Is it safe to detox while breastfeeding? Here are 5 tips to help you safely detox while nursing.
Note from The Coconut Mama Team: As a mama of three I understand some of the struggles so many of us have when it comes to losing the extra baby weight. I’m long overdue for a detox but as a nursing mama I’ve hesitated to start a program. I asked my friend Kristen of Mix Wellness Solutions about safely detoxing and losing weight while nursing. She was kind enough to share this guest post on the subject! Enter Kristen….
5 Tips to Safely Detox While Breastfeeding
No matter how seasoned or prepared a mama is, being thrust into the throes of life a newborn is not easy, particularly when you have other littles that need you. In my humble opinion, I think the transition from one to two was a bigger a** kicker than starting from ground zero. But that’s just me. Everyone’s tolerance for mass mayhem varies.
I’m often asked the question from lots of postpartum mamas, “I want to feel better and lose this baby weight, but is it safe to detox while breastfeeding?” Great question.
My response: “During those first few precious and fleeting moments, ain’t nobody got time for detoxing.”
That first month, you’re in survival mode. You sleep when you can, you eat whatever and whenever food is near, and showering is optional. Adding a new (and possibly overwhelming) “thing” to your plate is totally cray cray.
However, when the dust settles and a quasi-routine falls into place, your adrenaline starts to wane, your energy crashes, and your post-pregnancy body hits the wall, it’s a good time to take stock and create (or re-establish) healthier routines so you can boost your energy and fit back into your pre-pregnancy jeans.
A detox or cleanse is a great way to boost your liver and kidney function–the body’s natural detoxifying agents. However, most detoxes are waaay too restrictive, or worse, 100% juice or liquid based, leaving you malnourished and cranky. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take newborn-induced sleep deprivation over hangry (hungry + angry) any day, thank you very much!
5 Tips to Safely Detox While Breastfeeding
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: When you’re single-handedly nourishing another human, a good portion of the fluids you take in, goes right back out via your liquid gold. Staying hydrated while breastfeeding is not only critical to maintain or boost your milk supply, but also to keep your energy up, and allowing your kidneys and bowels to do their #1 job to eliminate waste (also known as toxins) from your body.
2. Rest: One of my favorite bits of advice from well-intentioned family and friends during the first few months was to “sleep when baby sleeps.” Riiight….easier said than done, buuut, this advice is solid. Nap when (and if) you can, and make it a point to at least try and get a decent amount of shuteye at night, even though it’s guaranteed to be interrupted. Any sleep is better than no sleep, right? And the bonus, since you are not (supposed to be) eating during those six to eight hours of night sleeping, your digestive system gets a break and your elimination has a chance to catch up, improving those processes during your waking hours.
3. Keep your gut health in check: I know, I keep talking about pooping. Perhaps it’s because I live with a 4 year old, or perhaps it’s because pooping rules. Nonetheless, this normal human function that everyone does is critical to staying healthy and allowing your body to naturally detox itself. Unfortunately, it’s one of the top things that new mamas struggle with, present company included (**TMI alert**) after both my girls were born. The remedy? Nope, not the orange-flavored junk in a canister. Staying properly hydrated, enjoying lots of fermented foods (or at the very least, taking a good quality probiotic like this one), and eating as much fresh, real, whole fruits and veggies with naturally-occurring fiber. Green smoothies are a new mama’s BFF – easy, nourishing, and supports elimination. Bam!
4. Oil pulling: This is an ancient Ayurvedic practice for detox and rejuvenation where you swish oil in your mouth for a set amount of time and then spit it out. Read more about this practice and how to do it here. The benefits include improving dental health, sinus problems, allergies, skin breakouts, arthritis, headaches, and hormone imbalances, among others.
5. Doing a gentle, real food detox: Detoxing enhances metabolism by supporting the liver–the body’s most important detox organ that helps metabolize toxins and fat. When your liver is firing on all cylinders, your body burns fat more efficiently. Adding insult to injury, pesticides and preservatives found in processed foods can (and do) inhibit your body’s natural ability to lose weight. Clean, unprocessed foods do the opposite, support weight loss, and most importantly, nourish you and your growing babe.
Now there are tons of different detox diets out there, all promising to unleash the sexy, lean beast that’s currently spending her days in spit-up covered yoga pants (yep, I’ve been there). Worse, aggressive cleanses can cause your body to mobilize toxins too quickly, dumping them precisely where you don’t want them to go – your breast milk. You want to detox slowly and gently. Few are designed specifically for you, my fellow, multi-tasking (and possibly nursing) mamas. Except for one…
About The Author
Kristen Boucher is a registered nurse, healthy living junkie, health & wellness coach, real foodie, full-time working wife to an amazing husband, cloth-diapering crunchy mama of two beautiful girls, creator of The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox & Cleanse for Real Women, Lose Weight, Feel Great: 8 Weeks to a New You, and Founder of MIX | Wellness Solutions For A Balanced Life, where she inspires busy women to eliminate the overwhelm to lose weight, kick cravings, stress less, and cook delicious, healthy, and family-friendly meals so they can gain confidence, double their energy, and save money without crazy diets, countless hours at the gym, or quitting their day job. Kristen can be found pushing the envelope at www.mixwellness.com.