Commercial detoxes and fad-diet flushes can be dangerous even when you aren’t pregnant. Add a fragile fetus to the mix, and detoxes could mean bad news for your body and your baby. Detoxes often use dangerous stimulants and herbs that are not be safe to use during pregnancy. If you feel like you need to detox while carrying your child, a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and a few lifestyle changes can help you remove toxins from your body in a safe and effective way.
Women are likely to be more vigilant about their health and diet during pregnancy than at other points in their lives. Even though your baby isn’t born yet, you may feel a strong drive to protect and nurture him. Eliminating toxins from your body to safeguard your baby seems like common sense. After all, if toxins like air pollution, fertilizers, water treatment chemicals and pesticides cause harm in adults, they must cause even more harm to a developing fetus.
There are a wide variety of detox programs. Dietary detoxes usually involve eating only certain foods or drinking juices for a set period. Detoxes based on products or supplements usually use laxatives to stimulate bowel movements and diuretics to encourage urination. Treatments like colon irrigation and spa skin wraps address a specific organ as a means of removing toxins from your body. Each type of detox has its own risks..
Dietary detoxes might consist of eating healthy foods, like fruits, and so you might think they’re safe. However, whenever you remove one or more food groups from your diet, you risk missing out on essential nutrients — and so does your baby. The diarrhea, increased sweating and frequent urination that often accompanies detoxes can cause dehydration, which is dangerous to pregnant women. Similarly, colon irrigation increases you risk of dehydration and can cause electrolyte imbalances, according to Mayo Clinic. And the herbs or chemicals used in detox supplements and spa treatments may or may not be safe for your developing fetus.
Detoxes haven’t been proven effective by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which means in addition to being potentially dangers, it’s likely that they don’t remove toxins from your body any better or faster than your body’s own excretory system. You body relies most on your lungs, skin and kidneys to remove toxins. When these organs and the rest of your body systems are well cared for and functioning properly, they remove toxins from your body effectively.
You can embark on a detox project if you’re pregnant by taking good care of yourself, which is something you’re likely already doing. Drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day to help flush toxins out of your body through sweat, urine and feces, according to the Mayo Clinic. Eat a high-fiber diet to sweep your colon clean and move toxins out of your body. Exercise at least 30 minutes per day to circulate oxygen and nutrients though your body and to encourage perspiration. Eat a wide variety of healthy foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, hormone and fat-free dairy, low-fat protein and healthy fats. Choose organic foods when available and affordable.