I couldn't find an answer to this on any of the other pregnancy threads...
Not pregnant yet, but might be in foreseeable future. Been dabbling in paleo for a few months, been paleo proper for a few weeks. If I do get pregnant are there a) any supplements I should take and b) any foods I should avoid?
E.g I just got into eating liver, but read that one should avoid it if pregnant as too much Vit A is bad for baby? Ditto dangers of certain seafood, rare meat, camomile tea, etc. But not sure how much of these recommendations are based on 'conventional' diet ideas (I.e, ideas I've mostly rejected at this point).
I currently eat about 20% carbs, 45% fat, 35% protein. No dairy. Am 36-yrs-old, 5ft7 and 138lbs.
Here are a couple more links which reference the importance of Vitamin D (D3) and pregnancy.
http://drgominak.com/vitamin-d "....Each baby sucks up mom’s vitamin D. Unfortunately each prenatal vitamin has only 400 IU of vitamin D, which is not nearly enough to provide for mom and the developing baby. Each baby uses up mom’s D and if she’s not out in the sun enough her D deficit is never corrected between pregnancies. Each resulting child is more D deficient and each baby sleeps worse than the last. Mom also sleeps badly being more D deficient herself with each baby. The chronic sleep disorder over several years can result in postpartum depression and occasionally psychosis; (abnormal thoughts and hallucinations)...."
http://blog.vitamindcouncil.org/2012/03/13/optimal-levels-of-vitamin-d-during-pregnancy/ "....The Vitamin D Council agrees and considers this an important study in support of why adults and pregnant women need at least 4,000 IU/day to elevate blood levels and improve fetal health and birth outcomes...."
I avoided pre-natal vitamins and folic acid. Instead, I took these supplements:
I also followed the WAFP pregnancy recommendations (except the soaked grains) which included:
I also drank more juice than normal.
I recommend the book Real Food for Mother and Baby.
My little girl is 5 weeks old as of yesterday and is healthy and strong! She's in the 75th percentile for weight and >97th percentile for height! :)
Chris Kresser has the "Healthy Baby Code" product available and has had a fair bit of discussion time on Robb Wolf's podcast regarding the subject of pregnancy nutrition. Those are excellent resources.
Women are often told to avoid fish because of the mercury content, but it's my understanding that most fish contain a higher concentration of selenium than mercury, and as such are not a danger. (Selenium has a high binding affinity for the baddy, mercury. When bound together, the new structure is innocuous.)
Vitamin A is a major scare-term thrown around in the fertility world, but it turns out with adequate Vitamin D, Vitamin A toxicity is absolutely through the roof. If I remember correctly, Vitamin A is absolutely crucial to the formation of the dental arches and other elements of the face in babies, so to deny a child that is unwise.
As far as prenatal vitamins goes, I could not recommend a specific brand, but avoiding ones containing "folic acid" is crucial.
Best of luck in the coming baby-ing!
Chris Kresser recommends the Pure Encapsulations Nutrient-950 with Vit K as a back-up for those pregnant women who don't think they can follow his recommended diet strictly. I have taken it my entire pregnancy--it's $40 a month.
He also recommends Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil, and I have been taking the FCLO/Butter Oil blend in Cinnamon Tingle. I recommend it--it really tastes pretty good compared with the regular liquid form.
As far as diet, I don't really follow any of the "conventional advice" for pregnant women--I have eaten sushi from time to time, I don't worry about rare meat, I've had raw milk, liver, etc. My thinking is that as long as I use common sense and trust my food sources, if I didn't avoid something before I was pregnant, I don't see a reason to avoid it now. My midwife agrees, and she actually recommends a Paleo diet to all of her clients.
I think Chris Kresser has answered the liver question himself, so I would turn to him (or Robb Wolf, or Balanced Bites...I believe at least one of them has addressed liver in pregnancy), but I know that at least Kresser and WAPF encourage weekly liver consumption in pregnancy.
My midwife did not reccomend any supplementation. She encouraged a varied whole food nutrient dense diet with plenty of pastured eggs and grass fed beef. She didn't worry over the occasional bit of dark beer past the first trimester, but discouraged refined carbs. Her educational background was an undetgrad in nutrition and Dr. of Chinese medicine, as well as nursing and midwifery training. She felt that Nutrients are better absorbed from food that supplements. Good luck conceiving!
In the first trimester avoid excess vitamin C (more than 1000mg/day) and magnesium (more than 600mg supplemental/day) because both have been linked to accidental miscarriage.
I learned after I had been taking it for years that 5-HTP shouldn't be taken during pregnancy because it can cause heart defects, so I stopped mid second trimester and luckily baby seemed okay on the heart scan done by ultrasound.
After that scare, I now wouldn't take any herb without the okay of my midwife, an herbalist, or a whole lot of googling, except for maybe red raspberry leaf infusion. Some are okay during some stages and problematic during others, so a quick phone call or email wouldn't hurt.
Certain green drinks (the one I normally take is Vitamineral Green) alongside all the great stuff contain things that might not be great for the baby in the first trimester like horsetail, the variety of seaweeds, and parsley juice. My nutritionist contacted the company on my behalf, and they said, it wouldn't have anything in great enough dosage to cause harm, but the recommended dosage can very wildly from 1 tsp. to 4 tblsp., so I chose err on side of caution with that one.
Personally though, the sudden onset of food aversions has directed me away from things that could be harmful, coffee went from being my favorite thing to horrid overnight, so if you stick to whole foods, I think you can trust yourself and your nose. It just gets a bit tricky when the flavors and smells are hidden in capsules and can't get fully vetted by your hyperactive sense of smell during pregnancy.
This may be a useful read:
"Pregnant mothers also need to limit protein to less than 20% of calories to avoid risks to their baby both perinatally and in later life." Perfect Health Diet. Paul & Shou-Ching Shih Jaminet.
The issue with vitamin A is a) specific to artificial forms, b) based on a single study that has been repeated but the results never replicated (check out Chris Kresser on Underground Wellness Radio about this if you don't want to subscribe to the Healthy Baby Code), and c) as noted below, modulated by vitD intake such that - as long as you're consuming it in a whole food form such as liver - you pretty much can't overdose. See Chris Masterjohn's article on the WAPF website for a comprehensive treatment of the issue.
Load up on vitD and Mg now and concentrate on cleansing your liver. This will minimise morning sickness (I drank a good spoonful of Mg citrate in herbal tea each night in my first trimester this time, and found it keep the nausea down the next day). As will daily protein - see the Brewer "blue ribbon baby" diet.
Note that vitK2 is (with vitA) crucial to the symmetrical development of wide skull and palate, and crazy hard to get. This is where the recommendation for butter oil comes in. Unless you want to develop a taste for slimy fermented soy beans or can afford foie gras weekly, it's your best source. May also help with the risk of low-grade oral infection during pregnancy, which is a risk factor for preterm birth or miscarriage.
Gilliebean's list is a good one. Find a probiotic and/or digestive enzyme that agrees with you now; you'll need it once rising progesterone and relaxin kick in and stall your peristolsys!
Pregnant women have been advised to consume omega-3 fatty acids in order to ensure proper development of the fetal neurological system. Even after birth, fish oil supplementation can improve the early development of a newborn's brain, visual system, and motor function in women who breastfeed.
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