You’ve probably heard of “detox” or “cleansing.” And while some diets can be great for weight loss or improving overall health, others can be potentially bad, especially for breastfeeding women.
Detox diets can negatively influence your milk. And unfortunately, cleansing is one of them. As healthy as juice cleanses are, they’re not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
During a cleanse, your body is ridding itself of the toxins and releasing them into your bloodstream. Therefore, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, these toxins will also be transferred to your baby.
The worst part? Most babies can’t handle these toxins. In today’s article, I will talk about cleansing while nursing, so let’s begin.
Can You do A Juice Cleanse While Breastfeeding?
A detox or cleanse is a short-term restrictive diet mostly intended to remove toxins from your body. This can be done for certain medical conditions or in case of substance abuse.
However, most people do it to improve their health and get back to their pre-pregnancy weight. And they usually opt for juice cleanses and “clean” eating cleanses.
Juice cleanses last between 2 and 5 days. They remove toxins as well as waste faster. Clean eating cleanses, on the other hand, last longer, usually between 2 and 6 weeks, and remove toxins gradually.
Below, I will list the risks and benefits of juice cleanses. I will also explain why clean eating cleanses make a better option for nursing mothers and fuel breastmilk production, so let’s take a look.
Risks of A Juice Cleanse While Breastfeeding
Juice cleanses can remove toxins and waste a lot faster.
So, they can result in a higher level of toxins circulating in the body, which can be transferred to your baby through your milk. That’s something you don’t want. So, you should avoid juice cleanses while nursing.
Typically, juice cleanses while breastfeeding can cause serious side effects as well as dizziness and fatigue from calorie restriction.
The calorie limitation often results in temporary weight loss. I say temporary because once you go back to normal eating, you will gain back your weight, so what’s the point?
The worst part? Calorie restriction can also force your body into starvation mode, which can reduce your breast milk supply as well as slow down your metabolism. So you will lose weight, but you can forget about high-quality breastmilk.
Benefits of A Juice Cleanse After Breastfeeding
There aren’t any benefits of a juice cleanse while breastfeeding. However, you can try it once your baby weans and enjoy different benefits.
If you’re eating “clean” organic foods all the time and have no health issues, a cleanse can help your system take a “break” from digestion in a safe way. Juice cleanses promote healthy weight loss but only after pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Common benefits of a cleanse include healthy weight loss, improved digestion and skin tone, and increased energy.
Important note: If you consider buying a product that claims it’s good for cleansing, it’s very important to take a closer look at the ingredients as well as the reputation of the company.
Keep in mind that protein shakes and vitamins, among other supplements, aren’t regulated properly. Thus companies don’t have to follow strict rules and ensure quality products.
Also, you should talk to your doctor before you make any serious changes in your diet, especially if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any existing medical condition.
Risks of A Clean Eating Cleanse While Breastfeeding
The detox results, as well as side effects, can be different for everyone. They usually depend on the start level of toxicity.
The more processed foods you’ve consumed, the more symptoms you will likely have as toxins leave your body. If this worries you, you can customize your diet for gradual results.
Benefits of A Clean Eating Cleanse While Breastfeeding
During clean eating cleanse, you should consume high-quality and unprocessed foods. That way, your body will still get enough caloric intake, and your clean eating cleanse won’t shock your system. It’s also a more sustainable manner of consuming and can help establish much better eating habits.
It’s also a safer way of cleansing while breastfeeding because toxins leave your body gradually in smaller amounts, and your breast milk isn’t that affected.
As with juice cleanse, common benefits of clean eating cleanse include improved digestion and skin tone, increased energy, and weight loss.
Does Detoxing Affect Breast Milk?
As a breastfeeding mother, you need to know whether cold-pressed fruit juice, unpasteurized juice, and juice cleaning will influence your breast milk production.
Lemon juice, vegetable juice, apple juice, celery juice, and other healthy ingredients won’t hurt your milk production. On the contrary, they can help your child in many ways.
However, a cleanse isn’t recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers for many reasons. First of all, juice cleanses don’t include a lot of calories.
While a low-calorie count is good for weight loss, it’s not healthy for your newborn. Developing babies need enough vitamins and nutrients to grow! Thus, if you’re juice cleansing, your newborn can develop poorly.
To make things worse, if you do a cleanse, you will be splitting your nutrients between yourself and your baby, which can limit how much both of you receive. After giving birth, you need a balanced diet to keep your weight and get the nutrients and vitamins you need to recover.
And splitting the nutrients between you and your baby will potentially cause damage to heart tissues as well as other organs in the body. So, you can still include juices in your usual post-pregnancy diet. However, you shouldn’t detox with juices during pregnancy and nursing.
How to Safely Detox While Breastfeeding
Juice or fruit cleanse or diet cleanse while nursing isn’t something you should try. Instead of going for these drastic measures, you can safely detox while nursing.
Nursing requires additional 400-500 calories per day, including fluids, fats, proteins, and other important nutrients, to provide enough breast milk for your newborn baby.
This could make your detox a bit harder, but you can still complete a liver and colon cleansing while nursing safely without affecting your breast milk supply and composition.
I know you’ve heard this one before, but it’s true! Water can help you detox while nursing. Did you know that your breast milk consists of 90% water?
Consume More Fruits and Veggies!
I suggest that you eat more fruits and veggies, especially those with more water content like cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and so on. Also, if possible, go for organic fruits and veggies, free of external toxins such as chemicals and pesticides.
Opt for Foods Rich in Fiber, Protein, and Healthy Fats
Eat different foods like wheat, beans, and ingredients rich in healthy fats such as nuts and seed butter, chia seeds, avocado, etc.
These ingredients decrease toxins getting into your system from other foods and boost the good bacteria that will help keep good gut health.
Take Supplements and Other Foods
Add some fermented ingredients as well as bone broth to your diet. Also, ask for advice from your doctor to consume prenatal supplements rich in minerals, vitamins, probiotics, fats, and amino acids to help your nursing.
Avoid Processed Foods
I also recommend that you stay away from tea, coffee, junk food, and sugary things as they only increase the toxins in the body.
Exclude Dairy, Legumes, and Grains
Exclude dairy, legumes, and grains from your diet but make sure to replace the calories from these foods with some of the recommended ones, such as fruits and veggies!
Get Enough Sleep!
One of the best ways to detox your body naturally is to get enough sleep. Getting enough rest helps your body’s digestive system work properly and helps your kidney and liver do their job. Try to get 6-8 hours of sleep if possible.
Have You Heard of Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient method that includes swishing oil in the mouth for some time and then spitting it out.
This method improves allergies, dental hygiene, skin breakouts, headaches, hormonal imbalances, etc. I suggest using coconut oil, but you can use other oils as well.
Enjoy Homemade Juices
It’s time-consuming, but I suggest that you squeeze fresh juices from fruits and veggies every day.
If you don’t have a juicer, invest in a good one and try to consume homemade and organic juice whenever possible. Also, try to consume home-cooked food instead of frozen meals or junk food.
Take Sea Salt Baths
Sea salt baths not only help in cleansing your skin but also relax. It could also help you get better sleep, so you should definitely try it every once in a while before going to bed.
So, Can You Detox with Juice While Breastfeeding or Not?
Health experts advise against juice fast or following a detox program or detox diet while breastfeeding, but you can try clean eating better food. Just stay away from processed food and sugary drinks, and you will soon see a positive change in you and your baby’s health.