The Newest Thing For Pregnant Women To Fear: Non-Stick Cookware

frying panKeeping track of what pregnant women can eat, cook with or be near is becoming like a full-time job. We all know the old standbys like sushi, honey and deli meat need to be avoided. But in modern parenting, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things we want pregnant women to be aware of. The newest in the litany of warnings is about non-stick cookware. Specifically, there’s a chemical used to make that pan non-stick that could be affecting your baby’s weight.

According a new study, a group of compounds called PCFs which are found in cookware, packaging products and water-resistant clothing, have a¬†correlation with birth weight and weight gain throughout one’s life. PCFs can be found in most people’s bodies. They are slow to break down and persist for many years in the environment. When the concentration of PCFs in the mother’s blood stream is high, babies tend to have lower birth rates, but higher weights at age 20 months. A related study in Denmark showed that girls exposed to PCFs in the womb were more likely to be overweight at 20 years of age.

The scientists wanted to point out that while they found a connection, even as the study accounted for other factors that influence birth weight such as maternal health and smoking, they have not found a cause-effect link between the chemical compound and weight.

Even without that crucial step though, it’s hard to imagine that non-stick cookware won’t suddenly become just another thing that moms need to avoid. As we always say, “Who wants to take the chance?”

At what point do moms just throw up their hands and ignore every bit of research though? When it comes to diet, moms simply can’t win. Gaining too much is critiqued and ridiculed, yet we’ve also been introduced to the term “Mommyrexia” in recent years. Low-fat yogurt causes asthma, but high-fat diets yield smaller livers. Working too late into pregnancy reduces birth size, but working moms are also healthier. Let’s not even start on the booze back-and-forth.

I know, we’re all just trying to create the healthiest, happiest babies that we can. If it means saying goodbye to sushi, buying a new frying pan, and spending less time at Starbucks than ever before, it doesn’t seem like too high a price to pay. But I think we can all agree that science is moving so fast, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what’s really dangerous.

I’m thinking it’s time a new movie remake: “The Mom In the Plastic Bubble.” Let’s hope it still ends with them riding off into the sunset.

(Photo: Vankad/Shutterstock)

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