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Can I Do a Sea-salt Cleanse When Pregnant?

By Natalie Smith, Ph.D.

Women may include a colon-cleansing routine as part of their self-care regimen to remove toxins and to promote regularity. The sea-salt colon cleanse is one option for colon cleansing that involves drinking sea salt once a day for its diuretic effects. Always consult your physician before you start any cleansing regimen, especially if you are pregnant. Laxatives and cleanses may have harmful side effects that may harm your baby. If you have high blood pressure you must speak to your physician before trying a sea-salt cleanse, as the excess sodium in the regimen can raise your blood pressure even further.

The Sea Salt Cleanse

A typical sea-salt cleanse regimen involves combining 1 to 2 teaspoons of sea salt with 1 quart of water and drinking that every day for a few days to a week, depending on the program. The sea salt then travels through your system in approximately one hour, resulting in a bowel movement. The theory behind the sea-salt cleanse is that it takes toxins with it. Keep in mind that 2 teaspoons of salt, regular or sea salt, contains 4,800 milligrams of sodium, more than twice the recommended daily limit. According to the American Heart Association you should not have 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, and only 1,500 milligrams of sodium if you have any underlying medical conditions or high blood pressure.

Pregnancy and Constipation

Pregnant women often experience constipation and a lack of regularity, according to the American Pregnancy Association. This constipation or irregularity might have several causes, such as hormones that relax the intestine, effects of iron supplements prescribed during pregnancy, lack of exercise, and pressure on the intestine from the uterus. Constipation during pregnancy is common but if you go 3 days without having a bowel movement; your constipation is accompanied by pain or you pass mucous or blood, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

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Sea Salt Colon Cleanse During Pregnancy

Always consult a physician before you use any colon cleanse product or any medication for constipation. The sea-salt cleanse works very rapidly and may cause cramping. Detoxifying cleanses such as the sea-salt cleanse are not recommended when you are trying to conceive, during pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding, according to authors of "The Complete Organic Pregnancy." One reason colon cleanses are contraindicated during pregnancy is that the cramping that ensues may stimulate uterine contractions and cause dehydration, which can be dangerous for your baby.

Relieving Constipation Safely During Pregnancy

You don't need to resort to a colon cleanse to help produce regular bowel movements during pregnancy. Regular exercise, eating a diet high in fiber and drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day will help you stay regular in a natural way that will not harm your baby, according to Harms. If you are experiencing discomfort as a result of irregularity, and changing your diet and exercising do not help, consult your physician. She might prescribe a stool softener or another remedy to help you stay regular.

Warnings Before Doing a Sea Salt Cleanse

There are health risks associated with the sea salt flush, so be sure to follow the directions exactly and avoid this treatment if you have weak kidneys, high blood pressure, a heart-related problem, edema, diabetes or stomach/intestinal disease. For children under the age of 12, consult your doctor before administrating this treatment.

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