While it is pretty clear that detoxing during pregnancy is a bad idea, a detox before pregnancy can actually help with the health and conception of a baby. If you’ve got babies on the brain, chances are you’re already taking your own health and well-being seriously. Which is great since there are more toxic substances in our lives than ever before.
Think about it: Pesticides in our foods, environmental pollutants in the air, chemical additives in our beauty and skincare products can cause “hormone disruption” thereby making it difficult to conceive. In fact, there are about 900 hormone disrupting chemicals on the market today in products we use daily. That’s why detoxing—removing harmful substances from the body for optimal physical functioning—might be something to consider before pregnancy. And here are some tips to get you started:
Have a Preconception Medical Check Up
Do this to get a baseline assessment of your health—and to identify any possible obstacles (fibroids, hormone imbalance) you might have to address in order to get pregnant. Expect plenty of standard “no alcohol, no smoking” lifestyle advice (which is actually pretty sensible!) and make sure to run all of your prescription medications past your physician since an incorrect dosage could result in menstrual irregularities in women and lowered sperm count in men.
Move Toward Clean Eating
The fewer processed foods and unnatural additives, the better. After all, a whole foods diet doesn’t tax your body with extreme amounts sugar or other refined ingredients that can contribute to high blood pressure and fatty liver disease. Also, many experts recommend avoiding fish that have high mercury levels which can damage the brain, kidneys and developing fetuses.
As for foods you should consume, Joy McCarthy, a Toronto-based holistic nutritionist and author of Joyous Health recommends plenty of antioxidant rich foods such as brightly colored fruits and vegetables like kale, spinach, arugula, dark berries, apples, beets, carrots and sweet potato. “Good fats are also essential for optimal hormonal harmony,” explains McCarthy. “So be sure to include plenty of avocado, high quality extra virgin olive, oil, flaxseed and chia seed if you’re thinking about getting pregnant.”
The best way to flush out harmful toxins is by treating your body to around 2.5 liters (or approximately 91 ounces) of water per day–though that figure can vary depending on factors like your weight and amount of daily physical activity. But to really get the detoxification process to kick in, McCarthy recommends dry brushing as well. “Your skin is your largest organ of elimination so when it is stimulated by a dry bristle brush this helps the flow of lymph fluid in the body,” she explains. “Sloughing off dead skin cells eases the elimination of toxins through the pores of the skin.”
Interestingly, some experts argue that both parents should detox before pregnancy or trying to conceive, especially as more evidence regarding how cell phone usage might impede male fertility becomes available. Another factor to consider: a father’s optimum health at the time of conception is just as important as a mother’s because a build-up of toxins in his body can be passed on to his children via sperm. No, really.
Given the intense physical changes a woman’s body undergoes through pregnancy, delivery and post partum, getting your body into great shape from the inside out before getting pregnant actually makes a lot of sense. Just make sure to do it in advance–ideally in the six to three months leading up to–conception and not during the early stages of pregnancy, which could harm a fetus through toxin transferal, dehydration and insufficient nutrition. Above all remember: a detox before pregnancy is meant to be gentle and cleansing on a woman’s body, not a shock to the system. So forget about extreme cleanses and deprivation and focus instead on doing what you need to feel healthy, rested and ready.
So my husband and I are going to start TTC in June or July. I have RA and have to detox my body before TTC we are so excited but I am wondering if I could do a VBAC after having to previous c sections? Would it be safe with me having RA?
So I am SUPER EXCITED to start TTC IN JUNE! I want to keep my husband super excited as well, which he is but it’s like the excitement and anticipation may be wearing off bc we HAVE to wait until my 3rd cycle is over in June to start trying as I have RA and I am detoxing my body of high doses of MTX! How do you ladies keep your husbands excited about starting to try and conceive?