Margaret Floyd Barry is the author of the Eat Naked books and a nutritional consultant. She explains that there are two parts to detoxifying: cleaning house at a cellular level and drainage to make sure the toxins have an easy exit. This second part is essential and often forgotten in a person’s enthusiasm to get clean.
“What you don’t want to do is mobilize those cellular toxins without them having an easy exit,” Barry says. If that happens, those mobilized toxins will go straight into your breast milk.
During pregnancy, and for the first three months postpartum, “detoxifying” should be no more than deep breathing, staying hydrated, some gentle skin brushing, possibly massages, and walking as much as possible. It’s also the time for full-fat animal foods. After the first three months, however, a breastfeeding woman can do a bit more to detoxify by focusing on creating those easy exits:
- Ensure you’re well hydrated. Urine is a key eliminative vehicle, and during breastfeeding women lose liquid through their breast milk. If you only do one thing, do this.
- Make sure you’re digesting and eliminating well. Yes, that means pooping at least once daily. Beets help the gallbladder, which plays a key role in elimination. Try pickled beets with your dinner, beet kvass, cooked beets, beet juice, or raw beets with apple cider vinegar. Also good forthe gallbladder is a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar in warm water before meals. If these don’t work, call your natural practitioner for help.
- Keep your skin clear. The skin is a major detoxifying organ, and lots of stuff leaves the body via sweat: try moderate exercise or a hot Epsom salt bath, but take it easy on the saunas and hot tubs, which can get too many toxins moving.
- Keep your lymph moving. This can be done through movement, particularly bouncing movements.
- Breathe deeply. This will help stimulate the detoxification of the lungs. During meditation, yoga, and exercise is a great time to do this.
- Try oil pulling. This refers to an ancient Ayurvedic technique of rinsing your mouth with an edible oil to pull out bacteria and toxins, which you spit into the garbage after.
Alter your diet. Include more nutrient-dense, whole, and organic foods. This will reduce the number of toxins you’re taking in.