baby.