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Undecided about protein

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I would love to get some feed back regarding protein consumption! Most of the things I read says with twins you should consume at least 100 grams of protein a day. But I have also been reading other things that say too much protein is actually very damaging to your body, it causes you to lose calcium, puts strain on your kidneys, etc. According to "the other side" what your body really needs is amino acids and the best source of that is green leafy vegetables. When you eat animal protien your body has to break it down and convert it to amino acids, and you have to eat a ton of protein to even get a small benefit. I am just so confused!! I want to do what is best for the babies, but there is so much conflicting info out there. It seems like so many twin mommies attribute their healthy pregnancies and their babies' healthy birth weights to all the protein they ate. My question is for the moms who ate a ton of protein, did you also eat a ton of green leafy veggies? I really want to carry my babies to 40 weeks, or as close to that as possible and I want them to be at least 7 lbs. I would really appreciate advice! Thank you.
post #2 of 24
I think the diet you refer to is one that has shown to prevent premature labor. Brewer's is it? I think it's a safe one and has saved a lot of babes.

Too much protein can be a big problem for people.

But a woman carrying multiples at risk for premature birth is a much diffeent story. My understanding is that this diet has helped at-risk mothers and babies have full term pregnancies with nice weight babies. I know Mothering has done a few stories advocating this diet for women carrying multiples. Maybe somebody on the board has the index to locate the articles.

I''ll let the experts take over now...
post #3 of 24
Here's some info from the Goddess of Childbearing women.

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articl...on.asp?q=drugs


Protein comes in many forms! One does not have to eat animals to get excellent quality protein! This is not the Atkins diet!
post #4 of 24
Okay, I carried twins past my due date. They were healthy and vibrant. One weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces and the other 8 pounds 10 ounces. My midwives said that my placenta was the healthiest they had ever seen in all their years of practice and it was from a twin pregnancy on top of it. They praised me for eating so well in my pregnancy.

From 23 weeks (when I learned I was having twins) and on, I ate 150 grams of protein a day. I consumed organic red meat, turkey, and organic milk and cheese...and I was not a fan of either (milk or meat) prior to and afterwards. I ate green leafy veggies, kale and spinach and collards and drank 2 gallons of water throughout each day. That was it. No sugar at all. None. I checked ALL labels. I ate no bread or anything other than fruit, veggies and protein. I salted my food begining at 28 weeks to establish and ensure proper blood volume as well.

I started out at 120 grams but had to up it to 150 to feel normal.

This is what my body needed.

Anne Frye counselled me to do so as well as my personal midwife and another midwife.

So the only negative consequence to that time was I still have extra weight on my two years later. But I have healthy, healthy, healthy children (Thank You God) and it is worth the extra mama fat. I just went vegeterian 2 weeks ago and have lost about 5 pounds since then.

You can alway detox later after they are weaned if you are concerned personally about negative effects.

JMPO and experience.

Read Anne Frye's section of twins in HOlistic Midwifery for more.
post #5 of 24
Elizabeth Noble's HAVING TWINS is another good resource.
post #6 of 24
Oh and nancymom...you have to do what is right for your body. If you start to feel sick from too much protein then I'd trust that. But regardless, PLEASE stay away from any refined breads, food and SUGAR, period. And drink at least a gallon of WATER a day and salt your food at 28 weeks on.
It is WELL WORTH THE SACRIFICES.



Enjoy those babies inside.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone!

Mamacita-WARNING, I have lot's of questions for you! :LOL How were you eating before you found out they were twins? Did your diet change drastically or did you pretty much eat the same, but more protein. When you say all you ate was protein, fruits, and veggies, did you eat any whole grains or carbs? I live in Mexico and in this area you cannot get organic anything, much less meat or dairy. It is also hard to find a variety of greens at my grocery store, there is no kale, but there is spinach. So Do you still recommend a diet high in animal products, even if it is not organic? I only have 4 months left of my pregnancy so that really is a short time. Did you eat salad dressing with your spinach and kale? Did you eat cooked veggies as well? If you wouldn't mind, could you give me an example of what you ate in a typical day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks), like a sample menu? How much weight did you gain? I am not worried about gaining alot of weight, as long as my babies are healthy. I would love to have 7 lbs twins and carry to 40 weeks. Do you think 2 gallons of water is necessary? Ok, how in the world did you not eat any sugar or processed foods?? Were you just a super healthy eater before you got pregnant, so it was easy? Or was it hard to do that? You are going to wish you had never answered my post, because I have so many questions for you!! Thank you so much for taking time to help me.

Oh, I do have Elizabeth Nobles book and that is what really gave me hope to have large twins.
post #8 of 24
I am currently 37.5 weeks pregnant and I really attribute the fact that I have gotten this far to diet and maybe also to the magnesium, calcium and omega 3 supps I am taking. I would recommend Dr. Barbara Luke's book highly (Expecting Twins, Triplets and More). While I think she is a bit too medical in her approach to pregnancy and I don't at all agree with her take on processed and fast food (she thinks both are a helpful way to get enough protein), her recommendations about protein and caloric intake are helpful and proven to prevent preterm labor and grow big twins in clinical studies. I was found to have a shortened cervix at 23 weeks and was told that I would most certainly need bedrest eventually and even then would probably experience premature labor, and neither has come to pass. I also think lots of protein really does grow babies. My singleton was only 6lb9oz at 39 weeks. At my last u/s at 36 weeks these guys were estimated at 6 and 7 lbs. I know u/s can be unreliable, but I still have a feeling that my twins will be a good size.

My diet is not quite as healthy as Hotmamacita's : . We eat mostly organic meat and veggies, but not all. I had some elevated blood sugar issues earlier on and drastically cut my carb consumption, but did not eliminate it. Making sure I get enough fiber (lots of beans) helped quite a bit. When I tried to cut carbs too drastically my weight gain really suffered. I have found that cottage cheese is super high in protein. I also eat 3 eggs for breakfast pretty much every day. I sprinkle slivered almonds on everything and have even learned to tolerate protein powder. I am not usually a smoothie/shake person, but I have had very little appetite for the past several weeks and adding a shake or 2 a day has helped alot. Dr. Luke really emphasizes early weight gain, and I am glad I concentrated on this early on as it has gotten hard to eat and gain for the last couple of weeks. I too have been drinking lots of water. I find I really need it.

I have heard some of the same things you have about consumption of protein, particularly animal protein, but I think a twin pg is a really different situation. If anything I have felt healthier than I did pre-pregnancy and my dd (who is taking in more protein by default) has pink cheeks and had only 1 very minor cold this past winter. We were not veg before, but ate meat only 1-2 times per weeks and ate lots more pasta and white rice. You might also want to check out Ina May (Gaskins)'s Guide to Pregnancy. Though she doesn't have too much addressing twins specifically, all the women who birth at The Farm eat a high protein vegetarian diet and they have great outcomes.

FTR, I am trying to eat about 140 grams of protein and 3500 cals per day and I have gained about 45 lbs.
post #9 of 24
I ate whatever I could get down till about 20 weeks (I had awful morning sickness), then I ate 120 grams of protein daily, in whatever form I could. I had trouble eating large quantities of food (no room down there!), so I went for protein dense food like red meat, eggs and protein shakes. I had a lot of food aversions, so I ate whatever I could stomach - a lot of it was junk. I gained 80 pounds total (but weighed less than my pre-pregnancy weight by the time the babes were 3 months old due to nursing.)

Mine were a healthy 7 lbs 4 oz. each and were born c-section (bummer) at 39 weeks.

I also highly recommend the calcium/magnesium supplements and TONS of water. Together with the diet high in protein, I think that's what got me so far.

Good luck!
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by royaloakmi
...I had a lot of food aversions, so I ate whatever I could stomach - a lot of it was junk...
That pretty much sums it up for me. I ate mostly meat, a lot of beans, some grains and candy. Even now, 4 years later, the thought of eating a banana makes me sick.

I read over that Brewer's diet, there is no way I would have been able to eat all that food every day. Not only because I find it repulsive, but because it's *way* too much!

Anyway, my girls did end up coming at 34 weeks - but I didn't have pre-term labor, in fact my cervix never changed one bit, not even after 12 hours of induction. They were 5 lbs 1 oz and 4 lbs 14 oz. I don't know what the average 34 weeker weighs, but everyone told me they were big, especially since I had pre-e.
post #11 of 24
I ate that much protein during my pregnancy and also ate lots of veggies and fruits etc. I ate at leats 2 eggs a day, too.

My babies were huge and healthy. They were born early but thrived compared to others born at their gestation. I credit my diet with their health and the fact that we had no problems in the NICU, they were just "feeder growers". OK, well, my diet during pregnancy and the preemie (breast)milk they got from the start! Now THAT stuff is some good protein and fat!
post #12 of 24
I also read Dr. Luke's book. I agree that there was a medical take on it, BUT she spoke of 42 week twins and not inducing. I took the basics of what she had to say and incorportated it into what I already knew(momof 3, periantal nurse, homebirthing midwifery using mama who nurses long term). What I knew best was to listen to my body. I continued to nurse my dd until my body said stop, I did activiity until my body said stop, I rested when my body said rest and ate when it was hungry. The biggest challenge was never being hungry. I eventually just ensured I had good protien sources and did my best to up it over 100 each day (with a target of at least 140, Doc L says 170!).
I finally said F--K it all and just went to bed for the last 3 weeks and did and ate what ever the heck I wanted. (With the exception of consuming high simple carb treats.)
the babies weighed 6.12 and 6.7...good enough for me!

My basic rule of food has always been, make sure the food remember where it comes from and that when you look at it you should be able to recognise it for what it is.

Patti B.
post #13 of 24
Protein is also very important if you are having identical twins. TTTS has been linked to mothers with low protein levels. Another easy way to get the protein you need is through protein shakes. We were at high risk for TTTS, and I believe the protein shakes are one of the main reasons we only had a very acute case of TTTS. Protein is definately something I believe the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. Also, as others have said get your amino acids in however you can and drink, drink, drink that water until you think you'll float away. Good luck and congrats!
post #14 of 24
I'd LOVe to answer all your questions. I only have a minute now but will answer more later, okay?



Good questions and please drink at least a gallon of pure water a day and avoid all sugar until I answer them, okay?

Where in Mexico are you? Border of a US state, interior, coastal or southern?
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmamacita

Good questions and please drink at least a gallon of pure water a day and avoid all sugar until I answer them, okay?

About the drinking gallons of water advice, which is given again and again by mothers and doctors (etc.) alike... my perinatologist told me in this past pregnancy (not the twin one) that new research is showing that drinking all this water can throw some women's electrolytes out of balance, and actually can CAUSE preterm labor. Gasp. The very thing many women are trying to avoid. Drinking Gatorade-like beverages to restore elctrolytes helps a lot. I drank Gatorade Ice - it's the clear (no dye!) one and was yummy... 1 oz. per 8 oz. of water. So every 4 glasses of water, I'd have 1/2 cup of Gatorade. No biggie. If you can't get past the concept of drinking Gatorade (it took me a while lol) you can make your own but keep in mind that "electrolytes" means more than just sodium chloride (salt)... there's potassium, magnesium, etc. too. And sugar. And there's actually a careful balance of all of these together so make sure you get it right.

So I'd update/modify hotmamacita's advice slightly by saying yes you should guzzle water but have 1 or 2 Gatorades a day too.
post #16 of 24
no, i disagree with the gatorade advice if it has any sugar in it.

if you drink the gallon all at once, yes, you could throw things out of whack but not if you drink it a glass at a time throughout the day.

sugar and twin pregnancy = trouble...
post #17 of 24
hotmamacita,

Why does sugar equal trouble in a twin pregnancy?
I am all for eating as little refined sugar as possible for overall health. But I have never heard that there is anything specific about pregnancy or twin pregnancy which makes sugar a problem.
I never heard anything about this from my midwife or the twin books I read (ok only two Having Twins and Mothering Multiples, so I am not very well read I admit).
Anyway, i freely admit to eating tons of sugar. I didnt gain a pound until I started drinking a vanilla shake every single day (or eating a big DQ ice cream cone) augmented with the occasional snickers bar. It got to the point with me that any calorie I could get in was a good calorie. But we are all different.
Mine is just an anecdotal story.
JOline
post #18 of 24
How were you eating before you found out they were twins? Normal for me for a pregnancy.

Did your diet change drastically or did you pretty much eat the same, but more protein. Yes, I cut out everything but protein, fruits and veggies. I ate small meals of protein throughout the day and night (whenever I got up to pee, I ate a hard-boiled egg, a bunch of cheese or turkey and I drank water)

When you say all you ate was protein, fruits, and veggies, did you eat any whole grains or carbs? I ate minimal whole grains. I really don't remember eating much of them.

I live in Mexico and in this area you cannot get organic anything, much less meat or dairy. It is also hard to find a variety of greens at my grocery store, there is no kale, but there is spinach. So Do you still recommend a diet high in animal products, even if it is not organic? Well, you have to be the judge of that one. You have to trsut your gut if you have a good feeling or not. I certainly have had regular milk and meat and trust that God knows how to protect me from things beyond my control. It won't hurt you to eat complete protein combinations like black beans and whole grain rice or lentils and rice...but make sure it is a complete protein combo. Meat is just a lot easier to get the required protein in. I am not a fan of meat or milk mind you but I did them both intensely for months and it was worth it.


I only have 4 months left of my pregnancy so that really is a short time. I learned at 23 weeks that I was having twins and started eating as mentioned above at that point. So it is NEVER, EVER too late.

Did you eat salad dressing with your spinach and kale? No dressing with my spinach which I ate raw. YOu could put a lemon/yogurt homemade dressing on it if you like. BUt the kale, I lightly sauteed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and ate with beef tips alot. They went well together.

Did you eat cooked veggies as well? Sure, but not over cooked. I ate a lot of yellow and orange veggies as well which is good for your placenta and amniotic sac/fluid.

If you wouldn't mind, could you give me an example of what you ate in a typical day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks), like a sample menu? Okay, you ready? Before Breakfast----milk and PURE protein powder (I found a brand with NO sugar at all in it) and a glass of water....BREAKFAST---bowl of ground cooked beef or beef tips and kale MORE WATER SNACK water and cubes of cheese or cottage cheese LUNCH WATER, PROTEIN SHAKE iwth MILK and some sliced turkey and cheese, SNACK, MORE WATER AND EGGS and VEGGIES DINNER: Gee, guess what? WAter and More beef tips and kale SNACK: raw spinach salad with nuts on it and WATER MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT (2-3 times) Water and hard boiled egg or turkey or cottage cheese

How much weight did you gain? I have to pull my records for you...give me a few days.

I am not worried about gaining alot of weight, as long as my babies are healthy. I would love to have 7 lbs twins and carry to 40 weeks.

Do you think 2 gallons of water is necessary? I think one is the absolute minimum. I needed two. I filled up two pitchers in the morning and drank them by 4 PM and filled them up again to finish by the next morning. That met my 2 gallon quota and I felt good.

Ok, how in the world did you not eat any sugar or processed foods?? Okay, let me put it this way....I stopped completely. I was serious. Anne frye and my midwife explained to me that if I ate any crap, I could decrease my chances of a homebirth. I ate a kids fudge sunday once and the next day sugar showed up in my urine. That was convincing enough and I never cheated again.

Were you just a super healthy eater before you got pregnant, so it was easy? Or was it hard to do that? It wasn't easy but once I got into a routine and figured out how much proteing and water I needed to feel good....feeling good was more important to be that eating crap or comfort food. But I will tell you the FIRST thing I ate when the twins were born was a chocote bar and the first thing I drank was orange soda.

You are going to wish you had never answered my post, because I have so many questions for you!! Thank you so much for taking time to help me. No, you have GREAT questions. No problem at all.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmamacita
no, i disagree with the gatorade advice if it has any sugar in it.

if you drink the gallon all at once, yes, you could throw things out of whack but not if you drink it a glass at a time throughout the day.

sugar and twin pregnancy = trouble...
We need sugar to live. By sugar I do not mean sucrose, but glucose. Gatorade and similar drinks have glucose in them. When we drink too much water (a gallon is a HUGE amount of water for someone to drink daily without electrolyte/sugar supplementation) some women's systems get thrown out of balance and you end up in the hospital with preterm labor contractions with an IV of... you guessed it... electrolyte+glucose water dripping into your arm.

1 gallon = 128 ounces.... that's 16 glasses (8 oz. each) of water a day

My perinatologist is at Johns Hopkins. He handles the very high risk pregnancies, and said this is what the latest research is showing. It makes good common sense to me too, which is why I did this for my last pregnancy.

HMC.. it sounds like you had an extremely healthy diet and so getting enough electrolytes/sugar etc. probably wasn't an issue. But just wanted to caveat your advice that drinking gallons of water a day needs to be very carefully monitored by most women who don't eat like you did - even the most careful of us had grains and the occasional (yeah right lol) bowl of ice cream - and so we would be well advised to supplement our electrolytes/sugar if consuming that much water.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Wow, I am going to have to go back and read all these posts again several times. :LOL Thank you all so much for your feedback, I appreciate it so much.

Also, my family got food poisoning 6 days ago and we all STILL have diarrhea. We finally decided to drive up to the border (we are only 3.5 hours away) to get a bunch of probiotics to take. I just don't know what to do, this is not going away! I think my whole family is dehydrated and I am so sick of gatorade. I am eating toast and apples, rice, etc. Should I continue to take any of my prenatals?
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