Pregnancy Detox: What You Need to Know?
What if I told you that our generation of children have a shorter life expectancy than us? What if I also told you that it was from the amount of toxins that are stored in our bodies that are released during pregnancy and ending up in our vulnerable babies. According to Dr. Aviva Romm, MD, this is the case. Our children are constantly being pumped with medications, antibiotics, vaccinations, refined sugars, processed foods and heavy metals. Unfortunately, this is a harsh reality, however it is a reality that us as mothers can change by creating a stronger nutritional foundation before pregnancy.
So, What Can We Do to Change This?
Well to start off, if women are planning on getting pregnant, there are some guidelines they can follow to create the best nutritional foundation for a growing baby. These guidelines should be followed for a minimum of 6 months- 1 year before getting pregnant. This time frame will depend on the toxic burden the mother has on her body.
Question to consider for toxic burden:
- Previously or Currently Smoke?,
- Use of Recreational or Medical Drugs?,
- Pollution Exposure?,
- Use of Birth Control Pill?,
- Consuming of Processed/ Refined Foods?,
- Negative Emotions? (Trauma, Sadness, Grief, Anger),
Where to Start?
If you are currently pregnant these dietary and lifestyle recommendations can be followed as well. It is unsafe for you and your growing baby to be doing any active detoxification; however, it is safe to reduce/ eliminate any potential toxic burden that could be put on the body during pregnancy. For women who are looking/ considering getting pregnant, it is important to be working with a Natural Healthcare Practitioner for an effective detoxification program. These recommendations below should also be considered and implemented.
What Types of Cosmetics or Self-care Products Do You Use on a Daily Basis?
Think of how many different types of products women use regularly. We wake up in the morning brush our teeth; shower using soap and shampoo/conditioner, moisturizer and perfume. If make up is used, there are a ton of different concoctions women use for their make-up routine! Don’t forget that extra spritz of perfume you put on before leaving the house.
Here is a list of common self-care products being used by women:
- Makeup: eyeshadow, toner, bronzer, foundation, concealer, mascara
- Body Wash/ Soap
- Haircare products: shampoo, conditioners, hairspray, mousse, dry shampoo
- Tampons/ Pads
- Nail Polish/ Remover
There could be a variety of toxic chemicals inside products you use everyday! You can review your skin care products on EWG.org/skin-deep. This is a great website to see how toxic or safe your self care products are.
Is Your Home Toxin-free?
This may seem like a silly question to consider, especially if you live in a clean home or consider yourself a “clean freak”. However, homes can be filled with toxins. Carpet and home furnishings usually have flame-retardants in them. Every time carpet is walked on or a couch is sat on, it off gasses, these flame retardants and other chemicals into the air. Flame retardants are endocrine disruptors (affects our own hormone production and elimination) and carcinogenic (cancer- causing).
Another place to look at is the types of cleaners being used in the home. Detergents, fabric softeners, air fresheners, bathroom cleaners, oven cleaners, dish soap and window cleaners, all can increase toxin burden due to the amount of toxic chemicals that are being used. Check out EWG.org for safe home cleaning products. Remember the vinegar your grandma used to use clean the house? She was on the right tract!
What Kind of Food Are You Consuming?
If you are not pregnant yet, you should be eating like you are pregnant. This reduces the amount of toxic exposure to the body.
Foods to Avoid:
Eliminate ALL processed foods from the diet. When it comes to processed foods there are a ton of food additives. Health Canada defines food additives as “any chemical substance that is added to food during preparation or storage and either becomes a part of the food or affects its characteristics.” Food additives are used to “enhance its keeping quality, make it attractive or to aid in its processing, packaging or storage” These food additives usually come from 3 different places in the processing preparation:
Chemicals from Processing:
plastics, leached chemicals, metals and cleaning solvents
colours, preservatives, flavouring and sweeteners
Pesticides, herbicides and other environmental toxins
Most of these food additives can affect our endocrine system, brain development (especially for a growing baby), and are carcinogenic.
High mercury fish can be quite dangerous to consume pregnant or not. Mercury is found in all fish, however the larger the fish, the high amount of mercury. Mercury is known to cause neurological effects like poor memory and concentration[i]. Check out HookedInc and NRDC for what fish have the highest amounts of mercury and what fish are safe to consume.
Although coffee can be quite delicious, I strongly suggest avoiding it if getting pregnant is an issue or if you are pregnant. Caffeine can increase the risk of a miscarriage when 250mg+ is consumed.
It is crucial to assess all aspects of your life if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Products that women use in their everyday life may seem to be harmless; unfortunately, they could potentially be increasing the toxic burden on the body, therefore increasing the toxic burden on a baby’s body. Processed foods cause serious detrimental effects to our health and to the health of a growing baby. It is important to be mindful of the foods you are nourishing your body with and the products being used on the skin.
Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ The Knowledgeable Fish Store. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://hookedinc.ca/ NRDC. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nrdc.org/ [i]Murray, M. T., &Pizzorno, J. E. (2014). The encyclopedia of natural medicine. London: Simon & Schuster.