Question: I have some questions about cleansing and detoxing my body. All the cleanses I have heard of say not to use them while pregnant or nursing. My girls are still nursing (at 3 and 2 years old), but both only nurse one to three times a day. I have seen there are cleanses for children. So is it safe for me to detox while they are nursing?
Karen Prior responds: Women are told to avoid detoxification cleanses and fasts during breastfeeding because toxins are stored in the fatty tissues. Unfortunately, when these toxins are released, many will enter the breast milk. The risk is even greater during pregnancy, when the toxins will be passed to the developing fetus. So the risk for the nursing child is not that they will experience a detoxification or cleansing but rather that they will receive a heavy load of toxins through your breast milk.
What you can do while pregnant or nursing is to carefully manage your exposure to environmental toxins, thus limiting additional toxins from building up in both your body and your child’s. Common toxins we are exposed to every day include paint fumes, pesticides, household cleaning products, gasoline and car exhaust. Taking care to eat a healthy diet, including organic foods, can also reduce your exposure to toxins.
Breastfeeding our children helps to boost their immune systems so that they have advantages in living in this toxic world. When you are finished breastfeeding, then it will be the time to think about detoxification and cleansing.
© Karen Prior.
Karen Prior’s impressive breadth of knowledge in the therapeutic uses of yoga, nutrition and prenatal fitness is backed by solid credentials: she is a registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance, a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, a clinical nutritionist and a retired La Leche League leader. Karen runs a Registered Yoga School, where she offers specialized training in prenatal yoga and yoga for children through her programs MamasteYoga and Let'sPlayYoga. Karen lives in Texas with her husband and young daughter.