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Back You are here: Home Women World Mother and Child Feeding the Child Toxins in breastmilk - Part 2

Feeding the Child

Toxins in breastmilk - Part 2

Should I carry on breastfeeding?

Yes, carry on breastfeeding. Your breastmilk is the perfect food for your baby during her first six months and beyond. Breastmilk provides a balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates which are important in helping your baby grow and develop. Your baby may be less likely to become overweight, too, if she's exclusively breastfed.

Breastmilk also contains antibodies, which help protect your baby against common illnesses such as:

- tummy bugs (gastroenteritis)
- colds
- urinary infections
- ear infections

Breastmilk has long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are essential for helping your baby’s brain develop. Exclusively breastfeeding for the first few months can improve your baby’s cognitive development. In theory, this means breastfeeding your baby could make her more intelligent.

So don't be put off breastfeeding your baby. The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks.

How can I reduce the amount of toxins in my breastmilk?

If you are worried about toxins, there are steps you can take to reduce the levels in your body and your breastmilk:

- Eat a healthy, balanced diet so you're not exposed to toxins from a single source. This means having a good mix of fruit and vegetables, dairy products, meat, fish and starchy foods.

- Trim the fat from meat and poultry before cooking.

- Eat low-fat dairy products.

- Oily fish is very good for you and will benefit your baby, too. But it's best to limit how much oily fish and tuna you eat to two portions a week. Don't eat shark, swordfish or marlin, because these contain particularly high levels of toxins.

- Eat organic foods if possible. If cost is an issue, focus your budget on buying organic meat. You can buy non-organic fruit and vegetables, and thoroughly wash and peel them before eating or cooking.

- Don't take a fish liver oil supplement, such as cod liver oil. Liver is the organ which helps to eliminate waste, so any pollutants are more likely to accumulate there. You can take a fish oil supplement which is made from the flesh of the fish.