Lemon Detox While Nursing

Updated on November 04, 2009
E.B. asks from Salt Lake City, UT
15 answers

I am going to be doing a lemon detox. I am currently nursing and supplementing with formula. I am toxic and figure I want to get rid of the toxins so that I am not passing them onto my newborn. I will pump and dump while detoxing for 5 days. Any tips? What day should I start dumping and what day should I resume nursing?
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answers from Salt Lake City on

Doing a lemon detox while nursing can really harm your nursing relationship. Breastfeeding requires an *additional* 600 calories per day. If you severely cut down on your caloric needs, the first thing that will happen is that your body will take what it needs from you in order to feed your baby, which means you will lose nutrients and vitamins that are essential to your survival and well-being. After that, your body just won't have enough building blocks (fat, protein, vitamins, minerals) to make breast-milk at all. I think it would be highly likely that after five days your breast-milk would be seriously diminished, if not gone completely.

I understand that you are worried about passing toxins on to your baby, but the breastmilk that your body makes is pure. I'm not sure exactly what toxins you are talking about (it sounds like you mean from foods you are eating or from the environment) but it's not likely that anything bad in your body can pass through to your breast milk. For instance, even if you have mastitis, your milk is unharmed and will not have any infectious materials in it.

And what's more than that, breastmilk is so important and perfectly formulated for your baby's health needs. Also, it's cold and flu season right now. But you pass antibodies and white blood cells through your breastmilk to your baby to help him fight off whatever is going around.

Now, something like the toxins in a cigarette can be passed through the breastmilk to the baby. However, as I've talked to lactation consultants, they have assured me that it's more important for a smoking mom to breastfeed because of the immeasurable importance and health benefits of breastfeeding. Sure, there is danger in the nasty stuff from cigarettes in breastmilk, but that the good things in breastmilk-- antibodies, white blood cells, personalized nutrition, "good" bacteria--are so important as to outweight the negativity of smoking.

And also, remember that formula doesn't have any of those great things either plus your breastmilk is free. A detox diet that will limit your body's ability to make breastmilk will mean that you will rely more heavily on formula. Breastmilk is full of ingredients and living substances that formula could never replicate!

Just some thoughts to consider.

Childbirth educator, doula

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I hate to tell you this but if you do not nurse your baby for 5 days your baby will more likely not want to nurse again. I also know that you are at risk of losing your milk supply if you do a detox right now (even though your are pumping). All around, if you feel you need to cleanse your body for breast feeding, then try taking another route, make sure you only eat whole pure fruits, vegetables and grains, drink double the water you normally would and be sure you get an ample amount of fat (examples, avacados, raw almonds, etc.) and protein. Your body has a way of cleansing and protecting your baby especially if you make sure what goes in is healthy for the body.

Good luck! It is always nice to hear women going that extra mile to take care of their babies.



answers from Denver on

Hi EB-

I would contact your local La Leche League leader, who likely may have dealt with this. I would not recommend doing this while your baby is still nursing. Can you just improve your diet for now until you've weaned completely? Best of luck!



answers from Denver on

Hi EB! Do you mind me asking, what is making you toxic? Did you have a lot of antibiotics recently? I am not a doctor, but a Health & Wellness Coach - and I wouldn't recommend going on anything rigid or this controlled if you plan on continuing to nurse. It might start to mess with your milk supply if you aren't getting enough lean protein and carbohydrates. If you want to cleanse, try doing only lean, good quality protein, fruits and vegetables, along with lots of water.
If you are interested, I do market a 5-day Reset, which is a healthy cleanse meant to detox your body with a lot of fiber and healthy shakes and bars. All of it is low glycemic, which means it won't spike your blood sugar and cause you to have highs and lows. I would worry about calorie intake in general on other cleanses, as they are extremely low. Even with the one I market, we recommend supplementing with a fruit and as many fresh vegetables you want. Sometimes we even say to add a little salmon or nuts for extra protein.
Just be careful, consult your doctor too, before starting anything extreme.
Take care!



answers from Salt Lake City on

Lemon detox is very intense and hard on your body. And it is still unproven scientifically to have any real effect (anecdotal accounts - personal stories of what it has done - don't replace hard scientific evidence through testing and control groups!) And while nursing it can be even harder on you. Your milk production will decrease in quality and quantity because you are starving your body of essential nutrients during a "detox" and it may never bounce back. If you must detox wait until your little guy is weaned. But honestly I think the idea of "toxic system" and need for a "detox" is more myth that fact - our bodies are designed to deal with toxic elements naturally and the best choice is good nutrition and adequate exercise and sleep.



answers from Salt Lake City on

How are you toxic? Is this really necessary right now?



answers from Denver on

I got some impressive detox and inch loss results with a total body applicator. However, they do not recommend the detox for pregnant or nursing Moms because it pulls the toxins out of your fat cells. You are wise to consider dumping the milk, but I'd really recommend chatting with a naturopath or holistic dr to make sure the detox you are doing is OK. With the wrap, your body continues to detox up to 72 hours post, so you want to make sure all is well. The other thing you want to consider is the potential impact you will have on your milk supply if you are limiting your calorie intake. More info on keeping toxins out of your body to begin with at livinghealthiernow.com plus I can give you info on those applicators (great for detox, potential inches loss, skin tightening, toning, stretch marks and cellulite). You are wise to consider all the angles before starting the detox. Good luck!



answers from Boise on

Look at it this way. Your nursling will get far more toxins from the formula than he or she will from your breastmilk. So if you really want to give your baby the best food, cut out the supplements and exclusively breastfeed. Now, if your baby was older - say a year old - and you wanted to do a mild detox, the baby would be able to handle the toxins passing through the breastmilk. But at his age, it is much harder on his liver and kidneys for him to process formula than any toxins that may be in your milk.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I've heard that this is not a good idea while nursing. Your baby already has the best purified food he can get, so instead of doing a lemonade detox, maybe you could try a whole foods diet which will pretty much do the same thing. Just eating fruits and vegies uncooked so you can get all the nutrients you can. Your body will absorb all the live enzymes you need, and never be hungry! Try this for about a month and see if you have more energy.



answers from Missoula on

I totally agree with the other moms who have posted responses so far. Your body is quite effective at eliminating toxins on its own and restricting your intake of calories while nursing is just not a good idea. Skip the "detox" and just eat healthy foods, focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein, at least until your son is finished nursing.
These are a few articles about detox you may find interesting:




answers from Denver on

Hi E B - I hate to be a bummer but either wean or wait. I strongly discourage you from doing a lemon detox until after you have weaned your baby. (The 5 days away from the breast may do just that.) The lemon detox is harsh and can be dehydrating not to mention you will need as much of your reserves as possible for when you try to resume bf again.

For healthy cleansing, eat liver-friendly foods and avoid alcohol. Eat lots of veggies to increase your fiber, drinks lots of water and add a pro-biotic to your diet.



answers from Grand Junction on

Dear E B,
I really like what the other girls said. It's also important to remember that there are more toxins to get rid of especially when you are nursing b/c so much is absorbed through the skin and toxins are airborne. I am so passionate about this b/c I have noticed a huge difference in my house and was so blessed to come across this. Good for you for doing what's best for your baby. I nursed both of my babies for a year and loved it!! Best of luck to you and your little guy!!
H. Snoke



answers from Dallas on

I really think you should run this by your OB or midwife. There are several things that may be unhealthy or unsafe about restricting your calorie intake while trying to produce milk. Also while trying to care for a newborn.

Despite many claims, as long as your liver and kidneys function well, you probably are not harboring much in the way of heavy metal or chemical residue. The milk you can feed to your newborn is many times better for her than formula.
While I am all for taking care of yourself and occasional fasting, this is probably not the best time to it.


answers from Pocatello on

Hi, E B. Without knowing your reasoning for considering a detox, here is just some basic info. Breastfeeding mothers are supposed to consume 1500 calories a day minimum. Fasts less than one day have not been shown to reduce supply. Liquid diets and weight loss medication are not recommended. (all from the Breastfeeding Answer Book)
The problem with detox and other specific diets (like Atkins) is that the body sheds impurities through sweat, pee, and breastmilk. You are wise to not want your baby to be filled with these impurities.
If you must detox, I'd suggest saving your breastmilk ahead of time so your baby can continue to receive your milk. To maintain your supply, you will need a high quality pump like a rental or Ameda Purely Yours or Medela Pump-in-style. If your caloric intake is too low for multiple days, your supply may drop regardless of pumping.
To aid in your decision, La Leche League has a handout about environmental contaminants and breastmilk. It might contain info to look at your personal decision. A LLL Leader may be able to mail it to you or email it to you.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I'm with everyone else, this is not a good idea while nursing. Is your baby already taking a bottle? That alone is a pretty traumatic change for a baby. Your breastmilk is the best think for your baby right now; I highly doubt you are passing on any 'toxins' to your baby unless you are smoking, drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs, all of which can pass from mommy to baby. You can make healthy food choices and still lose your weight. I've been tracking my eating on this free website: www. nutrimirror.com , and its helping.

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