Important Dietary Information For Anyone Planning To Conceive Children!
Are you pregnant or planning to get pregnant in the near future? If so, this article contains important information that can make all the difference in the health of your future child.
Though our culture has lost touch with this tradition, according to Dr. Weston Price, ancient cultures went to great lengths to optimize the nutrient status of their expectant mothers. Traditional cultures designated “sacred foods” that were consumed by couples during the pre-conception, pregnancy and lactation periods. These diets were filled with fish, shellfish, fish organs, fish liver oils, organ meats, animal fats, egg yolks, and whole milk and cheese made from cows fed green grass in open pastures. When analyzed, these diets were found to contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and approximately ten times the number of fat soluble vitamins as compared to the standard American diet of the 1930s.
Recent research suggests that a mother’s diet during pregnancy is far more important than was once acknowledged. One study, published in 2008. revealed that the offspring of mothers who ate a low quality diet during pregnancy were far more likely to have long-term weight, cholesterol and blood sugar issues. Maternal nutrition during pregnancy has also been shown to have a “pre-programming” effect. In other words, the fetus will learn to prefer the foods which it is exposed to in utero. This can affect the child’s long- term health dramatically. According to an article entitled, Importance of Healthy Eating Before and During Pregnancy by The Virtual Medicine Centre:
“A foetus will also adapt its metabolism and other body systems to cope with different states of nutrition. For example, an under-nourished foetus, which does not receive enough macronutrients or energy, responds by reducing glucose and insulin production, which ultimately slows the rate of foetal growth and increases the risk of low birth weight. It may also alter the metabolism permanently and leave an individual predisposed to metabolic conditions such as diabetes. The foetus also adapts to under-nutrition by redirecting blood flow and therefore the supply of nutrients to protect the brain, at the expense of fully developing other organs including the kidneys, muscles and endocrine system (the system which regulates the body’s hormone production).”
For all of these reasons I suggest taking control of your nutritional health AT LEAST 3 months prior to conception. Here are the my favorite nutritional guidelines for the preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding phase from an article entitled, Diet For Pregnant and Nursing Mothers posted by The Weston Price Foundation. Read the full article here.
Here are the daily recommendations:
- Cod Liver oil to supply 20,000 IU vitamin A and 2000 IU vitamin D per day, which is provided by 2 teaspoons high vitamin cod liver oil (Green Pasture brand).
- 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, [url=http://www.realmilk.com]http://www.realmilk.com[/url])
- 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
- Trans fatty acids (e.g., hydrogenated oils)
- Junk foods (processed and refined foods)
- Commercial fried foods
- Sugar (refined)
- White flour
- Soft drinks
- Drugs (even prescription drugs)
IMPORTANT WARNING: Cod liver oil contains substantial levels of omega-3 EPA, which can cause numerous health problems, such as hemorrhaging during the birth process, if not balanced by arachidonic acid (ARA), an omega-6 fatty acid found in liver, egg yolks and meat fats. Please do not add cod liver oil to a diet that is deficient in these important animal foods. It is important to follow our diet for pregnant mothers in its entirety, not just selected parts of it.
My take on this:
Recently, I gave birth to our first child! When my husband and I were in our birthing classes, we noticed the extreme need for quality education regarding the importance of the mother’s diet during pregnancy. In our 15 hour pregnancy and birthing class, proper nutrition was discussed for only ten minutes. We were told to avoid dietary fat, which is extremely vital to baby’s proper development. To add insult to injury, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and pizza were the provided snacks during our breaks. Clearly, the role of nutrition during pregnancy is not appreciated in our culture today. If “you are what you eat”, then when you’re pregnant, your baby is affected by what you eat, too! Follow the guidlines above and remember to opt for orgnaic produce when possible and to choose high quality, organic pasture-raised and grass-fed animal products. Please give your baby the best chance for optimal health and share these guidelines with your friends, family and loved ones who plan to conceive.