Preconception care is extremely important when it comes to the health and development of the foetus. It is often an area that is overlooked and many people are unaware of how important it is to prepare the body before even beginning to attempt to fall pregnant.
Detoxification is one thing that is particularly important when it comes to preconception care. Living in this modern world we are bombarded with chemicals and toxins on a daily basis. They are literally impossible to avoid from EMR from phones, computers and all things technological, to petrol’s and fumes in our environment, to chemicals and pesticides in our food, chemicals in our skin care, make up, cleaning agents and even in our plastic containers, water bottles are receipts.
Now you may wonder what happens to all these chemicals that we inhale, consume and lather onto our skin? Our bodies naturally excrete some but our eliminatory system is not able to keep up with the burden and the majority are stored in our cells. So what does this mean for our babies? Did you know that our babies are born already polluted with a much too high toxic load for their tiny bodies? An American study found that a total of 232 toxic chemicals in umbilical cord blood; another found 287 different industrial chemicals and pollutants—180 of which are known to cause cancer in humans and 217 of which are toxic to the brain and nervous system. There has been a huge increase in many health conditions such as asthma, eczema, autoimmune disease and autism in children and all these have been linked to high toxin exposure.
Not only are these toxins unhealthy for the developing bub but high levels of toxins and heavy metals are one reason many people are having difficulty falling pregnant in the first place.
In my daily life I encourage a detoxifying lifestyle but I also encourage everyone to do a detoxifying program at least once a year to help flush out those unavoidable chemicals present in all of us. These are particularly important for men and women thinking about trying to conceive in the near future.
However, I must stress that if you are currently trying to conceive or thinking about starting in the next couple of months a detoxification program is not appropriate. This is because during detoxification, many toxins are released from the cells and are flowing freely through out the body. This means that they will flow right into the foetus giving them a much larger toxic burden and being counter productive. This is why I encourage people to begin their preconception care are least 6 months prior to actually attempting to conceive. By this time they should have a clean slate.
What can and should be done by those trying to conceive is to live what I call a ‘detoxifying’ or ‘clean’ lifestyle. To be honest this is actually what I encourage for all people all (well at least the majority) of the time.
Living a detoxifying or clean lifestyle:
1. Eat organic where possible. Certain foods are more important than others when it comes to organic. The toxic load from chemicals in our food only takes a few days to leave the body.
2. Use all natural skin care. This includes ANYTHING you are putting on your skin from deodorant, to moisturisers to make up.
3. Drink filtered water.
4. Swap to natural household cleaners.
5. Store food products in glass not plastic containers.
6. Eliminate processed, high sugar, high trans fat and highly refined food from the diet.
7. Be active daily.
8. Get outside and get some fresh air and vitamin D for 20 minutes a day.
9. Incorporate massage or skin brushing into your routine.
10. Be sure to be detoxifying your mind too. Negative thought patterns, stress and emotional issues all contribute to inflammation and need to be worked though constantly.
If you are 6 months away from tying to conceive then I encourage incorporating some more intense detoxifying strategies. These include:
1. Consume foods that aid in detoxification such as cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, bitter vegetables such as rocket and radicchio as well as increasing your fibre intake (fresh fruit and vegetables, linseeds and chia seeds).
2. Use herbal medicine to support your body’s natural detoxification pathways. The main herb used to liver support is St Mary’s thistle. There are many other wonderful liver herbs including dandelion, globe artichoke, turmeric and Schisandra.
3. If you have high heavy metals then doing a chelation program with your practitioner.
These are the major detoxification principles I employ and encourage anyone thinking about having children in the near future to begin now. Our children deserve the best opportunity at life possible and it is your responsibility to give them that chance.
If you have any health conditions please discuss this with your health care practitioner prior to commencing.
Wishing you and your family all the best for this exciting journey xx