In terms of food, vitamins, or otherwise? I'm wondering if the CW is based on the assumption that everyone's consuming factory-farmed meat, industrial oils, and aspartame. If so, what restrictions or guidelines would not apply to one eating a paleo diet of local, organic, grass-fed foods?
Should raw egg yolks really be avoided? What about lunch meats? Even if you're getting high(er) quality meats sans gluten etc.? Do all my burgers, steaks, etc need to be cooked to well done?
Is morning sickness really inevitable for some? Or does a paleo diet make it less likely or less intense?
(I'm curious because I've just found out I'm pregnant and haven't had time to read, read, read yet. I will start with Chris Kresser and go from there, but in the meantime I don't want to foul anything up. Right now I'm occupied with the to-ultrasound-or-not-to-ultrasound debate.)
asked byRuth (2178)
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on December 14, 2012
at 02:30 PM
Congrats on your Pregnancy!
Answering your title question:
Thinking pregnancy is a medical condition & birth is an emergency in general.
Ignoring gut health as a key determinant in mom & baby's health.
Ignoring Vitamin D status as a good bio-marker for health.
Forgetting that we are mammals and have mammalian needs.
Not enough emotional support for the rite-of-passage that is happening.
In response to the questions below, I tell the mamas I work with to trust their intuition about the foods they eat. If they ate them easily pre-pregnancy with no problems, and they have healthy gut flora & good D status, then eating rare meat, raw egg yolks, etc are unlikely to be an issue.
That said, my mom got sick with listeria from raw milk when she was pregnant with me & the antibiotics she took wiped out her gut flora & really messed up my gut health. (Babies get their gut bacteria from mom during a vaginal birth.) She was new to the States, stressed out, low D status & likely had not drunk raw milk before.
As far as morning sickness, it's a mixed bag & Paleo on its own will not prevent it. Here's a blog post I wrote that may be helpful:
on December 14, 2012
at 04:30 PM
My SAD pregnancies were terrible. I was sick for nine months and was even throwing up in the delivery room with my first one. I was extremely lactose-intolerant and went through tons of antacids every day.
This time around, though, I haven't been sick once. Since cutting out grains, I only experience heartburn if I am accidentally glutened. I have been hyper-vigilant and am experiencing the best pregnancy. I do consume dairy, but mostly in the form of Kerrygold butter and cheese. There is always raw milk in the house, but I'm not one to just drink a glass of milk.
CW fails me most of the time. I had an idiot diabetic "nutritionist" tell me the baby "needs" me to consume 180g of carbs every day and I'll have to increase my insulin usage to compensate. Yeah right. It freaked me out in the beginning, but once I calmed down and realized that I trusted my sources far more than I trust her having full faith in the guidelines set forth by the State of California and the American Diabetic Association, agencies in bed with big pharma, I put her on ignore and went back to eating what I know to be the best for my body and, ultimately, my baby. (She couldn't believe that I wouldn't even eat oatmeal.)
on December 14, 2012
at 10:32 PM
Strict avoidance of sushi and sashimi, at least where regulations require that it be frozen for 2 weeks before consumption, and safe handling techniques are used to reduce listeria potential. I still wouldn't eat a ton of sashimi from varieties of fish on the high mercury list though. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20042060
The treatment of gestational diabetes through a high carb, high calorie diet, where you have to eat 6 times per day to avoid the spilling of ketones, that is then managed by insulin.
http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/29/3/177 "Neonates born to diabetic mothers with ketonuria had no fetal distress or asphyxia neonatorum. The lowest Apgar score at 5 min was 8; 80% of neonates had a score of 10. Hence, positive Ketostix tests in urine samples do not indicate toxic levels in the blood, and a 1000 calorie diet for obese pregnant diabetics appears to be safe as regards neonatal outcome."
The need for a high protein diet. High fat, yes. High protein, no. I think this comes from our cultural fat phobia, I think when doctors say "high protein foods", they often mean "high fat foods" but just can't say it. http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2010/07/the-danger-of-protein-during-pregnancy/
The recommendation to eat nonfat and lowfat dairy. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/eating-low-fat-yogurt-pregnancy-increase-kids-asthma/story?id=14554369#.UMuoL6xX6So
Needing to cook meat and egg yolks until well done. There are health benefits to eating a mixture of well cooked and less cooked meat. If that beef or lamb steak is 100% grassfed it won't have the same dangers of acid resistant ecoli, and other food borne pathogens that a CAFO steak will have. On a personal note, well cooked red meat makes me gag, even more so with the enhanced gag reflex of pregnancy, but a rare cooked lamb steak goes down just fine. Over the course of 2 pregnancies I've had food poisoning once, and it was from an egg prepared in a restaurant that my hubby grabbed as take out for me where the egg white didn't get cooked, and then it sat at room temp for about 45 minutes before I got to it. I've had zero problems with soft cooked and even uncooked egg yolks from free range eggs, but maybe I just got lucky when I was going through my homemade Caesar salad phase (although I think the vinegar in the dressing likely kills most of the bacteria that could be a problem).
on December 14, 2012
at 08:59 PM
Definitely make sure you get adequate iodine and selenium. There's several studies that show an inadequate intake of iodine can inhibit brain development in children.
on December 17, 2012
at 05:05 AM
I ate way too many grains during pregnancy, so was not strictly paleo, but I did eat lots of healthy fat, raw eggs in a coconut smoothie every day, and plenty of rare meat. I didn't have any morning sickness, no matter what I ate, and neither did my low-fat, underweight mom, so I think it s more about genetics than diet. Jmo.
on December 14, 2012
at 09:43 PM
I think Robb Wolf addressed some pregnancy concerns in his most recent podcast vis a vis raw egg and fish--or maybe it was milk or the cooked meat issue? In any case worth a listen to. Personally, I would be careful about raw eggs, undercooked meat, milk, and fish during pregnancy, just becuase there is a risk and I'd never forgive myself if soemthing happened, however unlikely it is.
Otherwise, I think CW is all wet when it comes to pregnancy nutrition. Dr. Michael Fox is a reproductive endocrinologist who puts his infertility patients on low carb diets and their fertility is increased. He also reports that his patients experience little if any morning sickness, no gestational diabetes, and the babies are very healthy. I know you were asking about paleo, not low carb, but it would seem to apply since CW is so big on "healthy whole grains" to get the necessary vitamins and minerals--NOT necessary if you're eating a well-formulated paleo grain-free and possibly even dairy free diet.
I was low carb in my second pregnancy. The doctors were scared of ketosis so I ate enough carbs to just stay out of ketosis, but not many carbs at all compared to CW (not paleo at that point, so I sadly did not stay completely grain free or have as clean a diet as I do now). It was an easy, wonderful prengancy even though I was 41, working two jobs and going to night school. I had no morning sickness (didn't in my first pregnancy either, though). Both of us were healthy and happy.
And babies don't NEED grain cereals. My theory is give them veggies first and they will be lifelong veggie eaters. Worked with my kids, who love their veggies.
Both Andreas Enefeldt and Dr. Jay Wortman have young babies whose wives went through completely "paleo" (LCHF) pregnancies and keep their babies 100% grain and sugar free and they both rave about how good they think it is for their babies on their blogs.
Really, people ate the "paleo way" until the last few generations, with the exception that most (not all) cultures had grains, too. And they didn't have many of the diet related health problems we do now in the pregnant moms or babies. Gestational diabetes was rare, babies were born with good gut flora and robust immune systems as long as the families had adequate nutrition in the first place.
on December 15, 2012
at 05:36 AM
Congrats! I just watched this video on iodine and thought I'd post. He talks about iodine sufficiency in pregnancy at around the thirteen minute mark.
I do realize I'm posting a lecture by a mainstream doc:) I just thought it was interesting.