Pregnant women with higher levels of BPA more likely to deliver early, according to a new study.
pregnant holding water bottle
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Both of my kids were born early and I drank a TON of bottled water while I was pregnant. Could there be a link between the two?

According to a new study, there just might be.

Researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) investigated the role of BPA blood levels on the risk of preterm birth, and found that pregnant women with higher concentrations of the commonly used chemical—which is found in water bottles and other plastic products—are more likely to deliver their babies early.


"Women are continuously exposed to BPA because it's used in the construction and coatings of food containers and its release into food is increased by microwave or other heat sources," said Ramkumar Menon, assistant professor at UTMB. "In fact, BPA is so widely used that nearly all women have some level of exposure."

In fact, Manon added, widespread use of BPA materials in our everyday lives and the finding that most women had some level of exposure pretty much means contact with these materials is unavoidable. "This suggests that a better understanding of how BPA may alter maternal physiology is needed to minimize the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes," he explained.

To err of the side of caution, check out the following tips to avoiding BPA from Co.Exist:

  • Drink tap water or rely on BPA-free stainless steel water bottles instead of drinking bottled water.
  • Refrain from eating microwavable meals that come out of plastic containers.
  • Steer clear of using plastic utensils.
  • Replace canned foods with non-canned variations unless cans denote that they have a BPA-free lining.
  • Use glass containers and BPA-free plastic lids instead of plastic storage containers for leftover food.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and a mom. Check out her website for more, and follow her on Twitter at @holleewoodworld.