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The COVID-19 pandemic is not a great time to be pregnant, according to my guests, Jeanne Schumacher and Debra Shapiro of The Pregnancy Advantage. It is, on the other hand, a terrific time to prepare to get pregnant.

How does a woman do that, other than paint the nursery, give up booze, and buy a copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting?

By getting healthier, detoxifying her body and environment, and taking other personal actions that contribute to a healthier world for the next generation.

In our conversation, we cover the evidence linking maternal food choices and weight to the baby's health. In addition to the commonly known stuff about the relation of diet to disease, maternal obesity predicts a lower IQ for her infant. How's that for a good reason to get to a healthy weight?

We also talked about the importance of other lifestyle factors, including restorative sleep, stress reduction, exercise, and that illusive social support.

And – and this is what I found most shocking – about the toxic chemicals in our foods, our environment, and other skin care products and cosmetics that can wreak havoc on the mother and the fetus.

We also talked about how one person's actions can help others who are less fortunate. Given that freedom from air and water pollution and access to fresh produce are unfairly distributed by class, what can the privileged do to bring about a healthier world for all?

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.

Links

The Pregnancy Advantage

Environmental Working Group's Healthy Living App

Research article: Understanding Epigenetic Effects of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

Research article: The impact of prepregnancy obesity on children’s cognitive test scores

Research article: Early Life Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Childhood Obesity and Neurodevelopment

Review article: EDC-2: The Endocrine Society’s Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

3-minute explainer video on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)

Wall Street Journal article about toxins in sunscreen (paywall protected)

Jeanne's favorite Latin music

Hombre G

Carlos Vives

Chico Buarque

Debra's favorite Grateful Dead song: Crazy Fingers

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Music

The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

Gratitudes

Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Anthony Dissen – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Christine Nielsen – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Wayne Pedersen – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – RuthAnn Funderburk – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Martha Bergner – Susan Ahmad – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Kelly Michiya – DeAnne Norton – Bonnie Lynch of Plant Happy Oregon – Sabine Kurtzhals – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Tanya Lewis – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Valerie Pelletier – Peter W Evans – Colleen Harrison – Justine Divett – Joshua Sommermeyer – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Valarie Hummel – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Günter Schmid – Marjorie Lewis – Kelly Moulden – Tricia Adams – Ian Cramer – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Rachelle Kennedy – Diana Goldman – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – Hollie Butler – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Olga Szydarowska – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – for your generous support of the podcast.

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