Put our newborns in a non-toxic "bubble"

As a major health issue, food safety followed closely, and in some Chinese polls, it ranked first. How can it not be like this? It seems that every few weeks we will see new scandals, or worse - see the old scandal happen again. It may be another “ditch oil” remediation activity; “explosion watermelon”; once again found illegal “clenbuterol” in pork; one after the other. Just like Adidas' slogan, there is "nothing impossible" in China. If I am not extremely disgusted with the creators of these wicked, I really want to admire their creativity and originality.AlexPassport

Everyone warned me that being a father would permanently destroy my eight-hour sleep habits. They are right. Recently, I first tasted the feeling of being insomnia. As the father of the world's cutest newborn (that is certain), living in China, like all parents in the world, is now driven by natural instinct: to protect the family and keep them away from the toxic environment. China has too many environmental problems, but which one is the most important thing to protect my little baby? Air pollution has always been the most concerned issue in my health blog, and in the last article written to the New York Times Chinese website, I talked about the harm of air pollution to children's health and how to deal with it.
Based on this grim fact of the environment we face, what should parents of newborns focus on? I want to use this command to simplify this daunting task: to control the family's exposure to all environmental toxins. This includes everything: the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the noise and light pollution that have a major impact on the immune system and mental health. Arm yourself! Don't think that everything you eat or drink is healthy; learn as much information as possible about the source of the diet. This advice is by no means aimed at China, but compared to the more casual choices of San Francisco, this daily dilemma is obviously even worse. As far as I am concerned, the typical California-style food dilemma is: slipping to the Saturday market, and then decide whether to buy a regular tomato or a luxury, buy a colourful tomato. Doing this kind of decision will not make you feel anxious. In contrast, when you reach our local market in Beijing, you can't help but think how the piles of carrots grow as thick as the wrists, how the orange skin will shine. And what is the reason for this?

At least, it's much easier to prepare meals for newborns: Are you drinking milk or drinking milk today? This is an easy choice because there are only two options: breastmilk or formula. The healthiest milk, of course, is always breast milk. In addition to all health benefits derived from mom's antibodies, DHA and other nutrients, breast milk also gives mom complete control over the child's exposure to toxins. But like many workplace parents, we decided to use the baby formula to feed our baby, and as such, we faced another major choice: which brand and which type of formula is best for our baby? This should be easier, but here in China, and all parents are faced with two other very stressful questions: Which formula does not cause kidney failure in our baby? Which store deserves our trust? This terrible state of affairs broke out in 2008, the notorious melamine scandal. This harmful protein substitute has been found in many locally produced infant formulas, resulting in kidney problems in nearly 300,000 Chinese newborns and six deaths.

In the six years I have lived in China, the melamine scandal is by far the most public health scandal. I fully understand why many parents in China – including myself – now only use imported formula to feed their little ones. I will never use infant formula made locally in China, which is equivalent to taking the health risks of my only child; even with more public relations or advertising, I will not let my son become an experimental product. Sorry, but this is the serious fact of the dairy industry. The reason why there are crazy reports about Chinese mainlanders flying to Hong Kong to hoard imported formula milk is here, and this has finally forced the Hong Kong government to introduce a purchase restriction policy. During the Christmas period, I went to Hong Kong and was surprised to find that there were piles of infant formula in almost every corner of the store. The appetite that China could not satisfy has reached Europe; suddenly, the Dutch mother found that they could not find the formula they often bought on the shelves - these milk powders were snapped up and shipped to China to feed all the new born Dragon Year babies. .

Based on this imported organic formula imported directly from Europe, we have complete control over its exposure to toxins, at least in the most critical first four months – provided that supply from Europe is not interrupted by out of stock . Then, we are faced with another question: What water is used to prepare the formula? We follow the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics – using distilled water, bottled water or boiling water. If in San Francisco, I might only consider installing a tap water filter, but in Beijing, we have to use the safest way. As a new dad, I checked a lot of tap water filters online, especially reverse osmosis filters that filter out all minerals and bacteria. But we finally decided to use the method used by many friends: using Watsons distilled water. Then, you have to make sure that the Watsons you bought are not fakes, which is obviously not a small problem. My wife and I finally decided to buy Watson's bottled water at Jenny Lou’s, which has a good local reputation. Can this ensure that you are buying fakes? No, of course not, but on this issue, we think this is an acceptable risk.

The next newborn parent problem is a bit difficult: should we choose a plastic bottle, a glass bottle or a stainless steel bottle for him? Many readers may think that we are too worried about being a father and mother. In some ways, they are right (I have started sending photos of the child's stool and rash to the pediatrician). But in terms of plastics, especially plastics used by babies, I think this kind of worry is entirely reasonable. This is back to my main precept, which controls the family's exposure to toxins – and this obviously includes all the plastics. I have discussed this issue many times in my blog, along with a lot of Chinese news reports on plastic safety, from cheap restaurant takeaway boxes to advanced "endocrine disruptors" such as children's drinking cups, plastic bottles and plastics. Bisphenol A (BPA) contained in the plate. A series of columns published by the New York Times reporter Nicholas D. Kristof have issued an alert on plastics, with a focus on a position paper issued by the Endocrine Society in 2009. The document reviews the literature on “endocrine-disrupting chemicals”, including plastics and other chemicals. Here's a key point in the key points:

There is strong evidence that exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals can have adverse reproductive consequences (infertility, cancer, deformity), and there is growing evidence that this can also include thyroid, neuroendocrine, obesity, and metabolism, and Other endocrine systems, such as insulin and blood glucose homeostasis, have an effect.

In other words, plastics may be one of the leading causes of obesity, diabetes, infertility, and some cancers. This ongoing research has prompted me to pay close attention to the surrounding environment, and our family has changed many of our daily habits. With the arrival of a new baby, it is easy and logical for us to completely abandon the plastic and switch to a glass bottle. Many countries have eliminated plastic bottles containing bisphenol A. Since you can use glass or stainless steel, why bother to use plastic bottles?

I think we have completely eliminated the risk of food during the first few months of his life. We believe that we have eliminated most of the basic risks: no other items have touched his skin except natural cotton and fragrance-free body lotion; he breathes non-toxic air purified by imported air purifiers while purifying The device also produced some white noise that was relaxing; no one touched him before using soap or Purell hand sanitizer.

Many pediatricians, including my son's doctors, believe that excessive protection of children and attempts to keep them away from all bacteria and toxins can be harmful in the long run. And there is some evidence that the newborn's environment should not be kept too clean: otherwise they will not be exposed to the bacteria in the usual environment and thus will not be able to activate their immune system, and more allergies may occur later. Diseases such as eczema, allergies and asthma. Even raising dogs in the early days seems to have more advantages than disadvantages. This theory is called "hygiene hypothesis." But I think this topic is more relevant in terms of bacteria and viruses; I am now more concerned about circumventing harmful chemicals. I am not very worried about his first cold, this is inevitable, and it is not a big deal; I am worried about long-term damage caused by food pesticide residues, heavy metals, hormones and chemicals. Both physical and mental.

So until now, our two first-time parents like to put him in a non-toxic "bubble", let him go as far as possible into this huge and terrible world that must enter.


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