This is a question I get asked over and over by new and expecting mothers who are concerned with high-boosting their mineral reserve, detoxifying for a healthy baby and losing weight and getting in shape after giving birth. They think that if they do a detox while pregnant, they may start to feel better and gain energy during their pregnancy and maybe even increase the chance of having a healthier baby. While breastfeeding, many new mothers feel tired and toxic after having gained weight and given birth and hope that a detox will give them a reboot. This an important issue to discuss especially with all the over-the-counter at-home detox programs that people have access to do on their own with no guidance or support. My answer to this question is unequivocally without exception: NO.
It is not safe to detox while pregnant or breastfeeding under any circumstances in any country at any age for any woman.
When a woman is pregnant, her body needs to focus on doing one thing: making a new life. It does not need the distraction of splitting energy between detox (internal housekeeping) and creating new life. Pregnancy is a time for abundance in healthy, clean, vibrant foods and plenty of relaxation and rest. Most detoxes require cleansing supplements, something that should never be done during pregnancy because #1) some supplements are not safe to take while pregnant and #2) detox supplements split the body’s energy between detox and making baby. Additionally, during the process of detox, toxins are temporarily stirred up into the blood before they are broken down and carried out through the kidneys, colon, lungs and skin. Having toxins in the blood is the last thing a pregnant mother would want or need. Some detoxes include taking high amounts of Vitamin C. Vitamin C, when consumed in high doses, can stop the body from making progesterone, a vital hormone in pregnancy. (This is why doctors advise against eating too much pineapple while pregnant. Pineapple is particularly high in Vitamin C.) Please do not consider doing any type of detox while pregnant.
The same goes for breastfeeding for all the reasons listed above. Furthermore, if a woman does a detox while breastfeeding, she can actually still up toxins (including heavy metals) into her breast milk, and unknowingly feed those toxins directly to her newborn. While breastfeeding, the focus should not be on losing weight.
Eat foods rich in nutrients and high in vegan plant-based protein so your body has the power to make the healthiest milk ever for your baby.
When you are finished breastfeeding, you may consider doing a detox. Actually, the best time to do a detox is one year before you get pregnant. Yes – one year! That way, you have plenty of time to do multiple cleanses including kidney, colon, gallstone/liver and heavy metal detoxification and then have ample time to rebuild with a nutrient dense diet to best prepare your body for a safe, clean and healthy pregnancy. If you are thinking of having another baby, the time to start your detox is after you are finished breastfeeding and before you start trying to get pregnant again. Even if you only have 1-3 months, it’s worth it.
If you’re suffering from constipation during your pregnancy, please do not consider doing an enema. The main reasons why I do not recommend enemas during pregnancy are because #1) you can temporarily stir up toxins into the blood while disrupting the fecal matter before it is released, and #2) the inflow of water into the colon can put pressure on the uterus and fetus.
Rather, I suggest you increase high-fiber foods and reduce wheat and white breads as much as possible to relieve constipation due to pregnancy. Think of wheat as concrete in the colon and avoid it especially if you are feeling backed up. Try adding 2 Tbsp of ground flax seed to every meal (either a smoothie, fruit salad, veggie salad or even mix in with cooked veggies). This will significantly increase your fiber intake and should get things moving. If it is ‘too much’ movement, reduce to 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed at 2 meals daily or even 2 Tbsp. at 1 meal per day (Note that the flax seed must be ground and not whole).
I’ve advised many female clients on preparing their body for pregnancy and also eating the right foods while pregnant and breastfeeding, all with great success. I’ve even seen cases of infertility and IVF with no success until they followed my specialized preparing for pregnancy detox plan. After 3 months, I had one client get pregnant after being on IVF for 8 years. I’ve also helped women to start menstruation again, even after years of not having any cycle. All of these things are possible with the right detox and follow-up diet, but timing is key to make sure it’s safe for baby, mother or mother-to-be.
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