Detoxifying the body of heavy metals and toxins for pre-conception planning

For women planning to have children, preparing your body could be one of the most important and fulfilling experiences you can have for yourself and your child. Giving conscious attention and intention to the health of your body in advance of creating a new life is indeed a gift to the future, one for which we all should give thanks.

It is highly beneficial to detoxify the body of heavy metals and environmental toxins before pregnancy as toxins can be damaging to the fetus and can cause birth defects, infertility, and miscarriages. However, it is very important to NEVER detoxify the body during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.  Detoxification should only be undertaken before a woman conceives.


Children (and fetuses) are particularly vulnerable to toxins. As their biological systems are still developing (especially in the womb and as newborns) they do not have all of the necessary capability to detoxify. Further, proportional to body weight, children eat, breathe, and drink more than adults, and thus take in far higher concentrations of the toxins in our environment and are more susceptible to damage.


There are significant benefits to breastfeeding.  Our intention is not to add to the fear around toxins in breast milk – there is enough out there already.  However, the reality is true – we live in a toxic world and those toxins are stored in our bodies – and get into the breast milk.  Because of this, people typically assume that cow milk-based formula is a better option.  However, keep in mind, cows are no less exposed to these environmental toxins and in my opinion probably have the same level, if not more, toxins.  Therefore, breast milk is always the best option over formula when possible.  For those that have the ability, detoxifying the body before pregnancy and breastfeeding is a rewarding step to take. 

If you haven’t detoxified before getting pregnant – not to worry - breast milk is still the healthiest food for your baby. 

Also, remember to never detoxify while nursing.  Detoxification could dump those stored toxins directly into the blood stream and in contact with breast milk.

Avoiding current toxin exposure

If you’re already pregnant, nursing, or unable to detoxify for any reason, you can still have a significant impact by avoiding current exposure to toxins.

Here are a few ways to avoid exposure to toxins:

  • Use only humane and environmentally safe household cleaning products.
  • Do not use perfumes or products with synthetic fragrances.
  • Avoid all foods with preservatives and artificial ingredients.
  • Beware of vaccinations – most contain mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde.
  • Do not have mercury fillings removed or put in when you are pregnant.
  • Assess your home for lead paint (and remove)
  • Use plastic and Styrofoam sparingly (when it is in contact with your food), if at all.  Never heat or microwave anything in plastic.

Detoxifying your body before you become pregnant is a crucial

Heavy metals such as mercury and lead are known to cause brain damage, especially in small children.  Heavy metals also disrupt important biochemical pathways and can cause imbalances and disorders.  Environmental toxins such as plastics, plasticizers, industrial chemicals (PCBs, dioxin, benzene) are known endocrine disruptors, can cause brain imbalances such as seizures, and can harm the fetus and cause miscarriages.  As endocrine disruptors, they can be a significant cause of infertility.

Cleansing diets are a key piece of detoxification.  Additionally, there are a variety of natural detoxifiers that can compliment the process as well - depending on the individual situation. Far infrared sauna is also a wonderful and pleasant way to aid detoxification.

Healthful Living offers nutrition consultation for detoxification as well as many other ways to avoid toxic exposures and foster a healthy baby.

Learn all the essentials in Julie's Nutrition for Pregnancy class.




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