4

votes

Paleo pregnancy?

Asked on February 28, 2016
Created March 18, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Are there any other paleo moms to be on Paleo Hacks? I'm 11 weeks now and trying to stay on the paleo path.

Any advice?

896162c5cd0b39e2e030e9bb17093eaa

(154)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

That is wonderful! It is great to learn about the excellent health of people that have been eating paleo for a really long time!

F087e79f7e8a76613c9b82528ab6dc3f

(580)

on March 20, 2011
at 01:12 PM

AWESOME!!!I applaud you! Best wishes!

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 19, 2011
at 04:15 AM

Scott - so your wife is eating SAD?

64242a1130eb51f4852f78beed38b3d5

(1343)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:56 PM

My wife is about 14 weeks now. She is not paleo. I also have seen that the baby is getting everything it needs from the mother. She is eating like a horse compared to normal. Her variety of food choices has increased a lot. She tells me what she wants and she gets it. #fact trying to push a "diet" on a pregnant lady is in direct violation of one of those primal laws about not doing stupid things.

C2b67e9efa9765dc279a1b727e7391b4

(178)

on March 18, 2011
at 05:48 PM

Congrats! Your son/daughter is lucky. I wish my mom had been on the Paleo diet when she had me. I think I would have been so much better off. Oh well, at least I'm Paleo now.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on March 18, 2011
at 04:52 PM

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! Every pregnancy is different! Listen to your body and you will always make the right choice!!!

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 18, 2011
at 04:46 PM

PS--Congratulations!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on March 18, 2011
at 04:31 PM

My husband and I are planning on starting a family very soon! Would love to see LOADS of great contribution!

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on March 18, 2011
at 04:17 PM

congratulations, JK!!! There are lots of interesting things to learn from evolutionary point of view about pregnancy and education, besides diet. Should find some threads here on paleohacks

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8 Answers

5
F087e79f7e8a76613c9b82528ab6dc3f

on March 18, 2011
at 04:13 PM

Not pregnant. But my mother was Paleo 42 years ago when it was not popular yet. She never gained an ounce during her 5th pregnancy at age 31. She started the diet at the advice of her GYN/OB when she found she was pregnant. She was about 30 pounds over weight to begin with. My sister was born so beautiful... Easiest birth my mother had out of us 5 kids. My mother looked and felt fabulous after the birth of my sister. She now lives STILL on a paleo diet at age 75. She and my father have perfect blood cholesterol levels and perfect everything. Dad is 78. Our doctor says they are the healthiest of any of his elderly patients.

896162c5cd0b39e2e030e9bb17093eaa

(154)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

That is wonderful! It is great to learn about the excellent health of people that have been eating paleo for a really long time!

4
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 18, 2011
at 04:10 PM

Well make sure to get great nutrition, that's for sure. Enough micronutrients, DHA, all that.

Loren Cordain has some special recommendations for pregnant women with regards to protein. Here you go.

Protein Intake for Pregnant Women - by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor

Q: Hello Dr. Cordain

I would like to know if you could direct me to any research that indicates what amounts of protein are necessary for pregnant women who live the Paleo Diet way. I am in my third trimester with my first child and have been living Paleo since I first heard you lecture on it back at Boulderfest before your book came out. I have been the picture of health and my pregnancy has been very easy. I am finding that my protein and fat requirements are significantly higher.

Is there any research you could direct me to regarding protein requirements for pregnancy based on trimester?

Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards, Lynda

A: Hi Lynda,

This question has come up before and the bottom line is that your probably should increase your fat and carbohydrate consumption, and limit protein to about 20-25% of energy, as higher protein intakes than this may prove to be deleterious to mother and fetus for a variety of physiological reasons. In my next book, I have devoted a chapter to maternal nutrition before, during and after pregnancy and why protein must be limited during pregnancy.

My colleague John Speth (an anthropologist) at the University of Michigan wrote a paper on protein aversion in hunter-gatherer women during pregnancy. Listed below is the abstract: (note the 25% protein energy ceiling!!!)

"During seasonal or inter-annual periods of food shortage and restricted total calorie intake, ethnographically and ethnohistorically documented human foragers, when possible, under-utilize foods that are high in protein, such as lean meat, in favour of foods with higher lipid or carbohydrate content. Nutritional studies suggest that one reason for this behaviour stems from the fact that pregnant women, particularly at times when their total calorie intake is marginal, may be constrained in the amount of energy they can safely derive from protein sources to levels below about 25% of total calories. Protein intakes above this threshold may affect pregnancy outcome through decreased mass at birth and increased perinatal morbidity and mortality. This paper briefly outlines the evidence for the existence of an upper safe limit to total protein intake in pregnancy, and then discusses several facets of the issue that remain poorly understood. The paper ends by raising two basic questions directed especially toward specialists in primate and human nutrition: is this protein threshold real and demographically significant in modern human foraging populations? If so, does an analogous threshold affect pregnant female chimpanzees? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, we can then begin to explore systematically the consequences such a threshold might have for the diet and behaviour of early hominids."2

The physiological basis for this aversion stems from a reduced rate of urea synthesis during pregnancy that is evident in early gestation1 as well as increases in the stress hormone cortisol3. Hence, pregnant women should include more carbohydrate and fat (i.e. fattier meats) in their diets and limit dietary protein to no more than 20-25% of their total caloric intake.

Hope this helps! Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor

References:

Kalhan, S. Protein metabolism in pregnancy. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71 (suppl): 1249S-55S. Speth JD. Protein selection and avoidance strategies of contemporary and ancestral foragers: unresolved issues. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1991 Nov 29;334(1270):265-9; discussion 269-70. Herrick, K., Phillips, D. I. W., Haselden, S., Shiell, A. W., Campbell-Brown, M., Godfrey, K. M., 2003. Maternal consumption of a high-meat, low-carbohydrate diet in late pregnancy: relation to adult cortisol concentrations in the offspring. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 88(8):3554-3560.

2
Ebe67af857e00c1c39558994c3f60c53

on March 18, 2011
at 04:42 PM

Congratulations!

I'm 9 months pregnant with my third baby (due any day now!) and have been Paleo for about two months now. I haven't gained a pound since I started eating this way and I feel spectacular! The baby has gained all the weight he needed, but I haven't gained anything! The fatigue with this pregnancy has been virtually non-existent since I started the Paleo diet and I can tell my body composition has changed. Plus, I haven't had any issues with swelling, constipation, or insomnia - all of which were huge problems in my other two pregnancies.

I haven't had to deal with too many crazy cravings either. And I've made it a point not to deny myself of food that my body asks for. I can't recommend Paleo pregnancy more highly! I'll never do it any other way.

Good luck to you!

Rebecca

F087e79f7e8a76613c9b82528ab6dc3f

(580)

on March 20, 2011
at 01:12 PM

AWESOME!!!I applaud you! Best wishes!

2
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on March 18, 2011
at 04:15 PM

I'm not pregnant but my sister got me to eat this way on my third trimester and now I'm 3 months later and breastfeeding a 26 inch long, 18 lb 3 month old and I'm down about 15 pounds from my 2 weeks post partum visit. I ate a crap ton of grassfed beef marrow, salmon roe and pastured eggs while I was pregnant (before I ever discovered paleo, I just ate them more with abandon after I stopped eating bread, etc.) Congrats on your pregnancy and please know you're doing the best thing for your baby. In traditional societies women ate an abundance of liver, fish roe, fat, and other nutrient dense foods both before, during and after pregnancy throughout the nursing relationship. I'll be eating this way in my next pregnancy but that won't be until at least 3 or 4 years. :-)

1
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on March 18, 2011
at 05:04 PM

Do not forget to supplement with Vit D3. Very important for the developing baby and for the health of the mother.

http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-study-vitamin-d3-supplementation.html

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/newsletter/pregnancy-and-gestational-vitamin-d-deficiency.shtml

Post delivery, the newborn should also be supplemented with Vit D3 during breastfeeding.

http://westonaprice.org/childrens-health/308-vitamin-d-in-the-infant.html

1
95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 18, 2011
at 04:32 PM

I'm not pregnant, although since eating paleo I appear to have probably gained the ability to get pregnant, something that doctors told me most likely couldn't happen at the age of seventeen, so I've been paying closer attention to threads about it.

There are some great previous questions you should check out if you haven't:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/15681/paleo-and-pregnant#axzz1GxvQO1O7, http://paleohacks.com/questions/13956/paleo-and-pregnancy-and-fat-intake#axzz1GxvQO1O7, http://paleohacks.com/questions/5663/paleo-pregnancy#axzz1GxvQO1O7

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 18, 2011
at 04:46 PM

PS--Congratulations!

0
6e4b38a97f74c32c4d12977acf7cba35

on May 23, 2011
at 10:15 PM

Rebecca, congratulations! Assuming you had a happy healthy delivery and baby by now. I'd be curious to know how it's going. I also started Paleo at the start of my 3rd trimester, I'm 32 weeks now, I'm feeling great now (no longer tired, moody and bloated, instead feel light, energetic, and happy), and also have stopped gaining weight, may have even lost a lb or two. though still have a few issues, but I'm starting to notice they are related to when I have dairy. I wasn't totally ready to give up greek yogurts with honey! but the more I stay away, if I do have some dairy, or oops I did slip up and have some ice cream...constipation. Ugh. but that could just be 3rd trimester hormones. I did have some doubts about doing this mid pregnancy, but I was told I was slightly anemic and attributed it to not really eating much meat (just egg/bean/cheese burritos daily) and a whole lotta oatmeal and cereal the first 6 months of my pregnancy. So I whole heartedly believe eating Paleo can only be good for me and my baby. I eat a ton of fruit along the way, as I'm trying not to lose weight, and I just eat a bunch all day. Adding lots of good fats, like avocado and coconut oil, and omega3's...really, it's got to be better? I feel better...it just makes sense.

0
F087e79f7e8a76613c9b82528ab6dc3f

on March 18, 2011
at 04:20 PM

My mother has one cup of coffee per day and eats poached eggs and sausage or fatty meat such as bacon...although as she has aged, she has cut out pork as she does not digest it easily, for breakfast with 1/4 cup mixed berries each morning. She eats a portion of raw leafy greens with colorful low glycemic vegetables for lunch along with her meat or fish , and the same for dinner adding another vegetable such as asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower,. Nuts and cheese between meals as a specific snack. She has a lite beer now and then. She drinks lots of water. She also nursed our sister using this diet

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