Detox During Pregnancy: Types, Risks And Safety Concerns

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Detoxification comprises following certain methods and procedures to eliminate toxins from the body. While it is healthy to detox your body occasionally, you may wonder if it is safe to detox during pregnancy.

You should be careful about anything you consume or apply externally during pregnancy, as they may directly or indirectly affect the growing fetus. Since detox techniques generally involve over-the-counter (OTC) products, they may or may not be safe for pregnant women.

Keep reading this post to learn more about whether it is safe to undergo a detox when pregnant, the types of detox programs, the risks associated with it, and how to do a detox safely.

Detox While Pregnant – A Brief

A detox refers to a diet that uses different nutritional guidelines and herbal supplements to remove toxins from the organs and tissues (1). Eliminating toxins from your body may seem like a good idea, but in reality it is not. During pregnancy, a woman needs to focus on making a new life, not on splitting the energy between a detox and creating a new life. Continue reading to know more about detox during pregnancy.

Types Of Detox Programs:

There is a wide variety of detox programs. The common ones include (2):

1. Dietary Detox:

Dietary detox involves eating certain foods and juice for a particular set period.

2. Supplements:

Detox based on supplements requires taking laxatives to stimulate bowel movements and diuretics to encourage urination.

3. Detox Treatments:

Treatments like spa skin wraps and colon irrigation address a specific organ for removing toxins from the body.

Risks Associated With Detox During Pregnancy:

1. Use Of Herbs:

Some detox and cleanse programs include herbs and herbal supplements as part of their diet. Herbs and chemicals may not be safe for your developing fetus. Also, herbs like cilantro and parsley increase the risk of miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy. Hence, before using any herb, make sure you seek your doctor’s advice. Detox while pregnant may not be safe after all (3).

2. Dehydration:

Colon irrigation increases the amount of sweating, urination, and bowel movement. It may be fine under normal circumstances, but not during pregnancy. These things, combined with an increased need for fluids, could lead to dehydration. Dehydration can put you and your child in a dangerous position. It can also cause electrolyte imbalances.

3. Increases The Levels Of Vitamin C In The Body:

Some detox requires taking high amounts of vitamin C, which can halt the body from making progesterone, a vital hormone for pregnant women (4).

4. Efficacy:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proven that detoxes may not always be effective. In addition to being potentially dangerous, detoxes are unlikely to remove toxins any better than the body’s excretory system (1).

5. Lack Of Nutrition:

Dietary detoxes involve eating healthy fruits and vegetables, so you may think that it is safe. However, when you remove one or more food groups from your diet, both you and your child are at risk of missing essential nutrients from that specific food group. Hence, a detox meal plan is a strict no at this time.

How To Do A Detox Safely?

Even though a full-blown detox diet is not ideal when you are expecting, you can change your eating habits for the better without putting your baby or yourself at risk. Just a few lifestyle changes, a healthy diet and plenty of exercise can help you remove toxins in a safe and effective way. Some safe ways to do detox include (5):

  • Drink eight glasses of water every day to flush out the toxins from the body through urine, feces, and sweat. Follow a high fiber diet to keep your colon clean. Make sure that you exercise 30 minutes a day to circulate oxygen and nutrients through your body. Eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, fat-free dairy, whole grain and healthy fats. Try to purchase organic foods.
  • The best time to do a detox is one year before pregnancy. This way, you will have ample time to rebuild yourself with a nutrient dense diet. You can also consider doing a detox after breastfeeding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I detox during ovulation?

Unless directed otherwise by your doctor, you can safely detox under expert guidance during ovulation. Detoxification can help remove harmful chemicals from your body that could affect your overall health and fertility over time.

Does detox effect early pregnancy?

Detoxification involves using herbs and supplements that can raise several risks for your and your baby’s health. It is particularly crucial during the early pregnancy when the baby’s major organs develop. Thus, experts generally are against detox during pregnancy.

Remember, this is a special time for you. As for now, just enjoy the process of giving birth to another life.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Dr. Karla S. Sanchez-Banos

(MD)
Dr. Karla S. Sanchez-Banos is a board-licensed Ob/Gyn in Mexico, specializing in Adolescent Gynecology. She is also trained in Gynecological Endocrinology, granted by AMEGIN (Gynecological Endocrinology Mexican Association). Her decade-old experience includes scientific research in teen pregnancy and the use of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods in the adolescent age group.  Dr. Karla currently works in two private medical centers in... more

Ria Saha

Ria is a techie-turned-writer and writes articles on health, with special emphasis on nutrition. She did her B.Tech from West Bengal University of Technology and was previously associated with IBM as SAP ABAP technical consultant. She moved into freelance content writing in 2013 and worked for various websites including MomJunction, Brainpulse Technologies, and Emarketz India.

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