This program is intended for women who are planning to get pregnant within six months
to two years. According to some research, metabolic syndrome, breast cancer, and heart disease are
influenced by sub-optimum nutrition during early development, such as maternal obesity
or malnutrition. Poor maternal nutrition leads to epigenetic modifications that alter
factors that change birth weight, and ultimately lead to disease. The nine months of
gestation is possibly the most critical time for determining the child’s state of health
throughout life (Kresser, 2016). This underscores the importance of good maternal diet.
Strategy for a Healthy Pregnancy
– Frequent meals, healthy snacks. A good breakfast.
– Good sleep, and stress management.
– Foods that maximize nutrients and minimize toxins.
– Supplements, if necessary.
Ideally, more time will likely give time to improve nutritional status of the
mother before becoming pregnant. There is a need for clear, rational nutrition advice.
Women are often confused by a cacophony of messages from so-called experts. The
USDA advises “make choices that limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats.
Added sugars and saturated fats can be found in foods like soft drinks, desserts, fried
foods, cheese, whole milk, and fatty meats. Choose vegetable oils instead of
butter… ” (FDA, 2017). Sugar should indeed be limited, but restricting
calories during pregnancy is not a good idea, and I haven’t seen any convincing
evidence that saturated fat is harmful during pregnancy, particularly if it’s replaced with
vegetable oil. Reducing the intake of healthy fats is a bad idea especially during
pregnancy because it will result in cravings, and replacing butter with vegetable oils will
result in lower intakes of essential fat-soluble vitamins and increase the oxidative stress
burden on the body (Cy, Kamisah, Faziza, & Jaarin, 2012) (Rose, Thompson, &
Williams, 1965). Sharon Moore writes that omega-6 saturated fat causes deranged fat
metabolism (Moore, Chapter 7). This statement doesn’t make sense, but that does
exemplify the quality of nutrition advice women typically receive. Certain genetic
polymorphisms predispose to elevated blood lipids when saturated fat is consumed,
although the association of dyslipidemia with saturated fat intake might reveal a
deficiency of dietary choline, because Americans no longer eat organ meats and egg
yolks (Masterjohn, 2010). Sally Fallon asserts that animal fats, including saturated fats
and cholesterol, are beneficial in the diet, and that pregnant women need plenty of fat-
soluble vitamins found in butter, cream, fish and fish eggs, eggs and organ meats
(Fallon, 1999, p. 10). Women should be counselled to eschew fad diet advice which
originates in the food industry and our own government, and consume a diet that is rich
in nutrients, and appropriate for her situation and health needs. Ratios of macronutrients
are secondary to the quality of food that is consumed.
Women have been long been advised to consume fish and other seafood because of
the beneficial effects of long-chain omega 3 fats, including EPA and DHA. However, in
recent years scientists have expressed concern over mercury and organic pollutants
that bioaccumulate in fish. Recent studies show overwhelming beneficial effects from
consumption of most types of fish from uncontaminated waters (Taylor, Golding, &
Emond, 2016). In spite of this, the current recommendations from the USDA and most
other experts are too confusing for many people to understand. The USDA says “The
nutritional value of seafood is particularly important for pregnant or breastfeeding
mothers” (FDA, 2017). Most other sources including the authors of Nutrition (Smolin &
Grosvenor, 2013, p. 703) recommend consuming no more than 12 ounces per week of
fish due to fears of mercury contamination. Other sources recommend much lower
amounts. If fish is healthy, why is its consumption limited? Poor quality foods should be
limited, while not instilling fear over healthy choices.
Pregnancy complications can be caused by many problems, including exposure to
toxins, impaired folate metabolism, hormone dysfunction, thyroid insufficiency, clotting
disorders, autoimmune conditions, infections, and nutritional deficiencies. The scope of
this intervention is to develop educational materials to inform the public of the benefits
of consuming a nutrient-dense diet before conception, and to provide practical
examples of health supporting diets.
The connection between diet and fertility is a topic that has been overlooked in
conventional medicine. During pregnancy, the mother’s body must nourish both itself
and a growing fetus, and this process is nutritionally demanding, requiring additional
nutrients that are lacking in modern American diets. Dr. Weston Price elucidated the
connection between diet and health. Dr. Price traveled the world in search of factors
contributing to dental decay, and in turn discovered that humans who consume pre-
modern diets not only have improved dental health, but also have improved childbearing
ability, fewer pregnancy complications, and are relatively free from modern diseases
(Shanahan, P.68). “Primitive” societies did not have access to modern technologies,
drug therapy, or other radical interventions, but were nonetheless were able to deliver
healthy babies because traditional wisdom that was passed down through the
generations (Price, 1939, pp. 3, 75). People knew that good food supported health.
More recent studies have found that peoples eating traditional diets have very low levels
of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, which our common in our modern world, and are
a result of modern diets, which are less nutrient dense, and higher in empty calories
(Lipski, 2010) (Whalen, et al., 2017). Consumption of processed foods leads to sub-
optimal health, which is expressed in modern diseases. Pregnancy complications may
be an expression of sub-optimal health status. The consumption of a nutrient-dense diet
should be standard for women who are planning to conceive, as it will affect not only her
health, but the health of her child in the future.
Genetics: If there is a family history of pregnancy complications, a genetic test
should be done. MTHFR is a gene in the methionine synthase pathway that converts folate
to the active form. The C677T mutation slows this cycle, and can impair the production of
folate, potentially slowing methylation. This pathway important in pregnancy, because the
growing baby needs folate to create DNA. Those with the C677T SNP should be encouraged to
consume natural sources of folate, such as leafy greens. It may also be necessary to
implement targeted supplementation. On the BCMO1 gene, a polymorphism in A379B
can result in impaired conversion of beta carotene to pre-formed vitamin A (retinol).
Vitamin A is necessary for proper DNA differentiation, and is necessary for a successful
pregnancy. Women who have this gene should be encouraged to consume sources
natural sources of retinol, and may need to supplement.
Preeclampsia is more common with women who have polymorphisms in rs11646213,
which affects adiponectin receptor activity (Fava, et.al, 2011), or various other genes
that affect levels of aldosterone. However, preeclampsia is considered by many to be a
disease of insulin resistance. There are many other genetic variants that can predispose
to pregnancy complications, including, which including VDR mutations, and clotting
factor disorders. Knowing risks of pregnancy complications can assist health coaches in
counselling clients in improving diet, and targeted supplementation if necessary.
Nutrients needed in Pregancy:
Folate (vitamin B9) is needed for the synthesis of proteins and the production of new
DNA. Pregnancy is a critical time for folate, and inadequacy will result in birth defects or
miscarriage. Folate supplementation has been successful at reducing the number of
neural tube defects, although other studies associate folic acid supplementation with
cancer. According to some recent research, low folate is a manifestation of choline
deficiency. Choline is a precursor to betaine, and assists with homocysteine
methylation, liver and muscle function, and is necessary for brain structure and function,
being a precursor to acetylcholine. At least 90% of Americans are deficient in choline,
and adequate intake of choline will prevent folate deficiency and associated neural tube
defects. (Jaminet, 2013, p. 136). A limited amount of choline can be synthesized
endogenously through the PEMT enzyme, but common polymorphisms in this gene
increase the need for choline in some people (Zeisel, 2007). Pregnancy and lactation
greatly increases the need for chorine, but increased estrogen activates the PEMT
enzyme to produce additional choline. Polymorphisms in the MTHFD1 (G1958A) gene
greatly increase the need for choline supplementation
Iron deficiency anemia is common during pregnancy, and can lead to pregnancy
complications. Supplementation with iron can reduce the risk of anemia, and is
recommended for all pregnant women (Ranaei, Shahoei, & Zaheri, 2013). Foods that
are rich in iron may reduce the need for supplementation.
Vitamin D is an important nutrient for pregnancy. The mother’s vitamin D status
determines the likelihood of preeclampsia, and preterm birth (Wei, Jui Ping, Zhong-
Ching, & Fraser, 2013). Vitamin D3 supplementation is likely beneficial for most women.
Vitamin A is necessary for proper cell differentiation. There is conflicting evidence on
the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in developed countries and toxicity of retinol.
Many studies show that vitamin A is dangerous during pregnancy, but it’s unclear which
form of supplement was given. Evidence indicates that sub-optimal intakes are
prevalent, and those with polymorphisms in the PEMT gene likely need additional
retinol. Vitamins A and K2 have been shown to prevent vitamin D toxicity (Masterjohn, 2009),
and vitamin D prevents vitamin A toxicity, so supplementation should include a blend of all
fat soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin D3 Complete by Allergy Research Group, or Cod Liver Oil.
Vitamin K2 is necessary for proper bone formation and the activity of certain enzymes.
It is a vital nutrient for pregnant women. Vitamin K2 is thought to be the factor that
Weston A. Price referred to as Activator X (Masterjohn, 2008). Deficiency of this vitamin
was likely the cause of dental malformations that Dr. Price found in his travels. Now,
almost a century later, most Americans still receive inadequate intakes of vitamin K2,
based on the high prevalence of undercarboxylated osteocalcin and extra-hepatic
proteins in the Western population (Rheaume-Blue, 2013, p. 20) although the National
Institutes of Health asserts that deficiency is rare (National Institutes for Health, 2016).
There is little research on vitamin K2 supplementation during pregnancy, but Warfarin, a
drug that inhibits vitamin K activity is known to induce birth defects (Drugs.com, 2017).
A vitamin K1 injection is frequently given to newborn infants to prevent possible
hemorrhage, however this injection is a synthetic vitamin, and contains aluminum
(Johnson, 2016). It seems plausible that maternal intake of vitamin K2 before and
during pregnancy would be helpful, but of course there is very little research on this
Zinc is possibly the nutrient that is most deficient in the United States, and is necessary
for proper embryonic development. A low zinc intake is associated with pregnancy
preterm delivery and lower birthweight (Scholl, Hediger, Schall, Fischer, & Khoo, 1993).
The optimal zinc intake during pregnancy may be around 20 mg/day (Hambidge, et al.,
1983). Cereal grains contain phytate and could result in lower absorption of zinc.
Iodine deficiency can cause thyroid dysfunction and cretinism. Although outright
deficiency of iodine has been ameliorated by iodized salt, hypothyroidism is still
common, and should be monitored during pregnancy. Sea vegetables including kombu
and kelp are a reliable source of iodine and other trace minerals.
Fat: A search of the Amazon.com bookstore using the search term Pregnancy Nutrition or
Pregnancy Diet produced several results, and all of the top results, including Mayo
Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, are books that advise women to reduce fat intake
during pregnancy and avoid excessive calories (Mayo Clinic, 2011). Nichole Avena says
to avoid liver because it contains vitamin A (Avena, 2015, p. 174). Although these books
undoubtedly contain some helpful information, reducing calories and fat is dangerous
during pregnancy, a time when the metabolic demands and nutrient needs are greater.
An ancestral, whole-foods diet will provide sufficient amounts of healthy fat from animal
and plant sources. Consuming fat assists in the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients. Fried
foods should be cooked in a heat-stable fat such as coconut oil, animal fat, or ghee.
Protein: During and before pregnancy, protein intake should increase. Protein is a raw material,
and regular protein consumption helps to maintain blood sugar. Protein-containing
foods are a good snack. Snack on nuts, seeds, cheese, beef jerky, or avocado.
Magnesium. There is conflicting evidence on the use of magnesium during pregnancy. Deficiency is
associated with pre-term delivery (Black, 2001) preeclampsia and reduced maternal and
fetal mortality (Spatling & Spatling, 1988). Other studies, including a clinical trial published
in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found magnesium to have no
benefit in pregnancy, (Sibai, Villar, & Bray, 1989) . This study was sponsored by a drug
company. Curiously, the results of a study often correlate with the interests of the one
who funds the study.
Other vitamins: Vitamins C and E were found to reduce preeclampsia by 60%,
possibly due to decreasing inflammation (Lucy C Chappell, 1999).
Calories The minimum calorie requirement increases during pregnancy, to about 500 additional
calories per day during the third trimester.
Are Prenatal Vitamins Necessary? For most of human history, people have lived quite well
without synthetic vitamins, vaccines, or any other medical fads. But neither did they have factory
farming, genetic engineering, or synthetic fertilizers which deplete our soils and foods of health-
supporting nutrients. Supplementation with a pre-natal multivitamin might be necessary, as well
as vitamins A, D, and K2 if the diet does not supply them. Suggested products include
Optimal Prenatal by Seeking Health, Wellness Essentials Pregnancy by Metagenics,
Prenatal Nutrients by Pure Encapsulations, Basic Prenatal, by Thorn Research, or Vitamin Code
Raw Prenatal by Garden of Life. Contact us for more information on purchasing products.
Foods to Avoid: Minimize your consumption of vegetable oils, margarine, and processed foods. It’s
important to get plenty of calories during pregnancy, but other nutrients are critical as
well. Most processed foods have much lower amounts of nutrients. Do not restrict
calories, and avoid any type of fast or “cleanse” during pregnancy. Oral contraceptives
should be stopped six months prior to pregnancy, since they deplete vitamin B6 and
zinc. Undercooked meat and fish should be avoided to reduce the risk of infection.
Unpasteurized cheese may be eaten only if it’s aged at least 60 days.
Exercise: Physical activity during pregnancy has benefits… it makes you feel good! Exercise can
improve circulation and prevent pregnancy-related symptoms such as fatigue, swelling,
nausea, and often results in an easier labor (Brin, 2011, p. 5). Always consult with a
physician before beginning an exercise program. You shouldn’t do high intensity
aerobics, or get out of breath, or anything that is uncomfortable, or you’re not used to
doing. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, and snacking on protein. The types of
exercise that are appropriate for you will depend on many factors, so be sure to consult
with a qualified trainer. Walking and Yoga are good for everyone. Some ideas for exercise:
What are some good food choices during pregnancy?
Foods to consume: The high prevalence of vitamin deficiencies in the United States is a symptom of our
inadequate diet. Cate Shanahan explains that humans have used culinary traditions to
preserve our good health over the centuries, eating from a template which she calls the
“four pillars of modern cuisine” (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2009, p. 123). These foods
contained the nutrients that allowed them to stay strong and bear healthy children.
These pillars were:
1. Fresh foods, including seasonal fruits, vegetables, and meats.
2. Fermented or sprouted foods, including may have included cultured dairy
products, fermented beverages, or fermented vegetables.
3. Meat cooked on the bone
4. Organ meats
This is a general summary of the dietary template that Weston A. Price discovered in
many traditional groups who were eating an ancestral diet. Beef liver, or beef liver
tablets are high in choline, B vitamins, and many of the essential fat soluble vitamins
and minerals that are needed during pregnancy, including vitamin K2 and choline. Eat
plenty of eggs (if tolerated), as well as fermented foods such as homemade sauerkraut.
Cook with tallow, coconut oil, or ghee, and use butter and cream for additional calories.
Milk products are good sources of fat-soluble vitamins, as long as they come from
Fresh Plants: Vegetables and fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and essential
nutrients. Buy organic when possible, to avoid pesticide and herbicide residues.
Smoothie ideas: Choose a leafy vegetable such as spinach, kale, or chard, or celery.
Add an avocado for extra fat and potassium. For sweetness, add apple, carrots, or any
other fruits or berries. Add some protein powder. Add ginger and/or lemon for flavor.
Meats: Grass fed land animals, bone broth. See directions for making broth here:
http://drkellyann.com/blog/how-to-make-bone-broth-the-easy-way Use a slow cooker to
prepare meals for the next day. Liver, heart, and other organ meats can be added to
hamburger or cooked as a steak.
Fish: You should eat plenty of fish before, and during pregnancy! The benefits of fish
consumption far outweigh any risks. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is critical for
brain development, and fish is the best source of this nutrient. Except for very large fish
such as shark, most fish have low mercury content, and are safe to consume during
pregnancy. Good choices include salmon, sardines, bass, trout, and Albacore tuna,
Skipjack tuna. Refer to the National Consumer Guide to get recommendations for
seafood that is sustainably raised and lowest in mercury and other pollutants, at
Red meats – Beef, lamb, and other red meats are a good source of protein, fat, iron, and other minerals. Bone broths can be made as a base for soups.
Eggs – The yolks of eggs are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. Egg whites are high in protein, but have few other nutrients, and may be harder to digest. Eggs are a great breakfast, or can be boiled and kept as a snack.
Fish/Seafood – Although once controversial, studies have shown positive benefits to consuming fish and seafood. Fish are high in essential fatty acids, including DHA and EPA. Since larger fish are able to accumulate toxins, buy only wild-caught fish from wild-caught sources.
Milk and milk products – Milk has been consumed throughout history, primarily in the form of cultured products, such as cream and butter. Milk is an excellent source of nutrients for mom and developing baby. Milk products such as yogurt, butter, cheese, kefir, and cream will provide a good source of fat-soluble vitamins, calories, and minerals. Unfortunately, modern processing techniques have increased the allergenic potential and lowered the available nutrients in cow’s milk.
Grains – Wheat is present in most processed foods, and due to its low cost, is consumed by most Americans on a daily basis, or more. Grains, including barley, rye, spelt, and wheat have been consumed for thousands of years, therefore qualify as a “traditional food”, although industrial processing of wheat and other grains is very detrimental, diminishing their nutritive value. Wheat is the most difficult to digest, and the most likely to cause an allergic reaction. Testing for gluten allergy is unreliable at the present time. If you have any digestive or chronic illness or a family history of autoimmune disease, you should avoid wheat. If you feel better when you avoid wheat for a few weeks, you should avoid it. If you’re certain that you do not have a wheat sensitivity, homemade bread would be the most nutritious choice for you and your family.
Fermented foods: Sauerkraut, kombucha, kvass, kimchi, yogurt. Before refrigeration, vegetables were frequently preserved by fermentation. During fermentation, microbes break down food, predigesting the plant fibers, making nutrients more bio-available. Some of these microbes are probiotics, which are natural residents of our large intestines, such as lactobacilli. Research shows that kombucha could have hepatoprotective properties. Although acceptable pre-pregnancy, fermented beverages contain a small amount of alcohol and some caffeine. Kombucha contains yeast that converts sugars to alcohol, and the alcohol is consumed by bacterial strains. While fermented foods are generally safe in pregnancy, it’s possible to have a reaction to any food, including histamine or detox reactions, so be cautious about introducing new foods. Also, kombucha is thought to contribute to yeast overgrowth, particularly when sugar is remaining.
Organ Meats – Traditional diets contain some organ meats. They’re easy to digest, and contain a wealth of nutrients that are hard to get from other sources. Organ meats should be liberally consumed during pre-pregnancy, when it’s necessary to maximize nutrient stores. Beef liver can accumulate toxins, so it’s important to get organ meats from good sources. It is possible to over-consume vitamin A, therefore caution is adviced. A three ounce serving of beef or lamb liver once per week is probably beneficial, and not likely to cause harm.
Bone Broth – Although beef liver has been restricted on the list of pregnancy recommendations, bone broth will supply a lot of nutrients that are needed during this time, including minerals. Broth is rich in the amino acid glycine, which helps to balance the high methionine content of muscle meats. Be sure to source bones from good-quality farms.
Beneficial Nutrients for Pregnancy
Iron: This is a nutrient that often needs to be supplemented during pregnancy due to malabsorption, or due to increased metabolic demands. Low levels result in anemia.
Fat, and Choline: Prenatal supplementation with choline has been shown to impart a lifelong enhancement in learning and memory. If women are consuming three egg yolks daily, along with a quarter pound of lamb liver once per week, they would be getting a sufficient amount. Eggs should ideally would be soft boiled, or cooked to medium, because much of the choline is degraded by cooking. Animal fats provide a good source of choline, cholesterol, and other fat-soluble nutrients. Fat is a good fuel source that provides a stable source of calories without causing blood sugar dysregulation. Unhealthy fats, such as vegetables oils should be reduced as much as possible. Processed vegetables oils are disruptive to metabolism and contribute to disease[CITATION Sha09 \p 175 \l 1033 ]. Choose coconut oil, olive oil, animal fats, palm oil, avocados, and nuts.
Minerals: During pregnancy, the body’s need for minerals is increased, especially calcium, but also phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc, Bone broth is a good source for minerals, and should be consumed frequently, but supplementation might be necessary as well. Using plenty of sea salt in food is a good idea as well. Calcium is abundant in a whole-foods diet, but the needs of calcium greatly increase in pregnancy. A chronically low 25(OH) vitamin D level could indicate insufficient dietary calcium[ CITATION Mas13 \l 1033 ]. Magnesium has been shown to be helpful in pregnancy, and is difficult to obtain from food sources.
Water: Good hydration is important during pregnancy, just as at other times. During the second and third trimester the mother is gaining a lot of water weight due to the growth of the placenta and extra amniotic fluid. Drinking excessive amounts is not necessary, but sipping on water or herbal tea throughout the day should be sufficient. Frequency and color of urine is a good indication of whether fluid intake is adequate. Tap water should be filtered to reduce chlorination byproducts, trace amounts of drugs and other chemicals, agricultural chemicals, and fluoride.
Folate and Vitamin B12 – It might be possible to get adequate amounts of folate from food sources, depending on the quality of the diet and the MTHFR gene mutation. If there is doubt as to the sufficient intake of folate, then supplementation should be begun before pregnancy using methylfolate (MTHF), or folinic acid. Vitamin B12 should always be included with folate, because folate could have negative effects if B12 is insufficient. Look for methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, or hydroxycobalamin.
Nucleotides – During pregnancy, many new cells are being formed. Each DNA molecule contains about 3 billion nucleotides, and millions of cells are being formed every minute. Although these can be produced endogenously, they are thought to be conditionally essential, and it is beneficial to get them in diet for optimum health. Seafood and meats are high in purines and pyrimidines, which make these good choices for supporting your healthy pregnancy.
Vitamins A, D, and K2. These fat-soluble vitamins are present in animal foods that are recommended in this program. Vitamin D has benefits during pregnancy, established by a plethora of studies. The need to supplement will depend on your measured vitamin D level. The ability to get adequate vitamin D from sunlight varies from person to person. Vitamin A is synergistic with vitamin D and vitamin K2. Food sources of vitamin A are likely to be safe when taken in reasonable amounts, since a synergy of fat-soluble vitamins has shown to ameliorate toxicity. If a BCMO1 genetic polymorphism is present, vitamin A supplementation is important. Up to 20,000 IU is likely to be safe, however out of caution, take these supplements before pregnancy, rather than during.
Calories: Women are normally told that they do not need any additional calories during the first trimester, 300 extra calories during the second trimester, and 500 extra calories in the third trimester. While this is technically correct, it may be imprudent to impose additional anxiety about food quantities for women who may already be undereating. Eating too little can exacerbate nutrient deficiencies, potentially jeopardizing the health of the child and the mother. Many Americans, due to the influence of popular diet fads, already have an irrational fear of overconsuming fat and calories, and are afraid of consuming too much. Popular food-tracking apps have the potential of creating more anxiety over calories, but could be used if there is concern of calorie deficit. Nutritionists instead should admonish pregnant women to consume healthy, nutrient-dense food, and to not restrict calories. It’s not likely that anyone will over-consume healthy foods. To the contrary, the intake of whole foods consumption will displace less healthy options.
- Prenatal vitamins – Prenatal vitamins may not be necessary for those consuming a nutrient-dense diet of traditional whole foods. However it is recommended to make up for inadequacies in the diet, such as iron, zinc, and folate.
- Cod Liver Oil, 1000mg twice daily.
- Herbal infusions help to tonify the muscles of the uterus, and provide a natural source of vitamins. Herbs can be purchased in bulk. Before pregnancy, use red raspberry and red clover, chamomile. During pregnancy, you may use red raspberry, nettles, rose hips, partridge berry, and spearmint.
- Magnesium citrate and/or glycinate, at 2-400mg/daily
- Sleep! Although not a supplement, getting adequate sleep is important during this time. Caffeine or stimulants are often used for an energy boost caused by inadequate sleep.
Dietary Preferences – Vegetarian vs. Carnivore
A woman’s diet preferences and beliefs should be respected as long as it is not putting her health at risk. Many people thrive on a variety of different diets, but not everyone does. There are many benefits to consuming a plant-based diet. Plants contain many vital, health-supporting compounds, and increasing plant consumption is one of the best ways of improving health. However, the exclusion of animal foods in the diet is not sustainable long-term for many people, depending on genetics and health conditions. Herbivores possess a very different digestive system than humans. Herbivores (which are sources of red meat such as beef, lamb, and deer) have the advantage of being able to extract and bioaccumulate nutrients in plants, which humans could otherwise not digest. In addition to bioaccumulating nutrients, they also can potentially concentrate toxins as well, so avoid meat from cattle raised in feedlots.
Environmental Influences on Pregnancy Outcome
At one time it was believed that the placenta protected the unborn child from any harmful chemicals that the mother may be exposed to. This is now known to be false: the child is affected by many of the same chemicals that the mother is exposed to. The Environmental Working Group found over 200 chemicals present in cord blood, including pesticides, consumer products, and byproducts of petrochemical exposure.
- Consuming a wide variety of plants, including cruciferous vegetables helps your body to detoxify of many common chemicals
- Limit your use of body care and cosmetic products that contain parabens, estrogens, and other hormone-disrupting chemicals.
- Use a tap water filter and shower filter to reduce exposure to chemicals. Avoid using bottled water and toothpaste with added fluoride
- Avoid unnecessary medication, including NSAIDs. Ask your healthcare provider about the safety of any medications or supplements that you are taking.
- During preconception, limit alcohol consumption. During pregnancy, avoid alcohol and tobacco products completely.
- Buy organic foods when possible. Scientists are researching the possible link between herbicides and pregnancy problems.