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#1 of 19 Old 03-21-2009, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is anyone else on the Brewer's Diet? My midwife recommended that I start it immediately and sent me a few links...

So...tomorrow I'm going to start. I am a little concerned about soy proteins which I see repeatedly mentioned as I avoid soy for it's phytoestrogen effect so I think I'll avoid that route. I'm normally a vegetarian but I have been craving chicken, so finding some antibiotic, cruelty free chicken is stomachable to me right now.

Anyone else?

Carolina, tree hugging, treehugger.gif animal loving, backyard chicken keeping, Wife to Dh, homeschooling Mama to Ds1(Aug '06) and Ds2 (Nov '09)

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#2 of 19 Old 03-21-2009, 08:04 PM
 
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I don't do soy at all (I'm also veg)

Here is the version I follow http://www.bradleybirth.com/PD.aspx

and the checklist I use http://jennlawson.files.wordpress.co...preadsheet.pdf

My main sources of protien are beans & rice, peanut butter, nuts & eggs along with dairy.

Dawn, mama to D (3.06) & N (9.07) C (11.09) & Still-in-shock surprise due in Aug!
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#3 of 19 Old 03-21-2009, 08:54 PM
 
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My MW doesn't recommend it. She stated that it's too much food and protein for most people. She really pushes the "Eat to Live" diet for her moms, which includes tons of raw veggies, beans, and low dairy/carbs. She said labors are faster/easier by growing a smaller but healthy baby. I can't argue w/ that!

Momma to DD (12/04) hearts.gif and DS (11/09) hbac.gif.
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!

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#4 of 19 Old 03-21-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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I'm a most of the time TF'er so I was already eating a lot of protein and drinking 2 gallons of raw milk a week so I'm really just trying to get in more leafy greans and veggies in general as recommended by the Brewer diet handout as midwife I interview gave me (that's really all I know about this diet). I hadn't had soy in MONTHS but lately I've been craving the Odwalla protein drinks in the Chocolate and Almond flavors mmm... so good and have tons of protein if you do "do" soy. I don't think the grain intake will be a problem, I eat lots of grains but mainly gluten-free ones like corn and rice. I am really trying to eat more pastured eggs and beans and nuts as protein because meat is so expensive and we're really trying to cut costs to pay for the homebirth... I would love to hear high-protein veggie recipes/ideas!
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#5 of 19 Old 03-21-2009, 09:24 PM
 
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I haven't seen the midwives yet this pregnancy, but they recommend a version of the Brewer diet. I eat a lot of cottage cheese these days.

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#6 of 19 Old 03-22-2009, 02:09 AM
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I'm trying to do the Brewer's diet, with the additional protein for nursing.

I'm not doing any soy, as my nursing boy is allergic. At home, we eat a vegetarian diet.

I have a hard time getting in all of the calories. Most days I feel like I am on the Atkins Diet.

Rebecca, mama to Carter Elliot , 06 November 07, Holden Oliver, 10 November 09, and Harper Lucinda Amelie, 26 September 11 and someone new, coming at the end of September 2013.

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#7 of 19 Old 03-22-2009, 09:43 AM
 
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I did the Brewer diet the first time, but I don't remember soy being on the list. I don't do soy- this time(#3) I am gluten free, dairy free, soy free and low grain and sugar(only natural forms(like raw honey- very, very sparingly). I think the Brewer diet is on the money about the protein- but if you eat that much gluten/grain for a lot of people that is going to be excess weight and it is hard to digest- I don't tolerate it myself. I also don't seem to tolerate eggs that well these days either, but am good with meat. I try to eat liver a couple of times a week for all that good iron and b vitamins. I have lots of good farm fresh meat- lots of veggies, good fats and some fruit, nuts and seeds. I try to focus on the protein but also on those veggies as I need all of it together to feel the best. I start the day w/ fresh veggie and fruit juice- sausage(w/ just spices- no msg- from a local farm) and a head of broccoli- I feel awesome starting the day that way. Lunch and supper are some protein and a couple of veggies- salads a few times a week(will be more when they are in season). I am anxious for spring and summer and all the good veggies to be ripe!

Happily Married to my : 11 yrs- Mama to wild-eyed monkey boy 7-04, fiery little girl 4-07, and the happy smiley baby that sleeps 11-09!
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#8 of 19 Old 03-24-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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Just a gentle reminder.....

However you plan to get the protein, it is important to remember that the Brewer Diet is not just about protein. For this diet to work as it's intended to work, it needs to include extra protein, PLUS extra calories, PLUS extra salt. The goal is to increase the mother's blood volume by 60%, by increasing the osmotic pressure in her bloodstream, and those three components in the diet are what helps to do that. The reason that the blood volume needs to increase is to service the growing placenta. When that level of blood volume increase does not happen on the schedule that it wants to, that is when we see the cascade of effects that can include things like a rising BP, pathological edema, IUGR, clots behind the placenta, hypoxia of the placenta, constriction of blood vessels in the placenta, and premature contractions.

I would also like to issue a caution concerning the philosophy that a smaller baby is easier to push out than a larger baby is. That idea started in 1800, and I think that we now have good reasons for why that doesn't work as well as might seem obvious.

One reason that that plan might not work so well is that the uterus needs to grow so much new muscle tissue during the pregnancy. Before pregnancy, the uterus weighs only 2 oz. At the end of pregnancy, the uterus alone should weigh about 2 lbs, which means that the uterus has to grow 1 lb 14 oz of new muscle cells. If the baby is on the smaller size because the mother has been restricting her nutrition for the purpose of having a smaller baby, the uterus has also been getting less nutrition, and may have less muscle tissue as a result. According to Brewer, this results in a less-strong uterus that may be more prone to dysfunction during labor, and more likely to need medical help such as pitocin.

Another reason why this plan might not work so well is that the pelvic bone needs to stretch during the pushing stage of the labor. The pelvis appears to be one solid bone, but it is actually composed of three bones held together by ligaments. In the non-pregnant body, the pelvis functions as one solid bone because these ligaments are so tight. During pregnancy, the placenta secretes the equivalent of 100 birth control pills a day. One of these placental hormones has the function of loosening these ligaments that hold the pelvic bone together. If a baby is on the "larger" side due to the mother's eating a better diet, the placenta will also be better nourished and more capable of making a good amount of this hormone that loosens these ligaments, resulting in a stretchier pelvis. So if a baby is on the "larger" side because the mother has been eating better, it is possible that that baby could be easier to push out through a more-stretchy pelvis than a baby who is on the "smaller" side and is being pushed through a less-stretchy pelvis from the mother restricting her food intake for the purpose of having a smaller baby.

I recognize that one thing that is problematic with a discussion like this is the lack of standard definition of what "larger" and "smaller" mean. In mainstream medical obstetric practice, 5 lbs is the standard dividing line between "normal" and "low birth weight", and from what I've heard in responses from mainstream professionals, they seem to regard any birth weight over 8 lbs to be "too big". On the other hand, Dr. Brewer used to quote a researcher who considered any birth weight less than 7 lbs 2 oz to be less than optimal. And in the natural-birth and homebirth circles that I've worked with, it seems that the average birth weight is about 7.5 lbs. to 8.5 lbs, with many babies reaching 9 - 9.5 lbs without anyone being concerned. I personally have helped with at least 3 homebirths of babies who weighed around 10 lbs, two of them with no apparent extra difficulty in the labor. Also, about 15 yrs ago, we had one local homebirth practice of doctors who had one 15 lb baby born at home with no problems to either mother or baby. So the idea of what an ideal birth weight is can be rather relative, at least where the above-seven-pounds range goes. But I do think that the bottom line is that it can be risky for the mother to try to have a smaller baby by eating less food.

Here is more on that question from Dr. Brewer....

http://home.mindspring.com/~djsnjones/id68.html

Best wishes,
Joy

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#9 of 19 Old 03-24-2009, 12:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by djsnjones View Post
But I do think that the bottom line is that it can be risky for the mother to try to have a smaller baby by eating less food.
I know where you're coming from and I understand your concern for squashing mal-information. What my MW's diet focuses on is lean meats, beans, nuts, fruits, tons of greens and raw eating, and less dairy and carbs. She certainly isn't suggesting that I starve myself or have less than optimal nutrition, but rather not overload myself with carbs and fat. And, since GD runds in my family, I don't want to test my limits on the carbs especially.

Also, I can easily see how someone who didn't eat well before pregnancy could benefit from this diet, but it's not the only healthy way to eat during pregnancy. FWIW, my MIL (and all of the women in DH's home country, for that matter) never had a cup of milk during her pregnancies and likely very few eggs, and had 6 healthy, beautiful average-sized babes all at home.

Momma to DD (12/04) hearts.gif and DS (11/09) hbac.gif.
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!

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#10 of 19 Old 03-24-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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She certainly isn't suggesting that I starve myself or have less than optimal nutrition, but rather not overload myself with carbs and fat.
Thanks for the clarification. :-)

I guess the operative word here is "overload". What can seem like an overload to one practitioner can seem like a normal level to another practitioner. And it is another undefined, unstandardized word, so we may actually be in agreement here.

I would also like to point out that the servings that are recommended in the Brewer Diet are often smaller than most people realize. So sometimes it is helpful for people to look at the serving sizes before they decide whether what is recommended is too much for them. That information can be found on the "The Diet" page of my website.

I would like to also clarify that the Brewer Diet tries to emphasize healthy carbs (including whole grains, for example), rather than empty carbs.

And as you probably already know, getting some carbs and fats is very important in pregnancy, so that the mother is avoiding ketosis, and so that fat-soluble vitamins can be absorbed, and I think that fats are important for brain and nerve development as well. And the Brewer Diet recommends items like nuts and avocado and nut butters and healthy oils for the fat needs, so it can be done in a healthy way, which you probably also already know.

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And, since GD runds in my family, I don't want to test my limits on the carbs especially.
The issue of GD is a whole other issue. :-) Usually that diagnosis is a result of the use of the GTT, which is a faulty test, rather than the result of a pregnant body mis-behaving. :-) You-all may have already seen this side of the controversy, but in case you haven't, for more on that issue, you-all can see this page (which includes links to similar articles by Henci Goer and Michel Odent).....

http://home.mindspring.com/~djsnjones/id33.html

But I can understand your wanting to be careful, with that kind of experience in your family.

Quote:
Also, I can easily see how someone who didn't eat well before pregnancy could benefit from this diet, but it's not the only healthy way to eat during pregnancy. FWIW, my MIL (and all of the women in DH's home country, for that matter) never had a cup of milk during her pregnancies and likely very few eggs, and had 6 healthy, beautiful average-sized babes all at home.
I agree that this specific way is not the only healthy way to eat during pregnancy, but it's my opinion that every pregnant woman, regardless of how she ate before pregnancy, needs to increase her blood volume by 60% by the end of her second trimester. It's just a normal part of the normal process of pregnancy--just as every pregnant mother needs to grow a healthy placenta and a healthy umbilical cord and a uterus that grows properly. When she can find another way to do that, then everything will be fine.

The symptoms of a blood volume that is not as high as it should be include pathological edema, a rising BP, and fetal growth that is falling behind. Also, the earliest symptom of pre-eclampsia is actually a rising hemoglobin/hematocrit, because as the blood volume falls, the blood becomes more "concentrated" and so the Hgb/Hct value rises.

As far as the eggs and milk go, the main reason that Dr. Brewer started there is that he was initially working with women with very low incomes, and eggs and milk are the lowest-cost high-quality proteins available in our grocery stores. So this was the easiest way for them to get the kind of protein that they needed.

The other reason is that eggs and milk provide so many of the vitamins that pregnant bodies need--such as calcium from milk and Vitamin A from eggs (which helps to prevent bladder infections during pregnancy). So especially for mothers who may be less able to afford to buy extra vitamin supplements in pregnancy, the eggs and milk were a great place to start.

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#11 of 19 Old 03-24-2009, 01:34 PM
 
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Thanks for the info!

Momma to DD (12/04) hearts.gif and DS (11/09) hbac.gif.
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!

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#12 of 19 Old 03-24-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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You're welcome!

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#13 of 19 Old 03-24-2009, 04:05 PM
 
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So I was wondering if there is a such thing as eating too much protein? I've started writing down what I've been eating and although I'm also eating fruits, veggies, grains, etc. I consumed about 200 g of protein yesterday... Is there a limit to how much protein you should consume or does your body just not use the excess (if it cannot store it in the body)?
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#14 of 19 Old 03-24-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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Is it possible that your servings were smaller than the amounts that were on your protein counter? It's usually pretty difficult for women to eat enough food that it adds up to 200 grams of protein.

The answer to this question is pretty controversial. Some people will tell you "Absolutely Yes! You can get too much protein!" I would disagree with them with some qualifiers....

People with pre-existing kidney or liver problems should be careful of how much protein they eat.

But normally it's probably not possible for the average pregnant woman to get too much protein. Usually the extra protein that a pregnant woman eats actually protects her kidneys and kidneys from the normal stresses of pregnancy. It's also usually true that it's easier for pregnant women to have less protein than they need, rather than too much. And it's also true that just one day of protein that high will not be enough to have any negative effects on you.

You can find more information about this on these pages....

http://home.mindspring.com/~djsnjones/id13.html

http://www.naturalchildbirth.org/mam...id=44&Itemid=3

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#15 of 19 Old 03-24-2009, 05:14 PM
 
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I don't think my count is off, though it could be but it would still definitely be above 150 gms. I drink a lot of dairy (raw) because that's the only way I was able to keep weight on while BFing and since I am still BFing and now pregnant, I still drink that much dairy and am eating a little bit more than usual. So yesterday was probably high because I had a raw milk/egg/fruit smoothie for breakfast, 3 oz beef bbq fried rice, broccoli and 2 large glasses of raw milk at lunch, french toast with some pineapple neufchatel for a snack (with a small glass of milk), and a probably a 5-6 oz burger with cheese (and romaine, avocado, onions) with sweet potatoes and another 2 glasses of milk. Jeez, that looks like a lot of dairy. But I'm really not drinking any more than pre-pregnancy so that shouldn't be harmful right?,
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#16 of 19 Old 03-24-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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I don't see how that could be too much for you, especially since you are both breastfeeding and pregnant.

You may find some help from my "Special Needs" page (scroll down halfway for the list of special need situations)....

http://home.mindspring.com/~djsnjones/id95.html

For breastfeeding during pregnancy, she recommends adding 20 grams of protein and 200 calories to the Basic Plan. So that would add up to 100-140 grams of protein and 2800 calories, assuming that you don't have any other extra protein/calorie/salt expenditures in your life.

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#17 of 19 Old 07-23-2009, 09:27 AM
 
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My MW doesn't recommend it. She stated that it's too much food and protein for most people. She really pushes the "Eat to Live" diet for her moms, which includes tons of raw veggies, beans, and low dairy/carbs. She said labors are faster/easier by growing a smaller but healthy baby. I can't argue w/ that!
Gosh, good for her! Can I have your midwife? Mine is freaking out about my vegetarianism and wants me to eat tons of meat (and dairy, which I'm also not into). I don't know why bigger babies are seen as healthier in this culture.

Mama with DD (01/04) and DD (08/09)
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#18 of 19 Old 07-23-2009, 12:33 PM
 
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Mine is freaking out about my vegetarianism and wants me to eat tons of meat (and dairy, which I'm also not into).
I don't know why people underestimate the goodness of vegetable protein. It's not exactly like you can't get a massive amount of high quality (complete) protein by eating a bowl of rice/beans, quinoa, or even turnips/turnip greens! :

Momma to DD (12/04) hearts.gif and DS (11/09) hbac.gif.
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!

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#19 of 19 Old 07-28-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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I'm not doing it this time around but I did do it when I was pregnant with my twins. They had good birth weights for being born at 36 wks.

Aradria SAHM to : ds 2003, ds and dd 2007 and ds Nov 2009. :
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