Monday, March 22, 2010

Diet for Pregnant & Nursing Mothers

"Modern science has shown that fat-soluble vitamins are necessary for growth and development; the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is necessary for brain development; the need for biotin during pregnancy increases; folate boosts growth and decreases the risk of birth defects; choline causes a lifelong increase in memory and attention; and the amino acid glycine is required for growth."

Are you married? If you are, and you wed your beloved in a church, chances are that you went through premarital counseling. But did you know that in days past, you would have been required to go through a time of premarital nutrition as well? What on earth is premarital nutrition?

Well, it's something that was discovered by Dr. Weston Price, a Harvard trained dentist, in all the cultures he discovered around the globe still living "primitive" lifestyles- lifestyles so primitive they were untouched by the dental problems, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, autoimmune diseases & diabetes that we modern, progressive types enjoy. Lifestyles that followed the guidelines given to us by God, all the way back in the time of Moses.

Anyway, Dr. Price, now considered to be the "Albert Einstein of nutrition" found that all of these people groups required a time of premarital nutrition, a practice where both future husband and wife were required to eat special foods, in preparation for parenthood. These foods were also given to pregnant and lactating women. So what was so special about these foods? Here's how Jordan Rubin explains it in the Maker's Diet, (p.45)

"According to Dr. Price's findings, they were very rich in fat-soluble vitamins A and D- nutrients found only in animal fats...The healthy bodies, homogenous reproduction, emotional stability, and freedom from degenerative ills enjoyed by such prmitive societies contrast sharply from modern individuals existing on the impoverished foods of civilization-sugar, white flour, pasteurized milk, and convenience foods filled with chemical preservatives and additives."


We have to remember that these people enjoyed lives that were very different from ours: miscarriages and birth defects were uncommon, their children did not suffer from asthma, dental problems, and frequent ear infections, colds, and sicknesses like ours do, and they didn't die of degenerative diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer's, cancer, or suffer from heart disease and autoimmune disorders.

Doesn't their way of life sound so much better? Turns out it's actually God's way.

I can attest to the wisdom of God's ways from personal experience. When our second son Micah was born, we noticed something different about his vision. Our first son, Nathaniel, had been very alert, even from birth, but Micah wasn't just alert, his eyes tracked moving objects and focused intently from the very beginning. I wondered why this was the case until I read an article from the Weston A. Price foundation (this organization was made in honor of him and his discoveries) detailing the vitamins necessary for a baby's development.

In the article, they discussed one nutrient in particular, choline, which is incredibly necessary and vital in pregnancy. It has been found to produce incredibly resilient nervous systems (the nervous system controls the brain and eyes) , increases memory for life, and produces great focus in the eyes, even on multiple objects at once. Once I read that, I realized why Micah's eyes were so well developed. Eggs are one of the greatest food sources of choline. Free-range, pastured & organic eggs, that is. During my pregnancy with Micah I ate 5-6 eggs per day, something that I did not do even with Nathaniel. I ate so many eggs because early in my pregnancy, I felt very faint and shaky all the time, and my midwife told me that I needed more protein. I also had pain in my feet when I stood up after sitting for any period of time. She said both these symptoms were caused by deficient protein levels, and that I needed to eat protein at least every 2 hrs. That's hard to do while chasing a two year old around, so I needed fast protein. I started eating an egg sandwich every day, and hard boiled eggs made an easy snack in the late afternoon. I felt sooooo much better once I started doing this, which made eating so many eggs worth it! And now it turns out there was an incredible benefit to our son that I didn't even know about.

Speaking of what a pregnant woman should eat, here is a great diet for pregnant and nursing mothers that the Weston A. Price Foundation has designed, modeled after the diets of the incredibly healthy people groups that he studied. (I have to admit, I do not eat liver, and I don't eat very much fish/seafood, just cod liver oil. Also, I have to add that all of these items should be organic, for continued optimal development of the baby. Chemicals don't help any living thing grow! Plus they add to your baby's body burden)

Diet for Pregnant & Nursing Mothers

Cod Liver Oil to supply 20,000 IU vitamin A and 2000 IU vitamin D per day

1 quart (or 32 ounces) whole milk daily, preferably raw and from pasture-fed cows (learn more about raw milk on our website, A Campaign for Real Milk, www.realmilk.com)

4 tablespoons butter daily, preferably from pasture-fed cows

2 or more eggs daily, preferably from pastured chickens

Additional egg yolks daily, added to smoothies, salad dressings, scrambled eggs, etc.

3-4 ounces fresh liver, once or twice per week (If you have been told to avoid liver for fear of getting "too much Vitamin A," be sure to read Vitamin A Saga)

Fresh seafood, 2-4 times per week, particularly wild salmon, shellfish and fish eggs

Fresh beef or lamb daily, always consumed with the fat

Oily fish or lard daily, for vitamin D

2 tablespoons coconut oil daily, used in cooking or smoothies, etc.

Lacto-fermented condiments and beverages

Bone broths used in soups, stews and sauces

Soaked whole grains

Fresh vegetables and fruits

AVOID:

  • Trans fatty acids (e.g., hydrogenated oils)
  • Junk foods
  • Commercial fried foods
  • Sugar
  • White flour
  • Soft drinks
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Drugs (even prescription drugs)
I'd also like to recommend an amazing article- if you are pregnant, or want to become pregnant, you have to read this article- it gives such a thorough explanation for the nutrients that are required for a baby to develop properly. It is a long article, but, you have been entrusted with another human's life, and you are affecting it every day by what you eat. I'm sure you can find 20 minutes to read more about out how to grow your baby optimally!

http://www.westonaprice.org/Vitamins-for-Fetal-Development-Conception-to-Birth.html#cho

Don't you think you owe it to your children's future to nourish them with the foods that God intended, starting in the womb? Let's set our kids up for success in their health, instead of doing what everyone else around us does: setting their kids up for lifelong health problems and eventual disease. God has given us His plan for success. Don't you think with so much at stake, it's time to start following it?

3 comments:

Joy Renée said...

This looks like a great resource for me, since I'm pregnant for the first time! Thanks so much for posting this.

I'm confused about one thing... My husband and I have been eating "Biblically" kosher for about a year and a half now, and we never eat shellfish, because God explicitly puts it in the same category as pork (something I was pretty sure was off limits for this particular diet). Why did you include it here?

Dr. Maureen Muoneke said...

A good quality salt such as Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt is an essential nutrient in pregnancy. Cutting back on salt can cause a decrease in the amount of blood circulating through your body and placenta (hypovolemia) thus reducing the supply of nutrients passing to your baby. Too little salt in the diet can lead to leg cramps, fatigue and even swelling. The Brewer Diet recommends salting your food to taste.

Blogger said...

3 Studies SHOW Why Coconut Oil Kills Belly Fat.

This means that you literally get rid of fat by eating Coconut Fat (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

These 3 researches from big medical magazines are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world around!