In more "file this under things not use during pregnancy" news, a recent University of Florida study has found that a chemical -- triclosan -- that is found in many, many products may hinder an enzyme that metabolizes estrogen. Not having a science background, that doesn't mean much to me, so following is a clearer explanation of what the enzyme does:
In pregnancy, this enzyme, called estrogen sulfotransferase, helps metabolize estrogen and move it through the placenta into the developing fetus. There, the estrogen plays a crucial role in brain development and the regulation of genes. (Source)
The chemical that is the center of the research, called triclosan, is found in antibacterial soaps and lotions, toothpaste and even socks(!). Basically, it's in products that you use on an everyday basis. If it does indeed affect the enzyme that metabolizes estrogen, it's very concerning:
Estrogen is also involved in signaling the uterus to contract during labor. But maintaining the right levels of the hormone during pregnancy is a delicate balance, Wood says. Too much estrogen could send the mother’s body into premature labor. Too little could hinder the flow of oxygen. Both instances could affect how the baby’s brain develops.
A few weeks ago, I posted about a Senate Panel's investigation into chemicals and pregnancy. It seems that everywhere we turn, there is information about a chemical or product that is dangerous to an expectant mom or her developing baby. It's a little overwhelming and frightening, to say the least. If you're pregnant, how do you handle new research or information that shows certain products or chemicals affect your growing baby? Does it alter what you do or what products you use?