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Breast feeding toxic?


I have always been a huge proponent for breast feeding. My mom was a La Leche League President, and I am well versed in the many many many benefits to breast feeding (nutritional, social, emotional, developmental etc) that I never ever ever thought I’d hear something against breast feeding that would make me say…”huh, that could indeed be bad”.

A colleague of mine was talking about something she read that said that women over 30 who breast feed risk passing on accumulated toxins (from exhaust, pesticides, benzene etc etc etc) to their baby through the milk.

I’m curious to see what you all think. Granted, even with some toxins I still think the benefits outweigh any risk by a landslide but…


  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    I read something a while back about toxins being found in breastmilk. Despite that, breast milk is still the healthiest thing a woman can feed her child. This was a point made at the end of the article, advising people not to be startled by the article and discontinue breastfeeding.

  • it is true that toxins being released through the breast milk can be passed onto babies; women should avoid detoxing while lactating.

    However, breast milk with toxins is still better than formula toxins.

  • kundalalitakundalalita Raw Newbie

    this is from ch. 3 of The Story of Stuff, a really great little clip about the reality of..well.. our stuff! here’s the link or look it up on youtube : The Story of Stuff

    ”...these toxins build up the food chain and concentrate in our bodies… do you know what is the at the top of the food chain with the highest level of many toxic contaminants? Human breast milk. That means that we’ve reached a point, where the smallest members of our societies, our babies, are getting the highest lifetime dose of toxic chemicals from breastfeeding from their mothers. Is that not an incredible violation?”

    I agree that the benefits outweigh the risks, but i also don’t really feel quite informed on all the risks…

    edit: why would there be so many toxins in breastmilk? maybe its the body’s way of prepping the baby to make him immune, like a little intro of more crap to come…

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    Oh, PLEASE, women!!! I’ve heard this evil since the 1970s! This is how the formula companies have always pimped their formula products. I remember pill-rollers telling every black mother they saw that they could not possibly nourish their infants and ply them with filthy, sugar-filled formulas, pills, drugs, etc. People whine about consipiracies to irradiate their spinach. How about attempts to destroy entire generations of Africa-American babies???

    While I’m not claiming that a mother’s milk will be pristine, there is overall NO better option for an infant to eat. None. Barring a woman who is horribly poisoned or deathly ill, a mother’s milk is the best, “detox” or not.

    As to “detox” and breastfeeding: when someone presents me with cold, hard facts about this “detoxing”, “lifetime accumulations of toxins”(as if the body cannot rid itself of ANY toxins) and hideous dangers to a baby who is breastfed, I’ll perhaps alter my thinking.

    Get this: I was reading a couple of articles from MDs(not a surprise) who also claimed that human mothers are incapable of nourishing their infants after four months of age and the infants MUST have either iron-fortified infant cereals or iron doses from their doctors. They said ALL human mothers cannot nourish their young. Evil, evil, evil.

    I can’t imagine how we managed to evolve without having Gerber’s instant crap-in-a-box and pill-rollers with bottles of iron drops. Amazing!!

  • TzefiraTzefira Raw Newbie

    Breast Milk is still best, no matter what!

  • Annabelle77Annabelle77 Raw Newbie

    Have you all heard the true story of how some company went to a struggling country in Africa… gee, I dont know the details… back in the early 1980s to give mothers powdered formula to feed their babies?

    So instead of breastfeeding, which acts like birthcontrol, they were using this powdered crap. So, they got pregnant right after they gave birth, which quadrupled the famine. AND on top of that, the formula had to be mixed with water… and they only had contaminated water, so many of the children died of water-borne illnesses.

    Gee, modern medicine and science is SOOO smart!

  • TomsMom, that was really good. Interesting insight!

    Go boobymilk!!!!!

  • I’m sorry if I sound ignorant here; I’m not a parent and have never breast fed. Wouldn’t a child be exposed to the mother’s “toxins” in utero? Or do the toxins suddenly “change” when breast feeding? Doesn’t make sense to me. TomsMom DOES make lots of sense to me, however. You are on the money, sister!

  • For the two years I’ve been breast feeding my baby I haven’t done anything to alter my diet for “fear” of contaminating her. Finally, about a month ago I decided to start going raw (we will be 100% this Monday) because I just couldn’t stand the way I felt/looked – not having energy to play with my baby, etc. I noticed that I started developing little rashes here and there on my body and I noticed it in a smaller amount on her body. I am still breastfeeding and will continue to do so (until we decide to stop). Although I don’t know for sure, I’m thinking that we are both detoxing, since she’s been exposed to my toxins and the chemicals I’ve been around since she was still in my womb and also what she’s been around since she’s been born. Bottom line is that I believe my milk is still the best thing for her whether I’m detoxing or not.

  • iknikn

    TomsMom, thank you!! I breastfed both my sons until they were almost two years old. Never had any problems, they were hardly ever sick. Now one is 12 and the youngest one is 7 and they are happy, healthy kids. Breastmilk is the only best thing for babies.

  • Annabelle77-What do you mean by breastfeeding acting like birth control? I might just be ignorant on this topic, but I’ve known women to get pregnant while breastfeeding. One woman I used to work with was breastfeeding both of her children when she got pregnant the third time. So what exactly do you mean?

  • Heh heh, Quiora. It’s not working so much for me. ; ) I got pregnant with each of my kids while nursing the previous one. (I conceived each subsequent baby anywhere from 8 months to 23 months after the births of the previous baby). BUT I will say this: It was completely correlated to the frequency of the breastfeeding – so to an extent, yes, fertility is suppressed during nursing.

    Typically, when a baby is exclusively breastfed on demand regularly through the day and night – the body adjusts hormones and many women do not have cycles or ovulate. It’s when a baby starts sleeping through the night and increases length of time between feedings that one starts to ovulate again. Often times, the ovulation kicks in before the periods begin. For me, my 15 month old is still pretty much exclusively breastfed, she co-sleeps and nurses off and on at night. I’m not having cyles (though I can “feel” my body trying to kick it in). That, combined with the fact that I weigh about 100 lbs. soaking wet is also suppressing the ovulation for me. Bottom line: it’s different for everyone and conceiving or not conceiving is not guaranteed. ; )

  • Annabelle77Annabelle77 Raw Newbie

    Quiora, mamamilk answered the question for me. It’s obvioulsly not 100%, but nature has made it so it’s not easy to get pregnant while taking care of a newborn.

    My sister told me yesterday that tainted formula got into the Chinese population, and that many babies in China have died. Soooo sad.

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    A lot more will die, too. This is a real tragedy. Since China, like the U.S., is more intent on building weapons of destruction than caring for their children, I am expecting a lot of dying and sick babies will be killed.

  • Nature provides the best answer…always and no matter what, you alter nature and we are in trouble, but obviously there will always be a corporation claiming to have a miracle product or modern medicine claiming that nature is somehow failing after millions of years of evolution…

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