Toxins in Breast Milk: Is This a Cause for Concern?

From time to time, you must have come across articles and write-ups on toxins in breast milk. Some articles may even scare you from breastfeeding as it may lead to exposing your little baby to toxins. So is this really a cause for concern?

Should you stop breastfeeding so that your baby is spared of the ill effects of consuming harmful toxins? If this was the case, breast milk would never have been promoted as the best milk for the baby.

Yes it is true that breast milk may contain toxins. But how much harm these toxins can bring about is altogether a different matter. Moreover, the toxins are not generated within your body in your breasts.

They come from external elements and are sort of released from your body through your breast. This means, there are ways in which you can reduce the toxins content of your breast milk.

Now let’s find out what causes the presence of toxins in breast milk. A woman during her lifetime gets exposed to several dioxins and pollutants. The POPs or persistent organic pollutants such as DDT, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dibenzofurans are the most common pollutants which are exposed to human and get accumulated in the body mostly through consumption of foods.

And the toxins most commonly found in breast milk are polychlorinated biphenyls and polyvinyl chloride. Polychlorinated biphenyls are found in some electronic equipment while polyvinyl chloride is found in medical products, food packaging, and toys.

Now, let’s find out ways to reduce the amount of toxins in breast milk.

First, minimize exposure to household paints especially lead paints and also furniture strippers, glues, petrol fumes, and even your nail polish. As such, you should be more careful if your house is under renovation.

Again taking care of what to eat and what not to eat will reduce the toxin content in your breast milk. The consumption of toxin becomes lesser when you are lower down the food chain. So avoid taking more of meat and fish and take more of vegetables and pulses. Also avoid foods fried with animal fats.

Large sea fish such as shark and swordfish are best avoided. Tuna and sardine make good choices. Also, before consuming vegetables, properly wash them and remove the outer surface wherever possible. The best way is to go organic.