Part Two of Preparing for Conception: A Pre-Pregnancy Detox
Health is one of the best gifts we can give to our future children. Our babies’ health starts far before we actually become pregnant with them, and our health is a major contributor to their health. What we choose for ourselves, we choose for them.
Our personal toxin exposure is one of the biggest factors to consider and aim to reduce when planning for a healthy and happy baby. Through this blog series, we want to empower you to take charge of your and your family’s health in three steps. Dr. Leah Gordon, one of Needed’s trusted advisors, will help you better understand the toxins in your environment, how you can reduce your exposure, and how to support your body’s toxin elimination. Here is what you can expect:
Part one: Understanding Toxins
What are they?
Where do they come from?
Why do they matter?
Part two: Reducing Toxin Exposure
5 tips to do so
Part three: Eliminating Current Toxins in the Body
Learn the organs of elimination
Tips to detox each one
Part Two: Reducing Toxin Exposure
What is “toxin exposure” and “toxic body burden”?
Let’s use the analogy of a sink, faucet, and drain to explain the term “toxic body burden.”
The sink bowl represents our body. The amount of water sitting in the sink represents our toxic body burden -- or the amount of toxins we currently have in our body.
The faucet and flow of water represents the amount of toxins coming into our body from our environment that we end up absorbing. The drain represents our own unique ability to process, detox, and rid our body of the toxins.
The key is to turn down the flow of water from the faucet and unclog the drain.
The flow of water is different for everyone; some people may have a slow drip of toxins coming in and some may have the faucet on full blast. Depending on how well-functioning someone’s detox processes are, as well as their detox practices, their drain may be wide open or clogged.
To turn down the faucet, we reduce the exposure to toxins coming in from the environment.
To unclog the drain, we practice daily and weekly detox habits that keep our organs of elimination--the parts of our bodies that help us eliminate toxins--clear and open.
How do we turn the faucet down and reduce our toxin exposure?
Become aware of the sources of exposure
The quickest and easiest way to reduce your total body burden of toxins is to be aware of the sources & reduce the amount of toxins coming in to your body. The goal is to turn down the faucet to a slow drip rather than a steady stream.
For a quick guide to products and chemicals to avoid, see the EWG’s guide here.
Many studies show that eating organic can significantly reduce your exposure to the toxins in herbicides and pesticides. It is worth spending the extra money because the small exposures over time are what really add up. If you are on a budget, you can refer to the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list of the most toxic fruits and vegetables to always buy organic and the ones that you can get away with not buying organic.
Drink clean water
Reducing toxin exposure requires reducing the things we come into contact with often. Next to food, water is the most common thing we consume all day, every day.
Water can carry heavy metals and endocrine disrupting chemicals from byproducts of agricultural and industrial processes. Even city-filtered water can have chemicals, such as chlorine and fluoride, added to it, which can harm our health. Whenever possible, drink clean spring water from a trusted mountain source, or invest in a home filter. If you live in an area where the tap water is exceptionally toxic, a simple charcoal filter may not be enough, so you may need a multi-level filter.
A note of caution: If you use a reverse osmosis or demineralization filtration system where everything is pulled out of the water, you must replenish the lost minerals, or you will end up disrupting your mineral balance, which can harm your health long term.
Give your personal care routine a clean makeover
Many of our exposures to toxic chemicals are in the personal care products we use every single day. These often come in direct contact with our skin, and we absorb them directly into our bloodstream, or we inhale them through our lungs.
Consider evaluating and replacing:
- Perfume / Cologne
- Shampoo / Conditioner and other hair sprays and products
- Bodywash, lotions, and face creams
- Antiperspirant / Deodorant
Cleanse your home
In addition to what you put on your body, what you inhale or expose yourself to in your home and environment also impacts your toxic burden. The biggest areas to examine and refresh are:
- Laundry soap and dryer sheets
- Cleaning products, such as bleach and surface sprays
- Air fresheners
- Hand and dish soap
- Cookware - try cast iron, stainless steel, or coated cast iron
- Storage containers - opt for glass over plastic
- Bedding - buy organic, if possible
- Air quality, especially if you live near a busy road - try a HEPA air filter
Refer to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Resource for non-toxic alternatives to your personal and home care products.
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