Cleansing means to clean andremove toxins. In terms of the human body, it means to remove any toxic
substances that may be inside your body, in order to allow your cells to function at an optimal level. These toxic substances come from many sources within our environment, including the foods that we may be eating, the water we
drink and the air we breathe. In our industrialised nations it is impossible to avoid chemicals on a daily basis, but we can reduce our exposure to them quite dramatically. Toxins also come from a source closer to home, particularly the
products we use to clean our homes and our bodies, and our makeup and skin care.
Signs that you may need a cleanse& symptoms of toxicity could include:
Acne or skin irritations – eczema etc.
Sluggishness and tiredness
Bloating & constipation
Flatulence & reflux
Insomnia, depression, anxiety
Hormonal imbalances – PMS
If any of these symptoms describes you, then cleansing could definitely be of benefit in your
pre-conception care program.
Cleansing will benefit your body in many ways, and will be different for each individual. It can help
enhance the function of your immune system, improve your skin, sky rocket your energy, improve your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, reduce digestive complaints, improve constipation and the list continues. Cleansing safely needs
to be a careful and gentle process, and is best done with a qualified holistic healthcare practitioner to guide you.
Why do we need to cleanse before pregnancy?
Our bodies nourish that of our unborn baby, so the health of our cells determines the health of theirs. If
we are carrying toxic substances within our cells, these substances are exposed to our unborn child, and can have many ramifications both immediately and in later life. It’s also important to ensure you have the best raw materials to
begin with, the egg and sperm. The quality of these are greatly affected by your level of toxicity and nutrient availability.
When cleansing prior to conception, it is important to give the body enough time to first cleanse, and then build nutrient stores to maintain a healthy pregnancy. If you chose to cleanse before conception, you will need to begin 4 to 6 months before conception to cleanse safely. After cleansing, 2 to 4 months of nutrient building is ideal to ensure you have the best start and healthiest eggs and sperm to begin the process of pregnancy.
Ways to gently cleanse the body:
It is important that cleansing be done gently so as not to disrupt the bodies normal healthy patterns. Quick cleanses and purges are generally not safe for the body, and can do more harm than good. The following list contains some gentle ways that you can begin the cleansing process. Do not feel that you have to do all of these things, it is about finding what works best for you and what you can fit into your lifestyle.
1. Re-vamp your makeup bag - it is important to have a close look at the products you use on a daily basis. Most modern and readily available skin care and make up lines contain a plethora of dangerous chemicals, some known to disrupt fertility and hormonal balance. It is therefore really important to look for a chemical free,natural and preferably organic skin care & makeup that uses plant based ingredients and steers clear of parabens & sulphates.
2. Nutrition –what you eat has a profound effect on your body’s ability to cleanse, and your fertility. Removing saturated fats, takeaway and fast foods, high amounts of sugar and processed foods like biscuits, boxed cereals & crackers really improves your capacity to detoxify, and therefore the function of all your cells. Some foods to avoid during your preconception cleanse include caffeine, refined sugar, Soy and gluten containing grains. Foods to include in your diet at this time are: broccoli, artichoke, carrots, beetroot, garlic, eggs, spinach, avocado, lemon and water. These particular foods contain sulphur, which helps to cleanse the liver.
Also eat fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, including blueberries, strawberries, capsicum, tomatoes and leafy greens. The wider the range of fruits and vegetables that you eat, the more vitamins and minerals you will obtain. This will increase your energy and the functioning of all your bodies’ processes.
3. Exercise and movement are great ways to encourage internal cleansing. When our blood and heart pump faster, the cells receive more oxygen and nutrients, allowing for more efficient functioning. Our lymphatic system also gets a good workout when we exercise, and the sweat we expel also carries with it unwanted toxins.
4. Dry body brushing – this is a simple technique of brushing the skin in a circular motion with a dry brush. It really stimulates your lymphatic system and circulation, allowing the skin to release toxins more effectively whilst als softening and rejuvenating it.
5. Fibre- vitally important in allowing your body to remove any substances it doesn’t require. The toxins will stick to the fibre and be excreted from your body via faeces. 2 tablespoons of psyllium husk in a glass of juice each morning is a good place to start. Fruit and vegetables with the skins left on are also high in fibre.
6. Herbal medicine can really improve your bodies cleansing capacity. Speak to your herbal practitioner/naturopath about safe cleansing herbs, and make sure you get advice as to what is safe if you fall pregnant, and what is not.
If you do choose to do a pre-conception cleanse, please go gently and with the guidance of a qualified health care
practitioner. Allow yourself 4 to 6 months before you want to conceive to begin your cleanse – both egg and sperm take 90 days to reach full maturity, so you need to cleanse before this window. Most of all, enjoy the process!