Hey everyone! We're a mostly paleo couple (he's the one with the slip ups) and we're interested in conceiving in the next few months. This would be our first child. I am interested in other women's paleo pregnancy stories or SAD pregnancy stories and any personal experiences with a paleo pregnancy vs. SAD (if you've experienced one or more of each). Even if you don't have a comparison, I would love to know what your experience was in terms of morning sickness (did you have it, when did it kick in and when did it go away, how did you deal with it, were your experiences different on paleo vs. SAD, etc.), food aversions, complications, etc., and if you have any recommendations pre-conception (maybe foods that would make up for a pre-natal vitamin), exercises, etc.
A little about me: Right now I IF everyday, mostly for convenience and because I am so used to it, have been doing it for over a year now. I only drink water until about 5PM and eat for a few hours. My diet varies day to day, right now I am having a lot of fruit because it's cheap and in season, so some nights I will eat a 3 lb papaya, a quart of strawberries, 1 lb of grapes or fresh pressed apple juice to start things off (maybe 3 nights out of the week have a fruit load) and then dive into a pretty high fat meal, usually some cooked greens with grassfed butter or nitrate free organic bacon fat or a salad with radishes, carrots, onions, tomatoes and avocado, grassfed organic beef, either ground or a roast, sometimes yams or white potatoes with butter, a few macadamia nuts, dates if I have a sweet tooth, and occasional white rice. I have no known food allergies. I take magnesium, K2, zinc, D3 and calcium supplements. I also take fish oil when I remember it. I have been off birth control pills for over a year. I'm 30, a healthy body weight, I walk a lot (live in NYC) and do some yoga and stretching, some weight lifting, but like once every 2 weeks.
I guess what I am hoping to hear is that a paleo pregnancy is smooth sailing, though I know everyone is different, and that your experiences won't necessarily be mine, but I am just curious to know other women's experiences. Thanks!
asked byJackie_4 (4642)
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on July 14, 2012
at 06:32 AM
I've gone into both pregnancies paleo, and the food aversions were pretty bad. The first time I felt like I had failed, but the second time I knew to expect it. Not much puking, but a lot of, "oh I can't even look at or smell that," weeks 5-16. It is the weirdest thing, week 4, I'm frying up chicken livers and kale for lunch, and they taste better than anything I have ever eaten. One week later, I can't even look at a photo of it or I'd be running for the bathroom and dry-heaving for half an hour.
IF might still work for you. I've found that I actually feel better not eating first thing in the morning and waiting 2-3 hours after getting up, grazing a bit, and then having a large meal between 4 and 6 pm, with a little more grazing in the late evening. I've found myself mostly eating fruit, dairy, coconut milk, and (gasp!) oatmeal, granola, or bread and butter. Also had a major meat and egg aversion for the first half of the last pregnancy, and so far for this one, but baja style burritos with carnitas, canned tuna, and sashimi (don't believe the rumors it is fine to eat when pregnant) seem to go down (and more importantly stay down) just fine.
Mid second trimester, appetite comes back with a vengeance and it is easier to get back on track. My love of bread didn't fade last time, but this time, I'm planning on cutting it, or at least switching to only real sourdough as soon as I can stomach more food variety.
Good luck, I wish I could tell you a paleo diet reduces the chance of food aversions or nausea, but it seems to be a total crap shoot, more dependent on the person, or even the individual pregnancy than the diet.
on July 15, 2012
at 04:33 AM
I started eating paleo 3 weeks before I conceived. I had a super easy pregnancy, never vomited, no heartburn, no swelling, etc. I was working out up to 2 weeks before I delivered and felt great. Some days I didn't even feel pregnant (other than a big belly), and I gained less than 20lbs but ate whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted. I did have super protein aversions and nausea early on, and found that sugar/carbs definitely made it worse. If I had something sweet, I would be nauseous an hour later and would only be able to stomach more carbs. If I waited to eat until I was super hungry I could eat anything and then would be ok. However there were a few weeks where I couldnt get much down and pretty much survived on berry/coconut milk/avocado smoothies. I also have to second Gazelle on the OGTT. I ate pretty low carb (<50g/day) because thats what made me feel best but then I totally bombed my OGTT. I had to carb load for 2 weeks and when I re-took it I passed with flying colors. However this was after "fighting" with our midwives, perinatologist, and dietician and bringing in loads of research to support me. Usually they say the 2hr test is a one time definitive test and don't allow re-takes. Save yourself the hassle and make sure youre eating >150g carbs the three days before AND dont eat low carb your last meal the night before, that can also skew your results.
My labor was very fast, and the little guy was 5lbs12oz, but that is a typical size for my family, so I don't know if diet played any role in that. Good luck! I hope everything goes smoothly.
on August 31, 2012
at 03:38 AM
I am currently 36 weeks with my third baby. My first two pregnancies were completely SAD-diet based. I barely exercised and got progressively more swollen as the pregnancies went on. This pregnancy began as a SAD-diet pregnancy as well but seeing my blood sugar and blood pressure climb and threatened with having to go on medication, I switched to a Paleo diet in week 26-ish. The difference is amazing. Where I was moody and in tears and cranky and angry at everyone around me, eating Paleo made me calmer, even nicer to be around - ha!
Also, the tiredness was gone. I had been pretty good about working out through this pregnancy but after going Paleo, I found I was actually enjoying my workouts and had enough energy to do them, not to mention run around after two other little kids. Oh, I have also lost ten pounds in the last month, my blood sugar is under control without medication and my blood pressure though still higher than what the doctors would like, is not enough for medication, so it is currently being monitored. Baby is doing great. I so wish I had eaten like this before I got pregnant but I am thrilled at the results so far of this late-Paleo pregnancy.
on August 21, 2012
at 10:45 PM
There's a Theory out there that morning sickness is due to magnesium deficiency. So you either have to really build it up before you conceive or use a transdermal spray like Ancient Minerals while you're pregnant. Your body prioritizes calcium over magnesium and once the pregnancy hormones kick in it's pretty hard for your body to absorb magnesium. Worth a shot! There's a post at Mommypotamus about it.
on July 14, 2012
at 05:32 PM
My two pregnancies were over a quarter of a century ago (boy, does that make me feel old!) when I was still on the SAD. I can tell you for a fact that no matter how you eat every pregnancy is different.
My first pregnancy I was diagnosed with borderline gestational diabetes which was watched, not treated. I gained a lot of weight (I think about 60lbs). My son was born two weeks early and weighed almost 9lbs. My second pregnancy I was ok on the diabetes issue (go figure) but still gained considerable weight. My second son weighed 7.something lbs. Fortunately, no morning sickness with either.
One thing that I would suggest is to make sure your folic acid is dialed in before getting pregnant. Neural tube development happens early in pregnancy, so if you supplement after you find out that you are pregnant it is often too late to prevent neural tube defects.
Good luck to you. I hope you have an easy pregnancy and delivery!
on July 14, 2012
at 05:12 PM
We tried to conceive for 6 years (I was eating SAD then, but "healthy" vegetarian SAD, whole foods, etc) and I went paleo about a year and a half ago and I got pregnant, so who knows if that had an effect on me, probably, considering I have PCOS.
I had no morning sickness at all (though I don't know if this is because of prior diet, I think it's sort of random), no nausea but I did have food aversions in the 1st trimester, mainly being meat and vegetables which really sucked! So I found myself eating grilled cheese sandwiches and oatmeal, etc.., all starchy foods, but, when the 2nd trimester rolled around I could eat meat and vegetables again and I've since been eating pretty paleo except for a few slip ups here and there, like ice cream or some chips on occasion. I have been eating dairy but I wasn't totally dairy free before either...butter, cheese, yogurt. I'd say that I feel generally ok, not really that energetic (I'm 29 weeks now), but I don't really crave SAD foods and am keeping my diet pretty clean. I also think that I would have gained A LOT more weight thus far if I hadn't been eating paleo. I don't exercise a lot, it just got too hard, but I try to do (gasp) 40 minutes on the elliptical 2-3x a week just to keep blood flowing. I wanted to keep doing HITT type stuff but it was just impossible and I don't feel safe lifting weights. I also live in NYC and walk a lot though it's gotten harder with the heat and feet/ankle swelling (my advice? don't be heavily pregnant in the summer in NYC) but I've done some yoga and pilates but it's pretty gentle.
People have actually asked me if it's "safe" to eat this way during pregnancy which I find hilarious. I think a lot of people really just decide they can eat whatever they want and go to town and figure they can lose it after the baby is born. Personally, I don't want to have to bust my ass to lose extra weight from splurging during the whole pregnancy.
Anyway, good luck! I'd say you are at an advantage eating paleo now and certainly during pregnancy, you're ahead of the game...
on July 14, 2012
at 04:10 PM
I'm at the tail end of my pregnancy (literally 2 weeks left!) and I remember consulting PaleoHacks where I admitted that Paleo food grossed me out and I felt pretty guilty about it. The good news is that it does get better - foodwise! I was lucky enough to have avoided morning sickness entirely, although I do recall some gagging while brushing my teeth, but yeah, those food aversions were powerful! The weeks before conceiving and even a month after finding out I was pregnant, I did so well in my mind, but then, after that first month, I could not stand vegetables, chicken, eggs, and my usual nutrient-dense salads. I was so disappointed in myself. Around Week 18, I was eating better, and nearing my third trimester, I was able to eat mostly Paleo - most of the fertility/pregnancy foods such as wild-caught salmon, liver, pastured eggs, fermented veggies + dairy, fermented cod liver oil + butter oil......though I admit I'm not too fond of the fermented veggies! I did loosen the reins a bit by eating a lot of fruit though! I LOVE fruit! :D
I know each experience is different for each woman, sometimes regardless of diet. Though I would LOVE to be reassured that the birthing process will be super smooth and easy because of my diet...I'm not holding my breath. Hahaha.
Good luck! Keep us updated! :)
on July 14, 2012
at 12:34 PM
Yep, food aversions and morning sickness seem to happen regardless of diet. If it happens to you, eat what you can stomach and know that it will pass. I was and am not 100% paleo but eat mainly nutrient-dense whole food. I conceived easily for the first time at 37, had no complications and had a wonderfully quick and easy natural birth, FWIW. When it comes time for the OGTT, make sure you have enough carbs (150g at least) for a few days beforehand, then suck it up and drink the gross liquid. It's not that bad.
Also, don't be afraid to keep lifting weights and doing yoga. The more you can keep your body moving and flexible up to the end, the easier the birth can be. I sat on an exercise ball at my office desk for months and I think that helped too. Regarding the pelvic floor, think twice before doing Kegels and check this out: https://misskalypso.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/incontinenceprolapsepelvicfloorhealth/
I took an extra folic acid supplement because of the MTHFR mutation, and FCLO and butter oil, plus a whole food prenatal. Your supps and diet sound great to me. Good luck! I'm in NYC too, and my son is now 4.5 months. He is big and strong and developing rapidly :)
on July 14, 2012
at 05:50 AM
It took me six months to get pregnant and the whole time I ate nutritionally as if I was pregnant, though not in quantity. For me that meant a mostly primal diet, with SOOO much protein and butter. I ate clean dairy because it was an easily digestible way to get the nutrition in me. I ate backyard eggs in many forms every day. By the time I got pregnant, I was so nutritionally sound, I think that's why my pregnancy was so good. I did not throw up one time. I felt slightly nauseous twice, both times from the smell of cooking coconut oil (!).
on September 05, 2012
at 01:33 PM
I am 29 years old and living in London. I started eating paleo back in December when my personal trainer introduced me to it. I have done quite a bit of weight training and some running and swimming. I got married in April, and we started trying for a baby in July. I got pregnant immediately and am now 10 weeks! I was shocked how quickly it happened. My morning sickness began at 6 weeks and its been really hard. My usual eggs, meat and veggies have gone out of the window! They all make me gag. I am able to stomach a bit of fruit, but minimal vegetables. My main worry is that I haven't been able to eat any fish at all, and concerned about omega-3 supplements during pregnancy.
Good luck for the future and the best tip I have heard is to relax.
on August 22, 2012
at 01:31 AM
I have 3 babies. My first two I was eating the SAD, had HORRIBLE morning sickness and gained 50 and 60lbs respectively. (uggh) I found the paleo diet after nursing my daughter because I needed to go on an elimination diet.
My 3rd pregnancy was a paleo one and I gained 30 lbs. I had no morning sickness and it was actually kind of pleasant. The weight was gone within 8 weeks of giving birth too. ;)
Now if I'd just found this lifestyle sooner I'd not have jacked up stomach (stretch marks and loose skin.)
on August 30, 2012
at 08:27 PM
I'm currently about 6 weeks with baby #4, and my first on a paleo/primal lifestyle.
I had my first three boys all at over 320lbs, and was over 400 when I started on paleo 10 months ago. I'm down about 160lbs as of 2 months ago, and maintained most of the last 2 months (though not intentionally).
This pregnancy came as quite a surprise, and I'm curious as to what will be different about this one. So far, the nausea is the same... I get queasy (no vomiting) for about 20 minutes just before I get hungry...it's sort of my indicator that even though I don't feel up to it, I better start making something NOW because I'm going to want/need it soon. I'll occasionally get vaguely queasy shortly after eating as well, but nothing too bad.
So far the only craving is for vinegar and spicy foods...finding out I was pregnant explained the recent refrigerator-pickle and sirhacha addictions!
I'm hoping to avoid grains at nearly all costs, so hopefully I can hold out against any other cravings that may hit. My other pregnancies were mostly an excuse to eat whatever I wanted, and in double the amounts, just because I could. With each of them I gained about 50lbs, then lost it with almost no effort in the 6 weeks after delivery.
I think every woman has a different experience, and some are more susceptible to food cravings and aversions than others. Add that every pregnancy is different as well, and it's a toss-up as to how your body will respond.
Good luck to you, and have fun babymaking ;)