The Importance of Purified Water During Pregnancy
We have all seen posters on display, whether at the doctor’s office or in restaurants, that serve as reminders of the many things that pregnant women should avoid. As a result, most people are aware of the fact that pregnant women are advised to refrain from drinking alcohol, using illicit drugs, and consuming excessive caffeine, cigarettes, and marijuana.
Consumption of Microplastics
However, people do not advise against the consumption of plastics or microplastics. You may be asking yourself: “Who consumes plastic!?” But, apparently, we do consume plastic, and more readily than one should like to admit. In a 2022 paper published in Environment International, researchers reported traces of plastic in the blood of 17 of 22 study participants (77%). It’s not surprising to learn that Microplastics, defined by the Smithsonian, as tiny plastic particles, which are pollutants, are found almost everywhere on earth; from the peak of Mount Everest to the Mariana Trench and even in baby fecal, we find plastic.
Microplastics in the Placenta
What is alarming is that microplastics have been found to cross the primary interface between mother and child, in utero; while the placenta provides nutrients and oxygen to a growing fetus via the umbilical cord and by diffusion, it is also where toxins (like microplastics) can be absorbed. Thus, the presence of microplastics in the placenta may increase the risk of fetal exposure and potential health hazards. Although health hazards are not well understood, cautious pregnant women should be made aware.
Pregnancies on the Rise?
Now seems to be a fitting time to share the research, as we appear to be experiencing another baby boom. News reports from Washington Post and PBS suggest that COVID-19 created a massive baby boom. If you don’t see pregnant women walking around, you probably hear about them. Does the following scenario sound familiar?
Pregnancy Taboos & in the Workplace
Down the hall from your workspace, you hear a brief interaction between two colleagues: “Wow you’re huge! How many more weeks do you have left? You look so tired and uncomfortable!” Perhaps you cringe at hearing this, or perhaps you can relate. There are so many faux pas or “rules” when it comes to pregnancy and the workplace. Beyond what not to say, there are lists of things to avoid altogether.
Pregnancy Considerations in the Workplace
While coworkers and managers should be mindful of some of these avoidances, here are 3 easy things that managers and coworkers can do, proactively, for their pregnant colleagues. All three examples are simple, and involve the use of pure water that won’t put women at risk of microplastic toxicity.
- Offer her purified water.
Your pregnant colleague or employee will be happy to learn that purified water is free from microplastic toxins. According to Popular Science, a study published in Science of The Total Environment showed that varied water filters can remove nano plastics by about 88.1 percent. The removal efficiency can increase to 99.4 percent if a coagulation process is also used.
- Hand-deliver her a glass of water.
Believe it or not, there are right and wrong ways of helping pregnant women! It is important to understand that pregnant women, like all women (or human beings, in general), want to be heard. According to Harvard Business Review, some women may request special accommodations involving flexible time off for doctor’s appointments or lighter workloads. However, physical lifting can be also burdensome, as well as constant junctions between standing and sitting. Consider offering a hand by refilling a reusable glass of water, and bringing it over to your pregnant colleague.
- Socialize with the pregnant lady.
Just because she may be a little more sensitive, or just a tad bit irritable doesn’t mean you should avoid conversing altogether. In fact, several studies have shown that pregnant employees experience improved mental health when they receive social support before giving birth. Pay a compliment (if sincere), or just ask her: “How are you doing?” In addition, you might offer your pregnant employees and/or colleagues incentives to mix and mingle at the water cooler…it may be more beneficial than you may think. Read here for more information on the benefits of water cooler conversations.
Purified Water is a Gift to the Next Generation
If your workplace has yet to offer filtered water to employees, it may be time to look into alternative options as a way of paying it forward to the next generation (now in utero). You may be surprised to learn how water purification systems have become Optimized, to make hydration more convenient, more affordable, and healthier, by watching this video (which compares purified water systems to ordinary water coolers). Consider taking a break and sharing the video with your pregnant colleague, and be sure to pass her some fresh water. Clearly. Pure. Water.