In general, the word detoxing can conjure images of restricted diets and intense sauna sessions. Instead, I believe that detoxing for pregnancy focuses on ensuring your mind, body, and home are prepared and open to bringing a new life into the world.
When you’re preparing for pregnancy, it’s important to keep in mind there are not only physical toxins and chemicals to reduce or eliminate, but mental ones as well. Detoxing your physical and mental spaces will support you in your journey to conception.
As you embark on your detoxing journey for pregnancy, I encourage you to keep a holistic view and look at your life as a whole. Please continue to do the same when considering the toxins found in many aspects of our lives, some of which are often overlooked.
Why I believe a pregnancy detox is important
Reducing your exposure to environmental toxins – cleaning products, pesticide-ridden produce, will support your body’s most natural functions such as hormone and thyroid regulation, inflammation, and more.
Here are some terrifying statistics for you from two different Environmental Working Group studies:
- 232 toxic chemicals in umbilical cord blood from minority infants
- 287 different industrial chemicals and pollutants
- Of which, 180 are known to cause cancer in humans
- 217 are toxic to the nervous system and brain
If these statistics aren’t concerning enough to jumpstart lessening your toxic load, consider how much your body is already undergoing in the process of pregnancy. Supporting your body in removing excess toxins can support fertility, conception, and your overall health.
Not to mention, you’ll be supporting your baby’s health before he or she is conceived in a period of time that’s known as trimester zero. You can learn more about that trimester here.
While it’s true that toxic chemicals can be correlated with mental illness, the type of mental toxins I’m referring to include:
- Limiting beliefs you hold about yourself or your body
- Weak boundaries with yourself or others that cause mental distress or anxiety
- Negative or self-sabotaging thought patterns
Addressing the above mental toxins during a pre-pregnancy detox can empower you to approach pregnancy with a more grounded and relaxed approach (although the latter can often feel difficult) – no matter your unique circumstances.
First steps to detoxing for fertility
I intend to give you a starting point for pre-pregnancy detox and highlight the areas in life you can begin to remove and reduce toxins. If you’re looking for an accessible starting point, the below first steps are a great place to begin your pre-pregnancy detox journey.
Address environmental toxins
Note: I’ve included a non-toxic shopping list at the bottom of this post that contains my favorite alternative products for common everyday items.
Due to the dangers associated with products containing these, remove synthetic fragrances wherever possible. This includes candles, toiletries, dryer sheets, air fresheners, laundry detergent, etc.
I highly suggest downloading the Think Dirty app to dig deeper into the chemicals – and their impacts on your body – lurking in your home.
Think about what you’re applying to your body each morning and opt for cleaner versions of your beauty and toiletry products. It’s been said that women unknowingly apply dozens and dozens of chemicals daily before they even walk out the door.
These chemicals can disrupt hormones, trigger inflammation, and be potential carcinogens – to name a few ill-effects.
I suggest the below resources to get a jump-start on your clean beauty:
- What’s Hiding in Your Natural Beauty Products
- Follain: Save on Clean Beauty
- The Best Place to Buy Clean Beauty Products
Opt for organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. If that’s not feasible for you, consider following the Dirty Dozen to guide your organic product purchases.
Sadly, the US’s produce is often sprayed with heavy chemicals and pesticides that are harmful to our bodies and the environment. Opting for organic will greatly reduce your risk of exposure to these toxins.
If it’s available to you, choose organic and local. If it’s an option for you, I used this organic meal delivery service to nourish myself while preparing for pregnancy.
Look at mental toxins
I genuinely believe that there is a mental component to conception.
Yes, there can be underlying or pre-existing conditions that can make getting pregnant difficult. Still, there is no harm in decluttering any toxic thoughts or beliefs – no matter your current health status – before conception.
Accept that your pre-pregnancy and pregnancy journey is unique will most likely not look like your mom’s, your friend’s, or your neighbor’s journey.
Work on dropping the comparison-based and perfectionist mindset as soon as possible, and seek to find acceptance for your own individual path.
Begin the process of setting healthy boundaries within yourself and those in your life. Pre-pregnancy was a time when I focused on taking it easy and wanted to put my body through as little stress as possible.
Those boundaries looked like:
- Saying No to travel when I was too tired
- Declining social invitations that didn’t excite me
- Sharing as much or as little about my pre-pregnancy path
Work on swapping negative thoughts for positive, uplifting ones.
When I didn’t get pregnant in the first month, I felt like a failure. I was doing all the things and convinced myself there was something wrong. Another month passed, and no luck — I was left only with a handful of negative thoughts and self-deprecating comments to myself.
Finally, in the third month, I stopped telling myself that something was wrong with me and accepted the journey as a complex one. I found comfort in the idea of bringing a new soul into this world and believed that inctricate process deserved time.
It was that month that I received my first positive pregnancy test.
Read next: How to Practice Gratitude Everyday
Supporting your body’s natural detox functions
Like I mentioned above, many of us are carrying around a heavy toxic load. It’s important to consider supporting your body’s natural detox functions (hello, liver) while embarking on a pre-pregnancy detox.
While I was on my path to conception, I focused on supporting my liver, decreasing inflammation, and increasing my bowel movements (to help eliminate toxins from my body).
Additionally, through bloodwork ordered by my naturopath, I discovered that I had high levels of mercury and worked to actively lower them and release the mercury from my fat cells. I highly suggest working with a naturopath to uncover any high levels of heavy metals (especially if you have an autoimmune disease) in your system.
Here are a few of the tools I relied on:
- Sakara Life Detox Tea to support my body’s natural detox system
- Sakara Life Detox Water Drops to support gut health and liver function
- Klaire Probiotics to encourage optimal gut health
- Cilantro Essential Oil to help pull out Mercury
- Psyllium Husk to support the body in eliminating the Mercury
Pre-pregnancy detox shopping list
If you’re feeling like there’s a million products you need to replace in your home, don’t worry! Below you’ll find my favorite non-toxic products.
- Dryer balls instead of dryer sheets
- Essential oils and a diffuser instead of air fresheners and candles
- Poo-Poouri instead of synthetic aerosol bathroom sprays
- Non-toxic hand soap instead of traditional liquid soap
- Non-toxic dish soap instead of Dawn or similar brands
- Non-toxic laundry detergent instead of Tide or similar brands
- Non-toxic counter spray (paired with this bottle, lemon essential oil, and water) instead of traditional toxic options
This category is easy! Follain is my one-stop-shop for all of my non-toxic, chemical-free beauty needs. They have the best brands in makeup, skincare, bath and body, and more.
Shop the post
What’s next? Want to learn more?
This post only covers the tip of the iceberg that is pre-pregnancy detoxing. I hope it serves you to discover small – yet impactful – changes you can begin to make in your life.
Above all, I wish you the best of luck on your path and send you my love as you embark on this next phase of life.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and my suggestions do not replace medical advice. The information I’m sharing is solely based on what I’ve gathered through my own process of pre-conconception and pre-pregnancy. This article is for informational purposes only.