“Detox”, when most people hear the word, they cringe. Only cold-pressed juice for 3 days? Hot water and cayenne pepper every morning? No, thanks. Despite the fact that these detox trends are constantly gaining popularity on Instagram, they aren’t ideal when you’re trying to conceive. Thank goodness, right? Not only is following an extreme diet or cleanse challenging, but it is also not the best way to nourish your body in preparation for pregnancy.
Still, there are ways you can detox your body, declutter your mind, and cleanse your surroundings to help you focus on conception (without spending your entire paycheck at Whole Foods).
Research has found that the prolactin and cortisol hormones your body releases, when stressed may make it harder to get pregnant. Meditating for even a few minutes each day can help lower these stress hormones, as well as alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, which are also thought to be linked to infertility.
Allowing your body to be still and your mind to quiet down triggers your parasympathetic nervous system, the part of your brain that produces feelings of calmness. Starting this practice now, before you’re pregnant, will provide you with a tool that will be beneficial during your pregnancy and for the rest of your life.
Clean up your beauty and personal routine
According to research done by the Environmental Working Group, infants are born “pre-polluted with over 200 toxic industrial chemicals circulating through their bodies”. Don’t worry, mama. This is through no fault of your own — pollutants are in nearly everything, including the air and water. While you may not be able to entirely avoid exposure to toxins, you can use makeup and personal care products that are free from dangerous ingredients.
Avoid makeup, face washes, and lotions that contain ingredients like toluene, phthalates, and parabens and switch to organic tampons or a menstrual cup while you’re trying to get pregnant. Do research to find replacements for conventional products. Detoxing your body from these ingredients, even just a little, can help ease the damage done to your body.
Limit your exposure to hormones and antibiotics in food
While it’s not ideal that you go on a diet or cleanse while you’re trying to get pregnant, eating whole, organic foods is smart. The hormones and antibiotics found in food — especially meat and dairy — can alter fetal and child development, as well as make it harder to conceive.
Hormones play a large role in fertility, so it’s key to make sure that they are functioning at their very best. Giving up cheeseburgers and froyo entirely is something we’d probably never recommend, but be mindful about what you consume because it can either work with you or against you. Choosing local, hormone and antibiotic-free food most of the time will help your body reset and begin to heal.
Declutter your home
Have you ever heard the saying “a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind”? This phrase rings true, especially when you’re trying to conceive. With thoughts of pregnancy tests, fertility treatments, and hopes for a child taking over your brain, a cluttered living space can make it a challenge to process everything and feel in control. When your home is tidy, you free up both physical and mental space.
Becoming Minimalist suggests that you start by throwing away or donating one item a day or spending 5 minutes organizing one area of your home. Once you realize how good it feels to be clutter free, you’ll want to do more.
Detox your friend’s list
Just as important as getting rid of household items that no longer serve a purpose is whittling down your social circle. Trying to get pregnant is emotional and exciting but, unfortunately, all of your friends may not understand the journey you’re on. If you have a friend or acquaintance who is being negative (either outrightly or subtly) about your life, it may be time to let go.
It can be hard to let go of a friend but you have to do what’s best for you and your future child. You don’t have to completely cut them out if that feels like too much — just cut down on the time you spend around them. It’s important to surround yourself with people who love and support you when you’re trying to conceive.
Your body, mind, and life are all interconnected. When one is healthy, the other’s become healthy, as well. Instead of opting for a harsh cleanse or detox program, practice being gentle with yourself and making small changes every day. Eventually, these changes will add up and you’ll find that all aspects of your wellness — body, mind, and soul — are thriving.